Proverbs 26:4-5

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.  Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.

It is wrong to debate with fools. They do not deserve knowledge or truth. Wisdom is too precious to waste on them. Wise men have better uses of their time. And arguing is a fleshly lust. For these reasons, it is a sin to debate with men who do not clearly display godly wisdom and righteousness. By doing so, you descend to their profane level.

You should say enough to shut their mouths, but anything more is folly and sin (Proverbs 26:5)). They deserve no honor (26:1) and only a beating will truly help them (26:3). To keep them from thinking they are right, it is proper to briefly refute their idiotic notions. Truth does not back down from any, but it has no obligation to waste its time on any, either!

Jesus plainly confirmed Solomon by teaching, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matt 7:6). Jesus often rebuked the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, lawyers, and scribes of His day, but He avoided any foolish wrangling with them.

If you debate truth with a fool, he will first despise the wisdom of your words and ridicule the precious things you tell him (23:9)). You will degrade the truth by letting him mock and reproach it. He will then twist your words and use them against you, because his heart is black with hate and violence (Ish 29 20:21) Leave him alone, and let him rot!

Too harsh, you say? Jesus called them dogs and pigs – vile animals and perpetual examples of beastly cruelty and selfish greed, among other despicable traits. When told He had offended the Pharisees, He said to His apostles, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Mat 15:14).

How do you spot a fool? Easy. Listen to him talk (14:7) and measure his walk (20:11). A fool talks a lot, likes his own ideas, gets angry easily, always excuses his conduct, belittles others, prefers teaching to being taught, wants to debate most everything, resents authority, disdains convention, or talks profanely. A fool also does not live according to the Bible and has no spiritual fruit, which are the absolute and final measures of wisdom.

Your flesh wants to get in the last word, or believes you can persuade him by reasoning, or thinks love will win the day, and sees no risk to your own soul (11 Tim 2:24-26); (1Cor 15:33). There is danger here, so Paul warned against the foolish questions or vain babblings of foolish men


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