Wednesday, 20 February 2013

An Exposé of Christian Comedy

An Exposé of Christian Comedy

 ~ Bible-backed thoughts on the error of Christian comedy in the church today ~

Let me start by saying that it is with utmost love that I reach out to you concerning this important subject. I urge you to take a step back and see what the Bible says concerning such things.

Everyone has the right and privilege of free choice. You may choose to continue in this type of humor. That's your choice and I respect that freedom. But that doesn't mean I condone your choice. While we each have the right to our own opinions, as Christians we need to form those opinions based on the foundation of scripture. What God says about any issue should affect our stance in the matter. Personally, I refuse to back away from sound doctrine. I want God's will in my heart and life, no matter the cost.  

"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;" 2 Timothy 2:24-25

"These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee." Titus 2:15

The 'authority' is the scripture. Let's take a closer look at what the Bible says about the issue of Christian comedy.

Thanks to social media, this video was brought to my attention. Upon viewing it and then assessing it—as well as the thoughts and feelings it conjured within me—I began searching the scriptures. This exposé is the result.


A wise man of God once said: "There's plenty to laugh at in the world—but be sure you don't laugh at something that God takes seriously." ~ A.W. Tozer

First let me clarify that I am not an outsider looking in at a 'hand raising' church. While such a term encompasses several denominations, I will, for simplification purposes, use the term 'charismatic' in the general sense from here on end. I once attended just such a denomination for many years. So it is not in ignorance that I address this subject. I am quite familiar with what goes on in such a service as well as the terminology common to charismatics. It is also worth noting that I no longer attend such a church, but rather a more traditional denomination and service.

Another thing that needs to be made clear is that this critique is in no way against the practice of raising hands in worship to God. The Bible clearly states in both Old and New Testaments:

"Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord." Psalm 134:2

 "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands" 1 Timothy 2:8

 What I am speaking against is the outright mockery made of this biblical practice by a self-proclaimed 'Christian Comedian."

This is not an attack on Mr. Hawkins—God knows his heart, I don't. However the Bible instructs us to test the spirits and to assess the fruit:

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. …Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:15-16a, 18, 20-23

It is the fruit that is the focus of this exposé.

I have found from personal experience down through the years, that most comedians go too far. They don't just push it to the limit, they well overstep the boundaries. This holds true for 'Christian' comedians as well.

I once attended a Mark Lowry 'concert'. And while the majority of the evening he was hilarious—telling good, wholesome, stories and jokes—he eventually overstepped the boundary set forth in scripture. I will not repeat what he said, suffice to say he joked about the very thing 1 Corinthians 11:20-30 warns against.

Getting back to this particular video, I must say it mortifies me that 'Christians' would laugh at this mockery. I admit that I can see why people would find it funny, and there was a time in my life that I may have even chuckled at some of it. Thanks be to God for allowing me to see the error of my ways.

This is not something to joke about. The Bible tells us to lift 'holy' hands to God.

"I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands" 1 Timothy 2:8

It is an act of worship. And making jokes about something sacred is called blasphemy. Oops! Wait! Before you quit reading because of the mere mention of the 'B' word, let's look at the dictionary's definition of it and see if it might actually relate to our subject.

- The act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.
- A contemptuous, impious, irreverent, or profane act, utterance, attitude, or writing concerning God or something considered sacred.
- The act of insulting, or showing contempt, or lack of reverence for God.

Suddenly seems to apply, doesn't it? In my research I found myself looking at the definitions of synonymous words—most of which are common (and as a result, are never looked at in detail). It was quite interesting and enlightening. I have provided my list of words and their definitions here for you. I hope it will be as informative to you as it was to me. 

- Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of Deity.
- Connected with God or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration. 

- Fear; a feeling of profound respect for someone.
- The fear of the Lord. 

- Violation (fail to respect), profanation, or misuse of what is regarded as sacred 

- To treat something sacred with irreverence or disrespect.
- Marked by contempt or irreverence for God or sacred principles or things.  

- Scorn; Disdain; Disregard; Despised; Dishonor; Disgraced.
- The feeling or attitude regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless.
- Lack of respect and reverence. 

- Lack of reverence or due respect; Critical.
- A disrespectful act or remark.
- Satirical (critical; mocking; ridicule) 

- Not showing respect or reverence.
- Lacking proper respect.

- A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something.
- To feel and/or show deferential (submission or courteous yielding to the opinion, wishes or judgement of another; courteous respect; honor) regard for.
- Concern; Reverence.
- To avoid violation of or interference with.
- To regard with honour or esteem. 

- High respect; Esteem. 

- Deep respect for; Profound awe, respect, adoring, and love; Veneration.
- The act showing respect.
- Respectful, submissive attitude. 

All of these words and definitions show that making fun of such things is wrong in the sight of God. Yet inevitably, even in the face of the dictionary's evidence, people will still argue this kind of humor is still ok. 'Relax!' 'Lighten up!' 'Don't be so 'religious'!' 'Jesus has a sense of humor—He's laughing too!' et al.


First of all, let me clarify that I am not 'religious' in the sense of charismatic terminology (which paints it in a negative light). I am a born again Christian seeking to know God and His word and live it out by His strength each day He grants me breath. I am not some 'staunch religious stuff shirt' tied up in legalism.  

Having said that, I should also explain my position concerning the Law of God. According to the scriptures, Jesus did not do away with the Law, He came to fulfill it! 

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:17-19 

Under Old Testament law it was a sin to kill or commit adultery. But Jesus has made these laws an issue of the heart. Now if you hate or lust after another, you're as guilty as the one who has followed through and acted upon those thoughts: 

"Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. … Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28 

So did Jesus do away with the Law? Not at all! The Law abides to expose every person's hidden sin. It shows each of us that we are condemned by God because of our sin. The Law shows us we are morally bankrupt and in desperate need of a Saviour. And that is where Jesus comes in. 1 Timothy 1:9-10 tells us the purpose of the Law is for sinners, not the righteous:

"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;" 

Galatians 3:24 says the Law is our schoolmaster for the purpose of bringing us to Christ: "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

If the Law were done away with, there would be no true converts to Christ.  

John 5:45 states "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust."  Moses—the Law—accuses us, but Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and brings grace and mercy and forgiveness to those who repent.  

When we become born again Christians, we now live under grace. But that still does not mean that the Law is done away with. Nor does it mean that we do not have to follow His commands. The Law is now written in our hearts. We follow God's Law not out of 'have to,' but out of 'want to.' It is a willingness to follow springing forth from our love and fear of God. We follow His commands out of obedience to Him.
It is in essence the difference between a bondservant and a slave. A bondservant is one who's debt to his master is paid, but loves his master so much that he chooses to stay and serve him always. We are to be bondservants of Christ.

Getting back to our primary subject…

Generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with laughing. It is proven good for the soul and body. But it depends upon the subject of the humor whether we, as believers, should participate or abstain.  

It is commonplace for those in the charismatic movement to say things like: 'Jesus is right there laughing with you!' 'God has a sense of humor!' etc. And while I have no solid proof, I believe Jesus had His share of laughter during His 33 years on earth.  

But we need to look what the scriptures tell us about laughter to get insight into God's perspective on it. It is only when we confine our answers to the safe, reliable boundaries of the Bible that we close the door to speculation.  

While there are positive verses concerning laughter, a shocking number show it in a very different light. Charismatics are correct when they say God laughs. But I think they would be surprised by the subject of His laughter.

He laughs at the heathen:
"He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them [the heathen (2:1)] in derision." Psalm 2:4
"But thou, O Lord, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision." Psalm 59:8 

He laughs at the wicked:
"The Lord shall laugh at him [the wicked (37:12)]: for he seeth that his day is coming." Psalm 37:13

To those who reject God's council:
"I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;" Proverbs 1:26

Elsewhere in the scriptures we are told:
"The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:" Psalm 52:6 speaking about those who love evil more than good and do not make God their strength.

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." James 4:8-10 

The wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, had this to say:
"Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth." Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 

Jesus also touched on the subject:
"Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh….Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep." Luke 6:21&25 

There are two sides to the story—laughter is not always good. 

Genesis 18:13-15 recounts the event of Sarah laughing at the idea of bearing a child at her age.
"And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh."

It is interesting to note that Sarah denied laughing because she was afraid. Her conscience (finally) kicked into gear and told her it was wrong to have laughed at something God had said.  

Did you know that God condemns jesting? First, let's look at the definition of the word. 

- Something said or done to provoke laughter.
- Amusing remarks; To joke, quip, wisecrack; a play a gag. 

Now let's look at what the Bible says about it.

"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks." Ephesians 5:3-4

The context begins with fornication and ends with jesting. So in light of what scripture says, kidding around isn't so great after all, is it?!

Here are some strong words that should soberly be considered:
"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:26-31 

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments" Psalm 111:10 

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Proverbs 1:7 

Here's what Solomon says all of life boils down to:
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13

Here are more sober words from the Lord: "the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed." 1 Samuel 2:30b

Do we really fear God? Don't answer too quickly. Take a moment and think about it. The answer: not really. We have become way too comfortable in our relationship with the Lord. One cannot draw near to fire without getting burned. God's judgment is described as fire throughout the scriptures. 

"For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God." Deuteronomy 4:24 
"For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29 

"But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Malachi 3:2-3 

"Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 

Hebrews 12:18-21 gives an account of Moses and the Israelites encamped about Mount Sinai. The Israelites died in the wilderness because of their unbelief. They represent unbelievers who, when they taste God's holiness and judgment, retreat in fear. Moses, on the other hand, represents believers. Yet even Moses—the man who saw the back of God's glory pass before him—said "I exceedingly fear and quake."
"For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)" 

In Old Testament times, those who violated God's commands were stoned. Disobedience equalled death. Quite an incentive to hearken and obey! It produced the fear of the Lord in the hearts of the people. And it is severely lacking in the church today.  

"Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death" Joshua 1:18 

"Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. … And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. … And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day." Joshua 7:11-12, 19-21, 25-26 

Think such things are only confined to the Old Testament? What about this passage from Acts 5:1-11:
"But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things."

Again, it produced the fear of the Lord in the hearts of the people.

Just the fact that no man can look at God and live should tell you how holy God is.
"And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live." Exodus 33:20 

God deserves total reverence and respect in all things and in all areas of our lives. If we can't do that then, quite frankly, we don't deserve to be called His children.  

Today's church has taken verses like the following, and pushed the envelope too far. 

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." John 15:13-14 

"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24 

Yes, Jesus is my best friend. He is that friend that sticks closer than a brother that Proverbs talks about. But there is a vast difference between a dear friend and a 'buddy' as charismatics tend to portray their relationship with the Lord.  

Jesus and the term 'home boy' should never be used in the same sentence. Jesus is God Almighty. The one who came to earth as a man. Lived a sinless life and bore the sins of many on a crude cross. Crucified by His creation. Dying for mankind—that spit on Him and hurled abuse upon Him. Rising again, defeating death and the grave and offering salvation to anyone who would repent from their sins and turn to Him.  

He deserves respect, people. Not a 'high five'.  

Would you walk up to the Queen and say, "Hey there, Queenie! Here's a high five!" Of course not. So if you wouldn’t disrespect a mere mortal like that, why on earth would you think it's ok to say that to the King of kings and the Lord of lords?! He's the Creator of the universe—from the vast galaxies of the heavens to the minute details of the eyelashes on a tiny hummingbird.

Yet you think it's ok (and even funny) to "give the Lord a high five"?

Take a quick look at the world's religions. A Muslim wouldn't tolerate talk like this about Allah or Mohammed for one moment. They'd start WWIII over the mere mention of such blasphemy. Catholics respect Mary and the Pope more than some Christians respect Jesus. All the world religions are full of devout followers that are strictly devoted to their gods and religious practices. Why aren't Christians? It's mind-boggling! 

There is a story that seems to fit well with this topic.

A young boy was playing in the dusty streets of an old West town when a rogue stage coach came racing uncontrollably through town. A quick thinking man standing nearby snatched the boy from the path of the stage coach mere moments before he would have been trampled to death. Years later, when the boy was in his late teens he found himself in hot water with the law. Entering the courtroom he looked up to see the man who had saved him from the stage coach was the judge presiding his case. The young man smiled thinking he had it made since the judge would undoubtedly be on his side. After all, he had a personal connection with the judge. He saved him once, and now he can do it again. As the young man pleaded his case, he brought the judge to remembrance of the incident all those years before. But the judge's response shocked the young man. "Years ago I was your saviour. But today I am your judge." And sentenced the young man proper punishment for his crime.

Jesus is our Saviour. But when we stand before the judgement seat of Christ, He will be our Judge. Don't confuse the two roles.  

Three more word definitions are worth looking at: 

- Lacking due respect or seriousness; Impertinent.
- Careless disrespect; an impertinent act or remark 

- Deliberately disrespectful or unmannerly; Impudent.
- Not suitable, inappropriate, incongruous.
- Unwarranted boldness; rudeness; insolence. 

- Saucy; brazen; shameless; offensive boldness;
- Openly insulting.  

Mr. Hawkins' comedy bit on hand raising is nothing but a flippant mockery of something God calls holy. It is dishonorable and impudent. And that is blasphemy in God's eyes.  

Some argue that it is just done in fun—not meant in a negative way. 'The motive is to make people laugh, not to disrespect God.'  

Well, my friend, that doesn't change the fact that it is irreverent, impertinent, and satirical. Good intentions don't get you to heaven. And if that's the only excuse you can come up with to condone this kind of humor, then I sincerely pray that God would open your eyes to the truth and lead you into His holiness.  

We are called to be holy, a peculiar people, and set apart from the world.
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;" 1 Peter 2:9 

I would think that if a non-believer walked into Mr. Hawkins' service they would not see much difference between the two.

Churches today have become seeker friendly to coax people in (and keep them coming.) A number of years ago, a non-Christian relative of mine came to a church I once attended. He later told me the 'youth studio' looked no different than some of the bars and clubs he'd been to. Instead of drawing him in (as was the intent,) it was a complete turn-off to him that a church would do such a thing. That says a lot. Churches need to wake up and return to sound doctrine and practices instead of imitating the world to draw people to Christ. Churches today count the crowds and seek to draw in more people by watering down the truth so they don’t offend anyone or drive them away.  

Down through the years, it has been my experience that when people step on my toes, it's only when my toes are in the wrong place. If my toes were where they should have been, I wouldn't have been stepped on and offended in the first place.  

Jesus was not seeker friendly. He called the religious folk of His day all manner of names: "hypocrites…brood of vipers…blind guides…whited sepulchres full of dead men's bones…" He said this not to condemn them, but to wake them up to their hypocritical ways and to show them the truth.
He didn't say, "I love you, but you're annoying." And if He wouldn't, then we shouldn't either.
Many people were—and still are—offended by Jesus. But He said:
"And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." Matthew 11:6 & Luke 7:23 

It is only by facing the truth that we will grow in Christ. This doesn't mean it won't hurt. It's hard to face facts about oneself. But it is only when we face them and conquer them that we can move forward in the right direction.  

Proverbs 14:12 says: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but he end thereof are the ways of death." What may seem completely harmless and innocent could be viewed completely different through God's eyes. People in general have a tainted view of lies. Society has conditioned us to think there are different classes of lying--white fibs vs big whoppers. God's view is totally different. In several separate occasions He has stated that all liars will not enter heaven but will have their part in hell. (Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:15; Prov 6:16-19; Prov 19:9; et al)

It is interesting to note the verse that follows the well known Proverbs 14:12. Verse 13 says: "Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness." Apparently our laughter can lead to 'heaviness.' Could it be because we laughed at something God finds inappropriate? Could it be that we will then face God's judgment over what we once found funny?

This is no longer a laughing matter. It's serious, folks.

You may mistake me for some 'old fuddy-duddy' who's not with the progression of the times. I'm not that old (32) nor am I oblivious or opposed to progression. What I am opposed to is deviation from God's ways according to His word. I'm not saying I have it all right. I don't. I'm on the journey my Lord has me and any insights or words of wisdom are not my own--they are given by Him.

Scriptures tell us to die to self, crucify the flesh, and to take up our cross:
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20 

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it." Mark 8:35 

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1 

"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23 

Paul said "I die daily." 1 Corinthians 15:31b 

This is the Christian life. We are to bear fruit. Unless a tree is pruned, it will not bear the fruit it should. The quicker we learn to be submissive to God's pruning, the easier it will be on us. 

In conclusion, I think it fitting to end with this quote from C.H. Spurgeon: "A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats."

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15
It is a daily choice—not a one-time prayer. Holiness is simply one step…at a time. Every day, each decision we face gives us the opportunity to choose Christ or self. …to laugh, or not to laugh…

Jesus as our Saviour—that is a one-time commitment.
Jesus as our Lord—that's a daily commitment.
Moment by moment, we must choose Christ in every decision we face—from the mighty down to the minute.

I pray that you will ponder what your have read here, and that God will work in your hearts and minds to show you the truth in all things.  

May our prayer ever be:
"…cause me to know the way wherein I should walk…" Psalm 143:8 


  1. Thought provoking. Like how you backed up your thoughts with the Bible--without twisting it to mean what you wanted it to mean. Very good. Thanks for the insight.

  2. These are all great and thought provoking comments. I find the ring of Truth in them. We must not put laughter ahead of our Lord. God will not be mocked and I do not suppose he will suffer those who would mock his church (whether I think it innocuous or not). God is infinitely better than jokes. We, as believers, should all long for the day when we drink the new wine in our Savior's new Heaven and new Earth. There the laughter will be eternal and rejoicing will not cease. If we must be stern to endure until the end, so be it.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Ben. I really appreciate the feedback.
      Reading your thoughts on the matter reminded me of Proverbs 14:12. I must incorporated this thought into this post.
      And yes, what a wonderful day that will be when we will rejoice in the Lord's presence giving all praise and glory to Him alone!
      Thanks again, and may God richly bless you in your walk with Him.

  3. I really appreciate your viewpoint, and I respect your obvious prayerful concerns on the idea of Christian humor. As a Christian, I just feel that humor is not always mockery. Humor to present the message is not necessarily unsound doctrine or practice. Even John Calvin, in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, said, “We are nowhere forbidden to laugh, or to be satisfied with food, …or to be delighted with music, or to drink wine.” I look nowhere else than the Gospels to see Jesus's humor, very much clearly Jewish humor of his day. In Matthew 16;13-30, Jesus's conversation with Peter is ripe with humor, as he refers to the rock, who had just sunk in the water with his lack of faith right before this. Do you believe that the other disciples understood the gentle humor on Peter's account? Now Peter did eventually live up to that name, of course. In Matthew 19:24, the humor of a camel going through the eye of a needle seems quite obvious. In Mark 7:14, Jesus points out that it is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean. He is not just speaking of words and thoughts (though that is his intent), but of our physical body. And finally, Colossians 4:6 tells us that our conversations should be full of grace, seasoned with salt. Being "tasty" to our ears can also be referring to humor. I read your words carefully, but I just don't read the Gospels to see only a "stern" Jesus expecting us to be the same. A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. (Proverbs 17:22) Actually, though the message of all of Proverbs 26 is serious, the wording is certainly not. I invite you to read it with that in mind. God bless, and I hope and pray that our common ground, the love of Jesus, will surpass the non-essentials. I leave you with this. I grew up in a church with a retired pastor, well past his prime, at the pulpit. He was a great man of God, who was leading our church to nowhere. He thought laughter in church to be a sin, "a circus." His young replacement brought in humor to teach the Gospel, God's word. For the first time in my life, Jesus entered my heart. It wasn't some cheap humor trick, it was the Holy Spirit, touching me and my older brother for the first time. A few years later, with another retired preacher at the pulpit, it may have been humor that drew people in, but it was the message of the Gospels that sent them to heaven. You describe Christian humor as "irreverent, impertinent, and satirical." It seems to me that the pharisees described Jesus in very much the same way.

  4. It's very interesting that the Lord is dealing with me personally today on the topic of aggressiveness in dealing with non-believers and believers alike. I am one of those guys that could care less what anyone thinks. Driven by the knowledge that every problem known to man finds it's origin in sin and is in direct opposition to God's Holiness, I see God as the ONLY solution for problems.

    Yesterday, I was approached by someone on the street that was screaming at me about Jesus. My boss, who is not a practicing believer completely blew this person off. I did engage them, but left wondering what God's purpose was in the exchange. I was not questioning Him, but wondering who it was for.

    At the end of the day we must remember that God does not need us. He is Holy and complete in and of himself. His Holy Spirit is here to help us. Our involvement is a sign of obedience and love to him, but He does not need our "help" in convicting others or in accomplishing His will. Left without a voice from man, God's purpose would still be fulfilled. It's His pleasure that allows us an outward expression of our inward emotion toward Him.

    Does the world receive hope from this argument? Does the discipline of this approach accomplish the commission that Jesus gives us when He directs us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves? I am left with the feeling that this whole page has Pharisee written all over it. I love you as a brother in Christ, but being beaten with the law doesn't work. The Holy Spirit changes hearts. Heart work is for the Lord.

    Be blessed brother.

    If you are interested, you can respond to me via email. If not, I understand. Please be advised, I am open to communication and commentary, but I am not going to argue endlessly over interpretation of scripture.