CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Telling Lies For Jesus (On Dealing With Trolls)

Nov 14, 2014

Atheists, secularists, and even trolls pretending to be Christians, have learned how to attack Christians and seek to shut down their work – all in the name of tolerance of course. One major way in which they do this is by rehashing and regurgitating red herrings, straw men, and other logical fallacies as they object to Christian beliefs and practices.

They have turned this into an art form: raising silly objections which have no bearing on reality whatsoever. They will repeatedly claim that Christians believe something or do something, and when you point out to them that they don’t, they will just keep on making the same claims. It does not matter how many times you answer their questions and refute their false charges, they will just keep raising them again.

This happens all the time, and is a prime characteristic of the secular left. I experience this all the time. With so many examples to choose from, I could write a book on this. In one instance for example a secular left reporter from a secular left newspaper interviewed me about homosexuality.

She actually asked me the same question at least six times. Each time I would carefully answer, but because it was not to her liking, because it did not fit her agenda, and because it did not conform to her narrative, she just kept asking it. In other words, she was not the least bit interested in what I had to say, nor was she the least bit interested in truth. She simply was intent on pushing her agenda.

I get folks like this all the time making comments on my website or on other sites. They ask a question, I carefully answer it, and they ask it again! They are of course not interested in truth or in learning anything. Their minds are fully made up, and all they are doing is coming to pick a fight and cause trouble.

wolf 1They are trolls in other words. And regrettably it is not just the atheists and secular humanists who do this all the time. Quite often people claiming to be Christians will pull the exact same stunt. They pretend that they want dialogue with you, but they simply prove by their actions that they are nothing but trolls.

Let me provide another example of this. On another site a guy claiming to be a Christian kept asking the same stupid question over and over again about how Christians are forcing their morality on others. It was a bogus claim, I dealt with it, and he would come back making the same claim. Yet incredibly this guy kept whining about how no one answered his question! So I wrote this as my final response to this deceptive troll:

I have called your bluff on this a half dozen times now, so you simply prove your lack of integrity and honesty. Just like the atheist trolls I deal with all the time, you raise a complete red herring and straw man here. That is why you will never get an answer to your liking, because you deliberately ask a false and deceptive question.

The truth is of course no one has ever said “Christians have a mandate to force the unsaved to live according to non-secular principles”. I have dealt with this furphy over and over again. What I have said repeatedly now are a few basic biblical truths that you are unable or unwilling to handle because it does not fit your preconceived agenda. So let me say them one last time:

-Basically all laws are based on morality. Look back far enough and you will find some moral principle being appealed to in any bit of legislation or law.

-Everyone is pushing their morality in the public arena all the time, whether secularists, atheists or whoever. The idea that only Christians are doing this is simply ludicrous and blatantly false.

-Christians have every right to share their concerns in public just like anyone else, and can vote for laws, candidates, parties, and so on. And none of this has anything to do with Christians forcing people to do anything as you falsely and maliciously keep saying.

-Every law has an element of enforcement, otherwise it is not law but mere advice. You may not like wearing seat belts, paying taxes, or going only 50kph in a 50 speed zone, but you are forced to do it, by penalty of law. That is how the law works. There is always an element of coercion in law, with consequences for law-breaking.

-Christians cannot force anyone to do anything. You simply – and wilfully it seems – confuse two ordained institutions of God. The state of course was created by God to do just that: to punish evil, establish order, and use force to do so. The church is not in the law business, but the state is. But the church is to be involved in politics and the public arena. So of course there is some overlap here. The church can have influence on what takes place in our society, our laws, and our culture. We are called to have this godly influence. And this has nothing to do with forcing anyone to do anything as I keep repeating.

-We all expect non-religious people to fully comply with our laws. We have laws against murder for example. Where do these laws come from? How about “Thou shalt not murder”? The simple truth is, most of our laws have a moral basis, and most of this morality comes straight out of the Judeo-Christian worldview. We rightly expect non-Christians to obey such laws. No judge in a court of law would ever say to an offender, “Well, you are a pagan and therefore you cannot obey laws against theft or murder or rape, so go right ahead and keep breaking the law. We fully understand.” The simple truth is, a person does not have to first become a Christian before he obeys the law. While a law against theft or lying may well have a religious basis, we rightly expect everyone to obey them – whether they are religious or not.

So this guy in fact was asking a deceptive and fraudulent furphy. When I answered him, he kept on demanding an answer! I gave it to him over and over again, but he just kept deceptively pretending that no one had answered it. This my friends is a classic example of a troll. This is not someone asking honest questions – this is someone with a preconceived agenda that he is trying to ram down the throats of others.

Given all this, whether he in fact is a Christian or not is a moot point. When someone says and does the very same things that militant atheists and secularists say and do, then you have every reason to suspect these guys are not at all Christians. I certainly do not expect a biblical Christian to carry on this way, and be so wilfully uninformed, misinformed, and out of touch with basic Christian truth.

So let that be a lesson to you: if you plan to open up an interactive blog site, or become involved in discussion on websites about controversial issues, be prepared for trolls. There will be plenty of misotheists out there deliberately giving you a hard time and seeking to wear you out and discourage you.

But beware that not everyone who claims to be a Christian may be one. There are lots of trolls out there, and lots of wolves in sheep’s clothing. We need to be wise and discerning as we deal with such folks. They simply want to wear you down and get you to quit.

And I am aware of Christian websites where this very thing happens. An important but controversial Christian topic is posted and discussed, the trolls come out in force, and pretty soon the admins simply pull the whole thread. What they of course should do is allow the very important discussion, but weed out the obvious trolls and trouble makers.

By censoring the whole discussion, the trolls win – big time. And Satan wins – big time. Truth is important, and it is vitally important that it gets out into the public arena. So if you run a Christian website, you need to pray for wisdom, discernment and courage.

You will be targeted. The aim of the enemy is to shut you down. Barring that, they will work overtime to render your Christian ministry totally ineffective, by forcing you to avoid all the important issues that must be discussed. So beware of Christian trolls. They can be just as dangerous and harmful as any pagan troll.

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11 Responses to Telling Lies For Jesus (On Dealing With Trolls)

  • When I was in the Humanist movement in the early seventies one of the favourite Humanist complaints was that Christians were moral absolutists trying to impose their moral absolutes on others. Yet the Humanists themselves pushed abortion as an absolute right, and later, euthanasia, all in the name of their god called “Choice” which involved a concept of free will at odds with their deterministic, Materialistic view of Man. These days their thinking is very much in the ascendancy and thanks to them there are now vindictive laws forcing Christians to pander to the gay delusion. For example Christian bakers are now being forced to bake wedding cakes for absurd homosexual “marriages” which many homosexuals themselves do not believe in. So much for Choice.

  • “Pearls before swine”, Bill.

    Some people just cannot see reality unless it conforms to their (foolish) thinking.

    Nick Davies

  • Yes quite right John and Nick.

  • Bill,
    I notice these trolls on Andrew Bolt’s site as well, with their entirely predictible comments.

    An old saying is, “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”
    Equally, “There are none so ignorant as those who won’t be told!”

    And clearly you are dealing with the wilfully ignorant. Calling them “trolls” just rolls off them like the proverbial water off a duck’s back.

  • Yes these trolls are all over the place Murray. It seems to be their full time job.

  • They should never pull the original article because of trolls, especially when there are other alternatives, like closing comments or moderating comments (the former being a better idea from the inception, anyway).

  • Unfortunately Bill, your last point is wrong. Many activist judges have actually let people go on for “cultural differences”. I kid you not. 🙁
    http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/news/crime-court/all-charges-dropped-against-registered-sex-offencer/story-fnjuhoxe-1226838013886

  • G’day Bill,

    Some of us don’t have the time or the writing skills (or perhaps the guts) to do what you are doing; but this is your God-given ministry. I feel your frustration, but I thank God for you, that you’re willing to get out there and keep us learning and thinking and seeing things as they are. Hang in there, dear brother. We are not to be surprised at the painful trials we suffer, but rejoice that we participate in the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 4v12). Easier read than done, sometimes, I know … Anyway, Goodonya!
    Andrew Campbell, Wagga Wagga.

  • G’day Bill

    Re Andrew’s previous comment “Some of us don’t have the time or the writing skills (or perhaps the guts) to do what you are doing”, that is true.

    However one thing all of us can do is to pray for Bill. This is a spiritual battle and if we don’t use our God given spiritual weapons, it is like fighting with one hand behind our back.

    Keep up the good work Bill – God has called you into this ministry.

    Ross Petersen
    Midway Point

  • These so-called “Christians” are in fact not Christians at all. Christians show fruit of being Christians. One of those fruit being repentance from wrong doing and wrong thinking.

    Just because someone calls him or her self a baked potato, does not make it so, no matter how sincerely that person believes it. The same goes with calling one self a Christian.

  • Well said as usual Bill, but I have to agree with Mario, those who attack the truth of the word are not Christians, but rather wolves, even if they think that they are Christians.

    Their conduct shows who their real father is, so as you say, you have every reason to suspect that they are not Christians. Too many claim to be Christian, yet reject even the basics of Christianity and have no desire to change.

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