Saturday, September 16, 2006

Scorners and Scorning

"Scorner" is the strongest negative term which the OT uses to describe the wicked. It is diametrically opposed to the faithful (Psalm 1:1,2). Not only does the "scorner" choose the wrong way, but he mocks the right way. He is not merely misled, but he delights to mislead others. This is very opposite to the wise man, who understands the order of things (Prov. 15:12; 21:24; 22:10; 29:8). Calling a believer a "scorner," just because you don't like how he says things, is extremely serious, much worse than if you called them an "idiot" or a "knucklehead" or "ignorant."

It is serious because it perverts Scripture. Doing some of the same things that a scorner does, does not make a person a scorner. For instance, Proverbs 21:24 says: "Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath." Someone who exhibits pride and gets angry is not necessarily a scorner. Not to defend pride or selfish anger, but sometimes they are actually confidence and righteous indignation. Sinners don't like strong convictions about and anger over their sins. Proverbs 3:34 reads: "Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly." Someone may perceive another not to be lowly enough. When making a theological point, he does not fold under it in submission. That might be because he confidently disagrees with it. He may offer Scriptural proof against it. That would make everyone that disagrees with us a scorner, and that isn't true. God knows that the scorner is someone who rebels against Him and His Word, not human opinion. When we look at all the passages on scorners, we find that the scorner is someone who rebels against God and won't listen to His preachers. When we alter the meaning of the word "scorner," we twist God's Word.

It is also serious in that it slanders people and even worse when it is God's people. A real love for Proverbs is seen in people who use it to obey and honor God. It helps them walk in wisdom, pleasing the Lord. It isn't for selectively labeling people. "You're a fool because Proverbs says a fool....." You're simple because Proverbs says that the simple...." "You're a scorner because Proverbs says that a scorner...." Satan is an accuser of the brethren. Satan also uses Scripture (cf. Genesis 3; Matthew 4). Adding Proverbs to a false accusation doesn't lend authority to accusation; it blasphemes God's Word.

5 comments:

Jerry Bouey said...

I agree with your definition and use of the word scorner as it appears in the Bible.

However, I am a little lost at this part of your post:

It isn't for selectively labeling people. "You're a fool because Proverbs says a fool....." You're simple because Proverbs says that the simple...." "You're a scorner because Proverbs says that a scorner...."

Are you saying it is wrong to use Bible terminology to refer to certain types of people? For example, atheists deny the existence of God. If I say the Scriptures state that someone who refuses to believe in God is a fool, how would that be wrong? It is merely applying that Scripture.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Good question Brother Joey. Here is the problem. Someone practices a characteristic that a scorner has and that instantly means he's a scorner, so the label is placed on the person. This shouldn't happen. A believer who loves God and serves Him, but is sometimes a curmudgeon, wrongfully, but he has that besetting sin, doesn't mean that he is a scorner. He may scorn, but that does not categorize him.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jerry, jerry, jerry. I do this all the time. Take your last name and first name and combine them. It is a form of dyslexia, and then I can't edit my own comments on blogger.

Bill Hardecker said...

Great point Pastor B. Like Jerry, I was not catching some of what your were pitching. But your reply was enlightening. We should be very careful in dealing with people, especially the brethren. What an important lesson and thank you.

Kate said...

So Brother Ken, you would be Brother Krandenburg then? LOL!

Thank you for the clarification on Bro. Jerry's post. That helped me as well.