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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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clear.gif - 808 Bytes Question:

clear.gif - 808 Bytes It comes to my attention that Independent Baptists are very strict in their ways. For example, they can't dance or listen to other music that does not glorify God. Is this true? Another example is that when you meet a girl you are not allowed to be in the same room with her alone. I am just so very confused...
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I believe Baptists, as a general rule, tend to be fairly strict in their standards of conduct. Not all Baptists believe the same way on some of these issues, but normally the Baptist church in town is one of the more conservative ones.

As far as music is concerned, we do want to glorify God. I Corinthians 10:31 states, "do all to the glory of God". This would certainly include our music. Anyone who has studied rock music knows that the rhythms are rooted in sexuality. Singer John Oates said in Rolling Stone Magazine that rock and roll is "99% sex". In fact, the name "rock and roll" was given to this new style of music by a Cleveland disc jockey, Alan Freed, because the term "rock and roll" was a slang term used for sex, and this style of music was good for sex! By the way, he did this back in 1954, when the music was much tamer than some of the stuff that is played and sung in some churches today! In light of these facts, can music that is by nature designed for fornication EVER be glorifying to God? The answer, clearly, is NO. I'm not going to go so far as to say that a person can only listen to church music. I believe there has been much music that has been written down through the centuries that is not necessarily "religious", but is not offensive to God either in lyric or musical style. However, I also know that the Bible teaches that people who are spirit filled, and who allow the Word of God to dwell in them, speak to themselves, and others, in "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in (their) heart to the Lord" (Eph 5:19, Col 3:16).

As far as dancing is concerned, one of the main problems with the modern dance is the music! After all, if the music doesn't honor God, can motions that come as a result of the music honor God? Of course, because the music is about sex, many of the gyrations and bodily movements that take place on the dance floor are at best suggestive, and at worst obscene! If my body belongs to God (I Corinthians 6:19-20), and I am to glorify God in all I do, can I flaunt my body in a suggestive, sensual way? Again, the answer must be No. In addition, when it comes to "slow dancing", that involves close, physical contact with my partner. If my partner is not already my wife, then this is also a violation of Scripture, for I Cor 7:1 states that it is "good for a man not to touch a woman". The context of verse two shows that this type of touching leads to fornication, so it should be abstained from until a person has a spouse. Paul told the Corinthians to "Flee Fornication" (I Cor 6:18). Thus, I should not involve myself in any activity that might cause me to think improperly (as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7)), or act improperly.

As far as being alone with a girl, the same principles apply. I am to flee from things that might lead to fornication. I am to "flee youthful lusts" (II Tim 2:22). I am not to make any "provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof" (Romans 13:14). Therefore, while it is not necessarily sin to be alone with a girl, it probably isn't very wise. The Devil desires to ruin our lives, and will use whatever means he can to accomplish this. Let's put it this way: outside of a rape-like situation, no girl ever got pregnant without kissing, hugging, and touching first. More than likely, the sexual activity took place at a time and in a spot where the couple was alone. Perhaps they didn't mean to fornicate. It "just happened". It didn't just happen: the path to sexual sin was trod on the stepping stones of improper thoughts, improper physical contact, and inadequate accountability, which led to a mind and body that desired the wrong thing, and an opportunity to satisfy these lusts in an unguarded and unchaperoned moment.

I hope this gives you some things to think about. May the Lord bless you.

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Dr Mark Montgomery
Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209

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