The Bible speaks of lifting up hands to the Lord (Psalm 28;2; 63:4; 119:48; 134:2; Lamentations 2:19; 3:41; 1 Timothy 2:8; Hebrews 12:12), but the biblical activity is different from that which is practiced today by charismatics and contemporary worshipers. The biblical practice of lifting up hands is symbolic of one’s faith and sanctification before the Lord. We are to lift up “holy hands without wrath and doubting” (1 Tim. 2:8). By lifting up hands in this sense, I am saying, “Lord, I stand before you on praying ground, believing your promises and having confessed my sins and walked according to your Word.” On the other hand, the contemporary worship practice of lifting up hands is associated with the mystical, experiential aspect of charismatic praise. They desire to “connect with God.” Graham Kendrick, one of the biggest names in contemporary worship, says, “The old way of preaching and singing began to give way to an expectation that ... God would visit us, and we’d EXPERIENCE HIS PRESENCE IN A TANGIBLE SORT OF WAY” (interview June 11, 2002 with Chris Davidson of Integrity Music). The mission of Integrity Music and Integrity Worship Ministries is “helping people worldwide EXPERIENCE THE MANIFEST PRESENCE OF GOD” (integritymusic.com). Contemporary worshipers use sensual music to produce this experience. By yielding themselves to the power of the music, with its sensual rhythms, its repetition, its unresolving chord sequences, etc., the contemporary worshiper is impacted physically and emotionally as he is carried along by the music itself. In this context, the lifting up of hands is symbolic of “connecting” experientially with God in “a tangible way.” The hands are more like spiritual antennas to capture or connect with the “spirit.” This is blind mysticism and has nothing to do with true worship. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).
(Friday Church News Notes, May 25, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
Ad above does not necessarily imply endorsement