The Hebrew word for pride used of the scoffer is a word that means ‘people who must have things their own way, who have a need to control and correct everyone.’ Second, scoffers are, under their veneer of confidence, filled with anger 9:8,15:25. They never act like they take their opponents seriously, but underneath there is great insecurity. In some cases there may be a root of bitterness. They may have been wronged in some significant way, and, rather than letting God be judge Romans 12:17-21 they have taken matters into their own hands. But in many other cases, the scoffers are simply lacking the combination of humility and inner peace that a firm grasp of the gospel brings.
Who are the ‘scoffers’ and ‘mockers’ of our day? On the one hand, there are those who consciously or unconsciously have adopted Nietzsche’s exhortation to ‘do philosophy with a hammer.’ They consider all truth-claims to actually be efforts to gain power. They feel the need to de-bunk and tear down almost anyone who has a serious proposal for how people should live. They laugh and mock anyone who has the podium.
Secondly, there are ideologues. Ideologues are not such not because of the policies or positions they espouse, but because of the way they demonize and ridicule all opponents to their position, and because they never admit any downsides or dangers to their policies. In this they are the classic ‘scorners’ the Bible warns about. Ideologues, then, are not necessarily extremists at all. They can exist anywhere along the spectrum of opinion, even at the center.