You may be surprised to find an article on this topic in our Young People’s magazine, but the question: Can we as Christian young people participate in some forms of dancing for recreation? is in the minds of many people today. For this reason, dear reader, we have decided to discuss the problem.

I had the opportunity to listen to a pro-con discussion on this question. I will tell you in part what was said there and perhaps we can come to some conclusion on the matter.

Those speaking in favor of the question pointed out: 1) that according to Phil. 4:5 we can engage in dancing to a moderate degree, just as we show moderation in other things. 2) Dancing is something we, as Christians, have been afraid to indulge in, but by doing so would be a good way to squelch the curiosity young people have concerning this activity. 3) Dancing would be a means to fulfill the recreational needs of young people – inactivity isn’t good. 4) Dancing serves to develop the whole person, the physical as well as the mental.

5) Dancing, when kept in proper bounds, and channeled in the proper direction can be a very worthwhile recreation.

The affirmative also raised some questions: 1) What does it really mean to be a separate people? 2) What does it mean to be in the world, but not of the world? 3) Is there perhaps just a stigma connected with the word dancing which makes us think it so evil?

The negative set out to prove the wrong in engaging in such recreation. I believe their strongest point was that the so-called harmless dance definitely leads to other forms of dancing which in the end would find us walking hand and hand with the world. They also pointed out that dancing is intoxicating; once you indulge in it, it may be difficult to stop, and so becomes habitual. The physical advantages derived from dancing can be obtained by the Christian in other, more healthy forms of exercise and recreation. The Christian is in the world, but not of it; he cannot engage in this activity and think it right merely because it is performed by a Christian. These actions are sinful for the Christian also.

Now, dear reader, let us ask ourselves the question. To find our answer let us turn to the Word of God – the Scriptures. Are not these given to us of God and do we not find a guide for our walk of life therein? In II Cor. 6:16b and, 17 we read: “. . .will be their God and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and he ye separate, saith the Lord…” And in Eph. 5:1, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children.” Also verse 8: “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord, walk as children of light.”

Can we do both? Can we walk as children of light, and also on the other hand join with the world in their recreation? Can we serve God and mammon?

What do you think, dear reader? Can some form of dancing serve a legitimate place in the Christian’s recreation?

Originally published in:

Vol. 18 No. 1 February 1958