A few weeks ago I was listening without comment to a group of professing Christians lamenting about our national condition. Their short list of troublemakers included Obama, Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid. But at one point someone said: "I think the biggest problem is that the United States doesn't support Israel!" I should have stayed out of the conversation, because - figuratively speaking - I would be sticking my hand in a pack of snarling dogs. But speak up I did, and what I said evoked this response from one man: "You mean to tell me that you actually believe that Israel is a terrorist state? I'm afraid we must agree to disagree."
That's it. Discussion terminated. The door is always shut and bolted from the inside when you hear "let's agree to disagree." They have chosen what they want to believe, and have barred any further discourse by using what appears to be accommodative, compromising language. Their outward expression of contempt is displayed with an air of piety, as if they are exercising a kind of Christian morality. This is a characteristic tool of a fool. There are more, as we shall soon see.
Of course, one can "agree to disagree" on selecting a toaster at Big Lots, or maybe picking between a Ford and a Chevy, but there must be no room for disagreement or compromise when an abomination in the site of our God is concerned. Abortion, fornication and homosexuality are great examples: no two authentic Christians who know their Bibles should "agree to disagree" on these things. In the case of my reproof of this man, it concerned the shedding of innocent blood and criminal exploitation by an illegal nation, comprised of largely atheistic people, which is intent upon the destruction of the innocent who stand in opposition to them. Clearly, my reproof of this man left no open doors of conciliation - at least for now.
When people are happy in their own understanding, it's a sure bet they are not going to be receptive to anything you may say in instruction. Their arguments do not have roots in formal argument or historical evidence, but they don't care. If you persist in confronting them, you have become the problem in their eyes. They are fools, without understanding, and they prefer it that way:
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15)
A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool. (Proverbs 17:10)
Professing to be wise, they became fools... (Romans 1:22)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)
When do we persist, and when do we "shake the dust off our feet" as our Savior instructed His disciples in Mark 6:11 as "a testimony against them?"
But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say,‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.' (Luke 10:10-11)
Knowledge is as silver; a treasure (Proverbs 2:4). It is pleasant to the soul of a righteous man, but not the fool. In this blog and podcast, we will identify the fool, consider how to practically handle the fool. and reveal what the Bible says concerning the fate of the fool.
Identifying the Fool
The late John Anderson always used to say: "you have to be willing to be wrong in order to be right." Truly, to be wise, one must be willing to be wrong. We must always be open to correction. The Bible tells us that a person who will not be counseled is a fool:
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15)
Very simply: what is true is what matters. If we believe something that isn't true, we are compelled to abandon that belief in order to build understanding and wisdom.
Foolishness is the opposite of wisdom. They are full of folly and deceit (Proverbs 26:12) and trust their own heart (Proverbs 28:26). When they rule over us, we are troubled greatly (Ecclesiastes 2:19) as evidenced in Israel's history:
The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred. (Hosea 9:7)
Identifying the fool isn't hard. The Bible tells us that they babble (Proverbs 10:8-9, Ecclesiastes 10:14) and have irritating laughter (Ecclesiastes 7:6). I've noticed that they often end their sentences with silly giggles. Their wisdom is loud whereas the wisdom of those with understanding is quiet and powerful (Ecclesiastes 9:17).
How a person reacts when they are rebuked reveals whether they are a fool (Proverbs 17:10). In a previous blog and podcast simply entitled Knowledge, I identified five ways a foolish person tries to avoid truth: silence, anger, personal attacks, pretense and "drive-by responders" (those who simply throw out a single Bible verse and walk away). It's been nearly twelve years since, and I've encountered every one of these avoidance techniques. The most common technique by far is silence. If you rebuke a person in truth, and the person avoids you in silence, you are dealing with a fool that - at least for now - is not willing to be wrong in order to be right.
You'll find the more aggressive avoidance maneuvers on Internet forums and in academics. These environments are loaded with smug, self-proclaimed experts who are more than willing to put you in your place in a public environment. They are often published authors. They are emboldened on their platform, with their adoring audience.
The more aggressive fool loves to ensure everyone understands their own mind (Proverbs 18:2) even though their own words are nonsense and ultimately consumes them (Ecclesiastes 10:12, Isaiah 32:6). They mock at sin (Proverbs 14:9). They conceal hatred and spread slander (Proverbs 10:18).
The aggressive fools lose their temper easily (Proverbs 29:11) and strive after the wind (Ecclesiastes 4:4). It is always best to stay far away from these aggressive people, because it is here that we sometimes find the psychopath. More on this later.
King Solomon called fools "simple ones" who love to scorn, but hate knowledge (Proverbs 1:22). His was an ageless observation. How many times do we hear today someone heralding truth as being a "tin foil hat-wearing conspiratorialist?" Their smugness and scorn is not born of knowledge, but of a surety that their understanding is without error, and those who do not agree with them harbor antiquated (or even dangerous) notions. This is how simpletons behave.
Highly intelligent people can become fools at least as easily as those who lack mental horsepower. They behave as "simple ones" when they are reproved, and loudly ridicule those who challenge them. Surrounded by a like-thinking majority and the comfort of popular opinion, their prosperity will destroy them (Proverbs 1:32) and their calamity is assured (Proverbs 1:26).
An entire people or nation can be fools, and consequently suffer the consequences of their foolishness. Though rarely addressed from our pulpits today, our wisdom (or foolishness) is manifested to all. It is seen by other peoples or nations. Perhaps the biggest reason why this truth is so carefully avoided in mainstream Christianity today is this: our God is glorified when his disobedient people are brought down in the sight of other nations (Isaiah 55:5, Ezekiel 28:22, Ezekiel 38:13, John 11:4, etc.)!
Moses told Israel, after having been given the commandments, statutes and judgments:
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. (Deuteronomy 4:6)
The warnings given to the Covenant people in their disobedience are numerous and explicit: they would be scattered, serve other gods, become sick and weak, left few in number, have few children and live short, hard lives.
Indeed, as the fool faces dying before their time (Ecclesiastes 7:17) our people and our nation are dying. In professing to be wise, we've become fools. We're a smug, aggressive, arrogant nation destined to perish in the site of all the other nations. If this is not so, our God is a liar.
King Solomon ties the foolish to wicked transgressors (Proverbs 2:22). Alarmingly, this means that there is a relationship between our unwillingness to accept reproof and our transgressing against our God. Are you willing to be confronted in your error, and will you accept council?
Another thing: Some professing Christians foolishly believe that everybody's opinion or argument is as valid as another, which logically means that all people have the same level of understanding. Of course, they don't. If they did, there would be no need for discipleship today. One can't avoid the need for reproof and correction by magically proclaiming we all don't need it.
There are people who will round up false witnesses and become your accuser in order to elevate themselves over you in the eyes of others. I've encountered this several times, and give an example in my Christian Leadership blog and podcast. Surely, in this case, the first thing we need to do is avoid these people altogether.
Fools within families can cause an entire family to crumble. It crushes a loving and godly mother and father when their child announces that they are homosexual, or their unrepentant child turns away from their upbringing in favor of insisting his family embrace his live-in lover. Foolish sons and daughters demand that their parents capitulate and compromise, but it is the parent that must make the hard decision to place them outside the family until they are repentant.
Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. (Deuteronomy 32:7)
But foolish people will not consider the wisdom of their fathers. They do not blush (Jeremiah 6:15) and ultimately face the consequences of their willful stubbornness. Don't think for a minute that their iniquity will not be upon their children (Exodus 34:7, Leviticus 26:39) until their iniquity is confessed (Leviticus 26:40). Believers, this is what the word of God says! We must repent and we must confess (1 Kings 8:33-35, 2 Chronicles 6:26, Romans 10:9, James 5:16, 1 John 1:9, etc) . Embracing the shameless, unrepentant, foolish person engaged in adultery or other sin can bring Holy Judgment upon you and your loved ones.
There is another group of people to discuss: psychopaths. These are people that aren't even human to the rational mind. They have no empathy for others, and actually believe that compassion is a weakness. These are people who exploit everyone around them for self gratification, and are found wherever they can be adored and admired by people.
The smartest and most dangerous psychopaths will be found at the highest levels of corporations, government, media and - you guessed it - some large mainstream "Christian ministries". If the Kingdom is truly all about authority, power and dominion then the soulless will be attracted to it. They appear where there is a vigorous collective movement; where people's perceptions and opinions originate.
Don't miss this: Psychopathy precludes any consideration of redemption, because these parasitic people have no souls. As animals do not have the capacity to be fools, neither do psychopaths. There is only one rule we need to know for them: remove them from our midst before they prey upon you, your family, your culture and your nation.
It's tragic that most Christians are told that God loves everyone, has a plan for everyone, and died for everyone on the Cross. Do you really worship a God that accepts a scheming, psychopathic pervert just the way he is? If you do, we have different gods.
A word of warning: if you hang around fools, you will lose the ability to discern words of knowledge and become corrupt (Proverbs 14:7, 1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 26:4). Our Father in Heaven does not desire His people to immerse themselves in those that have no understanding:
I will hear what God the LORD will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; But let them not turn back to folly. (Psalms 85:8)
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Here is another reason to leave mainstream Judeo-Christian congregations: being continually around leadership comprised of foolish people can negatively affect your ability to reason. In fact, with few exceptions, the godliest people I know "don't get out much." They simply don't have a place to go. I addressed this problem in a blog and podcast entitled Christian Leadership. Truth is surely hard to find in a minefield of myths and within the people who believe them. The first rule regarding the handling of collections of fools is to avoid them whenever possible. Do you honestly think you can picket for understanding in front of a Planned Parenthood? How effective will your protest be against the Zionist state when posting on an AIPAC forum?
On the other hand, there are of course people seeking understanding who are caught up in a murky Judeo-Christian cult, the occult, paganism, etc. The trick is to reach them while keeping ourselves at arm's length, and not drawing the fire of fools. Here is where we must accept the reality that being a disciple for Yahweh is not always safe and easy. As hard as you may try to avoid a non-productive confrontation, it will happen - and you can be hurt in the process.
I have a brave friend, on fire for the Lord, who (foolishly) determined to picket in front of a local courthouse. He allowed KKK members to speak to his congregation. He was active on some unsavory forums and radio programs. This man is now paying the price, having fed the evildoers with plenty of ammunition to persecute his entire family. People, the time is long past that Christian men and women can openly stand up and participate in any kind of passive demonstration, however well-meaning. The adversary has a firm hold on this presumably "Christian nation" and controls both the rules and the dialog.
As this nations descends into economic despair and the inevitable race riots, you will only draw fire to yourself and your family by climbing onto the public stage. The Church has long gone underground, and Judgment is underway. Don't be a fool by making it easy for the condemned to place you and your loved ones in misery and peril! This was the problem in Apostolic times, and it is the problem now. Christian leader, recognize and accept the times we are living in: anybody who is preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ openly is a target. In fact, if they claim to be preaching truth and are not being persecuted, you can bet they are not what they claim to be.
Many of us have come out of the mainstream congregations. We understood that we are admonished to "forsake folly" and "proceed in the way of understanding" (Proverbs 9:6). But something happened, right? We saw or heard something that stopped us in our tracks. We became humbled, and aware of our error. We changed our minds. You see, knowledge is like a narcotic for the hungry, and the wisdom of a fool will not satisfy them.
Don't miss this: for one who desires understanding and wisdom to be able to know that they are wrong about something, they first have to be introduced to what is right and true. Christian leaders: this is your job. But it is not for us to try to convince those who have no desire for understanding and wisdom in the first place.
I often receive emails from my readers who are positively enraged over something I have said or written. They use foul, offensive language. This goes beyond by being called a "racist", "homophobe" or "anti-Semite." These foolish people actually accuse me of getting some kind of sexual satisfaction by reading Nazi propaganda! I do not respond to their emails, or allow their rants to be posted on THEKINGDOMNOW.ORG. They demonstrate that they do not have the nature of a person seeking knowledge and understanding, but instead are angrily bent upon lashing out at me by any easy means possible. You see, I don't try to reach these people, because they are beyond reaching out to (at least for now). They are not the proverbial golden ring on the carousel (though they may think they are) because they have no desire for understanding and wisdom. See Proverbs 9:8.
Thankfully, most of the time, your antagonists simply disappear. When they don't, remember: you're in good company. History is replete with people who have suffered - and even died - for the cause of Christ.
The Bible tells us that we are to grow in grace and knowledge for His Glory (2nd Peter3:18). However, there is knowledge that the prudent and wise man must withhold under certain circumstances (Proverbs 12:23). Do you know something that another person does not? Discern first whether the other person is ready to accept what you offer him. If he isn't, hold your tongue. It's not for your glory that this person should receive truth, but for your Father in Heaven (Psalms 12:4).
Pushing anybody into hostile confrontation is generally to be avoided, but - if they approach you with a humble heart - feed them! I had the joy a couple of months ago of being approached by a vital but broken man, who was in tears. He had been betrayed by our corrupt judicial system and live-in lovers. Stripped of his children, business and transportation he is facing several false felony charges by evil, self-serving people. A few years ago, this man I'm sure could not be reached. Today, he is like a sponge for knowledge and understanding. He refuses to be the fool any longer. Praise God for the humble, repentant spirit! It is people like him that sought out John to be baptized in the river. To Yahweh be the Glory alone; we are but His servants!
The Fate of the Fool
Judgment is not just leveled upon individuals, but also to groups of people caught up in their own error. Moses called the Israelites "foolish" and "unwise" when they forgot their Father, becoming corrupt:
I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh (Proverbs 1:26)
Even for His very own people, Jesus did not extend the mythical "unconditional love" that is preached from so many pulpits today.
I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city. (Luke 10:12)
Fools perish in their own foolishness, and they bring down those around them. They are led by other fools. They build support groups to reinforce their foolishness and make lots of excuses to hide their shame. Here is an example. I recently posted a blog/podcast entitled A Love That Kills, where I addressed a dangerous false doctrine preached by a Martinsville, Indiana pastor. Amazingly, in the high school of that same small town, the "LGBTQ" group is the largest school club. One of the students bragged to an Indianapolis television reporter: "We're such a big club. There are one or two in each classroom at a time. If somebody says something, we can tell them it’s wrong. It’s wrong to say something that is so degrading toward someone.." It's not just the kids that are foolish, it's their parents and their community for leaving it to their children to determine what is right and wrong, and to allow their teacher to promote a "judgment-free community" by judging peers in a public school classroom.
...it is abomination to fools to depart from evil. (Proverbs 13:9)
Fools, being redeemable but unrepentant, hide their shame by surrounding themselves with others having the same sin. They become "workers of iniquity." They cloak their shame with pious-sounding phrases which nearly always appeal to some universal equality, with no absolute law.
Sadly, mainstream Christians facilitate this problem by preaching universal equality and antinomian ideals (lawlessness). They're fools because they've chosen to be disobedient and rebellious in the sight of their God.
Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. (Ecclesiastes 5:1)
What does this mean for us? It means affliction (Psalms 107:17, Proverbs 19:29). Even as He asks them to return, God turns them to destruction (Psalms 90:3) by their own mouths (Proverbs 10:14).
This is a story that can have a happy ending if we rebuke the fool with authority (Titus 2:15). Surely, they may become angry and resentful in return for your efforts. If they later repent, and confess, and return to you, forgive them and help them:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
This is the meaning of Matthew 18:21 and Luke 17:3. We are to surely forgive and support our brother who has a humble spirit. But if they do not repent, and confess, and do not return to you, you are not bound to forgive them. Instead, steer clear of them wherever possible, and remove them from fellowship. Life is too short for wild goose chases. They will find you if they cease their foolishness, and will generally steer clear of you also if they do not.
If we do not rebuke the fool, we run the risk of his sin captivating not only him, but our brothers and sisters (Leviticus 19:17). It is better for them to deal with your rebuke than the rebuke of our Father in Heaven (Psalms 80:16, Isaiah 50:2, Isaiah 54:9, etc.) Did you know that our Father delights in our rebuking of our brother?
He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. (Proverbs 24:24-25)
With an air of pride, a local Christian Church pastor declared to me: "We're a big tent congregation!" As if the House of God needs homosexuals, abortionists, psychopaths and adulterers lining the pews on Sunday morning! Brothers and sisters: the unrepentant are like illegal aliens at our borders: they want to water down your resolve and take what is yours. In fact, did you know that the Inspired Word tells us to rebuke the guilty elder, without partiality, in front of everybody in the congregation?
Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. (1st Timothy 5:20)
A fundamental pedigree of the elect is not that they are bipedal and humanoid, but that their very nature is humble and adverse to sin, and thus are able to receive a rebuke. We do not want their destruction; we want them to glorify God, leave peaceable lives, and be the shining beacon to others for the Kingdom!
Finally, there always is the professing Christian that strikes a holier-than-thou pose, and pulls out what they believe is the "Let God be God" howitzer: "My Bible says: Judge not lest ye be judged!". I covered thoroughly this common misapplication of Luke 6:37 in Morality Myths (Part 1).
I hope that this blog and podcast helps someone in the Body of Christ as they deal with the often confusing - and decidedly unbiblical - universalist doctrines of unconditional love and equality that is currently pouring forth from mainstream pulpits today.