Monday, Aug 21st

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Clubbing

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Disco ball

I have touched on clubs in passing in a previous article on university life, but I want to go into more detail with this one, and will share my experiences and views on the matter. Many young men and women have been to these places at least once, even if it is not usually their cup of tea, so I feel I should tackle the subject from a Christian angle.

Firstly, I’ll describe exactly what I mean by ‘club’, and ‘clubbing’, for purposes of clarity, and for the benefit of those who maybe don’t know, or have never been to one.

Clubs are places where (mainly!) young people pay to go on nights out. They usually consist of multiple rooms, each with a bar and a dancefloor, with different types of music playing in each room. No matter what room you’re in, the music generally contains foul lyrics in either an obvious or more discrete way: Many songs in today’s charts contain lyrics that are hedonistic, violent, overtly sexual, or degrading to women (the fact that some women don’t seem to mind the latter says much about their levels of self-respect, and sense of worth).

The rooms are filled with people who become increasingly drunk as the night goes on, dancing away in what is almost a trance-like state, fuelled by alcohol or worse. Due to the high levels of drunkenness, it’s not unheard of for some kind of either verbal or physical violence to erupt towards the end of the night. Many of the women seem to be competing to show as much skin as possible, and the actions of many of the men can only be described as ‘taking advantage’. Indeed, one of the oft-stated intentions of a night out is to find a sexual partner for the night. Mainly this will be ‘merely’ kissing a stranger (which is seen as completely harmless), but can end up with taking the same stranger home for the night…

I would contend that the way many women dress today is very similar to the description of the harlot in Proverbs 7. The harlot’s attire (mentioned in verse 10) was obviously designed to entice males, causing them to sin. So, what is the difference between this, and a woman wearing a tiny skirt with the intention of attracting the leering stares of men? The only difference is whether or not she actually acts like the harlot in the chapter, and the result of a night clubbing for many young women is that they do end up acting in a similar way, to some degree.

The club scene is a big part of many young people’s lives nowadays. In particular, university life is full of clubbing, with Fresher’s week (the first week of the university year), ending up being a non-stop party with no lectures on, and many students becoming somewhat nocturnal! For the rest of the year, student club nights take place at least once a week, and lectures on many courses start late the next day (coincidence I wonder?), so staying out all night isn’t a problem! As it’s student night the alcohol is very cheap, which serves as further encouragement.

Special club events, especially tailored to students are often organised in university towns. One of the biggest UK examples is called ‘Carnage’, which is a bar and club crawl (the rather apt name says it all). Entry to the bars and clubs is via a T-shirt, which acts as your ticket. On the back of the T-shirt is a list of drink and sexually oriented challenges with tick boxes, which along with the cheap booze, encourages sin. The nights are usually themed, with some form of fancy dress involved. Examples of some themes that I’ve heard of: ‘Superheroes’, ‘Geeks’, and ‘Pornstars’ (where girls have been known to go out in nothing but their underwear and a t-shirt).

I’ve been able to give this description of clubs because I’ve been clubbing a few times myself (though never at any of the more crazy events). The last time I went was early in my first year of university. Though I didn’t become drunk, or do any of the more extreme things I’ve listed, my conscience received a huge prod. I simply couldn’t stay, so I left the place early and walked home on my own. At the time, I was a bit naïve, quite young in my faith, and went along with it simply because everyone else went. This was a very poor excuse, as Christians are commanded to separate themselves from the things that the unsaved do.

To the young Christian I ask the following (because I asked myself similar things): Can you justify surrounding yourself with, and even taking part in, the things listed in this article? Can you justify being amongst drunkenness and promiscuity, even if you yourself are not engaging in them? Can you justify listening to music that glorifies sin, whether in a club or on your iPod? Would you even consider going clubbing if Christ stood next to you? Would He advocate the activities listed?

If you are a woman, can you justify dressing in the way I’ve described, when the Bible commands women to dress modestly (see 1 Timothy 2:9, for example)? Can you justify dressing in a way so as to purposefully flaunt yourself, when Christ says that a man who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28)? I’m not saying women should go and buy some dowdy 1800s style dresses, and I’m not attacking fashion in general (although some fashions are immodest), but can you deny what scripture says if your spirit is alive?

Here is what hit home to me a while ago: To call oneself a Christian is to make a very big claim; we are calling ourselves ‘Christ-like’ (that is what ‘Christian’ means), so we must all make sure we live up to the claim, in every possible way. The fact that we are young, and our contemporaries do certain things is no excuse for us to sin. Behaving like them brings Christ’s name into disrepute, simple as that.

 

© May 2010

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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