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Is sarcasm a sin?

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  • Is sarcasm a sin?

    Matthew 5:37 (King James Version)
    But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

    So I'm reading my Bible this morning and I come across this verse. It's not uncommon for me, I've heard it and read it many times. Today I got thinking about it though.

    Let your yes be yes and your no be no. It's hard to argue against that, it's pretty plain. What caught me this morning was the next part: whatsoever is more than this comes from evil.

    Isn't sarcasm a way of saying yes when you mean no, or vice versa? Isn't it being deceptive with others? I know, but it's funny sometimes! Yes, it can be, but should we find something funny that has the potential to tear down and destroy another person? I think we're called to encourage one another and to build each other up.

    If this be the case, then according to Matthew 5:37, sarcasm "cometh from evil." We know that whatever "cometh from evil" is not of God, so...

    Lest anyone doubt...
    sar⋅casm  /ˈsɑrkęzəm/
    –noun
    1. harsh or bitter derision or irony.
    2. a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark
    i⋅ro⋅ny1  /ˈaɪrəni, ˈaɪər-/
    –noun, plural -nies.
    1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning
    It doesn't sound like yes meaning yes and no meaning no to me.
    "I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand: for this I also believe, that unless I believe I will not understand." --Anselm of Canterbury

    Hebrews 12:3-4
    For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

  • #2
    Was this Sarcasm?

    Luke 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out
    devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I
    shall be perfected.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by samuel View Post
      Was this Sarcasm?

      Luke 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out
      devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I
      shall be perfected.
      I believe that would be a metaphor. Jesus is comparing Herod to a fox by calling him one...

      31The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

      32And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.


      I'm not sure metaphor is the correct term, I don't think it is, but it's similar if it's not. It's definately not sarcasm that Jesus is using there.

      Yes...metaphor...
      met⋅a⋅phor  /ˈmɛtəˌfɔr, -fər/
      –noun
      1. a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.”
      God is not physically a mighty fortress, but he has all the characteristics of one. In the same way Herod is not a fox, but apparently had all the characteristics of one.
      "I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand: for this I also believe, that unless I believe I will not understand." --Anselm of Canterbury

      Hebrews 12:3-4
      For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

      Comment


      • #4
        The Lord looks at our motives. When we are sarcastic, what is the reason we are using sarcasm rather than stating something simply?

        "...even to the thoughts and intents of the heart."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sunny View Post
          The Lord looks at our motives. When we are sarcastic, what is the reason we are using sarcasm rather than stating something simply?

          "...even to the thoughts and intents of the heart."
          My point exactly. When I do it, I find that it's mostly a pride thing...an attempt to build myself up in my own eyes. This is most definately a sin and something I need to keep a guard on and repent from.

          As I think it through, I'm having a hard time seeing how sarcasm can be detatched from anything that I know God would consider to be wrong.
          "I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand: for this I also believe, that unless I believe I will not understand." --Anselm of Canterbury

          Hebrews 12:3-4
          For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fracturedInfinity View Post
            Matthew 5:37 (King James Version)
            But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
            'Sarcasm' has nothing to do with it, IMO.

            The context of that verse is in regards to swearing oaths.

            Swearing is neither necessary nor desirable when a simple 'yes or no' can be taken at face value.
            "Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.' "But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. "Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil.
            (Mat 5:33-37)
            The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
            Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
            (Psa 19:1b-2)

            Comment


            • #7
              On the other hand...
              Is sarcasm a sin?
              My answer is 'maybe'. It depends on your intent.

              The word itself gives a clue...

              sarcasm
              1579, from L.L. sarcasmos, from Gk. sarkasmos "a sneer, jest, taunt, mockery," from sarkazein "to speak bitterly, sneer," lit. "to strip off the flesh," from sarx (gen. sarkos) "flesh," prop. "piece of meat," from PIE base *twerk- "to cut" (cf. Avestan thwares "to cut"). Sarcastic is from 1695. For nuances of usage, see humor.
              The 'jest' is of the form of 'stripping off the flesh'. The implication is that it isnt done in a kindly fashion.
              The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
              Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
              (Psa 19:1b-2)

              Comment


              • #8
                1 Kings 18:27 (New International Version)

                27 At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened."


                Is this not sarcasm?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hootmon View Post
                  My answer is 'maybe'. It depends on your intent.

                  The word itself gives a clue...
                  Yes, I think this is the key. Sarcasm in and of itself isn't a sin, but it can be if used inappropriately.

                  SnoDog...interesting point. What we need to ask then, is this appropriate behavior for a man of God? Elijah was, after all, just a man like you or I. I'm not sure I would take the mentioning of that as approval of his actions, but rather a statment of fact as to what went on.

                  Maybe we should examine this one:
                  Ephesians 5:4
                  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
                  "I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand: for this I also believe, that unless I believe I will not understand." --Anselm of Canterbury

                  Hebrews 12:3-4
                  For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Amen fracturedInfinity for your posts!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fracturedInfinity View Post
                      SnoDog...interesting point. What we need to ask then, is this appropriate behavior for a man of God? Elijah was, after all, just a man like you or I. I'm not sure I would take the mentioning of that as approval of his actions, but rather a statment of fact as to what went on.
                      I tend to think Elijah didn't sin but you make a good point.

                      In Job 38 is not God himself being sarcastic?

                      Job 38 (New International Version)

                      Job 38
                      The LORD Speaks
                      1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
                      2 "Who is this that darkens my counsel
                      with words without knowledge?

                      3 Brace yourself like a man;
                      I will question you,
                      and you shall answer me.

                      4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?
                      Tell me, if you understand.

                      5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
                      Who stretched a measuring line across it?

                      6 On what were its footings set,
                      or who laid its cornerstone-

                      7 while the morning stars sang together
                      and all the angels [a] shouted for joy?

                      8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors
                      when it burst forth from the womb,

                      9 when I made the clouds its garment
                      and wrapped it in thick darkness,

                      10 when I fixed limits for it
                      and set its doors and bars in place,

                      11 when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther;
                      here is where your proud waves halt'?

                      12 "Have you ever given orders to the morning,
                      or shown the dawn its place,

                      13 that it might take the earth by the edges
                      and shake the wicked out of it?

                      14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
                      its features stand out like those of a garment.

                      15 The wicked are denied their light,
                      and their upraised arm is broken.

                      16 "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
                      or walked in the recesses of the deep?

                      17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
                      Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death [b] ?

                      18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
                      Tell me, if you know all this.

                      19 "What is the way to the abode of light?
                      And where does darkness reside?

                      20 Can you take them to their places?
                      Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

                      21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
                      You have lived so many years!

                      22 "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
                      or seen the storehouses of the hail,

                      23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
                      for days of war and battle?

                      24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
                      or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

                      25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
                      and a path for the thunderstorm,

                      26 to water a land where no man lives,
                      a desert with no one in it,

                      27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
                      and make it sprout with grass?

                      28 Does the rain have a father?
                      Who fathers the drops of dew?

                      29 From whose womb comes the ice?
                      Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens

                      30 when the waters become hard as stone,
                      when the surface of the deep is frozen?

                      31 "Can you bind the beautiful [c] Pleiades?
                      Can you loose the cords of Orion?

                      32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons [d]
                      or lead out the Bear [e] with its cubs?

                      33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
                      Can you set up God's [f] dominion over the earth?

                      34 "Can you raise your voice to the clouds
                      and cover yourself with a flood of water?

                      35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
                      Do they report to you, 'Here we are'?

                      36 Who endowed the heart [g] with wisdom
                      or gave understanding to the mind [h] ?

                      37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
                      Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens

                      38 when the dust becomes hard
                      and the clods of earth stick together?

                      39 "Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
                      and satisfy the hunger of the lions

                      40 when they crouch in their dens
                      or lie in wait in a thicket?

                      41 Who provides food for the raven
                      when its young cry out to God
                      and wander about for lack of food?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SnoDog View Post
                        In Job 38 is not God himself being sarcastic?
                        No. He's asking Job a lot of rhetorical questions. There's a difference between those and sarcasm.

                        I'm not so sure that God or Jesus would ever use sarcasm, because even in harmless jesting (I use this very loosely), it can be deceptive if the person it is directed toward or a bystander doesn't recognize it as such.

                        "I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand: for this I also believe, that unless I believe I will not understand." --Anselm of Canterbury

                        Hebrews 12:3-4
                        For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          AND... just because you read someone in the Bible does something, it does NOT mean they were not sinning. Being included in the scriptures does not automatically make everything you think, say and do not sinful.

                          The Bible records history. Men of God sinned as well.

                          I just think that whatever we do, we need to judge our motive and intent. I tend to use sarcasm as well. I'd be surprised if none of us did. But I think it was a good idea to bring up the subject and examine our behavior, and discuss it in the light of God's Word.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Great....one more sin to add to the pile.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Amber Lynne View Post
                              Great....one more sin to add to the pile.
                              Do I detect sarcasm? Hmm?
                              The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
                              Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.
                              (Psa 19:1b-2)

                              Comment

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