With spring coming up, that means one thing for juniors and seniors in high school: PROM! Many girls will spend countless hours this spring finding the perfect dress, the perfect hairstyle, the perfect shoes and perfect makeup. With all the glitter and glitz of prom night, many refer to it as the most magical night of the year in a young girl’s and boy’s life. But it is rather the most dangerous night of the year for their souls. Satan is ever present on the dance floor of the high school gym (or wherever the school decides to host it) during prom and is weaving in and out of the crowd, offering them the pleasures of sin. I mean, who cares if the pleasures of sin are only for a season when you can enjoy them right now? When they are in “the moment,” they don’t realize the danger to their eternal soul.
~ Erin Blair
1 Peter 1:14-16 “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
Let me define what I mean by dancing. When referring to dancing, I do not mean the jumping up and down, cheering at a football game when your team wins, for some would argue that is dancing. I do not mean the dancing David did before the ark (1 Chronicles 15:16-29) or the dancing the Israelite women did when they were delivered from the Egyptians after crossing the Red Sea (Exodus 15:20). And I am not talking about the dancing that a husband and wife do in the privacy of their own home. When talking about dancing, I mean the modern dance such as prom, homecoming dances, junior high dances, bars and nightclubs.
Dancing, from the beginning, is used as an enticing activity. When a man sees a woman dance (such as at prom or a strip club), he is easily enticed to lust. Herodias knew this well as we see in Mark 6:22-23 - “And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.” What does it mean when it says she “pleased Herod”? I can guarantee you she was not jumping up and down, cheering for seeing the king; he was pleased because she enticed lustful desires in the king (perhaps she danced similar to dances seen at a strip club or nightclub). And we also see in this verse how easily men are swayed by the enticing movements of a beautiful woman for he told her “Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.” Later on, you see she used that influence she had over him to have John the baptizer beheaded. When men’s eyes are clouded by their lustful desires from seeing the sensual movements of a woman, their mind is not on godly things and what is good and just.
We also see the result of dancing in Exodus 32 when the Israelites were worshipping the golden calf. Paul writes to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 10:6-8 “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” That term, “rose to play” refers to dancing which later on led to sexual fornications, and because of their dancing and fornications, God struck down 23,000 of them! Why would God strike down so many? Because they were involved in activities that took place among the Egyptians and the people around them. God wanted them to be a different people, a peculiar people, a people called after God. They were also following after the lust of the flesh by “eating and drinking and rising up to play.” Why did they do it? Their flesh wanted to; because it was fun and the nations around them were doing similar things.
God warns many times throughout scripture of the works of the flesh, or the desires of the flesh. Paul further warns the Galatian brethren in Galatians 5:19-21 “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.” The words to be noted in this passage are: lasciviousness, revellings, and such like. Lasciviousness, or lewdness, is defined as “indecent bodily movements, unchaste (unclean, impure) handling of males and females, unbridled lust.” What picture does this definition paint? A dance! A dance includes all of this: indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of boys and girls, and often unbridled lust! One Greek scholar (who was not a Christian) said that lasciviousness is a characteristic of a man into whose presence/company a man would never take his daughter. How interesting is it that someone who was not a Christian, and who probably had little morals due to the culture of his day, recognized that lasciviousness is wrong!
Now let’s look at revellings which is defined as drinking parties where dancing is present, any dancing. When someone drinks alcoholic beverages, their senses are dulled and their reasoning impaired so it is natural that they would not see anything wrong with dancing because they can’t decipher what is wrong or right. Lastly, and what I think is the most important phrase regarding dancing in this passage, is “such like.” This means anything that even looks like it is related to lasciviousness or revellings. If it is a first, second, or third cousin, don’t do it! If it involved in these things, stay away from it! This condemns prom, homecoming dances, junior high dances, nightclubs and other places where dancing and immodesty takes place.
Sadly, many people, even in the church, defend dancing giving many excuses as to why it is okay. Isaiah speaks of such people in Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.” Some say they dance for exercise. I can tell you there are very few people who actually go to a dance just for the exercise. After all, someone cannot watch the indecent bodily movements of a young woman in a skin tight, revealing dress with sweet smelling perfume without lustful thoughts entering his mind. Or they cannot participate in the close dancing, hip-grinding moves of the dance without being tempted.
Some argue, “Well, I can dance without evil thoughts.” Okay, so perhaps they can but what about those around them? Can they? Jesus warned of causing others to be tempted in Mark 9: 24 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” As Christians, we are to make sure that our actions do not cause another brother or sister to fall into temptation and if we are dancing, we risk causing another to stumble and fall.
I have even heard some say “I don’t see anything wrong with it.” If nothing is wrong with it, then how about a hot, immodestly dressed college girl dance with your husband? Any person would baulk at that notion, possibly even starting a fight on the dance floor if this happened. Why? Because they recognize that dancing is an activity that entices sexual desires. Also, if nothing is wrong with it, then why do boys dance with girls and not boys with boys and girls with girls? Because we recognize that that would be wrong and give an impression of homosexuality. If a school did this, had one weekend where it was a boys only prom and then the next weekend a girls only prom, no one would come! Why is this? Because it isn’t enticing, and the pleasure of sin isn’t there.
What about the argument: “It’s a chaperoned dance! There are adults there.” Christian adults? Adults with the health of the student’s souls in mind? No. Rather there are teachers who do not understand the laws of God, or at least very few. Do you really expect people with no understanding of God and His commands on purity and dancing are going to be watching out for Satan among the students? Many schools are starting to shut down their dances such as prom because they recognize how corrupt and immoral it is becoming. If the teachers who are not Christians recognize the evils of the dance, why are members of the church not recognizing, or acknowledging, it?
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” Scripture doesn’t say abstain from just evil, but every form of evil. If it looks evil, or is associated with something that is evil or sinful, stay away from it. This includes dances, whether at the schools or at a bar, or nightclub down the road. The modern dance is all about sexual sin. After all, if it wasn’t why would the dresses be so revealing or the dance moves so suggestive? Dancing leads to fornication. One statistic says that more teenagers lose their virginity on prom night than any other night of the year. It makes sense when you factor in the mood lighting, the romantic songs which are usually about making love or other such activities, the cute figured girls wearing dresses that expose their back, sides, chest and upper thighs, and the dance moves that simulate sex.
Oh, but some say “I’ll go just to hang out with my friends. I won’t dance.” But even if they don’t dance or drink the alcoholic beverages, they are showing their support of the dance by their presence there and money they spent on a ticket, or drink. After all, Solomon said in Proverbs 6:27 “Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” If they are at a dance, whether it be at the school or a bar/nightclub, they are around sin. Can they guarantee that they won’t be tempted by what they see? After all, at a dance Satan uses the lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh to entice a person. But he also tempts someone, a Christian, by weakening their defenses by the pride of life, causing someone to think that they can’t be affected. When a teenager is in their mid to late teens, their hormones are at the highest level they will be, causing them to not think with their head but rather with their hormones. This is a dangerous trap when parents let their little, baby girl go dressed in a dress that more resembles a rag with sequins on it to a place where young men’s eyes and mind are on one thing, or sending their son, who is a Christian, to a place where there are beautiful girls dancing in a seductive, suggestive way. If a parent sends their child to a school dance, they are throwing their precious soul to the lions and they will be torn to pieces by Satan.
“Oh but its fun,” they say. “Everyone will be there,” they say. Is the dance more important than the cause of Christ and His church? Are a few hours on the dance floor worth risking sending the soul to hell? Are the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25) worth the risk of losing your soul (or your child’s soul) to eternal punishment?
Erin is the wife of Jordan Blair who preaches for the New Madrid church of Christ in New Madrid, MO. Erin currently teaches the teen girls class and has helped with church activities like Prom Alternatives, Youth Rallies and VBS. She is currently working as a paralegal for a law firm.