Bruce K. Waltke, the 93-year-old distinguished evangelical professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, holds doctorates in Greek and New Testament from Dallas Theological Seminary and ancient Near Eastern languages and literature from Harvard.
Considered the foremost living authority on the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, Waltke was a translator of the New American Standard Version of the Bible and a member of the committee responsible for the New International Version of the Bible.
The Evangelical Association of Christian Publishers awarded Waltke its 2002 Gold Medallion Christian Book of the Year for his landmark exegesis "Genesis: A Commentary," and its 2008 Christian Book of the Year Award for his "An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach."
Waltke's commentary on the book of Proverbs is widely acclaimed. He notes that two Hebrew words for fool—ewil and k'sil—refer to people with morally deficient character. The fool, unlike the gullible, is fixed in the correctness of his own narrow opinion regardless of the established moral order revealed in Scripture. The fool's "supercilious arrogance blocks him from wisdom ... [although he does have] genius for invective and denigration."
People hardened by sin tend to go from bad to worse. Scripture presents the 'mocker' [Hebrew: lê·ṣîm] as the most hardened apostate, who ridicules and derides those who hold to Biblical morality and ethics. The scoffer may fancy satirizing his opponents, but he is without hope in the 'world to come' [Hebrew: olam ha'ba].
Jewish Hebrew scholar Michael V. Fox provides the scope and characteristics of the mocker, whose words do not express mockery so much as cynicism and insolence. In his audacity, he imagines himself immune from correction and reproof. Thus it is far better to simply walk away than to engage the fool.
This brings us to Bill Maher. In his recent HBO show "Real Time," Maher seamlessly managed to combine the roles of both mocker and fool by deriding the newly elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson as "conscribing to conspiracy theories and homophobic insults" and adding facetiously that he thought that Mike Johnson wrote a foreword to the Bible.
Maher had the antiquated Democrat strategist James Carville as one of his show's guests. On his question as to whether Carville believed Mike Johnson could hold [the Republican House] together, Carville shot a line of breathless bluster: "First of all, I don't think he can hold this party together. Second, you are exactly right about Mike Johnson and what he believes. He is one of the greatest threats we have today to the United States ... a bigger threat than al-Qaeda."
After agreeing "absolutely" with Maher's suggestion that he was talking about Christian nationalists, Carville rendered some empty, unsupportable statements of overblown windbag proportions: "This is a bigger threat than al-Qaeda to this country. [Christians] got probably at least two Supreme Court justices, maybe more; don't kid yourself. People in the press have no idea who this guy [Speaker Johnson] is... This is a fundamental threat to the United States. It is a fundamental thing.
"[Christians] don't believe in the Constitution," he continued. "They'll tell you that. Mike Johnson himself says what is democracy but two wolves and a lamb having lunch? That's what they, really, really believe ... It's just some crazy [obscenity]."
The two-wolves-and-a-lamb quote has been attributed to four different American Founding Fathers: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton. The exact quote is: "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
In all likelihood unbeknownst to Carville, the American founders feared democracy and believed the government should be entrusted with limited powers, checks and balances, and with powers determined by the people through their elected representatives.
John Adams famously said: "Remember, democracy never lasts long; it soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."
The Founding Fathers therefore established a republic. As noted by the Pacific Legal Foundation,
Contrary to catchy slogans, memes and other slick forms of electioneering, the government of the United States was never intended to be a pure democracy. In fact, most of the institutions today's activists complain about were designed to thwart the pernicious effects of too much democracy. They're anti-democratic by design. Rather than flaws that require remedy, these institutions were [and are] essential safeguards for individual liberty. ... In the United States, the people rule, but only through institutions designed to protect the individual and minority from the tyranny of the majority."
A self-described agnostic, Bill Maher said in 2011: "I don't know what happens when you die, and I don't care." This reinforces the point made above that the righteous are far better off simply walking away than engaging in Maher's motley displays of derision and drivel.
There are doubtlessly immediate threats to sustainable freedom. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host and columnist Dennis Prager shares that he cannot count the number of times he has heard liberal professors and liberal writers parrot the phrase: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."
Although a perfect slogan for marketing and strategic purposes, there is little to no threat in America of fascism coming from the Right. The essence of the American Right is that its proponents are for limited government, deregulation of business and lower taxes, with the attitude that "the one thing government can do for me is leave me alone." By contrast, it is liberalism that hankers for ever-larger omnipotent government.
The most recent example of the threat of fascism came by way of Democrats and blue state dictators, during the COVID p[l]andemic. Democrats including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Maine Gov. Janet Mills were integral to the Left's collusion and allied with the likes of Dr. Anthony Fauci, Big Pharma, Big Tech, Big Media and Big Government ... and the unquenchable thirst for power, COVID decrees and government edicts.
The Left's long domination over the nation's spiritual, intellectual, educational, economic and vocational cultural levers of power simply lionizes such fools and mockers as Maher and Carville. Both have perfected the political dog whistle to signal and energize the Left through their small-minded bigotry, big-headedness and appeal to the lowest common denominator of values in culture.
Democrats, agnostics, atheists and apatheists are gearing up for Nov. 5, 2024, Election Day. In order to win, liberals, with Maher and Carville leading the way, will have to suppress evangelical and pro-life Catholic turnout.
Thankfully, Gideons and Rahabs are now entering the public square of America at a time when they are needed the most.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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