Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Deciding Hard Issues: Dancing" [part 3]

What comes next in the Sequence For Understanding are the Biblical Principles we derive from Biblical Truth. But before we get to Biblical Principles, first, let’s consider two common justifications for or against dancing which aren't relevant.

1. “I Like It, so it’s OK” or “I Don’t Like It, so it’s not OK”.
The fact that a person likes or dislikes dancing is not the basis for deciding the rightness or wrongness of dancing. The fact that someone likes dancing or doesn’t like dancing only tells us 1 thing: That there is some characteristic of that person which likes or dislikes dancing.

The question to ask now would be: Why does someone like it or not like it?
What is it about dancing that you like?
If you believe dancing is wrong, then why?

What a person likes doesn’t determine truth. What you don’t like doesn’t determine truth.
These only tell us what you like or don’t like. And that is all they tell us.

People use these arguments as if they decide everything. But they don’t decide anything.

2. “Other Christians Dance”
Again, that doesn’t prove the rightness or wrongness of dancing or anything else. Some churches give away money to get people to come. Many Christians drink wine & beer.

All this means is that there are Christians who believe dancing, alcohol, etc. are OK.
I could also say that there are many Christians who do not dance. But again, that doesn’t prove anything either except that some Christians have reasons to believe dancing is wrong.
Those reasons may be good or ridiculous, but numbers of people for or against something doesn’t prove legitimacy.

Monday, April 23, 2007

"Deciding Hard Issues: Dancing" [part 2]

The 1st step in approaching any issue is very simple:
What Does The Bible Say?
Part 1 of this series mentioned Two Foundational Principles of Hard Issues:
  • Know your Bible
  • Know your Heart
Knowing your heart means thinking through why you are for or against something. If you believe dancing is wrong, then are your reasons Biblical or is it something more personal & less spiritual
such as: "I can’t dance." Perhaps more than we realize, we cover up our real reasons with a spiritual reason that sounds better.

It's interesting how we all agree that the Bible is our authority, but when it comes to our pet issues, to issues that we know are going to cause us problems, issues which force us to ask difficult questions and force us to make decisions about how our friends & family perceive us—well, we’re not so eager then, are we?

So, 1st we need to look at the raw Biblical data: What does the Bible say about dancing?
This is the 1st step in our Sequence of Understanding & Living: Get The Facts

Summary Of Data
26 ref to dancing, most in the OT
7 ref to women—rejoicing
4 ref to David—rejoicing
3 ref to children—unknown
Very few refer to men & women dancing together. When men & women dance together, sin seems to be involved. Other references have an unknown purpose or it is unclear who is doing the dancing.

This data shows men & women rarely danced together. In some of the references, sin is clearly occurring. In a majority of the references [17], rejoicing & praise, not personal pleasure seems to be the reason/occassion.

What can we conclude from this?
  1. If you are going to use the Bible to justify dancing as people do it today, you will not find any help there. Dancing at the Prom is not rejoicing before the Lord!! Mixed-Gender Social Dancing does not have any support in the Bible.
  2. What we do see is a few warnings that dancing can be very dangerous & can be associated with sin.
A Good Question: Did the sin encourage the dancing or did the dancing lead to the sin?
Answer: In some references, we can’t tell. They are so intermixed that you can’t tell what came first. But in Ex 32, the sin came first, and dancing resulted from that sin.

This sequence--sin, then dancing--is interesting. Sin occurs in the human heart before being seen externally. Are many Christians today, who see nothing wrong with our modern cultural form of dancing, using dancing as a way to express sins in the heart? This is a valid question that deserves serious reflection.