Ask Your Preacher
Are we allowed to dance? Our church doesn’t let us, and I was wondering if our church is Christian, and if we aren’t allowed to, why would other Christians do it? Also, I have the same question about wearing earrings and necklaces and tattoos.
Two Left-Out Feet
Dear Two Left-Out Feet,
We can’t tell you why your church teaches what it does or why others do what they do… but let’s look at what the Bible says about dancing. Not all dancing is sinful (Eccl 3:4), but the kind of dancing seen in a lot of today’s society is. Modern dancing is designed to be sexually provocative, and it puts young men and women in compromising positions that nurture the sort of behavior and attitudes that lead to sexual immorality and unhealthy relationships.
We are told to flee fornication (1 Cor 6:18), to do things that are honorable (Rom 12:17), and to avoid even the appearance of evil (1 Thess 5:21-22). When people engage in the type of dancing so often seen in today’s culture, they act in a way that appears indecent and gives room for the lust of the flesh to overpower them (Rom 6:12, 1 Jn 2:16).
As for the other issues that you mentioned, here is an article on what the Bible says about tattoos (“Only Skin Deep”), and here is an article about what the Bible says on things like jewelry and makeup (“Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall”). In all of these issues, it comes down to wisdom and avoiding sinful behavior that can sometimes be associated with dancing, tattoos, or excessive accessorizing.
Is going to poker rooms sinful? I believe poker is wrong and that it is sinful.
Dear All Out,
The Bible never specifically mentions gambling as a sin, but it doesn’t have to be specifically mentioned to be wrong. There are a great many things surrounding gambling that are sinful. Consider that:
- Gambling focuses around money and greed. God warns us clearly about being fixated with money (1 Tim 6:10, Heb 13:5). God wants us to be satisfied with our income (Eccl 5:10). Contentment is a major component of spiritual maturity (1 Tim 6:6).
- Gambling is used as a means to gain money without working for it. God finds pleasure in people working for their livelihood (2 Thess 3:10-12, Pr 10:4).
- Gambling wastes money because, ultimately, the house does always win. God expects us to be good stewards (1 Cor 4:2) and save for the future (Pr 6:6-8).
- Gambling and the places where gambling occurs are often associated with other sinful things. There is a reason Las Vegas is called “Sin City”. That industry is not one that a christian should be supporting (2 Cor 6:16-17).
- Gambling is addictive. We can only have one master (Lk 16:13).
Do church buildings help or hinder our evangelistic effectiveness?
Dear In Escrow,
Both. Having a church building is an issue of wisdom – sometimes renting, meeting in a home, park, etc. is a better option. Other times, owning a church building is the most effective way for a congregation to fulfill the command to assemble (Heb 10:24-25) and further their responsibility to be the pillar and ground of the truth in the community (1 Tim 3:15). A church building can also just be a weight holding a congregation back from being effective. It is a wisdom issue that must be assessed by each congregation individually. Read “Keeping The Lights On” for a detailed explanation of the purpose of having a church building.
Gen 47:22 and 26 state that “the only land he [Joseph] did not buy was the land belonging to the priests.” Who were these priests?
Real Estate Agent
Dear Real Estate Agent,
The priests referred to in Gen. 47:22 and 26 are the Egyptian priests. Pharaoh had granted his priests food during the famine, so they had no need to sell their land to avoid starvation.
I've always been told that there is a rapture and that Revelation is about the future... but the more I am trying to read, learn, and understand the Bible, the more I'm confused about the end! I've heard from some of my friends in Christ that Revelation is about the past Roman Empire!! Please help. I am so confused.
Dear Book Befuddled,
Your friends are right. The book of Revelation is about the past, and the "Rapture" isn't something you will find in the Bible. If you want to understand the book of Revelation, we have a class series on the topic that can be found here. The Rapture is an idea that comes from taking parts of the Bible out of context. That class series should help you put it back in context.