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Does This Make You Cringe

Many churches that used to seem rather old fashioned are now being pressed into being trendy in their style of worship. Some preachers order the congregation to "Hug the person on your left and tell them God loves them." etc. Does this sort of thing please you or make your cringe?

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 ---emg on 10/21/06
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RitaH: I show love to my husband by cooking for him,washing his clothes,just nice simple gestures to show him I love him. That is a part of love. I do the same to my friends,family etc..Hugs,smiles, handshakes all express love and concern. You seem to be spiritually dead. Wake that ol'spirit up.
---Robyn on 2/7/08

Robyn wrote "We should also learn to put our fat egos and disobedience aside and obey our leaders."
I respectfully disagree. Pastors are shepherds of the sheep. They are there to give us the good food of the Word of God and to train us so that we can minister to one another. They are not our lord and masters and we are not their slaves.
---Gena on 2/7/08

I thank God for this question. Now we see the big problem in our churches. Not just the preachers,money and all the other grab bag of problems dumped on the church today. If we cannot express love and concern to others in the church. My God--where can we do it at?
Even though we may not feel like hugging someone, I think we should anyhow. Feelings usually follow our actions.Get the point? By the way. We should also learn to put our fat egos and disobedience aside and obey our leaders.
---Robyn on 2/7/08

Robyn I think that you confuse outward gestures with real love. Anyone can hug, kiss, give a handshake, offer a cup of tea etc. because they have been told to do it or feel that they 'should'. None of these are showing love unless we actually 'do' love them. It's just fake, putting on a show or whatever else you want to name something that is not real. We are meant to be real and if the 'real' person is reticent then reticence is what should be shown. That does not mean there is no love present.
---RitaH on 2/3/08

We must remember also: Christianity is not about individualism. If you don' want to follow the teachings of the bible , perhaps you need to switch to Buddhism or some other type religion. Showing love and concern to others is the backbone of Christianity.
---Robyn on 2/2/08

I don't feel as if the preacher orders anyone to hug the person next to them.I believe it is a suggestion to show our love for one another.Since in God we are all brothers and sisters it shouldn't seem odd to show our love for each other.
---lillie on 2/1/08

Some pastors want to mind control their sheep. It is not good. They use obedience as the excuse. We only have to be obedient to God. The same goes for Church hierarchy. You should never obey blindly, but test the spirits.
---frances on 2/1/08

Never mind the hug. We are told 4 times in the NT. to greet eachother with a holy kiss! So any huggers who try to push your hugging theology better get with the real program! I don't agree with forcing handshakes, hugs, or kisses on anyone. These should all be voluntarily given, not by compulsion.
---john on 2/1/08

In reference to Dr. Rich--- you want to know God wiped out the people except for Noah and his family, etc. It is simple.........SIN!!!! (Romans 6:23 says: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.) There are consequences for our actions. We chose to live in sin, We chose to live for God. God made us with a free will.
---Denise on 2/1/08

Question: If "God loves them", (and you hear this everywhere as in "Jesus loves you"), then tell me why Jesus said what He did in John 14:21 and Rev.3:9? Tell me why God wiped out everyone but Noah and his family? Tell me about Sodom and Gamora? Tell me about the one third that He kills (or more) in the tribulation? Where is 'grace' and 'love' in all of this?
---Dr._Rich on 2/1/08

This "Hug person next to you" time is a great time to witness to people and seek their salvation. Once I knew of pastor who would not close this time as long as I was speaking to someone. The results of this were many people came to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. Also if they were young teenagers we have seen their parents who were standing nearby get very happy and get very loud just crying and praising the Lord.
---Mima on 2/1/08

For those of you who have a problem with a simple HUG: what would you do if Jesus wanted to hug you? Hahahahaha. I know the answer already. Well. Do the same for your sister and brother at the church. Matter of fact that could be Jesus sitting next to you in that pew. Have you ever thought of it that way? We as Christians have a long ways to go and a lot to learn.Another point: the Royal Commandment requires we reach out to others in love.Yes-that includes a hug.
---Robyn on 1/31/08

Robyn, I am sorry but I have to disagree with you here. I think that there could be as many people put off a church because of the hugging as there will be who are drawn to attending that church. Also I do not think that this is about obeying a pastor. They are not right about everything. 'Hugging to order' does not show love. In your words it just shows 'obedience'.
---RitaH on 1/31/08

Its your choice but the best choice is to obey the pastor(leader in the church). It is nothing wrong with showing love to other people in the church. Especially to visitors. This person may want to join the church because of the hug they received from YOU! What is your purpose and reasons for attending church anyhow? This is part of what church is all about.Giving and receiving love especially from our sisters and brothers who belong to the church. This act pleases me...a lot.
---Robyn on 1/30/08

Even though a preacher "tells" the people to hug the person next to them, it is each individual's choice whether or not to do so. A better way would be for the preacher to "tell" each person to take the hand of the person on each side of them and then lead them in praying together to the Lord: this will better draw the body closer together, rather than a mere hug when some people may be unhuggable on that day.
---Eloy on 1/30/08

I have had a preacher to hug me and I feel funny about it. And come to find out later he was an unbeliever. I don't have any problems with shakeing hands infact I like it and speaking to people. "How are you doing today"? ect. As far as it goes. No touching me. If Satan wants to accuse me of being unfriendly so be it.
---catherine on 1/29/08

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Some people, by nature, are very reticent whilst others are very outgoing. We should not try to put everyone in the same basket. The reticent ones will not only hate being told to hug someone, but they will also not wish TO BE hugged. I am a great hugger with those I CHOOSE to hug, but I don't like being told by anyone who I should hug and when I should do so. I would never embarrass someone by rejecting a hug though.
---RitaH on 1/29/08

No one should be hugged without their EXPLICIT permission, especially by someone of the opposite sex.
---InimicusStultitiae on 1/28/08

No. Not unless you stop and have a picnic, too. If this is offensive, just make fists and tell your neighbor you don't feel like shaking hands. Tell them not to breathe on you either, because you haven't had time to get a flu shot.
---R.A. on 1/28/08

Jemoma ... scotch is whisky. The adjestive to describe people is either Scottish or Scots. The noun for Scottish people is Scots.
I speak as a Scot
---alan8869_of_UK on 11/2/06

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jemima, "scotch" means "of Scotland". My family is of Scotland/Ireland descent.
---Kay on 11/2/06

Kay Scotch is whisky. Some people are Scottish but not scotch.
---jemima on 11/2/06

"KKKKay::Yes now I know where you get your humour From,Must be the blarney in you."

Yeah, you're right. :)
---Kay on 11/1/06

KKKKay::Yes now I know where you get your humour From,Must be the blarney in you .I am smiling too !thanks for sharing.
---Emcee on 11/1/06

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Emcee, I'm Scotch-Irish. :)
---Kay on 10/30/06

"KAY, yes, I consider CN a kind of church too. I am learning about being a good Christian here because I want to honor God."

Sue, you seem to be a really sweet person. May God bless you!! :)
---Kay on 10/30/06

Kay ::Learnt a little Latin but Not Latino. Just say I am Ethnic.French -Irish:but no blarney!!What about You ?
---Emcee on 10/30/06

Thanx again Emcee, for keeping me in your prayers. I truly appreciate it and will not forget. KAY, yes, I consider CN a kind of church too. I am learning about being a good Christian here because I want to honor God.
---sue on 10/30/06

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"Church to me is being close to God, no particualr building necessary!"

Sue, I feel the same as you do. God isn't confined to a building made with hands. The Bible does say that we should gather together with other believers. The reason for the gathering together is for encouragement and edification. The location of our gathering together can be at church, at home, in the park, and even on the internet.
---Kay on 10/30/06


Emcee, are you Latin?
---Kay on 10/30/06

S--::DEO GRATIAS!-I am happy for the both of you.Just hang in there & use your Rosary which is your life line & I shall not forget you & your need some day we may smile over this, Love.God be with you my dear lady.Families that pray together stay together.Dont give up
---Emcee on 10/29/06

Emcee,what you say is 100% correct.My husband has finally taken steps to help himself, in turn that will help me because what he does is huge trigger for me.So I beleive your prayers are working! Please keep praying for us and I will ask God to bless you too.
---sue on 10/29/06

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Rebecca, I can remember when my kids were little, so I can totally relate to what you're saying!But now my house is empty and very peaceful/quiet (thank you God!)except for my husband and 2 cats.I set my alarm to 6:00 pm every night to tell me it's time for "church", then I read my Bible or meditate, pray etc. for a while. I also watch church on tv sometimes if the preacher is good.
---sue on 10/29/06

S--:It takes a great amount of courage to admit But that step is necessary.You wanted a rosary use Patience & persistence conquers all.How many times does a child fall,before he can walk does he give up NO.God watches over each & every ones struggles to raise ones head above water & float He will not let you drown or DownJust keep trying.I,smoked for 38years & it will be 27years since I quit on 22Jan1980.Dear lady you can do it too.Have Faithmore than you know.
---Emcee on 10/28/06

Sue; I feel closer to God when I'm in church. When I'm at home, I have two children to look after (one is in school) and my husband when he comes home from work. After the cleaning, cooking, playing, I just want to go to church and worship. I have time to read my bible, but it is not the same as being in church and fellowshiping with other Christians. I hug people, because I truely love them. I don't hug the men. Don't let this simple thing keep you out of church. This is what Satan wants you to do.
---Rebecca_D on 10/28/06

Yes, E., thats me with the addictions. You have no idea how many 'first steps' I have taken. Church to me is being close to God, no particualr building necessary! Thank you so much for your prayers/thoughts.
---sue on 10/28/06

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"this is something that God has to help you overcome." I disagree that there is anything that Sue should overcome. The problem is not with Sue, or any other individuals who do not wish to hug to order, it is with the leadership of the church (or the visiting preacher). They should have the discernment to know that we are not all alike and that the 'order' will upset (and possibly turn away) some of the congregation. God made us all individuals, no man should order us to all be the same.
---emg on 10/28/06

Sue::Is that you seeking prayers from addictions?if so,then I urge you & your partner, to return. It is God,who will cure you of this urge to continue doing what ever it is you are doing,He will gradually wear down the desire, but you must really help him help yourself.Dont stay away;I do not know your religious affiliation but deserting your creator is NOT the answer its the life line to sanity & normalcy.I shall also offfer up a prayer to give you strength & courage you have to make the first step
---Emcee on 10/27/06

The Lords prayer says "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us"the procedure is to wish peace in the face of Forgiveness & share the love oF Jesus with each other.This can be accomplished by a simple hand shake or Gesture.close family members some times greet with a kiss but this again is NOT cumpulsory.Embracing hugging & emotional outbursts are not considered appropriate.This is Gods house & certain decorum is demanded.
---Emcee on 10/27/06

Rebecca, yes, you are right. Hugging the person sitting next to me IS a reason I dont like it though. I just didn't feel close to God in church. I do feel close to Him when I'm in my room thinking about what I read in the Bible, or when I'm up in the north woods.
---sue on 10/27/06

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Sue; I say this in love, (some may not understand) I think the reason why you don't go to church anymore, is because you just flat out don't want to. There is no reason for you not to go to church unless someone is ill, or unable to go to church. these people that go to church (true christians) aren't strangers. for we all have the same blood, the blood of Jesus. I understand what you are saying, but if you want to go to church, this is something that God has to help you overcome.
---Rebecca_D on 10/27/06

I was raised for a time in a pentacostal church where they had weekly-hug-a-thons. Each week they would hug and the women would hug and cry, cry, cry. In some meetings they would almost bounce off the walls. That emotionally wore people down, making them emotionally dependant. My neice, 19 is just breaking away from that, now in control of her emotions, she is attending a local community college, something the believers in hugology are firmly against. Such behaviour is a warning sign.
---MikeM on 10/27/06

Lynn, does hugging an angle make it right??

In all honesty, I really am not comfortable with "holy hugging", "holy kissing" or other such displays.

I will leave my hugging and kissing for my wife!!!
---NurseRobert on 10/26/06

I think that "hugging" in a church setting is a bit much and could produce some akward moments. It also singles out the non-huggers as cold which they probably are not.
I do believe in a friendly church but would limit the greeting to a hardly handshake, especially for visitors. P.
---Pierr5358 on 10/25/06

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I feel that hugging to order is on the same level as apologising to order. If you only do it because someone tells you that you must it is pointless. Our actions must be genuine and from the heart. There is nothing wrong with hugging or wanting a hug, but there is also nothing wrong with not wishing to hug or not wishing to be hugged. We should never be forced to give or receive a hug. We should be our natural selves whether at home or in church.
---emg on 10/25/06

Well, Lynn, I really dont think I want to hug and kiss a strange angel either!
---sue on 10/24/06

I worked in an old people's institution and since I started, I hugged whomever was near me when appropriate. As time went on, some of the old people who never had hugs and love, got very upset when I didnt turn up to work. They said they needed my hugs as it indicated that someone loves them dearly. Isnt that nice? Now all the staff do the same willingly and love it.A comment was passed that Jesus was seen in my actions. Amen
---mmadmjj on 10/24/06

Oh get out of yourself. That person you hug may be an angel un awair.
---Lynn on 10/23/06

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I dont think I'm no less a Christian just because I dont like to hug a bunch of strange people. I think it is because I was brought up like that. Our family hardly ever hugged or kissed each other, which I know is sad. I've broken the chain though, I brought my kids up differant, we hug/kiss and say "I love you" all the time.Now that my mom is older, she too likes hugs from us. Maybe in time I'll get used to hugging strangers.
---sue on 10/23/06

What seems strange to us is normal somewhere else, and if we magnify the things that make us different we can't stop being strangers.

I love getting hugged.
---Pharisee on 10/22/06

Not wanting to hug has nothing to do with my salvation, it means I feel it's inappropriate unless I choose to do it.
I actually postponed joining the church I attend because of a married member. I can't tolorate being near him. I once redirected him when he attempted to embrace and kiss me on the cheek. I felt like slapping his face. I know I'm not giving off wrong signals, everytime I see him I go in the opposite direction. He makes me very uncomfortable at times.
---lynet on 10/22/06

A story along with my answer; at a strange church after pastor had suggested parishioners greet each other a (lady may be 35 years old) turned around in her pew and started hugging me. Although there was a bench between us making it very uncomfortable to hug each other this woman continued to hold on to me long after what would have been acceptable.
---mima on 10/22/06

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There is nothing wrong with this. We have Jesus in us. There is a scripture that says "Greet each other with a kiss"! It does not have to be a "kiss" but warm and efection of love. (not-lust- Just Jesus love in us to each other as the body of Christ) Did you hug your natural sister or brother before you came to Jesus? To greet each other - is effection with gladness - We are the Body Of Christ! Would you like a hug from Jesus? guess where He lives? We are the temple of God.
---Linda3939 on 10/22/06

Part# 2 the woman continued to hug me and hugged me, finally turned me loose and I sat down, as I did so the Holy Spirit said to me, kindred spirit. After church I asked my wife, do you see that woman hug me? I CERTAINTILY did my wife said. After I told her what the Holy Spirit told me she said well I was beginning to wonder?
---mima on 10/22/06

In our church we offer each other a sign of peace. Normally that's only a handshake unless you know the person next to you - like it's your spouse or child, then you give hugs. I did use to hate that because I'm shy - but you get use to it.
---grace3869 on 10/22/06

Sue, do not quit going to church because you have been made to hug or don't like to hug people. In a case like that just hold out your hand and shake hands with them. Between Sunday School and Church is when we do our greeting and hugging and everybody does it. Our church is a family type church and as a family we like to hug. That is up to the individual person and nobody should make someone hug someone else.
---Norma7374 on 10/22/06

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I see your points. I did have one middle-aged man in my church who made a beeline for all young girls to hug, it was lustful. I don't do body hugs, but upper shoulder pats. I don't squeeze hands of the elderly, I know it hurts them sometimes. I run from Chester the molestor.
---Shiela on 10/22/06

That is one big reason why I dont go to church anymore. I think it's embarrasing and I dont like it at all. When I want to hug somebody, or even talk to somebody I will, I dont want to do it just because it's expected or whatever. Some people are really shy also and maybe they dont want to do this.
---sue on 10/22/06

emg;There's a difference between "friendly " and "familiar" Friendly, greetings ,yes, but hugging is being "familiar".Reserved for family and close friends!
---1st_cliff on 10/22/06

1. Mikefl. I love your answer. Last week I visited a church that has changed its style of worship recently, which included what I described. Half the congregation looked very uncomfortable with it. Hugs etc. should come naturally, never forced or ordered i.m.o. Hugging to order does not show love, it shows that when someone says "jump" you are prepared to jump. I can be touchy-feely when appropriate. If someone is upset I can put an arm around their shoulder and comfort them.
---emg on 10/22/06

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there r so many people in the world who need love and the church SHOULD be the place to look for love. If you cant fathom hugging or shaking hands or smiling to your neighbour, then I say your not a christian yet. For thats what it is all about L.O.V.E. for my Lord Jesus is Love.
---jana on 10/22/06

2. If someone needs help down some steps I can put my arm around the person and give help etc. I feel that telling people that they must do these things shows that the person doing the telling is totally out of touch with those present. He/she is totally disregarding the fact that some do not appreciate being hugged and some are too reserved to do the hugging. If it doesn't come naturally to do it, or if a would-be recipient looks uncomfortable at your approach, I say don't do it.
---emg on 10/22/06

This is strange and difficult for you brcause you are not "hard wired" to do that. Most likely, you are a introvert.

Not to worry! God can use us all. Just find your style of greeting, and do it.
---JohnT on 10/22/06

I kinda resent a pastor telling me to hug someone and then telling me what to say to them. I know if I do what he says it will seem false. I've seen some serious marital problems arise from hugging "the person on your left". I hug if it seems appropriate, shake a hand, pat a back or just smile. I say what seems friendly but proper to me. And I keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse.
---Donna2277 on 10/21/06

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My Pastor says " go to six people and give them some love". Some male members, (not all) try to get too close, and I don't like that. I'm not sure what would be appropriate as a hug because a hug is touching, and perhaps cheek to cheek. I'm not comfortable with it. It makes me cringe, and I try to avoid it. You can tell when the embrace is not a holy one.
My Pastor at one time did stop it because of complaints, but has started up again:( I'm all for a verbal greeting.
---lynet on 10/21/06

In our church its suggested that we just say hello and meet someone we don't know, especially visitors. I don't like to pass germs shaking hands, and only hug people that I know. It is a good idea to have a couple of minutes of fellowship, but not 'touchy feely.'
---NV_Barbara on 10/21/06

I have never seen a Pastor order the church to hug or greet each other,but, suggest it. I think it is kind of nice - warm and friendly. I see nothing wrong with it. It helps one to break the ice.... and reach out.
---Linda3939 on 10/21/06

The Kiss of Peace is an ancient liturgical act described in the New Testament.

However, what most American Christians called "old time religion" wasn't heard of until the 19th century, when it was called "New Light."

Now, if you want to see old-fashioned worship, attend an Orthodox or other Eastern church.
---Jack on 10/21/06

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No. My church if someone says shout Praise God, we shout it out. if someone says tell the person on your right that God is awesome, we do just that. It is fun witnessing, because you never know how many sinners are there. Or how many are in need of reminding.
---Rebecca_D on 10/21/06

I believe that love thy neighbor does not mean we have to rub on them. There is much more love in helping fix a porch or cook a meal than the public show of affection so often touted from the pulpit. Just me...
---mikefl on 10/21/06

How do you know if the hug you give is not the only touch an elderly person receives all week? How do you know if the hug you give to a teenager is the only love shown to them all week, having a hard time with parents? How do you know that the hand you squeeze is not of a depressed person who no longer wants to go on? Give those hugs, show that love, shake that hand, and not like a limp dishrag, either.
---Shiela on 10/21/06

---alan8869_of_UK on 10/21/06

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Definitely that order will make me CRINGE. I am not a type of person who welcomes hugs from strangers. If other church goers are being abused during a simple handshake, how much more for a hug?
---Bebet3754 on 10/21/06

I think it is a warm gesture of humanity. So many people are afraid to show their feelings, lest they may come under some sort of scrutiny. The Bible characters all hugged each other and greeted one another with a kiss. If it is permissible in the Bible times, I think it stands for modern-day Christians as well. I see nothing wrong with this at all. I completely embrace this as a warm human gesture.
---Michaela on 10/21/06

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