CultureWatch

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

On Cultic Christian Trolls

Dec 28, 2016

Yep, we have all encountered them. They are a real worry, and they seem to be everywhere of late. They are utterly convinced of their various pet beliefs, and will challenge everyone about them. These are folks who just love to argue, to pick a fight, to have the last word, and to insist that they are right. They are argumentative trolls.

But even worse than that, they often pick the most idiotic things to argue about. They will take some inane issue, or some secondary issue, and turn it into a matter of first importance – a major test of Christian orthodoxy. And then they will argue to the death over it, no matter how obnoxious, ungracious and unChristlike they become in the process. They are cultic trolls as well.

They are usually Christians, and are often OK on some of the basic Christian teachings, but because they will run with bizarre and extraneous matters, they actually become quite cultic. It is as if their pet peeve is the only thing worth making a stink about, and everyone must submit to their agenda or be treated like the devil incarnate.

Such arguments and debates and discussions have always been occurring, but it seems that the social media has resulted in them growing exponentially in number and intensity. One can hardly get on to the social media without encountering these cultic Christians ready to go to war over their little agenda items on a daily basis.

Examples of cultism

angry-man-5So what are some of these topics? There would be plenty to choose from. And of course to simply list a few of these will result in those who run with them flying off into yet another rage, seeking to do battle with me because I dare to suggest these are just not issues worth wasting time on, and they are often just plain wrong about them as well.

Let me offer just three common topics where the cultists will come out in full force, on search and destroy missions, seeking to devour anyone who does not hold to their distorted version of events. One is the KJV-Only crowd. They are an embarrassment and can be downright cultic – at least those who hold to the more extreme versions of this.

Another group is the ‘Christmas and Easter are of the devil’ camp. These Scrooges come out every Christmas and Easter condemning any believer who dares to celebrate the birth or death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Never mind the clear commands of Paul that we should NOT be passing judgment on such folks (see Colossians 2:16-17 for starters).

A third group – believe it or not – is flat earth Christians. Yes I am embarrassed to even say it, but there do actually exist Christians who really believe the earth is flat! They are absolute fruit loops when it comes to this issue, delighting in ignorance and conspiracy theories (they usually also claim the moon landings were faked, and so on).

What Scripture says about those who thrive on vain arguments and endless debates

Having just finished reading the New Testament again, I was surprised at how often it warns about those who spend their lives with endless disputes and arguments, wasting time on useless questions. Let me offer some of these clear injunctions against this sort of behaviour, beginning with a few Old Testament passages:

Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,
but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

Proverbs 17:14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

Proverbs 20:3 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel.

Proverbs 26:17 Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears
is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.

1 Timothy 1:3-4 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith.

1 Timothy 3:2-3 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

1 Timothy 4:6-7 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.

1 Timothy 6:3-5 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

1 Timothy 6:20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.

2 Timothy 2:15-16 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

2 Timothy 2:23-24 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

Titus 3:9-10 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.

Five problems with Christian trolls

What can be said about such cultic Christian trolls? Well, there are at least five areas of concern that can be mentioned:

-Lack of humility. One of the hallmarks of the biblical Christian is genuine humility, a teachable spirit, and an openness to learn. But these folks are in the exact opposite camp: they are arrogant, they think they know it all, and they refuse to listen to anyone else.

Thus by their very behaviour they show how far off they are from being true disciples of Jesus Christ. It is not just faulty doctrine that helps us identify a bogus believer, but faulty behaviour as well. When a person is arrogant, proud, pugilistic, and treats every other believer like dirt because they don’t go along with their pet issue, then you know all you need to know about their faith, or lack thereof.

-Lack of intelligence. One thing you find over and over again with these folks is that they really do not seem all that bright. Many are certainly not loving God with their minds as Jesus commanded us to do. And worse yet, you will hear these guys say so often, ‘I have studied this matter long and hard.’

Yeah right. In most cases that means they have watched a few dopey videos on the Internet by some nutter cultist and conspiracy theorist and now they think they have become an authority on the issue. They have not undertaken any serious study into various key fields, be it theology, biblical studies, church history, and so on. And they often have zero knowledge of the biblical languages.

In fact, they will even exult in how anti-theological and unlearned they are. They pride themselves in not being well read or informed, and seem to prefer revelling in their ignorance. These of course are all the characteristics of those so easily sucked into cults: they have checked their brains at the door and delight in being gullible, and easily led by others.

-Lack of focus. These folks are clearly majoring in minors, and seeking to fight to the death over something which even if they are right on (and usually they are not), is just a secondary matter at best. It is not something to go to the wall over, but these folks will do just that.

They take something that all believers should be allowed to agree to disagree over, and make it a fundamental test of orthodoxy. Instead of dealing with key doctrinal issues like the deity of Christ or the triune Godhead, they take some obscure and often inconsequential matter and turn it into the most important article of belief there is.

As but one shocking example, I know of one guy who is so obsessed with pushing the flat earth foolishness that he did so over the entire Christmas period! I kid you not. Instead of loving Jesus and celebrating his birth and being with family, he seemed to spend his entire time on the social media fighting to the death this silliness.

But I have written often about this dangerous habit of majoring in minors, eg: billmuehlenberg.com/2014/09/21/the-madness-of-majoring-in-minors/

-Lack of orthodoxy. On some of these things they have moved straight into cult-land. They have become full-fledged Pharisees and legalists, condemning and attacking anyone and everyone who does not see eye to eye with their loopy and cultic positions.

Instead of concentrating on the key biblical indicators of orthodoxy, they have fixated on and become obsessed with some archaic and trivial matter, and made it the centre of their focus and energy. That is always an indication of cultism, not of biblical orthodoxy.

-Lack of Christian grace. These folks are simply trolls. They love to argue for the sake of arguing, ignoring all the passages I cite above. They show no Christian love and grace, and they exist only to prove themselves right on their foolish pet peeves.

As such they do tremendous damage to the cause of Christ. They really become just like the Pharisees that Jesus spent so much time criticising. Instead of loving the brethren they effectively hate on them, all because they do not run with their little obsessions.

Conclusion

Am I saying there is no place for having firm convictions on various matters? Of course not. One can certainly defend one’s positions in a firm and cogent fashion. What I am warning against here are those folks who will take some secondary matter and treat it like vital gospel truth, and treat all those who dare to differ as arch heretics who should be put to the sword.

They demonstrate their lack of priorities, their lack of Christian love and grace, and their lack of discernment. They are proud, argumentative and arrogant. In that sense they act just like cultists, and just like pagan trolls. Christians are called to be better than this.

We must pick our battles carefully. We need to exercise some biblical discernment in knowing which battles are worth running with and which are not. By all means, you are welcome to have opinions on all sorts of secondary matters, but please do not turn them into tests of Christian orthodoxy.

Feel free to argue your case on things such as eschatology, or baptism, or styles of worship, or church government, but do not let them become major battle fields where you hurl anathemas at everyone who might have a different take on such matters.

As always, keeping on our knees with a teachable spirit and an attitude of humility is the best way to proceed here.

[1946 words]

27 Responses to On Cultic Christian Trolls

  • Let me be the first to comment. It should go without saying that those who wish to come here and argue their pet peeve – especially the three mentioned above – will not get a run here. If I have written about them elsewhere, that is the place to engage in debate.

    And I have already written on Christmas and Easter. See here:

    www.billmuehlenberg.com/2013/11/12/christmas-of-pagan-origins/

    www.billmuehlenberg.com/2013/03/29/easter-of-pagan-origins/

    The other two topics I have not yet written on, so those who are itching for a fight will just have to wait till I do thanks.

  • Oh dear. You have my sympathy Bill. I wonder what makes these people tick. I mean “flat earth Christians”? Do they really have their heads stuck in the sand? It’s so sad really. We really should be celebrating one of the most amazing things in history, that God came to us!! It is absolutely mind blowing that He would do that when we sure didn’t deserve it. What an incredible God we have!!

  • Hi Bill, I can see why at the top of your list on commenting rules, No.1, No trolls allowed. I applaud what you’ve written about, these folk are doing an absolute disservice to Christendom in our country. What I would really like to do, is thank you Bill for all the diligent effort and research that you put into all of your articles. As I’ve mentioned in previous responses, I personally have had to repent and also change my opinion on a lot of the positions that I’ve held as a result of studying your articles. What I appreciate the most is the amount of supporting evidence that you refer to in some of your more contentious articles. It is often said, that you never stop learning. Bill I’ve learnt heaps since recently starting to follow your commentaries, even more so since you showed me how to use the search engine into your archival material. I’m looking forward to reading all of the issues that you currently “have in the cooker” for 2017. Bless you abundantly, Kel.

  • Many thanks indeed Kelvin. Your kind and encouraging words are a real blessing.

  • Thank you Bill,

    Greetings I trust you had a fine time celebrating Jesus Birth with your family! There was only one disagreement between an aunt and one of her siblings plus another uncle who was behaving a bit like a Grinch when I brought along the laptop to Skype with my brother and his family in Vietnam, he declared a New Years resolution to not allow such toys at our Bowing Day gathering then a young cousin showed up with some sound equipment to present us with We Wish You A Merry Christmas, must have been a humbling experience for him, I trust!

    It has been a long time since I have experienced an online discussion like that which you write about Bill but last night or this morning I found myself interacting online over a misguided post about how Muslims love Jesus, too: 6 things you didn’t know about Jesus in Islam and the comments kept coming until about 10:30am this morning but I went to lay down at about 5am after leaving some proof texts from John 10 about Jesus being one with the Father, this man sounded like a JW and the other young female atheistic, protagonist offended me a few times about the laws of God and their fulfillment in Jesus.

    This lady for lack of a more suitable term was a self-confessed atheist although at one stage asked sincerely about Jesus Parables and her finding them as contradictions that I helped her to understand I think, by sharing the Parable of the mustard seed with it’s explanation, after which I spent a lot of time explaining with with Scriptural references about how God was not deed and how Darwin was described as an atheist plus the work of the Bible Society completing work on about 150 new translations of God’s Word written in Biblical Hebrew, the Targum I think, how it was preserved by monks during the dark ages which we could be grateful to Catholics for preserving then followed by Christmas being a pagan celebration, preserved by Catholics also which we can be grateful for even though Catholicism is more like a cult with their sale of indulgences etc. and doctrine of salvation by works instead of by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. At this time I was left alone and was not being offended on numbers of sides to continue witnessing for Christ and asking questions of a Muslim man who had chimed in with respect for Jesus as a prophet at which time I continued to share the Gospel unchallenged as the time grew late.

    Some other Christians joined in the comments and it was difficult to tell whether they were genuine believers as a lot of colorful language as well as mixed allegiances appeared by all accounts I think the message of Jesus was well received like the tracts and one aunt at least who thanked me for the message from Rick Warren’s series on Exchanging Your Panic for God’s Peace with Daily Hope audio in Pastor Rick’s series Don’t Miss Christmas about Setting Personal Goals by Faith which I sent to all eight aunts and uncles plus my sister and a niece who sent back a request not to share such email with her again, I think the first knock back this Christmas, they all took home the tracts I placed in the 22 Christmas cards I gave my family members and not one was left behind, I pray that indicates that all will accept the Lord Jesus and believe in him before he returns. Is this at all like your internet and other connections yesterday Bill? Speaking of connections, I have now run out of Data on the phone for the first time and I’m lost, the WiFi dongle is low also, yesterday I subscribed to the Herald Sun on there too maybe I can find an app for the computer! 🙂

    My New Years resolution is going to be a goal not to live beyond my means in 2017 actually I have no alternative as I’ve spent nearly all of my inheritance and savings, have you chosen any resolutions for the New Year Bill? Maybe you can limit your engagement with Cultic Christian Trolls further as it’s a good idea not to stay up all night spending time witnessing online as I think engaging face-to-face is better by far. Maybe I’ll join the Christian Mingle and hook up with a good Christian man although I hear there are Christians being scammed there by non-Christians using the dating sight, a friend met and married a lovely man on there from New Zealand who is the manager of our Not-For-Profit, Christian Bookstore, I’ve not done anything like that before I guess there are better pass times and ways to meet nice Christian men. Blessings for 2017 Bill

  • PS Sorry made a mistake, the audio I sent to family member I thought was The Gift Of Christmas Peace Part 3 Don’t Miss Christmas, though it seems to have reverted to the first message in the next series.

  • Thanks Sandra. Just a quick reply to one of your remarks if I may: “it’s a good idea not to stay up all night spending time witnessing online as I think engaging face-to-face is better by far”. The time of day is not the issue of course. What is the issue is doing what God has called one to do. And he has called me to this Internet-based ministry with CultureWatch as well as elsewhere, eg the social media. And while face to face discussion is good, and can result in a handful of encounters, what I do online can result in hundreds and thousands of encounters. So I will continue doing what I have been called to do. We each have our own callings, giftings and ministries, so we all need to be faithful in carrying these out. But thanks again for your thoughts. Bless ya.

  • By all means brother, you keep up the great work it is very inspirational to say the least, I referring more to myself as sitting for long periods is literally a pain in the backside plus the doctor is insisting I take those little pills and have a 9:30pm curfew. Just remembered I did ask for good theological discussion, and I must admit that while evangelising in the street, only the manager of the tobacco shop challenged me about the way God punished the nations in the Old Testament. It has been a long time since I have had an all nighter, I guess the trolls on that terrible post where just that challenge I was looking for. Sorry for putting my foot in my mouth, I really feel for you for also putting up with such encounters online with other supposed God fearers and I’m glad for your attitude toward the work, thankful also are able to apply yourself so wholeheartedly to the opportunities you are presented with on such a grand scale, every ready to witness of your faith in Jesus and defend His Gospel truths, you are truly blessed. Maybe an upright position would be a better posture as I practice the basic equipping for Christian Ministry which I have been blessed to receive also, certainly your example goes a long way in helping us to exercise our God given gifts for the building up of Jesus’ Kingdom. Thanking you most gratefully for your marvelous Ministry Bill!

  • Thanks for this article, and the “angry man smashing laptop” picture. If everyone did that to their machines and ‘smart’ phones, the world would be a better place 😉

    I have become something of a Locke troll lately, posting Locke quotes all over the place. Locke wrote about cultic Christian trolls, that when reading the Bible, they:–

    snatch out a few words as if they were separate from the rest, to serve a Purpose to which they do not at all belong, and with which they have nothing to do (Paraphrase & Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul, vol. 1, p. 106)

    Locke notes that:–

    there are fewer who bring their Opinions to Sacred Scripture to be tried by that infallible Rule, than [who] bring the Sacred Scripture to their opinions to bend it to them, to make it as they can a Cover and Guard of them (A Letter Concerning Toleration)

    I lost marks from my honours thesis for saying that no undergraduate course taught that Locke believed in the infallibility of the Bible, even though he himself said so, above, and in the Essay Concerning Human Understanding (4.19.16).

    Locke’s letters also talk about the trolling issue:–

    I design to take my Religion from the Scripture, and then, whether it suits, or suits not any…Denomination, I am not much concerned: for I think, at the last Day, it will not be enquired, whether I was of the Church of England or Geneva, but, whether I sought or embraced Truth in the love of it (letter to S. Bold, 16th May 1699).

  • @ Sandra McMahon
    If I could offer a word of advice, you might be denting your chances if say you want to “hook up with a good Christian man” in the same breath as admitting you have “spent nearly all of [your] inheritance and savings” 😉

    Jesus showed us the best way to live, by his example. Fact is, people who die as virgins in the Lord’s service will obtain a better resurrection, especially if they still have unkissed lips and unheld hands. St. Paul tells us, “He who marries does well; he who doesn’t, does better”(1 Cor. 7:38), and “if you are not married, do not look for a wife” (v. 27) The church needs to celebrate the ‘sexuality’ of singleness, instead of regarding unmarried people as some kind of poor relations who are in need of their absurd and embarrassing match-making services.

    Christians shouldn’t worry or stress if they are still single at 25, or 30 or 40. They are not missing anything, for “childhood and youth are vanity”. When people marry in later life, it is like the parable of the workers who were hired at the eleventh hour. They still receive the same reward as those hired first thing in the morning, much to the earlier workers’ chagrin.

  • Again, Bill, you have hit the nail on the head as trolls have plagued me lately. I did not know the correct term for these folks, so thank you for telling me it is “trolls.” I was in touch with two families who are evangelists and also mutual friends I met through my aunt, whose late husband was an evangelist. At any rate, the inconsistencies of these two families have become bothersome to me, for all that they are sound on some Bible doctrines. The main conflict has been their support of Donald Trump and the powers-that-be that declared him President-elect, but they claim they did not vote for Mr. Trump or for Mrs. Clinton. They have concurred that Mr. Trump is a terrible person who does not hold with Christian values, but they insist he is the rightful President-elect of the U.S. and that no one should object to his being inaugurated. It seems their message is that Christians should NOT stand up for what is right and should NOT intervene with the aim of protecting the innocent from danger or helping people who need help. They seem to follow certain rigid codes and believe any tragic outcome is “God’s will.”

    A couple days ago I became quite fed up with their getting onto a certain website and taunting people who do not hold with their aims and do not share their hatred of President Obama. In one last attempt to tell them off, I wrote, “I believe President Obama has brought about improvements in the economy and has helped people through government-backed social programs. Perhaps you and the area where you live were not affected by the economic hardships of past decades, but you need to realize that many people were hurt, have been suffering, and have had significant hardships and losses. If you are satisfied with your way of life, please keep it to yourselves and stop using the internet to taunt the so-called liberals who have a genuine concern for the future of the United States and for the welfare of its people.”

    These two families cannot stand to see anyone get any sort of assistance or benefit from U. S. government programs, and this fuels their opposition to President Obama and to Democrats in general. Do you want to know what the real “kicker” is? These people, who homeschool their children, live in Canada spring through fall and then hold evangelistic campaigns in Florida over the winter! Do they not realize they are getting benefits from the highly socialized Canadian government? Yet, they are nasty in opposing anything that smacks of socialism or government assistance if it comes from Washington, DC. As for “What Would Jesus Do,” He spoke quite plainly against the scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites!

  • Agree totally!
    Thanks Bill 😀
    Blessings and love!!

  • That was an absolutely lovely word. Most enjoyable.

    For the flat-earthers, in the scriptures we see:-

    Isa 40:22 It is He who sits on the circle of the earth…

    …the term translated circle means something that is compassed or round. It is very unfortunate that the ISV people chose to translate this as “disc” because a disc is only one of the shapes that can be considered as round and is also a filled in circle which something that is compassed is in fact, not. Also if you ever look at an image of the Earth from space you can see that there is always a great circle that separates night from day. As far as I am aware there simply is no word in ancient Hebrew for a sphere.

    I also like the one in Job:-

    Job 26:7 He stretches out the north over the empty place, and He hung the earth on nothing. (MKJV)

    Not bad when the rest of the world thought that the Earth was flat and was held up by Atlas or elephants or whatever.

    God bless and happy new year to all.

  • Michael- When I was thirty I had not yet had any romantic attachment and was quite prepared to remain single. When I was nearly thirty-one I met a wonderful lady and we married and had five children (and the grandchildren came thick and fast it seemed for a few years). I don’t think we can take Paul’s words in I Corinthians and apply them universally in the way you imply. God told Adam and Eve to multiply and that instruction must apply to at least many of their descendants. I do agree that our society and very often Christians have a plain silly attitude to “dating” (what a ridiculous word) and so on but I don’t think God sees singleness in itself as superior to marriage. After all, the church is a Bride and there is a wonderful marriage dinner being prepared for us by the Groom. Those who have become eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God will of course probably have a special joy at that time.

  • KJV only- yep, bump into them quite often, even quite recently.
    Anti Christmas-ers – yep know some of these too.
    Flat earthers? Are you sure these Christians actually exist. Never met one in my life. Is this some odd group in the US or something?
    A few others that come to mind.
    The anti-organised church-ers, that claim that all will be rosy so long as we have no leaders. Trouble is, they never seem to organise anything, so nothing much ever gets done.
    The “Biblical evolutionists” who think the Bible goes just fine with evolution – forgetting somehow that the demise of Christianity in the west is about 90% attributable to evolutionism. They are really just intimidated by pop science and their evolutionism cult leaders in the media, in high school and in the lower echelons of academia. Real scientists are much more likely to know just how pathetic evolutionary explanations really are. Biblical evolution, of course, is an oxymoron. The central beliefs of a spontaneous beginning followed by a slow process of unguided evolutionary steps to get the world we have today is the antithesis of scientific thinking, it is the opposite to common sense, and it flies in the face of any honest survey of the Bible.

  • Thanks Tim. I can assure you the “Christian flat earthers” certainly do exist, regrettably. I have had to deal with heaps of them on social media sites. It is a very painful experience. And as if right on cue, within minutes of your comment coming in, I got some nutter flat earther sending in a comment. He did not provide a full name as my commenting rules clearly state, so I did not print it. But I will share it here for you and others. One can either laugh or cry at this madness. It is an absolute howler:

    Flat earthers are trolls, yes? What about the science?

    There is no curvature to the PLANEt earth, you will not be able to find any, anywhere?

    Alleged curvature viewed from this or that angle, is subjective and not scientific.

    All the instrumentation in aeroPLANEs prove that they are designed to fly across a flat PLANE.

    Plane: plane (n.1) “flat surface,” c. 1600, from Latin planum “flat surface, plane, level, plain,” noun.

    Have a look at the evidence and proof before you decide. Globalisation is just another lie – just like evolution.

    Copernicus was, it is suspected, was a Catholic priest. There is still no scientific proof for globe earth.

    Gyrpscopes will only work on a flat PLANE. They will not work on a globe spinning at 23.5 degrees, which is hurtling through space at 100,000 kms per hour; the entire solar system moving at 828,000 kms per hour (arroding to NASA!)

    Look for a video on YT called ‘FLYING OVER FLAT EARTH’

    BTW, CMI have plenty of great articles on this topic which do a great job of refuting this lunacy. See here: creation.com/search?q=flat+earth

  • Bill – flat earthers… Well, I never.
    After digesting the CMI info and listening to Daniel Shenton (evolutionist) that heads up the Flat Earth Society, this stuff sounds perfect for those gullibles who, even today, swallow Ron Wyatt stories made up decades ago – like how he found the Ark of the Covenant while digging around in a garden in Israel (plus a bunch of other tall tales).
    But now, finally, we actually have a bunch of westeners who believe in a flat earth – pretty much a first in the history of western civilization. All it took was a diet of Hollywood thrillers mixed with generous helpings of conspiracy theories found on Google.
    Is this the dumbest generation the world has ever seen?

  • Sadly I think it is Tim!

  • Haha, I even got some of those flat earth trolls on my youtube video that was simply about gyroscopic instrumentation in aircraft! The problem I found is that many people associate ‘flat earth’ ideas with Christianity / Creationists. So I went on a vigorous defense of Biblical truth and scientific truth explaining that they go hand in hand. In reality, the stupidity of flat earth ideas have much more in common with the evolutionary ideas that argue that there is no designer.

    Some of my defense can be seen in the comments under this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrEb4_3i3Sw

    I believe that is important for Christians to have a rigorous and clear defense for their faith (1 Peter 3:15).

    Blessings,

    David

  • CMI is a wonderful resource – that is a great link for anyone taken in by the deception of false flat earth theories.
    We need to pray earnestly for our brothers and sisters in Christ who, for whatever reason are prone to fall for deception, that God will break through the deception and the weakness that leads them to be prey to such wiles and also save them from further serious deception that may lead them away from the faith altogether. I have experienced some otherwise very intelligent people being taken in by all sorts of strange ideas and believe that part of the brainwashing used by deceivers is very effective in some people in switching off their intellectual brain and preying on their emotions. The devil is the best deceiver. I believe God’s word is very powerful in combating this, so perhaps we can pray that these people will get into the Word and also encourage them to read their bibles. Also we all need to be careful and stay in the Word because we all have our areas of weakness and we can all be taken in by deception that may specifically target our weaknesses.

  • Great article Bill,
    I don’t know if you have seen this, but Kirk Cameron did a show on tv that gives a very interesting and uplifting explanation for God’s glory in Christmas. It’s called Saving Christmas. I think you would like it.
    I usually engage people who have some of the pet doctrines you cited here. Just to remind them that there is voluminous material that refutes their argument. When they get angry I tell them God bless and exit the conversation.
    But, sometimes it goes very well. And I think it is worth chancing them being a “troll” to see if they are that one.
    I love that you used the word teachable when referring to what humility is. That is certainly the main ingredient.
    Blessings:-}

  • You hit the nail on the head here. Thank you for this perceptive post. I actually left Facebook recently because of all this (amongst other things) and the election brought disputing to such a head that it was near impossible to keep my temper. I would rather not start every day with a rant, so I walked away. With Christmas fast approaching I was NOT looking forward to the usual debates about “Christmas is pagan” it may well be in many aspects, but I don’t appreciate being unfriended, blocked or accused of being less of a Christian for not banging on about it day and night. The issues you mentioned I seemed to meet regularly, and now there’s a growing chorus of “the name Jesus is demonic, we have to say Yahweh” and everything I tried to approach sensibly or lovingly was “too passive” or “agreeing with the other side”. Enough!! This is no longer fellowship but a bearpit. I sincerely fear for the Church as a whole if Christians have become such bigots (yes) and Pharisees (yes) and cannot even heed the simplest commands that Jesus gave us, to love one another and consider others more than self.

  • Thanks Tricia. Keep standing strong.

  • I am a Christian. I am also an Aerospace Engineer, having worked on Satellites and other spacecraft for the last 30 years. Not only does the Bible make it very clear the earth is a round globe hanging in space, I can guarantee from personal experience the earth is not flat!

  • So how do I respond to false teachings/unbiblical teachings?

    Let me put it another way: How do I respond to those people who try to redefine/rewrite/overwrite/abolish Christianity?

    For example: when the United Church of Canada officially denied the Virgin Birth, Resurrection and Deity of Jesus… I was horrified. I don’t “troll” although I have been accused of being one, I just no longer support them and I always (ALWAYS) point people back to what the Bible says.

    If this is “trolling”, then what do you suggest I do other than turn my back upon Jesus?

    Given a choice between sinful man or Jesus, I chose Jesus.

  • Thanks Shawn. A troll is someone who just wants to pick a fight, argue, and fan the flames of controversy. They are not concerned about truth – they just enjoy being troublemakers. The Apostle Paul was not a troll. He loved the truth and always defended it in the face of false teaching and false doctrine. We should do the same, as I have urged numerous times on this site. See here eg.:

    billmuehlenberg.com/2015/07/05/yes-sound-doctrine-matters-absolutely/

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