Why Christians Belong in Bars

🌺 Published by Brittany Ann

Why Christians Belong in Bars Pin

I have something to say. And some of you aren’t going to like it. And that’s okay. The truth hurts sometimes.

 

Most of you live in a bubble. (I do too.)

 

You live in your nice, safe neighborhoods. You take your children to nice, safe schools (or even better, you homeschool them so they don’t have to go to school at all). You go to your nice, safe grocery store on the nice side of town and your nice, safe church where they sing the music you like and everyone looks like you. You drive your nice, safe car, and if it ever breaks down, you have a friend give you a ride instead of taking public transportation.

 

Sometimes, when you’re feeling very generous (or guilty) you think about those less fortunate than you and you decide “Maybe I should do something.” So you write a nice, safe check or you pack meals in a nice, safe facility or you donate supplies that someone else will take away for you. So you don’t really even have to think about it. It’s easy. convenient. comfortable. 

 

I get it. Trust me, I do. I have children that I worry about and want the best for. And you better believe we go to the nice, safe grocery and the nice, safe church and the nice, safe private school. And when we volunteer–well, my kids serve too, so nice, safe opportunities it is.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong. There is NOTHING wrong with private school, homeschool, going to the nice, safe anything or writing a check to charity. Those are all great things, and I’m grateful that we have those opportunities.

 

But is that what God is really calling us to? A life that amounts to little more than “nice,” “safe,” “convenient” and “comfortable?” Or is He calling us to something us to something so much more?

 

You see, while you are in your nice, safe little bubble and all of your friends and family are in their nice, safe little bubbles–there’s a whole world out there that is not. A world struggling with drug addictions, domestic abuse, mental illness, homelessness, pain, hopelessness and fear. And while you enjoy your latest Target trip to see what cute things you can find to spruce up your home (I went this morning–found a cute kitchen rug), there are people out there literally trying to scrape up any money they can just so they can eat.

 

(Don’t gloss over that. Let it sink in for a minute.)

 

Do you know the needs of the people around you? Do you really? If your neighbors were struggling to make ends meet or dealing with problems behind closed doors–would you know? And if you did know, would you help? Or would you say “good luck with that” and retreat back to your own nice, safe little bubble?

 

In my post, 25 Easy Ways to Share the Gospel, I wrote: “Go to a bar and talk to people. (No, I’m not joking.) Find out their life story. Share yours.” and some people were offended. Christians don’t belong in bars! Do you know what people DO there? And if Christians were there, they might do it too!

 

Now there is some truth to this–If you have a drinking or sleeping-around problem, yes, please stay out of the bars. Go evangelize somewhere else. The world is your oyster! Go talk to homeless people on the streets or hang out in half-way houses or whatever you like instead.

 

Read also: Should Christians Drink?

 

But, for the rest of us…

 

When you look back at Jesus’s life–where did he spend his time? It wasn’t with the “religious” people–the pharisees. In fact, he didn’t take too kindly to them at all. Instead, he surrounded himself with “sinners” and met the people where they were.

 

“After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” –Luke 5:27-32

 

(side note: the tax collectors were the social outcasts in Jesus’s day)

 

There’s an entire world out there that needs to hear what God wants to say through you. But how will they hear, if you don’t go? How will they know if you don’t tell them?

 

Sure, they could come to your church… but put yourself in their shoes for a second. If you were addicted to drugs, homeless, or had completely lost your way–would you feel comfortable in a church? Would you have a way to get there or even a way to figure out when church is? And then what… you walk in in your street clothes and instead of being welcome, everyone just stares at the “outsider,” because after all… the church is full of screw-ups and we all judge from time to time. No thanks. 

 

Read also: Yes, Christians Should Judge

 

No, if you want to reach the hurting and the lost–you need to reach them where they are. And that means going TO them in the midst of their messy situation and walking with them every messy step of the way. It’s not an easy task–but then again, Jesus never told us it would be.

 

And honestly, do you want easy? Or do you want to dive in deep, meet people where they are, and be a part of real life transformation (for them AND you)?

 

10 Ways to Meet People Where They Are

 

  1. Go to a bar and talk to people. Find out their life story. Share yours.
  2. Volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center.
  3. Donate teddy bears to children at the battered women’s shelter. Drop them off personally, and get to know the kids.
  4. Become a CASA advocate.
  5. Start a prison ministry.
  6. Get permission to visit people in the hospital. Ask them if you can pray for them.
  7. Become a foster parent.
  8. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Don’t just pass out food. Talk to people. Get to know them.
  9. Spend some time visiting at the local nursing home. Really listen to their stories.
  10. Introduce yourself to new people at church. Be truly warm and welcoming, no matter what they look or smell like.

 

Warning: Do any of these ten things, and you’ll likely encounter people who are very different from you–only to realize that maybe… they aren’t really that different after all. And Jesus loves them too.

 

Have you ever intentionally gone out of your way to leave your bubble to seek out and help those who are truly in need? If not, or if it’s been a while, what is one way you could change that, starting today?

Brittany Ann

Brittany Ann is an author, speaker, and founder of EquippingGodlyWomen.com, a popular Christian-living website dedicated to helping women be “all in” in faith and family.

  1. Drunkenness is a disturbing trend in Christianity today. Treat walking into the Bar with great caution. Going there without a purpose can be very dangerous. I get your point of meeting people where they are. Good thoughts, however, if someone is looking for an excuse to hang out with those who are unsaved because they don’t want to be Christ-like, will use your article as foundation for their straying.

    1. Yes, there definitely is a huge difference between going to a bar as an evangelistic method and going just to get drunk. Every person will have to be honest with themselves and with God for their motivations. But for every person who really shouldn’t be there, there are also some people who really should. God calls us all differently – thank goodness for that!

  2. ‘If any of the clergy be found eating in a tavern, let him be excommunicated, unless he has been constrained by necessity, on a journey, to lodge in an inn.’ 4th century A.D

    1. While I totally understand and highly value the writings of the early church, the truth is that this didn’t come from the Bible so you can’t be 100% sure that it is Biblical. Lots of people wrote lots of really great things that are correct and lots of really great things that aren’t correct. Without a good author, source, and considering it’s not in the Bible… it’s not binding to all Christians today. :/

      The same applies for what Christians did or didn’t do throughout the centuries. Yes, we should absolutely study history and know more about what they did/didn’t do. But just because someone did/didn’t do something, doesn’t mean it’s binding for us today. To give the overused example — I’m sure you could find tons of writings supporting slavery from throughout the years. Doesn’t mean it’s something we should follow today….

  3. Jesus went to sinners and tax collectors *houses* he didn’t head down to *taverns* with them.

  4. Jesus never hung out with drunks, prostitutes or perverts. He was mostly with his disciples.

    1. I’m sorry, but this simply isn’t true. Please see Mark 2:13-17 (Jesus eats at Matthew’s house with sinners) and Matthew 11:18-19 (Jesus tells John that the Pharisees talk about him hanging out with sinners). And then there’s John 4 where Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman…

      Yes, Jesus very likely did spent the majority of his time with the disciples (and we should spend the majority of our time with our closest Godly friends also). But he DEFINITELY hung out with “sinners” too.

      1. Regularly moderate drinking is just bad as bingeing on a weekend, which is exactly what they have in countries like France, Spain and Portugal, if people in the UK made it part of their everyday life, like they do in those countries, it would cost the NHS!! no joke!!. http://www.newagora.ca/surprising-effects-of-moderate-alcohol-consumption-by-anna-hunt/ which is BBC documentary which follows a study they conducted on twins one which binged 21 units on a weekend, the other stuck to the government limit of three units a day and results that came back at the end of the month. Please make an effort to watch it then back to me and tell me what you think.

      2. That study is looking at the *health effects* though — that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about spiritual impact, and the spiritual impact that may never happen if Christians refuse to go to places where non – Christians typically congregate. I’m not saying “Christians should go drink!” I’m also not saying “Christians should never drink!” (Although I do touch on that issue in this other article: https://equippinggodlywomen.com/faith/should-christians-drink/)

        My point is simply that, as Christians, we need to step out of our bubbles and meet the world in need right where they are – no matter where that may be. Jesus didn’t wait for the Samaritan woman to come to him. He went to her. Even though Jewish people weren’t supposed to be in Samaria. Jesus went and ministered and changed her life anyways.

      3. My aim was to bust some popular dangerous naive myths circulating in Christian circles, which many parrot without verifying whether or not these claims are actually true, it’s very important that people know the facts. You’ve probably heard the popular heart benefits of drinking red wine which are actually just marginal and the benefits do not come from the resveratrol they’ve conducted very expensive tests on this in Italy and they found the benefits did not come from the resveratrol, because alcohol inhibits the body’s ability to process nutrients.

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