This blog post is inspired Dr. Moore's most recent post about how freedom of religion is not freedom from ridicule. In this post he talks about how as Christians we ca sometimes be tempted to stray away from the public square out of fear of being made fun of and mocked. Christians can also be tempted to be want to throw a fit when we are mocked by other people. Dr. Moore made the point that when someone made fun of his beliefs or where he was from they felt as of they were making fun of him. Mocking or teasing has always been an issue that has made me a little uncomfortable. It's tough to know when someone will take offense to a joke or not. At the same time I think the excuse, "I was only joking" has been used too many times to cover up for some really intentionally hurtful things, however as I have gotten older I have learned the value in humor, and laughing at one's self. Humor when it is done right offers a great way for one to be self aware. I think self awareness is a quality that is severally lacking in our current culture. I do not mean to say that people do think of themselves enough, but rather people are not really aware of how they really are or how they might be seen by other people. I can't speak for everyone else, but I have a certain fear of knowing how other people see me. It forces me to see myself in ways that can make feel guilty because other people can see the flaws that work hard to cover up from myself. The same can be said for the church. The church is a collection of people who are both sinners and saints, and thus the church will do some good things, and the church will do some not so good things. There are people who are watching the church and are going to point out when we mess up. This doesn't feel good, but in the end it is good for us, because it shows where we have messed up. Beyond that there is a form of ridicule that Christians should understand and no lose their temper over. This is when our beliefs are mocked. I'm not talking about making fun of God, I'm talking about people mocking us because we believe Jesus rose from the dead. As Christians we have to understand that we believe is not what a lot of other people believe. Now there is good historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ, and there good reason to believe, but ultimately we have to understand there are going to be people who don't believe and won't believe and they will mock us because it seems silly to them. So what do we do with these people? We don't hurt them of course, we don't even get mad at them, but what we do is we keep calm and believe on. We should be afraid to fly our flag that is weird for other people. It was not by avoiding looking foolish that the church grew in the first century into what it is today. Are we willing to take some mocking in the name of Jesus? I think so many of us are quick to say yes and then when we are mocked, we get upset or mad and say things like, "They can't do that" or "They shouldn't be allowed to do that" As a Christians we are going to get called lots of things, hateful, ignorant, etc... We don't need to too upset over these remarks, and understand that while we might look foolish in the world's eyes, we look just fine in God's. We don't hide our faith, we show it for the world to see, and we shape our lives around it. After all if we are not willing to be mocked for the sake of Christ, then how important is Jesus to us really? If we are willing to compromise our beliefs just because a large number of people disagree with us and are vocal about disagreeing with us, then how important are these beliefs that we are dropping for the approval of other people? So I've kinda split into two different topics in this blog post, but let me recap so that at least I can keep things straight. There are two types of mocking that Christians should be okay with. The kind of mocking that points out the ways that the church is not being consistent with the word of God, and the mocking that is being made because we are Christians. We should not get upset when we are mocked and if we can admit our short comings then let's do it, but if we are being mocked for what we believe then let's not care, and go on believing even if we are mocked. Jesus was mocked too, and scriptures tell us that we will be mocked for following Christ, and we should not be scared of this or try to avoid, but be a good sport about it, take in stride and trust that Christ is faithful. What do you think? Do you think Christians can ever make a joke about another belief in a good spirit? Do you think Christians should just avoid those types of jokes? Have you ever been mocked for your belief? How did you respond? Comment below and let me know!
Here you can read various thoughts and discussions that come from the mind of our Pastor