Is being a bartender a wise occupation for a Christian?

Bartenders often hear intimate details and personal particulars of those they serve. For a Christian, such open sharing of lives may, on the surface, seem like a series of ripe opportunities to share about Jesus.

However, most mixologists tend to have worldly supervisors, and most bar owners have no interest in having their employees sharing their faith. While Jesus calls us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19–20), we are also called to "abstain from every form of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

Some bars appear to draw fun, fun-loving customers, while others cater to the daily, neighborhood repeat customers. Some are meant more for social or business drinking whereas others clearly promote drunkenness and are ripe with sexual temptation. Either way, the majority of bars seem to be an environment in which sinfulness and worldliness reign, rather than an edifying place for a Christian to be.

Working in a sinful environment puts us in touch with sinners, yes, but the spirit of a Christian would not be edified in daily, repeated participation in such an environment. "What partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14). In such a job, would your mind be "conformed to this world" or transformed by renewal to discern the will of God (Romans 12:2)?

Jesus ate and drank with sinners (Matthew 11:19), but His goal and ability was to save sinners. He imparted truth as He extended compassion and confronted sin. As a bartender, you may be able to occasionally extend the former, but almost never accomplish the later. People may expose their need for Christ, but, if they are intoxicated, it is doubtful they will be able to really hear the gospel.

We cannot escape the world (1 Corinthians 5:10–11), but we need not intentionally, consistently expose ourselves to environments where ungodly music, temptation, and drunkenness are the norm.

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