I wanted to do a post addressing a blogger who recently referred to The Holy Land as an Abrahamic Coney Island ride, or something.
But since I don’t read and will not link to his hateful and uninformed drivel, I am digging up an old favorite from the blog’s comment section to make the intended point.
“Christianity is the belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree…”
As expected, Christian bloggers get a lot of pushback from people who don’t share their beliefs. Sadly however, much of the pushback isn’t from people who have honest questions about faith or people who are sincerely struging with some sort of doubt, or people who have serious and well thought out academic arguments against faith but instead from scoffers.
The word translated “scoffer” in English can mean “one who mocks, ridicules, or scorns the belief of another.” In Hebrew, the word translated “scoffer” or “mocker” can also mean “ambassador.” So a scoffer is one who not only disagrees with an idea, but he also considers himself an ambassador for the opposing idea. He cannot rest until he has demonstrated the foolishness of any idea not his own. A scoffer voices his disagreement, ridicules all who stand against him, and actively recruits others to join his side.
In the Bible, scoffers are those who choose to disbelieve God and His Word. They say in their hearts, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1), and make it their ambition to ridicule those who follow God.
Not clear enough? Here’s more
1. A scoffer uses his mouth in sinful ways. Do not miss that the Bible parallels scoffers with the wicked and sinners. Wickedness often manifests most conspicuously in the way that a person speaks. As James says elsewhere,
“The tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell” (James 3:6).
We can do great good or great harm with our words (Proverbs 18:21). The scoffer is someone who is characteristically evil in the way that he speaks (Proverbs 1:22). But what is it about the scoffer’s words that are so evil?
2. The scoffer speaks with derision and contempt. Nothing is sacred to the scoffer. The scoffer thinks it is funny when someone sins (Proverbs 14:9; cf. Philippians 3:19), and he takes God’s judgment of sinners lightly (Proverbs 19:28). Sin and judgment are commonplaces to the scoffer, and he rarely trembles at them.
3. The scoffer sets his derision on other people. The scoffer has a general sense of everyone else’s inadequacies, and very little sense of his own. He loves to take his seat and entertain his friends with narratives of other men’s shortcomings (Proverbs 18:8; 26:22). He is a man of division (Proverbs 16:28). He may be the life of the party, but when he goes out peace comes in (Proverbs 22:10; 26:20).
4. The scoffer is unteachable. Like fools in general (Proverbs 14:6), a scoffer does not delight in understanding but only in revealing his own mind (Proverbs 18:1). Not only does a scoffer resist reproof, he holds in contempt anyone who would attempt to correct him (Proverbs 9:8; 15:12). He always has to save face, and he will loudly condemn anyone who prevents him from doing so.
5. The scoffer is proud. The prideful man has three names: proud, haughty, and scoffer (Proverbs 21:24).
6. The scoffer is a negative example to the wise. The scoffer is a walking demonstration to wise people of how not to live (Proverbs 19:25). The scoffer will not learn from his own mistakes, but wise people will (Proverbs 21:11). Ironically, the scoffer may seek to save face, but wise people see him for what he is and take heed to themselves (1 Corinthians 10:12).
The blessed man is the happy man, and he does not sit in the seat of the scoffer. If you find yourself in that chair, you don’t have to stay in it. You may feel that you are in a happy place, but you really are not. Your greatest joy will be found not in scoffing, but only in walking with Christ.
If you want to stop scoffing and start walking with Christ today, click here.