Physical Contact in Worship


  The Origin Of “Touching” In Worship

Bill Burkett

The practice of physical contact which has become so common among many of the Charismatic groups is nothing new. It has been a theory for more than a century and had Sigmund Freud as one of its proponents. It became a very prominent psychological theory in our colleges and universities around mid-century becoming prominent with the rise of the new morality and sex education in our learning institutions. It was based on the theory that people had inhibitions that stifled their personality. Mental blocks (including moral convictions) was restricting the full expression of human behavior. The idea was that if we could make people more insensitive and less self conscious they would feel less inhibited experiencing the liberated life. This whole concept became known as Sensitivity Training in the college curriculums. But the intellectuals knew very well what they were doing – desensitizing society to moral values and stripping the conscience of its moral convictions! They named it sensitivity training but actually it was designed to de-sensitize the conscience of traditional values and teaching. But what was the Satanic scheme? It was to reach into the psyche of people where traditional moral values monitored the coincidence and neutralize the conscience, the moral “inhibiting factor.” The main inhibiting factor in the Christian society is the Christian conscience sensitized by the Holy Spirit and Biblical teaching! The surprising thing is that many “Christian colleges have gone into sensitivity training like a heifer being led to the slaughter.

Humanists felt that Christian values had created a sense of right and wrong based on an external law rather than on a rule of conduct more relative to the new society of the 2000’s. Sensitivity training that desensitizes serves the humanist philosophy but is a diametric abomination to God and His spoken Word! To be thorough the humanist educators reached out to the teachers already operating in the school systems with special sensitivity seminars to bring them into the persuasion of sensitivity training.

Sensitivity training was based on all kinds of physical contact exercises. They were called sensitivity sessions. The humanist openly opposes the Christian moral implying it to deceptive and insidious. So, while sensitivity training sessions were said to be for the purpose of making us more sensitive, actually it was desensitizing it’s victims by removing the mental blocks in the form of “outdated moral inhibitions.”

The Christian standards of propriety and decency had to go. The traditional sensitivities to right and wrong were standing in the way of such things as unity, meaningful dialogue and an amoral lifestyle.

Bringing people together for the purpose of making physical contact was considered an effective way to destroy these traditional moral inhibitions. Familiarity of the most indecent kind would bring in a new morality based on uninhibited urges replacing the “old fashioned” Christian concepts. Sensitivity training desensitizes the conscience of moral values. It does not “sensitize.” This is an old psychological trick that politicians are very familiar with called Johnstonian psychology, that ignores any accusation and goes on with a very positive emphasis that often reverses the actual meaning.

Some of the exercises used in sensitivity training (documented in my personal library as well as the public library) would reveal just how un-Christian this “therapy” really is. Sensitivity sessions were carried out in groups called “Group Therapy Sessions.” This was the effective way of breaking down our sensitivities toward each other. It was always carried out in mixed groups. The public school systems really went at it strong by holding the Sensitivity Training Seminars for their teachers.

One first hand experience of a Christian Mother is typical of the method and outcome of this lunacy. A group of teachers from a given school district met at a motel for their sessions. One exercise was for all of those attending the sessions to lay on the floor with the lights off. They were instructed to roll around on the floor and touch each other and make physical contact. They were constantly urged to not react to any kind of touch or physical contact with any other person. The less they reacted the more therapeutic good was being achieved. The Christian teacher began feeling foolish but then thought that if she refuses to participate she would be accused of having “unhealthy inhibitions.” The lecturers (amoral nitwits) stressed over and over the their main point that to have any reactions whatsoever was proof of your inhibitive tendencies and that they had to be overcome. As this bunch of educated people were rolling around in the dark a man came rolling up beside her and started wrapping himself around her. She panicked, screamed, jumped up and tried to find the door in the dark … but when she finally found the door it was locked! She became angry (her prudish Christian values had taken over and she was now very sensititive about the wrongness of a crazy excersize with a fancy name intended to destroy her decency!). She made herself heard and demanded the the door be unlocked immediately! The lights came on and she was let out. Of course she flunked the “humanist orgy” test and was probably scorned for her extreme inhibitive tendencies.

Another sensitivity training session gathers a mixed group of four to six standing in a circle facing each other. Each person takes turns and tells someone in the circle something they don’t like about them. This exercise is really a smashing success if you are able to make someone cry or become angry at what you say.

Another circle therapy is to lean inward together until your heads all come together in the center. This is supposed to teach “interdependency.”

Another circle session allows each person in turn to reach out and touch any other person in the circle anywhere on their body they so choose. The intention here is to touch those places on others that is considered improper or immoral without the toucher or the person being touched to react in any way, and the person doing the touching learning to touch a sensitive part of another person without reserve.

In these sessions, all reaction is discouraged and the more we violate each other the more therapeutic good is being effected.

The generation of college students at that time were living contemporary with the charismatic invasion of the Catholic church. Many of the students in secular colleges were Catholics and had received the sensitivity training. These in turn carried the embracing, the emotional kissing and touching into the charismatic worship services that were predominantly Catholic. In fact many of the early Catholic Charismatic meetings were held in the Catholic church facilities with the priest presiding over the meetings in casual garb. This is all documented on a film produced by the World Council Churches and in my possession.

Physical contact in worship comes from the practice of sensitivity training of humanist colleges moving into the church through Catholic Charismatic youth. It is a recent phenomena in the worship and behavior of the Charismatic churches introduced in the 1960’s having NO Biblical precedent or basis whatsoever!

It is terribly disconcerting (distracting, confusing) for sincere Christians to have to hold hands when they are told to do it from the platform. I have questioned scores of Christians privately on this matter and have not had one single Christian tell me they were in favor of it.

Those who lead the services from the platform often call for this touching as some sort of uniting act for the Holy Ghost to flow through, or a circle unbroken. Types and symbolic meaning are nice but in this case certainly without Biblical precedent. Worship calls for my Spirit to be in contact with God. Physical contact with another person destroys that focus and distracts true spiritual concentration. It is a sign of their spiritual ignorance when Christians and worship groups think that physical contact between themselves and other people is a Christian (has its origin either in the teaching of Christ or the apostles) form of worship are deluded! Such practices that are forced upon the corporate body by one person leading the service tells me I am not in a true Christian environment. The man who leads a service is not there to choreograph the people leading to do as he says according to his script.

From those Catholic charismatic sessions attended heavily by young people of college age and younger the practice of physical contact became accepted in the Charismatic churches. Before that time touching was practiced by some indiscriminate pastors but it was never accepted nor were such men thought of as being wise or clean when they were seen doing it. Touching between the sexes beyond the proper greeting is not taught or condoned by the Word of God or the Holy Spirit. The true etiquette teaches us that a man should not even shake a ladies hand unless she offers her hand to him first.

Physical contact of any kind is a tradition introduced into the charismatic system of worship by humanists and Catholics. There are always those weak individuals in the body of Christ who Satan uses as instruments to introduce any crazy new thing to corrupt and weaken the moral standards of the body of Christ. Touching in worship is the spirit of sensitivity training that has spread to the church overruling the good and pure teaching of the Holy Spirit.

Many of the modern charismatic teachers who teach this “touch worship” do not know the origin of it. Those who teach it and approve it only reveal secret desires and hidden lusts in their lives.

Any knowledgeable student of the Bible knows that physical contact of any kind is not a part of spiritual worship. In fact The Hebrews and the early church practiced a church seating arrangement that separated the men from the women sitting on opposite sides of the church. In many countries today fundamental Christian churches still practice this discreet tradition. It is certainly more aligned with the moral standards of the apostles than the mushy and sensual practice of holding hands and kissing.

The scandals involving Gorman, Bakker and Swaggert are nothing compared to the hundreds of preachers who have left the ministry over moral allegations and sex scandals withing the church. In fact I have had church officials confide in me that the biggest problem with minister’s today is the affairs preachers have with women in their churches. This is a matter of serious proportions in the fundamental movement. The great majority of these scandals take place among those pastors and in those churches that practice “touching” as a part of normal worship. If we would stop practicing physical contact and return the church to decency and modesty this trend could be turned around.

Sensitivity training was intended to break down Christian standards of morality. When it is practiced in the church it has the same demoralizing effects; 1. It conditions the human conscience to making intimate physical contact. 2. It familiarizes the innocent with provocative physical stimulation. 3. It desensitizes the Christian conscience against the very improprieties the Holy Spirit is sensitizing us against.

False teachers who place this emphasis on physical contact and enjoy this practice are not sensitive to the fact that many people find it repulsive and extremely distracting making it impossible for them to worship God comfortably in their spirit.

Those who will insist on this practice are usually the same ones that emphasize love and can tell you all about it. But love of the agape kind is thoughtful of others and will always take into consideration what makes them comfortable. To impose this kind of unBiblical custom on others is thoughtless and blind to how others may feel about it. Many times when someone expresses reservation about such practices in the church they are told they are hindering the Holy Spirit and put on a guilt trip.

The false teachers who come into our pulpits and teach these devilish lusts are not all to blame. Pastors who are appointed shepherds of the flock have failed to ward off the wolves draped in sheepskin. Brethren! They are victimizing the flock of God! We are hirelings when we do not stop these men coming into our churches teaching such ungodliness. Put a stop to the teaching and establish the word of God among God’s people!

You brethren who hold faithfully to the teaching of pure doctrine and the apostles creed had better rise up against this flood of apostate teaching invading the churches. It is past time to put a stop to it. It has already corrupted thousands of churches and the generation of the church your children belong to. If you do not stop this charismatic fleshpot from boiling over you will not see your children in Heaven because they surrendered to doctrines of the apostates…the apostates you tolerated!

A “touch preacher” came to a church that preaches a sound gospel. He said in the course of his preaching that “When Mary and Martha saw Jesus in the garden after the resurrection, I am sure He put His arms around both of them and embraced them and held them close to Himself.” I don’t know where he got that! He sure didn’t get it out of the Bible. All during his meetings at the church he was indiscriminately touching the women of the church while conversing with them. When he prayed for the ladies around the alter he would lay his hands on either side of their body above the waist when their arms were raised. The women he touched were shocked and embarrassed. Lust is a blind demon not caring about decency, or what others may believe as being improper. It is only interested in gratifying it’s own desires. These men teach physical contact to justify their sensual behavior.

An American was visiting in another country preaching to the Mother church in a capitol city. He said, “As we hold hands around this great auditorium we can feel God flowing through the church and bringing unity and a spirit of oneness. The power of God flows through and generates power as it passes through the body of Christ”! That is nothing but a pack of lies he imagines. If Jeremiah had been present he would have shouted “BUNK”! Weak pastors and stupid Christians with little anointing and dedication hear these men and practice such teaching. There is not a single scripture to support anything this man said.

Following are reasons the practice of physical contact is an apostate evil.

1. The apostles did not teach physical contact in worship or as a part of a worship meeting, nor is it found in any part of the Bible.
2. The holy kiss (which was not practiced between the sexes) is not related in the slightest way to the practice of holding hands in worship.
3. The holy kiss was carried out between men and men and women and women but never between the sexes.
4. The holy kiss was a greeting between close members of a family but not between men and woman.

If your culture practices kissing between the sexes indiscriminately it should cease when you become a Christian. If you can’t buck the wrongs of your culture you sure won’t stand a chance bucking the Devil! I was visiting a country where kissing was common among the people and even among strangers. Standing outside the church a man who was red in the face with liquor attempted extended his hand to my daughter. When she showed the courtesy to shake his hand he moved in to kiss her. I thrust my arm forward and pushed him back as my daughter moved back quickly from his advance. The drunken visitor to the church stumbled off seemingly not too offended. It doesn’t matter if he was or not. By refusing to allow him to use the kissing custom to fulfill his base desires left him with a proper impression of Christian purity.

Kissing on the side of the face is a common greeting in certain cultures. But the subject of Paul’s mentioning the holy kiss is not the kiss itself but rather the matter of greetings. Greeting was the subject and not the kiss.

So the holy kiss is a greeting in the ancient middle East of Paul’s day. Today in the western cultures it is a handshake. Physical contact as we are seeing in the modern churches today is not even considered proper by people of the world who have proper training. Authorities on etiquette (proper conduct and behavior) teach that a man never extends his hand to a woman but only shakes her hand if she offers her hand to him first. It seems sinners have more sense of propriety than Christians who claim to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

To touch someone and make physical contact with them does not show the genuineness of friendship. Judas was a kisser!

1. Physical contact is provocative. Many use this occasion as a means of gratifying a desire to touch the opposite sex with sexual implications in mind. Making physical contact with others in time of prayer and the practice of kissing, touching and embracing between the sexes in church “love feasts” desensitizes the conscience of proper moral inhibitions placed there by nature and amplified by the Holy Spirit.
2. Touching originated with sensitivity training devised by humanists to destroy the Christian moral value system.

For 1,900 years of the church’s 2,000 year history physical contact was never attempted in worship services of the church.

“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure”. 1 Timothy 5:22

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