Some Christians assert that Christians shouldn’t dance because it could stimulate sexual urges. I reject this assertion – that Christians shouldn’t dance – for several reasons:

Some acts are wrong for Christians, like using pornography, which is intended to stimulate lust; but other acts, not wrong in themselves, could lead to sin, like comparing our lives to those of others could lead to ingratitude. If dancing can lead to lust, this doesn’t mean dancing is in itself wrong. Dancing can also lead to having fun, making friends, getting good exercise, and learning a skill.

Some situations can stir our natural sinful desires (James 1:14-15), so we must act wisely to avoid sin or at least doing something foolish; for example, not going into a pub if we tend to drink more than we should. Acting wisely is different from asserting that no one should ever drink alcohol because it could lead to drunkenness: this is legalism – “don’t touch!” If we find dancing stimulates our sexual lust, then we should do a different activity, or instead of dancing lambada we should try line dancing. Was David in danger of succumbing to lust when he danced when they brought the ark into Jerusalem?

We don’t have the right to legislate others’ actions because we have a problem with an activity. This is what the Pharisees did: they set up a fence around the Law of Moses, they interpret the commandments and tried to apply them to every possible situation. Their focus was on preventing sin – the negative aspect of living a godly life – rather than on the positive aspects – loving God and other people. So also is the assertion that Christians shouldn’t dance: it is meant to be a fence around the Christian to keep them from doing anything that might lead to sin.

The problem is that sin comes from within us. Jesus said that sin starts in the heart, and comes out of us (Luke 6:45). If we were to avoid every act that could potentially stimulate our sinful nature, we would never do anything. Eating could cause us to be gluttonous or ungrateful (if we don’t have the food we like). Working could cause us to neglect our families, be greedy – working more to earn more – or use suppliers who act unethically. Or we should never stop working, because we might end up being lazy. As Paul said, we would have to take ourselves out of the world.

It’s a shame when Christians are known for what activities they stand against rather than why they take a stand at all.

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