I have spoken about my views on religion before, and after a couple recent visits to a new church, there's another topic that has been on my mind for a while.
The pastor at this particular church has done a series of sermons over the past couple weeks dealing with completely "giving yourself to God," and whenever he talks about giving up certain things, he mentions the usual: drinking, smoking, sleeping around, etc. Then he asks this question in regards to people that claim to want a closer relationship with God, but continue to party every weekend: "How you in church when you was just at the club last night?"
I guess I should back up here, and give a little background on my clubbing experience. I have never been the "party girl." I've lived in St. Louis all my life and never once stepped foot in a nightclub, probably because I sincerely hate any and everything associated with St. Louis and have never wanted to waste my time. Add the fact that I have 0 friends here and.....well, you get the picture.
Then I moved to Orlando for a semester. I worked as an intern for Disney World, I didn't have a car, and I was under 21, so my clubbing options were limited. I soon discovered that the hot spot for Disney interns was a Disney-owned assortment of clubs known as Pleasure Island, or "PI," as my friends and I affectionately called it. The main spots that I frequented were the BET nightclub, as well as Motions, a more ethnically mixed nightclub. Thursdays were the most popular nights at PI, and in spite of working 12+ hour shifts on most days, my friends and I would muster the energy to board the "Party" bus almost every week and head out for a night on the town. There were always plenty of.....interesting characters on the bus, so I don't recall too many dull moments going to and from PI. I got my first dose of the lame and amusing pickup lines/stalker moves that guys try in a club atmosphere, and I actually enjoyed myself while being liquor-free. A couple years later, I found out that PI had been closed down, and it bummed me out a little to hear that my old stomping ground was no more.
I moved back to St. Louis from Orlando and went back to my quiet, party-less lifestyle, then I made another move a few years down the road; this time to Atlanta. I had heard all about the hype of partying in the "A," so I was ready to get out there and see what all the city had to offer. Immediately, my roommate and I became well-acquainted with Underground Atlanta, which was not the upscale, swanky atmosphere I had envisioned before I moved away from home. It was mostly occupied by ATL hoodrats and men who looked too old to be posted up in a club for Thirsty Thursdays. Oh well. I tried to find some different places to go to, and the foolishness began.
My weekends over the next year-and-a-half in Atlanta consisted of getting dressed up in my Saturday night's best, pre-gaming with my friends, then heading out to whatever random club that promised via their fliers "ladies are free before midnight." We would show up at the club, stand in line for over an hour, and eventually find out that the club was now charging $10, $15, or whatever they felt like charging depending on who you knew or how much ass you kissed. Sometimes we would suck it up and pay the cover charge, then go inside to listen to some Gucci Mane or Wacka Flocka bullshit, and buy some drinks to keep the buzz going. Sometimes my roommate would work her negotiating skills and get us in for free, then we would go in and listen to some Gucci Mane or Wacka Flocka bullshit, and get drinks to keep the buzz going. Other times we would decide that $20 wasn't worth it, and take our asses to Taco Bell and go home.
I said all that because, after hearing that message by the pastor, I brought it up with my mom and she inquired why it would be a big deal to give up club going since it was never very enjoyable for me in the first place. I didn't have a real answer to back up my reasoning, but my biggest concern with it was (and is) that it all seems so.......FINAL. I have always been the chill, go-with-the-flow type of friend, so to go from being down for whatever to saying, "No, I can't go to the club because that's not pleasing to God" seems so out-of-character for me. My mother's argument was that I don't have to tell people I'm not going to party with them because of my religion--which is true--but that still gives me this "holier-than-thou" feeling that I'm not quite comfortable with.
One thing I'm curious to know though, is when did partying become a "sinful" thing? I'm sure most Christians would argue that it's the breeding ground for a lot of "sin" to take place, like drinking, smoking, and sex, but what about those of us who really just go to hang out with friends? I can honestly say that I have never gone to a club looking to hook up with any dude. I know damn well that a nightclub is the last place to go looking for love. As silly as club-going could be sometimes, I often found myself going out because it gave me some interesting stories to tell. It's sad, but true. Like right now.......I don't go anywhere, I don't do anything; therefore, I don't have shit to blog about. Mom's advice is to surround myself with some young Christians, but most of the people I meet who are my age and have "given themselves to God" dress and act frumpy, and listen to gospel music exclusively. I like 6-inch heels, hip-hop music, and making fun of people who do stupid shit. Yeah, don't know how long those friendships would last.
Besides, doesn't the Bible say something like "Eat, drink, and be merry"? Last time I checked, that sounded a lot like partying......
Eh, I don't know. I'm just getting over a cold so I'm kind of loopy right now, and I apologize in advance if this post is all over the place. Is it reasonable to expect 20-somethings to completely give up on the nightlife in order to get closer to God? What are some NOT so "holier-than-thou" alternatives to partying and getting wasted?