Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The Internet: Positive Tool for Christians But Full of Dangers
The Internet is a blessing in many ways. Christian websites gave me the gospel [along with real life Christians] when I started going online having doubts about the Catholic church. So the Internet can be used as a tool for salvation, and the Internet is as world-changing as the printing press was during the time of the Reformation, in bringing truth to people. Never before have human beings had so much access to information, which brings this verse to mind:
Dan 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
Consider the extent of Bible websites, online sermons, essays, articles we have at our disposal. There are tons of websites to go to, to listen to good Christian hymns , order tracts and listen to sermons. One blessing of living during this time, has been having a library at home to explore. We can praise God for these blessings and be sincerely thankful for them.
There are many pitfalls on the Internet, to be found in the Christian world. The enemy knows the Internet is a place to lead unsaved people into false religions, cults, Internet pornography, violent shows, rock music, and all the other wickedness that exists in the world. But it goes deeper then this, Christian message boards and websites are not immune to the wiles of the devil or his workers.
One thing happening on message boards on the Internet, is while there are many folks who are sincerely wrong who are honest and while we may disagree with them with normal human disagreement even if strife results--which the Christian is told to depart from after the gospel is rejected-Matt 10:14 , the conversation is real and "honest". Realize even among this crowd there are many in the Laodicean church who say they are Christians but are not! There are many others, where the conversation is not honest, and there are things happening on the Internet [only the naive would admit this could never happen] where people are saying they are Christians when they are not. Some are knowing occultists, some are fallen away or backslidden Christians who have come under the spell of a false teacher, and others are cultists who wish to bring in new members.
Sometimes discerning the exact nature of the deceit can be difficult, in some places it may be wise to warn others more specifically while in others in a more general fashion before departing: Let God lead you on that, even on the warning itself. Some websites are such snake pits getting out of dodge is the best bet, once you have preached the gospel and it has been rejected.
Some things I have noted is many of the knowing occultists do mark themselves so they recognize each other in their avatars: these can be subtle such as more hands signs or symbols only known in occult circles or more blatant, such as in the case of someone telling us they are a Christian but using a horror movie character as an avatar: One example would be "Jason" from Friday the Thirteenth. I have seen all this with my own eyes. Enough time will often tell you if you are dealing with a very undisciplined teen who remains "in the world" but is sincere or someone who knows what they are doing.
As for knowing occultists who "play Christian" on line, without fail the majority of these folks all match on the same messages, telling Christians to compromise, praising blind obedience to authority, praising the New Age, occult, Halloween, telling Christians there is nothing wrong with the ecumenical movement, denying Bible prophecy, praising corrupt politicians and the new world order and presenting the Catholic/Mormon/Jehovah Witness church as fellow Christian churches. Here too remember even among the sincere, Bible Christianity remains unpopular and many do reject the gospel and other biblical warnings being products of today's fallen away churches.
One day years ago, I discovered on one Christian message board, that one poster who told everyone she was a Catholic, was actually a Satanist and had a message board and regular website of articles to that affect telling of her rituals and graphics with dripping blood. In this case I was able to directly expose the deceit, given she used the same name in various places. She repeated some of the same messages above; especially a strong sell for Catholicism. I have seen that same person still remaining on Catholic and Christian message boards, years later with no problem.
I have discovered an entire message board, where the message board was set up as a "goof" where every person took a caricature name, and they "play-acted" being Christians. It still continues today. The sad things while they expressed every extreme of what the world sees as "Christian behavior" [money hungry preachers, social status seeking housewives] sincere people come on to this board and be totally fooled. While this one is more for some folks idea of "humor"; there are many places this is being done where no one is laughing at all, except at Christians they despise.
I have seen a message board where they say they are a Christian fundamentalists but preach actively against fundamental Christian beliefs; everything talked about at this link I have witnessed for myself. Some with time you even figure out are ex-fundamentalists who had very bad experiences in poor churches but seem to oddly refuse to have an honest discussions from Christians willing to admit those abuses, alongside dark avatars, "pastors" acting anything like an average pastor would act like, curse words and insults included and the same repeated messages of compromise and defense for everything antichrist in the church, you start realizing something is up.
In telling people you believe there are knowing deceivers online, many confessing Christians today are naive and would find such a summation to be along the lines of a "conspiracy theory" but I have seen it in action. Some may call you "paranoid" or "crazy". But why wouldn't workers for Satan infiltrate the Internet, or even some churches? There are hordes of the truly ignorant and sincerely wrong out there, preaching false messages but there definitely are signs of those who KNOW EXACTLY what they are doing.
Watching people who will twist things online, use repetition, quote a statement and then reverse the meaning of it, use any number of diversionary techniques--asking nonsense questions on threads, using casuistry better then the most trained Jesuit, contradicting long held and stated previous beliefs using bait and switch techniques told me that there is something very insidious going on. Christians have had people befriend them online, and start using those techniques, once the targeted Christian rejects the promoted teachers or beliefs they are trying to sell. Now even sincere friends can have a disagreement, but the true test of a true friend is if they really care about you, ill treatment will not come forth based on sincere religious beliefs. There is no excuse for abuse, the sincere Christian will talk things out in an honest fashion and pray for you. So take a second look at those who claim to be friends but then desire to use such techniques to get you or others back in line or refuse honest and sincere conversation. [These same things would apply in a church as well]. There is a reason some people come out of bad churches talking about spiritual abuse and same as it exsists in the real world, it exsists online.
Some deceivers or deceived online will actually preach truth about ONE matter, but then introduce new lies, or deceptions. There are many websites, that will "expose the Catholic church", "warn about the New Age" but then introduce new lies and deceit from other directions. New believers can be very vulnerable as they leave a false church, say in the case of the Roman Catholic church if they do not stay in prayer and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit about all teachers. Realize Satan has set up many ditches, a person can get out of one, just to fall in another.
Psalm 119;105 Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Two satanic overused tools of both those who are indoctrinated by false churches and the knowing deceivers include telling the Christian who believes in separation from the world that they are a "hater", are too 'black and white" and need to "compromise for fellowship" and total and blatant character assassination, this can range from saying they are insane, or just making up lies. Satanic forces in the world have joined together in suppressing dissenters to the global antichrist system. Now Americans are still protected [at least for now sadly as our nation is rapidly losing more freedoms], Internet persecution compared to Christians losing their lives elsewhere in the world right now is nothing but I would surmise when this type of stuff moves in the real world, that is what Christians are experiencing before they hear the knock at the door, telling them they are a "insurrectionist". Persecution for Christians is a given and Jesus Christ warned us the world would hate the Christian, we must never forget that.
Jhn 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.
Without fail, The Bible itself is questioned, and doubts are planted in the minds of many where God's Word is not held up as truth. Gatekeepers, often moderators or owners of boards, involved in ecumenical and other enterprises, ban or suspend the Bible believing Christian time and time again. There are some very large Christian boards, who will abuse a list of rules so long, that once a fundamentalist or Bible believing Christian crosses a certain ecumenical line, they will make use of this long list [that no one really even knows it is so long] to silence them for a time. Some boards if one holds any strong separatist biblical beliefs, that will be enough for an instant banning. Too many seem more rife with fighting, meanness and false messages then some secular message boards where the people at least try to ascribe to the general rules of civility, friendship and getting along. This does not speak well of so called Christian websites.
The Internet can be a dangerous place for the Christian who is unseasoned and who lets the strife lead them down bad roads to sin. As Christians we are told in Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. While following the verses not to throw pearls before swine, or allow ourselves to be trampled [Matt 7:6], keeping a balance for standing for truth online among all the wicked game-playing, can take a lot of prayer. Love your enemies: coming out of what I did, I pray for those who are deceived or deceiving, to repent and come to Jesus Christ, and realize the errors of their ways. Pray for discernment and where your preaching the gospel or exposing the works of darkness will be the most fruitful. Realize the fruit of the Spirit in dealing with the Internet world:
Do not follow the examples of the "Mean Christians" . Even recently while I still want to warn people and preach the gospel in various places online, avoiding the deceit, strife, mean spirit and closure to Bible truth in so many places is something I have to keep in prayer about even in regards to my own sins. Holding to a biblical line amidst the mud-throwing and deceit sometimes can be a difficult job for any Christian. Having warned against the one world religion and ecumenical movement, for years online, I have seen all the ways, folks seek to avert this message. Christians can still use the Internet as a tool for good, but should do so being alert and awake for the many spiritual dangers out there.