Friday, January 13, 2012

Proverbs 29:9 commentary; arguing with foolish people

9 ¶ If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.

There is no good to be accomplished arguing with a foolish person. He or she is convinced that his way is the right way and nothing that can be said or proven otherwise will matter.

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

He despises correction and refuses to hear.

Proverbs 23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

There are many other statements in the Bible about arguing with people who have set in their heads one thing and refuse to hear. You can argue and argue until you’re either blue in the face or your fingers are sore from typing. The foolish person will only argue to a point and then because his or her argument is weak they will begin attacking you personally. They simply must have the last word even if that last word is “yeah, but still…”

There are people who, in spite of the incredible complexity of life, insist that it happened by random chance. In spite of the fact that the possibility that a random mix of amino acids given any time length can form into a polypeptide chain that can form into a functioning protein is mathematically an impossibility akin to a tornado going through a junk yard and leaving behind a fully functional 747 there are people who need so badly to be a random accident of nature in order to justify their sin you can argue with them until the end of history and get nowhere. There is no rest.

There are people who look at mankind’s history and at the evidence of their own lives and still believe that man is basically good and in no need of a Saviour. You can argue with them all day long and it won’t matter.

There are people who, when shown that more things have been written about Jesus Christ than any man in history, more songs praising him written than any man in history, more wars fought over him, more people willingly going to their death for him, and living for him than any god or man throughout history and they will still question his existence. Go ahead, argue with them.

There are Protestants and non-Catholics, whose entire foundation of belief is based on the written word of God and who claim that the Bible they use is just as good as any other, who don’t feel compelled to read it, who don’t believe God speaks to them through it, or that he can change who and what they are by their reading of it and submitting to it daily, and you can teach and preach about the importance of Bible reading and sound Biblically true sermons heard regularly and they will argue with you until they are blue in the face that their seared, worldly conscience is good enough evidence of Christ’s calling on their lives.

There are people who will tell you that the Authorized Version of the Bible is a flawed if culturally and historically significant translation even though you point out that 98% of all Bible manuscripts agree with it rather than their preferred version, that the early church “fathers” quote verses just as they are in the AV, that even unbelievers like the editors of the Harvard Literary Guide to the Bible agree that it is the only Bible that can legitimately be called The Bible, that it was the foundation for the greatest missionary endeavors in Christian history, that its word self defining qualities, cross referencing, and meaning by parallel phrasing attributes defy all explanation as to human effort alone, or that the Bible itself says that a translation can be inspired, and you will never convince them because it would overthrow their entire view of who they are and their relationship with God and they will never, ever stop arguing with you.

There are people who say they believe the Bible literally, even use the AV, and yet refuse to define words and doctrines the way the Bible does and will argue with you all day long that something is true merely because it is their favorite celebrity preacher’s opinion rather than the testimony of God’s word. You will get no rest because they will not yield. Argue as long and as convincingly as you like, point out the verses and the clear statements in the Bible and they will scoff, show scorn, and eventually say you are a godless reprobate because you believe, like the Bible says, that the church is the people, the house of God is the family of God, that translators’ understanding and wisdom can be given by inspiration, that you can’t lose your salvation, that Satan currently runs the world, even their own government, and that Hell will be cast into the Lake of Fire but they aren’t the same thing, and you can talk until you pass out from lack of oxygen and they will not hear you. There is no rest.

Whether these people mock and laugh at you or get extremely angry and call you a fool you will get no rest. Give it up. Just do what you know to be right, search the Scriptures, do your own research, and follow God in faith, hungry to see what He will do next. Always remember that probably at some point in your life, you are where they were. Just always be willing to kindly and without wrath give them a reasonable defense of your position.

Remember, no one has ever come to Christ by human argument alone. There must be a work of the Holy Spirit involved in opening up their heart and mind. You aren’t the Holy Spirit. You are simply a messenger bringing them something they need to hear. Pray for them. Let God do the rest.

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