By Ryan Lindsey
Excuses are an everyday aspect of life. All people have made excuses at one time or another. Little children have made excuses when they did something they know is wrong. They pointed their finger at their brother or sister and said, “He (or she) did that.” The same thing applies to men when confronted with their sins. Instead of admitting that they did wrong, instead of confessing their sins, they try to justify their sins through the use of excuses. Excuses can be made for all types of sin. The sin we are discussing, the sin that is affecting young people, is the sin of dancing.
“They All . . . Began to Make Excuse”
In God’s sight, excuses are foolish and ridiculous. When considering this foolishness, I am reminded of a parable in Luke 14:16-24. From these verses, we can see that a certain man made a great feast, a great supper, and he bade all his friends to come. You would think that their reaction would be that they would be thrilled to come to this great feast. Instead, they all offered excuses:
And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
All these people that the man invited made excuses.
Let us take a look at these excuses. The first excuse was that he bought a piece of property, and he had to go see it. Well, if somebody bought a piece of property, you would think he already would have taken a look at it in the first place. The next excuse was that he bought five yoke of oxen, and he had to go prove them or test them out. To compare this to an example today, if you buy a car, do you just listen to what the dealer says and trust what the dealer says, or do you want to test drive it first? The last excuse that was used was that he married a wife and therefore he cannot come. Well, this is ridiculous in that he could have brought the wife along as well. The master then invited the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind, and even those passing on the highways. “For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” We see the sadness here in that all of his friends rejected him and the only ones that would come to his supper were the dregs of society.
Daniel: Courage, Not Excuses
Excuses are the cowardly way. We as Christians must not be cowards, but we must have courage in order to take a stand for what we believe. In the Bible we have many examples of courageous men, many people that were not afraid to take a stand for what they believed in. The first example that I can think of is that of Daniel.
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself (Dan. 1:8).
From this verse we see that Daniel could easily have made excuses. He could have said, “Well, I am in a foreign country, I am miles away from home. Therefore it will not hurt me to do it just this once.” But he did not do this; he did not make excuses. Instead he took a stand for what he believed in and he did not defile himself.
We can also see another example of Daniel’s courage in Daniel 6:7 when the leaders of Babylon persuaded the king “to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, 0 king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.” Now Daniel could very well have given in to this decree. But let’s read what he did in verses 10-11.
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.
From these verses we see Daniel’s courage in that he was willing to go the lion’s den for what he believed. He would not give up his praying; he continued praying three times a day. You know what happened then, how that Daniel was indeed thrown into the lion’s den and that he was delivered because of his faith.
Another example of a man that had courage was Moses. We read in Hebrews 11:24-25,
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
From this verse we see that Moses had it all. He was the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter, but he chose rather not be with God’s people and to suffer affliction with his people than to enjoy the pleasures of sin.
We as Christians must look at these examples, and we should be as courageous as these men. Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). We should not be afraid to take a stand for the gospel of Christ because it is the power of God to save our souls.
“I Do Not Want to Feel Left Out”
But now that we have looked at how we should be courageous in examples of courage, let us look into the excuses that young people give for going to the prom. One widely used excuse is, “I do not want to feel left out.” They are afraid of the persecutions, the ridicule, the peer pressure, that they face in school. But we remember how the early Christians went through many persecutions. Paul was afflicted, he was tormented, he was in prison, he was scourged, yet he never gave in. He kept on preaching the gospel. Stephen was the first Christian martyr, and he, on the very edge of death, never gave in. When we look at the many persecutions suffered by the early Christians, we can see that they cannot compare to some small ridicule and teasing that we may face today. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, them am I strong.” From this verse, we as Christians should rejoice when we are persecuted, when we are in infirmities, because they make us stronger in the faith. If we are strong in the faith, we should be able to resist the devil’s temptations and should not have trouble in taking a stand for Christ.
How do we take this stand for Christ? In Ephesians 6:13-17 we read,
Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins gin about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness: and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
If we are going to resist and defeat the devil, then we must take the whole armor of God.
“Dancing is Fun”
Another excuse that is widely used is, “Dancing is fun.” Well, all sin is fun temporarily. Knowing that, Moses chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” In the last part of the verse, we see that sin indeed is pleasurable, but it is only for a short time. We must ask ourselves whether we want the temporary pleasures of sin or treasures laid up in heaven and the promise of eternal life. “It is fun,” is a poor argument when one’s soul is in danger.
“What Can One Dance Hurt?”
Another excuse that is used is, “What can one dance hurt?” That is what everyone says when trying to justify committing sin. When an alcoholic looks back at his life, he probably thought at one time, “Well, what can one drink hurt?” That one drink led to other drinks, and so on, until he ruined his life. Satan wants us to “try it once” in the hope that we will be hooked and snared. When I think about this, I think about Jesus in Matthew 4 and how that he was tempted of the devil. He could very easily have just given in once. If he had, where would we be today? We would no longer have the perfect sacrifice; we would no longer have the remission of sins that we have today.
“I Go Just to Socialize”
Another excuse that people use is, “I am just going there for the socialization. I am not going to dance.” If you do this, you subject yourself to unnecessary temptation. You first of all subject yourself to the temptation to dance, and when you see other people dancing, you are tempted to lust after them. Finally, you are not just subjecting yourself to temptation, but you are subjecting others to temptation if people see you there. Jesus taught in Matthew 18:5-7,
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
From this we see God’s disgust when people offend other people by causing them to stumble. He even said that it was better for them to be drowned with a stone wrapped around their neck. If we go to this dance, we may think nobody will see us, nobody we know will be there, and nobody will care. But we must remember that we are always being looked upon and our influence is making a profound impression on everyone.
“I Can Dance and Not Lust”
Another excuse that is used is, “I can dance with my girlfriend (or boyfriend) and not lust after them.” It would be hard, but even if you could, how do you know that your partner and others watching you are not lusting after you? We can see the seriousness of lusting in Matthew 5:27-28.
Ye have heard that is was said by them of old time, thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
From these verses we see the sin of adultery. In old times adultery was indeed a sin. But we must realize that if we lust after someone in our heart, it is just as bad as committing adultery.
“I Am a Senior Only Once”
Another excuse that is used is, “It is my senior prom; I am only a high school senior once.” But we ask ourselves, “Is one night of sin worth losing an eternity in heaven?” In Hebrews 11:25 Moses did not think that sin was worth losing his soul.
Someone Danced and “Nothing Happened”
A last excuse that people might use is, “I have seen people dance and nothing went wrong, nothing happened to them.” Let us consider this excuse. Do we judge war as harmless because we can say, “Look how many people came back alive; look how many people survived”? What about those people who died, and their families? Would they have the same viewpoint? Dancing like war leaves many victims; some we see, some we do not. How can you read other people’s minds and thoughts? Only God can read our minds and thoughts. And how do you know that no one was thinking evil thoughts? How do you know what happened after the dance? Dancing often opens the door to drinking, at the dance or later which causes other sins. Young people drinking is one of the leading causes of car wrecks and fatalities. Just like any other sin, the sin of modem dancing developed slowly, but over a period of time it has become more dangerous and more accepted. In fact, couple dancing with partners is fairly new; it did not exist until about the 15th century. It is more vulgar and harmful today than ever before.
David Halbrook explained the basic reasons why people should not go to the prom. I have looked at answering excuses that people give for going to the prom. We as young people must ask ourselves just like Moses did, “Is one night of sin worth losing an eternity in heaven?” Excuses in God’s sight are foolish and ridiculous. In fact, they make God angry at us, and in the end we can lose our soul because of our excuses. If you are an erring Christian, and have been making excuses for sin in your life, please confess those sins so that you might be right with God. If you are not a Christian, then please, confess Christ, and be baptized for remission of sins.
Guardian of Truth XXXIX: 6 p. 13-15
March 16, 1995