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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Is It Wrong to Dance?


When my friends and I have parties, we usually dance. It never leads to anything, and I don&t think about it afterward. Do you think it&;s wrong to dance?

Steve Answers:

Dancing can certainly provoke a heated discussion

Dancing can certainly provoke a heated discussion. I’m discovering that in Sabbath school debates some people consider it a "no-no," but other people "just do it" anyway.

What has God told us about dancing? That matters more than what people say in church, or what they do on their own time.

Years ago I edited a book called Shall We Dance. It includes biblical principles for a number of lifestyle issues, including dancing. Here are the key principles and passages on the topic of dancing that I discovered:

1. Dance is a component of divine worship (see 2 Samuel 6:14; 1 Chronicles 15:29; Psalm 149:3; and Psalm 150:4).

2. Dance is an appropriate expression of community joy (see Judges 11:34; 1 Samuel 18:6; Matthew 11:17; Luke 7:32; and Luke 15:25).

3. Dance should praise no other god but God/Yahweh (see the golden calf story in Exodus 32).

4. Dance should not promote inappropriate sexual arousal (see 1 Corinthians 10:7, 8 and Matthew 14:6).

5. Appropriate dance is dance in which God is invited as a witness and participant (see 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Romans 14:23).

The concern people express in religious circles usually relates to principle 4—inappropriate sexual arousal. But in your question you seem to indicate that that’s not an issue—although it doesn’t seem that the parties you refer to are times of worship (referring to principles 1 and 3).

That means that principles 2 and 5 apply directly to your situation. I’m guessing that your party is similar to a time of celebrating community joy, although your party "community" is probably rather small. Perhaps the most important question for you to answer is whether or not God is at your party as a witness and as a participant.

You asked me if I thought it’s wrong to dance. Although you’d have to be a fool to think that dancing would never be a problem for Christians, perhaps we’ve missed out on appropriate dancing by categorizing all dance as evil.

It was Jesus who said, "To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn’" (Matthew 11:16, 17).

I think it would be good to do more Christian celebrating and have more joyful expression instead of living as if Christianity is devoid of all fun. 

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