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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pieper on Modern Dance

In the 1927 issue of Lehre und Wehre (vol. 73, pg 191-192), Pieper wrote of the subject of Dancing.  I believe he was asked about this many times and decided to bring out again the teaching of Luther and Walther on this subject so that the 20th Century can hear it again.
Pieper referred to Luther's sermon on the marriage feast at Cana (St. Louis Edition, vol. 11, pgs 466 ff) and Walther's books Tanz and Theaterbesuch (Dance and Theater) and Americanisch-Lutherische Pastoraltheologie (Pastoral Theology).

Whether the Jews had dances I do not know; but since it is the custom of the country, like inviting guests, decorating, eating and drinking and being merry, I see no reason to condemn it, save its excess when it goes beyond decency and moderation. That sin should be committed is not the fault of dancing alone; since at a table or in church that may happen; even as it is not the fault of eating that some while so engaged should turn themselves into swine. Where things are decently conducted I will not interfere with the marriage rites and customs, and dance and never mind. Faith and love cannot be driven away either by dancing or by sitting still, as long as you keep to decency and moderation. Young children certainly dance without sin; do the same also, and be a child, then dancing will not harm you. Otherwise were dancing a sin in itself, children should not be allowed to dance. This is sufficient concerning marriage.

Walther brings out Luther's teaching and also uses the Bible text from the Sermon on the Mount (p. 31) in Matt. 5: 27-28:
...whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Enough said.  The Bible is very clear. Modern dance is largely about making a man look on a woman with lust.
See the next post for more on Walther teaching on Dance and Theater.

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