Culture

Is clubbing harmless, innocent fun?

Audora Chan // July 8, 2019, 5:36 pm

What clubbing taught me about purity

I love clubbing. As a person who loves music and dancing, you can literally find me grooving everywhere – when I’m driving, in the shower or even grocery shopping, I’m ready to bust out my moves!

That’s why I find clubbing so much fun, especially the euphoric moment when the DJ puts on a crowd favourite and everyone sings and dances in unison.

During my polytechnic days, my schoolmates would ask me to go clubbing. I was afraid to join them because of advice from my church leaders. But I was also curious, so in my final year I decided to visit Zouk for the first time. 

Is your faith bogged down by FOMO?

Anticipating that it would be a late night out, I chose a time when I did not have school the next day. I also made sure I went with friends who had similar values, so that the chances of getting pressured into doing things I didn’t want to do would be slim.

When I finally arrived at the club, I enjoyed it and understood why people loved to go clubbing. But as much as I found pleasure in this “grey area”, I felt God speaking to me each time I went clubbing. Over time, this changed my perspective entirely.

If I really wanted to pursue purity, I knew that I had to give it up for these two reasons.

1. DRUNKENNESS IS COMMON 

Of course, not everyone who goes clubbing will get drunk. But the chances of this happening are high when there is peer pressure or if you love to drink.

I once had a friend who downed hard liquor as she could not resist the pressure from her school friends. She ended up getting drunk, laughing hysterically at everything, taking a puff from her friend’s cigarette and going to her guy friends to give them each a hug. I tried to tell her to control herself, but she could not.

Another time, I got tipsy when I was at a bar with my friends and was pressured to get another drink. When I was in a taxi on the way home – and I thought this only happened in movies – my head started pounding as the lights coming from the street lamps were magnified and the whole world felt like it was swirling! I staggered home, sat in the shower and started drinking from the water hose. Unglam. 

These experiences cannot be compared to the moments when people do far worse things that they later regret or in the cases of rape and molestation, but they allowed me to see how one can easily lose control under the influence of alcohol that is readily available in clubs. 

I never thought I’d be a victim of sexual assault

Ephesians 5:15-18 says: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…”

Being in a state of drunkenness when there is a loss of control absolutely contrasts with Galatians 5:22-23, which talks about self-control as the fruit of the Spirit.

2. CLUBS ARE A PLACE OF SENSUALITY

The clubs are full of sensuality, which means the enjoyment, expression or pursuit of physical, especially sexual, pleasure. Some of my male friends have shared that they go clubbing to “pick up” girls or to have a dance fling to touch girls.

I’ve personally seen a couple making out on the dance floor. Although I was not involved in the act, it was enough to arouse lustful desires in me.

But sensuality is not just limited to what we see. It’s also expressed in our minds as we listen to the music in clubs. Google the lyrics to Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” and The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” and you will see why.

Music has an impact on people, whether emotional or psychological. Some of us even remember song lyrics better than Bible verses! That’s the power of music. It has the ability to stick in our minds and to turn lies into truths. This is an aspect of clubbing that we can never control, unless you are the DJ of course.

When I went clubbing, I was told to “empty your mind” and “let the music control your body”. It was very easy to groove to whatever was playing, even if it was a song that was full of vulgarities or described sex explicitly – as long as the right beats were there, my body went along with it.

As I allowed the music to fill my mind and dance to the songs, I felt God asking me: “Why are you emptying your mind for a worldly and temporal satisfaction? And why are you using your body – the temple of God – to worship me in the church dance ministry and yet treat it so loosely here?”

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Romans 12:1-2 came alive to me: “…offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world…”

That moment changed my perception of clubbing, which until then simply seemed like harmless fun. 

Even though I enjoyed the experience of clubbing, I remembered disturbing scenes too: Someone passing out from too much alcohol, a girl slapping a guy, two girls in a brawl shouting at each other…

I knew I had to give up clubbing if I wanted to pursue purity and holiness.

It dawned on me that there are also people in the club who might be broken and the only reason why I should be here is if I’m reaching out to them. But I cannot guarantee that I will not stumble, and the Bible makes it very clear what we should do in the face of temptations – flee (James 4:7)!

For me, clubbing wasn’t (and still isn’t) a wise decision. 

So… should a Christian go clubbing?

What about considering these questions instead:

  • Does this make me more like Christ and help me pursue my calling as a Christian?
  • Am I putting off my deceitful desires, getting my mind renewed, putting on my new self that reflects true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24)?

Based on my past experiences, I knew I had to give up clubbing if I wanted to pursue purity and holiness. But I’ve found a greater satisfaction as I walk in accordance to the ways of God.

In Matthew 5:8, Jesus promises: “Blessed are the pure in the heart, for they will see God.”

The fleeting, worldly pleasures that clubbing offers can never compare to this.

This article was first published in Kallos Magazine Issue 25 and is republished with permission. The author’s name has been changed for confidentiality. 

THINK + TALK

  1. Have you been to a club before? What was your experience like?
  2. Under what circumstances would you go to a club?
  3. Are there any temptations that you need to flee from?