Dancing In The Spirit

This weeks’ STLS topic is spiritual gifts. This is another issue that has been on my mind recently, due to a discussion about “Dancing in the Spirit “I was having on a board recently.

It’s interesting because the posters seem to be evenly split in beliefs. The person who started the post was wondering what we thought about this and if it was possible. It is possible, but what he thinks is of the spirit and what I think are not the same. I’m sure that’s probably not a surprise to those of you that have been reading my other posts in this carnival.

Anyway he was saying that people would run around the place and end up somewhere in the building without knowing how they got there-he also said they’d be crying, shouting. I said that crying and shouting are not dancing-they can be done while you dance, they can be an expression of praise and worship, but by themselves they are not dance. He disagreed that those things weren’t dance.

What bothered me most about this is the “they don’t know how they ended up there”. He also implied that a choreographed, practiced dance could not be of the Spirit since it was a practiced dance. I disagreed and said the Spirit can indeed be felt in a practiced dance.

I also pointed out that in scripture, every time people were moved by the spirit, they knew it. Not once did they say “I don’t know how I got here”, but rather they said “The spirit moved me”:

Ezekiel 37 , Revelation 1:10, 4:2, 17:3 and 21:10 are just some examples of this.

There are also the fruits of the Spirit to consider-namely the self control fruit. God is a God of order, not chaos, so how is it possible to “dance in the spirit” and not know how one got to point b from point a?

I am not against dancing as a way to praise and worship Him. How could I be when I am the co-dance leader in my congregation? But we should be able to recogonize when the His spirit moves us and when it is something else.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa-BlessedwithGrace
    Jun 29, 2008 @ 09:37:23

    I come from a pretty conservative background. My in-laws attend a church where speaking in tongues and dancing occur regularly. I sometimes feel uncomfortable around this. Having said that, I am not saying that I believe it is wrong. I just know that it is now how I feel comfortable praising God and worshipping. Does that make sense? Anyway, thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  2. abrianna
    Jun 29, 2008 @ 11:01:17

    Yes, Lisa it does make sense. Not everyone dances in our congregation either-we have about 10 or so of us that do it.

    Most messianic congregations (like mine) have dance because dance is and has been a traditional way of worshipping in Jewish tradition. We are continuing on in that tradition and we do Israeli and Davidic dance which is very different from what most people know.

    I appreciate your stance that it is not wrong-I know many people who feel otherwise.

    Reply

  3. Kimberly
    Jun 29, 2008 @ 12:09:45

    I, too, am skeptical about the type of situation where a person “doesn’t know how they ended up somewhere.” I’ve seen similar things by people who are “slain in the Spirit,” and by some who speak in tongues. While I do not claim this happens to everyone who experiences dancing and tongue-speaking, I think it is undeniable that some people get caught up in a moment and allow their emotions and adrenaline to get away from them, and that is often the source of the wild experience they have. Because it is such an exhilarating feeling, they assume it is from the Spirit, but people can experience similar things at a rock concert. One thing the Bible is firm on, in 1 Corinthians, is that worship should be orderly–and people running willy-nilly all over a sanctuary do not sound like they’re orderly. The admonition from Paul suggests to me that being Spirit-filled in worship does not lead directly to out-of-control behavior.

    Re: tongues, I do believe in tongues as a spiritual gift for today, but I do not believe everyone will speak in tongues. I don’t believe the incident in Acts 2 is the pattern for every believer’s receiving of the Holy Spirit. Again, Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians tells us tongues is just one gift among all the rest, and not everyone will speak in tongues. He speaks specifically against those who exalt tongues above the other gifts. So I am skeptical when I walk into a church where the vast majority of its congregants speak in tongues–it makes me question whether it is all genuinely from the Lord. Further, to use Paul’s analogy, if the whole church were an eye, wheres the hand? the ear?

    I know you didn’t bring up tongues, I did, but the reason I did is because I see some people’s use of tongues as being very similar to the way dancing was used in the church the other man referred to; possibly people being caught up in a group experience, but not necessarily being from the Lord. (And again, I believe dancing and tongues can be from the Lord, just that there are some instances where it is not.)

    Reply

  4. abrianna
    Jun 29, 2008 @ 21:22:30

    I agree with you, Lisa. I too have seen some epople or churches exalt tongues and I have used the 1 Corinthians argument myself. The bottom line is that not all believers will have all gifts, and tongues is also called one of the lesser gifts.

    And the idea that if a dance has been practiced then it can’t be of the Spirit or the Spirit can’t fall on the dancers is incorrect.

    I know for myself and some other dancers I’ve spoken to, we can really worship in dance when we really know the dance. When I have to think about which step comes next, I am not as free to worship as when I really know the dance.

    Reply

  5. Peggy
    Jul 02, 2008 @ 13:42:52

    Abrianna…Dancing in the Spirit is not a spiritual gift but the Spirit’s manifestation in a believer!
    I wish I had read your discussion. Since you are co-dance leader, I’m sure you know this topic.
    You are right in many points. A practiced, choreographed dance is of the Spirit…how did it originate? Learned…God is a God of Order! I do believe in worship and praise through dance! It is another form of expression, but I believe we must know how to focus on being spirit led and surely recognize that it is His Spirit and not something of ourselves. It is to bring God glory, not self. It is meant to edify the body not be a performance but direct them to enter into that place of worship…a higher level! And we must know the dance if it is a team to be free to worship, not be wondering if we are in step.

    But I do believe that you have the gift of artistry that draws you to lead a dance team in worship and choreography. If you were to dance alone, you may move in the spirit, but you would be aware of where you are…but as regards to not knowing how you got from beginning to end…
    may be possible, that you don’t recall the steps but parts would come to you! It would be like
    the gift of knowledge or word of knowledge.

    What you mentioned about Scripture is RIGHT ON…people knew and know when the spirit moves them! Yes, the fruit of the spirit does say self control…and that is why dance is disciplined,
    or has a routine…pattern that too, should be scriptural. It is not right for people to run around, as you put it…that is undisciplined, chaotic, and
    out of order. The Spirit moves controlled and precise! One must not lead dance with pride or self! One must reflect the joy and freedom to be in God’s control and presence…dancing before HIM in HIS SPIRIT & WITH HIS SPIRIT is beautiful

    Reply

  6. abrianna
    Jul 02, 2008 @ 22:14:25

    Right-the steps come from Him since we pray for Him to give us the steps we need for the dance.

    Reply

  7. rozain
    Sep 22, 2008 @ 13:03:16

    Dancing as the Spirit of the Lord leads you is 100% of the Lord, and is something religion and darkness has fought hard to undermine them.

    Recently I developed a great interest in quantum physics, little realizing that it would explain to me, the significance of the praising, worshiping and singing in tongues, that I did in the privacy of my apartment. A Japanese scientist, Emoto (who does not claim to be Christian) proved how matter can be affected by different frequencies (sounds) and thoughts. His findings are being promoted by the new age people, but the amazing thing is that it is all in the Bible.

    I would pray in English, dance and worship as the Lord led me and I saw the most amazing prayer answers. In my case I found that I had the answer when I began to laugh in the Spirit. It is sadly accepted when people talk of Buddhist meditation and of having “ecstasy” but if one talks of the majesty and divinity of the Lord Jesus, and you are led to laugh or dance in His presence, it is frowned upon!

    It is too long for me to go into detail here, but I hope those reading will investigate science and quantum physics. A good author is David Van Koevering. His messages are easy to understand, even though his book may be a little out of simple reading (the book is to be his thesis for a Doctral degree)…

    Be open to the Lord, have a broken and contrite and open heart before Him, and seek His face ALWAYS….

    The scientist went up the mountain and God was already sitting there:)

    Reply

  8. praisedancecentralministries
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 22:27:36

    Just to talk about “shouting or dancing in the spirit..I don’t agree with it the way it is being done in some of our churches. In my old church the impression was given that God overtakes a person and makes them shout, dance, fall out, scream or whatever. While it is true that when we are fellowshiping and focusing on the Lord there is a sort of “feeling” that comes upon us and the response is a lifted hand, tears, bowing or what have you. But in the church that I use to go to it is funny that when the “shouting music” is being played everyone wants to act like God has swooped them up in a trance. God does not make anyone do that. There is no evidence of this type of “manifestation”. For the most part IMO it is a learned behavior and based on tradition and leaves the shouter out of breath and tired when it is all done. Been there and done that. I also praise God in the dance and that too has been overly mystified. Based on what Scripture teaches there is no such thing as “dancing in the spirit” but we can dance with His Spirit in that we have the Holy Ghost dewling in us. I have also noticed this same mentality in dance ministry and as a leader I put a stop to it quickly then take them to the scriptures. When ministering to the saints and encouraging them in the Lord with the dance it should be practiced (unless the Lord is leading in a different way) and we should learn how to control our emotions. Lol…I tell my team to finish the dance and minister to the saints and if they want to fall out or “shout” then do it after the dance. So I feel you on this one sis.

    Reply

  9. Brendan DeLong
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 19:16:49

    Now, kimberly, First of all, you are getting confused between divers tongues and Prayer language which is very much for believers today. Divers tongues is one of the gifts of the Spirit and is used when one of the members of the congregation will give out a message from God in another language. This should always be interpreted to the Church by the Holy Ghost (Read 1 Cor 12-14). Prayer language is the evidence of being baptized in the Holy Ghost, and is a type of communication between us and God. There is a baptism in the Holy Spirit (Matt.3:11; 20:22-23; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:31-34; Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-39; 8:14-20; 9:17; 10:44-48; 11:14-18; 15:7-11; 19:1-7; Gal. 3:14; Heb. 6:2). There is no scripture that can prove that it is not for believers today, and millions of Pentecostals are doing it today, not by human or satanic power, but by the power of the Holy Ghost!

    Reply

  10. Brendan DeLong
    Sep 17, 2011 @ 19:26:00

    Let me also add that any born again Christian that desires to be baptized in the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues can so do if he wants. It is for all believers, and God desires for you to have it, What is so unusual to walk into a Church full of Holy Ghost filled believers? It is of God, and please watch out, because if any person is to say it is of the devil or not of God, he can blaspheme the Holy Ghost.And that is an unforgivable sin. I just wanted to point this out to help you. If you did not do it knowingly, you are alright! :) That church is simply blessed by being full of holy spirit filled people! So no need to be skeptical! God bless.

    Reply

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