The Power and Place of Ridicule

Towards Conservative Christianity

A post like this may seem to some like those who call evil good and good evil. Can there be anything edifying in ridicule? Is ridicule ever an exercise in saying what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous and praiseworthy?

Our aversion to ridicule may not be because we side so strongly with principles of biblical communication. It may be that we have not sufficiently loved what God loves, so as to hate what God hates. Perhaps our dismissal of ridicule as a lawful form of expression for a Christian represents a concession to our culture’s apathy and indifference to right and wrong, and deference to a kind of social equanimity, so visibly manifested in what is called “Minnesota Nice” in that cheerful and chilly State. Courtesy, aversion to argumentativeness or conflict, quiet and modest disagreement, and a generous opinion of all others is seen as ‘niceness’, and of…

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About Seth

Planting churches with the Baptist Confession in one hand and Tolkien in the other.
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4 Responses to The Power and Place of Ridicule

  1. kirinjirafa says:

    My first thought was that Elijah was pretty sarcastic with the prophets of Baal, and then I read the link and that was exactly what the article said… I suppose it’s okay to be frank about not taking something wicked seriously or treating evildoers with a certain dignity.

  2. Amy says:

    But then the questions come fast: Who decides what can be ridiculed? Someone else’s cultural practices? Someone else’s religious beliefs? What if it is true, but it offends them?

    • Seth says:

      That comment was me, logged in accidentally as a beautiful woman.

      • kirinjirafa says:

        LOL! I suppose “whatsoever ye would that men should do you…” isn’t a bad rule of thumb to follow, right? “Who decides what can be ridiculed” is a very pertinent question, and as I think about it, I’m wondering if there’s anything in the Bible insinuating that Elijah was actually in the right to speak as he did. Reading that line brought to my mind the thought that I can’t imagine any circumstances in which I could ridicule a person in humility.

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