For most of my adult life, I lived as a child in an adult body. I never grew out of the desire to play in a selfish way, to pack every day with something “fun” that took my mind away from the reality that I have a soul. Only when I came back to Christ have I begun to put away the childish notion of having fun.

The word “fun” is not found in the Bible. At no point did God command us to idolize fun, pursue it, or engage in it, yet I don’t have to look back many years to see that I elevated fun as a mainstay in my adult life. Fun is an unserious pursuit of pleasure, ease, whimsy, and irreverence that often involves entertainment, novelty, and laughter. The epitome of fun is the modern amusement park, of partaking in stimulating rides and games for many hours until one gets nauseous from overstimulation and extreme movements, yet we do not need to physically drive to an amusement park to duplicate its effect upon our souls, to spiritually drive far from all seriousness and only pursue things that give us a spike of dopamine and adrenaline, cheap thrills that distract us from our vital mission before God.

In 1982, Father Seraphim Rose wrote that if a society values fun, they are not a serious people [PDF]:

When [a modern] child becomes an adult, he naturally surrounds himself with the same things he was used to in his childhood: comforts, amusements, and grown-up toys. Life becomes a constant search for “fun” which, by the way, is a word totally unheard of in any other vocabulary; in 19th century Russia they wouldn’t have understood what this word meant, or any serious civilization. Life is a constant search for “fun” which is so empty of any serious meaning that a visitor from any 19th-century country, looking at our popular television programs, amusement parks, advertisements, movies, music—at almost any aspect of our popular culture—would think he had stumbled across a land of imbeciles who have lost all contact with normal reality. We don’t often take that into consideration, because we are living in this society and we take it for granted.

Fun is a relatively new idea that entered the world when material ease and comfort became idolized. If your material needs were easily being met, and you did not take your faith seriously, you would experience black voids of “boredom,” where the antidote was not serving others or communing with God but engaging in fun. The easier life got, the less we thought of God and the more fun we desired, until the only thing we desired in life was fun itself, the idol that is on full display in pure form within any major international city on Friday and Saturday nights. The apotheosis of fun may be the existence of a band by the same name who a decade ago sang about all the impious, drunken fun that we must enjoy.

My friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State
My lover she’s waiting for me just across the bar
My seat’s been taken by some sunglasses asking ’bout a scar, and
I know I gave it to you months ago

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

This song (i.e. work of social engineering) was extremely popular when it came out, and I know that because I had fun in the venues that played it, alongside other adult children who were totally missing the point of life and desperately needed to be reminded that our Creator has expectations of us that have nothing to do with fun.

Mentally, we have all struggled to shake loose a childish desire to enjoy ourselves without responsibility or seriousness. How often does it happen to you that, after a tough day at work or a particularly long Orthodox service, you want to clock out and “enjoy” yourself? You desire to unwind, relax in front of mindless entertainments, “take it easy,” drink and feast and engage in idle chatter. Instead of seeking a reward from God for our labors, we instead reward ourselves in instant time to the point where the length of fun we experience exceeds the length of true labor we performed. Surely, we will have our reward in the form of an alcoholic buzz, a laugh from an internet meme, or a feeling of pride when we let loose our tongue concerning others, but that’s all we will receive from our misguided pursuit.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. —1 Corinthians 13

In this verse, Saint Paul was referring to spiritual maturity, because during his time I imagine there were no adult children he encountered whose mission in life was to have fun. We’ve fallen so badly with our obsession to have fun and turn this life into a fit and a laugh that the early Church Fathers didn’t see the need to address that which didn’t then exist. To put it starkly, I have behaved worse than a pagan even though I was born after the revelation of Christ, and I am currently in the Orthodox Church and still must battle with my need to kick back and clown around like I were still a boy.

During moments when I’m engaged in fun, my tongue is inflamed, ready to commit sin, and I’m not thinking of God. I become temporarily hypnotized with the notion of pleasing my body with a cheap laugh, spectacle, or piece of gossip, and miss the mark when it comes to serving God. I don’t know how much longer I will live until I’m judged by Him at His Judgment Seat, but what a disaster if I were to leave this earth in the middle of having “fun”! There was a time for fun in my life, and that was childhood, but I am no longer a child, and so I must struggle to put the desire for fun behind me once and for all.

Read Next: Girls Just Want To Have Fun [Pre-Christian article]

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Without God, all of life is vanity.

Too tired after a full day of educating, parenting, and laboring in the home to pursue past life “fun,” but those empty secular activities are no longer appealing.

After dinner is served to the family and kitchen cleaned all I long for in the evenings of the week days are listening to hymns and Bible readings (while working on embroidery) in the company of family.

Praise the Lord for life and glory in Christ, and in the Trinity!

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“Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, ...

--Deuteronomy 8:11-14

Note that the warning here is given for people to remember God when they are living in plenty in the promised land. I don't recall any such warnings for when they are poor. Typically when people are brought low they start repenting.

I conclude that prosperity is spiritually dangerous for the unwary, and I look around and it is borne out. Once people in the prosperous West forget God there is a positive-feedback effect, as people embrace more and more "fun" as a way of numbing themselves to the ever-increasing pointlessness of their existence. More pointless --> more numbing needed.

As a young man graduating from college and on his way to his first job, a good friend warned me that success was more dangerous than failure, and how I handled success was critically important. I took heed of his warning, and of God's warning, and I am grateful for this wisdom given me.

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The funny thing about that "We Are Young" song is that the band's actual name is "fun." I liked it at the time too. Social engineering indeed. Tailor-made for the Gap in-store playlist and television commercials. Even though they've been on hiatus for years, bandmate Jewish Jack Antonoff has had his hands all over a lot of recent popular music as a songwriter/producer-for-hire. I remember finding him suspect even before my redpilling because he was in a relationship with Lena Dunham, but looking back it makes sense.

Many "fun" activities (whether a product of social engineering or not) do seem to be a way to forget about God and the more important issues in our lives. I think back to all the popular culture consumed, all the "fun" I had, and it all just seems pointless, wasteful, not to mention deeply secular. Does anyone remember that YouTube series Good Mythical Morning? It started off in 2012 as a fairly wholesome venture by two Christians, who were all about having fun. By 2020 both hosts identified as agnostic.

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I agree that many activities are designed to be fun, but are really pointless and empty. However, I think you might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

There is room for fun in wholesome activities. If you show up a church for a Saturday men's work day to do maintenance projects around the place, won't you hear laughter, even from the saintliest old men, as they kid around and have fun while they work? Isn't it fun to take the family to a park for a picnic?

The ancient Hebrews had a regular calender of feast days. These had some solemn religious observances, but I'm sure they were also celebrations. Celebrations are fun, so I would say God's people in the Bible had fun. I would say Jesus had fun.

Still, you are right. We shouldn't make fun seeking a primary activity that occupies all our time and attention. We should do useful things with most of our time, but have a little fun while we work.

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How often does it happen to you that, after a tough day at work or a particularly long Orthodox service, you want to clock out and “enjoy” yourself? ... Instead of seeking a reward from God for our labors, we instead reward ourselves in instant time to the point where the length of fun we experience exceeds the length of true labor we performed.

Hey now, there's no need to attack me personally!

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It would be a sad childhood for those who never got to have fun playing with their parents or siblings. And a sad life as a parent who never got to play with his/her children and see them laugh.

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This very theme is also treated at depth from a Catholic perspective in the following video (which I find amazing by the way) :

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I agree that many activities are designed to be fun, but are really pointless and empty. However, I think you might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

There is room for fun in wholesome activities. If you show up a church for a Saturday men's work day to do maintenance projects around the place, won't you hear laughter, even from the saintliest old men, as they kid around and have fun while they work? Isn't it fun to take the family to a park for a picnic?

The ancient Hebrews had a regular calender of feast days. These had some solemn religious observances, but I'm sure they were also celebrations. Celebrations are fun, so I would say God's people in the Bible had fun. I would say Jesus had fun.

Still, you are right. We shouldn't make fun seeking a primary activity that occupies all our time and attention. We should do useful things with most of our time, but have a little fun while we work.

I don't think that's the "fun" Roosh is warning about. I think he is saying there is a different kind of specifically secular notion of entertainment that people pursue in order to distract themselves from the reality of their soul and physical death. Secular people "fun" is narcissistic and self-absorbed and in my opinion is a weapon of Satan to keep man blinded from these crucial realities. Enjoying helping others or spending time with those you care for, or for example just taking gratitude in the small things of life, is a totally different story.

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I agree that many activities are designed to be fun, but are really pointless and empty. However, I think you might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

There is room for fun in wholesome activities. If you show up a church for a Saturday men's work day to do maintenance projects around the place, won't you hear laughter, even from the saintliest old men, as they kid around and have fun while they work? Isn't it fun to take the family to a park for a picnic?

The ancient Hebrews had a regular calender of feast days. These had some solemn religious observances, but I'm sure they were also celebrations. Celebrations are fun, so I would say God's people in the Bible had fun. I would say Jesus had fun.

Still, you are right. We shouldn't make fun seeking a primary activity that occupies all our time and attention. We should do useful things with most of our time, but have a little fun while we work.

Agreed on cautioning against throwing the baby out with the bath water. Especially when it concerns the fun in raising a family. Perhaps we need a different word for that kind of fun as it involves sacrifice. This is the best kind of lesson to help engender in children as well. Maybe the alternative word to fun is joy.

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I agree that many activities are designed to be fun, but are really pointless and empty. However, I think you might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

There is room for fun in wholesome activities. If you show up a church for a Saturday men's work day to do maintenance projects around the place, won't you hear laughter, even from the saintliest old men, as they kid around and have fun while they work? Isn't it fun to take the family to a park for a picnic?

The ancient Hebrews had a regular calender of feast days. These had some solemn religious observances, but I'm sure they were also celebrations. Celebrations are fun, so I would say God's people in the Bible had fun. I would say Jesus had fun.

Still, you are right. We shouldn't make fun seeking a primary activity that occupies all our time and attention. We should do useful things with most of our time, but have a little fun while we work.

I think the etymology is helpful here:

00764F5A-0EE1-4C62-BBC4-E98241169BC0.jpeg

Foolish pursuit of pleasure is bad. It’s a trick of Satan to cheat us out of godly relationships and enjoyment. Healthy enjoyment of God’s blessings to His glory is good. The difference is the focus. Self or God/others.

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Interesting juxtaposition:

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This is a very timely article for me: I have realised that I am spending too much time 'relaxing' and 'having fun' and am trying to make better habits.

I agree with others that the good in fun is mostly to maintain meaningful relationships with family and close friends. I certainly don't regret, for example, time spent playing scrabble with my grandparents. But there are so many fruitful things that can be done in the day when I get out of the mindset that I 'deserve fun/relaxation'.

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Guess I'd better tell the Serbs at my parish to stop dancing then, as they clearly find it fun.

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I think the saying “Sunday Funday” pretty much sums it up.

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Guess I'd better tell the Serbs at my parish to stop dancing then, as they clearly find it fun.

That was uncharitable of me, I apologise. It seems there's no option to delete, so this apology will have to suffice.

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Not trying to be difficult here, genuinely trying to discern. Jay Dyer does lots of humorous impressions and makes those hilarious silly little songs. Where would that fall in this equation? Not trying to attack Jay, as personally I find them quite entertaining, would him making them/me finding them entertaining fall on the wrong side of this? I'm really finding it hard to understand where the line is.

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Not trying to be difficult here, genuinely trying to discern. Jay Dyer does lots of humorous impressions and makes those hilarious silly little songs. Where would that fall in this equation? Not trying to attack Jay, as personally I find them quite entertaining, would him making them/me finding them entertaining fall on the wrong side of this? I'm really finding it hard to understand where the line is.

I think that is entirely acceptable and falls in line with "be a joyful worker" line of thought. Humor can/should be used to enhance the work and the lives of the people doing the work. If the humor is the purpose, or if it detracts from your workmanship, then you are engaging more in entertainment than work.

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I think that is entirely acceptable and falls in line with "be a joyful worker" line of thought. Humor can/should be used to enhance the work and the lives of the people doing the work. If the humor is the purpose, or if it detracts from your workmanship, then you are engaging more in entertainment than work.

I think there's a big distinction between searching for hedonistic pleasure to fill the void of living a godless life versus enjoying living in the moment and having fun. As most of us are converts, Roosh included, we have the tendency to take things to the extreme and throw the baby out with the bathwater as another poster said. I enjoy life and love having fun, sharing laughs and drinks with friends and family. There's nothing wrong with relaxing and having leisure in your life. Imagine raising kids in a family and you make them work all the time, never unwind and laugh with your wife or play with your kids. Like everything in life there is a balance. Of course this may be different for those living the monastic life so this does not apply to them.

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