Slaying Keyboard Warriors - Anvil & Hammer Blog & Podcast

How To Answer Like Jesus

Has your Christian faith ever been challenged? If you are worth your salt it certainly would have been. Reflect upon this promise of Jesus: 

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also”
- John 15:18-20 (NKJV) 

The encouraging fact about these words of Jesus is that those who are like their Master will be fruitful. Those who properly communicate Gospel truths as Jesus did will never fail. Trusting the Holy Spirit to convict, grant repentance and belief removes an incredible weight from our shoulders. It is also a welcome reminder that if God saved you then He can save them.   

This is important as it reminds us that when answering like Jesus we are not in the position of being Jesus. We are not in the position of convincing people. We are simply custodians of His Truth, ambassadors representing the King. We are on His quest fulfilling His commission. 

With that being said, let’s examine how to answer like Jesus. 

“Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?
- Luke 20:1-2 (NKJV)

We need to understand that there are only three reasons why someone asks a question: 

  • Ignorance: The objective here is to get wisdom and knowledge. The individual is genuinely ignorant and is seeking instruction. This type of person would be humble in the way they ask the question as they are approaching you as the teacher and they as the student. There is also a sincerity in their response and reflection upon your answer. (Matthew 24:3) 
  • Rhetoric: The objective here is to impart wisdom and knowledge. This is a reverse of the student to teacher example above but is rather the teacher allowing the student to reflect upon their position. They are not hoping to get information from you but rather want you to get information from them.  (Matthew 16:13-17) 
  • Challenge: The objective here is to humiliate or belittle. The individual is not seeking knowledge at all, in regards to eliminating their own ignorance or imparting understanding to you to rid you of yours. They simply are abusing the use of knowledge to further their own ends; quelling their conscience or establishing intellectual dominance. 

Jesus knew that the chief priest, scribes and elders were challenging his authority and were not genuinely seeking to know the source of it. 

“But He answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?” 

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it was from. 

And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” 

Notice how Jesus does not answer their question, rather Jesus responds rhetorically. He exposes their double standard, that they are not willing to dialogue. When asked a simple question they plead ignorance, as if to say to Jesus “why don’t you tell us?”. However Jesus refuses to give them any knowledge at all, as they too are unwilling to impart knowledge. 

If only the Bible had more teaching about how to respond to people like this… 

…Oh wait: 

 

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, 
Lest you also be like him. 
Answer a fool according to his folly, 
Lest he
be wise in his own eyes
- Proverbs 26:4-5 -

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, 
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
– Proverbs 1:7 -

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, 
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
- Proverbs 23:9 -

A fool has no delight in understanding, 
But in expressing his own heart.
- Proverbs 18:2 -

Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; 
Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.
- Proverbs 9:8 -

Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
- Matthew 7:6 -

 

How do you know you are giving knowledge to a fool? When they: 

  1. Hate you for doing so 
  2. Scoff 
  3. Do not contemplate the depth of what you have said / flippant or dismissive 
  4. Personally insult you 
  5. Blaspheme 

These are all signs to eject yourself from the conversation if you seek to answer like Jesus. 

 

Keyboard Warriors

We are all in danger of typing things on the internet that we would never say face to face to someone. This in essence is to lie, be cowardly and un-Christ like. We should expect if from opponents of Christianity but not from saints. 

We must always answer with gentleness and humility. These two characteristics are the fruits of wisdom: 

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.” - James 3:13 

This is the ordained means God grants repentance: 

“…And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” - 2 Timothy 2:24-26 

If someone is not teachable they disqualify themselves from engagement. At that point rebuke is necessary. It is also important to know that repentance (a change of mind) proceeds the acknowledgement of biblical truth. We are ultimately dealing with a spiritual problem. 

 

The Slaying of a Keyboard Warrior

I want to now share with you the implementation of how it is to answer like Jesus and slay Keyboard Warriors. Here is a conversation I had on Facebook: 

 

A friend of mine posted about abortion on her wall. She was met with a flurry of Keyboard Warriors expressing how she was wrong and how Ireland needs to implement abortion on demand immediately. She was holding her own against the onslaught and I wanted to encourage her in the mist of the madness. I was then met with this bazaar question.


My profile picture is me holding my son next to Sarah my wife. This man was not in my friends list. This man knows nothing about me- my wife could have had a traumatic time in labour, we could have had twins and lost one, etc. Asking such a personal question so flippantly on a post about abortion meant I was suspecting that this was a challenge not a question of ignorance.   I did not answer him but instead stated:


His reply confirmed my suspicion: 


Notice how I have not answered his question. Instead I state the bazaar nature of his request in the hope that he would be convicted and stop commenting. I am not looking for a fight. 

But he is… 


His argument against me is a genetic fallacy. He is stating because I am a man I can’t speak about abortion. By pointing this out he hopes to show irony. The real irony however is that he himself is a man and is speaking about abortion. He has refuted himself.  I now answer him according to his folly, least he be wise in his own opinion: 


At this point he should stop commenting as it is clear he has been routed. If he answers, he concedes the point and if he does not, he concedes the point. Unfortunately, he deliberately chooses not to contemplate the depth of what has been said. He is flippant, dismissive and continues to be aggressive. 


He is being unreasonable, demonstrating a hatred of knowledge and correction. Biblically, he meets the definition of a fool. He again asks for knowledge, however being a fool, giving him knowledge would only make me the fool. Rather I again seek to hit his conscience and rebuke his deliberate ignorance. 


His complaint, which is a compliment: 


Do not answer a fool according to his folly, 
Lest you also be like him. 
Answer a fool according to his folly, 
Lest he 
be wise in his own eyes
- Proverbs 26:4-5 -

He claims I am name calling, however I am describing his predicament, a fool is someone who is willingly ignorant, a person who hates correction. It is not the job of the Christian to give fools knowledge or explain why he is a fool biblically (this would be to give him instruction, which he will despise and turn around and tear me to pieces). Notice how I now stop giving him information. The conversation is over. 

Some moments pass and he concludes: 


Notice how I never mentioned the Bible, Jesus or any Scripture. This shows the true intention of his commenting: his hatred of God. 

“if the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” 

It is at this point I walk away from my keyboard and pray God’s blessing upon him (Matthew 5:44)

Always remember that it is not your job to convince anyone the Bible is true. What we learn from Lazarus and the rich man is that the scriptures are sufficient to bring someone to salvation. If one rejects this not even the resurrection of Jesus would convince them (Luke 16:19-31)

Never deviate from the authority of scripture and never give fools knowledge. Starve the Keyboard Warrior and you will be answering like Jesus.   

 


Sean is married to Sarah, father of Enoch and creator of The Armoury Bible Game. Sean started his early years in the warmth and sunshine of Mauritius and South Africa before moving to Ireland in his late childhood. After growing up in the church, Sean came to a solid conviction about the truth of Christianity after God gave him an overwhelming desire to study the Bible at 13. He enjoys reading God’s Word, smooth coffee, the fantasy genre and anything bubblegum flavoured.  THE ARMOURY / BLOG / STORE

 

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