This isn’t my normal type of post on the blog, but the anti-missionaries are hard at work lately, barging on to threads uninvited and trying to get people to deny Messiah.
A political hack is a negative term ascribed to a person who is part of the political party apparatus, but whose intentions are more aligned with victory than personal conviction.
Well, religion has them too and I just had one on a thread really display it for all to see. If you learn what to look for, they are easy to spot and disarm. I will use antimissionaries (people who are dedicated to get others to deny Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah) as an example, but you can also find this when a person has a ministry devoted to the promotion of an agenda (ie. Westboro Baptist). Pro-abortion activists use these tactics as well.
#1. They will insist on redefining the conversation. You ask X, and they demand that you talk about Y, completely ignoring X and then asking if you have something to hide when you don’t want to talk about Y (which had nothing to do with anything in the first place). If they can, they will get you so busy making it clear that you are not an idolater, not a follower of lawlessness, and not personally responsible for the crusades that you will not have any time to talk about the real issues. They will be controlling everything and you will be left playing defense.
#2. They redefine terms. For example, if I am using Yeshua, the antimissionary will always try to make the conversation about Jesus, even though they know that isn’t his real name. In fact — they were often among the ones most ardent about beating that Name over people’s heads back when they were believers. This is a classic example of redefining terms. They don’t want to talk about Yeshua the Jew, they want to talk about Jesus the supposed Gentile. They don’t want to talk about what I actually believe, even when they know what I believe, they want to go with the most extreme views they can find in order to bolster their points — without actually having to prove anything.
#3. Talking points. They all say the same things, but if you look closely, they actually don’t say anything. “It all breaks down in the Hebrew,” or “the Bibles are mistranslations,” and “the church has done this or that.” Well, if the Bibles are all mistranslations, then they can’t prove that things break down in the Hebrew because the Septuagint clearly shows that the modern masoretic text (which is not as ancient as they claim) does not always line up with the most ancient texts that we have — most notably in the messianic scriptures. Imagine that. As for what the church has done, that has zero to do with Yeshua ben Yosef. One might as well blame Moses for King Manashsheh burning his own son in the fire. I mean, really.
#4. Let me help you. I have had this offer made many times. But this is not an opportunity to dialog, this is them wanting to indoctrinate you — something they claim to hate. Indoctrination is bad when Christianity does it, but not when antimissionaries do it. But they are very selective about what they will talk about and they will throw out everything and anything that they do not agree with. They will define what can and cannot be discussed.
#5 They only target Torah pursuant people, not mainstream Christians. If they were truly concerned and loving, they would target all Christians. But as we see in the Book of Revelation, the serpent is ONLY enraged at one group — those who keep the commandments AND have the testimony of Yeshua (Rev 12:17). Anti-missionaries aren’t concerned with folks following Jesus, they only care once we start touching the Torah. And then they infect some messianics, and get them to do their dirty work for them.
In the end, look at what they are saying.
#1. What are they saying in context? Are they cherry picking verses or do they use the whole of scripture? Are they using disputed verses that have been radically altered since 300BC when the Septuagint was written? Do their interpretations meet the 2-3 witness rule? Can you find multiple biblical authors saying the same thing? Can you find multiple biblical authors saying the exact opposite? Do they say the Targums are not allowable commentary but the Talmud is? Or do they only accept some of the Rabbis and not others? Are they the only ones who get to decide what is acceptable proof?
#2. Are they making vague claims? Are they counting on you swallowing their lines and letting doubt do their work for them? Are they giving the same talking points as everyone else?
#3. Are they pro YHVH or just anti-Jesus? A lot of times you look on their pages and their entire focus is anti-Jesus with little or no emphasis on the One whom they claim as God. Spiritualbabies and Truth2U used to be very diverse and very pro-YHVH when they were believers and now they are simply anti-Jesus. You can’t have a ministry of being against someone, the only valid ministry is to be pro-YHVH.
#4. What is the character of the person speaking to you? If you don’t know their character, then you have no grounds to let them bother you. If you don’t know their agenda, their walk, etc.. then don’t put your life into their hands.
I am going to sum this up by stating one simple fact.
The only way that hacks can nab you is by causing you to forget what you know is true experientially by sidetracking you. Learn to stay on topic. If they came to you uninvited, then you have a right to define the terms of the discussion. They have no right to cross your boundaries and talk about anything you don’t want to discuss.
I used this to shut one down once, when the antimissionary claimed to be spamming my friend’s thread (who didn’t even know her) out of love and concern, “Well X, if you truly are concerned about Sister Y, you have certainly stated your case and she knows exactly what you believe. I hope you have enough respect for her to allow her to study this out for herself if, as you say, you are motivated by love and concern. She certainly knows who to go to for answers if she wants them. You wouldn’t want to be guilty of an inquisition type harassment in order to browbeat her into agreeing with you without a time of prayer and study, right?”