Irony, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is "The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning." Consider the following examples.

"PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY." Out of context, this statement might be suggesting that consumers should exercise reasonable precautions with ordinarily harmless beverages. For instance, a cup of steaming hot coffee should be handled in such a way as to avoid spilling it on one's lap. However, every television viewer recognizes these words from advertisements promoting alcoholic beverages. That's ironic because there is no responsible way to
consume an alcoholic beverage. The consumption of alcohol leads directly to drunkenness, which is explicitly and repeatedly forbidden in scripture (Romans 13:13; 1st Corinthians 6:10; Galatians 5:21). Intoxication is doubly sinful in that it prevents self-control, a necessary quality in every Christian (Galatians 5:23; 2nd Peter 1:6). There's nothing responsible about drinking alcohol.

"PLEASE PLAY RESPONSIBLY." This phrase might be used to warn a pitcher not to bean the batter. Instead, these words come from advertisements promoting lotteries in those states where such is legal (ironically, Nevada is not one of those states). The lottery is a form of gambling which involves the drawing of lots for a prize. There is no such thing as responsible gambling
because gambling is covetous (Ephesians 5:3; Hebrews 13:5), and violates the principle of legitimate gain (Ephesians 4:28; 2nd Thessalonians 3:10-12).

"PRACTICE SAFE SEX." To a Christian, this means that sexual intercourse is reserved for marriage and marriage alone. Sadly though, the Coalition for Positive Sexuality claims, "Safe sex means making sure you don't get anyone else's blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk in your body -- and protecting your partners too! Condoms, latex surgical gloves, and plastic
wrap are the only ways to protect yourself and your partner from STDs and HIV…" It is beyond tragic that abstinence does not top that list! The only safe sex that has ever existed is intercourse with one's own husband or wife (Proverbs 5:18-19; 1st Corinthians 7:1-5; Hebrews 13:4). All sexual relationships outside marriage are immoral (1st Corinthians 6:18; 1st Thessalonians 4:3-8), and are unsafe because they incur the wrath of God (1st Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 21:8).

"Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren" (James 1:16). These ironies are asserted in an effort to disguise sin as safe and responsible, but there is no safe or responsible sin!

By Bryan Matthew Dockens

Return to the General Articles page

Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /