The uncomfortable truth about Babylon Bee

Babylon Beel iconIf you avoid social media and barely tap into the internet, then you have probably missed one of the best inventions the interwebs has to offer for Christians. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating but the new site Babylon Bee has broken through walls like the Koolaid guy from the commercials. Often, I burst out in laughter just reading the titles!

Babylon Bee is a satire site and it IS GOOD. I’ve posted a number of articles on Facebook because of the absurdity and divine humor of the posts. You see, the beauty of satire is that it exposes absurdity of particular beliefs and practices through exaggeration or irony. In other words, satire has a way of pointing to truth in a rather amusing way.

The site was started by Adam Ford, who also publishes the Adam4d comics. While digging up more information, I discovered in this Washington Post article that Ford suffered from anxiety attacks and depression, which deterred him from pastoral pursuits. This gave me a new level of respect and clarity regarding Babylon Bee. One thing I’ve discovered about people who don’t live up to some of the norms of superficial standards for “victorious” Christianity, is that there is little tolerance for the contrived formulas, pretentious platitudes and distractions to the simplicity of clinging to the hope of Christ. As he noted in the WaPo article;

I’ve been in a dark place before, numerous times, where all I really had to cling to was the gospel,” he said. “God’s promises are what sustained me. I didn’t feel them, but knew them, and that was enough. Feelings can lie, but the truth is the truth.”

Perhaps this is why Babylon Bee has struck a nerve for so many. As much as I’ve laughed at so many of Babylon Bee articles, it is also a sobering reminder of the kind of baggage that we’ve dumped into Christianity, particularly American evangelicalism in the name of good spirituality. It’s the same kinds of excesses that also places burdens on people trying to live up to the extra hype. It gets tiring.

Let’s be clear, it is not Christianity that is being mocked. Far from it.  But what many do with Christianity. From the charismatic excesses of God telling us who to date and the folly of positive declaration word power promoted by the likes of Osteen, to the entertainment driven banality of modern day worship services and just prideful, superiority spirituality that apparently cannot appreciate creation for itself, Babylon Bee exposes the myriad of ways in which we have imposed unnecessary elements unto the fabric of Christianity that inevitably makes Christianity harder than it needs to be.

The uncomfortable truth is that Babylon Bee is all about us evangelicals and it’s not all pretty. Although the site let’s us down a bit easy as we enjoy the mirror served up in the form of humor.

 

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About Lisa Robinson

Servant of Christ, DTS Grad, member of Town North Presbyterian Church (PCA), non-profit professional, anti-poverty advocate, writer, thinker, explorer of ethnic food, lover of good coffee and a good laugh.
This entry was posted in Christian living, culture, reflections and musings. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to The uncomfortable truth about Babylon Bee

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  5. William A Fisher says:

    There is a difference between humor, which can be used as a tool for penetrating minds with new aspects of the Truth, and just being a jerk, full of snark.
    Take for instance, this self-promoting clown’s attack on Jan Crouch for dying. Hello?
    As goofy as I’ve known her and her husband Paul to be at times, for a LONG time, I believe she knew Jesus as her Lord and Savior. That’s the bottom line for making her part of our Family.

    And I’m pretty sure the crap he wrote about her death in an attempt to be “funny” and to probably make himself “feel” better about himself, is lame. I CAN tell you right now that Adam Ford’s launch was NOT from the Holy Spirit.
    Let’s see, which one of the Fruits of the Spirit would that bilge be a part of, and how much wasn’t? “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness or Self-Control”? Uhh, none, and all of them.

    I’ve been using humor to share the Gospel with folks for 46 years now (and political perspectives to conventions for 10 years prior to that as a young kid), both in settings as large as Jesus Northwest with 44,000 folks to one on one settings in the African Bush, with all kinds of points in between.
    Lord knows, while my Person is Perfect (comes with the turf when you’re Seated with the Messiah in your personhood at the “Right Hand of God”), but my performance often still sucks (or “lacks” as some within the bounds of their churches might and have said). But Jesus paid the price for each and every one of my errors of sin on the cross, once and for all.
    Just as He did for every other Born Again Christian. (But there I go being repeatedly redundant.)

    When someone shifts over from slinging barbs at the silliness of some of the self-inflicted growing pains of the Body of Christ to making personal attacks against that person, they’ve stepped from the realm of admonishment to being used as a tool by the enemy in making personal attacks against… that PERSON and their stumbling but Walking Relationship with our King.
    I think Adam needs to go spend some quiet time WITH the King and His Word.

    But then again, maybe he just needs a job and an understanding of how he (hopefully) is in Jesus, and not striving for attention, self-adulation and acceptance by our Father via sarcasm. I don’t think I’ve read that in the Book.

    Having been all-in with my Buddies at the beginning of the Contemporary Christian Music movement in the early 70’s and 80’s (at which point, the fiery darts from those with their “Constipated Christianity” were just at firey at us, our long hair, our music and our Worship as Christians on Fire now are also getting from the “world” today), and having toured extensively with my best Friend as his sometimes Preaching Partner and and full time Road Manager, and with early Second Wave (I sometimes wonder if the tide is receding) Christian Rock and Rollers sharing the Gospel with our music, our lives and the Word, I’ve seen a lot of jerks come and go.
    Most of them were members of the Body of Christ by His Grace, not by their works or schemes, but by the Blood of the Lamb. I strongly disagreed with them and on more than one occasion, was used by the Lord to Lead them to freedom from their “religion” into an eternal Relationship with their Creator and Savior through sharing the Truth with them.
    But Snarks’ work comes and goes. So will Adam.

    Servants’ Work remains whether they get to go Home to Glory or are still stuck here in their Earth Suits with the rest of us for the time being. Even for those imitating Lamb Chops.
    Taking personal, malevolent shots at them and their families isn’t cool, whether they’re alive here or There, and just flat out isn’t cool.
    The Lord Will have a much more Cutting Judgement Statement of works than we ever can. Adam should take a break.
    In his case, it looks like Festus’ assessment thrown at Paul might be correct (Acts 26:24 if someone reading this doesn’t know the reference), but there is a Cure for that if it is the case.

    I hope the best for Adam, and Lord Knows I’m not the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit DOES Live in me and sometimes Speaks through me, and sometimes I’m smart enough to listen myself.
    I hope Adam does as well and issues a nationwide apology to the Crouch family with the hopes that the media who picked up his attacks on Jan, will pick up his apology to her family.

    True cutting edge humor should have at least some of it pointed at oneself and not be used to attack others personally, though public statements and goofiness are fair targets, as is Scriptural error. And true humor doesn’t take oneself too importantly and should keep the mirror beside the keyboard or microphone.

    That’s what Jesus did in sharing His Good News with the people. When He kicked butt in dealing with hypocritical Pharisees, SadYouSees and lawyers, He told them what cow ate the cabbage. And in at least one case, He got physical with His Righteous anger. It wasn’t through snarky slanders given in exaggerated half or one-eighth Truths, He beat people with a whip of ropes!

    He is The Shepherd, not a sheep. And His rod AND His staff comfort us.
    Don’t forget, we will Reap what we sow, all of us, Adam.
    Better be cool in what you throw out. And the rest of us in what we receive and enjoy… especially when it’s coming from “smiling hatred” towards the Body of Christ.

    • Hi William, thanks for your comment. I hope you realize that humor is not the point of satire though it might be a product. I don’t think the writer of the Jan Crouch article was striving to be funny or poke fun of her death. That would be wretched. Rather, I saw it as a searing indictment on prosperity teaching and its peddlers. That is the point of satire, to point out absurdities of belief and practices where they exist and it does not necessarily need to be funny.

      • Nancy Hankey says:

        Shouldn’t a “searing indictment on prosperity teaching and its peddlers” be offered to the alleged offenders directly? I don’t feel that holding perceived heretics up to public ridicule, especially after their death, serves any Christian purpose. Did Mr Ford, at any time before their demise, try to persuade the Crouches of the error of their ways? Or does his “ministry” consist solely of casting stones from behind the safety of a computer screen? I don’t view this as satire; rather, sarcasm with a hefty dose of smug self-righteousness.

      • Wm. A. "Bill" Fisher says:

        That’s because that is exactly what it is. I read some of his other things, and they didn’t strike me as brilliant, but the tacky piece attacking the sad lady should have been vetted by someone else prior to posting it.
        Well said.

      • Wm. A. "Bill" Fisher says:

        Yes, I am quite aware of the intricacies of humor, satire, logic and the presentation of sometimes uncomfortable Gospel Truths.
        But I don’t find in Corinthians or anywhere else the Spiritual Gift of being cruel or of just being an ass.
        I’ve been using humor and irony in writing, public speaking and business negotiations with private enterprise and foreign governments longer than you’ve been alive, judging by your picture.
        Irony has been used by Christians writing since Paul through Lewis to today, but sarcasm by its definition is antithetical to the Spirit in dealing with fellow members of the Body of Jesus.

    • Todd Kunz says:

      William,

      Paul and Jan Crouch were both Word of Faith practitioner who believed that the LORD Jesus Christ didn’t die to make atonement for our sins, but rather to actualize us so that we could accept and become the true “gods” that they believed us to be. Word of Faith teachers are not Christians. They have a radically different gospel. I see no evidence that either Paul or Jan or Kenneth Copland or even Benny Hinn were/are true believers. Theirs is and was a different gospel. A gospel that leads people to Hell, if they really accept the Word of Faith teaching. They weren’t sharing the good news to anyone. They were false prophets who were preaching lies and leading people astray and profiting handsomely in the processes. I have seen no indication that any of these people are or were saved.

      The health and wealth gospel is greatly flawed and very troubling, but not as troubling as the Word of Faith aspect of their teaching.

      Much of Paul’s ministry revolved around exposing the lies of the heretics of the time. The Crouches, Hinns, the Whites and Copelands of this world are the present day heretics. Paul warned about them many times, including in Galatians 1:8 and 2 Corinthians 11:14. Jesus was very clear that these false prophets will arise and will lead many astray. HE was referring to people like Paul and Jan Crouch, Hinn, Paula White, and Kenneth Copeland among others.

      Yes, the article about Jan Crouch’s death was cutting and harsh, but it made the salient point that these people were evil, and Jan’s death just exemplified the dearth of truth in her preaching. She and her husband were pied pipers leading people to Hell and the article accurately revealed the absurdity of their ministry.

      These aren’t people that anyone should be defending. Rather we are to expose their lies and openly stand against them. That is what the author did and he did it very well.

      • Wm. A. "Bill" Fisher says:

        Todd, you’re casting too large a net with your claims and including people who have been Born Again as heretics “who are proclaiming a Gospel other than you have received from me.”
        (Kudos to Paul for that, and I don’t mean “Admiral Couch-Crouch”…)
        I have been deeply involved in Apologetics, in-depth exegetical studies of the Word, histories of the Church, Escatology, etc. 42 years, having been Blessed to study under and with some of the best professors, Bible College President, teachers and Pastors of the Word, most who didn’t publicly use their degrees or their ordination on their sleeves or in their names.
        I have known a few D.D.s who didn’t have Doctorates but instead were “Demon Drivers” of their own silliness. The Ft. Lauderdale Five come immediately to mind.
        Those guys in the early 70’s were sometimes trying to cast demons out of the chair seats at their meetings! One tried to cast a “demon of lesbianism” out of a guy! Good luck with that.
        Was their ignorance and silliness which compounded their errors of Doctrine sufficient to erase the Blood that washed their sin away?
        Of course not.
        If they were Born Again by putting their trust for Salvation in the Blood of Jesus paying for their sins on the cross while yielding their lives to the Lordship of Jesus as Messiah (thereby being Grafted into the Promises to Israel), their getting into minor doctrinal error is not going to cause them to be lost.
        If they deny the Lord Who saved them, they’ve probably just been religious and never became a new Creation in Christ (Greek for Messiah, NOT Jesus’ family Name).
        Being “good” and going to church doesn’t make someone a Christian any more than my being a good cowboy and going into a barn makes me a bull.
        Both require a Supernatural Transformation.
        A Born Again Christian, yes I am. A bull or a cow, nope.
        (I’ve been known to sling some bull telling jokes but even those have all been “clean” ever since I entered my A.D. Days. My B.C. days… not so much.)
        If a person is honestly trusting God to Hold them in the hollow of His Hand, and they become deceived as to the application of secondary and triary Biblical doctrine, their works may suffer loss at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, as will all Saints’ to some degree as we’re still Walking around in our Earthsuits, perfect in our Person in and with Jesus, while growing daily to realize our performance sucks the longer we are still Walking thru this world system until we hear the Trumpet, either Gabriel’s or a Mack Truck’s.
        Paul and Jan were two of the goofiest people I’ve ever had even second-hand experiences with. Why she modeled her appearance as “Lambchops” is beyond me.
        I didn’t care to meet them or even have dinner with them, which for me is a pretty extreme indictment of the company I don’t want to keep.
        I thought they were pretty bizarre with some of their person attire and set choices, etc. though she did single handily keep Maybeline in business and profitable.
        Christians are not rolled out by a Heavenly cookie-cutter. We’re ALL different, thank God. Hey, there’s a thought!
        (Shoot, I became friends with Idi Amin’s former Chief of Security in Uganda, who though having killed who knows how many people earlier, later became a Christisn while having dinner with me over the table in a snooty Nairobi British Restaurant, as he was confronted with the Truth and the physical evidence of God’s present Presence, looking at me as I’d just been hit by a speeding Pakastani earlier that day, while running across the Boulevard by the then-U.S. Embassy, knocked 42′ thru the air (hearing my Brother Pastor Luka Kihamba shouting a short, emphatic prayer of “OH JESUS! Jesus! Jesus! Before hitting and being knocked out, I think) and getting the chest and shoulder area of my safari shirt smeared with asphalt at landing with no injuries but a strawberry on each elbow upon waking up,to the stunned surprise of a group of people newly gathered and staring down at what they thought was my corpse… which IS a pretty cool story as to how God can use anybody to reach anybody as long as we’re yielding to the Spirit, but not for here or now unless later asked.
        It certainly was enough for Major Luka Y. as he bowed his head as I introduced him to my Lord and Savior over the china and crystal.
        Neither that linen table cloth nor Luka Y. we’re ever the same after that dinner!
        As long as our basic Gospel of Jesus Dying on the cross for our sins, “Gettin’ Up” out of the grave, ascending into Heaven and Coming again are our Foundation, we can grow and Learn from there on by the Spirit teaching us from the Word, both thru reading and by Teachers Annointed and proven by God.
        And here, the Point is, it’s not up to us “to determine” someone else’s Salvation (thank God, literally) IF they they say they have been Born Again and we are unaware if the Fruits of the Spirit in their personal walks are of the flesh or the Spirit, as per Galatians 5.
        I know Benny Hinn has one of the worst goofy haircuts in Christendom and probably the largest collections of Nehru Jackets this side of India, and I’m glad I’m not going to have to give account for his evident spending habits and insults to actual miraculous intercessions of the Holy Spirit into this temporary, physical realm, but until he starts denying the One Who died for him (I’ll admit, I don’t waste any time on him and his trips and haven’t since he got so annoying back in the 70’s and I no longer had to discuss him with pastors and other ministers wanting to know what I thought about him, which was “Not much”) but I haven’t heard or read anything saying he is now denying the One Who bought him.
        And I KNOW you’re wrong about Copeland, Hagan and (by logical extenuation), those who follow them.
        They may have areas I think are out of balance, disagree with or believe are misfocused, but for you to liken them to the groups Paul had to deal with like Agnostics, etc. as the Perfect Word of the God was Being Given to us by the Holy Spirit thru the quills of our Ancient Brothers is flat out wrong.
        And the Word tells us to always operate in Love in the Holy Spirit (and for a Partner’s Love Gift of $99.99, I’ll send you the sure fire way of Walking in God’ Perfection and Prosperity along with a sanctied, eternally lasting replica of a polyester prayer towel of Paul, which can double in removing the stains from your dishes!) and never tells us to attack another person claiming and having other ministers proclaiming the Good News about and of our Savior.
        As I said, there’s NO Gift of the Holy Spirit using sarcasm and thinly veiled hatred aimed at another person claiming Salvation thru Grace in and of Jesus.
        The Apostles instructed the disciples of John the Baptist in the full Truth of the Good News. They didn’t attack those guys or call them heretics.
        A LOT of the currently Living members of the Body of Christ haven’t the foggiest as to what to do when encountering a genuine demoniac entity or manifestation of our Ephesians 6:13 enemies who actually do know they’re already defeated. We have to just literally bind them with our Authority of being In the Name of Jesus. He already did all the Work and took complete Authority when He said from the cross, “It is Finished!”
        We need to wage War against them and not those in the Body who are in error as we correct their (actual, if so) errors Biblically.
        Opinions don’t matter. “Rightly dividing the Word of God” does.
        And that never includes damaging family and friends of those who’ve died with snarky, hate filled attacks.
        I honestly don’t understand how you folks who are taking part in defending the twit who thought he was being clever and witty in writing that article DON’T see that.
        If I were the son of Paul and Jan, I’d be tempted to find the author and go lay hands on him, “suddenly and repeatedly”.
        In the same type of parsing of the Word, Jesus DID say “It’s better to give than to receive.”

        Please excuse any errors from my thumb typing on this iPhone. My hands are pretty big too.

      • Wm. A. \Bill\ says:

        Howdy Todd, In looking at your previous post, it appears you’re confusing or conflating the “Word of Faith” people with Mormons. There is not a single supporter of Kenneth Copeland or Hagin I have ever met (and in my years of touring in Christian Ministry, concerts and friendships since, I’ve met thousands and know hundreds of folks who support and listen to Copeland and Hagin who are 100% solid Biblical Christians. Two couples, one some of my closest, dearest and deepest Friends and the other couple a Baptist Pastor and expert in Biblical Apologetics have been Copeland supporters for years. Your statement that these folks don’t believe Jesus died for their sins is flat out false and coming from the father of lies. Be VERY careful for your own sake. I can’t speak for Benny Hinn as I’ve ignored him since the 70’s as I mentioned, but you have made false statements about Copeland and the “Word of Faith” people I have ever met or known. Further, I have watched TBN on occasions when my Friends and other ministers I wanted to hear speak on their ministries and what the Lord Is and Has Been Doing thru them. While Paul and Jan were more than “different” in their tastes, not one of my Friends or Friends to be would have ever sat in the same set if what you said were true. And EVERY word Jan and Paul said during those interviews I saw were completely about the Saving Blood of Jesus, and not ONE word about the cultic perspectives of the “Latter Day Saints” following the cult of Smith, young and Woodruff, or ANY of their shape shifting babble since then. I would be VERY careful about making false statements about Christians, whether goofy looking (Paul’s uniform was over the top, and I’ve already commented on the way Jan presented herself) or a Billy Graham. The Body of Jesus is NOT divided by any attempted divisive “denominational” perspective, and it sounds like that’s where you’re coming from. I hope I’m wrong. And there is NO justification for hateful statements made by ANYONE who has died and claims the Name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The twit that wrote the crap which was the genesis of these discussions was and is just as wrong as anybody else attacking the body of Christ. If you’re trying to use a purported cult definition for people you don’t agree with on non-Salvation Doctrine, I’d suggest you rethink your position and humble yourself while seeking the Voice of the Holy Spirit to Tell you the Truth. You DO have enemies to the Gospel but they are NOT the Brothers and Sisters with whom you have disagreements with. Show me one verifiable time Paul Crouch or Kenneth Copeland EVER denied the Lordship of Jesus or made a claim to the Godhead and I will be the first to say you’re right. Until then, I say you’re wrong. I hope and pray God’s best for you as you grow closer to him and not “religion”. Lord bless you.

        Bill Sent from my iPhone

        >

    • Bob Baker says:

      Good grief William – lighten up.

  6. Elle says:

    I love babylon bee!!!

  7. Sheryl17 says:

    I find it hilarious. It shows the absurdity of the majority of Christians and displays the self-righteousness they’re best known for in a hilarious manner.

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