I have never seen someone talk about the “Doctrine of Fun.” And if we Christians are honest, most of the depictions of Christ in the arts are of Him in a stern or serious mood. Most of our history’s revolutionaries had to climb mountains of adversity, so much of our imagery of them is in that hard hue. It makes sense. Yet I can find many photographs of Gandhi’s lighter side. We have pictures of Winston Churchill laughing. But what about Christ?
No one can go long without laughing unless they want to lower their mental and emotional well being. When men seek to loosen up and forget about life’s harshness, laughter is always on the table. And much like sex and food were creations of God and not the devil, laughter is a gift from God. Christians should be known for being intelligent, courageous and righteous. But is their room for them to be known as “being fun?”
Modern comedy has become so flippant and vulgar (and at the same time unimaginative) that most people see humour through that lens. The same way most people see sex through our radically perverted and porn saturated culture.
Are Christians typically the life of the party? I dare say most often: no.
Is it because holiness and fun are polar opposites?
No! It is because Christians have a bad theology of fun. Plain and simple.
Why don’t we ask God to show us how to be fun? A lot of fun. I believe this is a missing chunk of modern evangelicalism.
One of the reasons young Christians struggle to model themselves after Christ is that many of the more charismatic, courageous and fun men are found outside of a church building. As theology has taken a dive in most pulpits, all of God’s attributes have been on the decline among its men. This is because as theology gets less robust in a local church, many unsaved men attend and the truly born-again inside the church walls are less sanctified.
We love to specialize in the basics: no swearing, no drunkenness, no porn. Great, you need to get a handle on all of these. But what about courage? When was the last time you heard a sermon calling men to use the testosterone God gave them? When was the last time we rewarded intelligence being used to further the population of Heaven? And when was the last time we were called to glorify God with one of the most universally beloved aspects of creation: laughter? Fun. Humour. Joy.
“The joy of the Lord is your strength”Nehemiah 8:10
Nehemiah was God’s point man for rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. Putting the final steps on the recreation of Isreal’s capital and preparing the way for the Messiah. Nehemiah was courageous. Nehemiah was intelligent. Nehemiah was resourceful. And it appears he had an appreciation for where that strength came from: joy. A happy warrior is a fighter with longevity of spirit. Nothing saps our strength like despair. And when joy is truly felt, in the bottom of our spirit, laughter is the smoke to that fire.
The fact that Christians are not known for their laughter is a shame. When men work hard and courageously, laughter is a virtuous pressure release. When I wrestled competitively or worked summers in the forest or on commercial fishing boats being pushed to extremes was always relieved by laughter.
We should be known for being smart, courageous and funny.
Or else our theology is off.