Sunday, November 11, 2018

Guidelines for Civil Discourse: #2 - Never Mock People

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(I don't read what people post on social media. I don't have time to do this. I am on Facebook, but I block everyone except my family and our church staff. 
I'm not on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumbler, Snapchat, or Whatsapp. Or anything.  
I post this blog to Facebook. Some respond to my blog, and I often interact with them. Thank you.
I have always been a culture-watcher. I am very interested in human behavior. I study moral behavior and its sources like a madman. I am supremely interested in how we Jesus-followers should live and act and have our being. 
I have much personal experience with humans abusing each other verbally. Even among Christians. Even, sadly, at times, me.
This post is about how someone who claims to follow Jesus should conduct themselves, in any medium, in all human interaction.)


Followers of Jesus are never to mock or ridicule other people.

Never. Ever. 

Mockery and ridicule are opponents of agape love. They reside in the camp of conditional love. ("If you agreed with my position, then I would not show my disgust towards you.")

Every person is made in the imago dei, the image of God. To mock and ridicule a person, no matter who they are or what they believe or disbelieve, is to mock that person's Maker. If you mock someone's children, you also mock them. This is how it is in tribal communities.

Slow-cook in the book of Proverbs and apply.


How long will you who are simple 
love your simple ways? 
How long will mockers delight in mockery 
and fools hate knowledge?
Proverbs 1:22

He mocks proud mockers 
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
Proverbs 3:34

If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; 
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
Proverbs 9:12

The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, 
but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.
Proverbs 14:6

Penalties are prepared for mockers, 
and beatings for the backs of fools.
Proverbs 19:29

The proud and arrogant person
—“Mocker” is his name— 
behaves with insolent fury.
Proverbs 21:24

Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; 
quarrels and insults are ended.
Proverbs 22:10

Mockers stir up a city, 
but the wise turn away anger.
Proverbs 29:8

How shall we live the command to love our neighbor? By mocking them?

How shall we give witness to the sign that we belong to Jesus? By mocking one another?

How shall we be blessed as peacemakers? By ridiculing those who disagree with us?

Is mockery among the fruit of the Spirit?

Shall we build up the body of Christ using the spiritual gift of ridicule?

Is not any fellowship with the company of mockers called wickedness? (Psalm 1:1)

To mock and ridicule others that do not think like you is non-redemptive, only causing existing divisions to separate further. 

(In logic, mockery and ridicule are types of informal fallacies, called ad hominem abusives. To verbally abuse someone not only adds nothing to an argument, it diminishes the argument.)

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My two books are:

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Leading the Presence-Driven Church