“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
Conflict in the blogging community is not endemic; it’s nothing new, but now with the acknowledgement of the pandemic of racism worldwide the blogging community has become a forum for “flame wars.” The Bible tells us to instruct people who do not know, but don’t enter into a battle with someone. If someone refuses to understand, or keep the conversation civil, leave them to the consequences of their foolishness. Do not answer a fool in terms of his folly, or you will be descending to his level; but answer a fool as his folly deserves, so he won’t think he is wise (Proverbs 26:4-5); “in terms of his folly” tells us that there are times when a fool has to be addressed so that his foolishness will not go unchallenged. In this sense, answering him according to folly means to expose the ignorance of his words; so that he will see the idiocy of his words or logic. As believers our response should be in showing them the truth so that may see the “light” of reason. Even though they may reject it and despise the wisdom offered, we are to try, both for the sake of truth and for the sake of those listening (in this context those who read the comments), that they may see the difference between foolishness and truth. Perhaps even the fool will look back and see the foolishness of their words and actions.
If a wise person argues with a fool, the fool only rages and there is no peaceful dialogue. If you allow a fool to get you into a quarrel, then you allow them to rattle your emotions and the fool will drive you nuts and then brags at how foolish they made you look. Sometimes you just have to speak truth and then bow out gracefully so the fool can look like an idiot by himself and onlookers can see the difference between your words and actions compared to the fool’s words and actions. I was faced with this very situation recently; I commented on a blog post and expressed my thoughts that they were using the death of George Floyd to push their political agenda and they were making negative comments about George Floyd and how the whole arrest went down, belittling and downgrading remarks about former President Obama and Rev. Al Sharpton and those in the middle east.They made inflammatory and belittling remarks towards me and threaten to take me to court because I pissed them off– by having the gall of expressing my disagreement of their post; not to mention they had a warped understanding of history and no knowledge of the scriptures and then said they were a Christian as they were addressing me as “lady” and making remarks as if I had a tail between my legs. They called Muslims the spawn of Satan and anyone who votes for the democratic party are evil and that America needs to go back to being Republic under God like it’s supposed to be (which the Bible does not teach that).
I welcome a healthy dialogue. It’s unreasonable to think that you won’t be challenged on what you’re saying when you make public statements. When it comes to those who teach false doctrine there are certain context that it is necessary for Believers to call people out. For instances, I saw a blog post that stated that Satan wasn’t trying to destroy Adam & Eve he wanted to help them. I corrected that heretical teaching not because I wanted to put them on blast, but for them to study and get a proper understanding of the scriptures, and also for anyone else who reads that post that they may not be deceived. So, not only managing conversation when you disagree can be healthy, but it helps to see another perspective and it can foster growth. I have learned from many of you and I hope you have learned from my post, and I hope you have been empowered and encouraged. But, what happens when a person doesn’t want to hear you? Should one argue with a fool? It is pointless to argue with a fool. At the point of the level of ignorance and derogatory language that the aforementioned blogger displayed it was unprofitable to continue to converse with them. In the words of George Carlin, “never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”