Where is it OK to Witness?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Optional, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. Optional

    Optional
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    A blurb from another thread got me to thinking about this.

    Hmmm, I just naturally assumed it would be OK to go into a bar to witness. Didn't Jesus go where the sinners were oft times?
    I witness to homeless and indigents on Saturday's and have wound up in some fairly "unholy" places. I don't feel I or my faith or my witness was compromised.

    So, what do ya'll think? Should we not go to the beach or a bar, etc. because "that's where the sinners hang out?"
     
  2. Baptist Believer

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    Hmmm, I just naturally assumed it would be OK to go into a bar to witness. Didn't Jesus go where the sinners were oft times?
    I witness to homeless and indigents on Saturday's and have wound up in some fairly "unholy" places. I don't feel I or my faith or my witness was compromised.

    So, what do ya'll think? Should we not go to the beach or a bar, etc. because "that's where the sinners hang out?"
    </font>[/QUOTE]God calls you to go where the "sinners" are. If the "sinners" at church don't like it, they need to get right with God.

    Dr. Roy Fish used to tell the male students in his evangelism classes to frequent neighborhood bars in Fort Worth in order to witness (that is, unless you have a weakness with alcohol or the bar scene). He recommended ordering a soda and building relationships with those who are there in order to share the good news with them. When you are accepted at the bar, you "earn the right" to be a powerful witness -- both in the bar and during personal visits with those you befriend.

    ARGH! [​IMG]

    Did it again. Once more I apologize for posting in this forum. I keep up with many of the threads here and sometimes I forget to check the header information.

    (edited to add the apology)

    [ September 20, 2002, 07:33 PM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]
     
  3. TheOliveBranch

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    You'll get nowhere with a person that is drunk. They are not in control of their mind under the influence.

    When you go into the bar and are seen, how do they know that you aren't going in for one too?

    Jesus went to dinner with the sinners, on invite. Sinners are everywhere, why lower your standards for a wrong image? Besides, there is alot more than just drinking going on in bars.

    And how many of them in the bars call the bar their "church"? Are they then going to say that you came to theirs, so they'll come to yours?

    I had heard someone once sat outside the bar and handed out tracts, and talked to a few. But, truely, how many of you that have witnessed to people in bars actually had them come to church? I have never heard of any, tho it may be possible. I just wouldn't say it's a very good testimony. Sit at the bar and have a few ...sodas? And all that smoke. If anything that should be enough. [​IMG]
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    Not everyone in a bar is drunk.

    They will know by the testimony of your life that you are a believer -- the testimony of your life involves a lot more than just avoiding what a judgmental person might have a problem with... Of course, I don't think having a drink is wrong. And before someone starts slamming me with verses about drunkeness, I'm talking about a drink, NOT GETTING DRUNK.

    If your standards are taking Jesus to people who are lost and hurting, then a bar is the place to be. If you are worried about creasing your clean-pressed holier-than-thou image, you shouldn't go to a bar. Jesus took a lot of heat for going to the houses of sinners where people were drinking... He didn't let the criticism of the Pharisees get in His way. By the way, Jesus sometimes invited Himself to a person's home and He was criticized for associating with sinners (Luke 19:5-7).

    Sometimes there are immoral things going on in bars too... But there are immoral things going on in churches all the time. That's a poor excuse. You don't have to participate in immorality. If things start getting out of hand, just leave.

    Frequently there are things like sports events on television or good conversations. Christians can certainly participate in those.

    I don't know.

    Maybe. That's not a bad idea. [​IMG]

    Handing out tracts is okay, but very impersonal. Usually you don't have to commit anything to the other person and there is no relationship built with them.

    Roy Fish claimed that he has brought a number of people to the Lord that way. I'm sure others have too. I've never done it personally (I don't feel called to that particular evangelism method), but I'm sure I could share the gospel in that setting. Frankly, I've shared it in "worse" settings.

    Sure, why not. If I did it, I might actually have one glass of white wine. (I'm 6'05" and 270 pounds -- one glass of white wine nursed over the course of an hour is not going to get me anywhere in the neighborhood of impaired.)

    [​IMG] Actually, that's one of the reasons I'm glad I personally don't feel called to that ministry. My father smoked the entire time I lived at home and I decided long ago that 20 years of second-hand smoke is more than enough for anyone.

    Most of the time I witness with workmates, the publishing people I work with and the local writer's group. I have common interests there and ties that build relationships much faster than I would have at the neighborhood bar.
     
  5. Ulsterman

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    "Jesus took a lot of heat for going to the houses of sinners where people were drinking..."

    How do you know they were drinking strong drink? And if they were did not Jesus then offend against Prov 23:20?
     
  6. redwhitenblue

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    Baptist Believer, wow I'm floored, but highly impressed and most definately agree in the view points you have shared. I believe exactly the same way. It's amazing, I've sat in bars and had a drink with friends and a lot of times good, interesting conversations get started and often times opportunities to talk about God. I find places such as this incredible to watch people and how they view life and thier sense of happiness. This type of thing creates a desire in me to reach out to them and the cool thing is not one person I've spoken to has thought worse of me as a christian being there...but in a flip side look they consider it refreshing that a christian can actually be real with them and not act "better" than they are. Every person is different in how they can be reached, some you can place the truth in front of them and it just sinks in and they are convicted on the spot...others require a friendship developed due to rejection and fear in their lives that another person might hurt them. Hey the idea is to reach them....God will direct us each in how to do that.

    Karen
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    Because of the way Jesus talked about the accusations against Him. (Matthew 11:19) The Pharisees accused Him of drinking too much.

    The Proverbs are wisdom sayings that do not have the same force or application as the teachings of Jesus, Moses, or Paul. But in any case, I don't think Jesus violated the proverb. The NIV translates this passage well:

    Proverbs 23

    19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
    and keep your heart on the right path.
    20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
    or gorge themselves on meat,
    21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
    and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

    The proverb teaches that you should not "join those" (that is, become one of them) who drinks too much wine or eats too much because of the consequences.

    Certainly Jesus did not, although His critics were trying to pin this very charge on Him.
     
  8. Ernie Brazee

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    Amazing, how some justify worldliness; rationalizing spending time in bars to witness? RIGHT!

    Taking a walk on the beach is fine, but why is it neccessary to undress to do so?

    My, my, my the Lord Jesus Christ gave everything when he went to the cross, not just his life, but he even surrendered his diety. Modern Christians refuse to forsake their old lifestyles, rather they find excuses to cling to their old life.
     
  9. Baptist Believer

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    No "rationalizing" here. I don't hang out in bars myself, but there is certainly no reason why Christians shouldn't go where the "sinners" are to take the gospel. Jesus is our example here...



    From what I can discern, this has nothing to do with the discussion. If this remark is about taking the Gospel to the lost, perhaps you should explain it.



    Um, Jesus never surrendered his deity. In Him was the fullness of the Godhead. He was also fully human. I'll give you scripture references if you need it. But you don't have to believe me, ask your pastor about it.

    There is no reason to assume that believers who are undertake this ministry were ever drinkers or spent time in bars before they were believers. That is simply an assumption. Much worse is to assume that these people are doing it so they won't have to forsake their old life. You just don't know that.
     
  10. LadyEagle

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    Hmmm, I just naturally assumed it would be OK to go into a bar to witness. Didn't Jesus go where the sinners were oft times?
    I witness to homeless and indigents on Saturday's and have wound up in some fairly "unholy" places. I don't feel I or my faith or my witness was compromised.

    So, what do ya'll think? Should we not go to the beach or a bar, etc. because "that's where the sinners hang out?"
    </font>[/QUOTE]Ever heard of the Chaplain of Bourbon Street?
     
  11. rsr

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    BB, I think you've nailed it pretty well.

    The original question, I think, was not witnessing in certain places because:

    If that were the question, would we not be prohibited from activity in jails and prisons, on Wall Street, sometimes in our own neighborhoods and homes? (Rhetorical question; we're all sinners.)

    I think the real question is "What will other 'Christians' think if they see me in a place like that?"
     
  12. Son of Coffee Man

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    You mean the preacher who frequented bars and topless clubs preaching the gospel and eventually left the ministry because of immorality? That chaplain of Bourbon street?

    While Christ was "among the harlots and sinners" you will never find him accepting their sin or turning a blind eye to it. If we are going to use Christ as an example lets be accurate to the scriptures.

    SoCM
     
  13. Mike McK

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    Right, but not all of the people are drunk. I spend a fair amount of time in bars and between being a customer, a former bartender, and having had a band who played in bars, I know a little about the bar scene.

    Maybe it's just the places I hang out, but I don't see all that many people who are just falling down drunk or who are drunk beyond the ability to reason.

    You don't. And they don't, either.

    First of all, "they" (I'm not sure who you mean by "they") shouldn't be making unfounded assumptions about your motives.

    Second, what if you are going in for "one" or even two, too?

    It hasn't been established that drinking in moderation is a sin.

    Where does it say that He never initaited?

    If you have a conviction that going in to a bar is a sin, then, by all means, don't go but I'm not sure I see how going into a bar is automatically "lowering your standards".

    Singing, dancing, eating, talking... none of which are sinful, in and of themselves.

    Actually, when I played in bars, my piano player and I invited a lot of people tochurch and several of them came.

    Why isn't it a good testimony?

    I don't think there's anything wrong with having a beer or two, as long as it's in moderation, but I'm at a place in my life where I just don't seem to enjoy it as much as I used to so I do drink mostly sodas or tea.

    I have a great time just drinking sodas. The best part is that I usually get them for free because the bartenders assume that I'm the designated driver.

    Sadly, smoking in bars and restaurants is becoming a thing of the past (I don't smoe and I don't like breathing other people's smoke but, as a quasi-libertarian, I think they should have the right to do that). Many states and localities are outlawing smoking in public places (even though restaurants and bars are not "public" places).

    Mike

    [ September 21, 2002, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: Smoke_Eater ]
     
  14. Mike McK

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    That's a new one on me. Please explain.

    Mike
     
  15. redwhitenblue

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    Ok...since I too frequent the bars I have to mention that unless you go to a bar specifically marketed as a strip club you won't find much more than dancing, singing, talking, game playing, or watching sports on tv and of course drinking. I also should mention that I've noticed not everyone drinks alcohol either, you will find that some people go to bars specifically for the food.

    I don't see this as any more rationalizaion as it would be to justify christians sitting in the basement of a church stuffing their bodies full of food to the point of gluttony.

    Karen [​IMG]
     
  16. Ernie Brazee

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    Well Mike you might read Matthew 28:46. He gave up his omniscient power to become the Lamb of God.! From creator to Lamb!

    I don't understand the desire to freuqent the bars for an opportunity to witness. Are people that hard to find at home in your town? Are sinners only found at the bar? How often to you "bar preachers" do door to door evangelism? I would much rather visit with someone in their home when their mind is on the subject at hand not on who is buying the next round.

    I did the bar scene until I was 25 years old. The last thing I was interested in was some one sitting telling me about the Lord. The first thing I would have asked is "what are you doing here?" When I was lost I wxpected Christians to have higher standards than I.

    I was ready to join a church prior to salvation until I sat in my uncles living room drinking beer with the "Christian" school principle. They sure didn't have anything to offer me.

    It was when I attended a small IFB church that not only preached against sin, but lived the example. When I was saved it wasn't the preacher in my face saying stay out of the bars, no, it was the Holy Spirit in my heart that told me it was wong. Long before I heard a message on booze I was convicted it was wrong. Friends would invite me to the bar and ask me to drink soda, but I was no longer comfortable even being in a bar.

    You may say you canoverlook the discomfort for a chance to witness. Come on! Get honest! You are there because you want to be in the bar. Stop lying to yourself. God doesn't work that way. At the least the God of the Bible doesn't. Jesus didn't head down to the Silver dollar Saloon and belly up to the bar and to infer my Saviour hob nobbed in seedy places is an insult to my Lord!! :mad: He went to their homesyes but you will never find where he went to the local pub
    !!!!r

    Get a life and start studying the word, please! Stop making excuses for living in the World, separate yourselves and do the Lord's work his way.
     
  17. Mrs KJV

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    Jesus ate with the sinners, yes. But he did not go along with their sin. Even though you are trying to win them just ask them if they think it is right that you are there [​IMG] if your a christian. You will be surprised they will say it is not OK. I know I had the same situation once.
     
  18. C.S. Murphy

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    BB this is getting old, you are welcome here as you well know. I enjoy your posts (for the most part) and whether you post here or not is up to you but I feel this is childish.
     
  19. C.S. Murphy

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    I don't enjoy the pro drinking view as most of you know so maybe we can start a thread to look at it more closely. As someone mentioned Jesus did associate with sinners and he even drank wine with them ( I suppose ) but remember pauls words when he said all things are lawful but not expedient all things don't edify. I don't think any drinking, social or not either helps the drinker or edifies any one. I don't believe that Jesus would drink wine if He were here today. As to making a drinker feel more comfortable with a Christian who sits in a bar sipping wine WHOA!!!! have you not considered that you are sending the wrong signall with the drink, yes they need Christ but we don't need to show them that their lifestyle is acceptable to Christ. Paul also said to not harm anyone with our Meat.
    Murph
     
  20. Baptist Believer

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    Very true... but that's not giving up His deity -- just power.

    Door to door evangelism doesn't work that well in larger cities. People are *extremely* suspicious of persons who go door to door. Even in small towns it is very difficult. (Yes, I have personal experience in this.)

    No. But it is often a place where people go to socialize and build relationships.

    I have done door to door evangelism on many occasions. It is not very effective in most places I have been.

    I would too, but if we wait for the perfect situation, then we may wait a very long time. Furthermore, not everyone in bar is simply interested in pounding down drinks.

    Maybe. Maybe not. Your experience is not necessarily the rule.

    "Standards" are funny things. People equate middle class values or respectability with Christian virtue and the they are not necessarily the same. There are often similarities, but all of these man-made rules to "protect your testimony" may hinder us from taking the gospel to people who need it. Jesus scandalized the religious folks with His teachings and actions. Shouldn't we expect some religious people to get upset when Christians follow in the footsteps of Christ?

    Then you shouldn't be in a bar. Although I don't participate in this ministry, I have never had a problem with alcohol, have never had enough to drink to even get a sensation and of course have never been drunk. I don't care for alcohol beverages very much as it is and have never felt pressure to have a drink just because someone else is drinking. For me to be in a bar -- especially for the purpose of befriending people and telling them the good news about Jesus -- is not sinful.

    Nope.

    Stop assuming the worst of people. There is no self deception here.

    Read the gospels about Jesus spending time with the tax-collectors and the prostitutes. If Jesus is the fullest expression of the Father (Hebrews 1), then this is exactly what the God of the Bible does. He seeks and saves those who are lost -- wherever they are.

    He spent time in the homes of notorious citizens where they were eating and drinking. I don't know if they had the Silver Dollar Saloons in first-century Palestine, but Jesus spent time in places where the Pharisees would not ever enter.

    You don't have to go to seedy bars... Furthermore, I'm not sure if they had pubs. In any case, Jesus was in places where religious people normally wouldn't go. It's all there in the gospels. I assume you are familiar with what the gospels say... if you want scripture references I can give them to you.

    Brother Ernie, I respectfully ask that you reread the Gospels and pay attention to the way Jesus ministered. He spent some time teaching in synagogues and at the temple, but most of His time was spent traveling through the cities and countryside, teaching and ministering everywhere He went. He took time to visit even the most notorious sinners in their homes and receive hospitality. He even made wine for a wedding as His first miracle. I'm afraid your strong ethical code does not completely line up with Christ's calling for believers.

    I have little doubt that you are probably not called to take the message of Christ to people in bars because of your background, but please, don't condemn those who are trying to follow Christ in this matter.
     

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