410: And now for something completely different—humor, humor everywhere …

20071007-_mg_0526-Edit PRELUDE:

    An American couple visited an English cathedral, but found their way barred by a caretaker who asked them for a fee to enter.
    “All we want to do is pray,” the man said.
    “We have no choice,” the caretaker said. “If we didn’t charge, this place would be full of people.”

    (Humor from the Joyful Noiseletter, an online and print publication that promotes Holy Humor Sunday this time of year.)

AND FROM SCRIPTURE:   

 NOAH’S BLOG
Noah_dove300    Day 1.
    Rain.
    Day 2.
    Rain.
    Day 3.
    Rain.
    Day 4.
    Rain.
    Day 5.
    Rain.
    Day 6.
    So I was loading up the last of the animals last week when I walk past my neighbor Roger, the Molech-worshipper. He looks up and says “Hey, looks like rain.”
    True story.
    …
    Day 31
    You guys read this blog. You know I love my wife, right? But I swear, sometimes she just gets on my nerves.
    “The roof is leaking, Noah.”
    “Noah, the sheep are soaking wet because the roof is leaking.”
    You know what? Sometimes Noah just needs a little Noah Time, okay?
    …
    Day 110
    The wife says I’m getting paranoid, but I believe the primates are conspiring to mutiny. Can’t talk, more later. …

    (You can enjoy the entire text of Noah’s Blog at the Wittenberg Door Web site.)

AND NOW THE MESSAGE:

GOD’S FAVORITE BUMPER STICKERS …

Who died and made you God?

Oh, Evolve!

Nietzche is dead.

I practice catch and release.

What happens in Vegas … still gets back to Me.

    (You can find this and lots of other spirited stabs at satire at the Wittenberg Door.)

DON’T FORGET—THE OFFERING:

Wittenberg Door cover     What we’re offering today at ReadTheSpirit is a brief sampling from two groups promoting Christian humor—both of which are in the news this month.
    The Fellowship of Merry Christians specializes in “clean jokes” and gentle humor. The group promotes the idea of using humor as a post-Easter theme in congregations to celebrate the Christian “good news” of the season.
    One church featured in the current issue of the Joyful Noiseletter designed a special Holy Humor Sunday in which the clergy entered, dressed as doctors complete with stethoscopes. The jokes focused on thinking of the church as a clinic, which isn’t bad theology actually. And, a few portions of the morning service had a little bite in them. For example, the collection of offerings was listed as “Collection of the Deductibles.” The sermon was preached by two “doctors” sitting at a consultation table, comparing notes on various “patients.

Nailin It to the Church     At the other end of the humorous spectrum is the Wittenberg Door, which sometimes pushes so hard with its satire that it occasionally winds up offending rather than amusing. (The editors once produced an infamous full-color cover lampooning Billy Graham—showing Graham grinning as a big hand pointed a revolver at his temple. The headline? “Buy This Magazine—or Billy Gets It!”)
    All in all, though, there’s so much doom and gloom in American religious life that we have to encourage the prophetic few who remind us that, among other things, even the world’s great religious figures told jokes. Jesus certainly did in a number of his parables; Native Americans revere “the trickster” in ancient stories; Buddhist koans are among the world’s most challenging jokes.

    SO—FINALLY .. we want to tell you about a new documentary film about the team behind The Wittenberg Door, called “Nailin’ It to the Church.” There’s a special Web site devoted to this film, which is available on DVD. We’ve previewed it, here at ReadTheSpirit, and we can tell you this: If you show this film in your weekly discussion group, over a series of several weeks—you’ll certainly have no shortage of spirited conversation.
    The entire film charts the evolution of the Door and gives you a good sampling of how popular Door writers and editors regard their unusual vocation. The DVD also is peppered with dozens of hilarious short “takes” from over-the-top televangelists through the years—a favorite target of the Door’s lampoons.

(NOTE: IF YOU ARE READING today’s story via Email or an RSS feed, CLICK HERE to jump to our site to see the video trailer for “Nailin’ It To the Church.”)

CLICK ON THE VIDEO SCREEN, below, to watch a 3-minute trailer for the new documentary, “Nailin’ It to the Church.”

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    (Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)

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