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>Character Deficiency Syndrome

>An interesting article that I have read recently is Character Deficiency Syndrome by Garry D. Nation. He states that the Bible translates 4 different words as fool into English and that these different words describe different, and likely progressive stages, of foolishness. The words are pethi which he calls a naive fool; kesil which he calls the self-confident fool, though I prefer cocky fool; ‘evil which he calls the committed fool, though there is also the word nabal which describes a full blown version of that person; and luts which he calls the scornful fool, though I prefer mocker or mocking fool. His descriptions are:

  1. The first degree is the Simple or Naive Fool, who is unthinking, gullible. He lacks the most basic understanding of moral cause and effect.
  2. The second degree is the Self-Confident Fool. He is known by his stubbornness, and by his big mouth.
  3. The third degree is the Committed Fool, who has decisively rejected wisdom, and instead pledged his allegiance to destructive ideas and behaviors.
  4. The fourth degree or terminal stage of Character Deficiency Syndrome is reached by the Scornful Fool, a mocker who is openly contemptuous of spiritual truth and moral righteousness.

The cocky fool is not amenable to reason:

Proverbs 26, verses 4 and 5, back to back proverbs, seem to contradict each other. “Answer not 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 conceit.” The contradiction isn’t in the Scripture, it’s in the fool! One is compelled to reply to his aggravating foolishness, yet it’s pointless to do so. You never get anywhere talking to him.

Of the mocker Nation writes,

Other fools may be abominations to God, but the Scorner is even an abomination to men! The Bible expends few words describing such a one. It simply warns the wise believer to stay away from him. …[he] does serve one civic purpose: he provides an object lesson.

Well worth a read.

Categories: ethics, interpretation
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