Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 2, No. 5 Page 9 May 2000

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

May I Have This Dance?


By Steve Higginbotham


With the Prom just around the corner many young people, as well as their parents, are asking the question of whether or not dancing is an activity in which they or their children ought to engage. Because there are many honest people who do not want to deliberately sin, I think it is imperative that we openly define sin, draw lines and expose activities that are at best questionable so that responsible decisions can be made.


In answer to the question, “Is dancing wrong?” I must first answer “No.” Dancing is not an intrinsic evil. There is no sin in moving one’s feet to the rhythm of music. Not all dancing involves indecent dress, unchaste contact or illicit movement. In fact, the Bible records instances when righteous men danced as an expression of their joy (1 Chronicles 15:25-29; Luke 15:11-32).


However, dancing that calls for close bodily contact between unmarried males and females is wrong. Dancing that involves indecent and suggestive bodily movements is wrong. And dancing that involves impure handling of a dance partner is wrong. The kind of dancing that God’s Word condemns is the kind of dancing that stirs one to have impure thoughts and act in impure ways. That is the problem with most of the dancing that takes place today. Its appeal is sex. Now, there is nothing wrong with sexual attraction. In fact, sexual attraction is a perfectly healthy matter that God created and put within us. However, that attraction must be kept within proper bounds. It should not be tantalized or it will very likely get out of hand. Unmarried people who have no legitimate means to fulfill their sexual desires need to be extremely careful to avoid any situation that could feed or flame such desires.


To be perfectly honest, I fear for those who go to a dance, spend all night with their date, come home the next morning (which happens to be the Lord’s day), and find themselves too exhausted, because of their carousing, to go to worship or to truly worship in spirit the one who shed his blood for their redemption. Do we really think that such actions will simply be pardoned or excused because, after all, “It’s the Prom”?


In years past, there was hardly any Christian who would openly defend dancing. The preachers of times past taught that it was sinful, and the congregations concurred with their sound doctrine. So, what has happened? Are things different today? Has dancing cleaned up its act? Were the preachers of yesterday all wrong about dancing? Have God’s moral standards changed some over the years?


Well, dancing certainly has not become any more moral over the years. If anything, the modern dance is more sensuous today than it ever was. Furthermore, preachers of the past were correct in preaching and warning against dancing (Galatians 5:19-21). And of course, God’s moral law has not changed (Matthew 24:35). What then has changed? What has changed are the attitudes and respect (or lack of) God’s people have for his will. Some apparently seem to be more willing to justify their “pet” sins than they are willing to justify God’s high moral standard.


Young people, keep the commitment that you made to the Lord. Guard your heart and mind from the “fleshly lusts that war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11). And parents, help your young son or daughter in making decisions that may affect his or her eternal destiny. Sometimes, because of the tremendous peer pressure they are under, your children need you to say “no” for them. Help them to make Christ-focused decisions that will bring honor God.

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