Satire is not for everyone. I know that, yet I continue to use it. Maybe some people need a shock. Maybe some people need to laugh a little before opening up to my point. Maybe I am totally wasting my time and driving sincere believers away because of the tone.
Churches of Christ have used humor a lot, even sarcasm. But for many years it seems that it was usually directed at the denominational world and “erring brethren.” Debates, bulletin articles, sermons, publications etc. have attacked others with a smirk.
At some point, those who are often considered more progressive/liberal began using those same tactics against those same people. And, of course, they didn’t like it. But what should they expect. The created an attitude and atmosphere.
For many, sarcasm and satire are good/bad depending only on the target. If I had used similar jokes against Rick Atchley or Barack Obama, Don Neyland would have loved it. Am I right, Don?
I attended a “gospel” meeting in recent years in an urban setting where a brother from Alabama came to preach. It was right after Pope John Paul died. This preacher mocked and ridiculed the Catholic church because their “head” died. He kept going on and on about the smoke signals, and etc. and etc. I was offended. I sat there praying that none of these Christians had invited Catholic friends to hear the gospel–someone mock they respected leader. I wanted to walk out. I wonder how he would handle someone mocking his OTC theology.
It seems that those who pick on outsiders are often considered more traditional, and those who pick on “us” are considered more liberal.
For me, it’s about the speck/plank/beams and eyes. I would rather point out problems among us to challenge people to think than pick on others. For the record, I will try to be an equal-opportunity satirizer.
When is it appropriate? When is it not appropriate?
Can you poke fun at bad attitudes or doctrines without hurting the individuals?
God or Jesus would certainly never say or do anything shocking to get someone’s attention, would they? Surely, Jesus doesn’t have a sense of humor. In all the movies, he is pretty straight-faced and somber.