Dancing is a beautiful form of expression that allows us to move our bodies to music. However, as Christians, we must be careful about the type of music we dance to. Some believe that dancing to secular music is sinful, while others think it’s acceptable in moderation.
In this post, we’ll explore what the Bible teaches about dancing and music to help you make a wise decision.
What Does the Bible Say About Dancing?
The Bible contains many passages that mention dancing, often in a positive light:
- “Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.” (Psalm 149:3 NKJV)
- “Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.” (Psalm 150:4 NKJV)
From these verses, we see that dancing is presented as a joyful way to worship and praise God. In the Old Testament, dancing was associated with celebrations like weddings, victories in battle, and the return of the Ark of the Covenant.
The most well-known Bible story involving dancing is when King David danced before the Lord to celebrate the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14-15). David danced with all his might in worship to God, so much that it caused his wife Michal to despise him.
In the New Testament, dancing is mentioned when the prodigal son returns and the father calls for a celebration with music and dancing (Luke 15:22-25). Jesus also told a parable involving dancing at the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14).
So generally, the act of dancing is not condemned in Scripture. The Bible records dance as something beautiful when it comes from a joyful heart and is done to glorify God.
What Does the Bible Say About Music?
Music is also presented positively throughout Scripture. Many verses encourage making music to worship the Lord:
- “Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.” (Psalm 33:3 NKJV)
- “Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.” (James 5:13 NKJV)
God created music and melody as gifts for us to praise Him (Psalm 40:3). The book of Psalms is full of songs and hymns to God. Ephesians 5:19 instructs us to address one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
Music has incredible power to lift our spirits and remind us of God’s truth and blessings. But we must be careful about the type of music we listen and dance to.
Dangers of Secular Music
Secular music covers a wide variety of genres from pop, rock, hip-hop, rap, and more. While not all secular music is inherently sinful, much of it promotes themes that go against God’s standards:
Many secular songs have lyrics that glorify sex, drugs, violence, and profanity. They promote loose living and immorality that the Bible tells us to avoid:
- “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints…neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting.” (Ephesians 5:3-4 NKJV)
As Christians, we are called to purity and holiness before God. Music with unwholesome lyrics should be avoided.
A lot of mainstream music rejects God and promotes a lifestyle of living however you want. Some songs even include anti-God or demonic messages we should avoid. We must be cautious about what ideology and worldview we allow into our minds.
- “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV)
Many secular musicians promote themselves as idols through arrogant lyrics. Their songs encourage living for fame, wealth and carnal pleasures rather than for God. As Christians, we must be careful not to idolize any human musician or artist. Our worship belongs to God alone.
- “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21 NKJV)
Principles for Christian Dancing
Does this mean it’s wrong for Christians to ever dance to secular music? Not necessarily. Here are some principles to keep in mind:
Examine the Lyrics and Message
Not all secular songs have inappropriate lyrics. Some songs tell beautiful stories or share positive themes. If the lyrics align with Christian values and are free from immorality or falsehood, it may be acceptable to dance to that song. Examine the words closely before deciding.
Avoid Music Rooted in Sin
Some secular music genres like heavy metal, punk, and Goth are rooted in ideologies that oppose God. Music created specifically to glorify sin should always be avoided, even if certain songs seem harmless.
Be Sensitive to Holy Spirit Conviction
Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your musical discernment. If you feel uneasy about certain songs or a sense of conviction, don’t ignore it. God gives us discernment for a reason.
Avoid Causing Others to Stumble
Your freedom in Christ may allow you to dance to some secular songs with clear conscience. But be careful not to cause other believers with stricter standards to be confused or tempted to sin.
- “Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.” (Romans 14:15 NKJV)
Remember Who You Represent
As believers, we represent Christ at all times. Even when alone, we must conduct ourselves in a way that glorifies God and avoids even a hint of sin.
- “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV)
With these principles in mind, you can develop godly discernment about dancing to secular music. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, examine the lyrics closely, and be careful to avoid causing offense.
Questions to Ask About a Secular Song
When deciding if a secular song is OK for dancing, ask yourself:
- What is the message of the lyrics?
- Do the lyrics promote immorality or ungodly living?
- Does this song glorify sin or false idols?
- Does the music style reflect anti-God or demonic influences?
- Do I feel peace or unease from the Holy Spirit when I listen to this song?
- Could dancing to this song cause confusion or stumbling for other Christians I know?
- Does this song bring glory to God or point people toward Him?
If in doubt, it is safest to avoid dancing to secular music. There are plenty of great Christian alternatives that allow you to dance with joy and a clear conscience!
Biblically Safe Music genres for Dancing
If you want to dance but avoid secular music, here are some Biblically safe genres to enjoy:
Christian Praise & Worship
There is lots of great danceable Christian music full of praise to God. Artists like Hillsong United, Passion, Chris Tomlin, and Bethel Music have upbeat worship songs perfect for dancing.
Groups like TobyMac, Newsboys, for King & Country, and MercyMe create fun faith-based songs you can dance to without compromising your values.
Christian Electronic Dance Music (EDM)
Christian EDM artists use electronic beats for worship like DUBSTER, Sean Krau, REDD and JoieStyleWorship.
Rappers like Lecrae, Andy Mineo, KB, Trip Lee, Tedashii use their Christ-centered lyrics and infectious beats to make uplifting dance music.
From worship piano and violin to Christian composers, there is plenty of lovely Christian instrumental music to dance to.
So you have lots of options for dancing with music that honors God! Evaluate songs wisely and dance before the Lord with joy.
Conclusion – Dancing Before the Lord
- Dancing is presented positively in the Bible as a way to celebrate and worship the Lord with joy.
- Christians should be careful about dancing to secular music containing immoral lyrics, false messages, and influences opposing God.
- With wisdom and discernment, it may be acceptable to dance to some secular songs that align with Christian values. But unsafe music must be avoided.
- Keep your heart pure and your conscience clear. Only dance to music that brings glory to God without compromising your witness.
- There are many Christian music alternatives that allow you to dance freely in worship to songs that please the Lord.
Rather than viewing dancing as strictly forbidden or permissible, approach it with prayerful discernment. God gave us bodies to express praise to Him. Dance before the Lord with joyful reverence, whether silently in private or openly at church. As you reflect His glory in all areas of life, you can rest assured His perfect will is done.