Tuesday, March 31, 2015

SOBRIETY is no laughing matter.

SOBRIETY. Is sobriety entirely extinct? Is everything in the world laughable? I am appalled at the near-total absence of seriousness about things of God among so many professing Christians, and especially ministers.

Over the years, I have followed the threads of so many people as they discuss crucial Biblical issues, and am utterly blown away by the comedic mockery and irreverence that often prevails in such discussions. But I do not see one, single, solitary joke in the Bible. I cannot find even one tiny instance where my Lord or His Apostles resorted to silly banter or nonsensical jabs in matters of salvation or discipleship.

One of the principal elements of humor is the use of unrelated, impertinent responses to get a laugh. One of the most prevalent ways of getting people to laugh is by saying things that are totally unexpected, unfitting, or surprising. After that, mockery, insults and debasement are oft-used tactics to get a laugh.

Where in the Church of the living God is there any legitimate use of impertinence, mockery, insults or debasement in the teaching or learning process? There is none. Any claimed benefit to such shameful practices could easily be bested with sober, wiser and more mature alternatives. (I am sure that at least somebody reading this is sorely tempted to mock me even as I speak, as I am frequently told that I take myself too seriously, or that I am "too religious," or that I need to "get a life.")

But the premise here is comparable to the temptation of Adam and Eve. Satan persuaded them that they would "be as gods, knowing good and evil." But Adam and Eve experienced nothing of any positive value. Their sin in the Garden was a total, net loss. Doing inadvisable things will never yield a learning experience as valuable as what might have been had by sober, wise and obedient methods. The alternatives to sobriety are not better, they are just funnier, more distracting, and ultimately counterproductive. Our use of inappropriate methods such as cheap humor, mockery and insults in the ministry can never produce the needed results that sobriety and wisdom could better produce.

Why can't we simply be sober? That is what the Bible tells us to do.

We have a much-too-large segment of our body of believers who seem to know no other way to communicate than by mockery and making light of everything from speaking in tongues, shouting, preaching, collecting an offering, or the way someone combs his/her hair. Is it necessary? I say that it isn't. Is it beneficial? I say no. Should such practices be abandoned. I say, "Unequivocally."

Will you mock me now? Then you are the very person I am addressing.

The Church was meant to be like a lifeboat on a raging sea, not a cruise ship for party-goers. "The end...is at hand: be...sober." 1 Peter 4:7.

Christianity is stuffed with cheap filler, like Styrofoam in a shipping crate. It's time to toss out frivolity, and sober up. Preach God's WORD.

Cut the cancer off the Church. Get rid of entertainment, comedy, sports and general nonsense. Soberly, wisely, preach and teach God's Word.

We are making a deadly mistake by turning the Church into a party environment. Heaven, Hell, Eternity are sober issues. We laugh too much.

Many people only live from laugh to laugh. They block out the weightier, sober things of life. 12 Bible verses say "be sober". Get serious.

"The grace of God ...Teach[es] us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly," Titus 2:11.

"Be SOBER, be VIGILANT; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may DEVOUR," 1 Peter 5:8.

The Church would benefit profoundly by categorically throwing out ALL nonsensical humor and stupidity from the Church platform. BE SOBER.

"In all their jollity in this world, the wicked are but as a book fairly bound,..when it is opened is full of nothing but tragedies," Richard Sibbes.

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," Galatians 6:7-9.