Puritan Board Sophomore
Fair enough, Jack. There's plenty to criticize without bending the truth. But we must not shy from speaking that truth as firmly as is necessary. And to point out where a dangerous path logically leads is not amiss, even if no one has gotten yet to the end of that path. That is why we guard closely against the entrance of error: it's a path that only leads to apostacy.The issue I bring up here is not whether mocking can be appropriate at times (it surely can). Rather, I question whether we should get loose with the truth in order to mock opponents for things they don't actually believe or practice. What's more important: getting in a good jab or being careful about the truth?
Increasingly, we live within a media culture that believes delivering a one-liner to discredit the bad guys is more important than speaking truth in the process. Believers should resist this trend.
When Jesus criticized the Pharisees, he did not make up over-the-top lies about them in order to get a bigger laugh at their expense so his well-deserved jabs would sting more. Telling the truth matters, especially when we set ourselves up as defenders of truth. We must make sure our criticism—even our mocking criticism—is essentially fair and accurate.
In the example on this thread, the barb in question was not just over-the-top for the sake of effect. More than one poster pointed out that the entire direction of the barb did not truthfully reflect the beliefs and practices of those churches. Once this was made clear, why did the untruthful joke keep getting defended?
I don't think I'm being a spoil-sport here. I like fun, witty language and sharply-made points. But especially on a thread where we have a fellow seriously wrestling with whether or not to leave his church, attention to truth is needed. A jab isn't always right just because it neatly mocks those on the wrong side.