Christian Night Club: A Modern Tool for Evangelism? | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Faith, LIFE

Christian Night Club: A Modern Tool for Evangelism?

Posted: Sep 13, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chinyere Abiaziem Lagos

Night clubs are termed entertainment venues that usually operate late into the night with a dance floor and a disc jockey (DJ) booth. It is a place where recorded music is played while alcohol is predominantly served. Expectedly, one of the things you find at night club is a shisha (an oriental tobacco pipe with a long flexible tube connected to a container where the smoke is cooled by passing through water). This is made available, alongside dim lights and scantily dressed ladies.

A nite club

A nite club

Several reasons abound why people patronise club houses. Sometimes, it is to escape boredom, catch fun, unwind, hook up with women or men for intimacy (one night fling), drink, smoke or network with some high profile citizens.

Some clubs run daily while others run only on Fridays, as most people rarely have time to unwind except on weekends due to tight schedules.

Night clubs are no strange institutions but they become strange to the ears when mentioned as a trend in the religious circle. These days some individuals and faith-based organisations have outfits that run as Christian night clubs, though not with the label night clubs.

When asked the reasons behind the concept of   Christian night clubs, Don Sam of the Underground, an Abuja-based Christian club said it is about having a place where Christians can dance and listen to good music and get clarified on certain issues.

“You know most times youths complain that they don’t have places to go and relax or listen to music. Here gospel music is allowed and every other thing that will glorify the name of God. We do not allow anything that is sinful and bring God’s name to disrepute.

“Here we interact with one another, we have pastors among us that speak to us on topical issues like tattoos, drugs etc. The activities are regulated and we do not label it as night club.

“We have people who used to be drug addicts but are now born again. We hold the club every Sunday from 5pm to 10pm while we have the 10pm till dawn session, once in a month. The truth is that if you don’t give them opportunities to unwind in the Christian way, they will go experiment outside. It is like when you do not give your children sex education, others outside will teach them in a negative way which may lead to having sexual diseases and unwanted pregnancies,” Sam said.

He narrated how he was skeptical about the concept at first, but had a change of mind after visiting a Christian club where he got to know about the lives that were transformed.

“I was part of the people who castigated the idea of Christian clubs until I visited one and was impressed by what I saw, which I keyed into and became a full fledged member.”

Don Sam upholds that the church should take responsibility for this. “The church should not be a four wall apartment where people come in and pretend to be holy while when they go out they become something else.

“I will not fault some that castigate this concept because whatever you are not called for you will not understand; since they are not called into this ministry they may not understand. I must say that when God gives His grace for the ministry we can handle any assignment he gives us.”

Meanwhile some spiritual leaders, who gave their reaction on this, expressed disapproval of the concept and said it could be hijacked by the devil and evil minded individuals to cause havoc.

As Pastor Evans Adetokunbo of Grace Mission, did put it- “Ordinarily; knowing what night clubs are, one would want to be careful with such an idea. But qualifying it with the appellation ‘Christian’ might make one to give it a second thought.

“If you say it is a place where people have recreation within the bounds of the laws and tenets of the kingdom of God, well, one might say, it’s okay. Such a place would be a place where things are done decently and in order.

“Things that should characterize such a place are- Christian music, decent dressing, non alcoholic drinks, no smoking, no drugs, well lit, family sensitive and safe for children, edifying interactions, no carnality, no inconvenient jestings or coarse jokes, no indecent relationships, or such things but where Christ remains Lord in absolute terms. Then we can call it a night club that is truly Christian.

“But if it is a place to use liberty as a cloak for unrighteousness and sin, a place where certain indulgences contrary to Christ are allowed, a place where the Spirit of God is restricted and the law of God is partially obeyed. If it is a permissive place where other things outside can rule once in a while or a place where the family is put at the background or children can’t come; one that has no respect for the family unit or time for the family, probably closing late and a hide out for non-resident and vagabond parents, then don’t call it Christian.”

Speaking further, he warned Christians not to be deceived into going there; “Going there will be too risky for any serious minded, kingdom focused individual. Only babes in Christ and carnal Christians who mind earthly things would be found in such places; such won’t help the cause of Christ.”

According to Apostle Duru Harrison of Epitome of Love Global Church, Okoko, “Christian club is an importation of worldly practice and a wrong tool for evangelism, as it is not part of   Christian practices.

“It is not part of the Christian doctrine or revelation handed to Christians by God. It is an attempt to use ungodly practices to reach the people, which is one of our problems in Christendom today. You have to use God’s standard to reach people in the way they will be touched.

“I think we should maintain a standard called night vigil, instead of calling it club.  I think this concept should be discouraged, otherwise it could lead to the penetration of evil. Everybody knows what club is all about. If you listen to some of the songs they call gospel songs, you will discover that they are far cries from what the gospel should be. So, to be candid, this is a bad trend that should be discouraged.”

Speaking on the subject, Pastor Stanley Okorom of The Apostolic Church of Nigeria, Arepo Assembly, Olorunda District, submitted that the idea is a manipulation of the devil.

His words; “You will agree with me that the devil manipulates every intention, whether good or bad: how much more the idea of a Christian club. If I may ask “Have we finished conducting night vigils, so why night clubs? I do not subscribe to a thing like this.”

Meanwhile, a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Tony Agba linked the trend to one of the end time signs.

“I do not believe in anything called Christian club except for vigils or praise nights. To me, it is a sign of the end time and should be put away. I will never advise that my youths or parish members attend or fund any such thing.”

“This trend in my view will affect the church negatively. With time one may not be able to differentiate between a Christian club and the worldly club everybody knows exist,” Pastor Agba said.

Another cleric, Pastor John Ajagbe stated that he sees it as a program that can be hijacked by the devil to perpetuate evil and even corrupt the minds of people to do evil.

His comment; “I am telling you very soon we will begin to hear stories of events from there that may not give glory to God. I do not see this as a way of evangelism. It can be dangerous to bring young people together.”

The Lagos Secretary of The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr. Israel Akinadewo also joined in condemning the concept.

His view; “I just believe the devil is using this avenue; saying it is a night club. Should churches be building nightclubs when they are supposed to be building things like theological schools? When people go for some religious activities you know what they can do there, how much more a club.”

Speaking from a different point of view, Archbishop Ereka Ihenacho of The Gospel Episcopal Church of Nigeria gave support to the idea stating that; “A Christian night club is a smart way of reaching the unreached souls and winning them for Christ as long as unwholesome activities are not allowed there.

“Personally I feel if they don’t do what they do in the worldly clubs, then I don’t have a problem with it. No one has the monopoly of any word.  What differentiates any gathering whether club or church is what happens there?

“You know we have village meetings and church meetings, so what differentiates the meetings is the presence of the Holy Ghost. For me, the idea of a Christian club is a smart and wise way of taking the gospel to the unreached.”

Sharing similar opinion with Archbishop Ihenacho, Pastor Olufemi Emmanuel of West Africa Theological Seminary said it will be more important to dwell on the impacts rather than condemn the trend.

“We should contemplate on the difference if what we are doing is what will contribute to people’s spiritual growth instead of looking at it from the name it carries ‘night club.’”

He was quick to add that care should be taken so that Christians do not fall into error while helping the youths meet up with today’s challenge. As he expressed; “Let me point this out quickly. We don’t have to be unchristian in trying to be strategic in preaching the gospel.  It’s like deception. Looking at what happened recently in an RCCG church where a worldly musician was invited to perform; I will say that Jesus would not use such to attract people; so we must not go worldly in order to attract people. We do not have to put on sinful garments to attract people. For example, I don’t have to wear a sinful garment to attract prostitutes. Jesus said, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.”