I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 1 Timothy 2:8
I was raised in a Pentecostal church and if you know anything about Pentecostals, they are hand raising, Jesus praising people. Both sides of my family are Pentecostal and growing up in a culture of raising hands in the church has always been comfortable and natural for me. It was comfortable and natural until one evening when I saw a video of a Christian comedian by the name of Tim Hawkins making fun of hand raising in the church.
Now, don’t get the wrong idea about me that I’m a somber, negative person. I laugh. I laugh a lot. I probably laugh more than most people and I find joy and humor in the stupidest things imaginable.
But I don’t find scoffing and mocking God’s people in worship to be the least bit humorous. Now, Mr. Hawkins may think he is the class clown and I’m sure he’s knocking down boat loads of cash with his funny videos that are flying off the shelves in the Christian bookstores. But I don’t think mocking worship is funny. I don’t think it’s funny at all.
Mr. Hawkins has even gone so far as to name different gestures of raised hands. He’s given hands in worship cute little names such as “carry the TV,” “my fish was this big,” “hold the baby,” “dueling lightbulbs, righty-tighty, lefty-Jesus,” “goal post,” “heartburn,” wash the window,” and “give the Lord a high-five” just to name a few. Obviously Mr. Hawkins observations have given him much comedic material to entertain the masses.
Mr. Hawkins is no different than the mean kids at school who make fun of your shoes, or your hair, or your clothes as you walk down the hall. Just because his bullying is taking place in the name of “Christian comedy” doesn’t negate the fact that his behavior is indeed, bullying. All the kids join in the mocking and they all have a rip-roaring laugh at your expense. Whatever the bully points out is a source of embarrassment that many kids carry for the rest of their life. I once went to the doctor when I was in my thirties and had a mole removed from my arm that a mean girl had made fun of when I was in high school. For decades, every time I noticed that mole I felt a flood of self-consciousness.
God tells us repeatedly that we are to lift up our hands in praise.
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. Psalm 134:2
Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. Lamentations 3:41
Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. Psalm 63:4
Even the great king, the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, lifted his hands in praise to the Lord.
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven. 1 Kings 8:22
Ever since I saw that video, I have become self-conscious about lifting my hands in praise. Satan has stolen my joy and freedom in worship. I will get it back, of that I have no doubt.
But, for all you who scoff and mock, be careful. God does not play and He does not take the bullying of His children lightly.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
Mr. Hawkins, there is whole world of things for you to pour out your comedic talents upon, but the worship of God is not one of them.
For those of you who haven’t seen the video, you can watch it here: Tim Hawkins – Hand Raising Christian Video
May you be blessed today, my friends. Be strong in the Lord and don’t let Satan steal your joy.
Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, Rejoice! Philippians 4:4
If I don’t meet you again here, I hope to meet you over there.