Correspondence: Should Christians Dance; 2 Pet. 1:19 - Questions on Words

2 Peter 1:19
Ques. Is it against the principles of the Scriptures to dance? Should a true Christian
practice dancing? J. W. H.
The music and dancing in Luke 15 was heaven’s joy over returning prodigals. The self-righteous elder brother could not dance to that music.
A young lady asked a Christian: “Is it right to dance?” “Well,” he replied, “if I saw you dancing out of real joy that you had found the Savior, I could not blame you.”
Another asked an evangelist who was speaking to him about the eternal welfare of his immortal soul, the same question. He answered, “You are on the downward road. You may as well dance there, as walk there. Your pleasure will end in the lake of fire; the pleasures of sin are only for a season. The Christian’s pleasures are forever more.”
Think of Christian men or women dancing with the unsaved, helping them on to everlasting burnings!
In the Scriptures we have dancing and music of two kinds. Job describes the wicked bringing up his children for the world, and they have music and dancing, and then go down to the grave in a moment. (Job 21:11-1311They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. 12They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. 13They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave. (Job 21:11‑13).)
There is a time to dance and a time to mourn. Israel will dance in the Millenium with joy over their restoration to Jehovah and their land, as David, the king, did. (2 Sam. 6:1414And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. (2 Samuel 6:14); Psa. 149:33Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. (Psalm 149:3).)
But how can Christians, heavenly men (Heb. 3:11Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; (Hebrews 3:1)) dance with the world that has murdered their Lord. and cast Him out? How could we be true to Him, and join with them?
Are Christians training their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, if they are bringing them up to appear before the world, and filling them with a liking for its pleasures? The gospel to the jailor of Philippi was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:3131And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31).
Mary rejoiced in God, her Savior (Luke 1:4747And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. (Luke 1:47)), and we are told to rejoice in the Lord alway, and again, I say rejoice. (Phil. 4:44Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4).) And if any feel merry, let them praise the Lord in singing Psalms, not worldly music. How could a Christian be true in heart, and go on with worldly pleasures, and yet walk with God with an ungrieved spirit? Impossible!
Ques. We were not clear about the “sure word,” “the day dawn,” and “the day star.”
Ans. In the New Translation it reads, “And we have the prophetic word [made] surer, to which ye do well taking heed (as to a lamp shining in an obscure Place) until [the] day dawn, and [the] morning star arise in your hearts.” It will help us to understand if we keep in mind that those the apostle addresses were converted Jews, and this verse puts the truth in a way suited to them. The Jews look for the Sun of righteousness with healing in His wings—that is the day light for them. For the Christian, the morning star shines just before day dawn.
Prophecy was a light that shone for the Jews. This was made “more sure” in their minds by the view of Christ in His power and majesty at the transfiguration. “For the remnant of the Jews, the Sun of righteousness should rise with healing in His wings; the wicked should be trodden as ashes under the feet of the righteous. The Christian, instructed in his own privileges, knows the Lord in a different way from this although he believes in those solemn truths. He watches during the night, which is already far spent. He sees in his heart, by faith, the dawn of day, and the rising of the bright star of the morning. He knows the Lord as they know Him who believe in Him before He is manifested, as coming for the pure heavenly joy of His own, before the brightness of the day shines forth. They who watch, see the dawn of day; they see the morning star. Thus we have our portion in Christ not only in the day, and as the prophets spoke of Him, which all relates to the earth, although the blessing comes from on high; we have the secret of Christ and of our union with Him, and of His coming to receive us to Himself as the morning star, before the day comes. We are His during the night; we shall be with Him in the truth of that heavenly bond which unites us to Him, as set apart for Himself while the world does not see Him. We shall be gathered to Him, before the world sees Him, that we may enjoy Himself, and in order that the world may see us with Him when He appears.” (Extract from Synopsis. J. N. D.)
“The joy of our portion is, that we, shall be with Himself, ‘forever with the Lord.’”
The “day star,” or “morning star” is Christ Himself coming for us. The “Sun of righteousness” is His appearing with us to the world.