For more than a year now, the internet has been inundated with a barrage of attacks on comedy in the church. Some well meaning Christian leaders and die-hard protectors of the faith are irked by the seemingly carelessness of comedians who they think are desecrating holy altars of our sanctuaries with meaningless jokes, or who use the names of Jesus Christ and the fathers of the faith in vain.
Some more liberal antagonists of comedy in the church do not outrightly condemn it. They say comedy has its place in parties, naming, or other social arenas.
Now this is my candid opinion on Christian comedy and their practitioners/Comedians. First of all, this whole idea of putting our lives in compartments has never been God’s idea. We were never created to experience a dualistic distinction between our spiritual life and our secular life. Secularity is a myth. Our life is whole and indivisibly united with Christ. He loves us on the tread mill as much as He loves us while reading the Bible. He is committed to us in the movie theater just as much as when we are preaching in the church.
An understanding of this truth is very crucial and it takes me to the next point. The whole idea that certain comedians can desecrate an altar with jokes is laughable. This belief system is rooted in Old covenant, religious practice. The last time I checked, under the new covenant after the finished work of Christ, we are now the mobile altars of Christ. Everywhere we step becomes an altar. For instance, I have been privileged to run churches many times from the hotels where the dance floors became the altar. Many people have been led to Christ in unlikely places like planes, restaurants, shrines, movie theaters etc.
The point is, altars don’t make us. We make the altars. Simply put, anywhere our Heavenly Father allows us to carry out His operations on the earth becomes a consecrated altar for that moment.
You will recall that Jesus even seemed to prefer hanging out with sinners on the street than with the religious Pharisees in the synagogues.
I strongly believe that there is nothing wrong with somebody using his God-given grace to create happiness. Happiness which is always connected to a desired expectation is a byproduct of joy. Joy on the other hand is one of the manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). No comedian can give us true joy. That’s beyond them. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. They can however create momentary happiness. I will rather want a happy environment than a sorrowful one.
One of the many dangers of these constant bashings of these comedians in the church is the risk of losing these talented individuals to the demonic world of entertainment. Church history is filled with famous singers, actors, actresses, instrumentalists, dancers etc. who started in the church but ended on the dark side of the world because the church rejected their gifts and the world embraced them.
Space will not permit me to quote scriptures of a humorous God. Permit me to quote a few of them. Isaiah 62:5, Psalm 37:13, Psalm 2:4, Proverbs 1:26.
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, rejoiced when the seventy disciples returned to give Him the report of how demons were subject to them on the field. “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth…” (Luke 10:21) Most bible scholars and theologians agree that the phrase “…Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit…” in the original Greek language is translated “…And Jesus did a few dance steps…” So, we can see a happy Jesus here.
To my comedian friends, my advice for you is: please respect and honor the pulpit entrusted into your hands by cracking only jokes that glorify Jesus. No vulgar language. No profanity. Do not say anything that will demean anyone. If possible, do not use your host pastors and their spouses in your jokes except those jokes edify them. Remember their members hold them in high esteem. I am convinced that if you will study God’s word, believe God for close encounters with Jesus, and pray in the Spirit, you will be amazed at how creative you can be. You can still make people happy, laugh and have holy fun without crossing the line of decency.
For me, you are my brothers and sisters and I am your ally. We can shake this whole world together with our diverse gifts and graces. We need you just like you need us. Do not be intimidated. The Lord loves you and we love you.
It’s grace for life. Receive grace and peace for today in Jesus Might Name.
Expecting your comments in the comment section below.