Answering Fools

Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture
From: Prov. 26.4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him
yourself. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

The two verses above are not contradictory. They help us forge a two-fold plan
for dealing with the darkened minds of men. First we are to avoid buying in to
the twisted logic that fails to account for the truth as it is in Christ. A good
example of this is a story related by Ravi Zacharias regarding a student in a
Philosophy class. In the depths of a discussion on epistemology – how we know
what we know – the student asked, “Professor, how do I know I exist?” To which
the Instructor replied – “whom shall I say is asking?” The question itself was
foolish. To answer it as though it were serious inquiry, would have been to buy
into the foolishness of the inquirer. Proverbs warns us not to do that. So, when
men say “how do we know there is a Creator?, when surrounded by the
stunning reality of Creation – we do not buy into their fool’s questions. We
proclaim the truth as it is in Christ, confidently and clearly, and watch the Spirit
work in their hearts and minds. The second verse tells though TO give an
answer, and not to let such foolishness go unchallenged. To answer in such a
way as to show the questioner the reality of his foolishness. The hope here is to
pluck them like a brand from the fire. To rescue them. So it is that recently
someone sent me a copy of a “Letter to the President”, presenting itself under
the guise of posing a series of questions to President Bush regarding some of his
own policies which might be informed by Scripture. The author (it appears to
me) is attempting to ask so as to embarrass. To ask in such a way as to entrap.
To present Biblical texts he or she believes are unanswerable objections to why
the Bible ought to be used to inform our decisions on civil and legal matters. It is
a fool’s errand. And we’ll spend the next few days, not buying into their
foolishness, but answering them so as to expose the folly of their ways. We will
seek to practice Proverbs 26.4-5 with hopes of plucking a few brands from the
fire along the way. The letter begins: “Congratulations on doing so much to
educate people regarding God’s Law! I have learned a great deal from you and
understand why you would propose and support a constitutional amendment
banning same-sex marriage. As you said, “in the eyes of God marriage is based
between a man a woman.” I try to share that knowledge with as many people as
I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I
simply remind them that Leviticus 18.22 clearly states it to be an abomination.
End of debate. However, I do need some advice from you regarding some other
elements of God’s Laws and how best to follow them.” Next edition, we’ll try to
tackle the first of their 10 questions.


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