I realized some time back that the comedians we love and watch are perfectly described in Scripture as "scoffers" and "mockers". I was browsing the internet this evening when the point really hit me in the gut in a passage from the Wikipedia entry on Seth MacFarlane. For those who don't know, Mr. MacFarlane is an "actor, animator, comedian, writer, producer, director, and singer," and he's responsible for shows such as Family Guy and American Dad. Here's what Wikipedia had to say about his September 11, 2001 brush with death:
On the morning of September 11, 2001, MacFarlane was scheduled to return to Los Angeles on American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston. Suffering from a hangover from the previous night's celebrations, and with an incorrect departure time (8:15 a.m. instead of 7:45 a.m.) from his travel agent, he arrived at Logan International Airport about ten minutes too late to board the flight as the gates had been closed. Fifteen minutes after departure, American Airlines Flight 11 was hijacked, and at 8:46 a.m. it was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, obliterating the airplane and killing everyone on board.
In an interview with TVShowsOnDVD.com, MacFarlane said the following about his close call:
"The only reason it hasn't really affected me as it maybe could have is I didn't really know that I was in any danger until after it was over, so I never had that panic moment. After the fact, it was sobering, but people have a lot of close calls; you're crossing the street and you almost get hit by a car..... this one just happened to be related to something massive. I really can't let it affect me because I'm a comedy writer. I have to put that in the back of my head." (Emphasis mine.)
Did you catch that? He had a very close brush with death, but he needed to put it "in the back of his head." He couldn't let it affect him because he's "a comedy writer."
Phew. That was close.
Are we amusing ourselves to death, or are we using every opportunity to redeem the time? Do we remember that it is appointed for man once to die and then to face the judgment (Heb. 9:27), and that we are a vapor that will vanish away quickly (James 4:14)? I say this in the throes of watching hours of World Cup soccer, so this is as much a reminder for me as anyone else. Let's not miss this opportunity to remember the end of our days.
As pastor Tim often says, pastors are paid to lie while comedians are paid to tell the truth. How awful, when those who make light of eternal things speak more truth than those who are called to teach us us truth with all soberness! Pray that God will mercifully cause us to love the truth and be sober minded.
Proverbs 1:22 - “How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge?"
Proverbs 3:34 - "Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted."
Proverbs 19:29 - "Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And blows for the back of fools."