Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Should we "dance" in church?

Mrs. Pastoor sent us an e-mail asking what we thought of dancing in church. Here is what she asked:

" Some people think that dancing in church is a sin. Do you think you can write something about dancing to show that dancing in church is good as long as you are dancing to god praising to him. That would be very wonderful if you did that because that is something that has always confused me."

Below are the responses from several of the authors.

From Matt: 2 Samuel 6:14 says "Then David danced before the Lord with all his might....."

David worshiped the Lord with dancing. We can worship God in song and in dancing. God wants us to give him Glory in everything that we do. If you dance, then you should dance in a way that glorifies God and brings Him honor. If you play the piano, you so pay in such a way that brings honor and glory to God. The same with Football, and anything else.

Dancing to praise God is great, but I would say that it is not appetite to dance in front of everyone in church. You should be aware of what you are doing, too. Some dances are not appropriate or meant to bring glory to God. Exodus 32:19 "So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses' anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain." Lots of dances are made to worship idols, not the one true God.

I would conduct your own bible study on dancing and see what conclusions you come up with.

From Victoria: I think it’s obvious that dancing for the Lord is a positive thing. It’s accounted so many times in Scripture as a legitimate worshiping of our Lord, I think it’s pretty undebatable. Things become less obvious when we start talking about dancing in church. So is dancing in church a sin? The short answer: no I don’t think it’s a sin. Is it wise? That depends. Like everything we do in church from singing, to raising hands, to clapping, to testifying, I believe there’s a time and a place. Church is for the saints, and more specifically for the edification of the saints (1 Corinthians 14:12), so whatever we do in church must be to encourage and lift up our brothers and sisters. Does dancing in praise to God fit that bill?

Before you start dancing in the aisles ask yourself these questions. Am I doing this for Christ and will this edify my church, not causing dissension? If the answer is yes to those, then I believe you are perfectly in the right to rejoice. "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." 1 Corinthians 14:33 I don’t believe dancing in church fits into the “confusion” category of this verse. I think if entered into with discernment and the right heart attitude, rejoicing before the Lord in the house of God can edify your fellow believers and bring much glory to Him.

From Josiah: Just like Matt quoted from the Bible, David did dance to glorify the Lord. He danced along side the ark of the Lord! Now I have mixed feelings about this topic, and hopefully I'll be able to clarify what I mean in the following paragraphs.

First off, glorifying the Lord in anyway, whether by dancing, singing, or praying, is wonderful; however I don't think that we should be a "scene" or make others marvel at what we do. Don't be like those rock stars who draw people's attention to yourself. You are doing it for God, not for man. Keep that in mind.

Second, today's culture in America (not sure about other cultures, but they are probably the same) dancing is a form of drawing closer to someone intimately. If you were dancing on your own in church, then it might be okay, but if your dancing with others then that is probably not okay in a church.

Overall, I would just be careful, don't dance in a church because you want to show off your skills, dance with someone, or be popular; dance because you want to glorify the Lord in what you do best. I wouldn't say that dancing for the Lord has to be done in church, you could do it at home also! :-)

From Matthew: Throughout the Bible and throughout our culture, dancing has been used as a form of expressing joy and having fun. My friends have expressed that in their responses. I do not have the time to go into all of the concepts and topics I would usually like to, but I do want to go into a few things that have not been covered yet.

When I read the question, the words "in church" stick out at me. I am not against dancing as a whole, and usually enjoy doing it. But in church is a different matter entirely. Let's look at 1 Corinthians 14:40.

"Let all things be done decently and in order."

When in church, our affections should be set on the Lord Jesus. When I dance, it is usually at an organized event where everyone dances in sync... to a degree. But if one person is dancing in church and another is singing, etc. That does not seem orderly to me. When worshiping, we worship in order. When we dance, we disturb that worship. That brings me to my second point. Let's look at Romans 14:13.

"Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."

When we are in church, it is a place of fellowship with other believers. Though a lot of true Christians disagree on several minor points, we all get along together with the unity and love of Christ. The second part of this verse talks about not being a stumbling block for another. I have several friends who do not believe dancing is something they should do. This falls under a minor point in theology, meaning it is not something that determines Salvation. But we should still be considerate of another's Christians beliefs. If you are dancing in a church where others have convictions against dancing, it can hurt their spiritual walk.

So I would not recommend dancing in church... but dancing as a whole is alright in my opinion.

From Tirzah:
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:" Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)
Personally I love to dance; I think that to truly dance for Jesus, and Him only, is an incredibly beautiful sight. I believe that certian kinds of dancing, however, are not pleasing to Jesus. Some kinds of cultures only learn certain dances though, so I think that your dance, if it proves to be a stumbling block to others, should be done someplace where it is just between you and God.

"A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;" Ecclesiastes 3:4

Hopefully these responses answered your question Mrs. Pastoor!

God bless!

The Dedicated Christians Team

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