Answering a Fool (The Ungrounded Premise)

I came across the above meme on Facebook. It was followed by several comments of praise and vile mutterings against Biblical ethic. The tempting thing to do is to react emotionally, go on the defensive, and strike back with a verbal assault of damming rant. However, the Bible says otherwise…

Proverbs 26:4 (HCSB)
“Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness
or you’ll be like him yourself.”

The maker of the meme is obviously attempting to gain an emotional reaction from those who come across it, whether they agree with it or not. From what I saw, the mission was accomplished. All the responses were emotionally charged. I get it. It’s because our flesh drives our desire to do that which we should not do…

Romans 7:14-15 (HCSB)
“For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am made out of flesh, sold into sin’s power. For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.”

So, how does this get resolved?

Romans 7:16-25a (HSCB)
“And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me. So I discover this principle: When I want to do what is good, evil is with me. For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

The resolution is Christ.

When we recognize who we are without Christ and trust in Him and His word (scripture), we can then and only then get passed our wretchedness, leading to a more sober approach in our responses to things like the above meme. We can then dig further into scripture to find out how to respond, IN THE VERY NEXT VERSE…

Proverbs 26:5 (HCSB)
“Answer a fool according to his foolishness
or he’ll become wise in his own eyes.”

The foolishness of the meme’s author was that it assumes that God is not to be feared… that the fear of God is somehow evil. However, scripture teaches otherwise…

Proverbs 1:7 (HCSB)
“The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

The thing is, my intuition tells me that the meme’s author was writing from the perspective of atheism, which assumes that God does not exist. Therefore, according to the author, teaching our children to fear a nonexistent entity is evil. The temptation here is to then defend the existence of God by going on a defensive verbal rant. However, such is a mistake in light of Romans 1. Why? Because, everyone knows that God exists, and everyone knows that they have violated His purpose…

Romans 1:18-22 (HCSB)
“For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools…”

Keeping this in mind, I looked to the next verse, Proverbs 26:5, ignored the temptation to fulfill Proverbs 26:4, and then properly dealt with the foolishness instead…

“The reason why it’s important to fear God is because as an image bearer of Him, we ought to recognize who we are in comparison to the One whose image we bear.

But, let’s take it the other way. Suppose that we are not image bearers of a creator, and we are just random bags of stardust. Then, we don’t matter. So, on what grounds is it wrong to tell a young, random bag of stardust (which doesn’t matter), anything which might supposedly lead to some emotion, which is in reality just a pointless chemical reaction within the young, randomly existent bag of stardust?”

Do you see what I did?

I expressed why fearing God is important and then I knocked the legs out from the premise, eliminating the validity of the claim by answering the fool “according to his foolishness.” The presumption (which was assumed by the author of the meme to be the anchor of his assertion) was ill-founded. In other words, it was drifting above the surface of the bottom… ungrounded.

Ephesians 5:11 (HCSB)
“Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

I hope this helps!

Godspeed, to the brethren!



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