How Dare You Laugh?
Me and God frown whenever
you tempt us to laugh!
Stuck in their assumption that if the Bible is literal, inerrant, absolute, unchanging and
possessed of only one true interpretation, those who lead believing Christian soldiers onward cannot maintain troop discipline
if humor is allowed to flourish.
Get your search engine to look for Christianity, God, humor, soberness, solemnity,
etc. and you will find (I promise you) serious and earnest sermons and essays on the evil of laughter.
They may appear
extreme and apologists may try to dismiss them as such, but you will find writings and sermons openly critical and condemning
of popular Christian writers, speakers and pastors who use and even worse - praise - humor as part of a “godly attribute.”
sort of thinking represents one powerful aspect of why it has been said that Christian humor is an oxymoron.
of this humorless aspect of those fundamentalist-literalist political leaders and preachers was never more aptly portrayed
than when former Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming) went after comedian Bill Maher on Maher’s HBO show, “Real Time,”
within a day or two of the election.
Simpson did not quote the following verse nor probably even have it in mind, but
it reflects the post-election sense of smug vindication heard over and over again from prime Christian political movers and
shakers and millions of offended Christians in congregations all over the country:
indeed said...Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep." (Luke 6:25)
How to raise a child blind to the real world, blind to his own spiritual personality and inculcate
a mythological world where God has no sense of humor and frowns upon laughing (no pun intended):
I found a sermon complete
with an outline entitled “The Christian Duty to Be Sober”. (And it’s not about abstinence
“ We control our minds by thinking on right things,” which teaches perhaps that life is
not about spontaneity but rather a life of struggling to control:
We must have self-control to be saved--we must be
sober. We do this by...
1) Controlling our Minds
2) Correctly Using Our Bodies.
3) And thus, Nurturing Our Spirits!
5. Have you been living soberly?
1)If you are a Christian and have not, then you need to repent.
2)If you are not a
Christian, then you need to learn about your own salvation.
3)Hear, believe, repent, confess, be baptized.”
When Jesus spoke in praise of the lilies of the field he was praising their spontaneity, their absolute
faith and trust that God would bless them abundantly precisely where they were growing.
Furthermore - and I’ve
made this analogy before - Jesus did not imply that the lilies should all strive to grow together in some single sacred part
of the meadow, concern themselves with conformity as to where to stand so as to get the greatest dose of sunlight, rain and
where they can grow “weed-free”, nor worry about how all the lilies scattered about the meadow were not going
to have the same success in life the conformity-minded lilies had dogmatized.
“Vigilance and sobriety are essential for us if we would please our Master.
of sobriety then would be carelessness, silliness or recklessness. Lack of sobriety is a real danger for those who, in their
joy for the things of God, give themselves over to emotionalism with reckless abandon.
These lighthearted also often
give themselves up to jesting and joking, activities which would be excluded from the activities of the sober minded, who
would rather take the things of life more seriously than revel carelessly in the lion's presence.
God exhorts men and
women both to be sober and to teach sobriety to others:
'But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: that
the aged men be sober... the aged women likewise... that they may teach the young women to be sober... Young men likewise
exhort to be sober minded.'
... The vigilant Christian is the one who is on the lookout for the enemies of his spiritual,
emotional, and physical well-being. Often in the church perhaps we feel free from danger, but it is here that our adversary
is at his deadliest.
In light of our spiritual warfare, sobriety and vigilance are especially vital for Christian success
in the constant struggle with sin, self, and Satan. When is it that we can drop our guard? It is when the pearly gates of
our eternal home are opened for us and not 'till then.
If we drop our vigilance before the time, it is then that we
invite trouble from our enemies. It is not that any of God's children are in any eternal peril, but we may be seriously confounded
and dismayed in our walks if we are careless.
These are the “lilies” who pretend to have figured it out for the rest of humanity.
are the “lilies” who have belittled a part of our humanity that was placed within us by God and are ignorantly
and foolishly implying that our natural instinct to see humor and bust out laughing is in fact an evil seed.
evil seed, it was either planted by God at our creation or allowed by God as a permanent handicap going back to the expulsion
from Eden. If Eden were the cause, then why would such spontaneity still be in existence at the time of Christ and why would
Christ praise that spontaneity?
As an example, Jesus commenting about the blind leading the blind with both falling
into a ditch was something that - in the vernacular and idiomatic language of his culture - could easily have been a point
of humor. 2000 years later we are not experts at what sort of verbal humor - or satire - cause those early Jews to bust out
laughing; that is unless we assume that they had no sense of humor.
But then to do so we would actually have to acknowledge
that we are making and acknowledging an assumption. However acknowledging that a specific meaning of a specific Bible verse
is assumption is an act that absolute insistence on an inerrant Bible forbids.
“In light of our spiritual warfare, sobriety and vigilance are especially vital for Christian success
in the constant struggle with sin, self, and Satan.“
Thus follows the fate I bring upon my own children if, as a believer in inerrancy and absolute single-meaning
of Biblical preaching and verses, I train them from childhood with the imposition of the following imagined reality:
the world is a dangerous place. I can’t tell you why God made it that way but He did and the path is hard, cruel, dangerous
and strictly unforgiving if you should make a misstep and don't feel guilty and repent. You can’t see it, but all around
you in the spiritual world (it’s the world where God, Jesus and Satan dwell) there’s a war going on. In that world,
it’s a war just as mean as the war you see on TV, as the video games where you can pretend to shoot and kill people
and the movies about war, drugs and sex.
Sometimes, when we least expect it, that war gets too powerful and that causes
God, Jesus and Satan to have to reach across the spirit boundary and try to get more of us human beings on their side.
and Jesus try to get our help by sending us wise preachers who will tell us all we ever need to know about righteousness and
spiritual warfare. Satan, on the other hand, sneaks up on us when we least expect it and tries to trick us into doing things
that make bigger bombs that explode for him in the spirit world.
God and Jesus will be easy to help because all you
have to do is go to church, listen to what the wiser religious adults tell you and don’t ever disagree with them.
it will be easy for Satan to get your help because he will trick you into doing bad things that hurt God’s feelings
and break God’s rules. When you do that, you set off bigger bombs for Satan in the spiritual warfare world.
remember that God and Jesus are tougher than Satan in that spirit war but victory really depends on how many righteous bombs
or sin bombs get sent into the spirit world by what we do here. I don’t know why Satan can so easily get us to launch
sin missiles in the spirit war, but it is easy for him. In fact, if you listen to the wise guys who do the preaching stuff
here, they will tell you exactly how.
That’s why everyone at church is so serious. This is scary stuff and we
don’t laugh about any of it.
But you ask, If God is tougher, why are things easier for Satan here?
rightly know. But the wise preachers will tell you that all earthlings have a path to walk that is like walking along a very
narrow trail in the jungle where you don’t dare step off, even if there are lilies and other flowers you want to smell.
They tell you that you must not look, must not stop and keep marching - and make sure you keep all those on the path with
you in the line because it’s also your job to be a trail sheriff.
So just like you might be afraid that there
are snakes under your bed at night when the room is dark and you’re worried about something, you need to be afraid -
be very afraid - and vigilant your whole life that you don’t fall asleep and let the snakes climb up into bed with you.
you think a funny thought, you will make a path from under your bed to right under your pillow. So don’t think funny
It’s really a tough world kids. I’ve been a warrior for God now for 40 years and I’ve got
scars that you all will get. Like me, you should grow up afraid, constantly on the watch for evil and ready to have God’s
tattletale angels make note of your every mistake, no matter how tiny.
Like me, you may wind up with all the things
that happen to people who grow up being vigilant and afraid. You might have high blood pressure, a short temper and not be
willing to tolerate anybody who disagrees with you about the truth of what the wise preachers have taught you all their lives.
above all, laughing is a sin. It’s evil, kids, and every time you feel a smile is going to get away from you and burst
into a chuckle, remember, God is watching you and the angels are taking notes.
“The children of God must be sober in their opinions; hold nothing but what a sober man would hold. Error, as Saint
Basil says, is a spiritual intoxication, a kind of frenzy. If Christ were upon the earth again, he might have patients enough.
There are abundance of spiritual lunatics among us which need healing.
Let a child of God look at his face every morning
in the glass of God's Word and see his sinful spots. This will make him walk humbly all the day after. God cannot endure to
see his children grow proud. He suffers them to fall into sin, as he did Peter, that their plumes may fall, and that they
may learn to go on lower ground. ”
Joy Versus Jokes?
“Does the Bible teach that reverence of the
Lord is to be the prevailing attitude of church leaders and teachers when His church assembles?
Are believers to be
serious about the things of the Lord?
The Word of God clearly teaches that seriousness and reverence are to be the
main components of the countenance of church leaders. Tragically, church leaders are instead acting like secular comedians
and Hollywood "show" personalities. The "just kidding around", bafoon (sp) type of man is the newly emerging personality type
of the new, young church leaders in the evangelical, Pentecostal and fundamentalist church.
Laughter is not joy, and
humor is not of the Lord. The confusion on this important distinction is both enormous and extremely misleading and damaging,
for it portrays God as something He is not.
Joy flows from love, which produces peace. This is a beautiful picture
of someone walking in the Spirit, and whose source of strength for producing the fruit is a vibrant and real relationship
with Jesus Christ.
"Laughter" and "Joy" are Not Biblical Partners
Perhaps this article will bring more wrath
than any other on this web site, since it exposes one of the most popular, beloved and widely accepted falsehoods in the church.
what is more damaging than the overt laughing prophets and prophetesses criss-crossing the country, is the fact that your
local church leaders are more than likely ensnared by the falsehoods in this article.
I see young men taking the spiritual
title of authority "Pastor" quite frequently, who seem to feel like they must mirror the world's comedians when addressing
... the next week, the President/Pastor's sidekick, a Vice President/Pastor, felt the need to use Frank
Sinatra's words to get the people to laugh. How utterly tragic. And the leaders of the church wonder why the Spirit is not
working to change people's lives. "Oh, lighten up…"
If you are a member of a church whose leaders are ensnared
in the flesh on this point of worldly humor, then I exhort you to make a copy of this article and share it with those leaders.
This issue, I think, is so deeply embedded in this lost culture, and therefore in the worldly church, that it will take a
miracle of God to bring people to repentance over it.
But take heart, our precious and mighty Lord is in the practice
of working miracles!
If you are a church leader reading this article and you regularly, as part of your normal countenance,
use humor and joking around, then I urge you to repent and acknowledge the truth of God's Word presented in this article.
I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish
things.’ (1 Cor. 13:11).
And yet, some folks don't think God can't smile.
It is sometimes really funny to hear some solemn, ponderous parson trying to pretend that there
is no humor in Christ's words, and reading the story of the man who choked at a fly and swallowed a camel, or of the man who
put his lamp under the bed instead of on the lamp stand, or of the man who couldn't come to a feast because he had married
a wife, and so on-with a score of other illustrations one could give - as if the words "Here beginneth the first lesson" must
necessarily precede some solemn exhortation from which all humor must be rigorously excluded."
Maybe so, but as my alter ego (icon), Reverend Duminyun, would say:
“Madam, you will burn in hell for making light of that!”