False Shepherds On Social Media

2011_08_SocialMedia1Nearly 78% of American homes have broadband internet, and 67% of all Americans use social media. Around 72% of all internet users worldwide are on social media. That’s over 1 billion people — and 90% of them are on Facebook.

Increasing internet access and the explosion in social media have provided false shepherds with a powerful tool to expand their platform and influence, and reach as large an audience as possible.

But all of this exposure on the internet, and social media in particular, has proven to be a double-edged sword.

Along with the greater ability to reach a bigger audience, greater numbers of people will see when a false shepherd is teaching error, outright lying, performing fake ‘miracles’, caught in sexual sin, and committing financial fraud and other crimes. All it takes is for someone to share a video, article, Facebook status or a tweet on Twitter.

With a few clicks and in a matter of moments, hundreds, thousands, and even millions of people can see these false shepherds for who they really are: wolves and hirelings.

False shepherds find this very frustrating and bothersome.

There was a time when they had more control over their public image and content. Back before almost everyone had the internet and all we had was TV, newspapers, and magazines.

Back then, false shepherds would promote their carefully crafted content on apostate religious channels like TBN, through VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs, and newsletters sent through the mail. Also in their own pulpits and at conferences.

All of these mediums were a controlled environment. A controlled environment is a setting where a false shepherd exercises an authoritative or dominating influence over others. In such an environment, a false shepherd can say and do whatever he pleases and no one is allowed to question him, correct him as their equal, or warn the rest of the congregation about him.

In a controlled environment, holding false shepherds accountable is forbidden and considered blasphemy or “touching God’s anointed.” There is an unholy code of silence in leadership and the people are afraid to voice their concerns or even hint that something is seriously wrong with “the man or woman of God.”

In a controlled environment, false shepherds are perceived as the main speaker, the highest authority figure, the most spiritually smart, the most accurate interpreter of Scripture, having the deepest revelation, and the greatest example of spiritual maturity. This gives them a great deal of control and false authority over their followers.

Puppeteer. Authority General Manager. Concept

In a controlled environment, unfruitful works of darkness are covered up and concealed through damage control. This damage control can be a circle of yes-men who defend the false shepherd against all allegations, or an administrative assistant who screens and intercepts the phone calls, emails, and in-office visits of concerned Christians.

Another damage control tactic is what I call “passive aggressive sermons.” This is when false shepherds stand in the pulpit and target Christians who speak out and attempt to bully them into silence and ostracize them in ‘sermons.’ But this is done in an indirect manner without using the person’s name, by making innuendos that let the congregation know who he is speaking about and not to associate with them because they are “sowing discord” “causing confusion” “under God’s wrath for putting their mouth on His servant” “in rebellion to authority” or a “Jezebel spirit.”

Passive aggressive sermons are a common method of damage control. It’s like plastering a huge scarlet letter on the chest of Christians who rock the boat. They are seen as having ‘spiritual malaria’ or a demon, and very few people in the congregation would be willing to associate with them and consider what they have to say. Christians who find themselves singled out in this way are faced with two decisions: leave, or wait to be shown the door.

All of this damage control creates a wall of defense around the false shepherd, protecting him from public exposure and deflecting anyone who would question him, reprove him, and warn others. But it appears that this wall has come crashing down.

The internet and social media are not a controlled environment for false shepherds. They have lost control of their public image and content online.

Just as the internet and social media have provided a powerful tool for false shepherds to reach a bigger audience, it has also provided a powerful tool for discerning Christians to warn a bigger audience about false shepherds and their evil deeds. The sword slices both ways.

False shepherds are no longer able to hide behind a pulpit in a controlled environment where everyone admires them, fears them, and hangs on their every word. The internet is a microcosm of the real world. And in the real world, there are people who aren’t impressed by their titles, false authority, eloquent speech, degrees, charming personality, talent, wealth and popularity.

In the real world, there are people who say things like “Where is that in Scripture?” “Can you show me that in the Bible?” “How did you exegete THAT from the text??” “You’re twisting Scripture and ignoring the context.” “You made that up.” “That’s a new age concept, not a Christian doctrine.” “That’s an occult practice, not a Scriptural tradition.” “That’s not the true Good News, that’s a false gospel.” “You’re preaching ‘another jesus'” “Where is the evidence for your so-called miracles? Is there any medical proof?”

These kind of questions and comments really annoy and anger false shepherds. They are use to silencing people in their institutions and controlling who has the microphone. But on the internet, any ordinary Christian with a computer or a mobile device has a microphone.

This gives the body of Christ much more liberty and freedom of speech than many of us had in a religious institution.

Now that many Christians have a greater platform to reach more people with the truth of God’s word, false shepherds had to step up their game and find new ways to do damage control and deter their followers away from the truth.

This has led many false shepherds to resort to filing false DMCA complaints against Christians on video hosting websites (such as YouTube) to have the video(s) removed. They also engage in intimidation and suppression of the truth by filing lawsuits against Christian bloggers. On social networks, many false shepherds delete the comments of outspoken Christians and block them from their personal profile or community page. They have assistants who monitor their community pages and moderate the comments to delete all unfavorable and critical comments.

I have seen false shepherds tell their followers to unfriend ‘negative’ people (i.e., discerning Christians) from their friends list and not to add anyone who criticizes their teachings and practices.

wolf-in-sheep

Creflo Dollar had the audacity to tell his followers that they would receive a “Facebook curse” for listening to materials that expose corrupt leaders on the internet. This so-called “Facebook curse” is pure superstition and fear-based control. Other false shepherds have issued similar empty curses for those who listen to Christians and information online about their ‘ministry’ and lifestyle.

This ungodly paranoid behavior demonstrates just how unspiritual, carnal, immature, prideful and deceptive false shepherds are. If your ‘pastor’ behaves this way, you should take note and withdraw all support.

Your pastor may be guilty of this IF:

-he deletes comments from Christians who say that he twisted Scripture.

-he deletes comments from Christians who put Scripture back in context.

-he deletes comments from Christians who ask him to prove his teachings from Scripture.

-he deletes comments from Christians who challenge his teachings and practices.

-he deletes comments from Christians who call out his false prophecies and fake ‘miracles’.

ALL of the comments on his page agree with him (this is a sign that someone moderates his comments to create an “amen section” by deleting any disagreement, reproof, or warnings)

-he tries to control the flow of information and micromanage your activity online by telling you who you can and can’t be friends with.

-Anyone who openly challenges him online is accused of “attacking” or “bashing” him and blocked.

-he invokes the wrath of God and posts superstitious threats and curses on people who disprove his errors from Scripture.

-he forbids members from going to certain websites and Christian blogs that warn against false teachers (especially him).

I encourage all Christian watchmen online to continue vlogging, blogging, tweeting, and sharing on Facebook regarding wolves and hirelings in the church world. Continue spreading the Good News message and warning God’s people against those who pervert it and mislead them.

If false shepherds can use the internet and social media to promote works of the devil, then surely we can use the internet and social media to do the work of Christ.

Some people say that you can’t change anyone’s mind over the internet, but if that were true there wouldn’t be any politicians, religious leaders, entertainers, and activists on the internet trying to influence minds. The true issue is that many people (including false shepherds) do not want Christians using the internet to influence and inform people with the word of God.

Many many Christians all over the world have been blessed, comforted, and liberated through sound teaching online. The Holy Spirit is delivering and healing many from the religious bondage and spiritual abuse of false teachers and apostate churches.

Some Christians have no idea what their leaders are into or who they really are. It is not until they get online and see something on a social network that they finally find out and see the truth. Other Christians are troubled and disturbed by things that their leaders are doing. They can see that something is seriously wrong, but they know that they are not allowed to talk about it in ‘church’ without retribution. The internet and social media can provide a safe environment for them to reach out to other Christians in confidence and ask questions, study the Bible together, and discuss topics that they are normally not allowed to talk about.

I know that the internet and social media are temporary, and there may not always be freedom of speech for Christians. But in the mean time, for now, I am very thankful for this technological advance which empowers God’s people to connect with others and speak the truth in love.

I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom:Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.They will reject the truth and chase after myths.But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

12 Comments on “False Shepherds On Social Media

  1. Great article, and love your blog!

    It never ceases to amaze me how “shepherds” who out of one corner of their mouths condemn social media as “Satan’s mouthpiece” (yes, that’s what one “pastor” of my acquaintance actually called it) are also the same ones who don’t hesitate for a second to put it to use “for the Lord” (i.e., their own self-aggrandizement) when it suits them. And yes, that same “pastor” I just mentioned did exactly that, with results very similar to what your OP describes.

    • Isn’t it interesting? Some leaders say that people need to “stay off the internet” UNLESS they’re listening to their teachings or clicking that “donate now” button.

  2. Here is another addition to your list if “Your Pastor may be guilty if…”

    – He sends two lowly staff pastors out to “falsely command” you not to write any letters of inquiry about policy as it relates to Biblical doctrine. Of course the “senior” pastor will not talk to you directly and the staff pastors improperly use Hebrews 13:17 thinking you don’t know how to use a W. E. Vines.

    – Meet three deacons in a meeting and you are the only one that brings a Bible. Then you lead in prayer at a public place when all they want to do is wear dark sun glasses.

    Thanks for your work Evelyn. You are a dear saint. You can do a Jeff Foxworthy thing. Bless you.

    Humbly,

    Frank
    sheep

    • Wow! What a horrible experience Jeff. Sounds similar to other reports that I have heard from other people. These type of leaders rarely deal with people directly. They want your money, but they don’t “have time” to speak with you.

      • There is a lot of dynamics going on here. This is a large and growing Assembly of God Church in the Hudson Valley. My story isn’t out of the norm here. A lot of issues are involved on how we choose Deacons to a Pastor who sees himself as one who needs protection of an inner circle. A lot of saints have left the church and not for superficial reasons. Men and woman of good character have left. The church is annoyed that I haven’t.

        Another sign is asking “Where is that in the Bible?” and then getting an angry reaction.
        It is where leadership thinks more of themselves then they think of Jesus. They have lost their “Fear of the Lord.” I have no doubt that the Pastor at one time was there to do God’s will. But man gets caught up in his own importance where is doesn’t matter if a saint is thrown up on the modern alter of Baal of the Emergent Church as a sacrifice in the name of “who knows what” anymore to show “unity” in “Pastor’s Vision”.

        When we forget who we are in Christ, we forget truth and love.

        During that same meeting that I mentioned with the three Deacons, one deacon looked at me in the eye and told me Pastor XXXXXX is “anointed” to lead this Church. I looked in his eye back and told him “Deacon, and I am anointed to do what I am doing. It is suppose to be the same anointing unless there is are two Holy Spirits” Then the subject changed really fast. I was thinking that this should scare them; that they flow so easily and fluently with the language of “Churcheeze” and not realize that Yahwah just might be offended. I tremble for them.

        BTW, I don’t think it is about my money so much at this point. It is all about image and ego; in other words idolatry.

        My saga has lasted 15 months. It has involved protectionism, criminal and violent acts, isolation, leaks from board meetings about me and others, twisting of scriptures, slander, extortion and even dirty looks. I’m not one of the ones who left. But through all this I have learned to enjoy the company of “not so perfect folk” who love the Lord over the “perfect ones” who forgot who loved them first. It has been humbling when you can cry for someone else. It is cleansing.

        Bless you Miss Evelyn. Take care lass.

        Humbly,

        Frank
        sheep

      • Wow. You have shared a lot Frank. Some things sound familiar to what I and so many others have experienced and personally witnessed. I hope that the Lord has given you peace in that challenging situation, and that you will continue to be led by His Spirit. God bless

  3. Pingback: Beware of Wolves In Sheep’s ‘s Clothing on Social Media | BCNN1 WP

  4. Hi Evelyn –

    This is bulls eye truth. Yes indeed — sizzling with potent, spiritually profitable flavor.

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