Parents of children at a primary school in Essex are appalled...
1 in 5 admit to church giggles: comedian urges Christians to embrace lighter side of faith
A Christian comedian is encouraging churches to take a more joyful approach to their services and shed their somber image.
It comes after churches were named as one of the most common places to inappropriately chuckle.
New figures by Netflights have revealed that nearly one in five people admitted to laughing during a service.
Seeing someone hurt themselves and watching a serious moment in a film were top of the list of the worst times to laugh.
Church leader and author of the Sacred Art of Joking, James Cary told Premier giggling in church is more common because many people associate religious settings with a sober posture.
"Comedy is about putting things together that don't necessarily belong together. And so therefore, churches are deemed to be generally a serious place to be, which I think is a shame.
"Therefore laughing in church feels like the sort of thing that you shouldn't do."
He went on to say that churches need to shake their "rather serious" image and instead focus on reflecting the joyful message of the gospel.
"The Bible does tell us to rejoice, because we naturally don't. It doesn't say calm down everyone - actually it says be joyful. God knows that our natural disposition is to be serious around him."
Cary says Christians can become too concerned with causing offense and forget to follow the Bible's example to be light-hearted.
"Jesus was funny, he told parables that would have shocked and offended people and made them laugh.
"He would have told stories that would have made people laugh at the Pharisees and the authorities.
"I think the Bible is much more comfortable with being funny necessarily than we are.
"But the way we read the Bible in church, we make it sound like a very serious, sacred book. And actually, there's an awful lot of comedy in it that we've pretty much airbrushed out."
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