Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Christian "Culture"

One of my Facebook friends posted a thought-provoking verse this morning:

"He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished." Proverbs 17:5 

This verse could extend to how we are to treat those who are not only financially poor but to those who have poor judgement as well. It led my thoughts to websites like "People of Wal-Mart" and shows like "America's Funniest Home Videos" or some of the asian pseudo-reality game shows where someone is inevitably knocked into a slough of sludge by an oversized rotating boom. 

So many times we allow ourselves to be pulled into the trap of laughing at others, even mocking. Those who claim to follow Christ are not immune and sometimes drift into it unaware.

My son still remembers the mocking glances he got when we visited a church near Nashville. His clothing choices were quite different than the preppy golf shirts and khakis of his peers in this place 2,600 kms removed from our home culture - and they let him know it. As we sat through the rest of the service, those on the platform preached condemnation on those who were "other." 

A gospel based on cultural preferences is no gospel at all. 

Mocking and judging others does not sit well with God. The theme of mocking is addressed primarily in the Wisdom books, especially Job, Psalms and Proverbs. How often have we in Christian circles ignored these directives and joined in with our culture to laugh and mock others who are different or less fortunate than ourselves? What is your attitude when you turn on the late night talk shows (Leno, Letterman, Conan), comedy shows like SNL and Canada's own Air Farce, Rick Mercer and finally most sitcoms and animated shows like the Simpsons and Family Guy? Have we forgotten?
"(The Lord) mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble." Proverbs 3:34
I understand the concept of pointing out irony or contradictions using humour, but I hardly see its value as most of the mocking is unkind and often undeserved.

The psalmist was pretty clear in the first two opening lines of the book of Psalms: 
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:1-2
The apostle Paul leaves us with a clear measurement of where our thoughts should lie. Next time you're tempted to frown at someone's clothing or laugh at someone's appearance or strange actions, consider this:
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9
Mock and you will be mocked. Extend grace and you'll receive grace and peace in return. 


  1. I quite agree... sometimes even the truth about someone's character with whom we work with, go into business with, or even love can elude us as Christians. It can have a devastating effect on your life. Like who can you trust? Or who will accept me when my life is crashing all around(especially at church)? Man will always fail us. Nevertheless, Jesus being God, will never fail us or forsake us...

  2. Because of our freedom in Christ, we can release those who hurt us into His care. We are complete in Him. Thanks for your remarks.