Saturday, August 30, 2008

IS IT SACRED WORSHIP, OR IS IT JUST SENSUAL?

David danced for the Lord. And we know it pleased the Lord, don't we (2 Sam. 6)? Anyway, shouldn't we too desire to dance in the worship? I mean, just because the chiffon dresses might appeal to someone's sensual urges, we can call it "sacred" with the declaration that it lifts our hearts and spirits closer to God. Surely it wouldn't be our fault if the church were then mistaken for a dance parlor or, worse, the temple of a pagan goddess, would it? Or would it? If the rhythmic motions of the female body proved to be a distraction to the less mature, it might prove also to be a source of spiritual growth if and when they overcame any temptations that arise. Yes, female dancers in beautiful chiffon dresses might prove to be an unnecessary cause of temptation, but people are going to sin anyway. Jesus said that "out of the heart" comes sensusality (Mk.7:22). We aren't responsible for putting it in there, right? That can't be helped and it wasn't our intention, was it? After all, "Sacred" dance is done with the intended purpose of bringing people closer to God. And while we practice our dance, let's also add to the spirit and truth worship, as found in the New Testament, other "sacred" pleasures that will tantalize the olfactory, auditory, and visual senses: sweet incense, chandalliers, gold, pipe organs, banners, and a banquet table. All of it would be very "sacred" to the Lord.

Then again, I thought worship was about God. David danced but I'm not sure that it pleased God. And the pagan temples included sensual music and dancing girls, but I don't think those things pleased the Lord - not even if we called them "sacred". From what I can tell, there is something unholy about these modern innovations to worship which are curiously directed to the worshipers senses, not God's. Paul said the "deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality" (Gal. 5:19). These things are all about fleshly sensuality. So-called "sacred" dance that has the intended purpose of having the audience stare at the figure is nothing short of idolatry. God forbid that His church should ever be fooled to think otherwise.

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