Sunday, 23 February 2014

That's NOT Funny

"There is a time for everything ... a time to laugh." (Ecclesiastes 3: 1,4)

I love a good laugh.

I have always viewed myself as somewhat of a humorist. I think I come by it quite naturally, as I grew up in a home where everyone seemed affected by the jokester bug. I can find humor in a lot of places, but one place that I think I’ve always been careful with is jokes pertaining to the Christian faith. It’s one thing to tastefully joke about some of the funny religiousness of faith that ultimately has no biblical support to it; it’s quite another to joke about the things that God takes seriously. That is a line that I hope I have never crossed, and one that I certainly never intend to.

Perhaps it is wisest to avoid faith-based jokes all together. There are more than enough other things to laugh at, and besides, if someone gets offended, then maybe I also haven’t acted in love.

One of the things I’m reading right now is a fascinating two-volume set of books called Tozer Speaks. One part of this collection contains several short chapters taken from his pulpit ministry. One of those is a chapter that Tozer entitled, “Don’t Let the Devil Make a Joke of Conscience.” Given my humorist tendencies, it made me think a bit. Since I’m obviously not alone when it comes to being a jokester, I thought it might be worth sharing Tozer’s thoughts on the subject here on Rethinking Faith and Church. So without further delay, here’s Tozer:

One way the devil has of getting rid of things is to make jokes about them.

There is a legitimate humor, and we all admit that, and I think it is in us by the gift of God. But whenever any humor takes holy things for its object, that humor is devilish at once.

One of the sick jokes you hear is that the conscience is that part of you which makes you sorry when you get caught.

Now, that’s supposed to be funny. It’s not funny – it’s tragic that anybody should yield so to the propaganda of hell as to joke about that which is no joke.

There are some things that are not the proper objects of humor, and one of them is conscience.

That power of conscience that God has set in the human breast suddenly can isolate a soul, and hang it between heaven and hell, as lonely as if God had never created but one soul – that’s not a joking matter.

The Light that lighted every man that comes into the world is not a joking matter. The eternal, universal Presence of the luminous Christ is not a joking matter.

Joke about politics if you must joke – they are usually funny, anyway. But don’t joke about God, and don’t joke about conscience, nor death nor life, nor love, nor the cross, nor prayer.

We have become in our day the greatest bunch of sacrilegious jokesters in the world. I have seen pictures in the paper of people who thought it was a very humorous thing to show a little spotted dog with its paws crossed and his eyes shut, bowing his head as if in prayer.

The Bible says, “Beware of dogs,” and I might add: “Beware of the fools who teach dogs to pray.”

God wants you to have a whole world of pleasant things – birds singing in your backyard and kids romping over your lawn, and a thousand things to happen in the day that can be dismissed in a pleasantry. Your sense of humor won’t die. There’s plenty to laugh at in the world.

But, remember the conscience is always on God’s side – always on God’s side! It judges conduct in the light of the moral law, and as the Scripture says, excuses or accuses.

Be sure you don’t laugh at something that God takes seriously. Conscience is one of those things!

  • Does the devil use humor to get rid of the serious things of God?
  • Have Christians become the greatest bunch of sacrilegious jokesters?
  • If someone is offended by our humor, does that mean that we’ve failed to act in love?
  • Do you think that maybe sometimes God also gets offended by our sense of humor?
  • When it comes to joking, is there a line best left uncrossed? If so, what is it?

Something to think about. Peace.

Quote Source: Tozer Speaks, Volume One, Book One, Chapter 33, Page 90
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Theophilus Photography

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