The Playmakers are a Christian comedy trio whose work is quickly gaining steam online. Before today, their most popular viral video was called, “How to Sing a Solo in a Black Church,” a sketch parodying church soloists and their pre-song caveats and during-song demands. Because it had the ring of truth, everyone started linking it, sharing it, and doubling over laughing at it. But this morning, they seem to have topped themselves with a new offering titled, “How to Shout in a Black Church, Part 2.”

With its faux-instructional setup, this piece is similar to its church solo predecessor in that each of the moves it mentions are ones that are immediately familiar to regular (and not-so-regular) church attendees. And because the sketches play like inside jokes, no one seems too hesitant to laugh. But there are some folks for whom gospel parody can be patently uncomfortable. Occasionally, these people belong to an older generation, still uncomfortable with stand-up being introduced to and performed in churches. Sometimes, they cite verses that don’t necessarily apply to this particular kind of humor, like Galatians 6:7a (“Be not deceived; God is not mocked”). And often, those uncomfortable with church behavior being parodied feel this way because to poke fun at the way people worship can feel like poking fun at people who worship.

So is it okay to laugh at church humor? Sure. As we discussed in our article, “Are You Churchy?”, church culture isn’t always synonymous with basic Christian tenets. Mocking “shouting” isn’t the same as mocking, say, prayer or tithing or compassion for one’s fellow man. At times, comedians conflate the two, parodying a character’s lack of bible knowledge by “making up” outlandish verses, intended for laughs. (See: any Madea play or movie.) It’s also common for people to “pray” for something absurd in a comedy sketch or to characterize God as someone other than we traditionally imagine He is. In cases like these, knowing when to laugh is even trickier.

But what do you think? Is all Christian humor harmless or do you think there’s merit to the argument that some of it can be sacrilegious?

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  • LolaChi

    They covered just about every shout I have seen.

  • African Mami

    So long as it is not blasphemous in nature, humor is welcome, dare I say NEEDED! Folks need to let loose. This was beyond hilarious. I was cackling like a goat in heat.

    Oooooooowe!! But ya’ll let me introduce you to BROTHER FRANKLIN can’t nobody praise dance like he do. He is an African man that loves Jesus, like nobody’s bidness! I think he and I would make a great couple!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPgmpWwg8Uc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp4BA0-lYtU&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCkbyn11txQ&feature=related

    But my people are sooo damn tone deaf. I still luuuuuuwe ya’llz!

    • African Mami

      This one just had me in tears of laughter!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=-Jgv6BS5jP4

    • Charle

      LOL YESSS!!! I love it because there’s an example of each of the ‘shouts’ in the vid linked in the article. And that’s why I love black church. :)

    • melu

      Co-sign! Bro. Franklin is my kind of worshipper!

    • Girl, you know I LOVE me some Bro. Franklin! lol

  • KG

    It amazes me how some people in the church believe and will emphatically state that God is the creator of all things and then turn around and give a holy side eye when someone in the church finds humor in some of the practices in the church and/or convey their own personal experiences through humor. Based on the aforementioned belief, isn’t it safe to say that God created emotions, personality types, etc? If you can’t have fun in church or as a a believer, why on earth would a nonbeliever want to turn away from the fun in the world and accept a seemingly lifeless and boring way of life? One of the main reasons that I know what I know about the word is because my pastor conveys doctrine in a very humorous way. Thank God for laughter and thank God for ThePlaymakers1 as well.

  • KG

    It amazes me how some people in the church believe and will emphatically state that God is the creator of all things and then turn around and give a holy side eye when someone in the church finds humor in some of the practices in the church and/or convey their own personal experiences through humor. Based on the aforementioned belief, isn’t it safe to say that God created emotions, personality types, etc? If you can’t have fun in church or as a a believer, why on earth would a nonbeliever want to turn away from the fun in the world and accept a seemingly lifeless and boring way of life? One of the main reasons that I know what I know about the word is because my pastor conveys doctrine in a very humorous way. Thank God for laughter and thank God for ThePlaymakers1 as well. Amen!!!

  • Fatima

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with this. It is okay to laugh. God is not being mocked. It’s people that are being mocked. and It’s FUNNY!!! Lighten up guys lol