Laughing All the Way to Hell

Ernest A. Finley
Deer Park, Texas

"You'll kill yourself laughing," the advertisement assures us. It is a movie composed of short skits made up by Alan Funt of "Smile, You're On Candid Camera" fame. The name of the movie is "What Do You Say To A Naked Lady?" The film is built around shots of people's shocked (or otherwise) reaction to people unexpectedly appearing in the nude. All of this is supposed to be very funny and lift us above our prudery and "Victorianism" to the point that we all come to accept things which have heretofore been regarded as shocking (or worse), as being nothing more than innocent fun or just plain, clean, realism. "What," they ask, "is so naughty about the unclothed body?" "It all depends on how you look at it"-they tell us. "Why," they inquire, "does it follow that a man must react with lust simply because he sees someone in the nude?"

You would think that we would have learned something in the past 6,000 or more years that man has been here on earth. But evidently we are trying to forget or ignore that which Adam and Eve seemed almost to know by instinct just as soon as they had eaten of the fruit of the "tree of knowledge of good and evil." Moses tells us, "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons" (Gen. 3:7). Adam further, in explaining to God why he had hidden himself, said, "I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself" (Gen. 3:10). "Victorianism," as some are, wont to speak of modesty, and a sense of shame and propriety are thought to have come on the scene at a much later time, but here we have Adam and Eve showing a rather high degree of "Victorianism" at a very early time. Surely, if their attitude was incorrect and their action warranted correction, this would have been the time for God to have set them straight about this matter of "Victorianism." But did God assure them that they had no need for clothing-no need for shame? No. Rather, Moses tells us, "And Jehovah God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins, and clothed them" (Gen. 3:21).

Satan seeks to induce us to think less of the heinousness and gravity of sin by causing us to take it lightly -- laugh about it. It's really not so bad, he would have us think. That is where a great part of the world's smuttiness, vulgarity, and ribald jokes come in. Adultery is just "hanky-panky," if you laugh at it. We read about the "sot" who went into a bar "optimistically," stayed a couple of hours and came out "misty-optically"-and -we laugh. But we do not laugh when we read in the newspaper that this same "sot" hit an innocent child with his automobile and left it dying in the street---so drunk he did not have sense enough to stop and render aid. More and more, the public is being exposed to films built around the theme of sodomy or homosexuality. Some of these are supposed to be hilarious, we are told. But what can possibly be funny about such perversion? Paul wrote of all such carnality and immorality, "they that practice such things are worthy of death" (Rom. 2:32).

Yes, many in our generation laugh at iniquity. They may laugh all the way to hell. But be assured that when they get to hell, all their laughing will stop, and it will never be heard again. There-in hell- will be heard only "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 13:42). No raucous laughter will be heard there, as is so often heard in dens of iniquity. John, by revelation tells us, ". . . the smoke of their torment goeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day and night" (Rev. 14:11).

A lot of folk seem to think that sin is a laughing matter - but it truly is not!! And neither is hell!!

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 8, pp. 11-12
December 24, 1970