Whether or not Christians can “party” depends on what you mean by the term. To some people, “partying” might mean relaxing with a group of friends or celebrating special occasions with one another. This may include games, food and drink, and music. It would be characterized by good clean fun. To other people, “partying” may mean heavy drinking, the use of drugs, sexual promiscuity, or other forms of self-destructive behavior.
In the first type of partying mentioned, people are simply enjoying themselves and expressing that joy, sharing it with others. In the second type, people are often unhappy and are attempting to escape from reality by involving themselves in a binge of sinful, harmful, short-term pleasures ( Ephesians 5:18; 1 Peter 4:1-4 ).
The Bible doesn’t prohibit a party of the first type. After all, Jesus’ first miracle took place during a wedding celebration at Cana ( John 2:1-11 ). Additionally, both Old and New Testaments give considerable emphasis to the healthy enjoyment of feasts and celebrations. On the other hand, the Bible offers a number of serious warnings about celebrating or partying as if there is no tomorrow or accountability to God ( Proverbs 23:29-35; Isaiah 5:11-13; Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 5:11; Ephesians 5:18 ).
The wedding at Cana would be an example of one kind of party that Christians could enjoy—partying as an expression of thankfulness, joy, and celebration. But partying that is characterized by self-gratification, anger, resentment, and rebellion would not be acceptable to Christians. True joy and happiness that is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ stands in sharp contrast to such a negative approach to partying. Spiritually and emotionally healthy people who are enjoying all that God has given them don’t find self-destructive behavior attractive.
Genuine Christians really know how to party because they don’t depend on the outward, physical elements of the party itself to make them happy within. They come to a party already equipped with love, peace, joy, and spiritual freedom ( Romans 5:5; 14:17 ).To them, a party is an opportunity to celebrate the happiness they already possess. A non-Christian may try to party, but when they do they are often like Damocles, trying to enjoy a banquet with a sword hanging above his head, or Belshazzar, quaking in fear after he had seen a supernatural hand writing words on the wall ( Daniel 5:5-9 ). Their partying reveals an inward sense of emptiness and despair ( Isaiah 22:13 ), a haunting voice behind the pretense of joy that incessantly whispers, “Is that all there is to a party? Is that all there is to life?”
- Of course, not everyone who calls himself a Christian is genuine. Hypocrites are the most miserable people of all. Their happiness is only a pretense, and what they truly need is repentance and conversion.
- According to a legend of ancient Greece, the courtier, Damocles, told the king of Syracuse that he envied his power and privileges. The king gave the naïve courtier an object lesson about the stress and danger of a king’s life by seating him at a banquet with a heavy sword suspended by a hair directly above his head.
Taken from Answers to Tough Questions.