Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 7, 1952

The Dancing "Church Going Girl"

A .H. Porterfield, Poplar Bluff, Missouri

It was Christmas day. A group of friends and relatives gathered in my home. We were all enjoying ourselves when a friend who lives in Little Rock handed to me a copy of the Arkansas Gazette which carried a full page write-up of an 18 year old dancing girl. The girl had joined a dancing group called the "Steppers." The friend who handed the paper to me pointed out the paragraph which stated that the girl was "A member of the Church of Christ" and that "in her travels has attended some of the smallest and some of the largest churches of that denomination. One time she paid a $6.00 taxi-cab fare in order to attend the church of her choice while she was on a tour."

The page carried several portraits of the girl donned in her dancing briefs, which were entirely too brief for her good and others. Then some one raised the question: "Does the church of Christ believe in that sort of thing? Does it tolerate such things?" How was I to answer that question in the negative when right, there before our eyes was the answer in the affirmative? It was very evident that, at least, I could not speak for all the "church of Christ." Maybe I could speak for myself and the Lord, but I am not right sure that those who engage in such things would pay either of us any attention. They don't seem to.

Frankly, I am not trying to raise a "fuss" about the dancing "church going girl", or the girl's dancing. Maybe that is none of my business. At least, that is what they tell me. I am not even trying to give the girl a black eye. I would much prefer to try to save her. But I am trying to save the church of my dear Lord from a black eye. Just to see the precious name of the church of my Lord mixed up with the ungodly things of this wicked world stirs my soul within me. Why drag the name of the church through such a thing against her own will? The fact that the girl was a regular "church going girl" does not save the church from a black eye. The fact that she once "paid a $6.00 taxi-cab fare" to get there doesn't make the thing right. And the church as a whole knows it.

The friend who handed me the paper was a Catholic. We have almost persuaded him to be a Christian. But right now he is wondering if the elders and preachers of the church in Little Rock are going to tolerate a thing like that without raising a dissenting voice against it. One main reason for his leaving the Catholic church is to get away from ungodliness under the cloak of religion. He abhors and detests it. He tells me that he has "lived in it, under it and around it" all his life, but he is sick of it. If the church is to tolerate such then what incentive is there in leaving one sinful group and going to another? Remember, the question with him is not whether or not the girl should dance, but it is: "Should the church tolerate such, especially since it has become public, without raising a voice against it? Private sins should be dealt with privately, maybe, but when a thing becomes as public as that it should be exposed publicly if the fair name of the church is to be saved from a dark spot. I am sure that most of us, if not all of us, have sinned, but we can certainly save the church of many dark spots if we will do something about it without broadcasting our sins to the world. Personally, I believe the elders, and gospel preachers of Little Rock will do something about the matter, if not already.