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Raising Hands in Worship

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by christianyouth, Jun 4, 2007.

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  1. christianyouth

    christianyouth New Member

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    Yesterday at church our song leader paused in between songs and read two scriptures that seemed to advocate the raising of hands in worship. He said that God wants us to raise our hands. The verses seemed like they were pretty clear, one from 1 or 2 timothy that said, "I would that men pray everywhere lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting", and another verse extracted from the Psalms.

    What are your thoughts on this? Is raising hands ok in worship? Is it mandatory in worship? Does the Bible strictly command it, or do the verses that talk about 'raising hands' mean something else? Do you raise your hands in worship?

    This seems like a relatively new trend. Does anyone know when this started?
     
  2. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf New Member

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    Has been going on for +/- 4,000 years. Started with Moses- although he had a rod in his hand when he did it.

    David did it- Psalm 28:2, 63:4, 119:48, 134:2.

    Nothing to be worried about here.
     
  3. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member
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    Mexdeaf, excellent points.

    It is biblical. No worries. Simply untennable for anyone to suggest otherwise.
     
  4. christianyouth

    christianyouth New Member

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    Psalm 119:48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments,
    Which I (A)love;
    And I will (B)meditate on Your statutes.

    Psalm 28:2 Hear the (A)voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help,
    When I (B)lift up my hands (C)toward [a]Your holy (D)sanctuary.

    63:4 So I will bless You (A)as long as I live;
    I will (B)lift up my hands in Your name

    134:2(E)Lift up your hands to the (F)sanctuary
    And bless the LORD

    I thought I would post the verses you cited in case anyone would like to examine them and see if that is a biblical mandate for swaying back in forth singing 7/11's with your hands raised.

    What is the significance of the raising of hands?
     
  5. JamieinNH

    JamieinNH New Member

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    When I do it, I am prasieing God. I am reaching up to his glory. To me, it's very much like a child that reachs up to his/her parent. The child wants to be close and held.

    I also, don't do it each and every song, or Sunday. I do it as I feel led to.

    Jamie
     
  6. PJ

    PJ Active Member
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    Me too, Jamie. And because it's personal, I've never liked when a pastor or singer asks that the congregation do it in unison. It's just not the same.
     
  7. WaltRiceJr

    WaltRiceJr New Member

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    Some possibilities...

    Raising our hands suggests vulnerability, as a child who raises his arms to his mother or father -- certainly not a taught action, but universally recognized as a gesture of supplication for care from one higher than ourselves.

    Raising my hands upward helps direct the focus of my thoughts and my heart upward as well. Certainly not a sine qua non of genuine prayer or worship, but it can be an important part of it.

    Culturally, raising one's hand is used in swearing an oath or attesting to truth. In a courtroom for instance, why do we put one hand on the Bible and raise the other hand while affirming our intent to speak the truth? Raising hands while speaking, prayer, and singing can be an affirmative posture of witness to truth -- in this case, Truth himself.

    But I think you're not really asking a question about raising hands... methinks, rather, that you're asking for a backup for your derisive view of what happened in this particular instance? (And what are 7/11's, anyway?)
     
  8. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K) Well-Known Member

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    How did we get from raising hands in worship to " biblical mandate for swaying back in forth singing 7/11's with your hands raised.."
     
  9. Amy.G

    Amy.G New Member

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    What are 7/11's?? :confused:
     
  10. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist Active Member
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    Second the question. :confused:
     
  11. mcdirector

    mcdirector Active Member

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    Amen.

    And on the same token, if I feel so led occassionally -- or even more than that, I don't want someone who doesn't feel led to comment on it. I've got someone who sits near me who has made the comment that it's not the Baptist thing to do. Well, for heaven's sake!

    (And for anyone who's wondering - I'm not the only one.)
     
  12. mcdirector

    mcdirector Active Member

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    Same 7 words sung 11 times - or is it the same 11 words sung 7 times? You know -- the newer praise music where some worship leaders just keep singing the chorus over and over and over ;)
     
  13. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed New Member

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    This is definitely not something you're likely to see in an Old Baptist church. The exception would be if someone feels the strong urge to shout, in which case the hands might go up in the air as well.

    Since I didn't grow up with it, it looks a little strange to me, but I'm not going to tell someone they can't do it if they really feel led to do it.

    As for swaying, well, that's borderline dancing, so we'll have to exclude you for that.:laugh:
     
  14. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    So what part of corporate worship allows us to doing something individually? (Not making fun here, but seriously asking). How would it go over in your church if someone just stood up and started singing because it was personal and the Bible commands us to sing? I bet not too well. Or someone stood up and started praying aloud? Or preaching? Why is the act of raising hands in corporate worship individual when other acts of worship are recognized as something we all do together? Why is raising hands in corporate worship an individual issue? Why isn't a corporate issue?

    (I really don't have an answer to this so I am not asking a loaded question. A friend of mine has made this exact argument and I have no answer for it.)

    Secondly, if you don't object when the pastor or worship leader asks you to raise your voice in worship together, why object when he asks you to raise your hands in worship together? Why is one an acceptable request and another not?

    Bottom line question: What biblical support if there for acts of individuality in corporate worship?
     
  15. christianyouth

    christianyouth New Member

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    Just some observations I have made : Most of the new 'contemporary' churches use things we commonly call 'praise choruses', which have been called 7 11's because they usually say the same 7 words 11 times. In most of these environments, the raising of hands is accompanied by a swaying from the left to the right. I am not sure if the swaying is due to the music, or just the results of having compressed emotion and not being able to express it.

    I have seen a video of a Pentecostal healing service, and the congregation was holding up their hands swaying back in forth muttering words like , "hablashakana shibokni mmmm Jesus" , so I think that has kind of scared me from the whole raising of hands thing. I apologize for that ungrounded stereo-type, that all people who raise their hands are the type who sway back and forth and speak in 'tongues'.

    I guess that wasn't a good shift, from taking it from 'is there a biblical mandate for raising hands in worship,' to 'is there a biblical mandate for swaying back in forth while raising hands in worship while singing 7/11's'.

    I'm sorry for that, I'll try to deal with this issue in an unbiased way, not allowing those who take this issue to the 'extreme' to make me go completley to the opposite end of the spectrum. The way that I seem passionate about this, is really a stupid reason. Last night, after the whole admonition to raise our hands by the worship leader, I just felt goofy. I just did not feel compelled to raise my hands, and it was an awkward situation, especially when the song leader insinuates that if you do not raise your hands in worship you are disobeying.

    Now, about the original post, weren't those verses speaking of praying, not singing?
     
  16. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman Active Member

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    In my opinion, raising hands is worship is appropriate if it is an act of worship for the worshipper.

    Being told to raise hands by the worship leader is not an act of worship.

    Raising hands because others are raising hands is not an act of worship.

    Raising hands to God because the Spirit of God is on me and I long to touch, to reach to Him.... That is worship for me.
     
  17. PJ

    PJ Active Member
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    Thank you, Saggy. I was thinking that exactly. :wavey:

    Pastor Larry, hope this answer will suffice.
     
    #17 PJ, Jun 4, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2007
  18. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    First, do you feel about singing as you do about raising hands? If the worship leader asks you to sing a song and you don't feel like it, should you sing anyway? What about listening to the preaching? What is the point of gathering together as a body if we are all going to do our own thing?

    Second, second how do you know when the "Spirit of God" is on you, and what does it mean to touch God with the raising of hands?

    Third, is "worship for me" a valid consideration of corporate worship? Isn't the coming together of the body something we do together?

    Again, asking pointed questions, but not accusatory. Just thinking out loud here.
     
  19. drfuss

    drfuss New Member

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    Very well put and I agree completely.

    From another perspective, You don't have to have your hands raised to be personnally worshipping the Lord. Those who do raise their hands should not think that unless your hands are raised, you are not really worshipping the Lord. I have know some from "hand raising" churches who believe that if you don't have your hands raised, you are not really personally worshipping the Lord.
     
  20. Amy.G

    Amy.G New Member

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    I feel that singing and listening to the preaching is part of corporate worship and raising hands is private worship. IMHO. :)

    Pastor, do you really not know when the Spirit of God is upon you? Have you never felt the presence of God's Spirit? I'm wondering why you would ask this question.

    Touching God with the raising of hands is in the spiritual sense. We aren't actually touching God with our physical hands. It's like a child reaching out for their father, to love and be loved.
     
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