Many genuine Believers are frustrated. I read a long statement yesterday by a friend that stirred my heart deeply because I can truly empathize. After much time and effort trying to convince deceived people that they have fallen into a snare of heresy, my friend is ready to give up, completely avoid social media, and any other contact with deceived professing Christians.
Oh, how many of God’s Remnant can relate! Even if one’s experience is only with people in their community, church fellowship, or family, it remains very stressful and demanding to communicate truth to the ones mired in heresy. I have had that experience often. It always leaves me drained emotionally and physically.
Once as an evangelist I was in a pastor’s house with my family in bed asleep. His wife mentioned admiring Kenneth Hagin, the teacher who plagiarized E. W. Kenyon and introduced the WOF doctrine into Christianity. I responded with the truth that he was a heretic and his doctrine was causing very serious problems in Christianity. She instantly responded with anger that escalated to hysterical rage. I was trapped in her kitchen until after midnight explaining to her why Hagin’s doctrine was heresy and ensuring her loud and shrill ad hominem. She completely rejected everything that I said.
Now on Social Media, the anger and ad hominem continues to be the instant reaction of deceived people, not to mention their use of many dishonest debate tricks. That anger is not only because they have invested their minds in the heresy, but also their hearts.
It is never a matter of saying, “Here are the facts—consider them carefully,” and they are as grateful as if a lawyer helped them to avoid a lawsuit. Every deceived individual I have ever dealt with refuses to be wrong or even consider that they are wrong. Deception can grab them and grip their cognizance with steel claws—turning their logical processor into a one-way street.
Furthermore, they establish a battle line behind them when they exit truth. Deception is now their “truth.” Truth is now their enemy. No amount of Scriptures can shine a light into their minds. All evidence that their beloved heretic is such will be answered with rage that anyone would “dare touch God’s anointed.” Additionally, all facts, all legitimate documents, and everything else that would be accepted as evidence in a Court of Law is deemed to have been conceived or tinkered with.
Try to convince a Mormon that Joseph Smith was a wicked man and you will understand. He was a con man, liar, perjurer, pedophile, bigamist, adulterer, murderer, et cetera, but Mormons consider every piece of evidence to that truth to be contrived and false. They never consider how great a conspiracy with innumerable people involved, and no one involved even hinting that it is a conspiracy, for it all to be a gigantic lie.
The vitriol and personal attacks from deceived people are not as personal as it seems. They are in the clutches of deception. It has taken over their minds and spirits. There is no biblical defense for being thus deceived. Therefore, they respond with insults, false accusations, with anger. Any authority on debating will state that such a response is typical by one who is bereft of a substantive defense of his or her position.
Their hostility is not personal because it doesn’t matter who you are. You may be a dear and long-time friend, a family member, a beloved pastor of 20 years, someone that has helped them through serious trials, have given selflessly of your time, money, and effort when they were in need, or one who has decades of uprightness, of promoting and defending truth without bias or favor, and they will still turn on you in the twinkling of an eye and consider you a demonic emissary from Satan.
I have debated University Professors, Lawyers, trained apologists, individuals with doctorates, et cetera, and they all lose their composure when trapped in a corner by the truth. It is the reason that I ceased debating. In this present spiritual climate of deception, darkness, and apostasy, debating is a fruitless and worthless waste of time and energy.
Therefore, I say to all of God’s Remnant to distance yourself from contentious individuals. You are not going to change their minds. Debating them can become addictive. It is an adrenaline rush that is followed by depression and discouragement because much spiritual energy was expended.
If you believe that you must debate, choose your battles and the battleground. Never engage them on their terms and turf. Do so on your page or blog where you can ban and block offensive people. However, remember that if you fight those battles frequently you will suffer spiritually. You may find yourself in the same position as my friend, ready to give up and shut down all attempts to do what you were called to do.
If that occurs, consider what happens to the ones who were reachable. There are not that many reachable ones, i.e., ones that have not fully entered deception. However, there is the Remnant. The same thing that enrages the deceived encourages the Remnant—truth. Espousing heresy and heretics necessarily involves the defense of truth, which elucidates it. The light that exposes darkness is the blessed atmosphere of the beloved people of God. We have a duty, and much more than duty, a godly impetus to encourage one another.
It is in that duty that we fill while refilling. When we give to encourage, presenting God’s blessed truth encourages us. We must never lose our understanding of that principle. It is the definition of a vessel—it pours out, but after it is poured into. Beloved, don’t let Satan trick you into wasting your oil.
So beloved, build yourselves up on most holy faith, pray much and often, hold or tighten your grip on eternal life, and remain busy where it will do the most good. Cast pearls before the ones that appreciate them—not before deceived tramplers. You don’t have to be in a crowd of like-minded people to be secure and happy in Christ. You just need a few good friends. Discern who they may be, test them with truth, and stay strong in the power of the Lord’s might.
It may not be long before the Internet will no longer be a tool for ministry. Darkness may fall in suffocating oppression of God’s Remnant. The foundation we lay for enduring until the end is in the way we manage our engagement with the “lesser” trials we endure today. We pray, we stand, we refuse to compromise, will not be shaken, remain true to God’s word, shine our lights, love truth more than acceptance, fearlessly speak and write what the Holy Spirit compels us to speak and write, and ignore the yapping dogs of discontentment. This is our day, our turn, our opportunity to be defined as the people of God that will be faithful unto death, if need be.
May there be ones in the coming generations that take notice, consider the emptiness of their leadership, and return to the time-honored path of truth.