Mixed Dancing and the Seventh Commandment?

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Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
I was just handed a booklet by Puritan Father Increase Mather called "An Arrow Against Mixt Dancing"

Which can be read here An Arrow Against Mixt Dancing

He tries to make the case against ANY form of dancing that entails mixt company as Sinful and violation of the seventh commandment...

Now I am against Promiscuous Dancing, but not all mixed dancing... I believe Promiscuous is interpret as sexual or mimicking a sexual act...

But Increase Mather is condemning ALL mixed dancing as Promiscuous and Profane, he also tries to show that most learned men that we esteem in church history side with him on ALL mixed dancing.

As anybody read this? What are your thoughts and critique of the work? Any rebuttals?
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Ooh, boy, that could be a real :worms: Personally, I have difficulty in imagining how a waltz is problematic. But then, maybe I'm naive.
 

Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
I agree, I do not see the waltz as problematic... Now on the other hand I have trouble with the nightclub form of dancing...

But this has real time scenario because I was handed this paper by my father in law today because he REFUSES to go to his OWN sons wedding because there will be ballroom dancing at the reception. This wedding/Reception takes place tomorrow.....

Please see this thread on more details on this how would you handle this

This paper was given to ALL married siblings who will be attending the wedding tomorrow..

So Papa, Mama, and three underage siblings living at home will not be going to said wedding..


Ooh, boy, that could be a real :worms: Personally, I have difficulty in imagining how a waltz is problematic. But then, maybe I'm naive.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Sounds like ol' Increase needs to decrease the influx of man's laws a little bit! ;)

I slay me.
 
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Coram Deo

Puritan Board Junior
Historical Information from "AN Arrow Against Mixt Dancing by Increase Mather.

An Arrow against Mixt Dancing said:
The Ancient Doctors, (Fathers as they are called) have thundred against this Sin. Chrysostom in his Sermons on Genesis, treating on Jacob’s Marriage; Here (saith he) We read of a Wedding, but not a word of Dancing there. Yea, he sticks not to call Dancing a Diabolical Practice. And in another of his Sermons; He saith, that Wherever this is a Petulant Dance, the Devil is one of the Company. And Arnobius does vehemently reprehend the Gentiles, because of their lascivious Dances. Austin [Augustine] doth severely tax this vice. Ambrose doth advise all Godly Parents, that would not have the Souls of their Children corrupted and ruined, not to send them to the Dancing-School.

...

Moreover, the Ministers of the Reformed Churches in France, did above an hundred years ago, (viz. Anno 1581) concur in writing, and publishing a Book, against the vice we are impleading. Also Venerable Calvin; Marlorat, Lavater, Danaeus, Tilenus,Polanus, Zepperus; all condemn it as utterly unlawful. Peter Martyr and Aretius in their common places, do elaborately discourse about mixed Dancing, and prove it to be an unlawful Recreation.

...

[I]Dr. Rainold, Dr. Ames, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Dod, Mr. Elton, Mr. Bolton, Mr.Brinsley, Mr. Durham[/I], and others have abundantly proved it to be unlawful.
 
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larryjf

Puritan Board Senior
I would think that it would only be a sin if it provokes lust in the heart of the dancer(s).

We live in a society where sensuality is on every magazine cover, movie, t.v. show, etc. etc. As such we are a bit calloused regarding the intimacy of men and women.

To tell you the truth, i am so attracted to my wife that even touching her hand can arouse my feelings toward her.

I also must wonder how the 7th commandment would even begin to stop husbands and wives from dancing.
 

BlackCalvinist

Puritan Board Senior
You nailed it, Josh.

By the way, I'm linking to your post on another site where some non-Calvinistic folk have just had some of the same discussion (on liquor).
 

Nse007

Puritan Board Freshman
I was just handed a booklet by Puritan Father Increase Mather called "An Arrow Against Mixt Dancing"

Which can be read here An Arrow Against Mixt Dancing

He tries to make the case against ANY form of dancing that entails mixt company as Sinful and violation of the seventh commandment...

Now I am against Promiscuous Dancing, but not all mixed dancing... I believe Promiscuous is interpret as sexual or mimicking a sexual act...

But Increase Mather is condemning ALL mixed dancing as Promiscuous and Profane, he also tries to show that most learned men that we esteem in church history side with him on ALL mixed dancing.

As anybody read this? What are your thoughts and critique of the work? Any rebuttals?

Two questions:
#1 Mike how is Increase doing these days seeing that he handed you a booklet ;) and

#2 Do the fathers reject dancing between husband and wife?
 

Neogillist

Puritan Board Freshman
I agree, I do not see the waltz as problematic... Now on the other hand I have trouble with the nightclub form of dancing...

But this has real time scenario because I was handed this paper by my father in law today because he REFUSES to go to his OWN sons wedding because there will be ballroom dancing at the reception. This wedding/Reception takes place tomorrow.....

Please see this thread on more details on this how would you handle this

This paper was given to ALL married siblings who will be attending the wedding tomorrow..

So Papa, Mama, and three underage siblings living at home will not be going to said wedding..


Ooh, boy, that could be a real :worms: Personally, I have difficulty in imagining how a waltz is problematic. But then, maybe I'm naive.

I agree with your father in law, not because waltz dancing is sinful, but because it is inconsiderate for singles. Unless of course, people end up dancing with partners other than their wives, in which case I think is even worse. But your father in law should not be so exclusivistic. If I were in his shoes, I would still go to the wedding, but leave before the dancing starts. I can assure you that if I ever get married, as a Reformed Christian, there will not be any bit of dancing at my wedding.

Also, Increase Mather was a notorious figure in the Salem Witch Hunt. He wrote a book on witchcraft that influenced the magistrates to use spectral evidence in court. Mather's book was basically a whole load of Old English mythology that was unscriptural and superstitious. He was also quite of a legalist and pharisee, so you father in law should not have used Mather's article. Look it up on Wikipedia.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I agree with your father in law, not because waltz dancing is sinful, but because it is inconsiderate for singles. Unless of course, people end up dancing with partners other than their wives, in which case I think is even worse. But your father in law should not be so exclusivistic. If I were in his shoes, I would still go to the wedding, but leave before the dancing starts. I can assure you that if I ever get married, as a Reformed Christian, there will not be any bit of dancing at my wedding.

So now not having dancing at one's wedding is what it means to be a Reformed Christian. :doh:
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Also, Increase Mather was a notorious figure in the Salem Witch Hunt. He wrote a book on witchcraft that influenced the magistrates to use spectral evidence in court. Mather's book was basically a whole load of Old English mythology that was unscriptural and superstitious. He was also quite of a legalist and pharisee, so you father in law should not have used Mather's article. Look it up on Wikipedia.

From Wikipedia:

Rev. Cotton Mather argued strenuously that it was appropriate to admit spectral evidence into legal proceedings. Robert Calef published More Wonders of the Invisible World to criticize Mather for this position. (Mather sued him for libel, and had the book burned in Harvard Yard).[6] Cotton Mather remained unrepentant for his role in the trials and the admission of spectral evidence till his death.

Rev. Increase Mather, Cotton's father, however, became an opponent of spectral evidence - though not until after the Salem hangings had taken place, and not on the basis that it was false testimony by witnesses, but that it might be a deception by demons. He published Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits Personating Men, Witchcrafts, infallible Proofs of Guilt in such as are accused with that Crime.,[7] in which he argued that "It were better that ten suspected witches should escape, than that one innocent person should be condemned".
 

jaybird0827

PuritanBoard Honor Roll
... I agree with your father in law, not because waltz dancing is sinful, but because it is inconsiderate for singles. Unless of course, people end up dancing with partners other than their wives, in which case I think is even worse. ...

As far as you're concerned then, is folk-dancing completely out? Let's take, for example, the Virginia Reel. In the Virginia Reel, you dance with every partner of the opposite gender.

I never had a problem with it in the past, because it seemed like the figures were defined in such a way that it would be obvious if anyone "crossed the line", and that it was all handled with dignity and respect.

On the other hand, one thing that encouraged us strongly to leave square-dancing was certain "bells and whistles" that are not part of the standard definition of calls and figures. 7th commandment issues became unavoidable.
 

Neogillist

Puritan Board Freshman
Also, Increase Mather was a notorious figure in the Salem Witch Hunt. He wrote a book on witchcraft that influenced the magistrates to use spectral evidence in court. Mather's book was basically a whole load of Old English mythology that was unscriptural and superstitious. He was also quite of a legalist and pharisee, so you father in law should not have used Mather's article. Look it up on Wikipedia.

From Wikipedia:

Rev. Cotton Mather argued strenuously that it was appropriate to admit spectral evidence into legal proceedings. Robert Calef published More Wonders of the Invisible World to criticize Mather for this position. (Mather sued him for libel, and had the book burned in Harvard Yard).[6] Cotton Mather remained unrepentant for his role in the trials and the admission of spectral evidence till his death.


Rev. Increase Mather, Cotton's father, however, became an opponent of spectral evidence - though not until after the Salem hangings had taken place, and not on the basis that it was false testimony by witnesses, but that it might be a deception by demons. He published Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits Personating Men, Witchcrafts, infallible Proofs of Guilt in such as are accused with that Crime.,[7] in which he argued that "It were better that ten suspected witches should escape, than that one innocent person should be condemned".

I guess I got son and father mixed up, but nevertheless, this is still a case of puritanism gone bad.
 

Neogillist

Puritan Board Freshman
... I agree with your father in law, not because waltz dancing is sinful, but because it is inconsiderate for singles. Unless of course, people end up dancing with partners other than their wives, in which case I think is even worse. ...

As far as you're concerned then, is folk-dancing completely out? Let's take, for example, the Virginia Reel. In the Virginia Reel, you dance with every partner of the opposite gender.

I never had a problem with it in the past, because it seemed like the figures were defined in such a way that it would be obvious if anyone "crossed the line", and that it was all handled with dignity and respect.

On the other hand, one thing that encouraged us strongly to leave square-dancing was certain "bells and whistles" that are not part of the standard definition of calls and figures. 7th commandment issues became unavoidable.

I am totally pro-Christian liberty. I don't think any church should take a stance for or against dancing. I do not consider myself 'more Reformed' for not engaging in mixed dancing. The thing is that I just don't know which types of mixed dancing are ok for me, and which are not; so I just avoid them all. However, I am totally for a married couple dancing in their private living room!
 
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