Should Christians Dance?


     Can a husband and wife dance together in public?  Is it sinful?


     Christians at times fail to see the sin of an activity because of the world's view on matter.  There have been and still are numerous dancing shows on television, that Christians find themselves watching (which we as Christians have no business doing).  In watching, we become less aware of the sin of dancing.  So the question arises, "What does the bible say about dancing?"  but the better question is, "Is today's modern dancing, wrong?"

     In the bible you will find the word dance used 27 times in its different form.  Out of that, 26 times the word dance is used in a positive light, and even encouraged.  (Psalm 149:3; 150:4)  But was is dance?  By not answering this question, many Christians today read such passages and state, "there is nothing wrong with dancing."  They can be no further from the truth.

     But, let's answer the question, "what is dancing?"  First, I think we can all agree on one point, the bible was not written in English.  Instead Hebrew and Greek.  So just because the word dance is used, this does not mean that the definition is that of dance that we see and have today.  In the Hebrew text, the words translated into the word dance mean - to stamp, to skip, to twist or whirl, to move in a circle.  Properly it means to be happy, so happy that the body moves.  Take Miriam for example (Exodus 15:18-21), she danced.  She lead the women in dance with trembles.  Does this mean that we can dance, using her as an example?  Yes and No.

     We need to understand what she was doing.  How many of you have ever watch "March Madness"?  How many times have you seen the "Cinderella team" upset the favorite?  What happens when the clock strikes 0:00 and the game is over?  The fans of that team storm the court, jumping and whirling, with their hands in the air, screaming, smiling, even crying due to emotions.  This is what it means to dance in the Hebrew tongue.  Can a Christian find him/herself on the floor after the big game jumping up and down?  Yes.  Is this wrong?  No.  But alas, that is not the type of dancing we are talking about is it?

     If you remember I stated that 26 of 27 times the word dance is used, it is not condemned.  But what about that 27th time?  I want you to read the story of Herodias' daughter and her dancing before Herod and his guests. (Matthew 14:6; Mark 6:22).  What did her dance do that Miriam's didn't.  Her dance invoked some key words for you to look up; Wantonness, Lasciviousness, Lewdness, Revelries.  Look these up, find one scripture speaking of these terms in a way that is acceptable to God.

     Dance, modern dance, Herodias' daughter's dance is wrong because of what it does to the dancer, their partner, and those watching.  The Greek 'aselgeia' according to Thayer's Lexicon means - "indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females." 

     Which dance do you believe represents this?  Miriam's (or the colleges students jumping up and down), OR Herodias' daughter's dance (or the tango, salsa, samba, you name it).

     However, Christians today still feel it is ok for a husband and wife to dance, or the newly married couple to dance their "first dance" because it's innocent.  The setting and understanding why dance is wrong helps us answer our question above.  To dance with your wife in public with people watching is not appropriate for a Christian, for anyone for that matter.  The reason goes back to what we stated above.  Dancing is wrong because of what it does to those watching.

     We as Christians must understand its not always (and rarely is) about us.  Jesus called for us to be a light to be seen by men so they may glorify our Father.  He told us to seek first the kingdom of God.  Paul said abstain from every form of evil.  But maybe more importantly, Jesus said woe to them who cause one of these little ones to stumble.

     If we dance with our spouse, and someone sees us and has a thought they should not have.  It is not only on them, but also on us.  Dancing is wrong, and unfortunately many brethren have become dull to sin through the glorification and commercialization of it.

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