Christian Bartender?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by BBNewton, May 27, 2004.

  1. BBNewton

    BBNewton
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    Hi everyone,

    Before I became a Christian, I worked in bars for a few years. I managed two and bartended in eight. Recently, I decided that I would like to bartend one evening a week for fun and extra cash. A Christian friend of mine insists that bartending is inherently sinful. Is this true?

    From my experience, I think it is reasonable to divide bars into two different types. The first type is a place where people go to sin (i.e. get drunk, do drugs, look for sex etc.) The second type is a more of a bar and grill style (i.e. Chili’s Bar and Grill has a strict no serving to the point of drunkenness policy, a smoke-free environment, and a family setting). I think it is not fitting for a
    Christian to work in the type one establishment. The latter type, however, I believe is an excellent work environment for anyone.

    My thinking on the issue is this: Is it sinful for a Christian to drink alcohol? Nope. Is it sinful for a Christian to serve alcohol? Nope. (Jesus created wine for people to serve and drink at the wedding party–we have no reason to believe that the beverage that was stated to the best of the party was some sort of bubbly non alcoholic concoction that some so insist). So is it inherently sinful for a Christian to serve or drink alcoholic beverages? No. I believe I could work as a bartender in a family style bar and grill as a confessing Christian in good conscience.

    What do you think?

    Ben
     
  2. Johnv

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    I'd be in agreement with you. However, since the Bible tells us to not cause another to stumble, you as a bartender would have the added respinsibility of making sure you don't serve anyone who's drunk. In fact, many states have laws that hold the server partially liable for contributing to drunk driving, etc. Many bartenders use the "I think you've had enough" phrase frequently with a discerning eye. So long as you do the same, you should be okay.

    I noticed you were referring to a family style bar and grill. In this area, I don't think you'd be compromising your faith at all. If you were in a pub of "no one under 21 allowed", that might not be the best place for you.
     
  3. Debby in Philly

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    You sound convinced already.
    Many folk here have been brought up in strict legalistic homes and churches where alcohol for any purpose and in any setting is unthinkable. Is that the type of church you regularly attend? If so, then you might find problems there - up to and including disfellowshiping.
    On the other hand, many Christians (in the larger sense) would be in complete agreement with you.

    I personally do not drink, only because it was just never a part of my everyday life growing up, although my family did allow for a little on special occaisions, and a few old family recipies use wine and whisky. But I have patronized places like Chilli's, and did not feel uncomfortable.

    I think it all comes down to how it is used, in what context it is used, and who is in control - the alcohol or the person and the Holy Spirit within them if they are a Christian. Just like anything else in this world.

    With that in mind (and I think that is your position as well), I have no problem with your decision. Who knows? You may have opportunities to share your faith with coworkers or customers who would be surprised to find that Christians who live by their faith were not all tea-totaling legalists, but real people, sinners saved by grace.
     
  4. john6:63

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    I wouldn’t do it, IMO. There’s other honest part time work if you wanna make some extra money.

    I have a few comments on your ‘second type of bar’. I was a BIG partier in my early 20s while I was in the Navy and I my pals and I got just as trashed at Chili’s or Ruby Tuesday’s than we did at a pub. Not saying we never were told to leave, but for the most part as long as we didn’t cause a disturbance and the tips kept coming, we were NEVER cut off from the tap.

    My only advice is to PRAY about it. Sincerely pray that this is in Gods will, and not your will.
     
  5. BBNewton

    BBNewton
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    6:63,

    Thanks for the perspective. In terms of Chilis, I used it as an example because I once worked at one and it was a very clean and friendly environment. But I'm certain that the atmosphere varies restaurant to restaurant, city to city. If I do bartend again, I would be very careful about picking the establishment.

    Why am I intersted in taking up bartending on a less than 8 hours a week basis? Well, it offers an excellent opportunity to meet people and stay on my feet. Plus, I'm good at it and I enjoy it. On the other hand (and not to be disrespectful of your logic) there are attractive women at my current office job, what if I sin by lusting after them? Well then, I'm an experienced cook, I could get another restaurant job. But what if I turn into a glutton? I've also worked as a "telephone representative". What if I engage in idle chatter? Or I could work construction again, but that work environment (at least the crews I worked on) was just about as sinful as the pubs (ie. workers talking about porn, drugs, booze, openly blaspheming God, etc). If someone can find me a part time job where the devil is completely absent, please email me asap. Thanks.
     
  6. Artimaeus

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    Eccl 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.

    Just out of curiosity, how do you plan on seeing to it that NONE of your patrons, that you serve, leave your establishment drunk? Since zero is a totally unrealistic percent, what is an acceptable percentage for you?
     
  7. DHK

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    Habakkuk 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
     
  8. Johnv

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    The emphasis is giving a drink to someone for the purpose of getting them drunk. A responsible bartender will tell a person who's had one too many that he's had enough.

    This verse DOES NOT say that it's a sin to give a person alcohol. Otherwise, Jesus would have been in big batha poodoo when he turned the water into wine, knowing full well that people were going to consume it.
     
  9. dianetavegia

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    I think it would damage your testimony and would not do it.

    Diane
     
  10. Trotter

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    No matter what job you look into, there will be some sort of temptation inherent to it. Period.

    Personally, I wouldn't work as a bartender fort he reason Diane posted above. My family does not support any resturant that serves alcohol, anyway. And that is a personal choice, not a legalistic one.

    Want part-time work? Try a day care. They always need help, and besides wanting to throttle a three-year old, temptation should be pretty low (you don't have time for it!).

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  11. Johnv

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    No wonder I never see you at the Sizzler Lunch Buffet. Steak and Malibu chicken, yum!!! I'll give you that one, but to pass up Stewart Anderson's Black Angus, Outback Steakhouse, or Lone Star, oh my. I feel for you [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. Marcia

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    I agree with Diane.
     
  13. Johnv

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    Here's a question, if I, as a Christian, order a drink with my meal, isn't it more preferable that I get it from a Christian bartender?
     
  14. dianetavegia

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    And that would make it 'Holy Firewater'?
     
  15. LauraB

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    In my own opinion:

    If I was unsaved and you were a person who I see alot but do not know, but yet I know your a christian by your actions and seperation from the secular world. And we all know that christians are watched, even when you do not think it or know it, we are ALWAYS watched. I walk into a bar cause I am a sinner of the secular world, weather it be a bar bar or a resturaunt bar and I see you serving alcohol to people and talking to the patrons etc... I would think hmmmm, and he claims to be a christian.

    You would ruin your testamony by doing that.
    I preach the gospel to people, I show by my actions how were suppose to act, live etc... Then I am seen coming out of a liquor store with a brown bag containing a bottle of soda, but no one knows it is soda but me. How would that look to the person I was trying to witness to for a long time now and they saw me there. It would ruin my own testamony.

    Is ruining your testamony the price you are willing to pay just for some fun and a little cash?

    There are other part time jobs you can work that are more respectable.
     
  16. BBNewton

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    So serving alcohol inherently ruins the testimony of a Christian? I certainly don't think there is any Biblical warrant for that judgement.

    I went into a liquor store last week and bought a forty oz. bottle of Corona to make beer batter catfish. People saw me walk in and out of a liquor store. Did that ruin my testimony? Once again, I don't think there is any Biblical warrant for that. Maybe some fellow Christians would declare me to be wicked or something, but that is their business.

    What is a respectable job in the Biblical sense (not through the scope of personal legalism)? I think any job that is worked for the glory of God is a respectable job. That can be ditch digging, being an engineer, or perhaps even serving alcohol in the neighborhood bar and grill.

    I think Paul wrote of a theology of the freedom of the Christian conscience in Romans 14:

    1Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
    5One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
    9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 11It is written:
    " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
    'every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will confess to God.' "[1] 12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
    13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. 14As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food[2] is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.
    19Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
    22So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
     
  17. Marcia

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    I think the issue is more than drinking -- it's being a bartender. And I think it has to do with Christian witness to unbelievers, who do watch Christians. This could affect unbelieving co-workers maybe more than customers.

    Even though I do not think it is evil for him to be a bartender, I do think the potential for hurting his witness is too great to do it. I wasn't saved until I was an adult(and not a real young one either), and believe me, I watched Christians very closely. If I had known a bartender who said he was a Christian, I would have wondered about whether he really was one or not. It would have increased my cynicism about Christians as being a bartender just does not seem like a Christian thing. That may be an unfair bias, but it's out there.

    Also, I would not want to directly contribute to an alcoholic's problem by serving drinks. I know the bartender is not responsible but as a believer, I would not want to be in the position of serving a drink to an alcoholic. There are other jobs. And yes, I realize sometimes we can inadvertently contribute to something bad or influence someone without realizing it, but in this case, he has the choice of whether to do this or not.

    All is permitted but not all is profitable.
     
  18. BBNewton

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    Just for consistency:

    Argument:

    Drunkenness is forbidden by the Bible. A bartender may participate in a person’s drunkenness, therefore bartending is forbidden by the Bible.

    Argument:

    Gluttony is forbidden by the Bible. A waiter or waitress may participate in a person’s gluttony, therefore serving is forbidden by the Bible.


    I realize the some (not most) Christians here do not regard bartending as being inherently sinful. And I understand the position of not wanting to increase the cynicism of the non believers. But on the Biblical side, Jesus was accused of hanging out with the low class; the prostitutes and the tax collectors.

    "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions." (Matt 11:19)

    "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." (Luke 7:34)
    ...(In fact, we can only exegetically conclude from the above passages that Jesus himself did drink alcoholic beverages)


    Who were the people who were so shocked and so cynical at the actions of Christ here? And speaking of the world being cynical of Christianity, if you were to take a pole I guarantee the largest factor would be the 'holier than thou' attitude of so many in our ranks. It wouldn't be the absolute shock of seeing a confessing Christian drinking a beer or perhaps even pouring one from the tap. But I certainly do appreciate your perspective. Please offer me more Bible verses in this discussion.
     
  19. BBNewton

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    Artimaeous,

    You wrote:
    "Just out of curiosity, how do you plan on seeing to it that NONE of your patrons, that you serve, leave your establishment drunk? Since zero is a totally unrealistic percent, what is an acceptable percentage for you?"

    In my depressed journey to find the meaning of life, I bartended in 8 different bars, managed two, and worked in 6 different restaurants. From my experience, I believe it is reasonable to say that I could serve none of my patrons to the point of drunkenness. But this largely depends on what sort of establishment the bar is. In a family sort of bar and grill it is completely reasonable and expected to have no drunk people on the property. This is the sort of place I would feel comfortable as a Christian to work at. If anyone has any Bible verses (Habakuk 2:15 and 'Holy Firewater' arent' cuttin it) to show me that say that bartending is evil or bartending is automatically bad testimony, please show them to me. Thanks everyone and God bless.
     
  20. Johnv

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    But many unbelievers are ctitical of Christians anyway. If a Christian files bankruptcy, sues someone, or gets a speeding ticket, their Christianity is questioned. This doesn't make something unprofitable, it only proves that the unbeliever is ignorant of the Word. Alas, so are many Christians.
     

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