Ask Donnell - Am I wrong for dancing to secular music?

I received the following question from Carlene;

Hi Donnell, I have been baptised a little while now and I recently attended a wedding of a friend (non-Christians). the music was of course non-christian. I danced and enjoyed the wedding and while I was not indecent, i was concerned whether or not i was sending the wrong message by dancing to non Christian music. Please advise.

Good question Carlene. Some things are black and white in the scriptures while others are not so clear. Since you're not talking about listening to secular music on your personal time I won't address that. I assume that you only feed your spirit with The Word of God and anointed music. However, at a public event like that you have no control over what they play.

Any music that's not gospel is secular so that would include mainstream salsa, classical or even typical wedding love songs from Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder. Does that mean you can't go salsa or ballroom dancing? One extreme is to not be anywhere around any such music that does not explicitly exalt The Lord and stick to Christian music of any genre you need. There is nothing wrong with that.

However, that will only work if you stay home or go to church events because even your Christian friends may play some secular music at their events. The other extreme is to be on the dance floor getting "hot and sweaty" to the latest Nicki Minaj, Kanye West or Lil Wayne hit like you can't hear the rampant profanity or sexual references. If some of those songs don't make you uncomfortable you probably can't hear the words.

So it's really a judgment call that you have to make. You can choose which songs you want to dance to and which ones you won't dance to. That's an approach that can work. A decent song from Stevie Wonder might warrant a dance but the following song from Drake might warrant a trip to the buffet line for another piece of chicken. Nonetheless, it's obvious that your conscience is bothering you about your own dancing. Therefore, we'll first address that.

Ask Donnell - Am I wrong for dancing to secular music?

1 John 3:19-21(NLT) - Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence.

When you feel guilty it's not always because you are in sin. Your conscience represents the voice of The Holy Spirit inside of you. When you're considering doing something displeasing to God He speaks to you about it. He convicts you of sin (John 16:8-9) so that you would be driven to repentance and a change in direction. Once you repent, based on 1 John 1:9, God is ready to restore you.

However, there's also a different voice which only speaks to you after your sin is complete. It's the voice of the devil which brings condemnation. The conviction of The Holy Spirit is designed to push you to God, the condemnation of the devil is designed to push you away. Conviction takes place before you sin, while you're in sin and as long as you have not repented of the sin. Condemnation is really the flip side of temptation and only manifests after you sin. Before you sin, the devil tempts you to do it and once you sin he condemns you for what you've done.

Dancing to secular music at your friend's wedding is not a major issue in the grand scheme of things. You did go to the wedding to celebrate the marriage of your friends so joining them for a little "Electric Slide" or "Cupid Shuffle" won't hurt anything. However, since you have remorse, maybe you did a little more than you felt totally comfortable with. You did point out that they are not Christians and you are worried about how your actions were perceived. Personally, I consider that honorable. Here's how the scriptures address that.

Romans 14:21(NKJV) - It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

1 Corinthians 10:23 (NKJV) - All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

We should always be mindful of the impact our actions make on the lives of others even if the actions are not inherently wrong. If The Holy Spirit in you was grieved by your decision to dance at the party just ask for forgiveness based on 1 John 1:9 and move on with your life. If that feeling of guilt continues even after you repent, it's not the conviction of The Holy Spirit but condemnation from the devil. Therefore instead of sulking over something God's already forgotten just let it go and rebuke the devil in the name of Jesus. Let him take his condemnation back to hell with him.

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