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The Hammer of God has long been at the top of my list and a couple of years ago I used To Live with Christ as my daily devotional and loved it. I think my very positive review is still on Amazon. OK, time to check it out. Thanks Mockingbird! Timothy Winterstein says:. Click here to cancel reply.

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To get a feel for what the current view of dance in the church is, there will be a survey sent out to churches and individuals, on-line discussion groups and other interviews with professors. The goal of these surveys will be to bring clarity as to what people are thinking of this controversial issue and how to address it in this paper. Different speakers on current culture will also have a part to play within the practical aspect. But the main meat of this project will be coming from the passages throughout the Bible that discuss dance and pinpoint the connections and warnings Jesus made in His stories about being obedient to His Spirit.

So one can expect that God will reveal through His scriptures if this call to worship through dance is from Him and for Him or not.

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Dance in the Old Testament. The Hebrew tradition was full of dancing. This understanding of dance permeated the faith of the early Christian church. Dancing was such a common way of life in that time period and in that culture that in passages alluding to rejoicing without specific mention of dancing, it can be assumed dance was then normal and expected.

King David. The story of King David dancing before the Lord with all his might is probably one of the most popular stories to connect dance to the Bible. It is also one of the most misunderstood passages as well.

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Many people talk about how David dance naked before everyone, then laugh about it and move on without giving it much thought. At that time, only servants and slaves danced for the higher classes like kings, and yet King David took that position of a servant. God desires His worshippers to learn a lot from this little story. First off, David illustrated, for the church, that no servant is greater than his master. Just as Jesus humbled Himself as a servant, by washing His disciples feet, David sets the bar high by challenging the Church never to become too proud not to become undignified before their Lord.

He didn't need a dance instructor to dance. He forgot the crowd, and in a spontaneous moment of spiritual emotion he, began humbly expressing His spiritual fervency as he danced with all his might before the Lord. Dancing in the Psalms. David continues as the writer of the Psalms to express his freedom in dancing and how God desires His people to dance for Him, in fully surrendering everything to Him. This statement is far greater than just a given opportunity or permission to dance. Some critics of dance hold a view that there was not a lot of dancing in worship to Yahweh in the Old Testament.

They might point to the limited accounts of David and Miriam dancing before the Lord and claim that those are not enough scriptural examples to prove that dance was a constant expression of worship to the Israelites. This gives insight in to how much God desires a full expression of worship and praise from His people.

Other passages in the Old Testament define, in even more detail, how the Israelites were called to worship Yahweh. Deuteronomy speaks of expressing our love for God with our entire being. This means spirit, soul and body; clearly, our soul includes our mind will and emotions. Hence, in including 'dance' with 'rejoice' there are references to dancing and leaping for joy Luke as well as 'dancing in the Spirit' Luke He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

Dance was an Old Testament expression of worship and is seen only a few times in the words of the New Testament. This is where most people conclude, in their minds, that dance is not for the Church today. The conclusion is that since there are no instances of either Jesus or His disciples teaching on dance as a part of worship, He must have not wanted His people dancing.

There are a few ways that one can interpret this position. It is unlikely He would have not said dancing is wrong when Jesus made all other prohibitions very clear. Or maybe Jesus did teach on dancing and just as His disciples missed so many crucial parts to His stories, the Church has done the same. Prodigal Son. We must rejoice in the God of our salvation.

Salvation is the foundational reason for our dance. Jesus went around ministering to masses of people, going into towns and healing all that were sick, diseased, and hurt. It is likely that after these people were healed they would have continued on with their lives normally? There is no chance. They would have been dancing! They would have been rejoicing in His goodness. These towns would have been celebrating for days after what Jesus did. These people were changed; being healed of leprosy, and demonic influence, they would have never been the same.

Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. No fancy choirs or chorus lines, just a man praising God for what He has done in His life and for who God is. Now this prompts the question: is physical healing more important that spiritual healing? All those people who Jesus healed have been dead physically for thousands of years, even the ones Jesus raised from the dead died again. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

All those who consider themselves followers of Jesus have been saved from something that they could never have escape on their own. The North American Church has a reason to celebrate!

Real presence question

And yet they are not. Obviously, not all these people that were healed by Jesus were professional dancers. And yet they were dancing. So, one has to ask the question: What are the requirements of a dancer? Someone who simply moves? Someone that desires Him, not the band, not the experience, not the status quo but actually knowing Jesus as the ultimate goal and doing whatever it takes to get to Him. Jesus was pleased with these types of people; the people that stood out from the crowd. Luke Or there was the woman who touched the hem of his garment and was totally unconcerned about the crowd around her, focusing only on her need.

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Mark And there was blind Bartimaus who was loud and obnoxious, calling out for Jesus. Mark And Jesus loved them all! Additional reminders in the New Testament that the Church is called to worship the Lord with all that they have is found in 1 Corinthians ; when Paul tells the Christians that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that they should glorify God with their bodies.

The biblical stance for most prayers included raising arms and hands above the head 1 Timothy Dance should also be used by Godly men and women as a tool to present the Gospel and to connect with an entertainment driven and hurting generation. Apart from worship, dance still has a part to play within the Body of Christ. Through the historical section of this paper it will be revealed how dance was created as an incredible expression of beauty and power, and yet over time, through specific events and the perversion of the enemy, dance has become something sinful and for many people completely contradictory to the foundations of Christianity.

So he quoted their poets, not his prophets. He said, 'For in him we live and move and have our being. This is why Jesus spoke to the masses in parables about farming, fishing, fields and relationships, this was the context of their world and their language, and they understood it! The church exists by mission as fire by burning. What good is the church if it has no salty or enlightening effect on the world around it?

Warnings the bible gives. In attempts to follow the will of God there are many who are led astray and mislead even though they believe they are in the right.

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In the same way, each Christian needs to take seriously the warnings the Bible gives about pushing personal agendas or traditions if they are not lined up clearly with the Scriptures and to take a humble position of desiring clear direction from the Lord. While Jesus was here on earth, He always seemed to be pointing out the flaws of the Pharisees. In John 9, Jesus heals a man born blind by putting mud in his eyes on the Sabbath. Jesus says in John that it is "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.

Maybe, by some absurd twist of history, we Christians have become the very kinds of religious people who would kill Jesus if he showed up today. Judgments on others. God warns people who look upon others with judgment through different passages in the Bible. One specific passage that speaks of judging another who is worshipping is the story of David and Michal. Coming Prepared to Worship, offering the right Worship.

Many people have the idea that God calls us to come to Him as we are and He accepts us, and they take this attitude with worshipping. The reality is God calls all people who are lost to come to Him as they are and repent of their sin. But where believers are concerned, throughout the Bible, we see God creating strict guidelines as to His specifications for worship. And there have been some really severe consequences for those who were disobedient to those commands. Nahab and Abihu were in the priesthood. We are missing the significance of honor in true worship when our offering is limited to what we are comfortable with and have personally decided is acceptable for God.

Responsibility within leadership. One last warning the Bible gives is the responsibilities held by leaders. The ability to lead and guide people is a precious gift, but it can be used in some instances unwisely. If a pastor is unclear about a certain topic but personally desires to preach on it from a certain side, as if it were truth, he is clearly wrong and is manipulating Scripture to push his personal agenda. Taking dance for example; if a pastor feels like dance is wrong because of the connections to the world, but has no biblical backing to support his view, he must be open to the leading of the Spirit.

By creating a bunch of rules and prohibiting that act of dance his judgment and actions can be sin. With this mentality, Christians need to be alert that in preaching, singing, reading, and looking at one another there can be heart issues that lead to sin in some way. Dance is seen everywhere around the world. It is used to portray great joy and express extreme sorrow, and it communicates. It can happen spontaneously or, it can be thought out and planned intricately. There are some historians who say that physical communication was one of the first languages that evolved into dance, but that can only be speculation.

Hebrew traditions. Through the study of the Hebrew culture, there is much evidence to point to dance as being something that was a normal way of life. The revered tradition of community celebration found its expression through movement. They were honoring to Him. The dances were done with care, out of a position of reverence to their God.

This distinction, made by the Israelites, was to be made even more sharply by the Christians in the following centuries. Dance was not hindered in any way, as some may think, as Jesus stepped into this world. Because of the influences of the Roman Empire, Christianity was changing, and along with that were their traditional dances. In the course of the history of theatre and dance, Christianity shaped and proscribed new developments creating a context for new flowerings of social, theatrical and religious dance'.


Because of the influence of the arts in the world around them, Christians started using the avenue of theater and creating plays that represented what God had done for them. During the time where dance started being used in the theater, it also became something of a structured order in worship services. Both Justin Martyr in A. Rejoice, be glad and leap boisterously thou all-embracing Church. For behold, once again the King approaches Ambrose AD , Bishop of Milan, tried to clarify the values and dangers of sacred dance by emphasizing the spiritual.

In the same way, Gregory of Nyssa AD described Jesus as the one and only choreographer and leader of dancers on earth and in the church. However, other leaders in the church began to voice their opposition to the use of dance. Caesarius of Arles AD condemned dance at the vigils of saints, calling them a 'most sordid and disgraceful act'. Early Middle Ages After Rome fell in A. The church was changing drastically from a community of believers to more of a judicial institution.

The use of dance was restricted, and continually monitored as the emphasis on the mysterious ritual of the worship service superseded the emphasis on spontaneous celebration and praise to God. Because of these regulations in the worship service, it became more evident that there was a growing distinction between the church leaders and the laymen. Choirs took over all sung parts of the Mass, thus leaving the laity to engage in private devotions during the service.

Dance became something that was strictly for the clergy. The rhythmic stomping and hopping steps sometimes caused uncontrollable ecstasy. When accompanied by feasting and drinking, these excesses were frowned on by the church. Most carols were divided into the stanza, meaning to 'stand' or 'halt', and the chorus, which means 'dance'. Thus, during the chorus, the people danced and unless a solo dancer performed for the stanza, there was little movement as the stanza was sung. As time passed, the Church hierarchy broadened leaving an even bigger gap between the laypeople and the clergy.

Dance continued to be under restriction in the medieval period. This created a false authenticity to the dancing. By , playlets made their way into Eucharistic liturgy and became the precursor to mystery plays. The obsession with this dance reveals the medieval people's preoccupation with death during the period of the Black Plague No one shall be permitted to sing devil songs and perform games and dances which are inspired by the devil and have been invented by the heathen'.

Despite the church's command to cease the dance manias, the people either wouldn't or couldn't. The church began to set regulations against dance to gain control of both in and outside the church the chaos that was building. But with all the prohibitions against dancing it just caused people to leave the church and dance other places. The position of dance had come a long way from the beautiful, God-honoring expression of worship that once was in Hebrew tradition.

At this time it had become a slight shadow of what it once was centuries earlier. As the focus in popular dance shifted to the movement of the body, rather than on the divine, it too lost the essence of the original meaning of Christian dance. Renaissance After centuries of dance becoming something uncontrollable and spontaneous, the Renaissance era was a time for substantial change. Theatre and spectacles were on the rise, and with the emergence of the dancing master, the church's liturgical dance faded in significance.


All dances and processions, except funeral processions were abolished. Their ideas began to spread rapidly through the use of the printing press; they created tracts which were highly critical of dance. Those who cultivate it are generally idolaters, epicureans, good for nothings, despicable or dishonorable comedians or actors, as well as souteneurs, gigolos, and other dissolute, worthless, wanton persons.

Its defenders and followers are Lucian, Caligula, Herod, and similar epicureans and atheists. With it belong gluttony, drunkenness, plays, feast days, and heathen saints' days. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Hans Andr. Bror Erickson Translator. Bror Erickson Translation. Bo Giertz Translator ,. Quotes by Bo Giertz. Torvik turned over in bed and folded his hands.

After all, they could not shoot God.