Saying “Amen” During the Sermon

Saying “Amen” During the Sermon. Bible Question.


“We have a new member at our congregation who is constantly saying, ‘Amen’, during the sermon. I have no problem with this, but some in the congregation have expressed concern, saying it seems denominational. I have not been able to find a scriptural reference for or against this practice. Can you shed some light on it?”


To say, “Amen”, is to agree. The word simply means, “let it be so”. It is a simple method of expressing agreement. We finish our prayers with “amen” as a way of expressing confidence that God will hear our prayers and act on it as we have requested. “Amen” simply means “I agree”. Can we say “Amen” during an assembly? Notice what Moses told the children of Israel do . . .

‘Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’Deuteronomy 27:15 (New American Standard Bible)

Moses goes on to describe another 11 things that the entire congregation was to say “Amen” to. That is, the body of believers in the Old Testament were encouraged to respond verbally with agreement when the words of the law were read or spoken. A similar pattern is revealed in Paul’s discussion of worship in 1 Corinthians 14 . . .

So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer,say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.” – 1 Corinthians 14:15 – 17

Paul says that our worship should be understood by others. If they cannot understand our words, our songs, our prayers, how can they say the “Amen”? That is, the people who assembled to worship were expected to respond to prayers of the worshipers with some sort of verbal agreement.

From this I believe it is a good thing to say you agree with the sermon, or the prayer, or a particular song. Discretion must be used that your response not be rude or disruptive. Our worship should be conducted “properly and in an orderly manner” (1 Corinthians 14:40). . .

“What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” – 1 Corinthians 14:26

Whatever is done in the assembly of the church for worship should be done to build up the body of believers. That would include saying, “amen”. I believe it is a good thing, but discretion should be used that it not interfere with the worship, but edify the body.



Should the Church Treasurer Give a Report?

Should the Church Treasurer Give a Report? Bible Question.


“The treasurer here will not give a financial report to the church. We have no elders. The treasurer even told us he doesn’t want anyone to know how much the church actually has or how it is being spent. Is this right?”


How a church handles money is an important matter. Almost nothing puts doubt into the minds of people like suspicions that arise over the church’s money. The apostle Paul knew this. When he was collecting money from the Gentile churches of Greece and Macedonia in order to feed the poor in Judea, he took great care in how the money was handled. Accompanying Paul was at least one representative from the area churches (2 Corinthians 8:18) as well as Titus. Then Paul adds . . .

taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift; for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.2 Corinthians 8:20, 21 (New American Standard Bible)

The apostle says he was extremely careful in how he administered the funds. And, he was extremely careful in how it looked to others. Paul didn’t want anyone to have a reason to criticize the way he handled the money that had been entrusted to him.

So, to me, it is vital that the church provide regular, ongoing financial reports to the members of the body. This is done to keep the church informed, to keep the critics quiet, and to demonstrate to the church (and the community) that the body of Christ has nothing to hide in the way it administers the Lord’s money.


Does Jeremiah chapter 10 Refer to Christmas Trees?

Does Jeremiah chapter 10 Refer to Christmas Trees? Bible Question.


“Does Jeremiah 10:3, 4 refer to Christmas trees? Some people knocked on my door and quoted this to me.”


Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord,

“Do not learn the way of the nations,
And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens
Although the nations are terrified by them;
For the customs of the peoples are delusion;
Because it is wood cut from the forest,
The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
“They decorate it with silver and with gold;
They fasten it with nails and with hammers
So that it will not totter.
“Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot walk!
Do not fear them,
For they can do no harm,
Nor can they do any good.

Jeremiah 10:1 – 5 (New American Standard Bible)

In this text the prophet Jeremiah is warning the nation of Israel two important things:

  • First, they are not to copy the idolatry of the nations around them. The custom was to worship in clumps of trees (Asherah) in which a goddess of fertility was venerated. She was often represented by a branch or limb from a tree. She would be brought home and decorated, made up to look as feminine and sensual as possible. Israel was to avoid such pagan behavior.
  • Second, they were not to be frightened by such idols. They had no power, no influence. They could not do anyone harm, and they could not do anyone anything good. They were empty, impotent and unnecessary. It was foolish to worship them and foolish to fear them.

These verses could not refer specifically to a Christmas tree, since that would have no meaning for the people of Israel. The whole idea of “Christmas” was centuries in the future. Could it be applied to Christmas trees? Only if people are actually worshiping the trees they set up.

If people are ascribing supernatural power to their Christmas trees, then they are wrong. If they worship their Christmas trees, or fear the “power” of the Christmas tree, then, they are sinning. But, seriously, who puts up a tree during the holidays with any sense that it is a god of some sort? It is a tradition, nothing more or less. It is only wrong when we begin to treat the Christmas tree as a god of some kind.