Do Not Feed the Troll

A troll or flamer is (adapted from this):

1. A name-caller

2. Competitive/argumentative
3. Amoral
4. Vengeful
5. Deceitful
6. Narcissistic
7. Paranoid
8. Blind to his own faults
9. Hypocritical
10. Unable to take responsibility for his words

Proverbs 26: 4-5
Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Or you will also be like him.
Answer a fool as his folly deserves,
That he not be wise in his own eyes.

Proverbs 10:8
The wise of heart will receive commands,
But a babbling fool will be ruined.

Proverbs 18:2
A fool does not delight in understanding,
But only in revealing his own mind.


Jacob said...

Ah...."don't feed the Trolls." I'm fortunate to have not had much of a problem with trolls in my five and a half years of blogging.

Have you had many troubles?

Gabriel (aka: Easy G) said...

Sis Laura,

Pray you're having a wonderful day. If interested, I was wondering what you thought of this, as I think it deals with the post you've written on TROLLS.



By the way, if you should get a chance, I seriously think you should consider the "Questioning Evangelism" Book....as it's one of the best books on the very issue (especially the part of not answering fool according to his folly) that you'll find.



One of the excerpts that really stuck out to me in the book was this one:

remely based in Scripture in case anyone wants to check it out.),

“In some cases, answering people’s questions with content that they want only solidifies their unbelief.“Consider the pair of seemingly contradictory exhortations in Proverbs 26:4-5…No wonder people have considered these two statements as evidence of a contradiction in the Bible, but the fact that they occur one after the other, however, could argue just the opposite conclusion, for in rabbinic style they show two sides of the same coin.

We should not answer a fool according to his folly (i.e. using his style of expression) in a derogatory, argumentive tone, for example. The result would be a shouting match between two people who disrespect each other (in some situ ations, you ought not even answer a fool…such a fool will abuse you and you will be tempted to abuse him or her in return).
“Such a display of godlesssness is fitting for a fool but not for a follower of a gracious God. Other types of foolish responses include reacting to sarcasm with more of the same, replying to ad hominem attacks with even worse slander, or employing any kind of flawed logic in our arguments simply because our opponent does so. Increasing the percentage of ‘fooldom’ does little to advance the kingdom.”
Continuing with that, “On the other side of the coin, we should respond to a fool’s question ‘as his folly deserves’ (v.5)(one way of doing this would be to show/exlain what the full extent of a fools’ logic would be or how far it would apply in every area of life rather than isolated ones they favor/focus on, so that they would see how impractical/ungrounded their thinking is, like asking a person opposed to absolute truth/morality and in favor of ethical relativism why they’re offended at the actions of others that bring them/their loved ones harm since, according to their own way of thinking, no one can truly say ‘What you did was absolutely wrong!!’…and the person who committed the wrong could say ‘I did what I thought was right, and besides, what does it matter since you’re no more right or wrong than I am?’ .

“Failure to do so could make the fool feel good about his or her foolish position, reinforce it, and make the fool even less open to considering the truth that could set him or her free (i.e. more willing to hear what you have to say and perhaps turn from their error)….Responding in kind with a lack of respect or worse is an easy trap to fall into. Nevertheless, when a person’s choice of words or tone of voice tells you that he or she isn’t looking for an answer, it’s best not to give one.”

Personally, for me, the entire issue comes down to the importance of asking questions.

What to make of situations like Matthew 22:41-46, where, prior to His opponents continually questioning/challenging Him, Jesus turned the tables on them by simply asking a penetrating question rather than giving a direct/sharp answer immediately to the Pharisees concerning what their thoughts of His identity were (that doesn’t mean that He didn’t name call or offend them at all…He did that right after in Matthew 23 when they refused to respond to any of His questions and proved their lack of concern for the truth but not before simply questioning them)

What to make of Matthew 12:9-12, where the Pharisees were “looking for a reason to accuse Jesus,” and asked about what was lawful on the Sabbath? Did He not respond in a question format that cut them to the heart?

Also, Matthew 21:23-27

The Authority of Jesus Questioned
23Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”
24Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or from men?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘From men’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”
27So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

Again, Jesus doesn’t seem to get involved with folks when they seem to lack a desire to correctly apply truth, or even consider anything (whether Scripture or the fruit of an action) from the Word contradicting their statements. Why not let their actions speak for themselves, seeing that their responses give enough testament to the fact that they’re not truly concerned with discovering truth nor are they worth responding to since all they desire is to either trap you or receive a reaction from others?

If a question came up and you responded properly by stating what the Word says and you were even being open to dialoguing with someone who genuinely wanted to discover truth and felt a sense of importance about working through real interaction about weighty questions, but that person still went about name-calling only and repeatedly/airing only their opinion, wouldn’t it be wise simply to ignore them and not give them the time?

Again, Jesus Himself didn’t beat around the bush on many occasions and responded to those opposed to the truth in many intriguing/wise ways that called people to attention (Matthew 21:23-45, Matthew 22:12-14, Matthew 22:15-22, Mark 12:1-40)

However, Jesus often responded to insincere questions with appropriate non-answers and even chose often to not respond at all to those who didn’t really wish to dialogue about the truth / follow through on what they discovered or contend with those who only wanted truth if it supported their own views/desires (much like the situation the Pharisees trying to trap Jesus/undermine His authority, and other situations indicating the same, such as Matthew 12:38-45 and Matthew 11:20-24), why do we often choose to do otherwise? As Jesus did, we have to make sure that TRUTH isn’t wasted on anyone.

And Like the Word says,

Matthew 7:6

6″Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces

Laura said...

Not too many lately. I did at one time, hence the comment moderation. But a friend of mine has a couple of really prickly commenters, sorta "flamer-lite" types, who constantly make passive-aggressive comments. You know, the insult-followed-by-LOL-JK dudes.

Laura said...

My stars, Gabriel... longest comment ever!!


One Salient Oversight said...

Some trolls even run blogs. Not yours of course.

Laura said...

True, true. And they might as well -- why not have a personalized soapbox that can be easily avoided by those who don't want to feed the troll? ;)

Gordon Cheng said...

Hey thanks for the comment(s) on blog Laura! Tom Lehrer—extremely funny guy.

Looks like you like some of the same music I do. Prokofiev I enjoy very much. I played his March and Scherzo from The Love For Three Orangeson piano one time.