“Is dancing an unchristian thing to do??”
There are a couple parts to this question, but mainly it depends on the context. Where the dancing is taking place and what kind of dancing it is. Is this dancing in a church? Is it dancing in a club? Is it taking place between a married couple? These factors all affect your answer. The bible actually speaks of dancing more than the average Christian is aware, to compare consider the following statistic: dancing is directly mentioned close to 23 times while the practice of speaking in tongues is directly mentioned 17 times. The following verses contain the majority of the bible teaching on dancing: Ex 15:20, Ex 32:19, Jdg 21:21, 1Sa 18:6, 1Sa 30:16, 2Sa 6:14, 2Sa 6:16, 1Ch 15:29, Job 21:11, Psa 30:11, Psa 149:3, Psa 150:4, Ec 3:4, So 6:13, Isa 13:21, Jer 31:4, Jer 31:13, Lam 5:15, Mat 11:17, Mat 14:6, Mark 6:22, Luk 7:32, Luk 15:25
Below is a summary of the Bible’s use of the idea/concept of dancing:
- Used by Israelites’ to express joy and thanksgiving. (Ex 15:20, 1Sa 18:6, 1Sa 30:16, 2Sa 6:14, 2Sa 6:16, 1Ch 15:29)
- In the time of Jesus was also used to express joy (Luk 15:25)
- Used in the worship of idols. (Ex 32:19)
- Used to manipulate men (Mat 14:6, Mark 6:22)
- Used as a method of worshiping God. (Ex 15:20-21, 2Sa 6:14, Psa 149:3, Psa 150:4)
- Given by God to David (Psa 30:11)
- There is a time to dance (Ecc 3:4)
- Alternative to sadness (Psa 30:11, Lam 5:15, Mat 11:17)
- Dancing promised in response to Gods future restoration of Israel (Jer 31:4, Jer 31:13)
BIBLICAL CONCLUSIONS ABOUT DANCING
Some dancing is not sin
Some dancing in the bible is not inherently sinful or inherently good. At times the Israelites used it to worship God at other times it was used to worship idols. Dancing can be just like music, a medium for creative expression. This does not mean all types of dancing or all places where dancing is present is automatically good and should be done.
Dancing often symbolizes joy
Most dancing in the bible is intrinsically joyful and is used often as a way to express strong emotions such as joy, gladness and exceeding thankfulness. Even today if someone receives a million dollars as a gift, it would be completely normal and even natural for that person to jump around and dance with joy.
Some dancing is sin
Some dancing is inappropriate for public and/or sexually provocative and should not be done in any place or context (except marriage if both spouses agree). Much of today’s dancing in the public arena is shamelessly immodest. Dancing forms such as “grinding” or other methods of intimately rubbing against each other should be considered foreplay, not dancing. They’re straight up offensive.
Dancing isn’t present in Christian worship
Dancing was never recorded in any New Testament church. There is neither a permission of a forbiddance in the church context. Some may argue that other contemporary Church traditions like pianos, choirs, pulpits, and etc are also not recorded, yet still normal, which is also valid. The best thing to do is discern if dancing will lead to love and unity in Christ. If the church is in Africa and the cultural norms promote dancing then it’s likely the church also does, if it’s in Eastern Europe, the culture is much different and even considering the topic would likely lead to divisions and harm the cause of Christ.