How to tell a Christian Joke

Since the meme was invented in the 2010s, the Christian community has used them liberally for their theological, biblical, church culture, and geeky needs. These one picture punchlines range from scathing sarcasm to cutesy slice of life stories.

I know this is a very opinionated article and comedy is in the eye of the beholder, but if you can at least walk away from bullet point 2 and 10 with a more sensitive understanding than I have done my job. Everything else on this list is open to debate.

(Good Joke) Self-Deprecating Humor:

If you make fun of yourself it becomes very relatable and hilarious. Christians talking about their downfalls, experiences, and life situations in a comical way will never go out of style. To make fun of yourself is to truly be free because you are not enslaved by insecurity.

(Bad Joke) Theology Bashing:

There is a time and place to cast serious critiques of spiritual issues. A scathing meme is not the place. All you will really achieve is getting high fives from people who think mockery is a good way to bring stuff up. You lose your privilege for good conversation.

You might come back to me with the argument, "Jesus used sarcasm and hyperbole to critique his adversaries." That is true, but you need to consider these points. - His critiques were face to face, not a blanket comment - He wasn't hiding behind a keyboard, safe in his anonymous state - His purpose was repentance (not likes or shares) - People tried to kill him (and did)

No amount of, "Dude, it's just a joke," can hide the fact that you are insensitive to others.

Romans 14:19 Let us, therefore, make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

(Good Joke) Universal Experience:

Finding something that others relate to and understand is comedy gold. Whether it be a shared frustration or a love of a chicken establishment.

(Bad Joke) The Dead Horse Joke

Now that I spoke my piece about theology bashing, these are minor things that irk me. The dead horse joke has been mastered by Christian comedians with a meme format. It usually looks like this.

Step 1: Put a picture of someone looking sad or shocked Step 2: Say "When I try to get to heaven on my own righteousness"

Copy + Paste

Christian meme pages are a dime a dozen so there is a good chance that there are 50 of these circulating.

(Good Joke) Higher Thinking Jokes

Memes and jokes that require background knowledge and insight are pretty awesome. It is something you need to understand. These are risky because you are gambling on your audience knowing the culture. The smarter the joke the bigger the payoff.

(Bad Joke) Dank Memes

You can put a bunch of cheap 2003 Word art and fried filters over a weird horse picture. Congratulations! This comedy is like a ham and chocolate sandwich. It's interesting to try, but it gets old fast and does not age well. Once again, this is my opinion, but I know I am not alone.

(Good Joke) Puns

I will receive flak for this and I don't care. A good pun or wordplay is gold. This market is very hit or very very very miss, but it can brighten someone's day.

(Bad Jokes) Theologically back-patting memes This is a new thing that has shown up on Facebook. Apparently, someone got ahold of a John Calvin or Martin Luther book and decided to use every college word they know in it. Don't get me wrong, it's smart and involves seminary knowledge. But there are too many of them that feel like they exist to say "look how smart I am."

Example: Picture: A shocked Pikachu

Caption: When your ontological council of Nicea uses hermeneutics to disprove Trinitarianism through Wesley's quadrilateral.

Save yourself some time and just upload your seminary degree

(Good Jokes) Mini Skits

For the record, Tik Tok is 99.9% ridiculous dancing and narcissism, but once in a while, there is a funny skit. Something punchy and funny, that doesn't last too long. The Bible is full of heroes making crazy decisions that are yet to be acted out.

(Bad Jokes) Joel Osteen

Never has the Christian meme community made such a judgment of a man and then beat that judgment over everyone's head. I have my critiques of the man and his improper use of his brand (as we all do). But the way he is treated on the internet you would think he is kicking children on a daily basis while buying adult website domains. The irony is that no one really knows what he has been up to, but we are darn sure he is sinning 24/7.

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