Culture · Shabbat

Yes, I Do Dance at Church

As I have written about before, my parents have raised in me in the Messianic Jewish church/traditions. Well, in the region of America that I live in, there are few Jews (believing or non-believing). I have grown up mostly around those who are middle class, Christian, and Caucasian; middle class, Catholic, and Caucasian; middle class, atheist, and Caucasian. You kinda get what I am saying. Everyone is basically the same. Outside of my friends from Synagogue, most everyone does not understand or make an effort to understand Judaism. It’s unique and not the everage Baptist, Pentecostal, or Catholic church.
Things that seem normal to me, seem obscure to others who are not familiar with the Jewish and especially Messianic traditions. I will never know what it’s like to wake up on Christmas morning as a young child, or to have a free Friday night without being guilty about not going to Shabbat, or not know how hard it actually is to blow a shofar. This are simple things that I have learned not every Christian has become a custom. Especially when I try to explain how Messianics praise through dance I will get a response similar to the following:

Person, “So did you actually say that you dance at church?!
Me: “Yeah… isn’t that normal?”
Person: “No that’s NOT normal!”
Me: “Umm, I don’t really understand.”
Person: “Dancing is NOT for church.”
Me: “But it says to praise Him through dance.”
Person: “Okay if that’s what you think. You don’t eat bacon so obviously your theology is a little wacky anyway.”

When I try openly talking to (conservative) Christians about dancing at Church I always get an unusual response. Depending on who it is, they will always say basically the same thing, “That dancing is not G-d honoring,”  “Dancing leads to sexual things,” “We do not need to ‘dance’ to get G-ds ‘attention.”

It may be just because of my theological background but I have a hard time responding to this.

In several areas of the Bible dancing is mentioned and to my knowledge it does not ever mentioned in a bad way. The book of Psalms is filled with verses about dancing. And so when is it ever okay to just take out parts of the Bible because it is not something that you are a custom to.
Psalms 149:3 “Let them praise HIS name with dancing; let them sing praises to HIM with the timbrel and lyer.”

To those who shy away from dancing because “It leads to sexual things,” I can’t argue with that too much but I can expand your thoughts. If one is truly worshipping G-d through dance, it will not be sexual or lead to sexual things because it is a reflection on Him. If you observe one completely praising HIM through dance, you will not be thinking that it leads to the bedroom.

Lastly, to those who say praise dancing is not profitable because we don’t need to get G-d’s attention, think about it this way. He created the universe, the birds in the sky, He knows the number of hairs on your head, and went through torture for YOU, so why would you not desire to give HIM your highest praise? He knows and created everything around you and yet the stars still shine at night. What makes you want to say that you don’t need to dance to get G-d’s attention?  Yeah, you don’t need to do anything to get HIS attention but HE does do everything in deserving our praise.
Yes, I do dance at church and I would have it no other way.


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