Christianity Today (CT) regularly features a column entitled 'Three Views', wherein three influential voices within professing Christendom offer their opinion regarding CT's latest controversial issue. The question most recently posited was: Would Jesus Hang Out in a Strip Club? It quickly becomes clear in reading the article that the ultimate question is: Is it okay for professing Christians to 'hang out' in a strip club?
Two of the three voices, Dawn Herzog Jewell and Mike Foster, answered with a resounding 'yes' while Joe Carter of The Gospel Coalition took the negative stance. Carter makes some salient points in his brief argument:
It's hard for me to believe there are Christians who think Jesus would hang out in a strip club. Are we talking about the Jesus who had a high opinion of women and a low view of lust? Hanging out at a strip club doesn't sound like something he would do.It seems that Carter may have hit at the crux of the issue when he queried, "I wonder if what many people want to know is not whether Jesus would hang out at a strip club, but whether he'd have an issue if they hung out there."
But since the question is being asked, I assume there are people who think he would. I have to assume they think that since Jesus ate with sinners, he'd have no problem eating at a buffet next to a stripper pole.
Jesus did sit and eat with sinners (Mark 2:16–17). In Luke 15, we again find the oft-quoted claim made by the Pharisees: "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." What is often left out is the lengthy reply Jesus gave. After hearing their charges, Jesus tells three parables—about a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a prodigal son. . . But there is no evidence that Jesus ever ate with sinners or even spent significant time "hanging out" with them without calling them to turn from their sin. . . .
I wonder if what many people want to know is not whether Jesus would hang out at a strip club, but whether he'd have an issue if they hung out there. For those people, I'd recommend meditating on the words of Matthew 5:28–29.