Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Is it wrong to dance at wedding receptions as long as it is not sexual?

"Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil."  This is what we pray daily in the Lord's Prayer. Is there dancing that is sexual and one not sexual? This depends on the individual. What you might consider not sexual could be very sexual to your dance partner. Let's consider the type of dancing, where dance partners are having their arms wrapped around each other and moving together around the dance floor with their bodies so close? Could not this be a source of temptation to purity? Another kind is the hard beat quick dance involving shaking the whole body and moving around the dance floor. The close body contact or the erotic movements that characterize so many of the rock-oriented dances would arouse the wrong feelings in both the girl and boy. St. Paul urged the young St. Timothy to "keep yourself pure" (1 Tim 5:22) and he says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom 12:1-2).
Our Lord Jesus Christ said that sexual sin is not committed by the body first, but begins in the heart. One who "looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mt 5:28). Surely a Christian young person would want to avoid activities which would be tempting in this way (Mt 6:13).
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