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 with them. I was afraid to join them because I was advised against it by my church leaders, who told us that clubbing was not godly. While I was afraid, I was also curious. Thus, in my final year of poly, I decided to visit Zouk for the first time. I made sure I went when I did not have school the next day, in anticipation of a late night out. I also made sure I went with friends who had similar values with me, so that the chances of getting pressured into doing things I didn’t want to do would be slim.
So when I finally went to the club, I found it enjoyable and understood why people loved to go there! But as much as I found pleasure in this, I felt God speaking to me each time I went to a club over the years, and that has changed my perspective entirely. Here are two aspects of this “grey area” that showed me that if I wanted to pursue purity, I would have to give it up.
#1 DRUNKENNESS IS COMMON
One time when I was clubbing with a Christian friend, she could not resist the pressure from her school friends and downed many drinks with hard liquor. She ended up getting drunk, laughing hysterically at everything, taking a puff from her friend’s cigarette, and started 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 getting home — and I thought this only happened in movies — my head started pounding as the lights coming from the streetlamps 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
THE CLUBBING SCENE IS ALSO A PLACE FULL OF SENSUALITY
These minor experiences cannot be compared to instances where people do far worse things that they regret, or when girls get raped or molested when others lose control of their senses. Yet these moments allowed me to see how one can easily lose control under the influence of alcohol that is readily available in clubs.
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 where there is a loss of control absolutely contrasts with Galatians 5:23, where it is stated that being filled with the Spirit means gaining self-control. Of course, not everyone who goes clubbing will get drunk. But we cannot deny that especially for those who love to drink, or even for those who easily succumb to peer pressure, the temptations are very strong.
#2 IT IS A PLACE OF SENSUALITY
The clubbing scene is also a place full of sensuality — meaning the enjoyment, expression, or pursuit of physical, especially sexual, pleasure. Some of my male friends have even shared that it is a place where they go to “pick up” girls or even have a dance fling where they get to touch girls. There was one time in Zouk when I saw a couple on the dance floor making out and touching each other, and though I was not involved in the act, it was enough to arouse lustful desires in me.
But sensuality is also not just limited to what we see. It is 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. We know the impact music has on people, be it emotional or psychological. Some of us even remember song lyrics better than Bible verses! That is 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.
NOT THAT INNOCENT
When I went clubbing, I was told, “Empty your mind,” and “Let the music control your body”. It was very easy to groove to whatever song that 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, yet also treat it so loosely here? In that moment, 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…” This moment changed my perception of clubbing, which until then simply seemed like harmless fun.
I don’t think that it is inherently wrong to be in clubs, but is it the wisest decision? For me, it wasn’t (and still isn’t), because 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 (Jas 4:7)!
THIS MOMENT CHANGED MY PERCEPTION OF CLUBBING, WHICH UNTIL THEN SIMPLY SEEMED LIKE HARMLESS FUN
SO… SHOULD A CHRISTIAN GO CLUBBING?
Even though I enjoyed the experience of clubbing, I remember disturbing scenes too: someone passed out from too much alcohol, a girl slapping a guy, two girls in a brawl, shouting at each other … As I witnessed these, I felt God saying, “These people are broken and the only reason why a Christian should be here, is if you are reaching out to them.”
So, should a Christian go clubbing? I think a better question would be, “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 (Eph 4:23–24)?”
Based on my past experiences, I can only say, nah. If I want to pursue purity and holiness, I must give this up. Yet, I know that I’ve found a greater satisfaction as I walk in accordance to the ways of God. Jesus promises in Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in the heart, for they will see God”. For me, this can never be compared to the fleeting, worldly pleasures that clubbing offers.