Christian “rave” and dance parties that combine fellowship, evangelism, entertainment and worship are growing throughout the U.S., reports Charisma magazine (February).
The phenomenon is the evangelical Christian counterpart to the widespread secular rave culture of the 1990s that spread from Europe to the U.S. Though some raves have encouraged the use of drugs, such as ecstasy, they have also generated a strong sense of belonging and experiential spirituality — something Christian raves are attempting to tap into, writes Sandra Chambers.
Christian dance parties with names like the Palace Cincinnati, Club Worship (Reading, Penn.) and Fusion (Jacksonville, Fla.) are run along the lines of secular raves, though the music’s lyrics are Christian and testimonies of salvation may be heard. The organizers for these Christian raves say that most attending are not Christians and like the “pure and clean” approach of these gatherings.
As with Christian rap and other new forms of music, the Christian rave phenomenon is drawing criticism from pastors and parents given its secular and hedonistic origin. But others are predicting that Christian dance music will follow in a similar trajectory as Christian rock and find acceptance in the churches.
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