In A Mirror Dimly

Self-Medicating with Self-Laughter

“It’s funny because it’s true” is one of my favourite sayings that I don’t say.
And I think that Christians have some of the best material for ‘funny cuz it’s true’ stuff.

But oh, how often we are defensive and irritable, instead of being able to laugh at ourselves! If we could only take that step back more often, and realize that the things we do, say, and write are some of the most ridiculous in history. It doesn’t mean they’re wrong or bad, but just that they’re pretty silly.

I don’t think I’ve been very hush-hush about how much I like Jon Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like. If so, then I’ll start dropping more hints. Because through his blog and his book, he’s really hit the nail on the head of our ridiculous subculture in the world.
I once read a half-page to a stranger, and ended up with her ‘borrowing’ the book, to blow through in less than a day–laughing hysterically through most of it.

My newest source of self-directed humour comes from Eugene Cho, who collaborated a list of totally ‘ANTI-ESSENTIAL CHRISTIAN BOOKS.’
They are fictitious titles by real authors, and they’re pretty ripe with satire, sarcasm, and other grand devices of humour.

Because let’s face it: there are some pretty colourful characters and strong opinions out there in the Christian bookstores.  If you don’t think so, check out Rob Bell’s supposed latest: The Purpose Driven Shack of Jabez.

It’s a great list, and there are some great additions in the ‘Comments’ section, as well.

I have my own opinions about which authors I (dis)agree with, but that’s not the point. The point is that it’s good to laugh at ourselves, and at our faith-based ‘celebrities’.

Another source of this chuckling is the twitterfeed of “Bible Students Say.”

A professor at a Christian college runs an anonymous twitter account, posting the hilarious things his (her?) students write in their papers.  Sometimes it’s funny because of poor grammar or typos, sometimes because of the naive-but-headstrong opinions of first-year students, and sometimes it’s just because they’re so wrong.

A few examples:

Best Typo: ‘We can only understand the full extent of God’s utter hatred of sin when we look at Calgary…’

“I couldn’t find anything that clearly gave NT Wright’s views on Jesus’s resurrection” (Then you weren’t looking…at all) ow.ly/aF9uX

“Jesus said ‘if you believe & tell this mountain to move away that is going to obey you’.” (Do you understand how quotation marks work?)

“The Torah & the Bible’s Old Testament are similar in text, as well as meaning” (eerily similar…especially those first 5 books)

When asked why (s)he posts these students’ comments, the nameless prof replies with “It’s theraputic for me” or explains that if s/he cannot laugh, s/he would have to cry.

Laughter is a medicine for us.

What do you think?

Do we take ourselves too seriously?
[Author's Note: I resisted the urge to include a creepy picture of  The Joker, captioned with "Why so serious?"  You're welcome.]

Or not seriously enough?

Leave a comment.

ps: If you like @BibleStdntsSay, you may also like @ChrchCurmudgeon and @PastorProblems. Check them out, and follow them, if you’re on the Twitters.

4 Responses

  1. JT Adamson says:

    Dude, I think we are cosmicly linked through humor. While you were reading my blog, I was laughing at @biblestdntssay, only to read your comment on my post, then come here and see that you are quoting @biblestdntssay.

    Oh yeah, and we both like to use our initials. It’s like we live in parallel universes. Of course, that begs the question of “Which one lives in the evil parallel universe where Spock has a goatee?”

    I retort, you decide.

    But seriously, do we Christians take ourselves too seriously? Absolutely. I think we take God too lightly and us too seriously. So, laughing at ourselves is certainly a step in the right direction.

    Great stuff!

    • D.A. Broughton says:

      I’ll go ahead and admit to being the evil one. No sense in arguing over it.

      I like what you did there:
      We take God too lightly.
      We take ourselves too seriously.

      Brilliant.

  2. sb says:

    Oh my gosh! I just read your comment on the anti-essential christian books link. I literally had to cough to cover the sound of giggling from my co-workers. Oh Brother.

    • D.A. Broughton says:

      Tee hee.

      I honestly couldn’t even remember what I’d written, so I had to go look it up. It took me a long time to find it. 170 comments is a lot to sift through, and I didn’t think of the ‘search’ tool until I’d already found it.

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