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Did the apostles joke around?
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Moultrie — When one reads the Old Testament’s book of Ecclesiastes, he is advised that there is a season for every purpose under heaven ... a time to be born and a time to die, a time to love and a time to hate, a time to cry and a time to laugh, etc.
And it’s that laughing part that caught my attention because I just recently read a news story where preachers are being encouraged to put the “ha” back in “hallelujah.”
“I think we’ve erred too much on the weeping side,” said the Rev. Susan Saprks, pastor of Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City.
I think somewhere along the way, someone thought that religion was something that had to be endured, kind of like opera and State of the Union addresses.
Now when I say I agree that a little humor is good for the soul, I don’t mean that a preacher should seek to be a stand-up comedian. I just think a little levity interspersed in the “thou shalts” is good. The way I see it, God invented laughter, and I think He intended for us to use it.
Now I don’t know if any of the apostles ever told a joke, but I’m guessing they did ... “A Jew, a Samaritan and a Hittite go into a bar ...”  Well, maybe not.
 In addition to adding a bit of humor, Rev. Sparks advises preachers to “edit, edit, edit.” To put it bluntly, don’t drone on and on and on. She even uses scripture to make this point and does it with a tinge of levity.
She refers to the book of Acts about the perils of long-winded preachers. In that story, the Apostle Paul literally preaches somebody to death, she says.
 “And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead,” the Book of Acts reads.
Sparks has written a book titled “Laughing Your Way to Grace.”  It’s just out, and I haven’t read it yet. I’ve been thinking about writing a religious book myself. I already have the title: “Yep, It’s Me Again God ... Warts and All.”
Now I know there are some fundamentalists who will say I’m way off track on this. Some will even say I’m being sacrilegious. They will pray for my mortal soul, and I appreciate that. I need all the help I can get.,
 As a kid in church, I sometimes got lost and confused in the wording. But I wasn’t the only one. There is actually a collection of humorous interpretations from youngsters. And here are a few:
• Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah’s wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark, which animals come onto in pears.
• The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount cyanide to get the ten amendments.
• The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.
• Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.
• David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times.
• Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony.
Like I said, I need all the help I can get.

Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. Email:
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