Reality Check

“It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World” has remained one of my favorite movies. Picking up on a dying man’s last words, a madcap group of strangers compete against each other in a wild race for stolen treasure buried under “a big W.” Each member of the all-star cast throws himself into the great comic roles with ecstasy. The viewer hardly realizes the movie’s epic length because of the fast paced gags that punctuate the storyline.
But what if you were trapped in that sort of world — a world where real dialogue could never exist because every meaning is twisted and turned into the punch line of a gag? It wouldn’t take long for your laughter to change into tears. Part of the joy of comedy is that it provides a temporary escape from the real world. Its enjoyment rests on its transient nature. Perpetual farce quickly changes from comedy into tragedy. The joys found in “Hotel California” become a terror if “you can never leave.”
Stranger than Fiction
There are many strange stories I could tell you concerning the sad state of American religion, where entertainment (and even farce) have taken the place of the Lord’s service.
There is the denominational church, for example, where the ministerial staff took lessons from professional wrestlers so as to put on an exhibition for their Sunday assembly.
Or the church of Christ where the preacher sent the congregation into the parking lot with the bottles of bubble-blow to send a “bubble offering” up to God.
As isolated events, these travesties might be amusing, but as part of a trend enveloping the religious landscape, they are terrifying. In the Lord’s church we must say, “Enough is enough.” Rather than smiling indulgently at strange teachings and practice, we must hold ourselves accountable to a high standard of truth and reason.

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