Contend Earnestly: Fun

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Recently I read a paper entitled “Is the Holy Spirit fun?” As a younger man and one who enjoys the lighter side of life I must admit I felt a bit convicted when I reflected on my teaching style. I never realized the danger in having too much fun in a teaching environment. Not that I have ever felt the pressure to be entertaining or liked when I teach but I must admit especially when I speak to young people that I tend to be more of a “wise guy” than a guy who is “wise”.

I was reminded that we are living in an entertainment-based world and that most people have a very short attention span. I also recognized that fun-focused learning practitioners, like myself at times, are slaves to the latest thrill.

As one who teaches high schoolers at times I would hate to think that I am contributing to their future entertainment based thirst when it comes to God’s holy word. I would hope that my style would encourage them to want to learn more about the word and dig deeper. I can even evaluate my own spiritual growth and see that my true growth has come from having a hunger for righteousness and then being fed without any need for fun. Even one of my favorite speakers I have a hard time visiting because too much of his message is based on stirring up the crowd rather than just giving the message straight up.

Finally I note that one of my favorite authors, Francis Schaeffer, commented on the impoverished value of personal peace. Personal peace means wanting to have my personal life pattern undisturbed in my lifetime. That personal life pattern is the recreation, hobby, interest, or fun that each individual is in pursuit of to make them happy. Today the pursuit of affluency and fun are the marks of many Christian Americans, myself included.

Schaeffer sees the pursuit of personal peace as a primary danger because the pursuit becomes their life mission and the object becomes their god (i.e. most Christians will watch hours of television each night while passing on reading their bibles entirely). It’s simply more fun to watch T.V. than to read Exodus. Fun is a very real diversion from a difficult life into a world of fantasy and escape. Pleasure, recreation, entertainment, “FUN” is the god of our age.


I have questions regarding Fun. I recognize that the pursuit of fun needs to be kept in check. The idea of making everything fun is dangerous and wrong but we are allowed or permitted to have fun. Given that one has fulfilled his work obligations, familial duties, and ministry opportunities then what is an acceptable form of fun? I guess I will start by saying these are some of the things that I find fun to do which I do not see as particularly spiritual:
1.Watching USC football.
2.Drinking Starbucks mochas.
3.Playing with my kids.
4.Listening to country music.
5.Watching movies like Gladiator and Star Wars.
6.Watching a tv show like Seinfeld.
7.Listening to Jim Rome.
8.Listening to Dennis Prager.
9.Reading the sports page.
10.Driving with my wife.

These are 10 things which I enjoy doing for non spiritual reasons. Now to the questions:

1.Why do Christians enjoy non Christian music?
2.Why do Christians enjoy counter cultural anti Christian value shows?
3.Is it okay to have diversions such as sports and music?
4.Are talk shows a waste of good bible tape time?
5.Is it really wrong to pursue fun activities with the kids?
6.While we are having “FUN” people are going to hell everyday should we just be in GO,GO,GO mode all the time?
7.How do we respond to those who are judgmental towards others liberties?
8.Should I be concerned that I enjoy these things (not that I enjoy them more than studying God’s word, teaching my family, having Christian fellowship, singing praises, etc.)?

This is not a question of legalism but a look at trust and devotion. Last week I studied Psalm 119 which is has 176 verses all point to faith, hope, trust, reliance, total dependency on God and His word.

What does 1 John say about loving the world or the things of the world? “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of they eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father but is from the world” 1 John 2:15-16

James 4:4 calls those who have friendship with the world hostile toward God. Adulteresses, Enemies of God.

Is your goal in life to be righteous? To walk according to the book? Are you satisfied with a little sin here or there as long as the scales of justice weigh heavier on the good stuff? Is your goal to “Be like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your behavior.” 1 Pet 1:15 “You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mt 5:48

So let’s be careful what we consider fun but let’s have “FUN”!


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