We live in a cynical age. One of the ways I know this is because much of the news consumed these days comes via comedians. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for satire and sometimes they’re funny. But it speaks of how much we swim in an environment of mockery and scorn when our news is delivered within a steady diet of sarcastic jokes.
We ought not to be surprised when Christian faith falls under similar scoffing. It’s not like we weren’t told this would be the case (the apostles predicted it).
Scoffing (mockery, sarcastic scorn) comes through the media through explicit derision or just through the way it shows us faith or religious people. Bad examples of pastors, priests, churches, and so on are paraded and so loom large in the popular imagination. All this serves to shame Christians. We feel it, we may even shrink back from it.
Humour is from the angels. Laughter is a blessed thing and everyone ought not to take themselves too seriously. Scoffing, though, is diabolical in that in order to scoff one doesn’t need to stand for anything. Irony is easy and cheap. Sincerity is hard and costly. To tear down another you don’t need to stand for or upon anything yourself. This is true whether we’re atheist, agnostic, Christian, or something else, to sincerely stand is the harder job and makes one vulnerable to scoffing.
If we’re Christian, we ought not give in to the scoffing. We shouldn’t participate in the tearing down of others. It’s too easy and we should do the harder thing. That is, perhaps disagree but do so from a place of understanding and respect.
And we’ll have to get used to enduring some scoffing. Faithfulness takes the form of a hard forehead sometimes. What are the chances that a cable TV
news anchor comedian will represent our beliefs fairly and charitably? We ought not to be surprised. We’ve been told.