Vol.XVI No.VIII Pg.4
October 1979

Reasons (?) To Dance

Robert F. Turner

When approaching a study on popular practices, there are usually dozens of "reasons" given as to why the practice is all right for the Christian. Such was the case in a recent study with the high school class here at Oaks-West. When we began a study on dancing, the first order of business was developing an objective viewpoint toward the study. We had to take an honest look at our own thinking and see if the "reasons" given to dance were indeed reasons.

One young man stated, "Dancing is in the Bible, so doesn't that make it right"? Let's take a look at the kind of dances in the Bible. First, there were dances of public rejoicing. Yet these dances were performed in open daylight by men OR women (each sex dancing separately) and only at times of blessings or to express joy over some event. Dancing today is not the same as this type of dancing (Ex. 15: 20; Jud. 11:34; 1 Sam. 18:6; 21:11; 29: 5; 2 Sam. 6:12; 1 Chr. 15:25). Second, there were dances of worship (Ps. 149, 150). To say that you dance to worship God would be to add to what is authorized in the New Testament (2 Jn. 9,10). Also, most of the students agreed that no one could honestly say that they dance to worship God. The only other dancing mentioned in the Bible are those dances which resulted in evil (Ex. 32:19f; Job 21:11; Matt. 14:6). Note that all of these dances resulted in an evil attitude or deed. The person that says dancing is in the Bible had better not use these dances to justify his activity — and he cannot honestly use the dances of public rejoicing or worship. Now, are you beginning to think objectively? Let's look at some other "reasons" that were given to justify today's dancing. One person argued that it was fun, but the students agreed that "fun" does not make a practice right. Another argued that dancing was good exercise. The students objectively replied that exercise did not make it right. One young man flatly stated that no one goes to dances for the exercise. I tend to agree — plan an all-girl or all-boy "exercise" dance and see how many show up. After looking at a few other "reasons," the students realized that whether the argument for dancing was social popularity, development of poise, or family income, those arguments do not make dancing right or wrong. The only factor that determines whether a practice is right or wrong is what God says on the subject. If it violates any New Testament principles, then it is wrong. Let's look at the principles that shed some light on today's dancing practices.

Space does not permit a detailed study of two very important words in Gal. 5:19-21 — lasciviousness and revelings. Both words allude to activities that involve drinking, indecent handling of the body, indecent bodily movements, and impure thoughts. This is descriptive of today's dances. Read Matt. 1:33 and be honest enough to admit that the fruits of most dancing are evil. Obscene language, smoking, drinking, evil companionships, petting and fornication are fruits of and companions to most dances. Most of the high school students here at Oaks-West were honest enough to admit that dancing is not Christ-like activity — Are you? Kevan O'Banion