4 Tips To Not Be Quarrelsome (Online)

It’s no secret that I came out of heretical Christianity thanks to the pandemic.

(To hear my testimony in-depth, click here to read and watch the “Confessions of a Valor Alumna” Series.)

Honestly, the awakening to the truth process kicked off prior to the official world outbreak of Covid, but all that matters is that I’m out. I thank God He rescued me from the deceit to which I was ensnared.

Though there was one major issue leaving the Word of Faith Movement during the lockdown. I had no church to become a part of and I believe that was the reason I made a few boo-boos on social media when I attempted to share my testimony about the Lord leading back to sound doctrine. I had no one to go to for Godly counsel. I was relearning theology that was biblical and not made up by a man and/or demons.

And even though in biblically sound churches and WOF ones alike I heard we Christians should NOT be quarrelsome… I was super argumentative on social media. I was really defensive and I was driven by a compulsion to save people from “Satan’s Clever Trap”.

In retrospect, I should have just shared my testimony and left it at that. I should have allowed people to slander me, claiming I was something I was not. I should have only engaged with those who really wanted to know where I was coming from and how the Lord saved me.

After all, scripture is clear:

[23] Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.[24] And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, [25] correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, [26] and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

2 Timothy 2:23-26  ESV

I didn’t get to this part in my Bible studies at the time.

When I was at Valor, I was pegged as the “religious one” because I liked to mostly follow the rules and follow scripture (that I knew) and I was very judgemental when my fellow classmates or friends were flat out being sinful. Because in the hyper-charismatic movement coming to Jesus “AS YOU ARE” is becoming more and more tolerable. And trek with what I mean by this, to some folks in the WOF (Word of Faith)/NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) having “human moments” regardless of what scripture says about preventing those “human moments” and just as God forgave David for adultery and murder, God will forgive us. I literally think some people just aren’t disciplined enough in the word nor trust the Lord through the Holy Spirit enough to overcome their temptations to sin.

In the second letter to Timothy, Paul is clear, foolish and ignorant controversy breeds quarrels and though I stand by the fact those ensnared by heresy need to be revealed the truth, there is a right way and a wrong way. Making a comment on Facebook or Twitter or responding to a reel on Instagram or a video on TikTok referencing you believe the content creator or the source material is heretical… and it will most likely lead to an argument because the reading text on a screen is left for interpretation to the reader. They determine your intent on their own, regardless if they know you well or not, they will assume what you meant instead of treating the comment for face value. And if they really drank the Kool-Aid of deceit, they are not capable of understanding the truth without further explanation and even then, they would probably double down and stick to what they believe.

Now if you’re not sure what should be considered heretical Christianity, I honestly threw the word “heretical” around after leaving WOF/NAR/Pentecostal circles behind. A non-Christian asked me what I considered to be “heresy”. While Catholics teach heresy is anything the “Church” doesn’t teach, the answer I think many sound doctrine believing Christians would agree heresy is anything that promotes a false concept of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit and claims there is any other way to God or forgiveness of sins than through Jesus Christ and becoming a born-again believer.

So though there are numerous denominations of Christianity around the world, the only ones okay to ascribe to are the ones that affirm what the Bible teaches about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. While there are secondary issues saints can disagree with such as when will the rapture of the church occur before, during, or after tribulation… it’s okay to not see eye-to-eye on this, but on a primary issue like salvation we must agree on it and it is by grace alone we are saved. I think Reformed or Evangelical or Independent Baptist we all agree it is by God’s grace through Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit to become born-again are we saved. And believe it or not, folks in the WOF/NAR believe this too. So what makes the two groups heretics?

They hold core doctrines that cannot be accurately supported by scripture without twisting the truth. And people in the WOF/NAR will have convincing testimonies to affirm their heresies to be true, but if scripture cannot support the experience, it is best not to believe it. 

Here are 4 Tips Not Be Quarrelsome Online

1 ) Ask questions instead of making statements.

Instead of saying, “God doesn’t always miraculously heal nowadays.” Say, “When someone prayed for (insert ailment the poster attested of) to be healed, did the ailment ever come back? If so, if faith is a gift and as simple as believing in Jesus, why would God deny healing to a faithful believer?

The go-to proof text for a WOF/NAR person, if they’re the type to know Bible verses, will be Isaiah 53:5, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes, we are healed.” (NKJV). The Hebrew word for healing in this verse has been used to reference physical healing in other places in scripture. But when you read the verse in context, this verse is speaking to the larger picture of what Christ Jesus would do for our sins. Our sin caused spiritual death and disconnected us from God. Death is such a fatal description of our relationship with God. The prophecy of Jesus’ death on the cross is a foretelling of Him healing us from spiritual death much in the sense of a wound being healed.

If you get a deep cut, it may or may not require stitches but in all likelihood when the cut heals it will leave a scar, no longer at risk for getting infected and causing serious issues that could potentially lead to death if not treated, but the scar remains. That’s precisely how our salvation works. We are saved by God’s grace and our sinful state can no longer land us in hell because we are redeemed, however, we still bear the scar of being a sinner though God no longer sees us as sinners. Though we are justified, we still will undergo sanctification for as long as we live and will never be sinless in our thoughts or actions, but we will be transformed day by day as we grow in the Word and mature in Christ. 

2 ) Directly/Privately message the person instead of commenting on their post.

Even if the poster is capable of having a civil conversation, their friends or their fans may have choice words for you or may proceed to mock you or offend you, and it’s hard to not defend yourself or respond to others joining the conversation.

3 ) If you comment, cite your sources and use scripture references.

Now, if you think you must comment and you don’t want to or aren’t able to message the person with a heretical endorsing post, have scripture references and/or link references included in your comment. Be concise and to the point and invite others to contact you directly. Make it clear that you’re not going to debate the topic further and pray for onlookers of your comment and pray that you keep your word. The temptation to continuously comment will arise.

4 ) Keep scrolling.

Sometimes you just have to admit some people aren’t ready to hear the truth, or you’ve already had the comment wars, and you’ve messaged them, but they still share heresy endorsements online. Pray for them and keep scrolling past their post. If we look at sharing the truth about heresy as evangelism and spreading the Good News, which is part of that umbrella, even Jesus told his disciples to leave cities where people were not receptive to the Word of God. Also, look at it as a grace. The more you tell them the truth, the higher standard they’re being held to accept or reject the truth.

Conclusion

I’m no expert, clearly. And maybe you disagree with my approach. If you do, please, let me know in the comments what you would do differently or what you do that I didn’t mention. All of these tips come from personal experience. I pray every chance I remember and/or get for those I went to Valor with to come upon the truth and to be rescued from that deceit trap.

I don’t think all people caught in heresy are unsaved necessarily. I would say backslidden because the Bible warns even the elect will be led astray during the great apostasy. And the elect is the saved people of God. 

You get trapped in heresy by not knowing the Word and probably lack good discipleship. I was in and out of church growing up. I wasn’t taught how to study the Bible. I was barely taught how to pray. And when I did start reading the Bible, it was because I went to a Pentecostal “Healing Service”. I only went because I had some serious health issues and I thought I was going to die.

No, I didn’t really get physical healing, but I had an experience. To this day, I won’t deny it was God but I can’t confidently attest it was God. But this experience got me to read my Bible and grew exponentially in my knowledge of the Lord and I trusted the Lord more than I ever had. But let me be truthful, it was 100% the Word of God that led to Christian Walk growth, not the experience itself.

Now, I do believe the Holy Spirit was looking out for me and graciously with me, even when I was drowning in heresy, but my mind was so boggled down by the lies. I look back and all the times the Lord probably sent someone or did something to bring me out of heresy, I failed to see those gracious opportunities.

Another thing to note, I catered this advice specifically for how to converse over theological differences and/or heresy, but I think it can be applied to a number of contexts.

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