scatterwisdom has an interesting post, King Solomon, Scoffers, that ties very well with my post, ABOUT PROPER DECORUM. Therefore, if you thought my post interesting, then I expect you will also think well of ‘s post. It is about scoffers and the problems these foolish people create.
Here we will consider ‘s conclusion and elaborate upon a comment that I left at his post.
What is ‘s conclusion?
If a person mocks an opinion or an idea to resolve problems, and does not offer his or her idea for a practical lawful solution, expel them rather than allow them to scoff and disrupt your assembly or community,
The sooner you expel a scoffer and avoid time consuming litigiousness, the sooner the strife and dissention they may cause will end.
In other words, it is wise to expel scoffers. (from here)
I see only one problem with ‘s conclusion. If we tried to expel scoffers from our assembly or community, we might find it necessary to eliminate most of the people in our assembly or community. Sadly, I think it is safe to say most of us have become to some degree scoffers, and that’s an evil thing.
Consider the proverbs (from the Book of Proverbs) in the Bible that relate to the scoffer (click on this link). Most of these proverbs relate to the problems caused by scoffers, but this one suggests what drives a scoffer.
Proverbs 21:24 New King James Version (NKJV)
24 A proud and haughty man— “Scoffer” is his name;
He acts with arrogant pride.
When we are filled with arrogant pride, we don’t care about others, and we don’t really listen to the ideas of others. We think we know it all, and anyone who disagrees we consider foolish or hostile. That’s why the Bible speaks of scoffers as a source of trouble. For example:
Proverbs 22:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave;
Yes, strife and reproach will cease.
Unfortunately, many of the people we elect, perhaps most, tend to be scoffers. Need proof? Review the meaning of that word, “scoff.” Is not the scoffer intentionally and habitually antagonistic? Don’t our politicians often deride and belittle those who disagree with them? Doesn’t the news media join in and encourage such behavior? Doesn’t such behavior create strife and make serious, reasoned debate almost impossible?
Yet we vitally need debate between wise people who respect each others rights and opinions. The Bible instructs us to seek such counsel.
Proverbs 1:5 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
In fact, the Bible encourages nations to seek leaders to seek a multitude of counselors.
Proverbs 11:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
That is one of the reasons we elect legislative bodies. When our nation was first established, the legislator’s primary job was to thoughtfully debate with his peers and determine the best ways to protect the rights of all citizens and ensure the safety and security the community. Now, unfortunately, most legislators seem to think their job is to tax us and spend our money for us, and they just think us fools when we object.
How did this change in attitudes happen? Since we elect these people, it has to be our fault. When we vote we exercise a choice. We can vote for people we believe will protect the rights of all citizens and ensure the safety and security the community, or we can vote arrogantly and selfishly for someone who promises to give us what we want. The evidence suggests we have been voting for people who promise to give us what we want. Therefore, instead of wise counselors, we have chosen a multitude of proud and haughty scoffers. Hence we rarely see a thoughtful debate of the issues. Instead, we receive exhibitions of demeaning ridicule and personal attacks.
Consider. Do our candidates for high office demonstrate their own personal competence and knowledge, or do they spend the bulk of their efforts trying to destroy the reputation of their opponents? Does the news media encourage personal attacks for its “entertainment” value? Do we encourage the news media by paying attention to the personal attacks and rewarding the most clever scoffers (put down artists) with our votes?
What is the solution? To change the type of leaders we elect, we must consider our own role. Each of us must examine our own contributions as proud and haughty citizen scoffers and repent. Otherwise, as citizen hypocrites we will continue to reward proud and haughty scoffers with high office.