Jesus says in John 4:23-24 while talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, “But the hour is coming and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
There is so much amazing revelation in these verses, but I desire to simply share a few insights regarding how this passage provides guidance as I seek to think from a Christian perspective on dance. First, we must worship God in spirit, which I believe implies that we must worship from the deepest part of who we are, our spirit. Our worship can not simply be motions that are unconnected to our heart. We must also worship Him in and through the Holy Spirit. In other words, it takes God to worship God rightly.
Some people misinterpret this passage and believe that true worship should not have any physical expression or element because then it could not be classified as truly “spiritual”. However, Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” In this passage and many others, what we do with our bodies, in the physical realm, is intricately linked with our spirit and the spiritual realm. We can not separate them! The Bible does not separate them.
The Hebrew people understood the reality of the unity of our personhood. The English word that is translated “soul” in the Old Testament is a Hebrew word referring to the whole person–body, soul, and spirit. God made us this way and declared that it was good! It is because of the Fall of man in the garden that we experience corruption and our bodies are separated from our spirits at death. However, this is not the final word! The physical resurrection of Christ has secured our eventual bodily resurrection as well. God desires people with physical bodies to worship Him that we may declare with our entire being the glory and praise of God.
Second, we must worship God in truth. We can’t decide in our own wisdom how and when and with whom we are going to worship God. We must search out His design and desire from the Bible, His Word. I don’t dance mostly because I like dance, although I do. I dance because God has called me to worship Him this way in His Word. This is why I will be writing a lot on this blog of the Biblical Foundations of Dance. It really matters what God says on this topic, and I want to know and be faithful to His Word. I want to be a true worshiper of the Real God! May the Lord give us His Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him in this area. (Eph 1:17)