On Cultic Christian Trolls

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Those of us involved in online discernment contend with trolls regularly on Facebook. (You know who you are.) “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,” declares Bill Muehlenberg of Cultural Watch. In a recent blog post he offers examples of cultism and warns about those who thrive on vain arguments and endless debates.  Plus he includes many scriptures that warn of this sort of behavior.   For example: Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. (Prov 17:14)  And this: 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. (Titus 3:9-10)

So, have you been mollycoddling cultic Christian trolls without knowing it?  Or….is it possible that you’re actually one of those undesirables Muehlenberg describes? Let’s find out….

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).  Continue reading

Related:

Signs and practices of cults and sects–On Solid Rock Resources

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21 Responses to On Cultic Christian Trolls

  1. Manny1962 January 2, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

    Happy New Year to all my brothers and sisters in Christ! Not for the reasons of the world! But, because our Lord and Savior will be here sooner than last year!

    As for the article, expect the attacks on the veracity of scripture, the exclusivity of salvation by Christ alone, morality and truth to be ramped up this year. We have many that come here to attack those that stand up for Jesus, scripture and biblical moral standards. You see how supposed Christians act when it comes to homosexuality, ecumenism, rock star idol preachers, and everything the world calls good and the bible calls evil. Brothers and sisters, be mindful, the attacks are coming from within, and eventually the persecution will come from within. You’ve read the vitriol and veiled hatred that gets spewed here, specially when calling out homosexuality as a sin! Or what I call the “drive-by-posters” they skim over article and post a derogatory comment, usually in the “how dare you,” or “I can’t believe in this modern age,” or some other segue into the “judgemental” speech. Never changes and it will not! It will get worse until Jesus returns! But what a wonderful Savior we have! Who will not test you beyond what you can bear! He owns it all, controls it all and will fulfill His promises! Don’t let anyone steal your joy! If someone shakes your faith, read scripture, look back on your life and meditate on how good God has been to you! We don’t deserve it, but He is good beyond measure! He disciplines us all because we are His, if not we would be illegitimate! Trolls will be trolls, haters of the truth will abound! You know the truth! Don’t throw pearls before swine, and don’t be surprised if people are offended because you don’t follow them into dissipation! Like Paul said, don’t give in to them for one minute, your freedom is in Christ, not man! Maranatha! God bless you all! And in this coming year, may He bless and protect His own.

    • Maggie January 2, 2017 at 3:16 pm #

      Manny, thank you for that exhortation for the New Year! Times are dark, it’s easy to get discouraged. We need each other for encouragement.

      • Manny1962 January 3, 2017 at 7:20 pm #

        Yes Maggie we do, as we witness the so-called “churchers” deny Jesus who bought them, as we see the darkness grow thicker, we need to support our fellow brothers and sisters, we are not alone! Jesus promised the Holy Spirit will be among us and in us as the days grow darker! Untill the coming judgement is fulfilled. Maranatha sister and be of good cheer, our Master is with us.

    • Marsha West January 2, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

      Amen brother. I couldn’t agree more. Relentless attacks are coming from outside the Church, big time, and from within as well. So, we must put on the whole Armor of God and STAND FIRM. Eph 6:10-19.

      God bless,
      Marsha

      • Manny1962 January 3, 2017 at 7:24 pm #

        Marsha,

        A hearty thanks for what you do! May our Great and Awesome God give you the strength and discernment as we move into another year, closer to His return! May He give you His strength in standing up for the truth! Maranatha sister, may He always keep you!

        All the same to you Amy! God bless you and yours!

  2. Q January 2, 2017 at 4:13 pm #

    I agree with much of this article and at the same time I think we have to be careful seeing things as primary issues vs secondary issues for the following reason.

    When the inerrancy of scripture was under attack the 5 fundamentals of the faith came out to confirm orthodoxy and it seemed to have worked well until it was figured out that a person or group could claim the fundamentals of the faith and then teach against them or anything they wanted and still fall within orthodoxy even though what they taught and practiced was not. I see the word of God being most effectively attacked by this new group. Take Rick Warren as an example, he teaches Druckerism but has an orthodox Statement of Faith which he can pull out anytime he is challenged and it silences people because it is presumed to be a secondary issue, e.g., how one does church….

    To me, besides Church Growth Models, New Calvinism and the Social Gospel, some of the biggest threats to scripture come from those who claim orthodoxy but teach 1) Theistic Evolution, 2) Christian Feminism 3) homosexuality is good in certain circumstances.

    These groups basically claim these are secondary issues and should not exclude them from fellowship yet “a little leaven leavens the whole lump”. These are ones who do a great amount of harm to the text of scripture claiming the bible IS inerrant BUT we have been understanding it incorrectly. Then they twist scripture out of context with new definitions of biblical words, use a great deal of emotion and experiences to interpret, call parts of scripture that disagrees with them “inconclusive” or “to difficult to interpret”, put some scripture above others and/or call it “poetry” so not to take it in its normal sense. In the end when this is brought into the church the totality of scripture becomes cloudy at best.

    There are certain beliefs to be saved, which perhaps could be considered primary to salvation but the so called secondary issues are attaching scripture and the church most subtly and should be challenged when ever present.

    These people have come in unaware under the guise of secondary issues. If you listen to them you will see these “secondary issues” are primary issues for them.

  3. Carl J. Fielstra January 2, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    Caution when labeling. Only God, whose judgments are flawless, can correctly discern among those who teach.

    Even those who walked at Jesus’ side were warned to not purge those who seemed to not fit the mold they had predetermined correct.

    The a mind grounded in the Word and given over to the Holy Spirit will discern truth and error. The lazy and ungrounded will rely upon what others determine and then publish.

    Be careful what you read as well as what you publish.

  4. Maggie January 2, 2017 at 5:10 pm #

    A huge red flag is when a challenge and discussion (as in a Berean searching of Scriptures) of a teaching are shut down and the person asking the questions is vilified. I truly enjoy the process of learning the reasons biblically why a teacher that I respect has taken a certain stand, even though I may ultimately disagree. I believe iron sharpens iron. Unfortunately, a lot of (hireling) pastors-teachers haven’t done the hard work of studying the Scriptures themselves and may just be parroting others’ teachings; thus they are on shaky ground and insecure in defending what they are saying.

  5. Edwitness January 2, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    1Cor. 15:3,4
    “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

    This is the gospel. And the foundation of what should be Christian orthodoxy. From what I have learned the defining of these and the ramifications of such is where the possibility for an unorthodox view comes from.
    But, as long as these are the subject of discussion, the conversation will remain focused on the primary issues and not the secondary ones that Bill described in his message. And this website does very well in majoring in those majors. Thanks.
    Secondary issues are important too. But, as Bill said, not so important that we consider someone an unbeliever because they believe something like a flat earth. That’s why it is a secondary issue. It has no bearing on whether a person is saved or not.
    I had a discussion with some people at another website about that. I had no idea there were Christians that believed that. They offered some interesting arguments, but never did they act in an unChristian like manner during our discussion. And I learned why it would be that a Christian could believe something like it. Even though I must admit, I have forgotten the rational they used to make their case. It wasn’t very convincing.
    Bless you all as we continue growing in the faith that has been delivered to the saints. And as Manny said, do not let anyone steal your joy. He is coming soon! And isn’t that what we are all waiting patiently for? The blessed hope:-)
    Maranatha!!
    Blessings:-}

    • Lupe Torres January 3, 2017 at 8:58 am #

      Good morning Edwitness,

      Your “secondary issue” argument goes against the grain.
      How?
      I will use your example of “flat earth” belief.
      If one believes the Bible is God’s word then one CANNOT believe the earth is flat.
      Isaiah 40:20 “It is He who sits above the CIRCLE of the earth…”
      This, to me, clearly says the earth is round.
      If these “Christians” believe what the Scriptures say then how can they believe in a flat earth?
      If they believe in a flat earth after reading the Bible, where else are they wrong?
      This is how G. W. Armstrong, Charles T. Russell, Joseph Smith were able to start cults and lead people AWAY from THE truth to their “truth”.
      Today it is: Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Rob Bell, Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, et al.

      My point:
      So called secondary issues can/will lead a person down the wrong path to destruction.
      The ONLY truth lies between the pages of the Scriptures.
      On these pages can be found ALL one needs to have true peace.

      • Q January 3, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

        Lupe Torres,

        Thumbs up ^^^

        False teaching has come into the church through what has been labeled secondary issues.

      • Edwitness January 3, 2017 at 6:51 pm #

        I agree with you Lupe that the earth is a sphere. But, the word for circle does not mean sphere. It means circle. And a circle can be flat, right? So basing the argument for a spherical earth on that passage is not conclusive.
        There is however enough science that is trustworthy that proves a spherical earth. But, these people do not believe the science that proves this either. They take the verses in Genesis 1:6-10 that say the firmament had waters above and beneath it and say that proves that the earth (waters beneath the firmament) is flat. Also inconclusive.
        This is why this is not a primary issue as far as salvation is concerned. It does not, in and of itself, impugn the deity of Christ or His sacrifice that saves us. And that’s why it is secondary.
        But, if as you said, they allow this to influence the issues that are foundational, then they could get into trouble.

        Blessings:-}

  6. Sola Scriptura January 2, 2017 at 10:15 pm #

    I’m shocked by the number of 7th Day Adventists commenting everywhere (especially on youtube) about the sabbath and mandatory Sunday laws being the mark of the beast. It is one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen…and if you quote them Colossians 2:14-17, Galatians 2:21, or tell them to read all of Galatians 3….they ignore you and dismiss those passages as misinterpretations. The law, according to them, is still in place. Good luck with that when you stand before Jesus Christ….Here is the Colossians 2 passage if any 7th Dayer’s are reading:

    14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
    15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
    16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
    17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

    …And Galatians 2:21
    21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

    • Edwitness January 2, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

      The scriptures you gave are very convincing evidence as far as I can see Sola. Their belief comes from their adherence to the teachings of Ellen White and not the scriptures.
      It’s funny too that Rev.13 makes no mention of days one way or the other.
      Blessings:-} brother

  7. Manny1962 January 2, 2017 at 10:55 pm #

    If the Pharisees couldn’t keep it, what makes any gentile think they can? Perplexing…..

  8. Manny1962 January 2, 2017 at 11:05 pm #

    It is my concern that in the not too distant future, sites like this will be pressured to shut down or compromise. The word of God will come under extreme pressure to conform to the world. The complaints are already coming from Churchianity and the sodomite lobby, next it will be from Caesar.

    • Lupe Torres January 3, 2017 at 9:05 am #

      Good morning Manny,

      The great thing:

      We don’t have to worry about it. God is in control and, no matter what, He will show us the way to continue getting the word out.

      Remember: “You will be hated because of me…” Matt 10:22

      I don’t mean to be condescending I am just filled with peace.

      Most of my life has been filled with great spiritual angst. It was not until I was 47 or 48 years old that I finally gave in to the Spirit and opened my heart to Jesus.
      Since then it has been quiet and peaceful.
      There is not enough room to explain but I think you know what I mean.

      God keep you and yours in His palm until His return.

  9. Manny1962 January 3, 2017 at 9:26 am #

    Thank you Lupe, I do understand where you’re coming from. Seeing a Christian filled with peace is a joyful thing, a witness to the grace and mercy of a just and merciful God who takes care of His children. And you’re correct, in the end He controls all things! Maranatha and God bless you!

  10. David January 3, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

    Well, according to Mr. Muhlenberg I am quite the Scrooge (Christian cult troll) because I have been deeply convicted by the Holy Spirit to refrain from celebrating Christmas and Easter. Per his words…

    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).

    I do NOT judge any Christian for celebrating these holidays. That is between them and the Lord PERIOD! I do not know why our Heavenly Father convicts some of us to refrain from certain things while other sisters and brothers have not been convicted in like manner. We don’t always get to know the whys. All I know is that I remain obedient to the Lord’s leading and NOT man’s. If they have not been convicted then there is no issue as far as I am concerned.

    I will never apologize for my obedience to the Lord. Now should the Holy Spirit lead me otherwise, then that is a different story and I pray I will be sensitive to his leading.

    I have complete peace and joy concerning this matter and know that I am being led by the Holy Spirit BECAUSE there is no judgment. Blessings to all in 2017.

  11. Lydia January 3, 2017 at 7:11 pm #

    Absolutely. That is something I have seen and am tired of too. The kjv only crowd and that sort of thing. Yes, it is a better translation. But there are other good ones, like the nasb. You can get the gospel, read it, get saved, and grow as a believer from other translations as well as long as it’s not something like the message bible or those heretical ones like it.

    But oy veh! The Christmas and Easter bashers! Wow, that was a shock to see. There are so many flavor varieties of apostasy now, it’s dizzying. Hebrew Roots is yet one more and that takes too long to explain here, google and blogs will materialize on that issue. But partly it comes from that. Partly from JW thinking, atheism, and a number of other false teachings. But here is the deal. You will not be damned if you do, and you won’t be damned if you don’t. Like that bible verse says, there is liberty in those things as some observe a day and others don’t ‘unto the Lord’ either way. But some never read that as they come along and beat on those that do celebrate. Now I must clarify, paganism has crept in and yes, that stuff should be avoided. Letters of Jesus to the churches show that these matters are issues, not that we use liberty as a ticket for all things pagan and follow after Jezebel, etc.
    You can look into the pagan roots and trappings (easter eggs, bunnies and goddess of fertility, saturnalia fest, etc.).

    But, they want to throw the baby out with the bath water. I do celebrate the Christ centered aspects of these days. I don’t care what pagan things or events or holidays there are, they cannot taint a good thing from God. The fact is, Jesus is God incarnate, who came down humbly to earth to save us, a miraculous conception and birth from a virgin was part of the process and it’s part of the gospel of salvation. Me? Celebrate that? You betcha! Then there is the reason Jesus came, to die for our sins to save us, and show His victory over sin and death and the devil by the resurrection! You bet I’m going to celebrate that! The rest has nothing to do with it, nor I with it, but what Jesus has done I celebrate! And that is a GOOD thing! I am rejoicing in the Lord and what He has done. As the Bible says, if I did not praise Him, the very stones would cry out! “Hosanna!”

  12. Bob Tuttle January 12, 2017 at 1:50 am #

    I belong to a Facebook discussion group (the Religion Discussion Group), and while I have been trolled by a few professing Christians over secondary issues as the article notes, I have found that the worst trolls are those who belong to the Hebrew Roots and Sacred Name movements. They are even worse than the atheists and anti-theists in that group. They constantly cut and paste the same pre-written comments that support their ideology, over and over and over again, dominating any possible discussion between other people. It certainly tests ones patience!

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