Strip Club Witness

topless neon sign

In a theological discussion about the more relative aspects of sin and temptation, a friend once posed an unexpected question to me. In this, he postulated a scenario wherein an individual has overcome his carnal nature through Christ and now enjoys freedom from the lust that once ensnared him. Would this hypothetical believer be able to sinlessly preach the Gospel at a strip club?

Would a hypothetical believer be able to sinlessly preach the Gospel at a strip club?

It’s a deeper question than it might seem on the surface, but I think it’s safe to assume the gut’s instinctive reaction is probably close to the mark even when you get past the surface.

There are three things to consider in this hypothetical scenario. First, there’s the question of falling off the wagon, as it were: will the victorious saint be able to remain victorious? Second, there’s the question of the effectiveness of his witness: will the Gospel be heard as he proclaims it? And third, there’s the question of wisdom; and I think this last one might be the clincher.

Remaining Victorious?

Jesus says in John 8:36 if He sets us free, we’re free indeed. So, our hypothetical former devotee of the carnal flesh — let’s say his name is Mortimer Ignatius Winchester Oglethorpe, but his friends call him Bubba. So, Bubba, according to Scripture and even Christ’s own lips is “free indeed” from his prior tendencies. So need he fear the lusty wiles and lecherous smiles of the women writhing within?

Well, God can do anything. Just like it’s possible for a camel to go through the eye of a needle with God (see Mark 10), it’s possible for God to protect an addict from his addiction in the midst of temptation. A man can — theoretically — go into such an establishment and come back out having seen only lost souls and having desired only salvation for those in his midst.

So, yes. He might — and this is a big might— remain victorious over his temptation, but it’s very risky.

He could. I doubt he would, but he could.

Making Disciples?

And is he effective? Can Bubba make an impact for Christ and be a tool for God to use in a dimly-lit environment to set others free as he himself was set free? Can the Great Commission of Matthew 28 extend to the sweat-stained dance floor littered with doffed dresses and leftover lingerie?

Well, I don’t see any exception clauses in any biblical commands to share God’s message of hope and salvation through Christ. Admittedly, the patrons might not give Bubba much eye contact as he pleads his case, but it’s clearly a captive — or at least captivated — audience.

It would likely be an uphill battle trying to distract anyone long enough to have a meaningful witness opportunity, and of course, making disciples involves more than just talking about Jesus and having someone repeat a prayer, so there’s no guarantee any “conversions” would prove to be transformations like Bubba’s own. But anything, again, is possible.

So, yes. He might — and again this is a big might— have some positive influence for the kingdom, but he’s working at a great disadvantage.

Being Wise?

The real question is not one of legalism’s can/can’t but rather one of wisdom’s should/shouldn’t.

Proverbs 7:25 tells us, “Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths” (NIV). There is often wisdom in avoiding temptation, and I believe such avoidance is often the “way out” promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

The real question is not one of legalism’s can/can’t but rather one of wisdom’s should/shouldn’t.

So my answer is this: can Bubba not witness in the parking lot?

Photo credit: KayVee.INC / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
About Phil (251 Articles)
Philip Osgood is a Christian husband, father, and writer who considers himself a passable video game player, fiction reader, camping and hiking enthusiast, welder, computer guy, and fitness aficionado, though real experts in each field might just die of laughter to hear him claim it. He has been called snarky, cynical, intelligent, eccentric, creative, logical, and Steve for some reason. Phil and his beautiful wife Clara live in Texas with their children in a house with a dog but no white picket fence. He does own a titanium spork from ThinkGeek, though, so he must be alright.