I’m pretty sure I’m the Howie Mandel of preachers.
Howie is famous for not wanting to shake people’s hands. I think it’s because he’s a germaphobe. Whenever he sees someone he fist bumps them in order to not shake their hand.
Now PLEASE READ that I don’t mind a good handshake. I like it. I even like a high five, a dap, the Fresh Prince, the over the back, the dap to a snap, and the hand shake that turns into a man hug that can last no longer than 3 seconds or it just gets awkward. I like it all. The thing that makes me feel like Howie Mandel is when people who I’m not married to want to hold hands at church. I HATE it!
Now the Bible talks about greeting each other with a holy kiss. Even the most fundamental Christians ignore this part of the Bible. Instead the substitute it with a holy handhold.
There are a few ways that people try to sneak this into a service.
I once was a guest preacher at a church when they wanted to pray before the service. I was amp’d that they wanted to pray together. I was less amp’d when they reached down their hands to palm lock during the prayer. I pulled a Howie Mandel and quickly avoided the handhold by closing my eyes and pretending to be deep in pre-prayer. Whew!
Chris Tomlin Concerts:
Chris Tomlin is one of the most famous worship leaders in the world and that joker has tried to make me hold hands on multiple occasions. Now granted it’s not technically at church but this joker is influencing worship leaders all over the world so this counts. It took me five years to get up the nerve to see him in concert because of what he did at a Passion event. He introduced this song called “Dance In The River.” I never saw a river. I don’t know why were dancing in it. And I’m pretty sure he’s a baptist because his version of dancing is holding hands with strangers. He asked us to reach across the aisle and hold hands high above our heads. I was on the aisle so I had to reach across and hold hands with sweaty palm girl. I think she was nervous to stand next to me because I was so hot. Literally I was sweating at this event. It was hot. I was hot. She was hot. Now our hot hands had to awkwardly sweat together. Have you ever held a sweaty hand. It ain’t fun. 5 years. It took me 5 years to overcome this one.
Now this one doesn’t happen often. THANK GOD! I have been in a few church services where the pastor wanted to mix things up before his talk. Whenever the pastor starts talking about extended times of fellowship or gathering in small communities I get the sweats. I know what’s coming. He’s going to command us to hold hands. Now in middle school I didn’t mind this because I would strategically sit next to a really pretty girl. I had to stop doing this because my hands would act like her hands were made of fire and try to drown it with a gallon of hand sweat.
I had to suffer through holding the limp hand, the hand the caught 1,000 coughs during the service, the broken hand in a cast, the tight squeezer hand, and as I’ve already mentioned the sweaty stranger.
So I say let’s just ban the forced handholding at church. Whose with me?
Now I hope you know that this post is supposed to be funny. The truth is whether it’s hand holding, singing older songs, traditions from various denominations, youth services where they ask you to scratch a friend’s back scratch a back next to you I’ll suck it up and participate. Why? Because it’s not about me.
And it’s not about you.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
What’s a church thing that you would rather not participate in?