Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Deciding Hard Issues: Dancing" [part 1]

Years ago, the topic of “dancing” was not a controversial issue for Bible-believing Christians. Dancing had associations with certain places and behavior that Christians did not go to & did not do.
But today, the situation is much different.
Christians go to dances at school, clubs, and at church.
Churches even use dance as part of worship.
So, the question we have to ask: Were the Christians of another generation wrong?
Or are Christians today wrong?
We need to be very careful before changing the standards of previous generations of believers unless we have clear, Biblical reasons for doing so.

I went to dances in high school.
Although the styles change, they don’t change that much!
And I liked being close to the girls; Most guys do!
Soft in all the right places, smell good, look good.
And many like watching movies set in the time when dancing was more formal with waltzes and minuets.

When I talk to people about this topic, I find out something very interesting:
Very few Christians have studied what the Bible says about dancing.
Many assume that the Bible doesn’t say much, if anything, about it, and are surprised at the suggestion to look at the Bible.
Many assume that since the Bible doesn’t condemn dancing (and it doesn't), then dancing must be OK.
If you follow that reasoning, then since the Bible doesn’t forbid smoking, marijuana, drinking alcohol, or chewing tobacco, then those are OK too.
In fact, that approach to hard issues is a type of legalism:
Looking only for specific verses & look no further.
Is that honest?
Living for the Lord is much more subtle than that.
And you should be willing look at the issue honestly, instead of deciding an issue by whether the Bible mentions it or not.
It is odd how we will look at what the Bible says about money, about family, about moral issues, but rarely if ever look at what the Bible says about topics such as dancing.

Issues like dancing reveal a person’s heart.
They are hard issues and show something of what’s going on in your heart.
For example, do you have your mind made up about this before you even look at what the Bible says?
If you do, then is that fair?
Is that honest?
Are you willing to honestly consider Biblical principles?
And when I say honest, I mean really honest.
If you turn me off before you hear what I have to say, that tells me more about you than you realize.
If you can’t justify your views from the Bible, then all you have is personal opinion, & that won’t go very far.

I know this is a difficult issue for parents today, especially parents whose children attend public school because dancing is a major social event. But the Lord uses hard issues to teach us how to make good decisions. The hard issues refine our thinking and sharpen our assumptions. The hard issues are an opportunity from the Lord to grow & learn. Hard issues are an opportunity to see what you’re made of.
They force you to think through your assumptions & wrestle with the Bible and your heart
And this is always good for you.
For example, if you do not allow your children to participate in school dances, then you must be prepared for the arguments you will get.
If your children don’t go to dances, then their friends will ask them why, and it may be embarrassing for them to explain why?
So they might say: “My father is sooo mean.”
We want our children to be different because they are Christians, but we don’t won’t them to be too different, do we?
It may be that you as a parent have decided you just don’t want to deal with the family conflict about it.
It may be that the parents disagree about it: one parent is against it, the other parent sees nothing wrong with it.
Dancing is one of those issues that reveals how much our society has permeated, affected, and influenced believers probably without our realizing it.

Next: "What Does The Bible Say?"