Oak Grove Church of Christ
Should Christians Dance?
September 8, 2019

Should Christians Dance?

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Passage: Ephesians 4:17-19
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In the early 80's there were two movies, Footloose and Dirty Dancing. They showed tens who felt thwarted by their parents. And they centered around dancing as a way of rebellion. 

Hollywood does have an influence in how society can be changed. Opinions can be influenced by the way that topics are discussed in the movie. 

A boy’s mind will be tempted by a girl who is dancing. 

But, is all dancing sinful?

Can a child's dancing be sinful? Is every single form of dancing wrong?

The Bible gives us examples of forms of dancing.

Some Forms of Dancing in the Bible that are Not Sinful

Some forms of dancing, seemingly, are not condemned by God, while others seemed to anger God.

  • Exodus 15:20-21 

Miriam and the women went out with timbrels and dancing, following the victory of crossing the red sea, safely. These ladies are out dancing, singing with timbrels. 

  • 2 Samuel 6:12-15 

The return of the Ark to Jerusalem led to David dancing before the Lord with all of his might. 

Neither David or Miriam were censured because of their dancing. Neither of these dances were examples of sexual overtones. 

Of note: this is not couples, outside of marriage, dancing together. 

Dances of celebration are not inherently sinful. 

What does the Bible say about dancing?

In the Bible we have Examples of Dancing that is Sinful

  • Exodus 32 

The Israelites, with the Golden calf, they rose up to play, and corrupted themselves. Later in the context, vs. 19, we see that God saw the calf, and their dancing. 

The condemnation can be both from the worship of the golden calf, but likely also that the dancing was done in a sensual way.

  • Matthew 14:6-7

Dancing of Herodias’ daughter before Herod. 

He was pleased with her dance. Irrationally, to the point of offering her anything she’d ask of him. Some type of rapid motion, lewd dancing. 

These two dancing examples show that they were intended to arouse sexual response. In modern context, what happens in the from of dancing that would/could be considered sinful. 

Modern Dancing is Sexual 

“[dancing] affords a partial satisfaction to the sex impulse which (among the adolescents) cannot as yet achieve full and specific expression...” - Leta S. Hollingworth, Child Psychologist

 Modern Dancing Involves Lasciviousness

Dancing from the Greek word; aselgeia, excess, licentiousness, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness..., …the prominent idea is shameless conduct...” W.E. Vine’s, Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.

Excess licentiousness, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness.. the prominent idea is shameless conduct. 

Those moves that are done in men’s clubs, by young girls, cheerleaders, etc., those movements, are lasciviousness. 

Public lasciviousness can lead to other sinful behaviors. 

Lasciviousness is a work of the flesh.

  • Galatians 5:19-21
  • Ephesians 4:17-19
  • 1 Peter 4:2-4

Modern Dancing is Lustful

Lust is applied to the sexual passion.

  • Matthew 5:28
  • Romans 13:13,14

Modern Dancing is Associated with Much That is Evil

It is often associated with drinking, drug abuse. It involves being with evil companionship. It can lead to fornication, and adultery. We should avoid anything that is so closely associated with evil.

  • Matthew 7:17
  • 1 Corinthians 15:33
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:22

Modern Dancing Destroy’s Someone’s Influence for Good

"A dancing foot and a praying knee are not found on the same leg..." - Marshall Keeble, Evangelist

  • Matthew 5:16
  • Philippians 2:15

The world is watching. Others are quick to condemn us when we do anything that looks, or appears evil.

Modern Dancing Places a Stumbling Block Before Others

What affect might dancing have on others? Let us demonstrate modest decorum, in both dress and conduct. 

When we think of modesty we generally consider only clothing. But, modesty applies to conduct as well as clothing. 

We need to look at every aspect of our life. Whether it comes to modesty, conduct, dancing to determine if we are walking in the faith.

  • 2 Corinthians 13:5

Does dancing increase my love for God and His word? Or, does dancing arouse lustful desires in myself, or my dance partner? 

The conclusion is that this kind of dancing belongs to the world. 

  • Romans 6:4

Christians are to walk in a new life, leaving behind us worldly things. 

  • Romans 12:1,2 
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

God’s people must be representatives of godliness and holiness. If you dance you do not bring glory to God, but rather to your own shame. 

We should abstain from those things that do not glorify God. 


If you find that you have not been living right and are in sin, know that Jesus Christ died so you can be washed from your sins. You can receive the grace of God by being washed in the water by the blood for remission of your sins. If you've been baptized but are living a life that isn't pleasing to God, you can be forgiven, by repenting and asking for forgiveness, and choosing to walk faithfully with God.

- Jack McNiel, Evangelist

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