Comedians in the Pulpit?
by Tonda Canterbury
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A local Pastor recently told me of a conversation he had with a man, (whom we'll call John). This Pastor has talked to John about church on a few occasions. John will inevitably relate the latest joke that he has heard from the pulpit. After several encounters of this sort, this Pastor said to John, “You say that you have been going to church, but the only thing you ever tell me is this joke and that joke that you heard at church. So, tell me, what exactly did the minister preach about?”
John’s reply: “Well now, I couldn’t tell you what he preached about…but, I do know this - that preacher really knows how to tell a good joke!”
“…it’s tragic that anybody should yield so to the propaganda of hell as to joke about that which is no joke.” - A. W. Tozer
My brethren, these things ought not so to be! Irreverence for God, His Word, and His House has brought a heavy burden and a terrible sorrow to my spirit. I am GRIEVED!!! Every time I enter into the place of prayer and bring my plea before the Throne of Grace, I weep, uncontrollably as one who is in deep mourning. For, “We have become in our day the greatest bunch of sacrilegious jokesters in the world…” - A. W. Tozer
I want GOD!! I want to GROW in knowledge of HIM! I want to GROW closer to Him! I want to UNDERSTAND Him and His Holy Word, more and more and more! I want to be FED from HIS table. I do not go to church simply to be attending church. I do not go to church to get the "warm fuzzy’s" nor do I go to see a “stand up comedy” routine with just a few scriptures thrown in sporadically, so that I can say I've heard a "sermon!" I don't WANT "business as usual!" This is not a business! This is not a GAME! and this is NOT a Comedy Club!!!
Oh my Lord, my God, my KING, When - Oh WHEN will You come down and CLEANSE Your Temple?! WHEN will You send Your Consuming Holy Fire to Purify and Sanctify? Father, bring Integrity, Sincerity, Purity, Unction, Power, and REVERANCE back to the Pulpits of this nation…for Your own name’s sake, let Your judgment begin at Your House!
A.W. Tozer said, “There are some things that are not the proper objects of humor…” And I would add that there are also some PLACES that are never meant to be stages for armature comic relief! Can you imagine the Apostles and the early church behaving this way in the Temple of God? Absolutely not!
“The Apostles intimately knew Jesus. They walked, talked, ate, and worked with Jesus. They heard Him, saw Him and touched Him (1 John 1:1). Then they saw Him die, but REJOICED when He arose from the dead. Their long awaited Messiah commissioned them to spread the good news. They were filled and compelled by the Holy Spirit.” - Jason Lon Jacobs
They were SERIOUS about Salvation! They were actually CONCERNED for the Souls of men! They gave their very LIVES for the Cause of Christ and the Advancement of His Kingdom! They were not consumed with laughter, entertainment, and amusements. They “…had a sense of urgency because they expected Jesus to return imminently (Jason Lon Jacobs).”
Their consuming passion was GOD. The thoughts that filled their minds were “Lord, what would you have me say that will bring Glory unto the name of Christ? Lord, what would You have me do to show forth the love of Christ? Lord, where would You have me go to snatch one from the fire?” I honestly cannot picture them EVER trying to find a good joke to tell at the next synagogue! They HONORD and VALUED the presence of God! They RESPECTED His Word! And they REVERENCED His HOUSE! They wouldn’t have DARED to enter into the Holy place and behave as people do in American churches today. They worshipped God with AWE. They TREMBLED at His Word! And when they entered His sanctuary, it was for Him alone!
“We have become in our day the greatest bunch of sacrilegious jokesters in the world…Be sure you don’t laugh at something that God takes seriously.” - A. W. Tozer
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God [is] a consuming fire (Heb 12:28-29, KJV - emphasis added).”
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I share your passion for the Word of God and this passion has come through in your writing. Too many people treat the Word of God with scant regard and respect and go to Church, not so much to worship, but to be part of a congregation who just criticizes and complains without making any worthy contribution. Thanks for your article that highlights the lack of sincerity of those who think Christianity is just a joke.