Have you ever seen those videos by Christian comedians about worship styles?
You know, the ones making fun of how people raise their hands in church. Cracking jokes at the simple worship songs of the 80s.
Sarcastically commenting about how repetitive worship songs are today.
Christians are easy targets it seems, even among their peers because even Christians take cheap shots at Christians.
And while it’s perhaps harmless to tell a “how many pastors does it take to change a light bulb” joke, there is a point where it all goes too far.
There are some things that should be off limits.
There was a term that was often used long ago to define this. It was “sacrilege”.
Sacrilege basically means that we have taken what is holy and made it common, we’ve defiled it, we’ve mistreated it, we’ve desecrated it.
We’d do well to reintroduce it to our vocabulary because while we’d look at certain sitcoms and comedians and immediately recognize that they’ve committed sacrilege, we don’t realize there are times when we do the same.
5 Serious Reasons Why We Shouldn’t Joke About Worship
I love to laugh and make people laugh.
And I think God has a great sense of humor. I mean, He created some really funny-looking animals. He must have a sense of humor.
And I don’t think God ever meant for Christians to be somber people who take life too seriously.
However, in Scripture we see that God drew a line between those things that were for everyday use and those things that were for sacred use.
And He took this very seriously.
Those who misused things for sacred use were dealt with harshly.
While God doesn’t use the same judgement today as He used in the Old Testament (i.e. instant death), I believe that His displeasure can be seen in other ways, such as a spiritual coldness and desensitization to the Holy Spirit
1. Joking about worship offends God
Worship is an expression God created for mankind as a way to fully and intimately convey the depth of our love to Him.
It is as intimate as a man loving his wife or a woman loving her husband.
To presume that we have the freedom to invade another person’s intimate expression of worship, whether it be their physical expression of worship (how they clap their hands, how they raise their hands) or their creative expression of worship through lyrics or music, is offensive to God.
Their expression of worship is the sincere act of an individual to convey the depth of their love to God and it is fully received by God with joy.
Furthermore, that expression of worship is glorification and exaltation of God.
- It honors Him.
- It revers Him.
- It elevates Him above everything else that person loved, honored, and revered.
To take that act of glorification and honor and desecrate with humor offends God.
2. Joking about worship desecrates worship
Desecration of worship is a very serious thing, and God takes it seriously.
We read in the Old Testament about two men – Nadab and Abihu – who dared to offer a “profane fire” to God. The fire of God went out from the censors and devoured them.
God is a jealous God.
He said, “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.”
To make fun of worship is to desecrate it. We fail to regard God as holy and to glorify Him when we take acts of worship that He has created and make them into a punchline.
3. Joking about worship distracts us
Okay, so we didn’t realize how offensive it was to God for us to laugh along with the Christian comedian who poked fun at the way people raise their hands in worship.
But Sunday rolls around, we sit in our favorite chair and the music starts.
As people around us begin to worship, we suddenly notice how funny they look as they raise their hands at various angles.
We find it hard to enter into worship because all we can think of now is the silly video we watched the other day and how funny the comedian looked imitating how people raise their hands.
4. Joking about worship distracts others and robs from them something sacred
But what about those who overhear us laughing and talking about the funny hand raising. How weird it is to clap on the “1 & 3”, how only cool people clap on the “2 & 4”, or how lame it is to sing those old worship songs?
Now, when they enter God’s presence they no longer feel the freedom they used to feel.
They can’t just let go of their inhibitions and worship because they feel like they are the center of someone’s attention who is going to make them the butt of a joke later on.
Now all they can think about it is, “What do I look like when I raise my hands?”
“Oh my word, am I the totally uncool person clapping on the 1 & 3? What is a 1 & 3?”
How about those who hear us parodying the lyrics to outdated worship songs from the 80’s and 90’s?
Have we thought about the fact that the song we’ve parodied could possibly hold great significance to someone – that this song perhaps was the anthem of a great spiritual breakthrough in their spiritual life.
Perhaps a landmark song of a time when God met them where they were at a time of grief or sorrow?
5. Joking about worship reveals a cold heart
When our heart burns with a love for the Lord, we enjoy a closeness and intimacy with Him that allows us to feel the joy He feels….and the pain He feels.
Truly, the Holy Spirit inside of us will send warning signals when something is offensive to God.
Some people call this a check in their spirit. But whatever you call it, you feel something is off, something’s not right.
It is when our heart has grown cold and distant that we can no longer sense that “check”. We can’t tell when something’s off because our cold and distant heart no longer senses the Holy Spirit’s warnings.
When we can easily entertain
- Comedy that desecrates that which is holy
- Parodies of worship songs
- Lists of worship songs that are “in” and “out”, giving us the freedom to show disdain for the ones that are “out”
- Jokes that make people’s intimate acts of worship a punchline…
When we can laugh at this and not feel how deeply it offends God we can be sure our heart has grown cold.
If our hearts have grown cold, we need to get down on our knees and cry out to God in repentance for mocking that which is holy.
We need to ask God to ignite our hearts once again with a passion for His presence.
We need to tarry in prayer until we feel our hearts once again burn with reverence for His glory and for the things that are sacred.
Get my 30 Day Prayer Challenge for Worship today and pray through 30 Bible verses on worship for a whole month!
More articles on worship