I understand that this type of thing is called “trolling.” Someone who has nothing better to do with his life goes combing through blogs and websites and does his best to create a controversy with a quick jab, then sits back to see “what he hath wrought.” In this case nothing. One reply by a reader showed his comment to be, not only vulgar, but completely ridiculous. I did not say what he said I did, and no one else took it that way either. And you know what? Solomon’s proverb is shown to be true yet again, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
The church had trollers to deal with in the first century. Acts 13,14,15,17, and 21, Rom 16, Gal 1 and 2, several chapters in Timothy, and most of John’s epistles show their sinister attempts to cause controversy and divide the church. They even followed Paul around from place to place, “poisoning their minds against the brothers” Acts 14:2; “subverting souls” 15:24; “agitating and stirring up” 17:13; “creating obstacles contrary to the doctrine” Rom 16:17; and “distorting the gospel” Gal 1:7.
And we still have trollers today—people who go from house to house spreading dissatisfaction, who stand in the parking lots campaigning against the leadership of the church, who even have websites devoted to dispensing discontent with spurious arguments and unsubstantiated accusations, usually about their own pet concerns. And who are the victims? “The naïve,” Romans 16 tells us, usually those who are young and easily swayed by a handsome fellow who seems far more “with it” than the stodgy old fogies, who are usually viewed that way because they believe in stodgy old things like Biblical authority.
And how does that passage describe these trollers? They are “puffed up with conceit,” gathering to themselves a rah-rah club to satisfy their egos. They “understand nothing” while at the same time claiming to be more enlightened than anyone else. They have an “unhealthy craving for controversy,” unhealthy for those whose hearts are deceived, unhealthy for the body of Christ, and certainly unhealthy for their own souls. If someone tries to get you involved, walk away.
Trolling—no, it’s not new, and neither is this: God hates it every bit as much now as He did two thousand years ago.
But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. Titus 3:9-11.