May 10, 2013

Christian Curmudgeons

Christians are supposed to be happy, right?  I mean, we've heard and accepted the good news. The glad tidings and great joy.  So why are so many Christians such sour pusses?  Can anyone point me to the passage of scripture in the Bible that reads, "Thou shalt not laugh"?  Or "Thou shalt not have fun"?  I'm not a Bible scholar, but I'm pretty sure nothing even remotely similar exists in God's Word.  In fact, I'm pretty sure you can find plenty of examples of God-given joy, laughter, and merriment.

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
    let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may rejoice in you."
~Psalm 5:11
  Christians are supposed to be glad, sing for joy, and rejoice!
"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
    burst into jubilant song with music;"
          ~Psalm 98:4

Christians should be joyful and jubilant!
"There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,"
          ~Ecclesiastes 3:1,4

There is a time for us to laugh and to dance!

So, why are so many Christians stodgy, stuffy, grumpy, curmudgeons?  Now, I don't want to stereotype, but, more often than not, these Christian curmudgeons are in the 50 and over crowd.  I know, when you all were younger, church was different.  You sat in your pew quietly, you stood when it was time to sing hymns and you sang your hymns almost as a chant along with the piano and the organ, there definitely was no guitar accompaniment, and drums in church were unheard of, nobody raised their hands in praise, the pastor didn't tell any jokes, he simply preached the Word, there was no time in the middle of the service to walk around the sanctuary and greet each other.  I'm only 36, and that's what church was like when I was growing up, too.  But... why?

The Bible is filled with not only examples of joy, but reasons to be joy-filled and to express it.  Can we not smile?  Can we not hear a joke and laugh at it?  Even a joke that picks at our own quirks.  We're not perfect, clearly.  Even we Christians do and say some silly things.  Or, things that seem normal to us, others may raise an eyebrow to.  Why can't we laugh at ourselves?  Why can't we enjoy our lives?  Be glad!  Be jubilant!  Laugh and dance!

Instead, Christian curmudgeons get offended.  They turn up their noses, turn their heads to their neighbors in the pews, and whisper about how the joke just told by the pastor was so distasteful, or how the video poking fun at different worship styles was so offensive.

I'm gonna be perfectly honest and say that if you can't laugh (even at yourself), then you don't truly know what the joy of the Lord really is.  You've never experienced it.  Oh, maybe you cracked a smile when you said the sinners prayer and realized you're going to heaven one day.  But you are clueless when it comes to the fact that Christianity isn't just news.  It's GOOD news!

So, as one of my favorite Christian comedians, Ken Davis, would say, "Lighten up, and LIVE!" 

To help you in that endeavor, check out these Christian comedians, and, remember, you're not perfect.

Ken Davis
Tim Hawkins
Mark Lowry

I leave you with this:

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