Critical Thinking

Reader Questions: Is It Okay For Christians To Work In Bars?

Dear Ufuomaee,

Good morning, ma.  Ermmm…please I have a situation here which I will like your advise on.  I’ve been trying to get a job, just to support myself financially while awaiting the clarion call.  All attempts have been futile until recently.  I got a job offer at an hotel, the bar precisely, to sell drinks.  My friend think I shouldn’t take the job cos it isn’t for Christians. I, on the other hand, feels it’s just a job.  And I need all the extra cash I can get.  What do you think ma?

Dear Reader,

My answer, from my limited knowledge, understanding and wisdom, would be “no”!  I wouldn’t choose to work in a Bar nor encourage any Christian to own or work in one either.  Similarly, I wouldn’t work in a Brothel, nor condone any Christian to own or work in one, no matter how financially desperate they are.

This is not because alcohol or drinking alcohol is bad, nor because having sex is bad.  But because fornication and drunkenness are sinful and they are rife at these establishments (1 Cor 6:9-10).  The truth is that the majority of the people who frequent bars go to get drunk or are addicted to alcohol.  My presence there would condone and encourage their lifestyle, because they are the ones sustaining me financially through their patronage.  And I am the one satisfying their urges for excessive alcohol consumption, which is not good for them.  So, it would be unloving to work in bar.

Even if one could say that since drinking alcohol isn’t bad in itself, and in fact, Paul encouraged Timothy and the other disciples to take a little wine for their stomachs, as a way to prevent sickness (1 Tim 5:23), then working in such an establishment wouldn’t be sinful nor would it necessarily condone sin, it would still be a touchy issue.  We are not to be a stumbling block to others, nor to put stumbling blocks in their way (Rom 14:13-17).  If you can’t deny your customer a drink, who hasn’t gotten drunk yet, but has CLEARLY had enough, because of your job, then you have put yourself in a situation where you are cooperating with or have become complicit in their sinful choice to be drunk.  It is better to steer clear of all appearances of evil (1 Thes 5:22), not only for the people who might get drunk (which is out of your control), but those inside and out of the Church who do not understand your position, and think evil of you or the Faith, because of it.

If however, it were an organised social event (e.g weddings) or a Christian club, I do believe it would be okay to work as a Bartender or to serve drinks, knowing that those drinking are doing so for leisure and fellowship, without intent to get drunk – and with self-control!  And if you have the authourity to deny anyone a drink who you believe is over their limit, then I would say that such an employment is not in conflict with your Faith and practice of it.  It is legitimate, because drinking alcohol in itself is not sinful, but we must do so with moderation and self-control.

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body” (1 Cor 6:12-13).

However, it should be much clearer that Christians and Brothels do not go together at all!  Though there may be some legitimate drinking of alcohol in a bar, there is NO LEGITIMATE sex going on at Brothels!  To work in any such establishment would not only encourage fornication, it would also CONDONE the lifestyle of the customers and the prostitutes.  Even if a woman is desperate for money, taking a job as a Prostitute is definitely contrary to Christ and wrong!

Taking a job helping prostitutes to practice their trade is also wrong!  Taking a job cleaning or in administration or in any department relating to prostitution and/or pornography is wrong!  In fact, if you discover that your organisation supports the continuance of the sex trade, it would be needful to disassociate yourself from them altogether, and take a stand for Christ.  The only sex that a Christian should encourage and condone is that between a man and his lawful wedded wife!  Our interactions with those bound in Prostitution and the Sex Trade industry should be to liberate them from their chains (sexual and financial oppression) and offer deliverance from sin and condemnation, through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is not only those industries that we should be careful about our connection to.  The truth is, we cannot know all the actions, thoughts and motives of the people we work with or work for.  Our legitimate organisation could be sustaining an illegitimate industry…and we may never know.  We shouldn’t jump to conclusions or think evil of people, but when confronted with sin and evil, such that it is undeniable that these things are propagated there, and our continued presence upon knowing this, represents our endorsement of their practices, then we must take a stand for righteousness and COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM (2 Cor 6:17-18)!

It will be hard, but we must act in faith and TRUST AND OBEY God, believing He can and will make provision for us elsewhere (Matt 6:33-34).  Just as with finding the right man, you can’t get the right job while you are stuck in the wrong one.  If you are in a good job, working in good conscience for God, you can be sure that He will promote you and bring you a better one, as He rewards your faith.  But if you settled for a compromising work, not acting in faith or even being disobedient and/or disregarding godly counsel, you have taken yourself from the employ of God, and are now merely working for Mammon…and you stand in great peril!

Remember, you cannot serve both God and Mammon (Matt 6:24)!  Don’t let your finance compromise your Faith!  So, you need to make the right decision, from faith…  For we know that whatever is not of faith is sin to him or her who does it (Rom 14:22-23).  May God help you.

Sincerely, Ufuoma.

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