By Lewis Willis
One of our elders told me that there was a need for some teaching to be done on the subject of dancing. I decided to write an article about it. If you parents feel there is a need for this teaching in your family, sit your children down in the quietness of your home and read and study this material with them.
Many New Testament passages speak of lasciviousness as evil and sin. It seems appropriate, first of all, to list some of these:
1. Mark 7:21-23: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
2. 2 Corinthians 12:21: “And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.”
3. Galatians 5:19: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. “
4. Ephesians 4:17-19: “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”
5. 1 Peter 4:3: “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries.”
It is evident from these passages that whatever lasciviousness is, it is sinful, unacceptable practice as far as God is concerned.
So, what is lasciviousness? The Greek word is the word aselgeia. W.E. Vine defines aselgeia in this way: “. . denotes excess, licentiousness, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness; . . . The prominent idea is shameless conduct” (Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p. 310). When Thayer defines aselgeia, he gives several synonyms, all of which describe a conduct regarded as unlawful with God. Here is his list: “unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence. ” He calls it “carnality. “However, the most appropriate thing he says, and that which applies to our present inquiry most directly, is this: He says that lasciviousness is “wanton (acts or) manners, as filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females, etc.” (Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, pp. 79-80). These are simply definitions of the Greek word which appeared in the passages cited above, and they are very revealing to anyone searching for Truth. If you would like to read further on this word and its applications, I recommend a tract by Weldon Warnock which is available through the bookstore, entitled “A Work of the Flesh: Sexualism,” pp. 8-12.
I do not know how dancing could be more directly referred to than to describe it as “indecent bodily movements” and as “unchaste handling of males and females. ” It is my view that one lacks honesty who questions that dancing involves these two things. All one needs to do is look and he can see that such is exactly what is taking place. If not, that is, if you cannot see this, I suggest that you take the same actions involved in dancing, turn the lights down low and stop the music to which you are dancing, and let your Dad walk into the room and observe what is going on and see what he thinks about it.
Is dancing a sin? Absolutely, it is! Dancing involves people in the sin of lasciviousness and, as Paul said, “. . . they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21). Young people, when you decide to dance, remember what you are giving up. You are giving up Heaven if you do. Are you willing to pay that price to move your body around indecently and to have someone handle you in an unchaste, impure way? Why not obey God instead and “abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thess. 5:22)?
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 7, p. 207
April 5, 1990