Evangelical zealots love to bully people with the Bible, especially on social media. They present themselves as experts; people who know exactly what God meant when men, moved by the Holy Ghost, wrote the Bible. Often, they speak beyond their expertise, thinking that their unbelieving targets don’t know much about Bible and its teachings. Certainty breeds arrogance, and boy, oh boy, do these arrogant followers of Jesus think/know they are 100% right. They are every bit as infallible as God, or so they appear anyway.
The other day, I attempted to interact with a local Evangelical man who was bullying an LGBTQ friend of mine on Facebook. As a college-educated preacher with twenty-five years in the ministry, I will sometime engage these bullies, knowing I likely know a hell of a lot more about the Bible than they do. This was certainly the case for this man.
This Bible bully was determined to belittle and disparage my friend. He attempted to use the Bible to prove who is and isn’t a Christian; who will go to Heaven or Hell after they die. My friend professes to be a Christian. He attends a liberal, LGBTQ-affirming church. Because my friend is gay, the Bible bully stated in no uncertain terms that he was headed for Hell unless he became heterosexual (and had sex only as approved by God in the Bible). I thought, “let’s have some fun.
Have you ever lusted?
(I have yet to meet a man who hasn’t “lusted” at one time or another.)
Jesus said that if a man looks at a woman with lust, he has committed adultery.
This means you are an adulterer.
The Apostle Paul said that no adulterer will inherit the Kingdom of God.
You are going to Hell when you die.
Have you ever told a lie?
The Bible says in Revelation 21:8 that all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire, which is the second death.
You are going to Hell when you die.
You can use this approach with any number of human behaviors. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
You may notice that this approach sounds a lot like Ray Comfort’s evangelism schtick. It does, but in reverse. Instead of convincing someone that he is a sinner, I use the same approach to convince Christians that they are headed for Hell when they die.
The Bible bully in question was a hateful, bigoted, judgmental, mean-spirited man. So I decided to call his behavior to account with Bible verses.
Are you filled with the Holy Spirit?
According to the Bible, a person filled with the Spirit exudes love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
Does this describe you? No? Then you are not a Christian.
Jesus said his followers are to treat their enemies thusly:
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:27-38).
Does this describe you? If not, you are not a Christian.
Jesus said his followers should feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, care for the sick, visit criminals in jail, and take in the homeless.
Have you done these things?
Then you will go to Hell when you die.
Jesus said: Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment
The aforementioned Bible bully suddenly stopped commenting after I posted my comment. Did he feel guilty? I doubt it. It is more likely that he had no answer to my challenge. I used the Bible against him, hoping to shut him up. Mission accomplished.
Another commenter said that none of these verses mattered; that all one need to do to be a Christian is believe in Jesus. He provided no challenge to my comment, he just ignored it.
One Bible bully ignored a similar comment by me on another post, saying that he was not going to do Bible gymnastics with me. In other words, he had no answer to my comment.
My goal is twofold: to show Bible bullies that they are hypocrites, in danger of hellfire themselves, and that their behavior and good works reveal that they don’t really follow the teachings of the Bible.
Have you used a similar approach with Bible bullies? Please share your experiences in the comment section.
Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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