Dance Praise: Is This the Next Phase of Change? (by John Waddey)May 6 2007 at 12:08 AM
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Dance Praise: Is This the Next Phase of Change?
The ad on the computer screen shouts out that Churches across the country are excited about Dance Praise! Those who order the special bargain kit will get a Guide, Poster, and 20 Wrist Bands FREE With Purchase! We are told The poster
will look great on your wall. The Youth Group Guide gives tips on how to use Dance Praise with a church projection system and ideas for incorporating (it) into your youth programming. And the 20 silicone wristbands remind kids that they Gotta Have Faith! You can use these as incentives for the kids, high-score awards, or for publicity. Pastors report We use Dance Praise before and after Youth Group. Our kids love it. Boys and girls alike. Dance Praise was a big hit at our churchs annual community Outreach Day. We need to attract more youth to our church, and we had kids waiting in line all day! We love the positive entertainment for students and leaders at all of our activities.
You may smile and say, But we would never go that far. We just want to make a few little changes to our worship. But the fact is, some of our more advanced change agents see no problem in interpretive dance in their worship services. The positions already taken by the leaders of this movement leave them incapable of any serious objection to those who want to have a dance segment in their worship service.
We could go further, but the point is made. The change movement is a downhill slope away from Christ, his New Covenant, and his Church. Once a person lets go of the Bible as his only authority, he is like the skier who has pushed off from his launch site high on the mountain. Two destinies are before him: to follow the descent all the way to the bottom or to crash along the way. In skiing, such is exciting and invigorating. In Christianity it is deadly. Let all of Gods people be content to follow the Master, observing only all things whatsoever he commanded (Matt. 28:20).
- To justify their use of instrumental music, change agents point to the Old Testament and reason that if God allowed it then, surely it must be acceptable today. Just take a look at Psalm 149:3. Let them praise his name in the dance. If one can cite a psalm for his musical instruments, another can do so for his worshipful dance.
- Broadminded change agents say, If a person sincerely seeks to worship God in ways not necessarily specified in the New Testament, who are we to condemn him? If one sincerely seeks to worship God with a spirited dance step, how can a change agent condemn him?
- Promoters of change are heard to say, If we are going to keep out young people, we are going to have to allow them to use instruments of music in their praise. If we dont, they will leave us. Well, young people love to dance. If to please them, we can allow instrumental music (without divine approval), then on the same basis, we should allow them to perform a dance for us
in the name of worship.
- Instigators of change reason that our religious neighbors think we are narrow and dogmatic for not using instruments in our worship. Some of them would think the same of us if we do not allow our people to dance.
- Spokesmen for the change agenda often say, Christ nowhere forbids instrumental music in his worship. Therefore, we are free to use it if we wish. Neither does he specifically forbid us to dance unto Jehovah!
John Waddey, Editor
Christianity: Then and Now
Charismatic Behavior: Dance in Worship is Holy Spirit-Led
|May 30 2007, 7:46 AM |
John Waddeys article above deals with the reality that dance praise could be the next phase of change. Some congregations now have Praise Teams performing with their microphones and clapping. Why not Dance Praise?
Let me share with you what I found in the Maranatha Life teaching programsections from the article: Dance in Worship.
WHO CAN DANCE Caution:The Community Church and Charismatic forces may be coming to intrude and transform your congregation sooner than you think. And please do not attempt to do the above activities at home alone.
Often, we find that praise dancers are women who have been abused, raped, or hurt sometime in their past. It isnt the people who have it all together that God uses, it is the ones who make themselves available to Him.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. Isaiah 6:8
The only true requirement to be a praise dancer is a willingness to be empty of self, so that you can become full of Him. Ability, training, talent, or gracefulness arent requirements, just a heart that truly wants to worship the Lord. In fact, training, talent, and ability can get in the way, because they can be the tools that Satan uses to bring pride into our dance, instead of a heart of worship.
That doesnt mean that training isnt helpful though. Just like singing, or playing an instrument in worship, it is necessary to learn it. When you sing, you are using the vocabulary of the language, and the notes to express your worship. If you play an instrument, you need to learn a vocabulary of notes for each instrument you learn to play. Otherwise, you wont sound a clear note.
For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 1 Corinthians 14:8
To praise the Lord in dance, you should learn the vocabulary of movement. This will give you the necessary words to use in expressing your love to Jesus.
Many people say that you shouldnt have to learn to dance, only be led by the Spirit. This is okay for as far as it goes. However, you learned English before singing praises, and you learned to play an instrument before they let you in the worship team, so it is reasonable to learn to dance.
DANCE AS WARFARE
The vast majority of the people you see dancing before the Lord today are women. Men are less comfortable expressing themselves in this manner. However, there is something that happens in the Spirit when one man dances, that cannot happen when a whole troop of women dance.
God has given strength, authority, and warfare to men. It is part of His plan, and is built into the nature of man. Women, no matter what their personality, or spiritual maturity is cannot bring the same strength into something that a man does. If you are dancing for warfare, men are an essential ingredient.
If you are dancing for warfare, flags, banners, and streamers are an essential ingredient. These items symbolize the sword of the spirit, and the military banners that went before the armies of Israel when they went to war.
CHILDREN IN DANCE
Dance is a great way to get children involved in worship. Instead of just sitting, and squirming, this gives them a way of expressing love to God, and using their nervous energy. However, I must caution you that children, being children, will have a tendency to play, instead of worship. They may also have a tendency to show off, and look to see who is watching them.
It is imperative that parents explain the role of dance to their children before allowing them to dance during worship. Periodic reminders of why we dance are also necessary. This will prevent the children from looking at it as only an opportunity to play, and help them to be focused on the Lord.
Dont be discouraged if the children get distracted during worship, and slip from praising into playing. They, just like their parents, need to learn how to truly praise and worship God. Part of the learning process is making mistakes. Just correct them, and go on.
Dance during a worship service must be done only to worship the Lord. If we are trying to get attention, or seem more spiritual by dancing, then we are taking glory from God, instead of giving glory to God. A child who is trying to get attention by dancing is operating in the flesh, and should be taken aside for instruction and correction.
It is easier for children to praise in dance if they use one of the praise objects shown in this booklet. Of those shown, the finger rings are the easiest to use, after that, the hoops, and then the streamers are most difficult. We recommend starting children off with the simplest, and as they improve, allow them to graduate to more complicated praise devices.
Although there is a certain amount of leading of the Spirit that is required, practice is also helpful. Allowing a child to practice with praise music at home is extremely helpful.
WHEN TO DANCE
Dance, just like anything else done in a worship service, must be led by the Holy Spirit. A tremendously annointed and talented dancer, steping out without the leading of the Holy Spirit can take a service downhill, instead of into the glory of God.
When God directs, He does it in detail. Ask Him to show you how to dance and allow Him to teach you the movements to make. If God does it, anything that you do will fit the music, the tone of the meeting, and the flow of what the Holy Spirit is working to accomplish in that srevice.
Our daughter, when she was 3½ years old was taught by the Holy Spirit in this way. When we asked her, she said that Jesus had been dancing with her, and showing her how to dance.
|August 26 2007, 10:18 AM |
Did Paul admonished the church to dance?