Qualified Answered Question
The content below is a response to a question that can be found here.

Great Question!!

This is a great question, especially since there seems to be a lot of stuff out there--videos, essays, cartoons, songs, etc.--that seem to poke fun at religious people and their beliefs.

Without seeing the video your daughter showed you, it would be impossible to tell if the young man in the video was using humor to point out the deficiencies in some praise songs, or if he was doing it to disrespect praise music and those who engage in it.

There's no question that there are some weak praise songs out there, even the more familiar ones. The focus seems to be on us rather than God. So if someone were to make fun of songs like this in an effort to raise the bar on praise music in general, then it would be considered satire. We need satire to point out our weaknesses.

On the other hand, if the creator of the praise music with the alternate lyrics was showing contempt or disrespect for God and those who worship Him, then it would be considered sacrilegious.

In a nutshell, satire is good. Satire uses irony and sarcasm to expose or denounce something off the mark. By contrast, sacrilege is not good. Sacrilege is the violation or anything sacred or held sacred, including God.

We all need to learn to tell the difference between satire and sacrilege so we don't get worked up over the wrong things. Sometimes our harshest critics can be our best friends. A Christian or a non-Christian may deliver some biting satire on some of our practices, and it may be entirely appropriate and useful if it helps us change something we shouldn't be doing. One example that comes to mind is the judgmental attitudes of some Christians towards unbelievers. Clever people should be satirizing that.

On the other hand, a non-Christian or a Christian who engages in sacrilege is treading on thin ice. It's not our place to judge (unless the sacrilegious person is a believer--then we should hold him or her accountable), but we should be discerning enough to recognize sacrilegious material when we see it, and then stay as far away from it as possible.

God is very clear about showing Him proper respect and honor. One of the Ten Commandments (the third one) warns against misusing or profaning the name of the Lord. Certainly this would include all forms of sacrilege, but it also includes something as common as profanity. By definition, if something is profane--whether an utterance or a piece of art--if it shows contempt for God.

You are wise to help your daughter think through these important issues. You are helping her to develop her own discernment when it comes to God and spiritual things.


I learned a lot from this one. Keep up the good work. - Marla Ahlgrimm