Billy Joel wrote, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun.” I’ve known a lot of people that believe in that assertion, so I thought I’d ask God how he felt about it.

He told me he’s amazed at the number of people that use him as an excuse to deride having fun. The puritan ethic? Well, he doesn’t understand how people were able to look at the outrageous array of colors and styles of everything animal, vegetable, and mineral with which he populated the Earth and then decide that simple colors and demeanors were the proper way to show respect for God.

If there’s any lesson to be learned from looking at nature, it’s that God likes variety, and he likes spectacle.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of things that over the years have been claimed to be sin that really aren’t. So the thing that Billy Joel got wrong is thinking that there aren’t any “saints” with whom you can laugh, or more correctly, thinking that if people are having a raucous fun time, that they must be sinning.

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