Question: "How should a Christian view comedy?"

Answer: There are many who believe Christianity to be very sober and without much fun and laughter. This is certainly not the case. God made each of us with our many emotions so we could fully experience and appreciate the entirety of His creation. He encourages us not only to find joy in the things He has given us, but also to find joy and laughter in His very presence (Psalm 4:7; 16:11; 32:11).

One only needs to look around to see the joy, and even humor, that God built into the world. From the duck-billed platypus to the lumbering hippopotamus to the antics of monkeys, we see plenty of living things that bring laughter and amusement. God gave us the ability to laugh, whether in joy, at a funny situation, or even at a good joke.

That being said, however, there are plenty of things the world finds funny that are not pleasing to God. There are many stand-up comedians and comedy movies that capitalize on the darker, raunchier side of humor to get cheap laughs. As Christians, we are to fill our minds with the things that are noble and admirable (Philippians 4:8), and to rise above crude joking (Ephesians 5:4). This type of impurity, even in the name of humor, is not in line with the attitude God calls us to have—one of holiness. The Scriptures are an excellent filter to use when we consider which things are pure and which are unclean.

Everything God does is loving and good. But, as humans, tainted by sin, we often find ourselves laughing at the expense of others. These types of ridiculing jokes are questionable at best, as they do not show charity and love to those around us. Seeking to garner laughs in a spirit of unkindness and derision is not a godly activity.

So, how should a Christian view comedy? At its essence, there is nothing wrong with comedy. There are certainly plenty of things to laugh at in our lives that are pure and praiseworthy—in fact, there are a good number of Christian comedians and clean comedic movies. Genuine humor is a godly thing, and the Lord wants us to be joyful (John 15:11). However, we should exercise great care when we go to a comedy movie or stand-up comedy show, always asking ourselves if the comedy in which we choose to participate would be pleasing to the Lord and have a positive influence on our Christian walk.