Keith Hunt - Is it Christian to Dance? Restitution of All

  Home Navigation & Word Search

Is it Christian to Dance?

The Bible says.....


by Norman F. Rowe

     There are many people who call themselves Christians who
spend an evening, at least occasionally, participating in a
popular activity called dancing. Other people who call themselves
Christians emphatically condemn such behavior and even relegate
those who dance to various extent of "righteous" punishment.
which is correct? Is dancing a sin which God looks upon with
great wrath? Or does God instead direct His displeasure upon
those who preach this philosophy? What does the Bible have to say
about it?
     The most difficult position to defend is the one opposed to
dancing. There is no explicit directive against it anywhere from
Genesis to Revelation. The only possible argument against dancing
to be obtained from the Bible is one of "context" and attempts to
correlate the activity with other obviously sinful activities -
in other words, guilt by association. Such instances are found in
Exodus 32:19-29 and Matthew 14:6-12 (and Mark 6:22-29), with
possible extreme stretches along this line in Judges 11:34, and
21:19-21. A close look at each of these passages will assist in
determining if dancing itself is wrong and portrayed as such.
The account in Exodus 32 is a very sickening one and certainly
displays a sinful and idolatrous attitude and atmosphere. But is
the dancing involved a material part of the sinning, or just an
"innocent bystander"? One of the key elements of the answer is in
verse 25 where we witness the SORT of dancing taking place and
the nature of the celebration. "And when Moses saw that the
people were NAKED; (for Aaron had made them NAKED unto their
SHAME among their enemies:)" This, then, is obviously a sensual,
sex-related, lustful scene. But was the dancing itself considered
sinful? Or was it something else? Look down to verses 30-31.
Moses mentions that sin was involved and then specifies what it
was. Notice that he did NOT pray, "Oh, this people have sinned a
great sin, and have danced." No, the sin was IDOLATRY with no
mention made whatsoever of the dancing. The only thing wrong,
then, was the attitude and type of dancing rather than mere
     Salome's dance before Herod has been described as also being
very sensual and designed to be very stimulating in a sexual way.
The lustful Herod, being aroused sufficiently to be extremely
pleased, let his entertainer require the head of John the
Baptist. But is there any mention whatsoever about this event
which displays dancing itself as being sinful? NO! None
whatsoever! It is certainly easy to see that this particular USE
of dancing and this particular AIM and TYPE of dancing were
wrong, but that is not enough to condemn dancing entirely.
Some will point to such accounts, of course, and claim that
because these wicked people utilized dancing, that shows that it
is therefore wrong. This argument cannot possibly apply, for if
it did, that would make EVERYTHING they did sinful. To show just
how ridiculous this position is, every one of the wickedest
individuals mentioned in the Bible ate, drank, wore clothes,
walked, talked, slept, and went to the bathroom. Does that make
it sinful for Christians to do those things? Of course not! And
just because they may have danced also does not make dancing
automatically sinful either.

     The two remaining events are even less indicative of having
any sinful tones regarding the dancing involved and again are
never referred to as being instances of sinful activity regarding
the dancing aspect.

     On the other hand, there are several other accounts
involving dancing which shed a neutral or positive light upon
dancing. In Exodus 15:50, Miriam and all the women are shown
dancing in thanks and praise to God for His deliverance and
nothing here or elsewhere indicates any displeasure on God's part
over it. This dancing as a display of happiness and joy is an
integral part of the human makeup. Even small children will
spontaneously dance when happy. Adults similarly use dance-like
activities when expressing similar sentiments and often use
formalized dancing as a recreational vehicle and to fellowship
with others. The use of dancing was used extensively for
expressing happy occasions by the Israelite people and examples
are seen in 1 Samuel 18:6, 21:11, 30:16; 2 Samuel 6:14-16; and
future times of dancing IN GOD'S KINGDOM are prophesied in Psalms
30:11 and Jeremiah 31:4, 13. In fact, Jesus Himself made two
statements which very strongly imply His belief that dancing was
quite acceptable to God. These are found in Matthew 11:17 (with
parallel in Luke 7:32) and Luke 15:23-25. These all appear to
support the position that dancing can be quite acceptable in
God's sight and is not sinful at all of and by itself.

     But something more definite really needs to be found. Does
such exist? Indeed it does! First, in Ecclesiastes 3:4, the Bible
plainly states that there is "a time to dance." So God's Word
makes it plain that dancing certainly DOES have a place in the
Christian's life. Furthermore,. in Psalms 149:3 and 150:4, there
are definite COMMANDS to include dances in the praising of God!
One can hardly get any more definite than that!

     The Bible, then, plainly shows dancing to be acceptable unto
God. This does NOT mean, of course, that ALL dancing of ANY
manner at ANY time pleases Him. It should be obvious that dancing
which is of a sensual and lustful nature is not acceptable,
whether it is intended for the stimulation of the one doing the
dancing, for the arousal of one(s) observing the dancing, or
both. When utilized to exercise, fellowship, praise, and/or
otherwise uplift one's self and bring credit to God, dancing is
not only acceptable, but even requested by God. As is the case
with so many other things, it is not the thing or action itself
which is wrong, but certain uses to which it is put that can
become sinful. Is it Christian to dance? Yes! Provided it is done
with a Christian attitude and for constructive and uplifting


Written middle 1980s

  Home Top of Page

Other Articles of Interest:
  ... ... ...

Navigation List:

Word Search: