"Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.”
Proverbs 14 : 13
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ourselves into HEL L
by Edgar M. Arendall A merica is laugh ing itself in to hell. Everywhere you go billboards shout at you, “Hilarious — funniest comedy of the year” ; on television and radio, in the movies and newspapers, we see people knocking themselves out trying to entertain us. They seem to feel that, if America would only col lapse in a paroxysm of mirth, all our problems would be solved. Frankly, I do not feel like laughing. I can see ideals and standards and heritage dy ing—dying before our eyes. In a night club a half-naked woman comes out, goes through some contor tions, and tells a filthy joke. Raucous laughter rocks the room. Around a table men and women sit, their drinks before them. They have been there a long time. One man rises to his feet, extends his glass and proposes an obscene toast. Loud guf faws fill the room and they all stagger to their feet for the drink, laughing. At a Washington cocktail party, in the comer some of the top government officials stand, with glasses in their hands, planning our war strategy. Around them, partially drowning their conversation, is the hollow laughter of men and the shrill cack ling of the sophisticates. A man tells of having lost his shirt at the racetrack. He makes it sound funny, and the listeners laugh. Overseas the entertainers “make the boys laugh”—after all, they might die tomorrow. Let us laugh today. Two men stand on the comer talk ing. “ She is quite a gal,” says one and winks. They both laugh.
A drunk staggers down the exit at the football game, shouting and sing ing. We laugh. America finds sin hilariously funny. We are not the first nation that has done so. Babylon saw it that way, and the handwriting came on the wall. Rome saw it that way, and faded from power. France followed suit and the moral decay became a cancer. Now America laughs at sin. Laughs hilari ously. There is an absolute absence of heartfelt sorrow for sin in our coun try. We need a real recognition of sin and a genuine sorrow for it and an honest turning away from it if we are to survive. II Chron. 7:14 says, “ If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and heal their land.” What is so funny? Are atomic bombs and broken bodies and full sanatoriums funny? Are drinking leaders and shady business deals and open gambling a cause of mirth? Are ABC stories and filthy jokes and im morality cause for hilarity? Why laugh when the moral fiber of a nation is being wrenched apart by Godlessness? BE YE ALSO READY. EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has no reference to clean and happy humor which brightens our days. In Proverbs 17:22 we read that "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." But this kind of lightheartedness is a far cry from the laughter that the Lord refers to in James 4:9 when He says, "Let your laughter be turned into mourn ing." It is this kind of God forgetting laughter that Mr. Arendall is talking about.
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