The Bible Is Serious about Humor
"Does the Bible have any humor in it?"
The overall plot of the Bible is a U-shaped comic plot. The action begins with a perfect world inhabited by perfect people. It descends into the misery of fallen history and ends with a new world of total happiness and the conquest of evil.
Driscoll also highlights examples of situational comedy (e.g., the story of Jacob and Laban in Genesis 27-29), scatological humor (e.g., Ezekiel 4:12), sarcasm (e.g., Job 38), name calling (e.g., Proverbs 6:6-9; 19:13). The coup de grâce for Driscoll's (or any theological) argument is, of course, Jesus. He used humorous exaggeration (e.g., the log vs. the speck in the eye, the camel through the eye of the needle), ridicule (e.g., how religious people pray, fast and tithe) and some were offended (Matthew 15:12).
So why should we be humorous. Driscoll concludes by saying because:*
Jesus did it.*
Humor defeats religion.*
People take themselves too seriously, and God too lightly.*
Some things are a joke and if you treat them seriously it gives them credence you don't want to give them.*
Just because they are laughing doesn't mean they aren't grieving (Proverbs 14:13).*
It makes us spiritually strong (Nehemiah 8:10).*
It heightens all our other passions.*
It is missiological (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
Are there any limits then to humor? Driscoll says there are, such as:*
Don't mock God.*
Don't mock everyone.*
Don't mock all the time
Keep looking for the line.* Laugh at yourself.*
Know who to mock.*
Know when to mock.
In general, laughing at ourselves or helping someone laugh at themselves is actually doing them a spiritual service because it nurtures our humility and punctures our arrogance. At the same time it is not always appropriate. But those are exceptions to the rule: Be funny.