Can a Xian Publicly Ridicule Other Xians?


So the other day I was tweeting a string of jokes under the hashtag DricollSchoolOf Ethics:

Before long, an atheist/former pastor who follows me jumped and thought I was acting inappropriately.

The 140 character limit on Twitter makes a pretty bad place for debate or in-depth discussion, but I did want to take time to address the issue.

1. The Bible DOES talk about handling grievances privately between individuals. The biblical guidance for such behavior is between people who have a damaged relationship. The goal of going to the “brother” is so that relationship can be repaired and restored (see Matthew 18 as an example).

2. The Bible DOES give us multiple examples of Jesus (and others) calling out poor behavior in a public setting.

– Upset with money-changers taking advantage of worshippers, Jesus tears through the temple flipping over tables and whipping men with a cord.
– Upset with the super-religious, John the Baptist calls the Pharisees and Sadducees “you brood of vipers.”
– Upset with the super-religious, Jesus calls them “you brood of vipers.”
– Jesus repeatedly publicly calls out religious leaders as “hypocrites.”
– Paul has to call out Peter for his poor behavior regarding unfair treatment of Gentiles in the church.

While not every instance of publicly calling someone out in the Bible is a mirror image of today’s situations, there is still a strong case to be made for publicly addressing and calling out religious leaders. Jesus himself used sarcasm and satire to drive his point home.

Publicly tearing people down for no reason but to hurt is never right. Using sarcasm or satire to drive home a point about the behavior of religious leaders is well-supported in the Bible.

What do you think? Where should we draw the line between private and public rebuke?


13 thoughts on “Can a Xian Publicly Ridicule Other Xians?

  1. 1) I will grant you your first point. What you said makes sense and is contextually on point. Though at this point I could use the “principle” argument as many Xians do. I will not do that however so that I can hold your feet to the fire in the next two points 😉
    2) I don’t think the words of Jesus towards the Pharisees apply to what you are doing to Driscoll. They were enemies of god who were trying to kill Jesus. You and Driscoll may vary on many things, but you are are brothers who are on the same team. If you are going to be a stickler for context as you were with Matthew 18 you must be consistent.
    3) Paul’s rebuke to Peter does not apply to you and Driscoll. 1, they had a relationship. 2, he did it face to face without the use of sarcasm or mockery. 3) the gospel of the full inclusion of Gentiles was at stake in a time when that was a huge issue. A public rebuke was needed for the sake of the gospel and the sheep who could be lead astray by the Judaizers.
    The above context tells us that this instance does not apply to your situation.
    4) I will add one that you didn’t. Paul calls out Hymenaus and Philetus. But they are heretics who deserted the faith which also doesn’t apply.

    To recap, if context matters, I think you are correct on your first point and woefully misapply the rest.
    That’s my two cents.

    • You woefully misunderstand the Pharisees to call them “enemies of God.” They cared for God DEEPLY. They weren’t evil villains, just went about faith the wrong way and held to things that were less important than the main things.

      I never tried to equate the biblical scenarios with the modern – my point was that there is evidence in multiple circumstances of Jesus and others using satire, sarcasm, and biting words to make a point.

      The media has changed since Jesus’ day, true. But if he were a blogger or Twitterer, how would he handle the same types of issues with religious leaders that he handled 2000 years ago?

      And before anyone goes there, no, I’m not comparing me and other Xian Anons to Christ. I’m merely noting that what we do, although through different media, is similar to what Christ and the Apostles did.

      I think that’s my 5 cents.

      • “If god were your father, you would love me”
        “You are of your father the devil”
        “Blind guides”
        “White washed tombs”
        “Brood of vipers”
        Oh yeah and they killed god incarnate.

        Sounds like they had a great relationship with the father.

        The only thing you have proved with this response is your unwillingness to admit when you are wrong.
        There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with an intellectually dishonest argument.

        You can keep your nickel.

      • You are proving my point. These were not apostate God-haters. These were religious men who loved God and cared about righteousness. Yet they still receive this criticism from Christ for their behavior and actions.

        As for an unwillingness to admit being wrong, one could say the same of you. 🙂

        I have not been intellectually dishonest. It seems you’re approaching the subject with preconceived notions.

      • Satirist, I’m dumbfounded by this line of argumentation. It really is not worth either of our time to continuethis. At least I have nothing more to say. I’m done casting pearls.

        Bitter guy, take your frustrations to god, he will hear you. No need to spout off on twitter. Nothing worse than a “bleeding” pastor. Your input of what I should or shouldn’t do on twitter means as much as the Satarist’ nickel, to me.

      • I understand if you wish to cease. But please note that you are doing the very thing you accuse me of: not listening to me and refusing to admit error.

        You have preconceived ideas about the Pharisees and do not realize that they religious leaders of the day – Jesus’ “brothers” in the same sense that Christian pastors are to me.

        I do find it humorous and bothersome that you would use an expression from the Bible when you represent yourself as loathing all things Xian.

      • I find a lot of things humorous about you as well, so we will call that a draw, Shatirist.
        I said I would cease (I lied), bc I don’t know what else to say. I have given you scripture of how Jesus says that they don’t love god and are children of the devil. Yet you insist that they are brothers similar to you and Driscoll being brothers. This has to be a joke right? I’m just waiting for the response when you just say “sike”.

        Does any of your pastor cronies agree with you on this? I get that they don’t like me and what I do on twitter, but do they support you that the Pharisees were Jesus’ brothers? I have never heard anyone argue in this way. Jesus pronounces “woes” on them and they kill him. But hey brothers will be brothers.

        Give me a break Shat. Like I said in the original go round on twitter…go sell your broke interpretations to someone who doesn’t know the bible.

        As far as me using “brothers” …I am assuming your position in my argument. Gosh! Do I have to explain everything to you.

        Your next post to me is the part where you disregard Jesus’ teaching about returning insults for insults…

        I’ll be waiting with baited breath to taste of that wonderful fruit of the spirit coming forth from your tiny shrub.

      • In all of our back and forth I thought we were talking about our positions, not being belittling or rude towards the person. Your last response crossed the line. I have not engaged in name calling or insults.

        I enjoy vivid debate, even with people who hold views different than my own. I think listening to others who disagree with us makes us better people. I will not continue to dialogue when people cross the line into personal rudeness and foulness.

        So here’s what I’m gonna do. I will respond to your question and then I’m out. I will not read any follow-up reply. I will block you on Twitter. You don’t have to wonder why – it was your last response that did it.

        As to your issue about my biblical interpretation, your flippant “brothers will be brothers” ignores the biblical examples of Cain and Abel, or Jacob and Esau, or Joseph and his brothers. Yes, brothers treat each other horribly.

        I am not alone in my interpretation, even if you have never understood Pharisees in this light. They didn’t hate God. The loved God and thought they were doing right by him. If you want to see others who share similar notions you can read:

        I get the sense that you are angry; angry at God, angry at the Church, angry with me. It doesn’t seem that your perspective will change from a conversation with me. So that’s all I’ve got. Good night.

    • Your comments are always interesting as usual. However, to sit here and correct Christian Anons on their conduct is laughable. That’s like trying to correct a comedian for telling jokes. If I want to spout off about something ridiculous that another, more well-known Christian has done, then I will do so. If I want to spout off about the silly things that Christians do, then I will do so.

      Think Pat Robertson.

      In the real world, we would go to people who have offended us and deal according to Scripture. However, these are anon/parody accounts, and they are used as an outlet for our frustrations about various things. Don’t pretend like you’re above that concept “Apostate Pastor.” I don’t know what’s worse: using Twitter as an outlet to point out Christian hypocrisy, or using Twitter to renounce the name of Jesus and your previous relationship with Him?

      The only thing intellectually dishonest about this entire debate is the dishonest intellectual who continues to assert his biblical authority while completely avoiding the elephant in the room: his own rejection of Jesus Christ. Until you can own up to what Scripture says about the fate that awaits you for once knowing Him and then choosing to leave Him, we really have nothing to talk about. You blast us Anons for trivial things that pale in comparison to your “greater sin.”

      In the mean time, you let us worry about Scriptural definitions of right and wrong since we’re the ones with the relationship with God. You’ve abandoned that relationship, remember? Therefore, your biblical knowledge is tainted by bias, resentfulness and and an unwillingness to learn hence we have very little respect for your interpretation of Scripture.

      However, I do look forward to your comments in future posts because you certainly know how to spark a debate.

  2. Just a few thoughts:

    As my esteemed colleagues will tell you, I dearly love brother Mark, therefore, it pains me deeply to have to say this. Mark plagiarized, apologized, plagiarized, apologized, plagiarized, apologized, and we’ve forgiven him not just seven times, but seventy times seven…and counting.

    I don’t feel that anyone is judging Mark’s salvation (that’s between God and him) or his motives (however much money that is making him), just his behaviour and his actions.

    So whenever a prominent Xn engages in any behavior that is immoral, illegal, and unethical, the church (and us ‘umble Anons) has not only the right or the duty to pass judgment on them. Paul, as you must know, chastises the Corinthian Xns for not judging when they should have.

    As an Anon, I like to sing with The Who, “People try to put us down…”

    And now for a nice Kilkenny! Erin Go Bro-bragh!

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