The Oso Community Chapel held Sunday services for the first time since last week’s mudslide. Church members have been working non-stop to help with relief efforts.
The new 2014 Noah movie makes man God and redeems fallen angels. Hollywood again mutilates the Bible, but it was a heck-of-a-show. This is my review of Noah, which I saw last night with a few friends.
Noah was a captivating movie, complete with fantastic Hollywood special effects and, well, some truth. The writers and producers combined the Biblical account with a modified version of content from the book of Enoch. If you’re confused you should be; let me explain.
The book of Enoch nearly made it into the Biblical cannon, having been used by the first century church, but was rejected because the cannon-izers thought it was too ‘out there’ spiritually. It described a group of angels, called “Watchers” (a term the Bible also uses of angels) who cohabited with human women to produce a race of giants.
In chapter 6 of the Bible, it says “the sons of God” came down and mated with “the daughters of men” and produced these “giants.” This is the reason the Bible gives for God sending the flood. Taken literally, it appears that God wanted to exterminate this modified DNA. In fact, it says that only Noah was “pure” before the Lord and the word “pure” there means “genetically pure.”
In the Noah movie, the “Watchers” claim they saw man fall and tried to help mankind, invoking God’s judgement upon them. They say God then cast them to the earth and they became these ‘giants’ with a physical makeup of rocks. Pure Hollywood at it’s finest — or should I say in its most imaginative vein? Regardless, in the movie, fallen angels are the result of good angels trying to help fallen man, which is a complete lie.
As the movie progresses, these fallen Watchers help Noah and redeem themselves in the process. I haven’t read anything like that in the Bible, have you?
The other major discrepancy I see is that in the movie, Noah decides that even he and his family are evil and are not worthy of being saved. It’s Noah’s opinion that all mankind should die including his own and that his responsibility was to save the animals and birds that God sent to the ark. After it landed, they would themselves die and creation would be left intact, perfect, without man to mess it up.
Noah is given the choice (in the movie) whether mankind should be allowed to repopulate the earth or not. Does this not put man in the position of God — deciding whether mankind will live or become extinct? But this is typical of current thought and teaching in spiritist religions.
As a whole, I enjoyed the movie because I can see truth from error, thanks to God and His Word. I also like fancy Hollywood special effects and watching talented actors like those who played out this one. But why on God’s earth is it so hard – and so rare – for Hollywood to actually produce a factual Biblical movie? Do we feel we have to dress it up to make it more exciting?
My review based on truth is probably around 2-3 on a 10 point scale. But in terms of entertainment, I’d put it up at a 7 or 8. Would I recommend it to a friend? You might be surprised that I’d say yes, but I’d warn the friend that it’s mostly fabrication and not fact.
Tell me what you think about the new Noah movie!
See the Noah Google + Page here: https://plus.google.com/+Noahmovie/posts
I believe you produce what you are. That may sound a bit strange, but think about it for a moment. Does a fig tree bring forth grapes? Does a tomato plant produce green beans? Of course not. Can a non-believer produce spiritual fruit? Nay again. As it says in Genesis in relation to the species, “Everything after it’s kind (“genos” from which we get “genes).
When a person believes God’s record of his son, God fills that person inside with ‘holy spirit.’ This gift of holy spirit makes a person a child of the living God. The person is now ‘spiritual’ and can do spiritual things. But that person is also human and has retained the ‘body of sin’ as it is called in the Bible. There lies the conflict that the apostle Paul spoke about at the end of Romans 7. But notice the beginning of Romans 8 where he supplies the answer to the conflict: ”walk in the spirit.”
The child of God has the choice to walk by the flesh or by the spirit. Walking by the spirit is also called “abiding in Jesus.” Through the holy spirit, Jesus abides in us and we are able to make the conscious decision to abide in him.
It’s interesting that the Greek word “meno” which means to “abide, dwell, remain” in the sphere of something is used 15 times in this short passage in first John. God is really emphasize this point to ‘abide in’ Jesus.
See if you can count all 15 usages of the word ‘meno’ in the scripture from John 15 below.
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser.
2 Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.
5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
6 If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love.
10 If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.
15 From now on I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
Bringing forth fruit that ‘remains’ is what the Christian walk is all about. That’s Jesus’ desire for each one of us, and we are not in competition with each other — we will each bring forth according to our own ability through the power of holy spirit within us.
You produce what you are, but you are a composite human. You have the body of sin and the holy spirit. It’s your choice which you ‘walk by’ or ‘abide in.’ Jesus desires that you ‘bring forth much fruit’ and that ‘your fruit remains.’ The choice is yours! What will you produce? After the flesh or after the spirit?
Communicate your faith — to others — proactively. God needs people who see the critical need of our time to stem the tide of anti-Christian thought we are being deluged with and who do something about it. Let’s take a look at what it means to communicate your faith to others, proactively.
: to give information about (something) to someone by speaking, writing, moving your hands, etc.
: to get someone to understand your thoughts or feelings
You can communicate verbally and non-verbally. You already communicate non-verbally through your lifestyle. People see how you live, how you handle situations that arise, and what you are ‘into.’ We all know that children learn more from watching you than from listening to you, especially before they’ve learned language. What you believe is communicated in how you act and what you do. Deeds (what you do) are the evidence of what you truly believe.
But that’s only half the story. Nobody is going to confess Jesus is Lord and believe God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9) if they don’t know who Jesus Christ is, what he came for, why he was crucified, and that God did indeed raise him from the dead. Those facts have to be communicated with words. Often Christians shy away from sharing their faith with words because they fear what people will think of them.
We have to get over these insecurities and get more proactive. We need to communicate our faith with words — the Word of God. In II Corinthians 5, God says he has given to us (Christians) the ministry of reconciling others to him. To do the job he has committed the Word of reconciliation to us. Read it for yourself!
We are at a critical point in the history of our world. People are forsaking Christianity for other alternatives at a rapid rate. Church attendance has been slipping for several decades now and nobody seems to know the answer to reverse the situation. I suggest several things that could reverse the situation rapidly.
1) Communicate How Relevant the Bible is Today
2) Make a Personal Stake In Your Spheres of Influence
3) Take Daily Action to Do Your Part
Let’s take a brief look at each of these.
Communicate How Relevant the Bible is Today
Sometimes we think of the Bible as a history book, sometimes as great literature, and sometimes as a source of daily inspiration. It’s much more than that. The Bible shares practical, relevant knowledge. Not only does it give a history of mankind and the world, but it gives us everything we need to understand what’s going on around us today. It gives us wisdom for daily living and it also tells us about the future. Had God not wanted us to think about the future, then he wouldn’t have included so much about it in the Bible. The Bible is relevant today and we need to both learn that and communicate it.
Make a Personal Stake in Your Spheres of Influence
You’ve no-doubt heard the phrase, “I’ll stake my life on it.” What does that really mean? The phrase comes from the military. In the times when they fought hand-to-hand with swords and other implements of war, a soldier would often take a wooden stake and pound it into the ground. He’d then take a rope and tie it around that stake and around his waste. He’d stay within that circle and defend his ground. He was ‘staking his life’ on defending that bit of ground. He would be responsible to take care of anyone or anything that entered that space.
We need to make a personal stake in our own spheres of influence. If you consider your home as your central location area, and you were to mentally draw a circle around it to include your neighborhood, that could be your staked-out area. You could make yourself responsible to communicate your faith proactively to everyone you meet in your staked out area.
You can do this with your job location, your leisure location, and everywhere you spend any amount of time.
Take Daily Action to Do Your Part
Seldom does a day go by that you could be speaking to someone about your faith in a inviting, positive way. Take advantage of who the Lord brings into your path each day and plant seeds that can bring forth fruit. Each encounter doesn’t have to be a heavy one-on-one session explaining deep biblical truths. Just a statement here and there is sometimes all it takes to spark interest or as I say, plant a seed that can later germinate. I often do this sort of witnessing and when someone responds by asking questions or commenting, I can go deeper at their invitation. In this way I’m proactive but not aggressive.
Being proactive means to do something before something bad happens. Are we not aware that if someone does not believe they are in a bad situation? They are, as the Bible says in Ephesians 2, “without God and without hope in this world.” We have the words of life and can help them out of that dilemma with our Lord’s help.
Our enemy, the devil, is very aggressive in promoting his plans. He’s got his minions doing his will with fervor all day, every day, throughout the world. Passive Christianity will not do anything near enough to meet that spiritually-military offensive. Only when Christians get bold enough to communicate their faith proactively will we be able to increase the impact of Christ in culture.
I encourage you to communicate your faith proactively whenever the opportunity arises. God will give you wisdom as you act. He’ll be there for you and will strengthen you and give you the words to speak, in love.
Now go speak God’s Word!
The new Noah film starts this Friday, but the reviews I’ve read put it in the ‘sorta like the Bible story’ category. To be honest I’ve never seen a Hollywood interpretation of a Biblical account to be 100% accurate, but most of them get the gist of the message across. I’ll see this myself this weekend and will update my post with my own comment about what I found. Isn’t that original? Here’s a trailer of the new Noah film starring Russel Crowe. It’s better to have some truth than no truth. The apostle Paul claimed many were preaching Christ with the wrong motives and the wrong teachings, but he still praised God that they were preaching Christ. Perhaps this movie falls into one of those categories. See it for yourself and report back here with a comment on what you think.
The Supreme Court of the United States is again divided, this time over the Obama Care mandated contraceptive coverage statute. Once again, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is in the balance of power as the Court hears arguments over wither religious corporations should pay for the contraceptives used by its employees. I ask Christians everywhere to pray for this case to be resolved in favor of religious freedom. This issue is NOT about money — it’s about the government forcing religious institutions to adopt their morality, or lack of it. It’s about freedom of religion, pure and simple. Please pray!
A divided Supreme Court presided over a spirited argument Tuesday about whether business owners’ religious beliefs can trump a requirement in President Obama’s Affordable Care Actthat they provide their employees with insurance coverage for all types of contraceptives. It was difficult to predict from the argument which side would prevail, but the government had the tougher task: to prove that the requirement did not violate a federal statute that gives great protection to the exercise of religion. As is often the case, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy seemed to hold the balance. While in some ways he seemed to favor the government, he was also worried the government’s argument would make it impossible for companies to object to paying for anything, including abortion coverage. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. said that was not true, and he repeatedly tried to get the justices to focus not just on the rights of the employers, but also on the rights of employees who would be denied the type of contraceptive coverage best for them. The three liberal and female justices were the most vocal in questioning Paul Clement, the Washington lawyer representing two companies who object to providing coverage for certain types of contraceptives. <content omitted> What is likely to be the signature ruling of the court’s term presents the justices with complicated questions about religious freedom and equality for female workers. It could have long-term implications for what other legal requirements companies could decline because of religious convictions. And it asks a question the court has never confronted: whether the Constitution or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which protects an individual’s exercise of religion, extends to secular, for-profit corporations and their owners. The 1993 religious-freedom law prohibits the federal government from imposing a “substantial burden” on a person’s exercise of religion unless there is a “compelling governmental interest” and the measure is the least-restrictive means of achieving the interest.
Finish this article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/at-supreme-court-today The Supreme Court is divided and we pray its landmark decision will be in favor of religious freedom and not against it. Will you pray with us? We need freedom to establish Christ in culture for the good of our country.
When we think of how cultures came to be, we often think of races, technological advances and areas of the world. Many of the modern dissertations on this subject deal with how man invents culture himself by the environment he lives in and what stage of learning and development he is at. Is this true? Is this how culture is formed?
In the Bible, an entirely different world view is presented. This world view has, as it’s most powerful and influential creatures, angelic beings arranged in a hierarchical structure. God declares simply that he is (“say that I Am sent you.”) God declares that he created spiritual beings. These are real creatures, like man, but they have spiritual bodies, not physical ones.
The Bible tells us about a very dignified angel, perhaps the very top archangel named Lucifer who was the most beautiful and most powerful angel ever created. He was called the ‘angel of light’ and was given vast responsibility, perhaps the oversight of the entire earth itself. However Lucifer became filled with pride and decided he wanted to be God himself (to assume God’s position as the authority above all, including God).
When Lucifer attempted to overthrow God, he became the arch-enemy of God and was then called the Devil and Satan. The word “Satan” actually means ‘adversary’ or ‘enemy.’ Lucifer persuaded a third of the angels to side with him in the attempted overthrow. The devil and the angels that sided with him were cast out of heaven and to the earth. These fallen angels make up what we call the devil spirit kingdom.
There are several forms of a Greek word used to label these fallen spirits from which we get the word ‘demon.’ The Bible calls these fallen spiritual beings by various names which indicate their nature and what they do. The term ‘unclean spirit‘ is used many times to refer to a fallen angel. They are fallen, corrupt and will do anything they can to oppose God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
One very revealing thing about fallen spirits is that they too have to work with man’s free will to get man to do anything. They are restricted and have limited interaction with mankind, but by man’s own free will, they can be ‘invited in’ so to speak so that they can actually communicate with man. This is the object of seances, Quija boards and the like.
Those who desire to directly communicate with fallen angels often get involved in satanic cults and witchcraft. One brand of witches, called Wicca, claims they only use their incantations and spells for good, hence they call themselves ‘white witches.’ However their power is coming directly from fallen spirits no matter what the power is used for. Doing good things with evil power doesn’t produce good, it just furthers the devil’s agenda and gets more people to join his cause which is nothing but deception and destruction.
What does this have to do with where cultural influences come from? Everything. If you think of the word ‘inspiration’ you can literally see, ‘in spirit action.’ Where do ‘inspired’ thoughts come from? They ultimately come from the spiritual realm, from God’s kingdom or from the devil and his fallen angels. Now we start to understand how different practices and beliefs came about, from which culture is developed.
Mankind was created to follow God, the supreme spiritual being. The devil and his fallen angels are fully committed to deceive mankind with the objective to turn man away from God. The devil knows his destiny and wants to take as many down with him as he can.
The Bible instructs us about these things so we are not ignorant and so we know where to vest our efforts in helping God accomplish his will on earth as opposed to the devil’s will or our own will. Some of these verses are hard to understand, but with the explanation I’ve given thus far, which is fully supported by God’s Word, it should become clear.
New International Version
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
In Ephesians, which is the greatest revelation given to the Christian Church, through the apostle Paul God says our battle is not against flesh and blood (not against human beings) but is against spiritual forces of evil. That is the devil’s kingdom of fallen spirits, my friend. God is telling us directly that the very thoughts and belief systems we are fighting against are spiritual in nature. It is those thoughts and belief systems that form the cultures of our world. Cultural influences originate in the spiritual realm.
The Biblical world view presents a drastically different picture than most people are aware of. They see things happening in the world and blame people, governments and organizations instead of realizing that evil spirits are at work. There are ‘myriads’ of angels, and one-third of them fell, indicating there is at least a ‘myraid’ of the fallen angels who have been at work since man was created to obstruct the purposes of God. There is a vast network of people who have been and are daily influenced by evil spirits and this is how the devil attempts to steer people away from God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
The next time you read the news headlines about world events, realize that there are spiritual beings behind what is going on. Once you grasp that, you’ll be able to put the pieces together and more clearly see, from God’s perspective, what it is you need to be combating. The next time you speak with someone who opposes the truth of God’s Word, know that the person you are speaking with has been influenced by the spiritual kingdom of the devil. This doesn’t need to be a direct spiritual encounter with a devil spirit, though it could be. Most of the time, the person has just been strongly influenced by the culture in which he or she grew up in, that has already been formed by thoughts and beliefs promulgated by the evil spirit kingdom.
I only showed you one Bible verse that clearly shows the spiritual kingdom we ‘wrestle against.’ There are plenty of others which I’ll leave you to find on your own (contact me if you need help). It’s extremely important that you adopt God’s world view as described in the Bible, God’s Word. Dong so, you will have a better understanding of the world around you and God’s spiritual kingdom of which you are a part if you have confessed Jesus is Lord and believe God raised him from the dead.
Change your thinking to acknowledge that we do indeed live in a spiritual world. Direct your prayers to God through our Lord Jesus Christ and ask for spiritual insight. Ask God to open the eyes of your understanding (your heart) to see what’s going on spiritually in any given situation so you can better deal with it through the power of holy spirit God has placed within you.
Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
My admonition to you is directly from God’s Word:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Cultural influences come either from God’s spiritual kingdom or from devil spirits. Be aware of this and learn to walk by the spirit of God.
God bless you in Jesus’ name. Have a wonderful and power-filled day.
When you believed God and confessed Jesus is Lord, you received the spiritual gift of the new birth. Wrapped up in that gift are spiritual abilities, often called gifts, most of which are given to empower you so that you can use to serve others. Romans 8 talks about using the gifts you were given to serve others.
Romans 12:4- 8 NIV, “4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
The gifts God is talking about are spiritual and came with the ‘package’ of the new birth. But you have talents and abilities you’ve already developed, and God wants you to use those as well. The spiritual gifts He gives you enable you to serve in those ways with a spiritual advantage. We will discuss spiritual gifts in a future article, but for now I wanted to discuss just serving whatever it is you are prepared to serve right now.
In this excellent article (Copyright 2014 Theresa Johnson), we learn three ways to identify how you can serve others.
1 Peter 4:10 NIV, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
Are you longing to do something for God but feel like you are all out of ideas? Many believers find themselves in this place. But the truth of the matter is this: Every person has something of value they can offer others. God is not waiting around for us to pick out that very unique thing or even waiting for us to produce the BIG thing. Rather, we must simply learn to use the gifts within us.
Here are three easy steps you can employ to identify your gifts and stir up ideas:
- Make a list of things you are naturally good at doing that provide a service to others. For example, you may be good at organizing, cooking, tutoring, carpentry, yard work or even taking pictures.
- Identify community organizations or individuals that would greatly benefit from your gift or talent. This could include using your gift for a one-time initiative or making a commitment that extends over a period of time. You could share your gift among those you know well – family, friends or coworkers; or branch out to strangers in need within community organizations or your own neighborhood.
- Contact one of those organizations or individuals, tell them about the service you are offering as a blessing to them, and then schedule a time to serve. Then, simply follow through on that commitment and be blessing to that organization or individual.
It really could be this simple. Setting aside opportunities to do something for God are as simple or as complicated as we make them. Sometimes, we need to be reminded that we have numerous gifts and talents on the inside of us that God is reading and waiting to use. The most important thing to remember is this: Whatever you decide, do everything as if you are doing it joyfully on behalf of God.” After all, our service to others is an extension of his love and grace.
By doing what you are already good at doing, God can work within you to will and to do of His good pleasure. Make yourself available. Serve in whatever way you are able, and God will empower you. If you need an outlet to serve, we are looking for volunteers at the Christian Culture Center. Visit the Christian Culture Center’s Involvement Partners Page today and volunteer!
I just read an article that disturbs me. We live in the United States of America where we are guaranteed both the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. What I read is that we don’t have religious speech rights. At least that’s what’s being enforced in the U.S. military.
Christians in the U.S. military are being told they must forfeit their First Amendment rights. Bible verses are being erased from cadets’ personal dorm-room white boards, and military lawyers claim that legal protections for religion only pertain to matters such as clothing and growing beards but do not extend to any religious expression such as talking about one’s faith or posting a Bible verse.
Last year Breitbart News broke the story of a campaign by anti-Christian extremists to suppress traditional Christian expression within the U.S. military. There were conflicting stories regarding the possible court martial of service members who share the gospel of Jesus Christ and confirmed reports of military chaplains being officially censored, as well as Bibles temporarily banned from the Walter Reed military hospital.
After these stories went viral on the Internet, Republicans in Congress launched aninvestigation, then introduced legislation to specify that religious expression is a protected right for men and women serving in uniform. Although President Obama originally threatened to veto the legislation, those protections were signed into law in December 2013.
Now these new protections are being put to their first test. Military officers at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs are saying that the Obama-Hagel Pentagon does not regard these new protections as encompassing religious speech or writing. As such, cadets are not allowed to post Bible verses on their personal white boards in their dorm rooms.
This latest incident occurred when a cadet (whose identity we are not disclosing) posted Galatians 2:20 on his personal whiteboard, posted outside his living quarters in a residential dormitory. That verse reads, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
According to media reports, several people at the academy contacted Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the radical anti-Christian group that had been in communication with the Defense Department under President Obama regarding adopting new policies for religious expression in the military. Weinstein claimed that he called the Air Force Academy to complain about the Bible verse and further claims that two hours and nine minutes later, the verse was gone.
Sources quote Weinstein as saying that having this verse on the outside of the dorm room “clearly elevated one religious faith over all others at an already virulently hyper-fundamentalist Christian institution.” He is quoted as adding, “It massively poured fundamentalist Christian gasoline on an already raging out-of-control conflagration of fundamentalist Christian tyranny…”
Contrary to existing reports, Academy personnel did not erase the Bible verse or order the cadet to remove it.
Finish this article here: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace
I’m sounding this alarm because freedom of speech is a fundamental right and without it we are driven into the underground to express our views and share them with others. Please do all you can to reinforce this right and to prevent it from being taken away. Changing the culture for Christ demands it.
Christian comedy is a great way to share serious topics without being so serious. In many cultures, entertainment is the biggest attraction. If you can entertain people while presenting eternal truths, you can have a very receptive audience. Here’s an article that discusses the validity of using Christian comedy to move the masses.
Humor me for a moment? I have just handed you a shrink-wrapped DVD case. Would you be so kind as to hold on to it for, like, 120 seconds or so? Thank you.
Danish ironist Søren Kierkegaard is apt to illustrate a recent article in the Atlantic about comedy. I’ll explicate the relevant bits of the article in a moment. For starters, here’s one of the Dane’s journal entries, dated 1836:
I have just returned from a party of which I was the life and soul; wit poured from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me—but I went away—and the dash should be as long as the earth’s orbit————————and wanted to shoot myself.
This isn’t a hard sentiment to understand, and it gets at a cluster of issues related to comedy that are worth unpacking. First, back to the Atlantic, where author Olga Khazan finds a team of British scientists claiming that comedians are more likely than normal folks to “exhibit psychotic traits.” Her piece also mentions a New York Times analysis of obituaries that suggests comedians die an average of eight years earlier than members of the military.
[Content omitted, see: http://christandpopculture.com/]
Humor has a subversive component. This the Atlantic article also makes clear; Khazan there describes the transaction between comic and audience as one of “benign violation,” whereby enough of an offense is committed to prick the mind of the listener, but not enough to completely put them off. Humor is clearly dependent to a degree on community standards and personal mores, which define the zone in which a joke can successfully land. Too little of a violation and you’re boring; too much of one and you’re anathema. The goalposts shift with each audience. Each merrymaking, anxiety-ridden, dollar-bill-clutching audience.
Christian comedy can be used to present very serious topics in a light-mannered way. Seriousness can raise defenses, but comedy can dissipate them. If you are a Christian comedian, we’d like to hear from you on what messages you are presenting and what type of response you get.