Why is Humor Not a Christian Virtue?
In the bible we read:
2Pe 1:5-7 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, (6) and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, (7) and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love….and with love, humor……….
(broken record scratch)
Wait……what? Humor? Is that in the bible?? No, absolutely not. I added that last bit. To me, the mark of a truly ethical and moral person is the ability to laugh with others and chiefly, to laugh at yourself. The inability to laugh at yourself is a true mark of hubris in my humble opinion.
One thing that has always bothered me about the bible and biblical history is that there are no examples of people laughing and having fun except in a derogatory manner. Sarah laughed, but it was more like a “Sure, I’m going to have a baby!” type of chortle I’m sure. I’m sure she wasn’t having any fun at that point! Later on Jesus himself said,
Luk 6:25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
Woe, harsh! God laughs in the bible, but usually at the demise of nations or people getting their just desserts:
Psa 59:8 But you, O LORD, laugh at them; you hold all the nations in derision.
Pro 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you,
Fundamentalists of all religions possess a curious inability to laugh at themselves. Their pride and their surety that their interpretations are RIGHT are just too overwhelming. Sure, they have Christian “comedians” and people who write humorous books, but it all seems to be an attempt to convince themselves that they really can laugh. “See?” they ask, “We can laugh. Hahahahhahaha!” There are never any full-out belly laughs that come welling up from within or giggle fits because of silly things said from the pulpit. That’s not done. Somehow that’s just wrong and indulgent. Childlike. Fun even. Sure, fundies never come right out and SAY, “Don’t laugh” because they don’t have to. It’s part of the package. Sure, they all SEEM to be happy, laughing people, but it’s always at another’s expense. Those of us going to hell, that is.
Can you imagine the Inquisition busting up over a double entendre? Can you imagine Calvin chuckling? Luther? Perhaps as they were roasting heretics, but again, that’s not good humor or laughter, that’s just evil. The bible enjoins us over and over again to be “sober” and watch or God forbid, we might be caught laughing when the terrible day of the Lord comes. You know what? I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing if that happens.