Home christian living Beware of Internet Slander Among "Christians"

Beware of Internet Slander Among "Christians"

by Kelly Crawford

(Addendum…the quote below if from Richard Abanes from Crosswalk, not Jennie. Jennie’s article is the link at the bottom.)

Speaking of Jennie, she wrote an excellent article I just had to post, as I see this topic a very serious one that needs to be addressed head on. One we all must be very careful with, no matter which end we are on.

“We live in an era of too much information; an era wherein anyone/everyone can post whatever they want to post on the Internet—unchecked, unverified, unaccountable, unhindered, and unstoppable. Rumors, gossip, baseless accusations, outright lies, fear-mongering, hate rhetoric, hoaxes, slander/libel, and false information now litter the Internet….

Most tragic is how so-called “Christians” are contributing to this proliferation of misinformation and disinformation throughout cyberspace. It’s almost beyond belief that individuals supposedly indwelt by the Holy Spirit could be partakers of such activity. But the facts show that a significant number of “Christian” blogs & websites have indeed become dedicated to attacking others; more specifically, dedicated to attacking other Christians!”

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Christie March 4, 2009 - 10:14 pm

I was so glad to see this when it came up on LAF in my reader… it behooves us as Christians to stick to the biblical method of confronting a brother if they offend us instead of using modern day technology to spread lies and slander about them all over the internet.

Leslie March 4, 2009 - 10:51 pm

Amen…..an excellent reminder from Jennie.
Thanks for passing it on for others to read in the Christian community, Kelly.

Craig and Heather March 4, 2009 - 10:59 pm

This is sound advice.

A couple months ago, I was introduced to the wide world of “discernment” blogs. After reading an assortment of posts that contained verifiable and thought provoking information, I ended up linked to probably eight sites.

Since then, I have had to remove all but two of the links as so much of the information and commentary seemed so mean-spirited.


Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

~Philippians 4:8


Mrs. Taft March 5, 2009 - 3:27 am

I like discernment blogs and think they serve a useful purpose–but we should definitely speak the truth in love.

Ace March 5, 2009 - 10:18 am

Great point! But those who need to read this probably won’t LOL!

Many Blessings 🙂

authenticallyme March 5, 2009 - 10:47 am

Oh brother..I find what she says extremely judgmental. Not only that..it goes both ways. All Christians at one time or another feel unaccepted or attacked by their own kind.

I also find it assuming of Jennie to claim she is one of them on the ‘right’ side, while someone like me, due to my evil openminded-ness….would be the naughty Christian, partaking in evil, evil internet activities.

I dont agree with all the information posted here, but I still view those here as my brothers and sisters through Jesus. I still come around trying to be open minded and learn…is it only ‘misinformation’ if Jennie deems it is? Why is it the interpretation she claims is never her own, but Gods, and people like me are ‘following our own doctrine?’. Personally, I dont find much of her theology following the bible, but who am i to 100% judge it? A mere *human*, NOT God!

Perhaps I am being oversensitive, and reading too much into this.I know there are lies…..anyone can post anything. I wonder why it isnt viewed as *us other Christinans* being attacked when the shoe is on the other foot.

authenticallyme March 5, 2009 - 10:58 am

Ok, I actually read her whole article. Of course I dont agree it is “OK” to set up a website with the intent to specifically slander a person or group. Then again, to attack a “spirit” is different. For example, I once belonged to a group that was against spiritual abuse. It wasnt targeted to expose a person or doctrine or denomination, but a spirit of legalism, and thats all. We are alowed to fight and war against spirits and powers and principalities. We are not allowed to war against people. Jesus didnt war against people, he warred against THE SPIRIT THEY CAME IN.

Now, I would also think that Jennie would realize the reason a person would even set up such a website is *because* they have already probably been hurt/attacked by the group or person they write about. I am not excusing slander, Im saying though that understanding of the ‘hows and whys’ of it all could be used here. All Christians get slandered from time to time. The ones who put themselves in the public eye, moreso. I feel at times my words are taken out of the spirit they are menat, but it is what it is….Im also thinking that Jennie is getting a bad rap due to her readers taking her ideas and blowing them to proportions that she didnt mean…so people onlooking get upset, never knowing exactly what Jennie said….but perhaps reading on some website what Katie said Amy said that Jennie said, which then gets twisted and described in extremism. When that is realized, it becomes much easier to let go of the mistruths that are said or written about us.

Word Warrior March 5, 2009 - 11:00 am


I think you may be confused, and I’m not following much of what you disagree with about the article.

Jennie is referring to specific sites who have made it their “mission” to dismantle other ministries. Sites who use angry, deceptive, offensive language, and most importantly, make false claims that are just that…”claims” without any substantial proof or they take words out of context and twist them to make the uninformed reader view others in a light that totally misrepresents them.

She is not talking merely about people who are “open-minded” or questioning.

I didn’t see where she claimed to be “right”; and she never posts articles twisting and tearing down other Christian ministries (even those who attack hers!)

I may note here too, that there is valid room for Christians to call other false teaching into question and alert others (we are told in Scripture to do just that.)

But the line is drawn when those claiming to be that informant are misrepresenting truth and accusing Bible-believing Christians of belonging to a cult. (The word cult has been thrown around and come to mean nothing more than a group of people who have different opinions/interpretations that I do.)

It’s so easy to tear another ministry down if you throw the word “cult” out there. It causes everyone to “gasp and run”…when in fact, they may just have some different ideas, but still hold to the basic Christian tenets of faith.

We could look at a group who doesn’t believe in cutting their hair, for example, and say “cult”. That is not so. Convictions that are different from mine doesn’t make someone belong to a cult. (Heaven forbid we go there!) But that is the fad among Christians these days.

We must be very careful in discerning truth from lie…that is the point.

authenticallyme March 5, 2009 - 11:27 am

Ok, Kelly, well that I can agree on. If people are slandering in that fashion, YES, I do not agree with it!

I know what you are saying about misusing the word ‘cult’; unfortunately often cults to hold on to the ‘basic tenets of Christianity’. I was just reading a story under a website called UnderMuchGrace a few days ago, and the church (unnamed by the writer of that site) sure sounded like a cult, yet they held onto the basic doctrines. Hard call. But yes, saying an orgqanization *is* a cult certainly can brink on the verge of judging it, unfoundedly at times.

Word Warrior March 5, 2009 - 12:52 pm

Jennie just clarified for me, that the quote in my post is actually Richard Abanes’s quote, not hers. 🙂

Sorry to confuse that.

Laura Ashley March 5, 2009 - 3:12 pm

Actually slander has to be spoken, so something on the internet wouldn’t be slander. (http://www.nolo.com/definition.cfm/term/85BAB88B-0660-4AB6-A2F5C32E716A6D52 – in case you don’t beleive me)

Yep, they do teach something in public schools. 🙂

Mrs. Lady Sofia March 5, 2009 - 5:16 pm

I’m glad that you posted this, but as Ace said, the ones who probably need to read it will never see it.

BTW, I have never liked the term, “cult.”

HappyHermit March 5, 2009 - 10:12 pm

Discernment goes both ways. Only God is Deemed high enough to Judge who needs what.

Patricia in Australia March 6, 2009 - 2:42 am

Read the LAF article but not the link and I have to agree with what is said.

My church is on the receiving end of this at the moment because we teach that women should submit to their husbands and we believe in dressing modestly. There are also those other things, you know, differences of opinion on eschatolgy, baptism, communion and so on.

So I know about the lies, half truths and things taken out of context.

Since quite often we do not know the people involved and engaging with them would be counter productive we need to turn to prayer.

And of course as Jenny says, make sure we do not do such thngs ourselves.

Blessings to all of you ladies.

The Henderson Family March 6, 2009 - 11:04 am

Interesting post. I think the problem here is that there are some real and legitimate questions being raised about businesses that are marketing a certain lifestyle and in doing so seem to raise the extra-Biblical to the level of Biblical.

These women have some good and valid points and some legitimate questions about those who are promoting this lifestyle in order to sell their materials.

The problem comes when instead of dealing with the issues only (some of them, not all) begin to attack individuals and families. I agree this is completely wrong. We should be able to sound the alarm on teaching that is not Biblical without resorting to mean-spirited attacks.

But on the other side I think some of the issues being raised about some of the teaching marketed to conservative homeschool families are valid. A few years ago these companies/individuals seemed to follow the Bible much more closely, but now some of these organizations and individuals have started to go a bit too far off of what the Bible commands with extra-Biblical practices and principles being presented as necessary in order to raise a godly family.

authenticallyme March 6, 2009 - 11:19 am

This is peculiar, but I visited a friends (on extended leave) blog yesterday, and see an LAF posting there. Apparently, a site was made to reference every person or entity who said things about LAF, and posted them.

It goes BOTH ways. What purpose does this serve?

I agree with the main point of the article, completely. But now it leaves me baffled, as why it is not wrong for both sides of parties involved to deal with it properly, as the article states, instead of resorting to using the very medium that began such dissentions?

I feel this is a valid question.

authenticallyme March 6, 2009 - 11:23 am

Ok, I am very confused. The blog where these collections are a ‘spoof’ blog, whatever that is. Ill just sit down and shut up now, because apparently I have no idea whats going on. It was just so odd after reading here that I found that on my friends blog…weird.

Word Warrior March 6, 2009 - 11:35 am


I’m not sure what sort of site you’re describing…who was the author of it?

Who were they defending/tearing down?

authenticallyme March 8, 2009 - 1:26 pm


First I want to make amends for my ‘jump of the gun’, and not taking heed to exactly what your original intent of your post was about!

It was peculiar; I was adding blogs to my ‘follow’ list, and I added AdventuresInMercy (or was trying to) and found a post that said LAF in it on her(Molly’s) home page, as the last post on The AdventuresInMercy blog….so you can find it at the top. I followed the link…and saw what was there and became VERY CONFUSED. Apparently a ‘spoof’ blog….

The internets can be a strange place….you never know who is who……lol.

Craig and Heather March 9, 2009 - 7:25 am

You know, even though I have removed most of the links, I DO still read some of the “discernment” blogs from time to time. Not because I want to discover some bit of juicy gossip, but because those sites often provide links to their sources and I can get an idea of what is happening to the Christian community outside of our area. It would be wise to note that just because a group uses the word “Christian” does not make it so. And it is good to be aware of the teachings and practices of a person or organization before making personal endorsements.

We ARE warned in Scripture to be on guard against false teachers and are told we will know them by the fruit which they bear.

A lot of what is posted on the sites I have visited is stuff that the blog owners become aware of (Youtube videos, sermon fliers, magazine articles etc) which are put out BY the organizations/individuals that are being challenged.

The original sources can speak for themselves. Some of the things that are being passed off as “Christian” are truly appalling.

My biggest problem with some of the discernment sites is the harsh tone of the commentary that often accompanies the information. And that occasionally, I think the poster might have used a little better judgment in the choice of *how much* of the original sources to display.

The Holy Spirit provides believers with Godly discernment. There ARE sites that are damaging and just plain hurtful just as there ARE wolves prowling among God’s flock. We all need to pay attention and not allow the sinful tendency to gossip to be confused with the need to examine all things in light of God’s Word.



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