Question:

I have been reviewing the wealth of information that you have on your web site regarding a wide array of subjects. We have several members who desire to express themselves by clapping when giving to the Lord. Is this practice okay in the Lord's Church if it does not interfere with anything else? So far, we have had only one member who has raised a negative disagreement with this practice. Please provide your scriptural advice on clapping when giving. Does clapping coincide with 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 which talks about being a cheerful giver?


Answer:

"But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver" (II Corinthians 9:6-7).

"Cheerful" refers to the attitude of the giver toward his giving and not his behavior when giving. Notice that it is the purpose of the heart and contrasted with grudging or a "I guess I have to do this" attitude. Being cheerful does not require clapping your hands. A person can show cheerfulness merely with a smile or a look of contentment.

The article, Clapping in Worship, points out many of the reasons why clapping is not appropriate in worship. It appears you have a few members who have taken a verse about attitude and changed it into a physical, ritual outward expression. The chosen method calls attention to the individual, which is not the purpose of worship.