Saturday, August 23, 2008

Is Sarcasm a Prophetic Function?

I guess probably, in the fullness of time, I had to link to this blog, so I figured I might as well get it over with. I don’t particularly feel good about it, nor do I “enjoy” it as I read it, like someone enjoys, say, a movie, or a good book, because of the indescribable weirdness and familiarity you get as you become convinced you’re not the only one thinking or wondering about something. But I think maybe God can be and is glorified through it, so I am linking to it. Warning: don’t open it at work, you might get fired. Not because the content is inappropriate but because you won’t stop reading it and forget you have a job and before you know it the job will be gone. I don’t wish that for you.

Examples of posts on this blog:

Subtly finding out if you drink beer too

The Prayer Ninja

Hand Raising Worship – the 10 Styles

Jessica Simpson - Should we take her back?

The Super Hero Guide to Famous Pastors - 1
The Super Hero Guide to Famous Pastors - 2

Missionary family photos

You get the idea. I could go all day.

If God is sovereign, and involved and active in the details of our life, then those strange thoughts or questions we all have about certain aspects of the Christian culture are not unique to us, nor inappropriate and sinful any more than our nature is sinful and deceitful above all things, nor are they altogether pointless, perhaps. I don’t think they can be simply explained by the possibility that God has a sense of humor, though that may be true. It could be more than that – like maybe God works profoundly through humor to save sinners, encourage saints, and bring glory to His name. I believe that, and believe that Christianity is not so boring, traditional, or bland that we Christians can’t have a little fun and perhaps make legitimate observations about church and life that are a little sarcastic while still pointing ourselves and others closer to Jesus.

Mark Driscoll once said, “I think irony and sarcasm is a prophetic function that is greatly overlooked in Scripture.” Though the tone of this statement was itself a bit sarcastic, it is still in many ways well said. But even Driscoll would not discount the importance of humility and cultural sensitivity within the Body of Christ, as our diversity and differences bring glory to God. And I mean to be careful that such humor or sarcasm would not lead others to stumble in the areas of pride, gossip, or unwholesome talk, but that it would bring about a certain level of laughter and understanding that in the end, sometimes the things we do and the ways we interact as Church, is a little silly and representative of us as sinful, imperfect human beings. I think realizing that should actually destroy our pride, rather than puff it up. And God is still more holy and we are still more sinful and the cross is still more necessary and central than we could imagine.

As the author of this blog says, if you worry that such observations about communion, missions, worship, relationships, etc. will ruin, or taint, your experience of them, then you are silly, and your real problem is not the observations but your overall communion with Triune God. In other words, authentic communion with God through prayer, worship, church, and all the rest is not distracted by anything. Get a fresh does of John Owen and you will be fine. The God of the universe transcends and is sovereign over humor, awkwardness, and even sarcasm, yet He is willing and able to use them and be glorified through them. And this is strange and wonderful beyond measure.

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