Just What Do You Mean FUN

You are here

Just What Do You Mean FUN

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up


 One of the great failures of the baby boomers during the sex and drug revolution of the 1960s (where we get the "if it feels good…" line) is to consider fun as devoid of morality. That is, to conclude that there exists no right fun and no wrong fun, only "fun" fun. (Not to pick only on boomers—this has been a problem for young people throughout history.)

It's time to understand the implications. Let's do a little vertical thinking. To believe that fun has no morals, you have to believe that there are no morals. If there are no morals, then there is no moral authority—like the law of God. If there is no moral authority, then there is no Author of morality—no God.

Now if someone actually believes that line of reasoning, then he or she has bought a one-way ticket to nowhere. Vertical thinking helps us understand that these conclusions are baseless and not remotely fun!

So, just what do you mean—FUN? How can we tell the difference between good fun and bad fun? If you've been hooked on bad fun, how do you break loose and change your mind and whole approach to fun? And, finally, the nagging question: Is good fun really… fun?

Analyze this. A small group of Vertical Thought readers gathered to discuss fun. Their first step was to apply true wisdom to fun. In chapter 7 of the brilliant book of Ecclesiastes, author King Solomon of Israel observed the intellectual and spiritual depth of good fun (laughter, mirth, song) and the shallow hollowness of bad fun. The entire passage is a context.

"A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one's birth" (Ecclesiastes 7:1). Our reputation and character before God and man is complete when we die, and our choice of fun during our lives is a major part of who we are.

"Better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will take it to heart (verse 2). The funeral home is fun? No. But here's the deal; life is not just about having "fun."

"Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made better" (verse 3). How is sorrow fun? It's not, but as major emotions, tears and laughter are closely related. At times you can move from sadness to happiness in a heartbeat. Sorrow teaches us compassion and empathy for others, and laughter, like an embedded melody in a lifelong symphony, adds an upbeat tempo to that kindness toward others.

"The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth" (verse 4). The house of mirth today contains way too much, in fact, most of modern comedy, that too many people call fun. You don't want to go there.

"It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools" (verse 5). Hmmm, the song of fools. Have we talked about MTV recently?

Modern fun

MTV is a cable television channel in America featuring rock music videos and youth-oriented programming, and it is thus considered a significant source of "fun." "MTV is watched by 73% of boys and 78% of girls ages 12 to 19, and it is profoundly influential in the lives of its young fans by glamorizing drug and alcohol use, sexual promiscuity and violent behavior" (Parents Television Council, press release, Feb. 1, 2005). MTV presents a vision of "fun" that you need to seriously question.

As a leading watchdog group, the PTC analyzed one week of 171 MTV broadcast hours during 2004. The "reality programs averaged 13 sexual references per hour, while music videos on MTV averaged 32 instances of foul language per hour… Violence occurred in music videos at a rate of 8.6 instances per hour." For perspective, those twisted references and aimless, obscene blathering occur on MTV about three times as often as on the unsavory adult-targeted 10 o'clock evening broadcast hour. MTV is a major definer of what American youth think of as fun.

"For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of a fool. This is also vanity" (verse 6). When dry, thorns are hollow. They burn fast and noisy—snap, crackle, pop! But like the empty laughter of a fool having the illusion of fun, the thorn fire won't cook your soup and leaves you cold and empty.

Summary: The mirth, songs and laughter of fools form a false version of fun. And this world is full of such fools who would tempt, titillate and trap you into the destructive cycle of bad fun.

So I asked our vertical thinkers to list some qualities of good fun.

Qualities of good fun

Pleasurable—good fun is enjoyable.

Unregrettable—good fun is fun today and is still fun when you look back on it tomorrow.

"’Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’ But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell" (Proverbs 9:17-18).

Suppose some young adults shoplift bottles of hard liquor, buy crack cocaine with stolen money and have sex with multiple partners at a wild party. They experience a certain sense of sensual pleasure, and in their drunken, drug-induced stupor they have no regrets because their consciences have been distorted to consider all the above to be "fun."

Thus fun is defined by the popular culture. What people think is fun is what their friends, family, education, religion, the entertainment industry and their own selfish desires have convinced them is fun. Fun is perceived within the culture's morals, good or bad. So what happens if you decide to deliberately disregard the popular culture? What if you base your sense of fun on the true moral standard?

Good fun is always within the law of God—that is the ultimate standard of what's funny, what's a good song and what is mirth. Remember, God's law is the law of love—genuine outgoing concern for others equal to your concern for self.

The Ten Commandments are the superstructure of God's law, and in them we see a number of key points of sacredness or sanctity defined.

  • First, the sanctity of God and His name teaches us that all humor or actions that ridicule and disrespect God or take His name in vain are not fun, but are sin. That wipes out cursing and obscene language in one fell swoop. For many today that would make their "fun" speechless!

The sanctity of God's Word and law teach that all so-called fun and humor that belittles or attacks the Bible as the standard of life is not fun or funny at all. This kind of bad fun will increase as the debate over the theory of evolution vs. intelligent design (implying God’s existence) intensifies.

  • The sanctity of family is fundamental to the destiny of man—the destiny to be part of the family of God. The human family is to reflect that future. Anything that desecrates or corrupts the traditional family relationship as defined in the Bible is not fun, but sin.
  • The sanctity of marriage teaches us that marriage is a divine institution and that sex was specifically created by God for a husband and wife. Sex is the unique physical and emotional bond between the two of them, and them alone. Much of modern fun is based on destroying marriage by adulterating the sexual relationship. Any action or joke that defiles or attacks the sacredness of sex in marriage is a particularly evil kind of "fun."

Beware of the wanton sexualizing of the modern pop culture on television, in film, video games, print and Internet pornography, academic philosophy and your peer culture. It all beckons you to violate this profound sanctity, but the consequences are dire physically, emotionally and spiritually. God made and sanctified your sexuality for your marriage to your spouse of the opposite sex—preserve it sacred for that time, when the two of you can savor the great joy and fun together.

  • The sanctity of life teaches us that we humans are made in the image of God and therefore, human life is sacred like no other life form on earth. The glorification of violence in entertainment, video games and any violent behavior creates an adrenaline surge that is horribly mistaken for fun. Good fun shows deep respect for the life that God gave you and all other people.

Good fun, as an expression of divine love, does no harm. "Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:10).

Fun should do no harm to you—no hangovers, no addictions, no brain or body damage and no jaded emotional damage. Fun should not hurt others—no sexually transmitted diseases, no physical or emotional harm, no flippantly broken hearts, no verbal attacks, no hateful ridicule or put-downs. A lot of "fun" in this world needs to stop! And it can stop in your life.

Find some fun that is not electronic (TV, computer, etc.). Spend time in happy activities with your family. Develop a deep and cheerful respect for members of the opposite sex. Get to know people in pleasant conversation. Get outside and learn to marvel at all of God's creation—the beauty and hilarity of it all. Finally, like the young Jesus Christ, increase "in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men" (Luke 2:52).

"I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God" (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13).

God is a God of good fun. He has given you the gift of true pleasure. He wants you to laugh and enjoy good things—to have fun that is solidly within the great moral standard of His law. Blend life's sorrow with its laughter, but laugh heartily and do well. VT

You might also be interested in...

Everyone, it seems, has a different definition of fun. If you are trying to...