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Is Applause Appropriate?. There have been changes in the realm of religion Change itself is not necessarily wrong However, change that violates Biblical.

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Presentation on theme: "Is Applause Appropriate?. There have been changes in the realm of religion Change itself is not necessarily wrong However, change that violates Biblical."— Presentation transcript:

1 Is Applause Appropriate?

2 There have been changes in the realm of religion Change itself is not necessarily wrong However, change that violates Biblical principles is wrong Sadly, there have been changes that violate Biblical principles within the Lords church

3 One change that is gaining acceptance is applause Applause within itself is not wrong We applaud our team, our political candidate, our high school graduates and others we deem worthy of our praise But, is applause appropriate in worship?

4 Some maintain that it is perfectly acceptable Some maintain that it is the modern cultural equivalent to saying Amen Some maintain that it would not be acceptable in worship, but that it is perfectly acceptable to do at other times; for example, when someone is baptized

5 Some maintain that it is unacceptable at such times The important question for us is not what others think or what some might say, but what does the Bible teach regarding this matter Is it acceptable to God for us to applaud in worship? Or when someone is baptized?

6 What Is the Purpose of Applause? What Is the Purpose of Applause?

7 A simple dictionary definition of applause is to express approval of, as by clapping the hands When such is done in worship, who is being lauded? Is God being praised? If so, seeking to honor Him in a way He has not authorized (as shall be seen)

8 Is an individual or group being praised by such? If so, we have gone beyond the realms of honoring God alone in our worship and have included the praise of man Also, applause is associated with being entertained

9 Applause expresses the approval of an individuals or a groups performance In the affairs of the world, such is perfectly acceptable But, is it acceptable to express ones approval of an individual (i.e. the preacher) or a group (i.e. those serving at the Lords table) with applause?

10 Is applause Appropriate In Worship? Is applause Appropriate In Worship?

11 As with any question regarding this area this one revolves around authority There must be authority for all that is done in this realm

12 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:17

13 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

14 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. I Peter 4:11

15 As with any question regarding this area this one revolves around authority There must be authority for all that is done in this realm Any practice that does not fit this criteria must be abandoned Simply stated, there is no authority for handclapping in worship

16 How is handclapping used in modern worship settings? Mainly in two forms- accompaniment to the singing and for demonstration of approval or appreciation (applause) As accompaniment to singing it becomes a form of music itself

17 An art of sound in time which expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color…; Any sweet pleasing or harmonious sounds or sound. -Music, Websters Unabridged Dictionary An art of sound in time which expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color…; Any sweet pleasing or harmonious sounds or sound. -Music, Websters Unabridged Dictionary

18 Not all music is concerned with pitch; the rhythmic drum-beating, handclapping, or footstomping of many tribal peoples clearly lacks any well-defined pitch. -Music, Colliers Encyclopedia Not all music is concerned with pitch; the rhythmic drum-beating, handclapping, or footstomping of many tribal peoples clearly lacks any well-defined pitch. -Music, Colliers Encyclopedia

19 If used in this fashion it falls into one of two categories- instrumental or vocal It is not vocal, therefore it is instrumental There is only one type of music authorized in worship by God- vocal (and, particularly, singing)

20 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Ephesians 5:19

21 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16

22 Thus, when used as accompaniment to singing it is an addition to what God has said and is, therefore, condemned by God

23 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: Revelation 22:18

24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; Acts 17:24, 25 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; Acts 17:24, 25

25 Thus, when used as accompaniment to singing it is an addition to what God has said and is, therefore, condemned by God What about clapping hands to express approval for what is said/done (i.e. message preached)? How was such approval expressed in New Testament times?

26 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? I Corinthians 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? I Corinthians 14:16

27 If applause is appropriate for expressing appreciation for the message preached, why not applaud at the Lords Supper, or after a prayer, or after a song? The demeanor of worship must be reverent

28 Let all things be done decently and in order. I Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order. I Corinthians 14:40

29 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Psalm 50:21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Psalm 50:21

30 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8, 9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8, 9

31 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

32 If applause is appropriate for expressing appreciation for the message preached, why not applaud at the Lords Supper, or after a prayer, or after a song? The demeanor of worship must be reverent Perhaps this statement presents the modern mindset for the atmosphere of worship:

33 What wisdom is gleaned for worship planners from these prototype churches and their surveys of unchurched America? Keep the mood and tempo of worship upbeat. Resist the minor keys, theyre too somber. Discard churchy anthems and hymns…Provide sermons with catchy How to… titles. Encourage casual dress and informal ambiance. Drive the beat of worship with percussion, conclude songs with a

34 flourish of high notes and loud dynamics (no one feels compelled to clap after slow or soft music)….We dont allow any music in our church to which you couldnt rollerskate. The new model for efficiency and friendliness and enthusiasm is Walt Disney World. -Alan Walworth, Journal of the American Academy of Ministry, 1992 flourish of high notes and loud dynamics (no one feels compelled to clap after slow or soft music)….We dont allow any music in our church to which you couldnt rollerskate. The new model for efficiency and friendliness and enthusiasm is Walt Disney World. -Alan Walworth, Journal of the American Academy of Ministry, 1992

35 True worship must be based on reverence and respect for God, the Object of worship, not on mans desires for entertainment or self- gratification

36 There is a sacredness of worship that must not be sacrificed on altars of superficial spirituality, fads of the day, emotion-rousing handclapping, and entertainment oriented quartets and choirs. The profound dignity of worship should not be sacrificed to shallow, sensational displays of drama. -Tom Holland There is a sacredness of worship that must not be sacrificed on altars of superficial spirituality, fads of the day, emotion-rousing handclapping, and entertainment oriented quartets and choirs. The profound dignity of worship should not be sacrificed to shallow, sensational displays of drama. -Tom Holland

37 Is applause The Cultural Equivalent to Saying Amen? Is applause The Cultural Equivalent to Saying Amen?

38 Many contend that it is and, thus, justify its use thereby However, even if it is the cultural equivalent of saying Amen, it still must pass the test of being Scripturally equivalent As noted, it is perfectly Scriptural to say Amen to express approval or agreement (I Corinthians 14:16, etc.)

39 The Greek word translated Amen is found 188 times in Scripture (also translated verily) Not once will the text tolerate the word applause as a suitable substitute for the word The word clap does not appear in the New Testament, but is found 8 times in the Old Testament

40 As with mechanical instruments of music, the Old Testament is thus used to justify its usage today The handclapping found in the Old Testament was done in political situations, used figuratively, used as a means of mockery and derision, and engaged in on occasion of a military victory

41 It was never used in any approved religious sense The major difference between saying amen and clapping of the hands to demonstrate agreement or approval is that saying amen is authorized and Scriptural; handclapping is neither

42 Is applause Appropriate At Baptisms? Is applause Appropriate At Baptisms?

43 Although the baptism of one into Christ is indeed a happy occasion, it is, like worship, a serious occasion It is not an occasion designed for our entertainment, but an occasion of solemnity and dignity which is worthy of all seriousness Baptism brings the penitent believer to the blood of Christ through the death of Christ

44 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3, 4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3, 4

45 Thus, it would seem just as appropriate to clap at a baptism as it would be to clap at the Lords Supper or to applaud the crucifixion of Christ- If not, why not?

46 Although not addressed specifically, matters surrounding ones baptism into Christ must be regulated by the seriousness of the act itself, its purpose and the foundation upon which it is based (death, burial and resurrection of Christ) Although it is a happy occasion, it is also a very serious occasion

47 Some Additional Thoughts Considered Some Additional Thoughts Considered

48 In a recent brotherhood lectureship one of the speakers addressed this issue of applause Although not present, do have access to his presentation Can only speak to those things that are given in the presentation since not present to hear what was said

49 In examining his message, forced to take issue with some of his arguments and with his conclusion Lets highlight some of the material that was presented and examine it (slides with white background are his slides)

50 I propose the following Basic Argument: 1.If clapping is unscriptural, it is because it is either instrumental music or it is unauthorized. 2. It is not instrumental music. 3. It is not unauthorized (because there is no category swapping). 4.Therefore, it is not unscriptural. If it is instrumental music it is unauthorized (would put it in both categories); if clapping is unscriptural it is because it is unauthorized- period!

51 I propose the following Basic Argument: 1.If clapping is unscriptural, it is because it is either instrumental music or it is unauthorized. 2. It is not instrumental music. 3. It is not unauthorized (because there is no category swapping). 4.Therefore, it is not unscriptural. Is he sure? If it is ever used musically/rhythmically it is either instrumental or vocal- the only two possible categories

52 DURING A WORSHIP EVENT OR ACTION ANSWER: Clapping may be intended as a form of music--if so, it is wrong. Clapping may also be kinesive communication expressing joy, activity, or involvement. Besides, all sound is percussive in some sense (2 Kgs. 11.12; Job 27.23; Ps. 47.1; 98.8; Is. 55.12). It is not instrumental music (?) Then, if intended as a form of music, what kind would it be?

53 I propose the following Basic Argument: 1.If clapping is unscriptural, it is because it is either instrumental music or it is unauthorized. 2. It is not instrumental music. 3. It is not unauthorized (because there is no category swapping). 4.Therefore, it is not unscriptural. With what scripture is it authorized?

54 I propose the following Basic Argument: 1.If clapping is unscriptural, it is because it is either instrumental music or it is unauthorized. 2. It is not instrumental music. 3. It is not unauthorized (because there is no category swapping). 4.Therefore, it is not unscriptural. The premises are faulty; therefore the conclusion is in error- it is unscriptural because it is unauthorized

55 TO CLAP OR NOT TO CLAP: IN RESPONSE TO A WORSHIP EVENT OR ACTION ANSWER: Amen could approve both the message and the messenger in the OT (Deut. 27. 15-26; 1 Chr. 16.36; Ps. 106.48; Neh. 5.13; 8.6; Jer. 11.5; 28.6; Rev. 5.14; 7.12). Even if this were so, how do we know the motives of those who clap? Besides, is 1 Corinthians 14.16 a binding example? If so, no other words can be said responsively except Amen. Why would it be wrong to approve the messenger anyway? Apparently, an attempt to equate saying Amen with applause

56 TO CLAP OR NOT TO CLAP: IN RESPONSE TO A WORSHIP EVENT OR ACTION ANSWER: Amen could approve both the message and the messenger in the OT (Deut. 27. 15-26; 1 Chr. 16.36; Ps. 106.48; Neh. 5.13; 8.6; Jer. 11.5; 28.6; Rev. 5.14; 7.12). Even if this were so, how do we know the motives of those who clap? Besides, is 1 Corinthians 14.16 a binding example? If so, no other words can be said responsively except Amen. Why would it be wrong to approve the messenger anyway? The motive is a non-factor if the action is unauthorized; one cannot do a wrong action in a right way Example: One may have the right attitude toward baptism but still not have it performed correctly

57 TO CLAP OR NOT TO CLAP: IN RESPONSE TO A WORSHIP EVENT OR ACTION ANSWER: Amen could approve both the message and the messenger in the OT (Deut. 27. 15-26; 1 Chr. 16.36; Ps. 106.48; Neh. 5.13; 8.6; Jer. 11.5; 28.6; Rev. 5.14; 7.12). Even if this were so, how do we know the motives of those who clap? Besides, is 1 Corinthians 14.16 a binding example? If so, no other words can be said responsively except Amen. Why would it be wrong to approve the messenger anyway?

58 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? I Corinthians 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? I Corinthians 14:16

59 TO CLAP OR NOT TO CLAP: IN RESPONSE TO A WORSHIP EVENT OR ACTION ANSWER: Amen could approve both the message and the messenger in the OT (Deut. 27. 15-26; 1 Chr. 16.36; Ps. 106.48; Neh. 5.13; 8.6; Jer. 11.5; 28.6; Rev. 5.14; 7.12). Even if this were so, how do we know the motives of those who clap? Besides, is 1 Corinthians 14.16 a binding example? If so, no other words can be said responsively except Amen. Why would it be wrong to approve the messenger anyway? If it is an approved example it is binding (cf. Acts 20:7)

60 TO CLAP OR NOT TO CLAP: IN RESPONSE TO A WORSHIP EVENT OR ACTION ANSWER: Amen could approve both the message and the messenger in the OT (Deut. 27. 15-26; 1 Chr. 16.36; Ps. 106.48; Neh. 5.13; 8.6; Jer. 11.5; 28.6; Rev. 5.14; 7.12). Even if this were so, how do we know the motives of those who clap? Besides, is 1 Corinthians 14.16 a binding example? If so, no other words can be said responsively except Amen. Why would it be wrong to approve the messenger anyway? The word translated Amen is also translated verily and means surely; so be it It is a rule of logic that one may substitute the meaning of a word for the word itself without doing it any harm However, to substitute a different act entirely (handclapping) is to violate the principles of logic The idea that equivalent words might be uttered (i.e. thats right) does not violate the principle given in I Corinthians 14:16 However, the substitution of an entirely different action does!

61 TO CLAP OR NOT TO CLAP: IN RESPONSE TO A WORSHIP EVENT OR ACTION ANSWER: Worship is directed to God, but is also for mutual edification (Eph. 5.19; Col. 3.16). Reverent actions are largely culturally determined--i.e. comfort zones. Wrong! Reverent actions are determined by Scripture Culture may determine that whistling, clanging symbols, snapping fingers, etc. are reverent actions Just because something may be viewed as culturally equivalent does not mean it is Biblically equivalent

62 DURING A WORSHIP EVENT OR ACTION ANSWER: This is a misuse of the argument from silence. If the Bible does not mention it, we must see if the action changes the nature of what is commanded. Simplicity is a subjective term. Silence is permissive if the matter does not violate something about which God has been specific. Does the action of clapping hands change the nature of the command to say amen? Does saying the equivalent of amen change the nature of the command?

63 After returning home from a youth rally where there was clapping during the singing if your spouse asked you if they had used instrumental music, would you say, Yes? CLAPPING IS NOT INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. Might answer thus, but would be wrong if the clapping was used in conjunction with the singing

64 DURING A WORSHIP EVENT OR ACTION ANSWER: Clapping may be intended as a form of music--if so, it is wrong. Clapping may also be kinesive communication expressing joy, activity, or involvement. Besides, all sound is percussive in some sense (2 Kgs. 11.12; Job 27.23; Ps. 47.1; 98.8; Is. 55.12).

65 After returning home from a youth rally where there was clapping during the singing if your spouse asked you if they had used instrumental music, would you say, Yes? CLAPPING IS NOT INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC. If it is used in conjunction with singing or used in place of singing (like humming may be), it is musical If it is musical it is either instrumental or vocal It is not vocal; therefore it is instrumental

66 However, the prohibitive use of silence only prohibits substituting something FROM THE SAME CATEGORY for something about which God has been specifici.e., Noahs substituting POPLAR wood for GOPHER wood for the ark. What about the priesthood? Moses instructed that those of Levi were to serve as priests (Numbers 3, 18)

67 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. Hebrews 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. Hebrews 7:14

68 However, the prohibitive use of silence only prohibits substituting something FROM THE SAME CATEGORY for something about which God has been specifici.e., Noahs substituting POPLAR wood for GOPHER wood for the ark. What would it take to substitute from the same category in this regard? Someone from another tribe? Gentile? An animal? When would it stop being substitution from the same category, and why would it not be just as wrong?

69 Similarly, GOD HAS NOT SPOKEN about CLAPPING in the New Testament. So CLAPPING is permissive if it does not make a CATEGORY ERROR as previously explained. This is a straw man. If it is not authorized (and it is not), it is not permissible, regardless of whether it makes a category error or not It appears that this is just another way of arguing that cultural equivalence equals Biblical equivalence

70 What CATEGORY ERROR does CLAPPING make? To say it is not authorized leads to inconsistency because, from this point of view, neither are pulpits or songbooks. CLAPPING DOES NOT MAKE A CATEGORY MISTAKE. Same argument that those who support instrumental music make Using songbooks aids in (and is not an addition to) the singing; pulpit stands and microphones add no new element to the worship service Mechanical instruments do add another element Handclapping does add another element, an unauthorized element

71 Concluding Matters 1.When we clapped with childrens songs (for generations without the current problems, I might add), was the clapping wrong because it was unauthorized or because it was instrumental music? NEITHER. Perhaps one of the problems the current generation has- things were done in the past without inquiring as to whether they were scriptural or authorized; now being done without regard as to whether authority is needed The mere fact that something has been done in the past does not mean it was done then with scriptural authority, nor that it can continue to be done now without it. The past does not serve as authority for the present Great care should be exercised to insure that we do not make allowances for VBS, camp and other events for matters to be included in items of worship that we would not allow in our regular assemblies

72 Concluding Matters 1.When we clapped with childrens songs (for generations without the current problems, I might add), was the clapping wrong because it was unauthorized or because it was instrumental music? NEITHER. His answer is Neither My answer would be Both

73 Some greater depth regarding these matters and other matters similar in nature were addressed in the noted presentation The basic arguments have been addressed and time does not permit further examination

74 Is Applause Appropriate? In the entertainment realm and worldly affairs, absolutely However, when it comes to worship and matters spiritual in nature, it is not authorized, is not appropriate and should not be allowed

75

76 -The presentation addressed was that given by Ralph Gilmore at the 2007 Freed-Hardeman Lectures -Sources included numerous articles on the subject from various brotherhood publications and authors


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