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Sarcasm (debate)

Discussion in 'Spirit Filled / Charismatic Debate (READ ONLY)' started by JimB, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. JimB

    JimB Legend

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    Sarcasm (discussion only, please)

    Some in this forum frequently use sarcasm in their responses to posts they disagree with (yep, I’m one) and others have said that sarcasm is not the Christian way to debate.

    Question:
    Can you think of instances in the Bible where people (e.g., Jesus) used sarcasm?
    Or, on the other hand, can you provide scripture to say that using sarcasm is, um, “unchristian”?

    Working definition (Merriam-Webster):
    sar·casm

    Pronunciation: \sär-ka-zm\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: French or Late Latin; French sarcasme, from Late Latin sarcasmos, from Greek sarkasmos, from sarkazein to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage, sneer, from sark-, sarx flesh; probably akin to Avestan thwars- to cut
    Date: 1550

    Definition:
    1 : a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain
    2 a : a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual

    b : the use or language of sarcasm
    Remember, this is the discussion forum. I'll post it in the debate forum for those who would like to, um, use a little sarcasm.)

    ~Jim

    Love is not blind; it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.
     
  2. KingZzub

    KingZzub Blessed to Be A Blessing

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    I think that Elijah used sarcasm when he asked the prophets of Baal if their god was on holiday or on the toilet.

    That sounds like sarcasm to me.

    I am all for a good bit of sarcasm - it can sometimes be used to make a point in a debate.
     
  3. JimB

    JimB Legend

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    But don’t you think that it can go too far. Sarcasm for the sake of sarcasm or for the sake of mocking a sister of brother or trying to make them look foolish seems to violate this …
    4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor.13)
    I know Jesus used sarcasm (see thread in the general forum) but I think it had a deeper purpose than the way it is sometimes used by us.

    ~Jim
    Love is not blind; it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.
     
  4. WileyCoyote

    WileyCoyote Contributor Supporter

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    I've been called a "satirical genius" by a friend of mine. I do admit that my sarcasm can be cruel at times and I need to work on this.
     
  5. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    If I may share----and I do apologize ahead of time in length/detail at a great extent may be too much..

    There was a posting I wrote on my blog concerning the issue not too long ago--including the issue of the prophets mocking, as seen in The ART OF CHRISTIAN DIALOUGE: Whatever happened to it? (regarding heresy, false teachings, and understanding the Word of God IN CONTEXT) , which was an article I made on the issue of every verse in the scriptres and systematically going through all of them on what the Word says

    Going along with that would be this thread I made on the issue of sarcasm examined in-depth and what the Word actually says about it (especially in reference to how PAUL used it and the other things accompanying it that were also KEY when instructing people):

    RELATIONSHIP/LOVE: The Missing FACTOR REGARDING ADRESSING MATTERS OF FAITH/DOCTRINE (Part 1)

    Others dealing with the issue that may be of benefit:



    http://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/relationshipslove-part-3/








    That aside, I felt that the brother---who lives near me and who interacted with me once before---- brought up many points that have never been seen before when it comes to the issue of apolegetics and the many ways in which blogs exposing error handle things.


    Pray that it blesses someone, as he said:



    Measuring Discernment and Critism



    With Gospel and Charity

    It’s late…I’m in a hotel room…on the last night of my last leg of business travel for the year. I’m “worn slap out” as we say here in the south. This is my preface to help offset what I hope is not an altogether uncharitable attitude towards those who are not being very charitable…in my tired opinion.


    A dear friend asked me to read a recent post by a very gifted blogging team whose zeal for sound doctrine and the biblical gospel is ordinarily a spicy, abrasive, sarcastic, and polemic recipe on the menu each week. His post provoked the return of friendly fire on the blog of this very gifted blogging team. I posted a few comments, and in turn took some return fire myself from some dear friends.


    [​IMG]

    I think the rub here is simple. We ought to preach the gospel and we ought to guard the gospel. And in both we are called to be discerning of those patterns, trends, or trajectories that will offset, neglect, deny, or altogether reject this gospel. But HOW are we to preach, guard, and discern? In short, the method ought to flow from the message.
    In my comments, I point to three essential texts on developing a gospel-heart for those who are straying from the gospel or those who are neglecting and rejecting the gospel.

    1 Corinthians 13 is a great place to start, for it defines the type of love we are to have when using our spiritual gifts, including the gift of discernment (1 Cor. 12:10). If one practices their gift of discernment and does not have love, then their preaching can become as much a loud gong or clanging symbol as can loveless-motivated tongues (whether you believe in them for today or not) (13:1). And if you give all your heart and soul in verbally exercising that discernment but don’t have love, then it is of no value whatsoever (13:3).

    What seems most significant about this text is that it becomes didactic, instructional, teaching literature on how we are to handle and talk and behave toward one another. There is no similar type of literature in the Scripture, as far as I can tell, on handling others with sarcasm. In fact, much of what we read in 1 Corinthians 13 would seem to argue against such communication devices on a repeated and defensive manner.

    Further, citing Paul (in Galatians and Corinthians) or Jesus (in the temple angry or with the Pharisees) as examples proves to be difficult for several reasons. For one, it presents basic hermeneutical difficulties. When is it right to emphasize a writer’s inspired writing practices over and above what is clearly given to us in Scriptures as direct instruction for our behavior and speech? The argument that this is the Son of God and arguably the greatest Apostle always breaks down at some point. But it seems to hold up here. I’m fearful that as one outside of biblical inspiration I can argue with the same communication techniques and be as effective as they were. If ever there were men who got the balance 100% right, it was these two. I’m not in that group and I don’t know of anyone else who is either.

    SECOND if love endures all things, as 1 Corinthians 13:7 teaches, then what does that endurance look like as it regards those who we think are neglecting, ignoring, or rejecting the gospel? That answer seems simple, too. 2 Timothy 2:24-25 shows us Paul’s own example. “The Lord’s servant must NOT be quarrelsome but KIND to EVERYONE, able to teach, PATIENTLY ENDURING evil, correcting his opponents WITH GENTLENESS. God may grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth…”

    Now for those who consistently bring up Paul’s tone in Galatians as a defense of how we can talk to people today who neglect the gospel like they did, here’s a good question to ponder: is it possible that the Paul of 2 Timothy 2:24-25 showed the same attitude towards the Galatians? If not, why not? If so, how so?

    Let’s say for argument sake that we are dealing with a different Paul, in terms of these two books lying at opposite ends of his writing career. If so, and I’m willing to grant this very reasonable line of thought, then isn’t the Paul in 2 Timothy (facing martyrdom) much more mature than the Paul of Galatians (at the very beginning of his writing ministry)? We certainly see evidence of this in other places, like his progressive humility in 1 Corinthians 15:8 to Ephesians 3:8 to 1 Timothy 1:15; or else his separation with John Mark in Acts 15 and his request for John Mark’s assistance in 2 Timothy? Is it possible that if he had it to do over again he might change his tone a bit toward the Galatians like he did toward John Mark? The argument of inspiration with the inclusion of the human side makes this a tough argument to think through, indeed. But it is certainly one worthy to consider.

    THIRD, even with this argument when we look at the second letter Paul wrote, 1 Thessalonians, we still see a man, early in his ministry, who had the “tone” of “a nursing mother taking care of her own children” (1 Thess. 2:7), “being affectionately desirous” (v. 8), and “a father with his children” (v. 11). Do we think that Paul didn’t have the same heart toward the Galatians or the Corinthians because they were in error? It seems foolish to try to argue that because we don’t see the tone of 1 Thessalonians 2, or 1 Corinthians 13 or 2 Timothy 2 in Galatians that it wasn’t there at all. This is the gentleness and kindness in “tone” with which Paul dealt with with everyone - from new believers like the Thessalonians all the way to false teachers like those in Ephesus where Timothy was pastoring.

    FOURTH, if we look to the Master we see one of the only places in the Scriptures where we get a glimpse of what Jesus is like as a person. That is found in Matthew 11:28-29, and there we are told that Jesus is meek and lowly in heart. He is one to whom those run who are weary and burdened in their lives. He seeks to give rest to people’s souls! But this is not and cannot be reflected when we communicate with abrasion and sarcasm. Polemics are necessary, but they ought to be utilized with the spirit and attitude of the gospel…and with the meekness and lowliness of the Savior who has come to rescue them from false teaching.

    If we deal with the same thing Jesus dealt with in His day in false teaching, can we expect to handle it with the perfection and precision of speech and attitude in which He did? There’s just no way. We’re too tainted with sin to even hope to do so. So if we should err on one side or the other in Jesus’ responses, it seems most wise and logical that we would err on the side of His meekness and lowliness and humility and gentleness and kindness with people…rather than on the side of the whip-swinging, rebuke-throwing Jesus in the temple and with the Pharisees.

    FIFTH, the balance we do see in the Master is found in His addresses to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3. Six out of seven churches got a word of comfort and encouragement, as well as exhortation and warning and rebuke. He gives both. Even in churches where there was false teaching going on (Pergamum and Thyatira) He had encouraging words for them. He looked for evidences of God’s grace in them, saw these evidences, and commended them.

    So much for the blogging crowd and commenters who complain and opine that we don’t always have to preface critical remarks with encouraging words! I think that when we are dealing with churches and Christians, even those with whom we disagree vehemently about potential or actual false teaching, there seems no better place to turn than to the Chief Shepherd in these two chapters.

    So how do I wrap up a late night blog where I’m hoping and praying that my wearied body and sleepy mind have communicated with some clarity? How about with these words. They seem to give a biblical balance to this whole issue.


    “Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:9).[/size]

    “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8)
    __________________


     
  6. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    If I can say,

    I think that when it comes to sarcasm, there needs to be some things in place to ensure that it will not be taken the wrong way.
    Acts 2:41-43

    The Fellowship of the Believers

    42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.
    Acts 13:52
    And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
    Acts 13:51-52
    Romans 15:4-6
    5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Galatians 5:24-26
    22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
    Ephesians 4:2-4/
    2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
    Ephesians 4:29-31/ Ephesians 4
    29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
    Ephesians 5:17-19 /Ephesians 5
    17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord
    Jesus Christ.
    Sadly, some will only be content being RUDELY sarcastic rather than going the extra-mile and showing you care by"getting in the trenches" with each other offline and seeing how much people experience REAL life...

    Additionally, it's hard to recieve sarcasm if/when it seems to be a fact that many of us can never laugh together----so doubtful many times that one can ever expect growing with each other together or reciecing points given with humorous sarcasm. Some things would be cured if we could all learn to not take things so seriously at times....and just chill, as many times it's really not that deep. And when it comes to being light-hearted, it's amazing to see how much more easier it is to get through life...and with people...
    Proverbs 15:13
    A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.

    Proverbs 15:15
    All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast

    Proverbs 15:30
    A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

    Proverbs 17:22
    A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.



    If we're going to be sarcastic, fine---but there needs to be (and had BETTER be) signs of actually wanting to relate with each other, lift one another up in prayer and show we're really concerned in deeds rather than just in word. For how much sarcasm has to go one before we can actually lift one another up as we're commanded to in the Word ( Colossians 4:11-13 / /Ephesians 6:17-19/ , John 13:1 , John 17:20-22 //etc)...or worship the Lord through our interactions by showing we're concerned for the parts of His body---and choosing to "weep with those who weep/rejoice with those who rejoice" ( Romans 12:14-16 /1 Corinthians 12:25-27/ )?
    Galatians 6:2
    Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
    Psalm 133

    A song of ascents. Of David.

    1 How good and pleasant it is
    when brothers live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard,
    running down on Aaron's beard,
    down upon the collar of his robes.
    3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
    1 Thessalonians 5:11
    Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
    1 Thessalonians 5:10-12
    Hebrews 10:24-26/
    4And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
    Also, something to consider...

    Another thing to consider is that inbetween Paul correcting the Corinthians with HEAVY SARCASM (I Corinthians 4:8-13 ), NOTICE HOW HE APPEALED TO THEM ON THE BASIS OF ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIP:
    1 Corinthians 4:14-21


    14I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
    18Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?

    In Paul’s Day, a guardian was a slave who was assigned as a special tutor and caretaker of a child. And regarding Paul’s imagery, he was portraying his special affection for the Corinthians (greater than a slave) and his special role (more than a caretaker). And even though the church was messed up/in need of heavy sarcasm/sharp words or mocking to a degree, none of those things were done without Paul appealing to his relationship with them.

    By father he meant he was the churche’s founder…..and because of his willingness to take on/prove himself worthy of that FATHER role first in taking them under his wing, training them/investing in their lives rather than abandoning/manipulating them, as many people would’ve easily done,……

    He could be trusted to have the Corinthians best interests at heart, thereby making it apparent that his tough words were motivated by LOVE—just like the love a good father has for his children—- rather than giving the impression that he was arrogant, smug and just being sarcastic/choosing tough words for the sake of it.





    The same thing seems to be apparent in his second letter to the Corinthians, in which Paul responded to some attacks on his character & authority…….and displays him going into pain-staking detail to show how honest/straightfoward he was with them…….but later explains to them his heart.



    Every church Paul was at, it seems He was actively invloved in their lives, and prior to that had been very compassionate/loving toward the,, so if he was sarcastic, it would’nt of been that big of a deal. Also, it may’ve been easier to accept for them……and I think the problem with sarcasm/sharpness and mocking is that many are comfortable simply using it continuously and PRIMARILY toward others while never addressing the love/relationship aspect first.

    And let’s face it: HOW MANY OF US REALLY KNOW EACH OTHER PERSONALLY OFF LINE THIS SITE?

    As the OLD Proverb goes,
    Proverbs 27:6
    Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses
     
  7. JimB

    JimB Legend

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    Does this scripture apply to Jesus’ use of cutting sarcasm?
    12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, . . .. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth."
    ~Jim

    Love is not blind; it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.
     
  8. New_Wineskin

    New_Wineskin Contributor

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    I have not read others' posts . So , I appologize if this is a duplicate .

    One of my favorite bits of sarcasm in the Scriptures is when Elijah taunted the prophets of Baal about their god :

    (NIV)

    I am fairly certain that the Lord used sarcasm a bit in prophesies . The writing called "Job" certainly has some .
     
  9. New_Wineskin

    New_Wineskin Contributor

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    Well , I am not sure of a "violation" - it depends on the attitude and purpose of the one using sarcasm .

    Sarcasm can be used in a way that the person knows you are kidding - making fun of the idea and not the person .

    If sarcasm is used as an attack , the person's point will be lost as the attack will be the focus by the person to whom they respond . *That* can very well be consider to be the point . "You disagree with me so I will simply say that you are foolish . That is my reasoning concerning your pov ."
     
  10. JimB

    JimB Legend

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    Maybe, but …

    I do not think Jesus’ use of sarcasm, especially to the Pharisees, was meant as a friendly jab nor do I think they thought He was kidding nor do I think His point was lost on them.

    Just saying …

    ~Jim

    Man is not the centre. God does not exist for the sake of man. Man does not exist for his own sake.
    “Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” ~C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
     
  11. EdwardG

    EdwardG Progressive

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    Jim and friends here,

    Do you think the following verse from the Revelation is sarcastic;

    Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.

    I mean after coming and dying for us on the Cross, after equipping us with His power and Spirit, after giving us all authority and the Great Commission, to say something like the above is a little off the way I think.
     
  12. JimB

    JimB Legend

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    Sure. I agree, that verse does have a sarcastic tone to it.

    ~Jim


    Man is not the centre. God does not exist for the sake of man. Man does not exist for his own sake.
    “Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” ~C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain


     
  13. New_Wineskin

    New_Wineskin Contributor

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    If they got His point , they would not have continued to persue Him in hate and anger . They saw an attack on them - they responded as such .

    Yet , again , they were not His siblings as the post of yours to which I replied was discussing .

    Still , if you are correct , that opens the door wide open for those that use the Scriptures to follow Jesus' example . If someone treats you as the Pharasees were treating Jesus ( as those who disagree ) , then go and bite back hard with sarcasm - it *is* a "biblical" standard after all . No need to think about it or ask the Lord if it was too much . Jesus did it - therefore , I may .
    .
    .
    .
    See what I did there ? ;)
    .
    .
    And , see what I did when I asked if you saw what I did there ? ;)
     
  14. Tobias

    Tobias Relationship over Religion

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    Good to know that sarcasm is ok. :thumbsup:

    I read the OP, and was a little bit worried. Sarcasm is an art form, a way of life. I'm aware that I use it, but it's so ingrained in the way I speak I'm not sure I can identify when I'm using it and when I'm not! I'm relieved to see that some of you have identified the use of sarcasm in the Bible. I would hate to have to try to change everything about the way I communicate. :D
     
  15. JimB

    JimB Legend

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    Sarcasm for sarcasm’s sake is not good; it only makes a person a cynic. I have known people whose routine (habitual) use of caustic wit has alienated people from them and caused them to lose their influence over others. Christ had a purpose when he used sarcasm and he never used it to those who were prime candidates for the kingdom of God; only to those who opposed it.

    ~Jim


    We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too)
    but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the Divine love may rest “well pleased.”
    ~C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
     
  16. MrBojangles

    MrBojangles Guest

    There is a difference between malicious sarcasm that is intended just to hurt someone, and pointed sarcasm which is intended to stress a point. Then there is tongue in cheek sarcasm that is more of a good natured jab at someone.

    So it depends.

    It also depends on the context of your relationship with a person. I love my wife and she knows it! So if we went out to eat and she came back from the buffet with a double load of mashed potatoes, I might say "Did you leave any for the mice?" Because of the love context, she might poke her tongue at me. But if i said the same thing to a fat person I did not know... then it might be taken differently. So the relationship you have with the person matters.

    Truth is the relationship between many of us here at CF is less than good. It is antagonistic and many even suggest that there is no love. So when sarcasm is tossed out here during debates, it is taken badly. It sounds mean and is taken as being mean. We just need to establish that love is the foundation of our relationship. It does not matter how much scripture you think you know or how correct your doctrine is... if you lack love in your relationship with people then everything you say is going to be heard through ears of suspicion and paranoia. But if you show that you love people, then even your words of correction and sarcasm will be accepted and have meaning!
     
    KingZzub likes this.
  17. pdudgeon

    pdudgeon Legend Supporter

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    sarcasim is probably us at our human being worst, and on our last nerve.

    i've known people who think nothing of using it every day, but it is because their outlook on life is cynical if not overly critical.

    sarcasim, like everything else, comes from the heart and without thought, as often as not. it's just us being defensive and not being considerate.

    there's always a better way to communicate what we are feeling, but sometimes we just don't take the time or have the patience to do so.:blush:
     
  18. JimB

    JimB Legend

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    If Jesus used sarcasm (and a strong case can be made that he did, SEE HERE), would you say that was Jesus “at his worst”?

    ~Jim
    “Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia” is the fear of long words.
     
  19. KingZzub

    KingZzub Blessed to Be A Blessing

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  20. Svt4Him

    Svt4Him Legend Supporter

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    Where exactly is the sarcasm in these verses?
     
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