Monday, June 8, 2009

Drop the comic altar ego, clergy told

From Australia-

LAUGHTER may be the best medicine, but God is no joke, according to an Anglican bishop who has chided Christian church leaders who think of themselves as stand-up comedians and resort to making jokes during sermons.

The Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, says there is nothing funny in "lame-fisted attempts" to crack jokes and be funny during services and church meetings. Humour has its place, but God and church, he says, is no laughing matter.

"I am frankly sick of 'leaders' ruining the atmosphere of the meeting/service and disrupting the focus on God with half-baked comic lines," he wrote for a Sydney Anglican online ministry resource guide. "Or they detract from my reflection upon some important point made in the sermon with smart cracks or attempts to make funny comments about the preacher or the sermon."

This, he said, interfered with the congregation's relationship with God.

Bishop Forsyth came to public prominence as the minister who wittily crossed words with the publican Arthur Elliot across from St Barnabas Anglican Church in Broadway. While humour was a good tool to connect with a congregation, it should not compromise the message of salvation, he said.

The rest is here-

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