The Christian and Satire

Over time there have been many humorous, satirical, or parodical articles that I have wanted to post on my blog, but I have refrained because I have not had time to address the issue of the Christian and the use of satire in literature. And while this posting will not include everything that I would like to say on the issue, I think it will focus our attention in the right direction.

So how are we to define literary satire and parody? The New Oxford American Dictionary defines satire and parody as:

Satire – the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices.

Parody – an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect.

Therefore, it would be right for us to conclude that religious literary satire and parody lampoon the church, clergy and organized religion. However, some have objected to the use of satire and parody among Christians because it seems unloving and unbiblical. Let me give you just a few objections to these literary devices.

First, the use of satire and parody appears to be less honest than a straightforward rational argument. Second, the use of satire and parody might seem to belittle the seriousness of our theological position. Third, the use of satire and parody seems brash, rude and unloving. And certainly there are other objections, however, I have saved the most serious objection for last. Some Christians contend that the use of satire is not biblical.

The question then becomes, “Do the Scriptures forbid the use of satire?” The short answer is, “No!” Only a surface reading of the biblical text could lead us to that conclusion. There are many texts that use satire to communicate truth. We see it in the book of Jonah, and Amos, and in 1 Kings when Elijah mocks the prophets of Baal about their gods being asleep or on vacation. We see it in the words of Jesus speaking to the Pharisees, and in Paul addressing the church and false teachers. The Scriptures are replete with examples of satire. Therefore, we must contend that the use of satire and parody are right for the Christian to use.  However, we are not to use these literary devices while ignoring other principles found in Scripture. In other words, we should not use satire or parody in every circumstance, for our words are also to be used “for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear(Ephesians 4:29). Nor should satire or parody be used out of anger, or malice, or hatred towards others (Ephesians 4:31). Satire and parody must be used with discernment and wisdom.

Clearly, this is not all one would want to say about the Christian and satire. However, it should give us a descent basis for the articles I am going to share with you now. And remember: these are satire!!!!

Unreached People Groups Everywhere Rejoice over New NIV Translation

From the deepest recesses of South American Jungles to the coldest corners of Siberia, native people groups everywhere are rejoicing over the latest announcement that the English-speaking world will be spending millions of dollars for yet another English translation of the Bible. The excitement erupted after Zondervan Publishers announced that it would be making a major revision and update to its New International Version, first released in 1978

“Our goal is to put the NIV into modern English so that people born after 1988 can understand the Scriptures,” said Ronald Overbeck, head of research at Zondervan. “We’re going to spare no expense to make sure we update the archaic terms and references so that people can read the Bible clearly and easily.”

Celebrations erupted throughout the world at the announcement. In some parts people took to the streets for celebrations that went on for days.

“This brings much joy to our hearts,” commented Elena Namaeeva, a native Sakha from the Far Eastern Siberian region of Yakutia. “We just got the New Testament in our Sakha language about 3 years ago. We are waiting anxiously for the Old Testament to be released, though they tell us it could still be a while because of a lack of funding. But I’m so happy for our American friends that they will have yet another Bible in their language.”

“We are happy for our brothers and sisters in the English-speaking world and rejoice with them,” said Amin Modu of the Kanuri people of Nigeria. “While 4 million of my people are still waiting on the complete Bible in our language, it always brings joy to our hearts to know that the Americans will be spending millions of dollars to have yet another Bible in the English language.”

With over 100 known complete translations, English Bibles by far dominate the world of Bible publications.

“If you just think of the number of people out there born after 1988, it’s staggering” noted Overbeck. “This is virtually an unreached people group in and of itself, a whole generation of x-box playing college dropouts still living with their parents who can’t understand the Bible because it’s so archaic and hard to read. I think it’s high time someone reached out to them.”

The revision is expected to take 3 years. Incidentally, there remains some 200 million people worldwide who do not yet have a Bible in their own language.

Used by permission from TOMINTHEBOX NEWS NETWORK

Brother Cites Matthew 18 – Intends to Never Forgive Sister Again

If there’s one thing that Jared and Charity Ellison do well, it’s fight. Rarely is there a peaceful moment in the Ellison household when these two are home together.

“We have to stay on them constantly,” said Father Mark. “We just don’t know what to do sometimes. I mean, overall they’re good kids, they just kick and claw and scream and yell and hit each other repeatedly. I’ll scold them and say ‘Now, you two shouldn’t do that.’ or make them do timeout or something, but they just keep on fighting.”

But things recently got worse and for a reason the Ellisons weren’t expecting. It all started when Mark and his wife Glenda decided it was time to start taking the kids to church. The first Sunday they had attended in a long time, the kid’s Sunday School lesson was on the subject of forgiveness from Matthew 18:21,22;

“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

“When we heard what the Sunday School lesson was about we got all excited,” said mother Glenda. “We thought that perhaps this would encourage the kids to start loving and forgiving each other more.”

But the Ellisons were wrong. Upon hearing the lessons, younger brother Jared decided to take the verse literally, specifically where Peter asks about forgiving one’s “brother.” Now he never intends to forgive his sister ever again.

“Ha! It doesn’t say anything in the Bible about forgiving your sister!” screamed an excited Jared. “I’m so glad we went to church. It was awesome. She has to forgive me because I’m her brother, but I don’t have to forgive her for anything, because she’s a girl!”

While a little dismayed, Charity may have found her own loophole in the command.

“Okay, so if I have to forgive my brother, I have to forgive him, but I only have to do it ‘seventy times seven’ just like the Bible says. I figured out how much that is. I’ve got straight A’s in math you know. And seventy times seven is 490. You can bet your boogers I’m keeping track of how many times I’ve forgiven that little brat, and he’s not going to get one extra forgiveness from me. Not one!”

According to Charity by the end of the day Monday following the Sunday School lesson, Jared had already used up 264 of his “forgivenesses.”

Used by permission from TOMINTHEBOX NEWS NETWORK


2 Responses to “The Christian and Satire”

  1. Those were funny. Thanks for posting. Satire is a thinking man’s comedy. I think some Christians don’t like it… because they don’t “get it”… because they don’t think.

  2. hi

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