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Christian Improv: What's Funny at Warren's Church
Time ^ | July 27, 2009 | Joel Stein

Posted on 07/28/2009 11:04:39 AM PDT by Cecily

There are many things Evangelical Christians are good at, such as bake sales and talking to me on planes. They're less adept at other things, such as comedy and fighting lions. Christians aren't funny because they tend to be literal-minded. Also because they're sad about having had sex with only one person. So when Kevin Roose, author of the excellent new book The Unlikely Disciple, told me that Rick Warren's giant Saddleback Church has its own improv group, for the first time in my life, I felt my calling. I may not be the Woody Allen or Jon Stewart of the secular world, but in the land of the unfunny Christian, the one-joked Jew is king.

(Excerpt) Read more at time.com ...


TOPICS: Current Events; Evangelical Christian
KEYWORDS: antichristian; boycotttimewarner; christians; comedy; evangelicals; liberalbigots; pravdamedia; rickwarren
More goofiness from Rick Warren's "church."
1 posted on 07/28/2009 11:04:39 AM PDT by Cecily
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To: Cecily; wagglebee; Timesink; martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; ...
Media Schadenfreude and Media Shenanigans PING

There are many things Evangelical Christians are good at... They're less adept at other things, such as ...fighting lions.

Genocide for laughs. Time magazine declared God dead in the 1960s.

I'll be glad when Time-Lies-Warner-Turner goes belly up and declares (moral) bankruptcy.

2 posted on 07/28/2009 11:07:18 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (There is no truth in the Pravda Media.)
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To: a fool in paradise

Wow. I suppose Jews and ovens is funny too Time Magazine.


3 posted on 07/28/2009 11:10:38 AM PDT by MNDude (The Republican Congress Economy--1995-2007)
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To: Cecily

He’s hot like he’s in an oven or something ... hmmm, not so funny when the target isn’t a Christian, is it?


4 posted on 07/28/2009 11:14:47 AM PDT by ikka (Brother, you asked for it!)
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Jewish people are jealous of Christians. Despite of being declared of God’s chosen people, Christian civilization have achieved far more than Jewish one. Indeed, Jews have only prospered in Christian countries. A Messianic rabbi once told me Christians should make Jewish people very jealous to draw them to Christ.


5 posted on 07/28/2009 11:22:04 AM PDT by jeanguy04
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To: Cecily

Rick Warren is a joke.


6 posted on 07/28/2009 11:24:08 AM PDT by ravingnutter
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To: Cecily
From the article: "After being taught various improv games with the five members of the troupe, none of which involved the Bible or moral lessons, I asked them what the difference was between secular and Christian improv. "We're dirtier," said Jeremy Bryan Barnes. Then he explained why they weren't doing Christian comedy. "When we started, we'd get requests from groups to do jokes about Noah. But it wasn't fun. We'd work too hard to work in Noah. It's our job to entertain." Their goal, Barnes explained, was to give people a way to get friends to the church who have turned down an invitation to a service. This made sense until I thought about the kind of person who would say, "I'm not interested in eternal salvation, but I'd love to spend a Saturday night in a small conference room watching Christian improvisational comedy!"

At least the non-Christian gets it (assuming that the others are, in fact, real Christians as alleged).

So...when the Sunday morning "seeker service" can't draw "seekers" (unsaved and uninterested in/rejecting of the Gospel)...bring on the comedy. It is as funny as hell!

7 posted on 07/28/2009 11:42:36 AM PDT by pby
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To: Cecily
Its funny how many people replying this post are just using it only as an opportunity to take a shot at Rick Warren, and missing totally Time Magazines slam against the whole Christian Church.
8 posted on 07/28/2009 11:43:16 AM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: Cecily

Here are just some of the “less adept” Believers:

Noah Webster
Kepler
Newton
Benjamin Franklin
Pasteur
Gutenberg
Copernicus
Mendelssohn

And Joel writes for Time. Time magazine. For the benefit of all manlike, Joel leaves the heavy lifting to intellectual giants. Evidence of his aspirations remain in the lobby at some second rate dive. I would suggest his columns, like Obama’s Styrofoam sculptures, deserve a more popular location; the landfill.


9 posted on 07/28/2009 11:53:10 AM PDT by This Just In
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To: Cecily
They're less adept at other things, such as comedy and fighting lions. Christians aren't funny

I have noticed that, that explicitly Christian humor, the stuff you might hear on Christian radio, tends to be kind of flat.

10 posted on 07/28/2009 11:53:56 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("Dispensationalists say the darndest things!")
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To: Cecily

While I think it is a fair critique that some of us evangelicals need to develop a sense of humor — this article is nothing more than a hit piece on Christianity.

I get the impression that the author would be quite delighted if we were thrown to lions again (coming soon to the Middle East?).


11 posted on 07/28/2009 11:59:16 AM PDT by rom (Israel got Saul before they got David. Where's our David?)
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To: NavyCanDo

“Its funny how many people replying this post are just using it only as an opportunity to take a shot at Rick Warren....”

It’s unfortunate that you’re using this post “only as an opportunity” to criticize individuals whom rightly question Rick Warren’s ministry.

Furthermore, it is obvious that you fail to recognized that most of the posts have been comments on the authors opinions, and not on Rick Warren.

One of the main points in the article concerns Rick Warren and his church. So, Freepers whom are expressing their opinions about Saddleback are not off subject.


12 posted on 07/28/2009 12:00:55 PM PDT by This Just In
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To: Cecily

13 posted on 07/28/2009 12:05:06 PM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Texan. Monarchist. Any questions?)
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To: rom

“...a fair critique that some of us evangelicals need to develop a sense of humor...”

I disagree. Many of our friends, as well as our own family, have a great sense of humor. What the author is saying, and others believe, is that if we don’t find THEIR brand of comedy to be funny, we lack any sense of humor.

“...-this article is nothing more than a hit piece on Christianity.”

Precisely.

I disagree with the first half of your


14 posted on 07/28/2009 12:06:33 PM PDT by This Just In
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To: This Just In

I did say “some” in my first statement — I have some evangelical friends who seem to have lost the capability to smile :)


15 posted on 07/28/2009 12:25:42 PM PDT by rom (Israel got Saul before they got David. Where's our David?)
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To: rom

I know that you did not level a sweeping accusations, but the author sure did.

Boy, if anyone wishes to see a group of individuals that lack a sense of humor, all he/she needs to do is watch liberals.

Better yet, say, “Sarah Palin”. Watch the “humor” and color leave them like jews at Revival.


16 posted on 07/28/2009 12:31:01 PM PDT by This Just In
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To: NavyCanDo
Its funny how many people replying this post are just using it only as an opportunity to take a shot at Rick Warren, and missing totally Time Magazines slam against the whole Christian Church.

Because... Again, Rick Warren opened the door for them to do so.

17 posted on 07/28/2009 12:34:35 PM PDT by pby
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To: This Just In
The humor may leave them, but it sure is funny for us to watch their contortions!
18 posted on 07/28/2009 12:35:55 PM PDT by rom (Israel got Saul before they got David. Where's our David?)
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To: rom

Yeah, as a matter of fact, I pay money just to watch liberals reactions to names, such as:

George Bush
Sarah Palin
Jerry Falwell
Ronald Reagan
NRA
Joe the Plumber
Columbus

:^)


19 posted on 07/28/2009 12:41:01 PM PDT by This Just In
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To: NavyCanDo

Antitheist bias from Time-Lies is nothing new and should not come as a surprise.

20 posted on 07/28/2009 12:43:30 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (There is no truth in the Pravda Media.)
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To: Lee N. Field
I have noticed that, that explicitly Christian humor, the stuff you might hear on Christian radio, tends to be kind of flat.

There is precious little explicitly Christian humor out there. I would suggest that the comedians are immature enough in their faith as to not know how to make humor out of it - and even if they could, the audience is probably even more spiritually immature, and wouldn't recognize a humorous biblical allusion if it hit them in the head! Today's Christian comedy probably compares to the intelligence and maturity of today's Christian music.

Case in point: take a thorough listen to the comedy DVD Thou Shalt Laugh. The "explicitly Christian" part of each act occurs only within certain jokes, and it's more often a name-dropping thing than anything else. It reminds me of the token gospel song that appears on many country & western recordings. There's just enough content to remind the listener that the comedian is really "one of us!" I'm not saying it's bad - I'm saying it's little more than fluff.

Whatever you do, skip Thou Shalt Laugh: The Deuce and Thou Shalt Laugh 3. The content gets more sexually risque with each one. By the third one, I don't recall hearing any pretense that the content is "Christian Comedy".

21 posted on 07/28/2009 12:49:31 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("I always longed for repose and quiet" - John Calvin)
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To: a fool in paradise

I guess the editor of that article, Otto Fuerbringer, died last year. So it would be more accurate to say “is Otto Fuerbringer Dead?. Yes, as a matter of fact he is”


22 posted on 07/28/2009 12:50:14 PM PDT by MNDude (The Republican Congress Economy--1995-2007)
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To: rom

I have lost the capability to smile, and I’m not a vangie.


23 posted on 07/28/2009 1:00:25 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: This Just In

Richard Nixon is good. Ben Stein was on Glenn Beck the other day, and he happens to have been a speechwriter for Nixon. Beck makes some smart-aleck remark about him and Stein, with that trademark deadpan, goes “Richard Nixon was a great man.” I haven’t seen Beck speechless too often, but he was at that moment.


24 posted on 07/28/2009 1:15:44 PM PDT by ichabod1 (I am rolling over in my grave and I am not even dead yet (GOP Poet))
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To: Cecily
Focus on the Family radio program routinely includes Christian humor. I laugh so hard my face hurts sometimes! I find the funniest comics are those who can poke fun at the ironies of life and how they fit into our Christian paradigm and worldview. Here's one of the women, Ellie Lofaro. Focus has aired men, too though I'm unable to recall any names at the moment.
25 posted on 07/28/2009 9:11:38 PM PDT by HokieMom (Pacepa : Can the U.S. afford a president who can't recognize anti-Americanism?)
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To: a fool in paradise

Though I wouldn’t offend my birds by using Time as a liner, when did Evangelical Christians ever fight lions?


26 posted on 07/28/2009 9:15:55 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: pby

The author did make it abundantly clear that “Christians aren’t funny”. There was no reason to reinforce it with your comments. ;-]


27 posted on 07/28/2009 9:18:33 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: This Just In

You catch a liberal with enough facts and logic they’ll throw an ashtray at your head and lock themselves in a room. Plus, they might even call you a fascist!


28 posted on 07/28/2009 9:21:49 PM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: NavyCanDo

Uh, dude? Yours is post #8 and I count TWO above yours that criticize Warren. I’d hardly call that “many”.


29 posted on 07/28/2009 9:28:25 PM PDT by FourPeas (Why does Professor Presbury's wolfhound, Roy, endeavour to bite him?)
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To: Cecily
Most of today's humor is simply an open mocking of sin.

Fools make a mock of sin.

Since liberals love to brag about how great it is to have mostly dirty-mouthed comedians they tend to be too jaded to appreciate the simple humor of a Bob Hope while complaining that Ozzie and Harriet were never seen having live sex.

Instead, the modern dregs drinker has to have a constant fix from the droppings of the modern parade of crotch-humorists and flesh-peddlers.

30 posted on 07/28/2009 9:32:20 PM PDT by OriginalIntent (undo all judicial activism and its results)
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To: Cecily

Treason?


31 posted on 07/28/2009 9:37:35 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: OriginalIntent

“...simple humor of a Bob Hope...”

Simple humor? I disagree. Mr. Hope was a sharp witted, quick on his feet comedian with impeccable comedic timing and delivery. The “comedians” of today can’t hold a candle to Bob Hope.

“...modern parade of crotch-humorists and flesh-peddlers.”

Yes, bombastic, vulgar, mockeries does not equal humor.


32 posted on 07/28/2009 10:40:46 PM PDT by This Just In
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To: 1010RD

The author did make it abundantly clear that “Christians aren’t funny”. The author is Joel Stein, who has been writing for Time for a decade or more. His earlier pieces were sad, sophomoric writings that were more scatological than sensible.

He has married in the last few years, and his scatological references have become fewer, but you know that his penis is not too far from the forefront of his mind.

He is a prime example of why Time Magazine has seen its readership and intellectual leadership disappear.

If you want to read humor writen by someone named Stein, make it Ben, not Joel. Much more subtle, enjoyable and refreshingly human.

33 posted on 07/28/2009 11:32:32 PM PDT by norge (The amiable dunce is back, wearing a skirt and high heels.)
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To: This Just In
Mr. Hope was a sharp witted, quick on his feet comedian with impeccable comedic timing and delivery.

I completely agree and yet even a child could usually laugh and find joy in his humor.

The post nineteen sixties cellar dwellers are starkly guttural and callous, ever attacking all moral sensibilities while painting life as profane and pointless.

34 posted on 07/29/2009 12:05:31 AM PDT by OriginalIntent (undo all judicial activism and its results)
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To: norge

I never heard of Joel Stein until yesterday and haven’t read Time magazine in decades. He sounds like a moron.

I was just keeping the joke going. Some Christians are very funny, per this thread.


35 posted on 07/29/2009 4:39:54 AM PDT by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27DIST8qO4I&NR=1


36 posted on 07/29/2009 7:37:21 AM PDT by pby
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To: 1010RD

Evangelical Christian means “observant Christans” to antitheists.

If you just go to church twice a year for the “biggies” like Obama, you are a “good Christian” as long as you keep your observance to yourself (Obama turned his into a photo op which made it “public”, he CAN redeem himself in the eyes of the antitheists this Christmas though...).


37 posted on 07/29/2009 8:06:41 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (There is no truth in the Pravda Media.)
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To: OriginalIntent

“I completely agree and yet even a child could usually laugh and find joy in his humor.”

“This is true. A lot of kids miss the humor in clean jokes nowadays. If the “humor” doesn’t involve sarcasm, vulgarity, or mockery they don’t get it.

Do you recall the old cartoons(Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Bullwinkle, etc.)? Sharp humor. Compare those to most of todays cartoons. A dramatic difference.

“The post nineteen sixties cellar dwellers are starkly guttural and callous, ever attacking all moral sensibilities while painting life as profane and pointless.”

“...nineteen sixties...” is key.

Read this document and tell me what you think(Note the date of the document):

Communist Goals (1963)

Documention below

Congressional Record—Appendix, pp. A34-A35

January 10, 1963

Current Communist Goals

EXTENSION OF REMARKS OF HON. A. S. HERLONG, JR. OF FLORIDA

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Thursday, January 10, 1963

Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla., is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America.

At Mrs. Nordman’s request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following “Current Communist Goals,” which she identifies as an excerpt from “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen:

[From “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen]

CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev’s promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.

9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.

10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture—education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use [”]united force[”] to solve economic, political or social problems.

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.


38 posted on 07/29/2009 9:13:25 AM PDT by This Just In
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