Comments/Questions from Readers

Question #30: What is God's view of dancing? Various types of dancing include: ballet, waltz, tango, foxtrot, jazz, folkdances, dancing to gospel music while listening, and also dancing in a social location mid-afternoon on Saturday with children as well as adults present (i.e families) and without alcohol.

I believe the whole of Scripture conclusively demonstrates that dancing is an amoral activity. In other words, it is neither moral nor immoral in itself. However, as with many other things, how it is used determines whether the action in question might be sinful. Certainly, nowhere in Scripture does God say that dancing is wrong. In fact, when we examine what Scripture itself says about dancing, we find that dance was very much a part of the lives of many Godly people in the Bible, and was often associated with instrumental music, singing and tambourine playing. Consider the following passages:

Psalm 30:11: "You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have torn off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness."

Psalm 149:2-3: "Let Yisra'el rejoice in their Maker; Let the children of Tsiyon exult in their Sovereign. Let them praise His Name in a dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the tambourine and lyre."

Psalm 150:3-5: "Praise Him with the blowing of the ram's horn; Praise Him with the harp and lyre! Praise Him with tambourine and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with sounding cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals!"

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

In other passages in Scripture, we see that King David danced before Yahweh with all his might, that all the women in Israel played tambourines, danced and sang to Yahweh after crossing the Red Sea, and there are numerous other passages where dancing is seen as an expression of joy. Jesus even explicitly mentioned music and dancing in His parable of the prodigal son, when the father threw a party after his lost son had returned home. Certainly He would not have said this if dancing was to be considered wicked or sinful.

With that being said, I think we need to balance this with the reality that some forms of dance, as well as some dance situations, may very well be sinful. We certainly cannot walk away from the absence of Scripture condemning dancing as a blanket permission to engage in any and all forms of dance, irrespective of context. The types of dancing you've mentioned would certainly seem to be perfectly acceptable forms of dance, but we might also consider a dance venue where there will be drunkeness, promiscuity or anti-social behavior. Remember that dance can be good or bad, depending on the circumstances. I'm sure we could each think of certain forms of dancing that we would both agree would be sinful to participte in.




"...In essentials we maintain unity, in opinions liberty, and in all things love..."

Your comments are welcome!