Should Christians Go To Bars/Nightclubs?
My question for the day is this: Should Christians go to nightclubs/bars? I’m only here to give my opinion and my belief through Scripture. I already know that people will agree and disagree, mainly the latter, with what I intend on saying. Before I continue, I want to state for the record a few things: It does not take good works and/or deeds to get to Heaven; however, that doesn’t mean we should not do good works, because Ephesians tells us there are works of righteousness planned before us.
Forgive me if I sound Pharisaic, holier than thou, and legalistic in my post, but here is the truth: the early churches and preachers preached upon sin and turning away from such characteristics in our behavior. It’s saddening to me that many churches in our current age do not. They simply say, “God loves you just the way you are, you don’t have to change.” Now, this statement is bold and true on some degree. Yes, God does love [us] for who we are, that is why God sent His Son to die on the Cross for us, but we do need to change.
That alone is the entire point of repenting, which in defining terms means: to turn away from sin - change. I see too many people today who don’t and I am one of them on occasion. Of course I am going to sin and I do it regularly and ask for forgiveness on a daily basis, but that does not mean you or I should embrace our sinful nature as many churches believe we should. That is one of the key points that I’m hoping people will take to heart.
We are told to “be ye separate and not touch unclean things” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Unfortunately, people take Scripture very lightly - myself included. All Scripture is God breathed, which ultimately says that each word has a purpose and meaning. Now, this is where people will always end up assuming that I believe good deeds and works are how [we] obtain Heaven, or that I’m being legalistic, but I’m only being true to Scripture and not changing the Word or being lenient.
We are to live in this world but not be of this world - called to be a light to the dark. Therefore, although we must associate with the people who aren’t saved (because that is what Jesus did and commanded us to do), that doesn’t mean we should partake of such activities the world does. No, I don’t mean don’t play basketball or football or video games. We cannot escape this world until we either pass away and are taken up to Glory or Jesus comes back. As I already mentioned, we are to present the Gospel to every living creature, but we are not to associate in evil temptations - keep it in moderation.
This will most likely get heated from here on out because Scripture says a lot of various things concerning certain aspects. Once again, this will be my own opinion and I know people will probably disagree. Are we to associate with sinners - people Jesus participated with? Of course we are; eat, talk to, enjoy company with; but, should we attend a local bar/pub or a frat-house party where beer is being guzzled and people are getting blazed? In my response, I’d have to say no. Temptation is there and luring around the corner, as well as ungodliness and unrighteousness. Sure, we can preach the Gospel, but to those who aren’t sober minded - in which we are told to be by the way (1 Peter 5:8), the lost aren’t going to comprehend the love of God at the current time. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Abstain from all appearances of evil.” Proverbs 20:1, 1 Timothy 3:2, and many other passages command us to be self-controlled and sober minded. Drinking and being high does not create that (1 Peter 4:7, 1 Corinthians 5:11).
The Bible also specifically tells us that we are not to tempt others into sin. Let’s be honest here, that’s a difficult thing to do - because sometimes [we] are unaware of what’s taking place at the time, even the “evildoer.” If you’re attending a party, it’s relating to pressuring others into sinful events; the idea of “peer pressure” comes to mind. By doing so, we are leading weaker brethren and sisters into an area where they might not be strong suited. God declares, “Be holy because I am holy.”
Here is the kicker, however, wherefore people use this excuse on a regular basis [and being as I can’t judge the hearts, I’ll state my opinion]: they are evangelizing at certain celebration events. We try to justify our actions by stating that we are there [bars, nightclubs, etc.;] to evangelize, but our true intention is to socialize. There is a vast difference which we need to understand and watch our own feet, because I’ve been caught in this whirlwind countless of times.
It is one thing to participate in godless places in order to share the Gospel, but quite another to socialize. To get to my final conclusion, here is what I have to say. If you are going to head out on a Friday or Saturday evening to a bar or nightclub, you should go there for one strict purpose only: to present the Word of God and evangelize, not socialize and get caught up drinking.
Truthfully, though, without defending new ageism, where the Bible and its Word gets strewn about in order to create a lenient way of life for Christians so we can be worldly and Christian (we cannot do that, for God says we cannot serve two masters. You either love one and hate the other) - Matthew 6:24; how many Christians that do go to such places sincerely preach the Gospel? You can try and refute this argument by saying, “As a Christian, I want to connect with the people in order for them to like me, that way I can be a better witness.” Yes, that is a beautiful and glorious way to live, but we are also supposed to be hated by the world. Plus, you can go outside of a bar or nightclub. You do not have to be a part of that social event in order to connect with others.
We should not try to justify our intentions here, either - put our cards on the table for the world to see. Take me for a prime example. If I had planned on going to a bar, my reasoning would be simple: to get drunk and maybe pick up a woman; not share the good news and profess my faith as a Christian. Another argument may be this, “Well, I don’t find it wrong going to the bar to preach the Word of God.” Here will be my response: Do it then. Stop telling me or other Christians that we should go to places as such then never do it. Get in your vehicle or put on your shoes and go to the bar or nightclub and start preaching. Will you? Most of the time, if people are openly honest, the answer is going to be a no.
I have realized over the course of my Christian life [even before I found Christ] that our intentions are hardly ever good and rational. Now, if God tells us and convicts us to go to the bar for the sole purpose of leading others to Jesus Christ, then we better get up and do it. Please realize, people came to Jesus, He didn’t necessarily go to their hangout [all the time].
Here is another situation in which my answer to going to a bar or nightclub [even strip club] will be a no. Let’s say you have a drinking problem in general - before you met Jesus Christ and although you’ve turned to Him, it’s still a sin you’re struggling with at the current time. Should you go to a pub then? I would say no, because that is a weak spot in your flesh and walk with Christ, and attending this worldly place will be a powerful temptation of sin that you will most likely give in [not saying you will, but it’s a possibility].
For me, I struggle with issues of lust, so I will not be going to a strip club or start dating a random girl for the sake of my own desires. That is another key point I hope people will take note on. As I stated profoundly earlier, it is one thing to socialize with those who have not yet fully comprehended the Truth, but quite another to habitually socialize with those who openly reject the Truth.
I don’t recall ever reading about Jesus Christ ever walking into a Tavern and preach. Nonetheless, he did sit with sinners - he must have when he fed 5,000 people. There was most likely a balanced of saved and lost people in that celestial crowd. However, this didn’t halt Jesus from preaching while eating and socializing; His evangelism is quite remarkable.
So, here is my answer to this entire post: be careful. From a scriptural point of view, I’d say it’s a yes and a no. If you struggle with areas of drinking/lust/so forth, I don’t believe it’s a good idea to go to a bar, nightclub, or strip club, because sin will most likely occur. Perhaps if you do go, have an accountability partner - at least go with two or more people who can build you up and encourage you. With that being said, go there for one purpose - to preach the Gospel. By the way, I refuse to get in a debate about being a Christian and drinking - whether it’s acceptable or not.
P.S. This add-on will be something that has been crowding my mind. It’s frustrating to me seeing people stray away from the Gospel and insert our own beliefs into the Word of God; we cannot do this (Galatians 1:6-11). I recommend people reading that, especially if you’re after pleasuring man rather than God. Anyway, for example: Same-sex marriage. According to the Bible, this is wrong and should not occur.
As Pastor’s or even believers in Christ, we shouldn’t be supporters of that and we shouldn’t “just let it be.” Yes, we should love those who are that way as Christ loved them; taking heed to their sins and providing counsel, but to accept their sin and not believe they should turn away from it - that’s wrong. This is the entire point I was trying to make briefly earlier. There has to come a time where we realize that even though God loves us, that doesn’t mean we should still embrace our sin and have no conviction or guilt over it.
The Bible says that when we come to Christ we are created new - the Holy Spirit dwells in us and we should put off the “old man.” We need to let the Holy Spirit guide us in purity and truth. Don’t get me wrong, I struggle with the same sin every day and it’s a battle each minute. Do I win and overcome every time? No, of course not. Nevertheless, I repent and ask for forgiveness; I feel terrible about it.
However [this is where I cannot judge but merely state how I feel], if it does not bother you that you are allowing sin in your life and for it to overpower you; not having an encumbrance of guilt, my question is [and I cannot answer] … are you truly a saved Christian man?
Like I said, I can’t answer that because I don’t know your heart[s], only God does, but the Bible does say man judges on the countenance of a person; therefore, people watch us and make observations. If I saw a Pastor who is meant to be a leader and guide, who was partying, getting drunk, sulking in money and worldliness - perhaps seeing a mugshot in the paper because he was arrested, what do you want me [or others] to think? Did that Pastor just get away from God and his sin is catching up/overcoming him, or is he really saved? The answer is both. Please think about it.