There’s a silly, but dangerous, little document making the rounds threatening faithful and sound brethren everywhere. Called, “Ten Commandments of Human Relations,” the second commandment is especially pernicious. It reads, “Smile at people. It takes 72 muscles to frown…only 14 to smile.” At first it didn’t seem so bad, but then I began to hear reports of those liberal brethren in Nashville, San Antonio, Dallas, or one of those hotbeds of the new hermeneutic actually smiling! Well, brethren, right then I knew it was something faithful brethren should avoid.
Only 14 muscles to smile, huh? Okay, right here you have one of the problems with smiling…it’s too easy! When people look at me, I don’t want them doing something lazy like smiling. Let them expend some effort and give me a good glowering frown. Smiling seems so…so…goody-goody or something. I don’t need all those smiling ninnies trying to make me feel good. In the unlikely event I want to be happy, I’ll handle it myself! You start going around smiling and people will think you’re up to something.
There’s a spiritual dimension to this as well. How can you be a faithful member of the church and have one of those idiotic grins on your mug? Look at those pictures of the restoration pioneers. Were any of them smiling?
Brethren, it’s not just the act of smiling that bothers me but where will it lead? The first thing you know, we’ll be seeing false teachers seduce Christians into having a good time! Soon people will get excited about their faith, start telling others and…well, need I say more? Surely you can see right there why we must nip this smiling business in the bud!
We have a time-honored tradition of maintaining stony-faced soberness in our assemblies. I know many faithful brethren who haven’t cracked a grin in years! We don’t need any liberal or modernist smile-agents disturbing the weak in faith. By the way, you can find a complete list of those advocating such unsound practices in my book, Behold the Slander. Look for the chapter entitled “Facial Expressions of Unsound Brethren.”
One last warning: smiling is extremely contagious! First one person smiles at another…who invariably smiles at someone else and, before you know it, “…a little leaven hath leavened the whole lump!”
Tragically, I hear there’s smiling going on some campuses of our Christian colleges. I hear that some of the professors actually have advocated this nonsense in the classroom! The graduates of these institutions tend to have their heads filled with “uncertain sounds.”
So, be warned: wipe that smile off your face! Can you think of anything more disgusting than a formerly sound and faithful church being filled with smiling Christians?