Is there a type of dancing that is not allowed in church?

I had an interesting debate on facebook recently concerning the issue of the type of dancing acceptable in a church setting and it inspired me to do this article and talk about dance. Firstly it will be important to note that the bible does not categorically state how we should dance and hence a lot of stuff is subjective and depends on opinion and what is deemed acceptable in a particular society. I love to take things from the word so lets dig in to what the scriptures have to say about dancing.

Before you go through the different scriptures  i would like you to take note of certain facts:

  • The bible does not specify how we should dance. All of the scriptures below just lets us know people danced.The bible does not give specific instruction about dancing!
  • In the instances that dance is mentioned the people dancing are not always dancing to the Lord, actually in most of the verses the people are dancing towards their parents or leaders like Jephthah’s daughter, or when the maidens of Israel meet David with dancing
  • There is a time to dance and a time not to dance ( Ecclesiastes 3:4 )
  • Dancing is a way to express our praise to God
  • Dancing is also a way of expressing what the Lord has done for us
  • Sometimes people will not be pleased with the way you dance as shown in the case of David who danced before the Lord with all his might and his wife was offended by his dancing yet he says he would become even more undignified than what he had done    ( 2 Samuel 6:14-16, 21 )
  • Dancing involves leaping and being all out crazy for God

Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing ( Exodus 15:20 )

 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness ( Psalm 30:11 )

When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him with tambourines and with dancing. Now she was his one and only child; besides her he had no son or daughter. ( Judges 11:34 )

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing: you have put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; ( Psalm 30:11 )
Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises to him with the tambourine and harp. ( Psalm 149:3 )
Praise him with the tambourine and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. ( Psalm 150:4 )
Ecclesiastes 3:4 that speaks of a time to dance;
Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. ( Jeremiah 31:13 )
Below is a scripture which shows that dancing seemed to be a part of the Israeli culture and maybe also maybe  a way people could identify spouses????????
And watch; and behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to take part in the dances, then you shall come out of the vineyards and each of you shall catch his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. “It shall come about, when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, that we shall say to them, ‘Give them to us voluntarily, because we did not take for each man of Benjamin a wife in battle, nor did you give them to them, else you would now be guilty.'” The sons of Benjamin did so, and took wives according to their number from those who danced, whom they carried away. And they went and returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the cities and lived in them. ( Judges 21:21-23 )

Now lets look at instances where the dancing was evil:

Exodus 32:19-25 – the children of Israel danced naked, and they were dancing before an idol.

This leads me to the conclusion that any dance that exposes body parts or might in any way be sexually suggestive e.g twerking or pole dancing is not the right way of dancing.Dances that have men and women either in close bodily contact or gyrating themselves in each other’s presence in sexually provocative ways and dances specifically designed to arouse sexual feelings or imitate some of the intimacies of the marriage bed are some dances i would say should not be allowed in a church service. But really apart from this there is no specific instruction as to how church folk should dance in church!