If 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.