"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Holiness of Humor by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

"It is a sort of tradition of the fathers that it is wrong to laugh on Sundays. The eleventh commandment is, that we are to love one another; and then, according to some people, the twelfth is, "Thou shalt pull a long face on Sunday." I must confess that I would rather hear people laugh than 1 would see them asleep in the house of God; and I would rather get the truth into them through the medium of ridicule than I would have it neglected, or leave the people to perish through lack of reception of the message. I do believe, in my heart, that there may be as much holiness in a laugh as in a cry; and that, sometimes, to laugh is the better thing of the two, for I may weep, and be murmuring, and repining, and thinking all sorts of bitter thoughts against God; while, at another time, I may laugh the laugh of sarcasm against sin, and so evince a holy earnestness in the defense of the truth. I do not know why ridicule is to be given up to Satan as a weapon to be used against us, and not to be employed by us as a weapon against him." C.H. Spurgeon, Lecture to My Students.

8 comments:

The Govteach said...

And his last decade a fan of F. P. del Rio y Ca.......something Baptists won't tell you today....

Curious Thinker said...

Never heard of the eleventh or twelfth commandments before. I wonder are they just figure of speeches?

Christiane said...

not sure about worldly humor as 'holy', but there is such a thing as 'holy joy' and it IS connected up with the Holy Spirit ...

there is some humor in the tremendous amount of Christian paradox,
which I think is God's way of helping us break out of our comfort zones and be better able to see the Kingdom of heaven in the midst of His creation. Sure, there is sadness and struggle, but in the discoveries of grace, there is pure joy beyond our understanding . . .

an example:
when we, for Christ's sake, have given everything we have away, we find out that strangely we are not left with 'nothing' . . .

Victorious said...

I'm not sure what Spurgeon meant about holy laughter, but I know I've gotten a stern look from the pulpit a time or two for laughing at something I thought was appropriate for laughing.

I also laugh out loud every time I read your post about Eric and his collection of beer shirts. The laughter stems from imagining the look on the faces of the elder when he saw Eric's shirt with ""Budweiser, King of Beers" on it. LOL Priceless!

I also see some holy humor in the gospel account of Jesus walking on the water and how the apostles were scared. You gotta know Jesus must have chuckled a little inside when impetuous Peter wanted to walk on the water. I'm convinced Jesus had a sense of humor.

Kristen said...

@Victorious - I think Jesus' sense of humor also shows in some of his figures of speech. To "strain out a gnat and swallow a camel" is funny -- the only reason it doesn't seem so is that it's now such a very, very old joke.

Bill Jones said...

I highly recommend a book that occupies a place on my own bookshelves, The Humor of Christ, by Elton Trueblood. It's an old one (the author, a Quaker theologian, died many years ago), but very worthwhile. Jesus liked to employ humor and irony & enjoyed making people smile and even laugh. I imagine copies can be found online (Amazon, etc.).

Aussie John said...

Wade,

"“It is said that Dr. Theodore Cuyler and Mr. Spurgeon were once out in the fields enjoying God’s sunshine and the beauties of nature. Dr. Cuyler told a story at which Mr. Spurgeon laughed until his sides shook. Suddenly Mr. Spurgeon said, ‘Theodore, let’s get down on our knees and thank God for laughter.’ And these two happy Christian preachers knelt in the field and thanked God for His great gift of laughter.” – Illustrations Of Bible Truths

A long time ago, in the first church I sought to serve, as folk were being seated, I was enjoying the laughter of children.

An elderly wife of one of the founding fathers came to me and said,"Pastor. Please reprimand those children for laughing in church".

I nearly cried.

Wade Burleson said...

Aussie John,

I would cry too.

Wow.