Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Few Jokes for Church Folks

I've been celebrating Holy Humour Sunday all of this week (not that I'm loathe to tell a joke any time :p), and I've got a few jokes for y'all:

In a small Texas town, a bar began construction on a new building to increase their business. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. Work progressed right up till the week before opening when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.

The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise in its reply to the court.

As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, “I don't know how I’m going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not.”

And another:

Q: How many church members does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: Change? Change??? My grandmother paid for that light bulb!

And lastly:

A minister was walking down the street when he came upon a group of about a dozen boys, all of them between 10 and 12 years of age.

The group had surrounded a dog. Concerned lest the boys were hurting the dog, he went over and asked “What are you doing with that dog?”

One of the boys replied, “This dog is just an old neighborhood stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take him home. So we’ve decided that whichever one of us can tell the biggest lie will get to keep the dog.”

Of course, the reverend was taken aback. “You boys shouldn’t be having a contest telling lies!” he exclaimed. He then launched into a ten minute sermon against lying, beginning, “Don’t you boys know it’s a sin to lie,” and ending with, “Why, when I was your age, I never told a lie.”

There was dead silence for about a minute. Just as the reverend was beginning to think he’d gotten through to them, the smallest boy gave a deep sigh and said, “All right, give him the dog.”

Sometimes "jokes" can hurt. Sometimes they're intended to hurt. But a lot of times, a joke can help us examine a side of ourselves that would be too painful or divisive to approach any other way.

Like change within the church. Or how and why we pray. Or what really is a sin. These topics can be too heated to discuss openly, but a joke can gently nudge us to start thinking on our own, gradually freeing us to openly and intelligently discuss topics that were once taboo.

And so I leave you, dear readers, with questions raised by these jokes.

How do you feel about the changes our moder world has wrougt in our religious institutions? How and why do you pray? What do you pray for? And do you really believe God will answer you? What is sin? What is the difference (if any) between a lie and a tall tale? When is it okay to lie? (And if you've never had children, think carefully before you answer, "Never!") (If you have raised children, you'll know that, "Never!" is not the right answer, if you answer the question honestly...)

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