A recent Facebook thread caused me to think about my words, especially my written words. (Some of my posts have very accurate, but salty, words.) There were a large number of comments on what turned out to be a satirical post on a Christian satirical web site. Many of us took the post seriously, and replied as if the post was real. Some people on the thread were ok with the site and its humor. I happened to think about what the reaction to the satirical site might be to a brand-new baby Christian, who does not understand English very well. Would that person “get” the humor, or would they be confused, and possibly misled? I took German in high school 40 years ago. I can still read a little German. But if I found a German Christian satirical site, would I “get” the humor? No, I don’t think I would. Depending on how much I understood (or misunderstood) my Christian walk could be harmed by the site’s contents!
I expect to see Jesus soon, whether it be this afternoon or 40 years from now. As a result of my thinking about this, I am feeling the need to speak and write so I am easily understood. I know it might be a bit of a stretch, but I certainly don’t want to write in such a way a young Christian could stumble. It’s not worth the risk.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”
Matthew 18:6-7 NIV
I know this passage is about whether or not to eat food sacrificed to idols. The principle is, however, to carefully consider how other Christians, especially young ones, will interpret my actions.
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
1 Corinthians 8:9-13 NIV
I don’t see how writing twisty, easily-misunderstood words conforms to this passage. The writer of the satirical site’s post didn’t help my peace.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV
I like how the Amplified Classic makes it clear it is the ongoing process of pleasing the Spirit that draws people to God. It’s not our spiritual location, it’s our ongoing spiritual progress. If I’m not actively trying to clean something up about my life, I should start to worry.
Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord. Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it–
Hebrews 12:14-15 AMPC
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Galatians 6:7-8 NIV
I know some people in the Bible lied, and God was ok with it. But I have done a lot of Bible reading and study in these 38 years of being a Christian. I cannot think of a single passage that would let my conscience write “Christian satire.” Your milage may vary.
I have been accused of taking scripture out of context to make a point. I’m researching a blog post that shows how the people in the Bible did the same thing. But you’ll have to supply your own context for these passages. I’m letting them stand alone.
Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.
James 5:12 NIV
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:35-37 NIV
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21 NIV
Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
Proverbs 13:3 NIV
Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.
Proverbs 21:23 NIV
We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
James 3:2-6 NIV