A few months ago, I was hanging out with some of my friends from college. I went to a small Christian College in Missouri which trains people to go into ministry. It’s a very interesting place in that it brings in many different people with quite the range of theological ideals. Everyone on campus probably holds 90-99% of the same beliefs and convictions. It is quite interesting how people can divide so harshly of the remaining 1-10%. These debates can arise over whether Jesus was a pacifist, or if God is a calvinist. This time, a debate arose over something a tad more tangible.
Many of the people at my college help out at various ministries in the area. One of my friends, whom I’ll call Jaden, started talking about a college ministry he was a part of that largely reaches out to the state university that also resides in the town. Somehow, the topic of drinking came to the table, and how much of was too much. Jaden went on to say that he, and others on this college team, advised the college students who go to these parties to leave once people start drinking in order to get drunk. This is often a sentiment held by many Christians who are uncomfortable with drinking. I asked why they should do this. Jaden, meaning well, said that once people get drunk, you could no longer have effective conversations about Jesus with them, because they wouldn’t remember it.
We are called to make disciples, not projects. We are called to be better friends than the world can offer.
Up to this point, I didn’t agree with him, but I didn’t think he was entirely wrong. However, once he advised the people in his ministry to treat people like projects instead of friends, that’s when I completely disagreed with his reasoning. We are called to make disciples, not projects. We are called to be better friends than the world can offer. We cannot go out into the world only talking about Jesus, and leaving when people can’t/don’t want to hear.
The absolute worst thing a follower of Christ could do is leave the party when people start getting drunk. This is the point when people start making stupid decisions. We should be there for the people who have lost all consciousness. We should be there to keep them from doing something regrettable or have something awful done to them. We should be there for them in the morning, realizing we cleaned them up and took them home when all of their other friends would have left them on their porch or worse, some unknown place, not knowing what happened to them.
Why in the world is it a good idea to run away from the world and keep safe when the world needs Jesus to save it?
I want us to think about how many drunk driving accidents could be avoided because a Christian guy or girl decided to not get drunk and DD for their friends. How many woman could be kept safe because they had Christian friends who surrounded and told the drunk loser to go home? And how many drunk losers wouldn’t be facing jail time and being a registered sex offender because they had Christian friends influencing their ideals and life choices? This shouldn’t be done in a place of moral superiority, but should naturally come out of a loving desire to befriend all people. Why in the world is it a good idea to run away from the world and keep safe when the world needs Jesus to save it?
What in the world are we afraid of? We are told to fear God, and God alone. Consistently, we see Jesus, angels, and God proclaim, “Do not be Afraid” when people encounter them. If God tells others to not be afraid in His presence, then why are we afraid of going out into the world? I understand much of this avoidance is trying to keep oneself from sinning, but since when was it okay to put our personal piety in front of loving people? In Romans 8:38-39, Paul writes “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In other words, if nothing can separate us from the one thing we need in this life, why are we letting our fear get the best of us?
This article isn’t about why Christians should party. It’s about why it’s so important that Christians no longer live and act in a place of fear.
Succumbing to fear does damage to the kingdom of God. It isolates the Church from the world. It enables the Church to retreat into itself and create it’s own subculture, further making Christians a weird group that is unattractive to a world that desperately needs them. This article isn’t about why Christians should party. It’s about why it’s so important that Christians no longer live and act in a place of fear. It’s about why we should go to the ends of the earth so that all might be reached. This does means going to parties. This means going into Hollywood, Wall Street, and Capitol Hill. And yes, this may even mean going to Porn Conventions. This, however, isn’t a simple process.
It should be noted that the avoidance of certain places and activities does find its heart in some wisdom. There’s wisdom in not throwing oneself in the midst of temptation if you know you’re not going to say no. You should probably ask yourself two important questions before going to the night club or starting a career on Wall Street. One, am I mature enough to put Jesus first in my life and to say no to the things that would hurt my relationship with him or others in my life? Two, do I have the support structure that will go with me into these places, hold me accountable, and help pick me back up if I fall? After all, this is what the Church is for.
Christians shouldn’t take part in the debauchery that exists in these realms. We should aim to live a life that is behaviorally different than those of the world. The world should look at us and wonder why we would go into the darkest places, but not take part. They should wonder why we stuck around to take care of people in the aftermath of their terrible decisions when everyone else walked away. They should see that we love people without even knowing them. And they should see a people not succumbing to their fear, no matter how dark the world may be, because we were loved by someone who went into the world despite knowing He would die because of it.