I write some posts and I think they are not controversial at all (such as this one and this one). Other posts I write knowing that there could be some controversy (such as this one). I think this post falls into the second category, but I hope to provide some clarity to the situation.
For some churches the subject of whether or not Christians should dance is a discussion in their past. It went the way of women not wearing pants and the forbidding of playing cards. For other churches it seems that every year the preacher dusts off the sermon on dancing at some point around Prom season.
The sermons I have heard on dancing at times come off too simplistic. I still remember a teenage Bible class on the subject where the teacher point blankly said that all dancing is wrong, because all dancing causes us to lust. I didn’t say anything in the class, but in my mind I was thinking of all sorts of scenarios where people danced and no one was lusting. As I got older I also began to think to myself what if a husband and wife danced in their living room alone, would that be sinful?
Now I’m sure if pressed the teacher would have also had a few exceptions, but instead all was said was the face value claim: Dancing is Wrong!
On the opposite end of the spectrum are those who snidely comment about the people who preach such sermons. They talk to themselves about how backwards and out of touch such people are. Names are called and laughs are had at their expense.
As I have studied the Bible more I have come to what I believe is a better answer to the question of dancing. The answer actually comes from the study 2 Peter recently posted (read it here). It is based off the study of the word lasciviousness. It is not a word we use often, but part of its definition is to use your body in a way to promote sensual desires.
I think we can see how from a proper understanding of lasciviousness one could draw the conclusion that some forms of dancing are wrong. There are forms of dancing that are geared directly to erousing lust in the hearts of those involved. What is interesting is that many school districts have understood this as well, which have led some to ban certain forms of dancing or School Dances completely.
This is also prevalent in the atmosphere at most dance and night clubs. The music played, dress worn, and type of dance engage in are all used to lift up sensual desire. Peter tells us that Christian should not be involved in such activities.
So let me give you my view on whether Christians should dance. I think we all would agree that there are certain scenarios where dancing would not be wrong and therefore to make a blanket statement that all dancing is sin is to go too far. However, I hope that we recognize that not all dancing is correct and in fact some, and maybe better stated most, modern dancing is promoting lust and therefore violates Peter’s admonition against lasciviousness. To put it simply: Christian should not be involved in any dancing that causes one to inappropriately lust.
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