Young People and Dancing

By Luther Blackmon

A problem that young people from Christian families meet in school concerns dancing. Dancing is so universally accepted by society as being wholesome entertainment, that a young person who does not dance is off beat. Especially one who refuses because of conviction. I want to keep this article short, so I shall get immediately into the reasons why it is wrong for Christians to engage in the modern dance.

(1) Dancing is not the harmless, wholesome entertainment it appears to be at first glance. When a mother is interested in her daughter’s popularity more than in her soul, she thinks of the dance as a well chaperoned little group of well behaved neighborhood youngsters enjoying an evening together in somebody’s home. She doesn’t think of the noisy crowd of half drunken revelers that frequent the “Breeze Inn and Stagger Out” night club. But people who learn to dance, love to dance, and not many stop with the neighborhood party and the high-school prom. It is like drinking. There is not a wino on skid row that didn’t take his first drink just for kicks or to be with the crowd, and probably in some nice neighbor’s living room. A survey in a home for wayward girls revealed that most of them started their journey down the path of shame from the dance hall. And whether the dance is in the night club or the home of a respected citizen, the embrace, the step and the closeness of the bodies are all the same.

2. Dancing brings the opposite sexes into a familiar embrace that, in normal people, produce lasciviousness. The things that make petting both sinful and dangerous are also true of dancing. The Bible says, “The works of the flesh are . . . adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft … drunkenness, murder and such like. Of which I have told you before and tell you even now, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven.” (Gal. 5:19-23) The Bible puts lasciviousness in the class with adultery and murder. Why? Because both are sin, and both will cause one to miss heaven.

It is sometimes hard for young ladies to understand, I think, the significance of lasciviousness, because the embrace of a dance does not stir in them the baser emotions that it stirs in a man. But whether she feels the same fleshly desire herself or not, she is partly responsible for his feeling and thoughts, and therefore a partaker of his sin.

3. If for no other reason, the Christian should refrain from attending the dance for the sake of his influence. You would not look for a spiritually minded person on a dance floor. “A praying knee and a dancing foot do not grow on the same limb.” The story is told that a man was stricken with a heart attack and died while on the dance floor. The Lord came to claim him because he was a Christian. But the devil was also there, and he said, “he might be yours, but he died on my territory, so I am here to claim him.” If you think this is absurd, answer me this question: If you should be stricken while on the dance floor, would you say, “Lord I am ready. Take me home.” Or would you ask the Lord to forgive you for your sins? Honor bright? In either case, I wouldn’t give a plugged nickel for your chances. If you want to die right, you must live right. A worldly person, not a member of the church, or any church, once asked me why I preach against dancing. I said, “I will let you answer. If you saw me on the dance floor next Saturday night, knowing that I am a preacher of the gospel, what would you think of me?” She answered without hesitation, “I wouldn’t think you were much of a preacher.” Well, if it isn’t wrong, it isn’t wrong for the preacher. The Bible says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (I Thess. 5:22).

Don’t be afraid to be different, young people. Every worthwhile achievement was accomplished by someone who was not afraid to be different and to fly in the face of public opinion.

Truth Magazine, XVIII:35, p. 6
July 11, 1974