Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pole Dancing for Jesus?!?!

I know what your'e thinking!

Your mind is spinning like mine was, saying (of course in the privacy of my own narrow mind)..."do you mean like stripper pole dancing?!" Yep-you got it right! These ladies happen to think it's a great Sunday work out too-minus the stripping clearly!

This video shares that these women are "embracing the dance moves, once reserved for strip clubs only." As I heard this, there were immediately multiple thoughts that I had...and if I'm honest, my first few thoughts were:

1.) You've GOT to be kidding me!
2.) I wouldn't be caught dead doing that...I wouldn't want someone to think i'm a stripper!
3.) I hope they don't do that during special music at a church service!
4.) You can't turn something that is sexual entertainment into something Christian just by changing the music, and not charging!

But now...after having been vulnerable with my thoughts-and critically pondering all that this video contains-and does not contain, let me counter my thoughts with some of our recent class readings.

In the book Connecting, Dr. Larry Crabb talked about how when his wife's father died, their community group got together to help her grieve, and spent time praying and singing hymns. I have learned that according to church history, many older hymns used to be banned from being sung in churches because some of the tunes were formerly used in "bar music." Yet now we the church love these old classics, and they are instruments that God uses for many of us who love music to connect with Him, and minister His truth.

One of the interviewees challenges us to not be judgmental, and the instructor affirms that their dancing "is not about sex, it's about connecting with God." I believe them, and need to apologize for my initial thoughts...for joining in with the laughter, and biases of the news castors (listen at the very end of the video when the anchors think the camera is off). I apologize for judging an activity because of my presuppositions without having had more information, as the story upon second and third viewing seems purposely presented in an unfairly "sacrilegious light"...again pay attention to mocking facial expressions and laughter...I am convicted!!

Maybe pole dancing for Jesus in this context CAN be an act of worship, as these women use their gifts to appropriately dance "as unto the Lord and not unto men." Maybe this is an incredible group of Christian women who are using a mutual love for dance and talent to reach out, and connect with God and each other. Maybe they are pouring into each other that which gives them the courage to face the rest of us who judge before we really understand something or have all the facts.

Maaaaayyyyybe I'll go pole dance right a hymn!


  1. WOW Ellen... Where in the world do you find these stories? Honestly I too had similar reactions. With that title, I do not know who wouldn't. The simple truth is that we are all longing to connect with God. That is how he created us, and who are we to be so quick to say one way is right and another one is not? We have heard it constantly in our class, "God likes diversity," and maybe this unique way of connecting with God, actually pleases him. I would love to spend time with these ladies watching, and asking how this dance actually connects them with God. I am convicted at how many times I put connecting with God in a box and the reality is that if this dance does not please God, then I think he will convict them and show them how to better connect with him. Until then, I want to think through creative, healthy, and appropriate ways in which I too need to connect with Him.

  2. I'm with Erika. My first response was also "Wow." And I still don't know how I feel about this, but it certainly is making me think about how quick I am to categorize "right" and "wrong" based solely on traditional standards that focus on the context of an activity versus the activity itself. But isn't this discernment? The jury is still out on this for me, Ellen, but thank you so much for posting this. It is really challenging me to define how I determine what is a proper expression of worship and praise and why.

  3. I must say, this article also brought forth an interesting conversation between me and my roommate. Ironically, while we were discussing it, I mentioned how the view on music has changed over generations. This was before I finished reading your post, so it was interesting to see how close our thought process aligned. Ultimately, I do agree with Erika, in which the Holy Spirit will demonstrate to an individual whether an action that they are doing is honoring or not. That being said, I believe it it a matter of the heart and the intentions, not the action.


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