A Satiric Voice

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One of the most frequent questions I have to answer about our ministry here concerns what has come to be called the “serrated edge.” It is such a common question that I wrote a (short) book addressing the question, and explained why a satiric voice in certain settings is not only biblically permissible, but is biblically demanded of us.

There are any number of honorable reasons why this particular style might not be someone’s cup of tea, but no one is maintaining that all Christians must speak this way, and no one is saying that some Christians may speak this way all the time. Let your speech be gracious, seasoned with salt, which is quite different from having your steak buried under a small sandpile of salt.

But we must always keep in mind the fact that unbiblical reasons for disliking this approach are a possibility also. Jesus said that it was not possible to believe and follow Him when we are intent upon receiving honor from one another (Jn. 5:44). One of the things that a satiric voice does (very effectively) is break certain illegtimate truces that have developed between Christians and secularists (and there are many of them). And whenever someone breaks a truce, it is quite possible that the repercussions will soon affect everyone standing around him. David’s brothers were quite content to stand in a different army than Goliath was in (just call it the antithesis at rest), but were upset when David came along to upset the equilibrium. This rash talk might lead to actual engagement with the foe!

We have allowed ungodly truces to develop in many areas — we care way too much for the “honor” of academic respectability, the “honor” of wealth, the “honor” of the world.

But what happens when someone in our ranks starts giving the world, the flesh, and the devil a collective raspberry? Now, it might be that said person might be half a bubble off, and that he might need to do a little motive check. Sure, might be. But the same motive check might be necessary for all the panicked spectators who don’t want any trouble with the world, the flesh and the devil. So, whether his motives and actions were good or bad, they take the troublemaker out back and beat him like a rented mule.

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