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If you’re happy and you know it, cla–Hey, not in church.

This past weekend, my husband and I ended up attending a different service than we usually do. We’d been talking about making this service the one we go to and moving things around a little, but after trying it out this week I’m not sure that’s going to fly.

They clapped after each worship song.

Now, I’ll admit, I’m just generally anti-clapping in church unless you’re singing a song that has audience participation clapping. And even then, I’m not likely to partake, but I get it. Beyond that? I don’t get it.

I wonder–frequently–if the clappers out there understand that they’re jolting people out of a reverent heart attitude with their need to smack their hands together. I hope, honestly, they don’t know. Because the alternative is they just don’t care. That they somehow feel their need to applaud the musicians is more important than sustaining the worshipful attitude the song just tried to create.

“Now wait a minute,” I hear some of you saying, “Maybe that clapping is how they express their worship and it’s not meant to be applause for the dude on the bass guitar.” And I suppose that’s a possibility, though I struggle to understand it. But if that’s the case, I think we end up in a situation similar to what Paul addressed in Romans when he talked about eating meat sacrificed to idols. If your freedom in Christ causes another believer to struggle, then you need set your freedom aside. I’m one hundred percent willing to claim my inability to handle all that clapping as spiritual weakness — so I’m asking the clappers to have mercy and refrain from their applause so that we can both worship. Perhaps if you need to express yourself audibly in order to worship, try a hearty “Amen”?

We’re going to try it again this weekend. I’m a little bit terrified. (You can think that’s over the top, it’s okay, but it’s still the truth. The clapping bothers me that much.) My husband is hoping it was a one-off. I guess we’ll see.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I guess that’s why there’s so many different churches and denominations, right? Maybe that one is not your fit?
    We clap at our Baptist church but it’s a praise to Jesus not to the music or musicians but to the words of the song we just sang.

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