Why is in some religions "dancing" and "listening to secular music" a sin?


I can’t understand why is in some non-Catholic religions listening to secular music and dancing a sin, and why in catholicism not?

When I was younger, there was one person working at my house. She always used to tell me that kind of stories, and as you can know, my catholic faith was not strong enough at that time (“And not jet”).

There are other prohibitions I can’t understand, but I would like to know about those.

Thank’s, and excuse me If I have mistakes with my english grammar.

It has to do with being a stumbling block for people, I think. SOME dancing is inappropriate, even while some is totally fine. But if a person violates their own conscience over some ballroom dancing then there’s an issue. Some people take it to the extreme and say “THEREFORE IT’S ALL BAD.”

Music can be great. Some music, arguably heavy metal satanic stuff, not so good.

I really think that’s a big part of it. When I got married I didn’t have dancing at my wedding because some of the people I wanted to invite were very against it and I didn’t want to be a stumbling block for them, but I would also never say that dancing is therefore a sin.

Dancing and music are, by their nature, amoral. That is, they do not have any intrinsic positive or negative moral value. Thus, it cannot be said that it is “wrong” to dance or to listen to secular music, because that isn’t true; they are intrinsically amoral.

However, it can be made a sin (or a virtue) by circumstances.

I came across another thread that asked the same question. A member of caf., had a bible passage that tells you about dancing.
Ecclesiates 3: 1-8(see verse 4)

To everything there is a season…
“4… A time to weep,
and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn,
and a time to dance…”

I’m sure we all know the difference in vulgar dancing and decent dancing.

There isn’t a good way to answer this, it is only found in some extreme fundamentalist circles and someone from that type of back ground could better explain. No dancing for secular music ban is probably more based in the idea that these things lead to sin, even though as one poster pointed out they are amoral, neither good or bad. Again this is only found in extreme groups and is not very common. Usually these types of fundamentalist groups are against all movies, drinking any thing with alcohol, makeup and smoking (although smoking is a health hazard, it isn’t a sin) and have no TV. Basically, one is cut off of society as a whole. The singer Katy Perry came from such a background. I think her rebellion against it has lead her into the career she now has. Her dad is a pastor in a fundamentalist church. She did start out as a Christian singer Katy Hudson. I read where her father wouldn’t even allow deviled eggs in the home because of the name. I brought her up as an example in that people brought up in this type of extremism often just totally reject it when they are able and away from families. I’ve read where she is dabbling in Hinduism, married her first husband in a Hindu temple and you can see hindu images in some of her videos. I think you can be confident and glad that the Catholic Church does not contain such extremism and instead of wondering why some people follow these ideas, be thankful that the Catholic Church does not.

Sometimes it is an excess of caution in matters where sin can admittedly enter into the picture. In other cases it is a really evil opposition to joy.

There have been philosophies that see a dualist world where we live. Everything is either good or evil, there is not neutral.

In some branches of Christianity, both in the early Church, and in the Post Reformation faith communities, these philosophies either develop again or are resurrected.

I used to think of these concepts as “Puritinism” but that term rightfully belongs to a movement at the time of Oliver Cromwell which was in not way so extreme.

The basic concept at it’s worst is that the Flesh and the Material world are inherently corrupt, and only the spirit is of God. (one example from the early church was Manicheism and some other forms of Gnosticism)

As such anything that is pleasurable to the earthly person is evil. only Prayer and the transcendent are good.
Some sects went so far as to suggest that it was sinful to procreate.(in extreme examples these prohibited marriage and promoted any other form of non fertile sex) Others that any sex that was not expected to result in conception should be abstained from.

There are some faith groups today that not only look down on or prohibit secular music but don’t even use music in their worship.

This is a complex situation and the development of a ban on music and dancing or indeed any other form of entertainment or recreation in one group may have a very different history and “reason” than that in another group.

As it relates to dancing, I think Christians who oppose dancing do so for 2 main reasons:

  1. Not all dancing is evil, but much dancing today is vulgar and provocative
  2. Many of the clubs and other places where people dance are in general environments of ill repute and therefore not fitting activities for committed Christians.

I think there is a healthy balance. We shouldn’t condemn all dancing or secular music, but we should abstain from participating in activities that are clearly inappropriate for Christians.

Sorry, it is a sin to do anything excessively that is harmful to our health. If we drink and a doctor tells us it is damaging our kidneys and we continue to do so, it is a sin. A venial sin, but nevertheless it is still a sin. Anything that we do that is starting to affect our health is surely a sin.

I think you are right to link certain forms of opposition to licit, natural forms of enjoyment to the opposition to the uniting of matter and spirit, which is to some extent at the root of all heresy.

Someone should inform Miley. :smiley:

You beat me to it.:stuck_out_tongue: These extremist groups that believe that anything secular is evil is a very Gnostic belief (Gnostics even go so far as to believe that mere human existence is a sin). It’s a pretty recurring theme in Final Fantasy X, to give an example.

Thanks for your answers.

I would like to know what does the bible says about this ??

Unfortunately, these extreme Fundamentalists firmly reject Catholicism because they feel we are in league with satan. :frowning:

Some music and some dancing is “sin”.

Yeah, most of the popular stuff has a nice beat to it and is catchy for sure…
…But listen to what it’s programming into people - it’s absolutely sin.
…Club dancing is the same.

When I was younger I participated in both and looking back at it from my perspective now…
…It was absolutely sin - the whole thing was powered by sin when you think of it.

I once attended services with a friend who attended a church that abstained from secular music during service.

As I was a guest, and curious about such a tradition, I asked for the reasoning behind such. He kindly informed me that the origins of such a decree stemmed from when the early Christian Missionaries of his church first encountered outside tribes and cultures.

According to his testimony, during the witnessing of traditional tribal ceremonies and celebrations, the Missionaries perceived and interpreted the ecstatic dancing as a sign of demonic possession and assumed the music to be the source of conjuring such behavior.

Dancing was thereby discouraged, as it was considered a loss of self control, and left the mind open to possible demonic influence.

This denomination preferred silence during service and abstained from secular music in order to preserve the impact of Scripture readings and reinforce mindfulness during personal contemplation in-between sermons.

Hope this was of assistance. :slight_smile:

You missed my point, Op asked about fundamentalist groups that view as a sin ALL dancing, secular music, movies, TV etc and so on. I am not defending excessive drinking, sexualized dancing and vulgar music. Nor am I defending smoking which is proven to be harmful. Katy Perry is an example of someone who grew up with that and now certainly has left her faith and maybe part of her issues could be do to the extremism she grew up with.

there is a difference between club dancing and classical ballet. Both are dancing but one is obviously sexualized and the other is actually rather beautiful and an art form. The problem here is that there are some groups that can’t see the difference and just say ALL dancing is sin. This is true with music. There is a a difference again between rap music glorifying evil and Beethoven. Both are “secular” but again instead of helping people discern and use their judgements and conscious, they throw the baby out with the bath water. The list can go on with TV, movies etc. When one withdraws to the extreme from the culture, they stop influencing it in return. People who grow up in sterile environments like that likewise when able tend to go whole hog the other way when able.

Robwar, I think we are on the same page now. You just explained it all very nicely. Thanks.

Does this passage “Col 2-20:23” say something about these prohibitions?

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