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Ancient vs. Modern Dancing

posted Jan 4, 2013, 10:04 PM by hbchurch org


   When David “danced before the Lord with all his might” (2 Sam 6:14), was this anything like modern day dancing? No, ancient dances were either forms of public rejoicing or intended to arouse sinful lusts. The O.T. words translated dance meant “to leap for joy; a whirling about; to skip about...” (TWOT).

   From an article on dancing in the Zondervan Bible Encyclopedia, we learn that “while the mode of dancing is not known in detail, it is clear that men and women did not generally dance together and there is no real evidence that they ever did. Social amusement was hardly a major purpose of dancing and the modern method of dancing by couples is unknown”. Interestingly, dancing is only mentioned in five verses in the N.T. (Mat. 11:17; 14:6; Mk. 6:22; Lk. 7:32; 15:25). None have anything to do with praising or glorifying God.

   Modern day dancing apparently originated in the low-class road houses and brothels of France. Historians point out that French prostitutes used dancing as a means of seducing and exciting their paramours. It was good for business.

   As we all know, Satan is in the business of enticing men into sin. The lust of the flesh is a favorite device. It caught David and it still works. Both nudity (Bathsheba) and near nudity, (like contestants on Dancing With the Stars, etc) are used by Satan to bait the trap. But he has also “dressed up” his approach, so to speak. Fashion designer, Christian Dior, said he removed the stays from dance dresses because men were complaining that “they could not feel a living form under their partner’s dress”. Dancing has the potential for causing people to have impure, lustful thoughts. And we must not engage in any activity that could keep us or another person from “bringing every thought into captivity unto the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

   Also,  ask yourself if you have ever seen any dancing that could be described by these terms: “indecent bodily movements” or “unchaste handling of males and females”?  If the answer is yes, then you have just identified a modern practice with a sin of the flesh which Paul said will prevent a person from “inheriting the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21). The sin is “lasciviousness” (v. 19). The definition is from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon.

   Paul urged the Corinthians to seek their neighbor’s good (1 Cor. 10:24) and never do anything that might cause another to sin (1 Cor. 10:32). Since dancing may be packed with inherently sinful actions (lewd movements) or can lead to sin (like impure thoughts), it’s a lot like fire. Eventually, someone will get burned if we insist on playing with it. Don’t!    KD