How to Fricassee a Pharisee
Welcome to the New America. Dubbed ‘God’s Comic’ by the New Yorker, for 16-years, Brad Stine has been the comedic trailblazer of politically incorrect, Christian and Conservative comedy. His new show, ‘Brad Stine Has Issues’, covers cultural issues with his signature brand of comedic sarcasm and satire with insight that will be appreciated by everyone who loves laughter, liberty, and the freedom to tell the truth without fear.
Do you think saying the word “fart” is a sin? Seriously. There are people who believe that if you say “fart” from a pulpit, you’ve disgraced the mantle and authority of God. Or, if not “fart”, are there other words you simply are not allowed to say, as a Christian?
It all started with a big fat pile of dung. Actually “dung” wasn’t the word used.
It was a common scatological term used in America for years that the late Dr. Gene Scott referred to as “bovine excrement” if I remember correctly. Though the term is common to Americans, including Christians, it isn’t a term Christians are “supposed” to use, (or at least we don’t admit it if we do.) Maybe I should backtrack a minute to help you catch up. Imagine if you will that you had stumbled across an idea. Not just any idea but a rather unorthodox idea. An idea that would allow you to minister to maybe the most under-ministered humans in America…men. According to Barna, on Sundays in America, only 40% of church attendees are men. Men are the least engaged of the genders. Men are isolators and islands unto themselves. For many men the idea of spirituality and masculinity are mutually exclusive. I wanted to see what I could do in my own little pathetic way to search for a way to remedy that. Big hurdle yes, but at 5.6 every hurdle is big for me, even the curb. Thus, years ago I had the pleasure of performing and ministering to men for quite a few years on the stage of Promise Keepers events. This was a great opportunity to speak on the stage of arguably the most significant and impactful men’s ministry ever to have existed in America. The fact that me, a lowly, unorthodox, freaky, in your face, aggressive, scary, Christian comedian would have the honor to grace their platform probably says less about my gifts and more about Promise Keepers event coordinators apparently suffering from a group blow to the head. Nevertheless, it was on these stages that I first realized my heart and desire to help, support, heal, and encourage men in their spiritual walk. Not because I had reached some spiritual high ground but exactly for the fact that I was a layman who knew no more or was necessarily that much further along spiritually than any other guy there. This very fact is probably what encouraged men to like me in the first place, I was just like them. Most of the speakers at Promise Keepers were Dr’s and pastors and huge selling authors. Backstage I would watch these men pray and study their bible and see people healed as their shadow passed over others. I, on the other hand would pass people and wonder how long they would have to wait for me to leave the area in order to let out the laugh they were undoubtedly holding in wondering what on earth an idiot like me was doing amongst these giants. Again at 5.6 everybody is a giant to me. The first time I ever saw a Promise Keepers event I was speaking there. I remember being backstage and preparing to “do my show” because that’s what it always was to me, a show. Only this time as I readied myself, I remember looking out amongst the crowd of men and thought, “out there is a man whose wife just left him. There is a guy out there who is in the middle of an affair. Another guy is an alcoholic, and another is gay. Some guy may even be here tonight giving this “God thing” one more try before killing himself. I need to go out there and encourage these dudes. I need to let them know that we are all in the same boat and we are here together waiting to see what God has in mind for us simply because we made the decision to show up this weekend.” It was at that moment that I decided I was going to do more than just do some comedy that night. No, instead I was going to go out there and speak to these men in a manner as real and authentic as I could muster. I wasn’t going to play theologian on them because I’m not one. I’m not going to speak in “churchy” language because that isn’t the way I speak anyway. No, I was going to spend 20 minutes being funny, energetic, unorthodox, and above all, real. So, I entered the stage and from the first words out of my mouth said something like, “This is men’s night out guys. This is our own place to hang out and be together as men. You can laugh, you can, dance, you can cry, you can fart, cause it’s men’s night out”. Apparently, these good church going men were not used to being permission to fart while worshipping and they let out a roar of laughter that to me signified that they were eager and willing to take a ride with me together as real men, in real lives, with real problems, that need real solutions, but that we can do it together by whatever means necessary outside of full-fledged heresy. Of course, I guarantee you that some of them there considered the fart word to be heretical but then again that was the very spirit I believed God wanted me to challenge. That “legalistic” worldview formula that has trained some that saying the word fart is a sin. Now also keep in mind that Promise Keepers had never used a comedian before. Thus, they were taking a risk that I had something for these men they could use. I continued with my comedy and encouragement and when my set was over, I received a standing ovation that told me that whatever I thought God was asking me to deliver, it worked. I remember walking off stage and at the bottom of the stairs was the producer of the show and he was staring at me with his mouth agape. He sort of stopped me and said these word’s. “What have you done to these guys?” Now as a comic I assumed that a standing ovation was a good indication that I had done my job well. But as a insecure Christian man who didn’t consider himself worthy to be on the same stage as some of the ministers that followed me, as well as thinking I wasn’t sure I had anything valuable to offer to these guys, I immediately remember being concerned that I had done something wrong. I consider a platform designed for the sole purpose of delivering God’s message to be sacred. The last thing I wanted to do was defame or trivialize it in anyway. The enemy of my soul was right there condemning me to give up ever thinking I was good enough to be of unique value to God. But you know what I’ve discovered. God has used every type of individual from all walks of life to get His message heard. And as diverse as these men have been if there was one thing every person God Almighty had in common when it came to be mightily used by God it was this. Every single one of them was absolutely convinced that they were the wrong man for the job. Over the years I continued to be Promise Keepers exclusive comedian and saw God do amazing things in men’s lives through those years. But I also learned some other life lessons I’m passing on. If God called you to something you might as well get to it, because there is no way out. Second, remember that all things are lawful for me but not all things are expedient. Some believers might just have a completely unique unorthodox and perhaps in your opinion dangerous or inappropriate way of ministering. If you are unsure of their heart have the maturity and respect to inquire of them and assume the best until shown otherwise. The Bible makes it clear God judges the heart, something none of us can see in another human so be very careful before you judge. As a matter of fact, here is a simple habit. Ask yourself this simple question. Is the style of ministry you’re so concerned about bearing fruit? Is it healing and bringing hope, and mercy and love and forgiveness? Is it uncompromising in teaching traditional Christian theology but is it also bringing a cup of water first? If so, you might want to back off. There are plenty of legalistic self-righteous jerks to go around, do us all a favor. Don’t be one of them.
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