Rejoice in failure?

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nobspeople
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Rejoice in failure?

Post #1

Post by nobspeople »

Proverbs 24:17 reads, “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:"

Should christians rejoice when their enemy falls and their hearts shine when he stumbles?
What is this 'enemy'? Satan or sinners (seems satan is more an enemy to good/righteousness/god than the lowly sinner)?
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: Rejoice in failure?

Post #2

Post by Diagoras »

An interesting topic, thanks.

I found a well-researched biblical opinion piece that doesn't shy away from describing numerous biblical passages that contradict Proverbs 24:17. It's here:

https://biblearchive.com/blog/should-ch ... he-wicked/

I don't necessarily fully agree with all of the author's conclusions, but this one statement is absolutely worth supporting:
Rey Reynoso wrote:We should, I think, act wisely in even this and realise that a robust theological foundation is much broader and all-encompassing than a mere proof-text or a blanket statement.

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Re: Rejoice in failure?

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Post by Purple Knight »

nobspeople wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:06 pm Proverbs 24:17 reads, “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:"

Should christians rejoice when their enemy falls and their hearts shine when he stumbles?
What is this 'enemy'? Satan or sinners (seems satan is more an enemy to good/righteousness/god than the lowly sinner)?
A good face I can put to this is not wanting to win because your enemy made a mistake but because you or your beliefs are actually stronger on a level playing field. I don't think it's any enemy specifically and it just describes the fact that sometimes, you will have enemies.

Logic has this just as much as Christianity and it's called charity. Give an opponent's argument the strongest form, not the weakest.

But it's just so human to be happy that you win something that I honestly think the way this is put, is totally unattainable, at very least in a society structured around competition. As things stand this is the kind of perfection that's the enemy of goodness. All it's going to do is make people pretentious rather than having them obtain genuine virtue. I know I'm being immodest (that's sort of my M.O.) but I know you've all seen that I defend my opponents and steelman their arguments. I'm very good at it. I work at it. But holy rat posteriors I'm not pretending I'm not happy if I win something. I'm just good at separating the two.

A good example is when Trump supposedly told people to drink bleach. He didn't. He just did that businessman thing where he threw out nonsense and counted on the smarter people around him to fill in the gaps and make it work. And I don't hate Trump. But I am happy he stumbled like that and everyone saw it and even that they thought he was telling people to drink bleach because I've often been the smarter person expected to make this sort of open-ended, empty nonsense work, and then the businessman gets all the credit. And just once, only because the press is against him, this happened in open air and looked pretty much like it was.

I'm not sorry that I'm happy when people who are stupider than I am, and claim to be smarter than I am, screw up and look as stupid as they are.

That doesn't change that I have the obligation to keep my emotions from running my head, and I do a very good job at this but it's probably only thanks to not giving myself an unattainable goal in the first place. Not be happy to win? It's like asking me not to enjoy food, or to watch a sunset and not notice that it's colourful. I think bias is likely to creep in more when you're pretending you don't have it. Though that's just my opinion.

In general I don't lambast Christian teachings either. But in this case I have to. It's the unattainable stuff like this that sometimes gives Christians a bad reputation, that they're pompous or ride on high-horses, and it's not the fault of the people trying to follow the teaching, but of the teaching itself. It goes too far when it declares war on human nature and inevitably loses, with anyone who seems pretentious or high-horsey caught in the middle, because they're just trying to do with the Bible says. If we're in a competition, it's possible to be a sore winner by being too nice, and too humble. And it's going to seem fake because it's going to be fake. Unattainable.

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Re: Rejoice in failure?

Post #4

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #3]
A good face I can put to this...
Curious: Why do you feel the need to put 'a good face' to this? Why not simply accept it for what's written how written?
I'm not saying you're wrong for doing so, simply asking why.
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Re: Rejoice in failure?

Post #5

Post by Purple Knight »

nobspeople wrote: Wed Jan 19, 2022 2:19 pm [Replying to Purple Knight in post #3]
A good face I can put to this...
Curious: Why do you feel the need to put 'a good face' to this? Why not simply accept it for what's written how written?
I'm not saying you're wrong for doing so, simply asking why.
Logical chivalry.

Logical charity is simply not strawmanning arguments and steelmanning them instead, finding the best version rather than attacking the worst.

I think there's a step beyond logical charity and that's logical chivalry - my own invention. If there's any possible way the other side could have the truth, I'm not just going to look at their argument and make sure I'm giving it all its worth, I am going to try to find that way and go out of my way to do so. I am going to defend viewpoints I disagree with, and I am going to do so more passionately than I defend my own so that they will have the best defence.

This is because if I'm right, then I can rest happily, but if I am wrong, then this is exactly what I need to do.

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Re: Rejoice in failure?

Post #6

Post by Athetotheist »

nobspeople wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:06 pm Proverbs 24:17 reads, “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:"

Should christians rejoice when their enemy falls and their hearts shine when he stumbles?
What is this 'enemy'? Satan or sinners (seems satan is more an enemy to good/righteousness/god than the lowly sinner)?
The real problem with verse 17 is the way the exhortation is continued in verse 18:

"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him
".

What it's really saying is that you should refrain from rejoicing when your enemy falls if you want God to keep punishing your enemy. It's advocating selfish vengeance rather than forgiveness.

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Re: Rejoice in failure?

Post #7

Post by Purple Knight »

Athetotheist wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 6:58 amThe real problem with verse 17 is the way the exhortation is continued in verse 18:

"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him,
And He turn away His wrath from him
".

What it's really saying is that you should refrain from rejoicing when your enemy falls if you want God to keep punishing your enemy. It's advocating selfish vengeance rather than forgiveness.
It's also advocating the sort of pretence to virtue (to get the desired outcome, which is more punishment) that Christians are sometimes lambasted for exhibiting.

Pretend you're not happy, pretend you're sympathetic (when you aren't!!!) so that you'll be favoured more and your enemy will be punished more. I suspect that since God is not the enemy of logic portrayed here, that all this is, is a lesson about how to behave in social society to greedy-grab the most from your hapless enemy who is already face-down in the dirt.

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Re: Rejoice in failure?

Post #8

Post by Aetixintro »

[Replying to nobspeople in post #1]

I think Proverbs 24:17 warns against aloofness. Aloofness could spell defeat in the face of the next challenge in making a beautiful World. So the Righteous must be focused in their endeavors.

Perhaps at the time of a single (small) victory it may be easy to become bloated and ignorant and fall to the Cardinal Sin of Pride. The victories of the Righteous should come on a string and thus it's important to stay true to God so that God can lay wrath over the enemies (of the Righteous) and so we can turn to Proverbs 11:10: "When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy." (NIV)

Therefore, the word is Aloofness and the danger is the Cardinal Sin of Pride, making oneself god.
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Re: Rejoice in failure?

Post #9

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to Aetixintro in post #8
Proverbs 11:10: "When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy."
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:44-45)

They don't quite line up, do they?

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Re: Rejoice in failure?

Post #10

Post by Aetixintro »

[Replying to Athetotheist in post #9]

Either there are mistakes in Matthew 5:44-45 or it comes down to context and interpretation.

It seems logical to say that you should not love evil people. So I think it's about "enemies" as brothers and sisters with whom you have an disagreement with. If you face legal persecution from the Righteous, perhaps best to just turn yourself in and face justice.

Similarly, "turning the other cheek" is between 2 friends who are discussing something and it becomes heated and one who says strongly and stands one's ground, gets smacked on the cheek, but loves his friend so much that he turns the other cheek as well, telling something of great importance.

These 2 instances are not about true enemies, I think, or evil seeps in and pollutes all of it, erasing belief as result.
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