July 15, 2018

The Modern Dance

By Kenneth R. Joines

Claremore, Okla.We are now living in an era wherein almost any form of recreation is available to our boys and girls. Some of
these pastimes are educational and some are not. Some are physically beneficial, and others are not. Then there
are those that fall in both of these categories that still are not conducive to Christian living.

Dancing seems to be about the most popular form of recreation for almost all social and civic clubs. In
fact, most of such clubs and organizations can hardly have a meeting but that dancing is the final epitome. Too,
dancing is being infiltrated into our public schools and many children and uninformed parents are made to
believe that all have to participate. Since dancing indubitably has such a hold on the thinking of most people,
what shall we do? What should be our attitude toward it? Let us consider a few facts about the modern dance
and hope that it will contribute to our formation of a scriptural opinion of the same.

First, let us be reminded of the fact that reliable psychologists tell us that atmosphere or environment has
considerable bearing upon the kind of a personality we form. The room in which the dance usually takes place
is almost void of light. Indeed, many times not even enough by which to recognize many in attendance. This
gives the participants a sense of being alone and unseen. The music which characterizes such gatherings is of
such nature as to stir the baser emotions of men and women. What an opportunity for the devil to, do his work!

The bodily position taken by dancing partners is also worthy of note. The man holds the lady (?) closely
while she relaxes and there in that dimly lit room they move to the rhythm of this "tavern-tempo" music. In an
article in the Ladies' Home Jourrial magazine I am told that this statement is made: "Many couples performing
these dances should have a marriage license before stepping on the floor!" Can any doubt that this is an awful

The nature of the modern dance is of such make-up as to cause rational people to know that it is one of the
works of the flesh named in Gal. 5:19-21. "Lasciviousness" is defined in Webster's dictionary as: "Tending to
produce lewd emotions!" Now, if the modern dance can possibly be anything but lascivious in nature, then pray
tell me what is it! I'll tell you, if a man held another's wife as closely anywhere but on the dance floor, he would
get such a load of buckshot as to cause him to die of lead poisoning!!!

All the drinking, lewdness, broken homes, murders, divorces, etc., that go with the modern dance is enough
to convince most anyone who wants to live right that it is sinful!

Just why are there so many divorce cases growing out of the modern dance? I'll tell you exactly why. It is
because any honorable man isn't going to stand for "Tom, Dick, and Harry" to hold his wife close to him and
paw around over her body with his filthy fingers? That's why it is! What kind of a man (?) is it who would say,
"I don't mind another man holding my wife's body close to his and swinging and swaying to this heathenish
music?" Just what kind is he?

Any man who says he can hold a woman closely, cheek to cheek, and dance and still not have impure
thoughts is either a liar or a dead man! You who dance will not dare attempt to deny this fact. So why not stop
it? NOW!

Young ladies, and young men; listen: If you want the love of another person, the kind of love that will grow
and grow and be able to steady the tottery steps to the tomb, the kind of love that is still alive when the beauty
spots in the face become transformed into wrinkles, then God help you to shun the modern dance!

It has been my observation that the holier a thing is the more wicked it becomes when abused. Our God
has given us desires, drives and appetites and has sanctified these for good. God knew that humans wouldn't
take on a sufficient supply of food unless we had a desire to do so. So he gave us an appetite for foods. God
knew that man wouldn't "replenish the earth" with children unless he had a sexual appetite. So he inserted that
in each normal person. I can think of nothing more sacred than the sexual drives in men and women. AND I
ABUSES THIS SEXUAL DRIVE! It is not to be tampered with. It is sacred. God gave it a purpose. And its
purpose is NOT primarily for self-satisfaction. The Hebrew writer says: "Marriage is honorable in all, and the
bed undefiled; but the whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." (Heb. 13:4). Let us use our urges, drives
and appetites for God's purpose.

I could go on and on and prove many tragic facts concerning the dance, and yet there would be many
church members who would still want to dance: and THEY'D DO IT, TOO! Then there are some Christian
mothers who give instruction to their young daughter. Will a mother who is a genuine CHRISTIAN instruct
her daughter in that which leads her to these dens of iniquity? However, some make a defense for the solo
dancing by pleading that since no partner is necessary to hold tightly in one's arms that it is not sinful. Then
let us concede for the sake of argument that a girl does a tap-dance and is wholly innocent as far as her own
thoughts are concerned. The Lord said that it is adultery for a man to look upon a woman to lust after her, did
he not? When a young lady is clad only in one of those "gownless evening straps" or such like and sways and
gyrates before an audience in such suggestive movements she becomes the target of fleshly lusts of men who
watch. Why, when Herodias' daughter danced before that audience she moved them to such a pitch of f renzy
that Herod, a rich king, promised her something that any king in his right mind wouldn't think of promising --
one-half of his kingdom! No person can remain guiltless, who through his or her conduct influences others to
do wrong. "But," a young lass pleaded to me last week, "you can't control the thoughts of others." I am fully
cognizant of this. No one can completely control the thoughts of anyone else. There are going to be some men
who will think adulterously even if all the women wear drapes suspended from a large hoop about the
shoulders. BUT, it is absolutely unnecessary for any woman or girl to do these dances. So, when you do them
or teach others to do them, you are unnecessarily causing others to commit sin.

The Bible condemns dancing in no uncertain terms. "Flee youthful lusts . . ." says Paul to Timothy. (2
Timothy 2:22). "Flee fornication . . ." (I Cor. 6:18). Paul cites lasciviousness as a work which will keep us out
of heaven. Thus dancing is condemned whether it be solo or in partnership. No one can follow the Lord and
dance. Christian living and the modern dance are so far removed from each other as to make it impossible to
do both at the same time. We just might sum up this whole matter by saying, "A praying knee and a dancing

Truth Magazine I:10, pp. 10-11, 23
July 1957