Know Your Bible

VOL. 9                           June 6, 2010                           NO. 23

 Are You Going To The Prom?


            Near the end of the school year an important social function for young people is the school "prom." The main attraction of the prom is dancing. It is natural for young people to want to be with their friends, but it is unnatural for a young Christian to be associated in any way with lewd dancing which is sinful.


            Some parents want their children to be popular and have fun. They encourage their children to attend such an affair, not necessarily to dance, but just to be with their friends. Some parents believe it is sinful and wrong, but allow their children to participate in proms against their conscience and better judgment.


            "So-and-so's children are going, why can't I?" is often asked by children. No matter who does what, no Christian ought to allow anything other than the righteous conduct taught in the Bible to control what they do or don't do. Surely no righteous parent would be weak enough to allow the children God gave them to participate in questionable conduct that will lead them into sin.


            Some young people have deep convictions about dancing. They disdain it with all the conviction of a Daniel. (Dan. 1:8). They have suffered insults because of their convictions. They have been ostracized by other young Christians as being "just too weird," or "just too straight laced." For those who have such convictions, I say God bless you and may He continue to bless and strengthen you.


            "What's wrong with dancing?" is a question often asked. The Christian response should be, "What is good or right about it?" More importantly, Christians should ask, "What does the Bible say about it?" Those who have ever had anything to do with dancing will find very little good about it. However, I realize the topic must be dealt with by showing the evils of it, so study with me please.


            Job 21:7-15 reads: "Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power? Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?"


            Job describes the wicked who are "mighty in power," as prosperous people who live the good life. The Hebrew word for "wealth" in verse 13 is the Hebrew word towb. It means "good, a good or good thing, ... goods or good things." These who live this "good" life send forth their "little ones like a flock and their children dance." Before someone tells me the dance in Job is not the same as a high school prom, suppose you tell me what kind of dancing it was. The Hebrew word for dance is raqad and means: "to stamp, i.e. to spring about wildly or for joy." The dance in that verse was to the accompaniment of "timbrel and harp," and "the sound of the organ" (vs. 12). It was a dance associated with life in the fast lane, even in Job's day. It sounds much like modern day dancing with all the loud, vulgar music and lewd sexual gyrations dancers do.


            Some say they see no harm in dancing, or allowing their children to attend a dance, as long as they don't actually dance. Look back at the passage above. That which you profess to see no harm in is a part of the life Job called wicked. That sort of attitude toward God's word comes to its natural conclusion where people say to God, "Depart from us, we do not desire the knowledge of thy ways." Because of worldly attitudes and prosperity, wicked people said this to God. It leads both parents and children to say, "Don't preach to me about dancing. I'm tired of hearing it." That is the same sentiment expressed as, "Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of God's ways.


            Dancing is in a classification of activities called "works of the flesh." Paul wrote: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19 -21).


            "Revelling," is the same as "carousel." New Testament writers always associated dancing with sexual immorality and drunkenness. We fool ourselves by imagining that alcohol and drugs are not a very dangerous part of the prom scene. Many a young man took his first drink at a prom and many a young girl lost her virginity after a prom. Every year, some youngster gets drunk, high on drugs, and some suffer serious consequences. Who could estimate how many young girls are seduced and possibly impregnated after a few hours of vulgar wriggling and squirming on a dance floor?


            Chaperones are never able to control the problem. Dancing incites impurity in thought and action. Paul wrote a young preacher, "Flee also youthful lusts but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Tim. 2:22). Being present at a prom, whether you dance or not, is the wrong thing to do. It puts you in the wrong environment. It doesn't enhance your spirituality. To the contrary, the sexually oriented movements of dancing, the physical contact and handling the bodies of the opposite sex, of necessity excites lust which will lead to sin. To "flee fornication" means to get far away from it, not get as close as possible to it.


            The very fact some say, "I'm just going to the prom; I am not going to dance," is clear evidence they are unsure (Read Rom. 14:23). If it is right to be present where nothing sinful takes place, it is right to engage in whatever takes place there. No Christian, present and passive where sinful practices occur, can successfully convince others they are sinning. "Abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thess. 5:22).


            The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge describes "St. Vitus Dance" as: "Dancers, a set of wild enthusiasts who first appeared on the Lower Rhine in 1374. Half naked, and with frantic exertion men and women would join hands in their public worship, and dance until exhausted or falling in convulsions. The mania spread rapidly, and was stamped out with difficulty. It broke out again at Strasburg in 1418. The victims of the mania were taken to the Chapel of St. Vitus at Rotestein, where mass was celebrated for them: hence our name for the disease ''St. Vitus's dance''." Modern dancing, is accurately pictured by the "St. Vitus dance." It not only describes a physical ailment, it also pictures the vulgarity and sinfulness of modern day dancing.


---Dudley Ross Spears

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"I Once Was Blind..."


            In the beautiful hymn Amazing Grace we sing, "I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see." Jesus came to give "recovery of sight to the blind" (Luke 4:18). The preaching of His gospel opens the eyes of sinners and turns them from darkness to light (cf. Acts 26:18). And so, becoming a Christian truly is an eye-opening and enlightening experience. The mysteries of the purpose and pathway of life are unveiled as we come to believe in Jesus and entrust Him with our eternal destiny.


            But eyes once opened can close again. Hebrews 6:4-6 warns that those who were "once enlightened" can "fall away." Imagine the awful tragedy of the blind receiving sight only to lose it again. This very thing happened to the Israelites of old. Isaiah describes their sad condition with these words: "We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as at twilight; we are as dead men in desolate places" (Isaiah 59:10).


            The same thing can happen to us if we fail to grow and develop spiritually. The apostle Peter tells the saved to add to their faith virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love (2 Peter 1:5-8). Then he warns that "he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins" (2 Peter 1:9).


            I fear that a lot of Christians are well described by the title of Kent Crocket's book, "I Once Was Blind, but Now I Squint." Jesus came to give us spiritual sight, yet often we don't have it. We grope and stumble through life because we are not daily living lives of faith and virtue, not practicing self-control, perseverance and godliness, and not showing brotherly kindness and love.


            What about you? Do you see, or are you starting to squint?


---Steve Klein

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