When Joash became king in Israel a cleansing of the land was done, of its idolatry, and as the proper temple service was re-established, Jehoiadah the priest...
"Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it." (Ex20:26)
"But sexual perversion and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no prostitute, unclean person, nor covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one beguile you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret." (~Eph5:3-12)
When Josiah was purging the land of its idolatry, amongst the things that were destroyed, some 'sculptures': "And he did away with the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of Jehovah, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech, the official who was in the court; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire." (2Ki23:11)
"And it came to pass, as soon as he came near the camp, and saw the calf and the dancing, that Moses' anger was kindled, and he cast the tablets (of the Law) out of his hands and broke them at the base of the mountain." (Ex32:19)
I subscribe to several e-mail services (much as some subscribe to the one from here), and a person from one of those ministries was scheduled to speak nearby at the Coeur d'Alene Bible Church (Idaho). But I thought it somewhat strange that anybody would schedule a 45-minute message in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, by itself; so, clicked through and discovered it was a day-long "Steeling the Mind Bible Conference" put on by "Compass.org" Among the speakers there was another, whose e-mails I've read in the past, that it might have been nice to have heard.
But as I browsed through the schedule for the day at the Compass website, in amongst the various speakers, and also some "praise and worship", was a performance of -BALLET-; and it listed the names of the females to be involved; the group called "Amazing Grace Dance Team". The description said, "Enjoy the beauty of one cool Christian dance group performing a ballet to a well-known Christian song...Bring a camera and enjoy!" The performance was labeled, "Praise Dance"
Needless to say, I did not attend; even to hear the two speakers I might otherwise have been interested in hearing. I was not going to contribute a registration 'fee' to help support THAT!
But, why not? What's wrong with ballet? Is it not an "art form"? After all, is it not said that David danced before the Lord? And he did so with "leaping and whirling before Jehovah" (2Sa6:16) - (Link 1 - Link 2)
In the "art" world, what is one of Michelangelo's most famous statues? "David" (for Anglophones who don't know better, pronounced: dah-veed') That's the one of a nude male, perfectly formed and proportioned fully anatomically correctly. Until the more recent centuries, the arts were also a property of the church of Rome, and its satellites. In my e-mail to Compass (Addendum regarding their reply at the end of this article) I suggested to them that in prior centuries they did not have TV and movies, with "R" and "X" ratings; the common people had their raunchy vaudeville acts, and the upper crust had opera. For "porn", art and sculpture was of nudes. And where the common people had their pubs and burlesque dancing, the upper crust had ballet. Ballet is so much more "refined", you see.
But what is the difference? Somebody might say that one is from the realms of the red-light district and the pubs of that part of town, and the other is "art". But what is the -real- difference? THERE IS NONE!
The one exposes lewd flesh in suggestive manners to lead to drunken orgies; the others also get drunk, get driven back to their castles and engage in debauchery. In one case the male patrons pay for lap dances and to watch pole exercises; in the other, the males are titillated with twirling exposed females, and females are titillated with male dancers sporting anatomical enhancements.
And this is now being used in "worship" to the Most High???
When God speaks of "exposing" the private parts, it is in judgment!
"Uncover your veil, strip off the skirt, bare the thigh, pass through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, your shame shall be seen; I will take vengeance and I will not meet you as a man." (Is47:2-3) In other words, in judgment, the stripping naked is not for the marital tenderness of a husband with his wife, but of "shame" and rape. "Therefore I also have drawn up your skirts over your face, that your shame may be seen." (Jer13:26)
But this is what they are doing, on stage, in church... and calling it "worship" or "praise"? A few months ago we addressed the dancing done on stage by the Bible school choir, the females 'shaking' their shoulders. A few years ago it was when Chuck Missler brought a bluegrass band along with him to meetings in which he was the speaker, and the female in the group writhed around sensuously in orgasmic-like slow gyrations...on the stage...IN CHURCH! Allegedly in "worship"! (On that occasion I stormed out, until they were finished!)
If God, the Most High, commands for worship that altars not be set up where people must climb steps to them (like pagan pyramids and ziggurats), lest they reveal their nakedness; why is it that the entity which claims to be following Jesus Christ is doing the very things God commanded NOT TO BE DONE?
Does a person, knowing that an earthly loved one despises dandelions, go pick some danelions to give as a gift? Knowing they loathe liver and beets, do they prepare a special meal of beets and liver?
So then, why does today's "church" think that God accepts the twirling nearly-naked body and exposing of private areas? If He doesn't accept today's rock music and its guitars (Am5:23), He doesn't accept this either.
The other day I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Take care of your mother", followed by a graphic depiction of the 'globe' of the earth. Mother earth worship has always included, down through the millennia, aspects of "fertility". Temple prostitution, orgies, sacrifices of couples whilst engaged in the sexual act, blessing of marriage unions by the priests before "the gods" at their altars. And the arts do the same. Static arts depict nudes. Dance and sports depicts it with the nearly naked female, and pretty much always includes the lifting of the leg, or the inverting of the body whilst spreading the legs... elevating the entrance of the womb to the heavens... and the god[s]... as an offering; while the audiences applaud and shout their approval.
And that which calls itself "church" is now engaging in these same things!!!
But it is "sexual perversion and all uncleanness". God did not create sex as a form of worship, but of "fruitfulness" to "fill the earth" as man was commanded to have dominion and "subdue" the earth. (Gen1:28) Not worship it.
The world today "serves the created things more than the Creator" and its women have -changed- the "natural use for what is contrary to nature" (Rom1:25-26) Instead of being for (only) her husband, the woman displays herself to all the world, and the gods of this world. The sin before the Flood was when the "sons of God" (fallen angels) came down and had relations with the "daughters of men" (Gen6:1-2) And Dan2:43 suggests that something similar is to happen again during the time of the ten kingdoms.
The conference schedule encouraged people to bring their cameras and "enjoy" the ballet? Thus: For whose benefit was the ballet? God or man?
And the name of the group: "Amazing Grace Dance Team"? They are "set forth to this condemnation, ungodly [wo]men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness..." (Ju1:4)
This article (and the e-mail to compass) was written over the week-end, and the following Monday there was a reply from Bill Perkins, listed at their website as "executive director". I'm not going to post it, but address a couple of points he made as he suggested that we have to "agree to disagree"
In the overall context and flavor of labeling me "pharisaical" he included some Scriptures:
Psa30:11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
Psa149:3 Let them praise His name with dancing;
You claim to be an oasis of truth... so be sure to teach the whole counsel of God.
Yes, David danced; and so did Israel. David's, in worship of God was accepted; Israel, when they did so in worship of the pagan calf was not. This article might have started on the premise of 'ballet', and 'art' forms. But today's audience -participatory- dance, like Israel was doing in Ex32:19, is done to pagen drum beats, and the dance movements are in accordance with it: they "rose up to play". (vs6b) Neither is today's dance pleasing to God! Moses in anger threw down the tablets of God's Law, ground up the golden calf, dumped the dust in the water and made the people drink it; and then they took their swords and did a slaughter amongst the rebels. (vs27-28) What judgment is due today's rebels?
And regarding their excuse for 'license'...
Gal5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
VW: Not sure which translation he is quoting from, but there is a bit of a difference between "freedom", "liberty", and "opening of the prison". But this is an example of how "relaxing" (Mt5:19) the Word in subtle ways helps people make allowances for their own desires and lusts
If you take that last verse IN CONTEXT with the entire passage, you also come to...
"For you, brethren, have been called to liberty (a synomym for "freedom"); only DO NOT USE LIBERTY AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE FLESH, but through love serve one another." (Ga5:13)
And as Paul goes on and lists the "works of the flesh" he starts out with "adultery, sexual perversion, uncleanness, licentiousness..." (vs19) Right off the bat you have sexual perversion in the dance itself; excusing it with licentiousness. And when you invite people to bring their cameras and "enjoy", are you not also inviting men to engage in adultery by "looking" to "lust" in their hearts. (Mt5:28) We are exhorted to "...make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Rom13:14b)
So... don't be calling it "worship" of the Most High! If such a thing is worship, it is worship of the flesh, the "created things more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." (Rom1:25b)