Should We “Do The Church Dance”?

Check out the video from www.PushingHope.com and my thoughts below.

Would Darren “Do The Church Dance”? Anyone who knows me well would probably quickly say “YES” because I’m known to dance – and on occasion break a sweat doing so.  But the continued enjoyment of dancing hasn’t come without much consideration in my Christian life.  In fact, when I first had my born-again experience in 1998, I quickly stopped dancing all-together because I associated it with being “worldly” and leading to “sinful behavior”.  That was my conviction then, but it was probably fueled more by zeal and shallow thinking.  It’s probably didn’t help much that the church I was part of at the time didn’t condone any dance other than that modified two-step or an equivalent of bucking around wildly. (Full disclosure… I could “cut a step” with the rest of ’em!)

However, as I grew and studied the word, I came to realize that dance (and music) aren’t strictly the devil’s territory.  I eventually found a renewed desire to express myself through dance – and to do so in praise to God.   I also learned that much of what we disdain in church has more to do with our cultural objections (and fears) than with transcendent biblical truth.

I posted the “Do The Church Dance” video on my Facebook page and (as to be expected) was met with mixed reactions.  I’m also following the comments on pages of several friends who posted it.  Mostly there are LOL’s about the video, but by the comments a few people have taken offense.  I’m curious to get others perspective on why this is offensive to them.  Many seem to consider this ‘inappropriate’ for church – and while I wouldn’t lead a congregation in a round of it, I don’t think it’s ‘wrong’ or making fun of the church.  (They do a STRING of dances you can see in many African-American churches on any given Sunday!)

On one of the comment threads, I shared this in considering the opinion that church should be reverent/reserved.

Listening to the lyrics (while not life changing) he talked about living his life differently than the way his contemporaries are living. I think he also is encouraging people to dance and express themselves in the dance style that is familiar to them – while incorporating some ‘moves’ from the previous generations.

I think the modern “hip-hop” styling and dancing may be challenging to many – especially for people from traditionally reverent worship communities. But this is true in the same way that the introduction of the Hammond B-3 organ was considered the devil’s instrument and inappropriate for the church (the “B” stood for BAR – like where people go to Drink).

I think people generally are cautious about cultural things that relate back to areas that were sinful for them in the past and for good reason.  We can’t just go about life without giving consideration to what influences us.  But in considering history, I think this will pan out in similar ways to the contributions of Thomas Dorsey (great video link!) and Mahalia Jackson, or more recently songs like “Oh Happy Day” – in their time, they were considered worldly and inappropriate – but today they are “traditional” and “old school” church!

What are your thoughts?  Would you defend or support releases like “Do The Church Dance”?

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  • Will Saunders

    I enjoyed this topic Darren. Sorry for being so long for responding. I wanted to do some research to share. I wanted to know what the Bible mentioned about dancing and here are some things I pulled together:

    The Bible has multiple scriptures that support dancing. Dancing just like singing is embraced. Psalm 149:3 says, “Let them praise His name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine.” Jeremiah 31:13 says, “ Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry.” Psalm 150:4 says, “Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe!” Psalm 150:1-6 is one of my favorites on the subject. It says, “ Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!” Psalm 30:11 says, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing.”

    These are just a few examples of scriptures that support dancing. There are many more that are even more specific. I think when we praise God and engage in acts of Thanksgiving, dancing is perfect. If we're not always great with words, we can express ourselves through dance. I agree with you that some people are hesitant about the cultural grasp that dance has with respect to the church. However, I am certain that offering Biblical examples will likely garner their agreement and support.

  • Will Saunders

    I enjoyed this topic Darren. Sorry for being so long for responding. I wanted to do some research to share. I wanted to know what the Bible mentioned about dancing and here are some things I pulled together:

    The Bible has multiple scriptures that support dancing. Dancing just like singing is embraced. Psalm 149:3 says, “Let them praise His name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine.” Jeremiah 31:13 says, “ Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry.” Psalm 150:4 says, “Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe!” Psalm 150:1-6 is one of my favorites on the subject. It says, “ Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!” Psalm 30:11 says, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing.”

    These are just a few examples of scriptures that support dancing. There are many more that are even more specific. I think when we praise God and engage in acts of Thanksgiving, dancing is perfect. If we're not always great with words, we can express ourselves through dance. I agree with you that some people are hesitant about the cultural grasp that dance has with respect to the church. However, I am certain that offering Biblical examples will likely garner their agreement and support.

  • Carmelitaweakley

    I like the words to the music and the dance is hype. Tell me where can I get this song – I am working on a fashion show entitled “Dancin with The Star”, I would like to use this song as my finale. Email me at carmelitaweakley@insightbb.com