But there are some things that are out of bounds. There are some areas where we should not go. Just because something is funny at some base level does not mean it is fair game to joke about. And other things just aren’t funny. It seems like we have lost the ability, or will to determine what is appropriate and what is inappropriate in the area of humor. Most people will laugh at anything. It seems like the more base or common the joke, the more people will laugh at it. ‘Bathroom humor’ is the easiest way to get a laugh today. Say something vulgar and people just crack up. This kind of ribald humor takes the least amount of thinking. Yet it is found throughout our culture, from blockbuster movies to the board room, and even the basement of the church. But this is not right. The Christian needs to draw a line about what is appropriate and what is not. We should have a higher standard. When you hear that dirty joke today, you do not have to laugh… even if it is ‘funny’. When we receive and enjoy such conversation, we allow poison into our soul. Take the higher path today. Refuse to allow crude and obscene humor to determine your values.
And to take it a step further, much of this crude humor that invades our lives is sexual in nature. We have allowed the most sacred of human acts to become a punch line. Nothing gets people to snicker or roar with laughter faster than a sexually explicit joke. This is messed up. There are some things that are out of bounds. Why? Because these are unhealthy ideas that will destroy the fabric of our soul. God created us for more than an easy laugh at the expense of holiness.
My dad, who is a preacher was once on a jobsite where the workers were often telling dirty jokes to try and see how he would respond. At one point he started laughing uncontrollably and said, “That joke is as funny as Hell.” The guys were shocked and visibly disturbed as they knew this man of God shouldn’t talk like that. My dad finally stopped laughing, and with the straightest face said, “And Hell ain’t funny!” He went on to explain how Jesus Christ will clean up a mind and mouth.
Scripture even talks about vulgar humor, and apparently not much has changed over the last couple of thousand years. Paul instructs Christians to, “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God.” (Ephesians 5:1-5)