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Part 4


Shall We Dance?

1. The subject of dancing presents a moral question & challenge for Christians, esp. young ones.
  a. Will I attend dances?
  b. Will I participate in dancing (pre-teens, teenagers, adults)?
  c. Will I allow (give my approval) my child to go to dances?
  d. Will I perform music or otherwise provide the occasion for dancing to occur?
2. Another challenge: Christians who refuse to admit the wrong associated with dancing, who object to lessons like this one, & who continue to support dancing.
3. We cannot be a friend of the world & please God - Jas. 4:4.
4. We should understand why the modern, social dance is a form of worldliness & contrary to holiness so that we can turn away from its evil & do good.

I. DANCING FOUND IN THE BIBLE. (Which more closely defines, describes & depicts the modern, social dance?)
    (1) Heb. - khool - "to twist, whirl, dance, writhe."
    (2) Grk. - choros - "a band (of dancers and singers), circular dance, a dance, dancing" - only in Lk. 15:25.
    (3) Grk. - orcheomai - middle voice from orchos (a row or ring); "to dance."

  A. Dancing Which Expressed Worship & Joy (Praise, Gratitude & Rejoicing) - Psa. 149:1-3; 150:4.

"About the methods of dancing practiced by the ancient Hebrews but little is known. Probably the dancers in some cases joined hands and formed a ring, or part of a ring, as in some heathen representations. The description of David's dance: he "danced before Yahweh with all his might .... leaping and dancing before Yahweh" (2 Sam 6:14-16) suggests three features of that particular display and the mode of dancing which it represented: violent exertion, leaping (mephazzez), and whirling round (mekharker)." (I.S.B.E., II:1170).

" Women seem generally to have danced by themselves, one often leading the rest, both in dancing and antiphonal song; so Miriam and the women of Israel, Jephthah's daughter and her comrades, the women who greeted Saul and David…" (Ibid.)

    1. Miriam & the women of Israel - Exo. 15:20-21.
    2. Jephthah's daughter - Jug. 11:34.
    3. Maidens of Shiloh - Jug. 21:19-23.
    4. Women of Israel when Philistines were defeated - 1 Sam. 18:6-7.
    5. King David before the ark of the covenant - 2 Sam. 6:12-16.
    6. Expression of gladness in contrast to mourning - Psa. 30:11; Eccl. 3:4; Lam. 5:15.
    7. A figure of the joy of God's people in the Messianic era (segregated by gender) - Jer. 31:4, 13.
    8. At the feast upon return of the prodigal son - Lk. 15:25.

  This type of dance was an occasion of public rejoicing (for victories or other blessings granted by God), &/or an act of worship (due to God's blessings being gratefully acknowledged).
  It was typically segregated by gender.
  Any attempt to associate the modern, social dance with this kind of dance ultimately fails & proves to be an exercise in folly.

  B. Dancing Which Is Associated With Lustful & Idolatrous Activities.
    1. Israel before the golden calf - Exo. 32:6, 19, 25.
      a. 32:6 - Play - "to laugh, mock," jest…without moral restraint, 32:25.
      b. 32:19 - cf. 1 Cor. 10:6-7 - Lust & idolatry mingled in this dancing.
      c. 32:25 - Unrestrained behavior, nakedness ("the primary sense of pharua is 'naked,' 'stript'", Pulpit Commentary, Exodus, 340).

" And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)" - KJV.
" And when Moses saw that the people were broken loose (for Aaron had let them loose for a derision among their enemies)," - ASV.

    2. Daughter of Herodias - Mk. 6:21-22.
      a. Herod & others derived pleasure from her dance - Sensual & enticing to the eye.
      b. Clearly it was seductive, suggestive & void of spiritual content.
      c. Due to her dance, John lost his head!

  This type of dance was associated with lust, self-indulgence, sinful motives & results.

Which of the above more closely defines, describes & depicts the modern, social dance?

  A. A Lack Of Moral Decency - Rom. 13:13.
    1. Walk properly - "decently", honorably - cf. 1 Pet. 2:11-12.
    2. Rom. 13:14 - Put on the Lord Jesus Christ - Not possible in the context of the modern, social dance.
  B. Lasciviousness (aselgeia): The Absence Of Moral Restraint - Rom. 13:13; Gal. 5:19; 1 Pet. 4:3.
    1. "unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence" (Thayer).
    2. "…the fundamental thought is the acknowledging of no restraints, the insolent doing of whatever one's caprice may suggest." (Online Bible Greek Lexicon, Synonyms for Profligacy, #5891).
    3. The modern dance most certainly involves indecent bodily movements and/or unchaste handling of males and females! (Salsa, tango, disco, lambada, etc.)
    4. Testimony from the world (Quotes from "Dancing", Donnie V. Rader, Searching The Scriptures, Nov., 1990, pp. 7-8):
      a. Medical Review of America:  "There can scarcely be any doubt that dancing came about as an adjunct of sexual stimulation."
      b. Dr. J.P. Gibson, M.D.: "...the secret of the popularity of dancing (or is it a secret?) is the exciting sexual stimulation resulting from the close embrace of male and female, whether it be in dancing or without music in petting and necking."
      c. The New York Times Magazine (2/18/79): Analyzed the drawing power of the discos as being "progressive sexuality" and the promoters pin-pointed "sex-appeal" as the life-blood of the fad.
      d. Dr. E.S. Sonneor, nerve specialist in Chicago: "As a medical man I flatly charge that modern dancing in fundamentally sinful and evil. I charge that dancing is the most advanced and the most insidious maneuvering preliminary to sex betrayal." (The Carnival of Death, 68-69)
    5. Testimony from a teenager: (Gloria Jean Davis, 17 yr. old high school senior, member of the Grand Avenue church of Christ, Chicago, IL, wrote a theme paper for English class defending her refusal to go to school dances. Describing dancing as lascivious, she said…):

"These things do take place during the dance movements. The girl must yield her body completely to the guidance of her partner. Can't this closeness produce desires which would be indecent when brought to the surface? Here is your answer: In a survey a group of men were asked to raise their hands if they could dance and not have evil thoughts and desires. Not one person's hand was raised." (Cited by Truman Smith, "Is It A Sin To Dance", The Voice, May 2000)

  C. Revelry (komos):  Riotous Partying & Lustful Excesses - Rom. 13:13; Gal. 5:21; 1 Pet. 4:3.
    1. "The word originally signified merely a merry-making; most probably a village festival, from KOME, a village. In the cities such entertainments grew into carouses, in which the party of revelers paraded the streets with torches, singing, and all kinds of frolics" (Vincent's Word Studies of the New Testament, I:660).
    2. "A nocturnal and riotous procession of half drunken and frolicsome fellows who after supper parade through the streets with torches and music in honour of Bacchus or some other deity, and sing and play before houses of male and female friends; hence used generally of feasts and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry" (Thayer).
    3. "And the like" - Gal. 5:21.
      a. cf. What dancing is often associated with (dark setting, often includes drinking alcohol, sexual indulgences/excesses, etc.).
      b. Any activity which provides the setting for lustful thoughts & lewd actions is clearly against the principles of moral purity & walking according to the Spirit of God - cf. Gal. 5:16-17.

  A. Dancing Contributes To Worldly Lusts - 1 Pet. 2:11; cf. Mk. 6:21-22.
    1. Mk. 7:21-23 - From a heart being controlled by the flesh…"lewdness" (lasciviousness).
    2. 1 Jno. 2:16 - Lust of the eye is of the world!
    3. Dancing causes lust and impure thoughts.
      a. It is totally impractical to think a man and woman can hold their bodies next to each other without sexual de-sires being aroused! - cf. 1 Ths. 4:4-5.
      b. There is no difference between "close dancing" with its intimate & inappropriate touching of bodies & similar activity on a date (which would certainly constitute indecent bodily contact, lustful touching)? Do you condone that, too?!
      c. Does the fact that music is being played & it is in a public place make such contact right? (How & why is it different when done to music in a public place?!)

"The modern dance is the fine art of covering with music, indelicate, immodest and oft times indecent attitudes and postures between men and women. It is too bad for reformation. Its only remedy is extermination." (Dr. A. C. Dixon in The Carnival of Death, p. 70; From "Dancing", Donnie V. Rader, Searching The Scriptures, Nov., 1990, pp. 7-8)

    2. 2 Tim. 2:22 - Every Christian is to flee youthful lusts!

  B. Dancing Destroys Your Godly Influence - 1 Cor. 15:33; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 5:6-7, 11.
    1. Works of the flesh (lust, lasciviousness, revelry…dancing!) destroy your ability to help someone else live godly - Matt. 5:13-16.
    2. Why isn't dancing defended on the basis that it strengthens character and promotes righteous conduct?
    3. From the tract, "A Teenager's Answer to 'Shall I Go to The Prom?'" by Sherry Burgess:

"With a week and one-half to go, everyone at school was buzzing with excitement. Then, one night, I suddenly thought of an argument I just could not rationalize away - my sister! You see, I have a little sister who is twelve years old. She is a Christian and is really trying hard. Although the whole school might not mind if I went to the prom, and although no one else might find out, there would be one special person who would know for sure that I went - my younger sister. I imagined Melissa thinking as she entered high school, 'If Sherry went to the prom, then why can't I go to this dance too?' Suddenly, it wasn't concern only about my own soul, but was also the possibility of causing my little sister to stumble by my actions and being finally lost. 'But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea' (Matt. 18:6)."

    4. There simply are not righteous influences associated with or produced by the modern dance!
    5. Some are deceived about this fact…but it remains true! - 1 Cor. 15:34

  C. Other Sinful Fruit Is Often Present At Dances (cf. Matt. 7:16-18).
    1. Immodesty in dress, thinking & behavior - 1 Tim. 2:9-10.
    2. Drinking & carousing - 1 Pet. 4:3.
    3. Sexual promiscuity & immorality during & after the dancing is over (sexual foreplay set to music!) - 1 Cor. 6:18.
    4. The modern, social dance is of the world & therefore something the Christian must not engage it! 1 Jno. 2:15; Jas. 1:27; 1 Ths. 5:22; Jno. 17:16-17.

  A. "The dance will be chaperoned."
    1. Why must a dance be chaperoned in the first place?!
    2. Because of the problems associated with it! (promiscuity, drinking, vulgarities, etc.)
  B. "Dancing is good exercise."
    1. No doubt, some dances are physically demanding & are good exercises.
    2. If this is the real reason for going to 'dances, why not have dances for boys only & girls only for the exercise?!
    3. That is not the real purpose for dances, nor the real reason for going to dances.
  C. "I just enjoy the rhythm of the music."
    1. Then, why not dance in the privacy of your home to enjoy the rhythm of the music?!
    2. This rationale is not the real issue behind participating in the modern, social dance.
  D. "I go to be socially popular."
    1. Or, "I allow my child to go because all his/her friends are going."
      a. What if all your friends were smoking? Drinking? Drugs? Premarital sex?
      b. Christians must take moral stands & say "no" even when everybody else says "yes"! - Rom. 12:2; 1 Pet. 4:4
    2. Popularity with those who practice immorality should not be the Christian's goal! - 1 Cor. 15:33
  E. "I don't lust when I dance. I can control myself and not have lustful thoughts."
    1. Honestly? Really? Self-control also means avoiding situations where you will be tempted - 1 Cor. 9:27.
    2. What about your partner? Can you control his/her lustful thoughts?
    3. Setting an occasion to sin before another person is sinful! - Matt. 18:6-7
  F. "No one is going to tell me what to do!"
    -Such a rebellious, defiant attitude is sinful & unworthy of any Christian - 1 Ths. 4:8.

1. The evidence against the modern, social dance is in & cannot be ignored by anyone desiring to live a godly, Christ-centered life - Gal. 2:20.
  a. Some brethren say dancing is a "gray" area, a "borderline" issue & one that is not clearly evil. The evidence of the Bible teaches otherwise, & we must not halt at its truth! - 1 Kgs. 18:21
  b. Some brethren get mad when they hear a sermon like this. Because the word of God has cut to their heart, but they are yet unwilling to yield to truth (Acts 7:54).
2. "Shall We Dance"? is really a choice between right & wrong, good & evil, the Spirit & the flesh.
3. What will be your choice?