Discovering Truth

with Keiran & Eraina Mckenzie


“How  do  you  define  inappropriate  or  appropriate  Christian  Humour?…”

I’m sure everybody’s felt slightly guilty after making a joke. Things like ‘Stand-up comedies’ are always scorned because of their indecent content; But does that mean we do away with all humour? Is there such thing as a “NON-Carnal humour”?

I remember in the church where I grew up, me and my friends always wanted to ‘ketch joke’ at each other. One time Delroy* kept poking Adam’s* bum with a pencil throughout the sermon. Boy was this Funny! It was making everyone in the rows behind giggle. Adam had to sit alone on the front row and tried snatching the pencil. But when the adults began to look around at the disruption of giggles, he had to act “as if nothing was goin on” which made me bust out one Piece of laugh… OUT LOUD IN THE SERMON!!!.. (soo funny). “I tried to contain it, but the laugh kept ‘splutterin’ out.” What could I do?

Now I’m interested to see where YOU stand on this. Does God laugh too? Would He find ‘OUR humour’ funny? Or do we need to change what we so often laugh at? Where would YOU draw the line? Share Your comments and experiences.

*(names concealed for confidentiallity)

12 comments on “Humour

  1. Ayden
    September 2, 2010

    Well… there are different types of jokes. While i’d imagine that everyone would agree that vulgar or racist jokes are not ‘Christian’, most people would not have a problem with witty wordplay jokes, or situational comedy (given that the situation is a ‘kosher’ one!) Slapstick humor (laughing at the misfortune of others) is much more borderline. for many people, misfortune that isnt on a serious level is funny, for example: a bird excretes on your best friend jacket as you walk home from school, or Mr Webber spilt ink all over the sleeve of his shirt, or my brother kicked the ball into his own face – all these scenarios are funny!! (lol!)

    So the question is, where does that humor come from? Well… given that its been fed to us since we were babies (tom & jerry, loony toons etc) its not surprising that our generation has grown up to appreciate this kind of humor. However, its also seen in shakespeare plays and even in greek and roman literature. Therefore, we can conclude that it is probably in our nature.

    The next question then, is, which nature? would Jesus have laughed if peter stubbed his toe on a rock?? I don’t know… what do you think?


  2. Daniel
    September 2, 2010

    For me its 2 things

    a). Whether it makes someone else feel bad (derogatory)

    b).Whether its rude or explicit (Profane)

    When we are considering a). its a situation where we have to think about ‘doing onto others as you would have them do unto you.’

    I find it so easy to make a joke on things like, for example, people’s dress sense/style, how they look or how they carry themselves, – in fact this is something I do a lot of the time even in church but I realised that this can really affect people emotionally and therefore its not very Christian cos it contradicts the ‘golden rule’

    Profane jokes, I think most of the time its easier not to laugh at because for me, if I hear profanities, my conscience will bun me before I even have the capacity to laugh, but I think thats down to a growing dislike for what is sinful when you strive to walk with God.


  3. Koheleth
    September 2, 2010

    Laughter is good, but there should be seriousness even behind laughter if you get me.


  4. Koheleth
    September 2, 2010

    My cousin laughed in Church when I was young, and he got a whip from our pastor with one long, thick piece of plastic. Right there in the assembly of people. It was as if nothing happened, everyone just carried on as normal.


  5. Jimmy Haarhoff
    September 2, 2010

    @ Ayden, good question, i also thought about that many a time

    God says “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways,” (Isa 55:8)

    So there things that we might find funny that God wont…ie peter stubbed his toe…lol

    But Whenever God uses humour in the bible its to teach a deeper spiritual lesson to his people. ie….. “Let me pull the splinter out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye”

    Laughter is good for the bones = thats true, but not at the expense of others.( I Agree with Daniel)

    Isa 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter”

    Baby’s laugh at the simplest of things with joy



  6. Thando Mlalazi
    September 3, 2010

    Humour is definitely good and yes used wrongly may cause all sorts of displeasure and discomfort. The devil only fathers sin. And nothing else, even hell isn’t his. On the other hand, many of us use humour as a mask as we try to hide our true selves behind it. Derogatory humour may be used to direct the unfortunate spotlight onto somebody else (extra subjective humour as I call it) while profane humour may be used to draw attention to the subject (subjective humour as I call it). Neither of these cases glorifies God, but we know that in everything we do we should do to God’s glory.
    Ecc 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”


  7. darren
    September 3, 2010

    if God had no humor then he must be boring but i,m sure in his fashion he must have sense of humor but if does not when i get to heaven 1st question y so serious


  8. Michael M
    September 3, 2010

    Good answers so far… To add some more scripture on the topic:

    Eph 5: 3-4. (NIV)
    ‘But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.’

    I have used the NIV as it makes it clear; KJV uses the word “jesting” rather than “coarse joking”. For those who like to use dictionaries; a review of various translations or a Lexicon should reveal that the writer meant more here than just “a joke or witty remark” as a some dictionary definitions return for jesting.

    I would advance that, since a total ban is NOT placed on humour itself, but the opposite is indicated; then there is, “appropriate humour”.

    One of my favourite shows is, ‘Celebrating Life in Recovery’ on 3ABN. In one show, the presenter, (Cheri Peters) talks about a youth camp where she met a praise and worship leader who actually was struggling with God. The spirit inspired her to sy a simple prayer for the girl, asking the Lord to tell the young lady a joke. The next day He did, and the young lady could not believe it!

    Some may question the methods, perceived outcomes etc; as many would do in regards to our faith. Let us not make God smaller than he is.

    One could argue that, our capacity alone to laugh means, God intended us to in appropriate ways just as with the capacity to Love, sexual relations, worship etc…


  9. Keiran
    September 3, 2010

    Oooh so we have established that joking derives from our carnal nature desire to either ‘be’, or to ‘find’ something funny. However, though it is ordained and created by GOD, it must be used in accordance with His ways. (just like with sexually intimacy)

    It was well quoted that ‘His ways are not our ways’ but that doesnt mean GOD is boring!! He has made me laugh so many times,

    Just the thought of his love for me, at times has made me not just smile, but laugh with joy and apprciation.!
    …I mean, wouldnt you!?
    Ok, admittedly, sometimes life’s problems or ‘busy’ness prevents us from finding thinking space to experienced this, but here… Youve just read this… so you have time now, to reflect. for. a. moment.
    and think of how lovely He is too you…

    How can you not smile.

    He’s perfect. (see Genesis 21:5-6)


  10. Joe
    September 4, 2010

    I’m not sure if God intended this to be a joke but I found it funny. I noticed it back when the last lesson study was on the book of Numbers.

    The Lord answered Moses “Is the Lord’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.” Numbers 11:23 NIV

    Moses had trouble believing that God could provide enough food to feed 600,000 men for a month (verses 18-22) so God set him straight.

    To me His choice of words show that He has a sense of humour, kinda like “So Moses you think I can’t do what I already told you I would do? You think I’m not able? Puhleaze. Ok let me show you….Again.

    When I read it I had to laugh.


  11. Anonymous
    September 5, 2010

    Remember in the Bible when the little boys were catching joke off Elisha calling him ‘bald head’ i’m sure they thought this was rather funny at the time but look what happened to them… (see 2 Kings 2:23-24) :/


  12. computer running slow
    February 2, 2011

    Good stuff on Big Question: 2nd September GOD's Truths. I actually agree with all of it!


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Keiran & Eraina attends the Community of Hope Seventh day Adventist church most Sabbaths (Saturday) unless we have been asked to do something at another church. We would love you to join us anytime:
9:45am Sabbath school
11:30am - Main service
1:45pm - Lunch/soup provided &; friendship.
4:00pm - Afternoon programme

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