Is dancing or prophetic dancing scriptural?
The following is a long debate made in a forum on dancing and prophetic dancing.Whether dancing or prophetic dancing is scriptural or not?
- Job Anbalagan
I came across an email promoting a particular ministry. I have not mentioned the names of the ministers of God involved and the name of their ministry. Will you please discern the following advertisement for a "Christian" product and give your views on this advertisement and on the doctrine of the "prophetic dance"?
"X & Y are Apostolic & Prophetic Marketplace Ministers (Both husband and wife).
Prophetess Y was the first to minister in dance at the………. in 2007 in front of Mayor and other Senators. She trains and helps churches raise up dance teams.
They have helped & trained hundreds of people obtain investment and foreclosed Property. Apostle X has developed investment kits and National author on Real Estate and mentors investors in Real Estate.
Would you like us to conduct a wealth-building seminar, or have Prophetess Y minister in Dance and perform a special Prophetic Dance?
The e-book published by Prophetess Y is half price of paper-pack book and Prophetess Y inspires people of every level of worship to higher and to be more passionate in worshiping our King and Lord and ignite Fire in your heart again. Must read for all dancers and worship leaders! Once your purchase you will be emailed a link to download with just 1 download.
This makes this "must read book" for worship and Dance affordable for everyone! Order a download for your Friends, pastors, worship leaders, Dancers!"
This is the problem that is going on in today’s church ... I cannot say I am shocked by this advertisement to make money.... God did not give us gifts so we could turn around and sell them or make money off of them ... to me this is a far cry from what a real prophet of God is about. But this is the way of the world not the way of God. I can only feel pity for those who do these things they do not know the real God or have a real relationship and this is happening to so many lost souls.... the shame is they are leading others down the same path.
Marlyn Ramirez :
I can only say two things:
1. - Root of all evil is the love of money.
2. - At this time people pretending to be Christians will be exposed.
Brother, it is time that in all countries around the world the people of God are lifted up who can discern the good from the bad and the bad from the good; there are many people deceiving the body of Christ. Now is the need of the time for the genuine prophets to arise like Jeremiah, who brought to light the darkness of false prophets.
Michelle Long :
Merchandise making in the body of Christ is something I don't take lightly.
We all have to earn a living, but Paul was a tentmaker, I don't think he would have approved of the way nowadays people tie in their "ministries" with their merchandising.
And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
2 Peter 2:3
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
I'd rather be broke as a joke, doing ministry for free, than to detract from the message, or from how people view Christians (or perhaps "churchians," because I think a lot of people are not being fooled any longer).
Job Anbalagan :
Linda, Marlyn and Michelle, thanks for your responses. Apart from the merchandise, what about the "prophetic dance"? Are there any New Testament scriptures to justify "dancing"? What is this "prophetic" dancing? Normally, people dance in clubs and occasions like marriage. Of course, there is nothing wrong when people of God dance on happy occasions. But do they dance in the house of God, which is the house of prayer? To justify their dancing, can they call it "prophetic" dancing. I want to have the views of other members regarding this prophetic dance.
This is a misuse of Ministry to build a career to make money. They are saying they can help people build wealth, when the Bible says it is the Lord thy God, who gives power to get wealth.
Herodias’ daughter danced before Herod. Herodias means heroic, as she was the hero who took down John the Baptist, as seen in their eyes. When the Bible speaks of dancing, it means skipping and leaping for joy, travailing and waiting patiently, whirling. It is a form of worship and intercession. Prophetess Y is receiving a lot of glory to bring people higher in worship and with igniting fire in hearts, as a hero, taking the glory away from God. This advertisement entices people to pay to learn how to worship, rather than it be, an act of willingness of the heart. I have seen some dance recitals that were so anointed it caught my heart on fire and brought tears to my eyes, as they brought glory to God, as David did. Others were complete distractions to the anointing, and some were more provocative then honoring to the Lord.
This commercial is no different than an invite to a nightclub, inviting the people to dance for Herod and not for God. It is a deception that turns the House of Prayer and Worship into a den of thieves.
Michael Ecstatic Mast :
Psalm 149:3 says "Praise his name with dancing accompanied by the tambourine and harp."
Psalm 150:4 says, "Praise him with the tambourine and with dancing..."
! Samuel 16:14 says, "And David danced before the Lord with all his might wearing a priestly garment."
So the ministry of dance before the Lord is a legitimate ministry just as playing instruments and drums are. The focus must be on praising and magnifying the Lord.
Jesus talked about dance. He said,” to what do I compare this generation, It is to children in the marketplace who say, "We played the flute and you did not dance. We played a dirge and you did not lament."
Jimmy Alan Sanders:
I know that David danced before the Lord as they returned the Ark of the Covenant. This modern day dancing really has nothing to do with the Spirit of God. They call it interpretive dancing, where it's suppose to add to the message or the special singing. More distracting to me than anything else, we visited a church within the last year that does this type of dancing. I really couldn't get into that unless the Holy Ghost got me on my feet, I would attempt to dance under his anointing, like David danced.
Of course, Michael Mast has quoted some Scriptures to justify dancing in the house of God. God was not manifested in flesh during the period of the Old Covenant. The people of Israel danced on certain occasions. They danced before God as a part of worship. They did not worship God in spirit and in truth .The woman of Samaria whom Jesus met was under the Old Covenant. She believed in worshiping God in a mountain or in Jerusalem. She worshiped God without knowing what it meant to her. Jesus told her that the time would come when the true worshipers would worship the Father in spirit and in truth "for the Father seeketh such to worship Him" (John 4:20 to 24).
God has given us the Holy Spirit. We should worship Him in spirit and in truth. We do not see any Scriptures in the gospels or in any epistle that Jesus or His disciples danced before God in the Temple. Under the Old Covenant, the people were supposed to worship God with dancing in the Temple, and not on the streets. Temple worship of God includes dancing accompanied by the tambourine and harp. David danced before the Lord, wearing a priestly garment, and not a kingly garment. As the Old Testament priest, he danced before God as a part of worship.
Under the New Covenant, we can worship God in any place in spirit and in truth. Can I dance in public on the street telling people that I am worshiping God? Can I dance inside a church building as a part of worship, manifesting my bodily movement in flesh? I am not under the Old Covenant to make a temple worship now but to worship God in spirit and in truth. When the 120 disciples received the Holy Spirit, they did not dance but spoke in tongues, which were heard by those people assembled there in their own mother tongues.
There is no such ministry called "the ministry of dance before the Lord", legitimate or illegitimate. You cannot serve this God by your hands or by your body. No doubt, Solomon built Him a house. However, "the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands..." (Acts 8:48). You have to die to self and to surrender your whole body to the dominion of the Holy Spirit. God does not want us to pretend before Him but expects us to worship Him in truth.
God does not want your lip service while worshiping Him. You may shout at the top of your voice while singing a hymn in the church, "Lord, I love Thee...” But if you do not love His body, the universal Church, then God will call you a hypocrite. We, the Christians, sing very good worship songs but do not practice what we speak before Him. God wants you to worship Him in truth under the New Covenant. I am not saying that you should not sing hymns or songs during your worship service. But I want to tell you that we should be careful in His presence under the New Covenant.
Jesus talked about dancing. However, He did not exhort us to dance but to pray. It was the children in the market place who said, "We played the flute and you did not dance". Jesus likened "this generation " who lived during that particular point of time, to the children in that passage. Please read the Bible carefully and prayerfully. That generation wanted the people to follow them blindly without questioning their doctrines.
Please read my reply to Michael. If prophetess Y is receiving a lot of glory to bring people to a higher level of worship, I can also fall into the same trap of self-glorification because people see me dancing in the house of God. Dances cannot be "anointed" at all because it is the manifestation of flesh and it has nothing to do with your spiritual life. Your inner man is hidden in the Lord. A man who lives in the secret sin can also dance so as to pretend to worship God. Does he worship God in truth? No. Anointing of the Holy Spirit is on the people of God who obey God and who worship Him in spirit and in truth. Anointing cannot be on any particular act of man. If anointing comes upon the very act of dancing, we can straightaway lead the sinners to the act of dancing in our churches.
Of course, dancing is a very good exercise for our body. But let us not take the name of our God in vain for such physical acts.
Thank you for your wonderful comments. This modern day dancing under the New Covenant has nothing to do with the Spirit of God. It is merely a manifestation of the flesh before God. The anointing of the Lord does not lead us to manifest our flesh but does lead us to humility and service. David did dance under the Old Covenant but committed the most abominable sins of adultery and murder. Whom we are supposed to follow? Is it Jesus Christ or David of the Old Covenant?
Let us not dance before the Lord but preach the gospel to the lost souls and minister to the people, showing the love of Christ to them. We cannot mock God. Many people of God these days do not kneel down and pray. Of course, there are old and sick people who cannot kneel down and pray. Jesus knelt down and prayed. Paul also did so. Jesus and His disciples are our models or ensamples whom we are supposed to follow. "Every knee should bow" (Phil.2: 10). When we kneel down during worship, this shows our humility before God. But if we choose to dance before Him, this shows our arrogance and our justification before Him through our acts.
Elizabeth Baldwin :
Amen Job! Worship in Spirit and Truth! And yes we can do that anywhere and we don't have to be dancing necessarily. However, to dance in worship is a wonderful expression of our love for God.
As for the advertisement, ask the Holy Spirit. He leads us into all truth. He's the only one who can.
Thanks for your comments I appreciate. Have you read my previous replies and posts? Dancing during worship is not a wonderful expression of our love for God. It is merely some physical act. We have to express our love for God by obeying Him and by ministering to the poor saints in the Body of Christ in a sacrificial manner.
Yes I read them. However, I don't agree. Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom to worship how we choose. Thanks!
I was referring to the advertisement giving prophetess Y the glory and taking it away from God.
I agree there is no mention of recital dancing under the new covenant, accept the dance before Herod, which is not in worship to God and does entice one into sin. Where the Bible speaks of dancing in the Old Testament, it refers to skipping and leaping for joy. When we praise God for what He has done for us, there is a leap of joy, as our hearts skip a beat. It also refers to travailing and intercession, which the New Covenant requires us to do and is a form of worship in Spirit and in Truth. When David danced, it was a form of worship in praise and intercession. This is the dance we are to do under the New Covenant. When we worship God and clap our hands, and move our feet, are we not dancing according to the flesh, but what we praise and intercede for, is our form of worship from the heart. God accepts that worship even when our bodies are in motion. Special appearances as recital dances before the Lord are not Scriptural. When one worships in weeping, travailing and praise before the Lord, it does touch the hearts of others, as it is an anointed dance. This dance can be done in the temple or in your prayer closet, but is not meant to be an appearance in public, or to be referred to as an interpretive dance. To interpret the word by dance would mean interceding to know the meaning of the revelation of His word, not by bodily movements or experience. We are to dance (Praise, Worship and Intercession) in Spirit and in Truth.
Elizabeth and Ruth,
Thanks for your comments, which I deeply appreciate. Dancing in the Temple under the Old Covenant was definitely a part of worship. However, under the New Covenant, we do not find any references. Nor do we find the example of Jesus dancing in the Temple in Jerusalem. The disciples of the Lord also did not exhort us to dance. They exhorted us to pray, prophesy, minister, preach. Suppose I dance in my church today. Yes, we can clap our hands, sing songs, kneel down, pray and intercede. David was justified in dancing under the Old Covenant because it was a part of temple worship. The true worship comes from the heart when we love Him and do His will. It cannot be a physical act.
You say that this dancing cannot be in public but can be done in the temple (church) or in your prayer closet. When the people of God are in the church, it becomes public and not private. If I have to dance in my closet, then the Holy Spirit and I are there. Does the Lord want me to please Him by moving my body physically in His presence? I am supposed to praise, adore, pray, intercede, through my mouth with a pure heart devoid of guile.
If I dance in the church, do I glorify God because I will be the center of attraction there, as others will be watching me? In a club, when I dance, others will also join me or watch me dance. I attract the attention of the people. In my closet, should I attract the attention of God to my dancing to tell Him that I love Him? I have to express my love to Him through my actions of prayers/intercessions, my ministry/service. When I pray and intercede, I agonize in my mind and body.
Dancing is a physical act or an act in flesh. It cannot be spiritual. How can you distinguish a physical act of dancing and a spiritual act of dancing? Spiritual is spiritual. Carnal is carnal. You cannot see spiritual things through your eyes whereas you can see carnal things through your eyes. It is not the bodily form of dancing but the spiritual life that is conformed to the image of Jesus Christ that matters.
Thanks for your comments. You can worship God in any manner physically. We cannot worship Him when the sin is having dominion over our life. We cannot say that dancing is spiritual. Freedom means freedom from sin. When the Spirit of the Lord is there, we do get freedom from sin if we confess our sins and forsake the same.
The only anointed dance I am referring to is that of praise, worship and intercession in Spirit and in Truth, as the genuine dance we are to do. All recitals and interpretive dance is the counterfeit. Moving our hands and feet does not mean to dance interpretively. I said we do that and it does not null what is in our hearts unto the Lord, but according to the flesh or the world, it is called dancing. If I am in Church or at home in my prayer closet and I am singing in praise to the Lord and I lift my hands, clap or wave them or move my feet, does not mean I am dancing unto the Lord, interpretively. I was making a comparison. I was saying in Church we can sing, clap our hands and move our feet, as well as in private but to stand before the Church and have a dance recital, as a ministry of dance, or whatever they call it, is not Scriptural.
I am in no way condoning dancing in any other form then praise worship and intercession, which is what the word dance means in its' Hebrew context. I am not saying it is okay to dance interpretively while praising/worshipping and interceding. I am saying that is the dance, to praise, worship and intercede.
Dear sister Ruth,
Thanks for your reply. I want everyone in our group to discuss, argue, agree or disagree. We can thus learn from one another. Though I may not agree with you, yet I love you very much in the Body of Christ. I still hold the view humbly that there is no such "anointed" dance as the anointing of the Holy Spirit is on our inner man which cannot be seen through our mortal eyes. The Holy Spirit is a Person and not some power. The Holy Spirit indwells our spirits and not our mortal bodies. We are spiritual men or women. Dancing is dancing. There is no such "genuine" or "counterfeit" dancing. If the prophetess Y danced before God, which is not scriptural, then every dance is not scriptural. Of course, dancing is done for many reasons. Idol worshipers indulge in dance as a form of worship. The people of Israel, King David, indulged in dancing before God in the Temple. Today, people dance in clubs as a matter of entertainment. Do you want to say that if Christians (believers of Christ) dance, it is a genuine dance and that if unbelievers dance, it is a counterfeit dance? Dancing does involve moving of hands, legs, and the entire body. It is a good physical exercise. I am not saying that dancing is sinful at all. In India, the Sikhs dance merrily on the occasion of marriages. Recently, a dear brother who had become a Christian from the Sikh religion was got married. We attended his marriage ceremony. There the people including unbelievers and the couple danced. It is part of their culture. I am not against such dancing at all.
If prophetess Y dances which is not scriptural, then my dancing also is not scriptural because under the New Covenant, we have to worship God in spirit and in truth. You can lift up your hands, clap your hands, go here and there worshiping God in a church. Even if you dance emotionally while worshiping, I do not say that it is sinful. I am not denying this at all. But I want to make it clear that dancing before God is not scriptural or spiritual. Even if you dance inside a church building or in your closet, it is a dance only. You cannot claim to be worshiping God through dancing. We cannot please our God by our worship in flesh but by our worship in spirit and in truth. Jesus never danced before the Father while worshiping Him. He prayed and agonized in the garden of Gethsemane, healed the sick, preached, comforted the brokenhearted, prophesied, suffered, worked, etc.
Please note that the dance is not " to praise, worship and intercede". Dance cannot lead us to praising and worshiping God in truth. Only humility and holiness lead us to praising and worshiping God in truth. Praising does not merely mean lip service to God. We cannot please God through our lip service of praises. If we please God by worship by way of praises, then sinners can get salvation by praising God or Jesus through their lips. If I have to intercede for the lost souls or for some people who need deliverance, I cannot go to God dancing but humbling myself before Him for which the physical act could be kneeling down or falling down before His presence. Maybe, in the heaven, we may dance in His presence. It is not yet revealed to us what happens in the heaven.
Elizabeth Baldwin :
I would hope no one would be dancing while worshipping for attention, his or her heart would be in the wrong place. As long as we are worshipping Him in spirit, truth and in our daily lives that is all that matters.
Ruth Evans :
Please let me try one more time to explain clearly what I am saying. I am not talking about dancing in praise, worship and intercession, as bodily movements.
The definition of the word dance in the Hebrew/Greek means to praise, worship and intercede. The Old/New Covenant tells us we are to praise/worship/intercede. I am saying that scripturally the only dance the Lord is encouraging us in, is to praise, worship and to intercede. The Priests went before the Altar of Incense, which is symbolic of praise/worship/Intercession before they entered the Holy of Holies. David's dance is symbolic of praise, worship and intercession. Apostle Paul said the law is a type and shadow of things to come. When we do these three in spirit and in truth, we are dancing before the Lord, as David did, not physically but by definition of what it means to dance.
I agree with you in what you are saying. I am saying it a little differently but still according to Scripture. When I see a sweet soul, whether standing, kneeling, or sitting but are bowed before the Lord in submission and there are tears streaming down their face as they praise, worship, repent and pray, the genuine anointing of that dance by definition, touches my heart, setting it afire to do the same, as it stirs a hunger in me to come into His presence. I am not saying it is done by dancing physically. I am speaking of what takes place in the inner man. If they should clap there hands at that time, or give a wave offering to the Lord, or fall on their face. I do not consider those movements as dance. The world thinks any movement of body, such as moving hands or feet are dancing.
You can pray/worship/intercede in Church or your prayer closet. This is a personal thing between you and the Lord or as a group corporately.
I do not believe the dance prophetess Y is promoting is Scriptural.
Dear sister Ruth,
I thank you for your patience and for your detailed reply, which I deeply appreciate. It is the desire of my heart that my sisters and brethren in the Lord should discuss, debate and thus learn. Please note that I am also still learning from the Lord through the members of His Body like you. I should not misunderstand you and then come to some conclusion. There are some limitations in our Internet prophetic school.
According to you, the David's dance is symbolic of praise/worship/intercession. Do you mean to say that when we praise, worship and intercede before the Lord, we are in a sense "spiritually" dancing before the Lord. I do agree with you that when a sweet soul is bowed before the Lord in submission with tears streaming down his face as he praises, worships, repents and prays, it does stir a hunger in you to come into His presence. David's physical dance is symbolical of our praise, worship and prayer. When we worship the living God, we do lift up our hands, sing songs, fall down, or make some bodily movements. I cannot remain a statue while worshiping and adoring the living God. Some people may worship the Lord silently without making any noise or without lifting up their hands. In both the cases, I do consider their acts as worship so long as their hearts are right with God. I do agree with that such bodily movements do not amount to "dancing". I have now understood you. Hope I am understanding you rightly.
Some years ago, I ministered in a Pentecostal church in Bangalore where all the people were praising, making bodily movements and dancing. To my great surprise, I discerned that the spirit of error was in their midst. The pastor of that church was living in the sin of adultery openly. The people were highly emotional and were not spiritual. In fact, they did not worship God in spirit and in truth, though they danced in the church and shouted "Hallelujah"
Ruth, thanks for your nice explanation which you did so with all the patience. I could not understand you properly earlier.
Dear sister Elizabeth,
Please take time to read my latest post to Ruth. The dance by David under the Old Covenant is symbolical of our praise, worship and prayer in presence of the Lord. We do not have temple under the New Covenant. If prophetess Y danced before the Lord, it is tantamount to her entering into the Old Covenant. In that case she was supposed to put on the Levitical dresses and to dance in the Temple in Jerusalem. She did worship the Father in Jerusalem under the Old Covenant. We should worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Ruth Evans :
Amen, now you understand me. Thank You.
I am so happy that we are mature enough to work through any misunderstandings. I think when we come from different cultures, we have different ways of presenting things, or saying things that mean the same. We just have to get past the boundaries to understand one another. It is something I am still working on. I know what I mean in my head but that does not mean the meaning is clear to others when I speak or write it. I know people in my neck of the woods will understand but that does not mean someone else will. It can be frustrating at both ends when you disagree or correct what you do not understand. LOL. Thank you for your patience.
Be blessed and continue your good work.
Thanks, dear sister, for understanding with patience. If there is a prophetic school physically, we can meet face to face and minister to one another. That is why the Lord has put a burden on my heart to start prophetic schools physically. Through our e-prophetic school, we cannot interact with all the students very effectively. I do not know how many of them visit the discussion boards and read the messages themselves. Face to face interactive ministry is preferred. However, we have to carry on this e-prophetic school with all its imperfections because the Holy Spirit, the Perfect One, is with us, the imperfect servants of His.
Syat Nova :
To attempt to balance the perspective I have to say we also don't find anywhere in the New Testament that dancing is ever forbidden. So it is neither encouraged nor forbidden in the New Testament. However, seeing that it is actually commanded in the Old Testament, this suggests that dance isn't something that is intrinsically wrong, or that is detested by God. Since a large part of the early church were of Jewish background it's also *very* unlikely that they didn't dance - even Peter and Paul! Therefore it would have been far more likely to have been noted in the NT if they were forbidden to dance, or that they didn't dance. The key guideline given in the NT regarding all aspects of church life is that all things should be done in love and for the edification of the body. If something causes stumbling or doesn't edify, then under those circumstances, it needs to be stopped.
It is also interesting to note that dance in the OT isn't a part of the rituals of the Mosaic Law, which have been superseded and done away with in Christ. So I don't believe that there's a really valid argument to say that dance is now done away with in the same manner as the priesthood and sacrifices. And if indeed the glory of the latter covenant is greater than the former, should it not be that the wonder and the worship of our Almighty God and Redeemer should be all the more joyful, encompassing every aspect of our soul and being, and involving all sanctified forms of expression that God has given to His redeemed people?
So I cannot see any scriptural justification for holding back anything that God is worthy to receive - ultimately this is even our entire bodies as living sacrifices. While we understand that the OT contains outward physical types of the true spiritual realities, which the NT deals with, we must be very careful of falling into a slightly Gnostic tendency of decrying any physical expression of worship. God created us as spirit, soul and body, and all three of these must be part of true worship - and in that order. If the spirit is not first in command than any expression of worship, even hymn singing, becomes soulish or even carnal. And this is the real underlying issue where discernment needs to be exercised. Clearly there is just as much in terms of non-dance expressions of worship, which is not under the authority of the Holy Spirit in our churches, as the dance kind - or perhaps even more.
Gerald Coates when asked why he would sometimes dance when worshiping replied, "Because I can't fly"! Similarly, when David danced before the Lord with all his might, it was a spontaneous act from out of a pure heart expression of his love. As we know that David was an Old Testament type of life in the New Covenant and of Christ Himself, who in several aspects went beyond the boundaries of the old covenant, and is mentioned more times in the Bible than any other single person( including Jesus). Furthermore, we see that when his wife reacted critically to David's undignified dancing, the Lord struck her with barrenness. So we need to be very careful about judging worshippers, lest we fall under judgment ourselves! This incident also underlines the fact that God was pleased with David's act of worship here. It may have looked undignified for a king of a great nation, but it was certainly in spirit and truth.
Having got these points off my chest, I would like to now address the original advertisement, as this really raises a lot of concerns. Whatever is "Apostolic and Prophetic Marketplace Ministry"??? The office of an Apostle or Prophet is one of tremendous God-given authority and responsibility, in terms of bringing the word and direction of God for the purpose of building the church - but for a marketplace?!!! This is a mockery! And what is the message being brought by this supposedly apostolic/prophetic ministry? That we can make successful businesses and set up "dance ministry" teams, as long as you pay them their fees? And since when did dance become a 'ministry'??? I have to say this whole advertisement makes me feel sick to the depth of my stomach.
But let's look what lies underneath this advertisement. Does it not tell us something about the tragic condition of the church at large? Has not the church in the West been taken captive by a self-serving, denominational, short sighted, highly political, polarized, and commercialized Christianity for more than 50 years? it’s being swayed slowly and put to a sweet sleep by those who sing pseudo-psychological, "feel-good", motivational lullabies and those who preach a shallow, crowd-pleasing gospel, replete with all manner of bogus ministries. We must repent from this form of Christianity and return to Christ.
God has always had and will always maintain a remnant according to the election of His grace, those who will maintain the true testimony of His kingdom. There are those small voices here and there, like Jeremiah who stood alone in Israel as the false prophets proclaimed false prosperity and victory, and declare, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near"! We don't need committees, more programs, more bogus apostolic/prophetic commercial ministries and more "innovative strategies" devised by church consultants and statistical gurus. We need to invite our brothers and sisters, one believer at a time, to leave this leavened and corrupted Christianity and to join those who pray and strive to be worthy of holding on to the testimony of Jesus Christ as His remnant in these last days.
So to briefly summarize, while there may be arguments for or against dancing within the context of worship, this is a much more secondary matter than the fundamental underlying issue of the state that today's church has fallen into.
I don't have an issue with people dancing during the worship service. If a person does or doesn't dance it is okay, just like some people like to wave flags. It is just an outward expression of joy, because they love god. If they want to clap their hands, or just kneel down, or be prostrate that is okay during times of worship. But that is not prophetic, and it doesn't make a person more spiritual either.
To my knowledge Prophetic is simply to hear the voice of God, or speak His Heart to the People. So you cannot speak God's word by playing musical instruments, or painting a picture, dancing, therefore it cannot be called Prophetic. Inspirational yes, but not prophetic. A person can be INSPIRED by God to dance, sing or play a song, or paint a picture, or poem. People in America OVERUSE THE WORD PROPHETIC.
This couple looks like they are charging a fee for training up churches, and people in prophetic conferences to learn how to do prophetic dancing. They are charging money for instructing people how to dance in the spirit, and charging fees to help people make money in the real estate? I don't agree with this at all.
Prophetic ministry has nothing to do with emotions or outside appearance or any activity in the physical realm. It is a ministry in the spiritual realm. A ministry can be a prophetic one. A message can be a prophetic one. Of course, through a song, the singer can convey a prophetic message. By painting a picture, the painter can convey a prophetic message. I do not think by dancing a prophetic message can be conveyed.
Charles Coutu :
The entire movement is "becoming" about signs emotions and outside appearance. That is sad Jesus never intended that to be.
We need to look at the fruit of the Spirit, the day-to-day change in the lives of those around us.
Yes, the whole "prophetic" movement has become corrupt. There are many self-appointed apostles and prophets in our midst who place all importance on emotions and outside appearance. While we may justify dancing as a sort of worship as done by David under the Old Covenant, yet let us follow the example set by Jesus Christ and His apostles. All things are lawful but all things are not edifying. All things are lawful for me, but all things edify not (I Cor.10:23). Let us follow things that edify the members of the Body of Christ living in different parts of the world, following diverse cultures.
Two people have sent their mails to me instead of posting their views in the discussion thread. They are Stephen Holmstock andKaren Neece Espino. I am reproducing their posts and giving my comments.
Stephen Holmstock :
Who appointed you the final word on anything? I read your post concerning dancing before the Lord and how you have labeled it a work of the flesh? I am no longer going to be partaking in your ministry. You need to get on your face before the Lord and ask Him to deliver you from a critical religious spirit. If the trees can clap their hands and the rocks can cry out then the image of God can dance and leap with praise before him. I have seen this wonderful ministry of dance usher in freedom and deliverance and breakthrough, how dare you call evil good and good evil. You strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. You uphold the letter of the law and you keep men from the Spirit of the law which is freedom of expression through music, banners, dance, and song, and shouting and lifting up the hands, and of course in Spirit (freedom) and Truth, adherence to the Lord’s King Dominion. Where does it say to wash someone’s feet with an alabaster bottle of perfumes before the woman came in? Huh? I pray the Angel of the Lord touches you and you no longer can write contrary to the Truth of His Spirit. You also perpetrate guilt and condemnation on your opening statement before your link, criticizing those who do not read your posts. This is why the Word says to be careful that no man teach you, because we have been given an anointing and we need that no man teach us the things of the Spirit. Only The Holy Spirit can lead us into all Truth. Bless you Joe, may He cause you to dance and leap before Him with all of your might!
First of all, I humbly say that I have not criticized or offended anyone in my opening statement at all.Please read my entire link carefully.I have only reproduced the views of all those who have participated in the discussion.
A spiritual act is quite different from a physical act.Worshiping God is a spiritual activity.The urge to worship Him stems from our hearts because of what He has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ.This spiritual activity expresses itself in an outward or a physical act. In Psalm 95, we are exhorted to worship and bow down and to kneel before the Lord (Ps.95:6).But there are many elderly people of God who have problems in bowing down or kneeling.They can worship God in any manner that suits them. God looks at their hearts and not at their outward acts. We have to worship God in spirit and in truth.In Psalms 149:3, and in Psalm 150:4, there is an exhortation to dance. King David danced before the Lord with all his might (2 Sam.6:14).However, under the New Covenant, neither Jesus nor His disciples danced while worshiping the Father.We find that under the New Covenant, importance is given to prayers and spiritual growth of inner man.Under the Old Covenant, there was a physical temple where the children of Israel were exhorted to praise His Name in the dance and to sing praises with the timbrel and harp or with stringed instruments and organs. But under the New Covenant, there is no man-made temple required for worshiping God.We are now required to worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Of course, we can make use of musical instruments in our worship services.We can indulge in any kind of outward acts of worship to express our love for God. But, everything has to be done in a decent manner.If your dance during the church worship offends another child of God or some new believer who comes from a different culture, you are not supposed to dance. Paul advised the young Timothy to know how he should behave himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth (I Tim.3:15). The local church is of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. Let us note that it is the pillar and ground of the truth. It is not a mere place of shouts with musical instruments and dances. The local church should both preach the gospel and live the gospel.The spiritual lives of the people of God in the local church should reflect the glory of God and the outside world should see the Christ in their lives.
The people of God in a local church should not be highly emotional and should not behave themselves in an indecent manner in the name of worship, exhibiting their bodies in a vulgar manner.If they do so, it is definitely an act of flesh only.If they worship the Father in spirit and in truth, there will be confessions of sins and iniquities before the holy God. In these last days, the devil has blinded the eyes of the people of God so that they are not able to repent of their sins and iniquities and to behold the holy God on the Throne highly lifted up.
There is no such “wonderful ministry of dancing” which would deliver the people of God from their sins or sicknesses.It is only through the repentance of sins and iniquities through the Blood of Jesus Christ that brings about freedom and deliverance. We cannot bring about the Lord’s kingly dominion through our emotional acts of worship.Only by submitting ourselves to His dominion and by dieing to our flesh, we can behold His kingly dominion in our midst.The Lord is already on the Throne, highly lifted up.We cannot see His exalted throne in flesh but in spirit.
Karen Neece Espino :
I followed the link.... this was an enjoyable and informative read. I loved seeing the responses and your answers. You answer with such love, compassion and knowledge. I must say, I do agree that dancing draws others’ eyes to the persons doing the dancing. The persons maybe feeling they are doing no wrong and their hearts may be in the right place, but man sees the outward flesh and I feel that it is another distraction for men or women to gaze upon another’s flesh...this could promote problems within the church.
God bless you dear brother,
Job Anbalagan :
A natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him. Neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man (I Cor.2:13 to 15). As a spiritual man, you have to judge all things “comparing spiritual things with spiritual”.
In our outwardly worship, we have to be very careful with our bodies which need to be redeemed by being clothed with immortality.It should be within the limits of decency. We ought to compare the spiritual things with the spiritual.The spiritual things cannot be seen through our mortal eyes but can be discerned spiritually through the Word of the truth and with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Heidi M Parker :
David danced before the Lord so we can dance before the Lord if within the Spirit moving you!
Heidi, have you read properly what I have written. Whom we are supposed to follow? Is it David or Jesus Christ? David danced but fell into the sins of murder and adultery. Jesus did not dance but led a life without sin. There was no sin in Him. Are you worshiping God under the Old Covenant in the same manner Israelites worshiped Him? We have to worship Him in spirit and in truth. We can express our worship in an outward manner by singing, praising, etc. But if I sing a hymn saying, "Lord, I give everything to You", then I have to be sincere in my vow before Him. If I do not give everything to Him, then I am a hypocrite like the Pharisee of the Old Covenant. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2: 8" I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting". Paul wanted men to pray lifting up their holy hands without wrath and doubting. It is not merely raising up your hands during prayer. Our hands should be holy, devoid of wrath and doubting. Let us not dance before the Lord. Let us offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable which is the reasonable service (worship) (Rom.12:1).
Today Job you have convicted me of my outward display of dancing in the church which draws attention to myself and embarrasses my unbelieving husband. I believe the Lord was convicting me already because I was on my knees during most of the worship last Friday. I felt more connected with the Lord through this time :-) God Bless you Job for going against the grain to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Nicole Haye :
Brother Job, I commend you for posting not only the positive comments but the negative ones as well. It shows that this is not about you but about GOD. Thank you. Even if everyone does not agree at least it shows that you conduct yourself with the utmost transparency which is the only way to be when we are serving the Lord. God Bless You.
Debra Wade :
David danced with all his might, unashamed to worship HIs creator.. why would you think it is unscriptural? Did the L-rd not have His prophets lie in the streets and do unusual acts ? for a demonstration to Israel of what was in His heart? How can think that prophetic acts are not scriptural? I dance to worship, I dance to war, and I do prophetic acts as directed by the Lord. Where the Holy Spirit is, there is liberty!! How do you know Jesus did not dance? Of course He danced! Did he not obey all the Jewish festivals.? What of the festival where He commands us to celebrate giving of the torah? To fulfill that festival we are told to celebrate .. Have you ever seen the Jewish people celebrate that festival? Is Jesus , or Yeshua not jewish? He was not born as a southern Baptist or a Catholic. Remember Jesus IS JEWISH and we will celebrate the festivals in the world to come right? so to understand you must go to your Jewish roots and understand your Jewish roots of the festivals. There is great Joy and dancing and singing!! to be sure..... If he commanded the giving of the torah to be celebrated with great Joy and singing and dancing, then that is also how HE celebrated. Jesus, or Yeshua... DANCED!!!!
Debra, I totally disagree with you. The Jesus Who died for our sins, rose from the dead and was taken into the Heaven, and through whose place the Holy Spirit was sent by God is no longer Jewish. He is the Son of God, the God who was manifest in flesh. Do not take about the world to come and your preparations to celebrate the Jewish feasts there! Today, we need not observe any feasts or ceremonies because we have entered into the most Holy Place in the Temple not made with man's hands and we need not stand in the outer court to perform all these ceremonies and feasts. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we have already entered the holies of holies. Prophetic acts are not in flesh but in the spiritual. The Lord does not lead us to do some physical exercises for your spiritual growth. He has commissioned to preach the gospel to the lost souls and to edify the Body of Christ. Jesus in His flesh did obey the Law and the prophets. When He was ministering during the short period of 3 and half years, He did not command the Israelites to celebrate the Jewish festivals or Jewish ceremonies but exposed the Pharisees who were celebrating the Jewish festivals and ceremonies but without love for their neighbors. Do you want the believers to follow the footsteps of the Pharisees?
Hey...a great discussion: here's my two cent's worth: God loves you if you dance and if you don't. Some people dance out of love for God...some don't. If you want to dance, go ahead. If ya don’t. Don’t. The kingdom of God is not dance or no dance. It is goodness joy and peace in the sphere of the Holy Spirit. We actually don't know if Jesus danced on earth when he was here or not. It is not recorded that He danced. But...many other things Jesus said & did that are not recorded...Gospel of John.
Gal 5 - Keep on standing free in the freedom that Christ set you free... Rejoice and again I say Rejoice.... but do it very quietly and make sure you don't get carried away and move...you were not created to move ya know?
Job Anbalagan :
Roland Besaw, thanks for your comments. What is important is that Jesus lived a holy life without sin, though He was in flesh and set an example before us. If I love God, I have to obey His commandments. I have to love my neighbor as myself, to lead a holy life pleasing to Him, to preach the gospel, to serve Him in His vineyard etc,. Am I supposed to dance "before Him" out of my love for Him? Every physical act of worship should be within the limits of decency and modesty. We find small children dance in our churches. Even they go to the pulpits also. They dance “before the Lord” even when the preacher preaches his sermon from the pulpit. But can I expect adults to do like this? Can I expect a boy and a girl to go to the stage and dance “before the Lord”? In the name of freedom, let us not mock at God. God is holy and awesome. He is a consuming fire. Let us forsake our sinful lives and lead holy lives, pleasing to Him. Then we can come boldly before Him and “dance” in our spirit.
Sorry I was being sarcastic when I said " don't get carried away and move "
There are things that God really cares about. Those are the things He mentions in His word very specifically. Like love one another. Stop being anxious but pray, and others. When God does not bring something up...when He certainly could usually it is something that He doesn't care much about. Sometimes because we don't know God very well...we make a big deal out of things that are not important to Him. Jesus got into trouble often when He did not put importance on many things some people thought were important. For example one time Jesus said, why do you make of no effect the words of God by observing your traditions? To them observing their traditions was very important. Jesus felt it was better to obey what God wanted.
To get the answer to the question, " is dancing scriptural? " we must...have a certain maturity from God to give an answer that is truly good and is what God really feels or thinks about it. There is a holiness that is really self-righteousness and makes you proud of how obedient you are in the flesh. Self-discipline is not Holiness. Actually holiness is a gift from God. Anyways...Ii believe God wants us to move as we worship Him...but I'm not trying to persuade any one else to do that. Everyone should worship God according to his or her conscience. Romans 14 have a lot to say about this. The revelation of God in Jesus Christ is Grace and truth came in a person...Jesus Christ. God is way easier to please that most people.
Once upon a time I thought " dancing was "bad ...however God has taught me that it's the motive that counts...if I love God and want to move to bless Him...I think He enjoys it. But we are all brothers and sisters with the same father and let's all receive one another even if we disagree on something. That’s maturity.
Ask God what He thinks...study the scripture...come up with your own conviction and follow it...but remain teachable...cause maybe you didn't see everything perfectly and God may mid course correct you to a more complete understanding of the truth.
Job Anbalagan :
Rolland, I thank God for giving me brothers and sisters like you in the Body of Christ, especially through the Prophetic School so that I can also learn from you. I am not here to teach you but to learn from you and to share the little light from His Word that I have received. I want to be "teachable". I am prepared to receive correction from God to get a more complete understanding of the truth as you have rightly put it. What I want to say is that every act of outward worship should be within the limits of decency and modesty. Some people of God on their own while worshiping God just move from place to place, lifting up their hands, dancing. It is part of their worship. I am not against this at all. What I want to emphasize here is that many people harass and divorce their spouses and then remarry. What kind of worship they are supposed to do? Are they supposed to repent in sackcloth? Or should they dance "before the Lord"? Please note my words "dancing before the Lord". The Lord does not want us to "dance before Him". He wants us to obey Him.
Of course, there are some references in Psalms 149 and 150, which are exhortations to dance in the man-made Temple. In Psalm 95, we are exhorted to worship and bow down and to kneel before the Lord (Ps.95: 6). When we give importance to the act of worship by dancing, we have to give equal importance to the acts of worship by kneeling and bowing down. How many of us are kneeling and bowing down during worship? Muslims worship God in this manner. There are many elderly and sick people in our midst who cannot kneel and bow down during worship. Can I say that these people are deprived of blessings through the act of dancing?
I have attended many worship services in India where people shout, dance, shriek like animals. When one of worshipers danced in an unbridled manner, there was a baby sleeping on the floor in the church. The mother immediately withdrew her baby from the floor, as there was a lurking fear in her heart that the worshiper might trample her baby. There are some people who whistle and shout hysterically. Can I attribute all these acts to the work of the Holy Spirit? People in these last days give more importance to outward worship. In the Hindu temples, we find the same kind of outward worship to their gods and goddesses. Muslims also do the same thing. Sikhs also do the same thing. What is the difference between the people of God and the children of the world?
You talk of holiness. You believe that holiness comes from the outward act of worship like dance. I am not following any tradition here. People of God have now made it a tradition to shout and dance in the house of God. When others do not believe in this kind of worship, they are branded as traditional or being bound by a religious spirit.
You have said "There is a holiness that is really self righteousness and makes you proud of how obedient you are in the flesh. Self discipline is not Holiness....". Do you mean to say that dancing is spiritual and not physical or carnal? Spiritual things cannot be seen through your eyes. If dancing produces holiness in me, then there are thousands of people in nightclubs dancing. I can simply bring them to our churches and exhort them to dance so that they may be made holy and saved.
Of course, the native/tribal Christians who have accepted Jesus Christ from different cultural backgrounds worship God by dancing. I have witnessed the dance of Naga Christians in India. Similarly, the Jewish Christians or the native American Christians may dance in their colorful attires while worshiping God. God accepts the diverse cultures of His people and honors them. Every Christian has the freedom to worship God in any manner. Some people worship Him silently sitting on the pews. Some people worship Him, using their talents of singing or of playing musical instruments. Some people worship Him, kneeling or bowing down. In a public worship, every outward form of worship should be confined to the limits of decency and modesty. There should not be anarchy in the worship services. Let us note that God is glorified through our holy lives and not merely through the outward form of worship. I do not say that outward form of worship is not required. Any outward form of worship should emanate deep from our spirits that are devoid of guile and hypocrisy. We have to worship the Father in spirit and in truth.