Guest / Limited Access /
The Babylon Bee's Adam Ford Says the Church Needs Laughter
Seth Doyle / Unsplash

Adam Ford makes the church laugh. We’ve been sharing his “curiously Christian” webcomic for years, and many are now discovering—and laughing out loud at—his new Christian satire site, The Babylon Bee. But few know that it was a major personal crisis that led him to use his pen and wit as tools for ministry. Ford recently spoke with The Local Church about his calling as a humorist, why Christians need satire, and how pastors can use what is funny to communicate what is serious.

Did you always aspire to art and humor, or were they things you picked up later in life?

I've always been inclined toward art and humor, but never thought it would be my "thing," really. After God saved me about 11 years ago, I was pretty sure I would be a preacher. That's what I saw myself doing. But then about 6 years ago, I was blind-sided by a serious generalized anxiety disorder/panic disorder/social anxiety that changed my whole life. I went from an extrovert to an extreme introvert, and things like speaking in front of people now terrify me. But I still had the strong desire to speak the truth to people. The webcomic and news satire site were born out of that.

Evangelicals seem uneasy about satire at times, but you've helped us laugh at ourselves in ways we didn't before. Why is this so important?

It's important to look at what we're doing, to "examine ourselves." Satire acts like an overhead projector, taking something that people usually ignore and projecting it up on the wall for everyone to see. It forces us to look at things we wouldn't normally look at and makes us ask if we're okay with them. And sometimes it just makes us laugh. That's all healthy stuff. Also, the more our culture sinks into absurdity, the more important satire will be as a cultural critique.

How can humor serve the local church? How would you advise pastors and church leaders incorporate humor in their preaching and teaching?

Humor can help everything. Here's a quote from one of my heroes, Spurgeon: "Sometimes when I have said a humorous thing in preaching I have not asked you to excuse me, for if God has given me humour I mean to use it in his cause; many a man has been caught, and his ear arrested, and his attention won by a quaint remark . . . it is a faculty of nature, and it ought to be consecrated and used for the cause of Christ."

How can Christians write satire that is both redemptive and prophetic?

By holding up the truth and letting it do the work. Satire is just a way to articulate ideas. We use it to illustrate the truth, and the truth always affects people.

What is one message you'd like readers to take away from your comics or the Babylon Bee?

The truth.

Correction: Changed intro to reflect that Adam Ford is not a former pastor or preacher.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueThere’s No Crying on Social Media!
Subscriber Access Only
There’s No Crying on Social Media!
Young adults are desperate not to let peers see any signs of weakness or failure.
RecommendedCan ‘The Resurrection of Gavin Stone’ Raise Christian Movies from the Dead?
Can ‘The Resurrection of Gavin Stone’ Raise Christian Movies from the Dead?
The church-friendly comedy aims to replace cringes with laughs—but does it succeed?
TrendingAll 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
All 240 Family Christian Stores Are Closing
More than 3,000 employees in 36 states will be laid off in the liquidation of one of the world’s largest Christian retailers.
Editor's PickMy Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
My Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
But only after I went to Japan in search of his life story.
View this article in Reader Mode
Christianity Today
The Babylon Bee's Adam Ford Says the Church Needs Laughter
hide thisBeautiful Orthodoxy

Beautiful Orthodoxy

What the world—and the church—needs now

Donate to Christianity Today