Why write this? Some things we have to explain. If we don’t, others will infer explanations that bear no relation to the truth.

Nevertheless, I suppose some people will now get after me for calling john zande and Arkenaten trolls, but we call people who cheat on their spouses adulterers, people who commit fraud con men, people who steal thieves, people who kill in malice murderers, people who…….. If we do that then what is wrong with calling someone who harasses bloggers on the Internet a troll?

What is an Internet troll? Here is one definition.

An Internet troll is someone who posts offensive, controversial, or divisive material on an Internet community. Trolls are an unfortunately common occurrence on many communities across the Internet, and there are various steps which can be taken to combat them. If you are currently struggling with an Internet troll, the best thing to do is to walk away, since trolls feed on attention, and they will usually disappear if they are ignored.  (continued here)

Since I have been blogging for awhile, I had experienced a troll, just one. Since he was a nasty fellow, I wrote about the subject.

  • INFESTED WITH AN INTERNET TROLL? – When I wrote this the troll decided to contribute, of course. He was flattered.
  • TROLLING THE “TROLL” – Nevertheless, even though I had had that one infestation, I decided it best not to call too many people trolls.
  • GRACE, TRUTH, AND INTERNET TROLLS – This I wrote years latter when someone wrote asked me to link to their website. There was nothing special in the invitation, but I tried to make the reply worth posting.

So why, after all these years, have I decided to identify two more people as trolls. I do so because that is what the data indicates.


For those whose sympathies are with the perpetrators, Arkenaten was my first victim. I have gotten 62 comments from this habitual scorner since January 5, 2015. Other than scorning Christians and calling Christians and Christianity fraudulent, what was Arkenaten’s most annoying habit? He would demand EVIDENCE!  Of course, he did not accept the validity of the evidence that anyone provided, and he felt no inclination to explain or defend his own beliefs. Instead of being responsive, obviously intending to be still more annoying, he feigned ignorance and questioned his questioner.

Since being obnoxious is not crime and and no one had to dialog with Arkenaten if they did not want to, I left well enough alone. I reasoned that even a bad example can serve a purpose.

Unfortunately, two comments (immediately deleted) went over the line.

  • Arkenaten referred to Jesus by the word we use for a child born out of wedlock.
  • Arkenaten called a book of the Bible vile twaddle.

Since no one’s blog should exist merely to serve as an object of amusement for someone of Arkenaten’s ilk, his comments now go into the spam queue. Thus, I wrote the following comment.

Citizen Tom
February 22, 2015 at 8:32 pm

You are a time waster, pretending ignorance.

You are also rude, and you have no respect for the rights of others. If you want to insult the Bible and Jesus — if you want to make a general pest of yourself — I will treat you as a pest.

Further comments from you are going into the spam queue. No apologies. No regrets.

Anyway, if you insist upon judging for yourself just google the most recent blog posts.

Arkenaten site:citizentom.com

john zande

John Zande is a troll of a more deliberate and thoughtful nature.  Instead of being openly scornful, Zande is committed or steadfast. He carefully produces “evidence” and “facts” that he uses deceitfully to con the gullible.

I first ran into Zande at ColorStorm (great blog, btw) on a post called Count them! I replied to some of Zande’s malarkey. Complaining that ColorStorm was censoring him, Zande left the first of his 90 comments at this post, CONVENTION OF THE STATES SUFFERS A SETBACK IN VIRGINIA. Zande’s comment had nothing whatsoever to do with the post.

Eventually, I wrote a post that focused on Zande’s behavior, IF YOU GIVE A MAN ENOUGH ROPE, HE’LL HANG HIMSELF. As I expected, that did not especially bother Zande. He was happy to be the center of attention. What set Zande off is the fact I posted some of the material from his website in WHY WOULD A MAN HANG HIMSELF? — PART 3C. That he claimed gave him some kind of special right.

Consider this comment carefully.

john zande
February 21, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Hi Tom

You do confuse me… often.

My ego? May I remind you, you posted a hunk of my work, and when I challenged you on it, you started your evasive song and dance. After 82 comments, I think I’m well within my rights to say what I have just said:

82 comments I see, a great majority connected to me and my rather simple question, and not one of you have been able to name a single new or original or marginally useful thing said or done by Jesus.


Please, I would suggest all people here calling themselves “Christians” meditate on this revelation you have inadvertently led yourselves to…

Now, by all means, if you finally want to actually confront the question, which is only presented here because you posted my work, then do so… I’d be tremendously interested to hear your answer.

Over to you… Or are we going to go for 100 comments?

Latter, Zande raised the ante to 200 comments.

What about Zande’s question? Multiple people answered it. Zande just refused to accept any answer except the one he wanted.

When somebody is playing fast and loose with facts and evidence, I have no obligation to let them post their claptrap on my blog. That is especially true when they have as much as told me they are spamming. Therefore, I left this note for Zande.

Citizen Tom
February 23, 2015 at 12:08 am


Since you are behaving like a troll, I have decided your comments should be directed to the spam queue.

1. If someone cares to read through your comments and find those that are pertinent, they will find you have threatened to plague this blog until I answer your ridiculous question. As many have already pointed out, your question assumes a false premise. Therefore, unless I choose to give you the stupid answer you demand, I cannot answer your question as you have demanded that I answer it.

2. Multiple commenters have established that you use “facts” deceitfully

3. You consider it cute not to reply to straight-forward questions from other commenters, and yet you harass others with your question.

Note that I never misrepresented anything Zande had written in his blog, and Zande never said that I did. When he posted his garbage on my website, I just used material from his own blog to discredit him.

Will everyone think my decision to keep these two people off my blog appropriate? No, but only a fool of yet another kind tries to please everyone.

Again, if you insist upon judging for yourself just google the most recent blog posts.

“john zande” site:citizentom.com

Frankly, if you insist upon understanding Zande’s character, I think it would be easier just to visit his website, not that I recommend it. Let’s make that perfectly clear.  I don’t suggest visiting Zande’s website. I think the time would be better spent in the Bible.

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United StatesI am just one guy. I am not very important. Yet when I look at the state of my country, I wonder what I can do.  Fortunately, I can look into the past — into the Bible — and see what wiser men have done before.

Joshua 24:14-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24 is the last chapter in the Book of Joshua. The Book of Joshua tells us how Joshua led the Hebrews into the Promised Land and conquered. Now Joshua has grown old, but he has one thing left to do. He calls the People together. He reviews their history, and he asks them to reaffirm their loyalty to the Lord. And the people renew their covenant with the Lord. After that, the Bible tells us that Joshua and Eleazar (the priest) died.

Even though Joshua had served as their war leader, he knew from experience he could not make the people love God. At best, Joshua could only influence his own house. When I think about that, I am forced reconsider my own limitations. I have only a trifling ability to influence the world about me. Even on this small planet, a tiny part of creation, mine is a small influence. Yet the end of his life, Joshua, someone powerful enough to call together all the tribes of Israel, claimed no more influence than I might have.

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

If we can set a good example for our spouse and teach our children to serve the Lord, we may not save the world, but we can help to save the souls of the people most important to us.

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James 3-13This post is the second in a series. For a list of posts in this series, please visit ANSWERING FOLLY: INTRODUCING THE TOPIC — PART 1.

The Purpose Of This Post

What is the point of this post? Supposedly, we intend to use the Bible to identify who among us are fools. In fact, the Bible does have much to say about fools and foolishness. If we search the New King James Version of the Bible for “fool,” we will get 196 hits. Those hits will, of course, include variations of the word such as foolish and fools. However, the word “wise” and variations occurs 220 times, and the word “wisdom” occurs 231 times. That’s because the Bible exists to teach us about wisdom, not how to be fools.

What does it mean to be wise? Consider how Proverbs begins.

Proverbs 1:1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Note that ending. Fools despise wisdom and instruction. Foolishness is not due to ignorance; it rises out of the rejection of wisdom. To be wise must seek wisdom.

Consider how Ecclesiastes ends.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

The Bible calls King Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, the wisest man who ever lived. Ecclesiastes tells us tells of Solomon’s search for happiness of all the things he tried. As an old man, he wrote Ecclesiastes and concluded the matter. As wise as he was, Solomon did many foolish things — until he finally recognized the need to fear God and keep His commandments.

What Solomon’s experience suggests is that the Bible doesn’t necessarily exist to tell us who is a fool; it exists to help us avoid foolishness and being a fool. Thus, Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes. Instead of repeating his experiences, he wanted to encourage people to learn from his experiences.

Does that mean we should not identify and deal with fools? No.

Considering Other Views

Bob Deffinbaugh‘s View @ Bible.org

Matthew 5:22 cautions us against calling our brother a fool.

To call a brother a fool is to declare him to be worthless. If a man is but a fool, a blight on society, it would be better for all if he were dead. To conclude that one is worthless, then, is to come to the conclusion that the world would best be rid of him, which is but one short step from murder. Our Lord did not condemn the assessment of a person’s character, but the assassination of one’s character. (from here)

In his exposition of Proverbs 26:1-11 the author observes that:


Here are the problems with a fool.


Quoting from multiple books in the Bible, but focusing on Proverbs, the author makes it clear that we must distinguish between the wise and the foolish.

How does the Bible describe a fool? @ GotQuestions.org

What is the ultimate fool?

The ultimate description of a fool is one who “says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good” (Psalm 14:1;53:1). Although fools can choose to become wise by heeding wise counsel and applying it (Proverbs 8:5;21:11), the Bible warns against associating with fools (Proverbs 14:7).Proverbs 13:20says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”(from here)

Nevertheless, we should not casually call someone a fool.

There is an important distinction between the biblical definition of a fool and the word Jesus used (raca) in Matthew 5:22when He forbade calling a Christian brother a “fool.” The term raca, spoken from a heart of contempt, implied utter worthlessness. Jesus was not saying that we cannot call the choices of another foolish. But to call someone “raca” was saying that this person was beyond the reach of God and therefore condemned forever. To say, “You fool!” to a brother or sister in that day was the equivalent of saying, “Damn you!” to someone today. We do not have the power or the right to condemn anyone to hell. (from here)

Can we call someone a fool or not? @ CARM.org

Instead of describing a fool, this article focuses on whether or not it is ever appropriate to call someone a fool.

When Jesus said in Matthew 5:22 that you should not call anyone a fool, contextually He was speaking of those who were unrighteously angry.  That is why Jesus mentions anger in this verse.  There is a righteous anger which is not sinful (Eph. 4:26 – “Be angry and do not sin . . .” ), as well as unrighteous anger that is sinful (James 1:20  – “for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God”).  When God is angry with someone, He is always righteous in His anger.  Jesus, being God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9), can righteously be angry with people and pronounce upon them the foolishness of their deeds–which He did (Matt. 23:17).  Also, undoubtedly, Jesus knew Psalm 14:1 which says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’ . . .” Jesus didn’t forget the well known verse, and God is not wrong for calling someone a fool, especially when it is true. (from here)

What are five types of fools?Institute in Basic Life Principles

This article references Bible verses to describe different types of fools.

  • The Simple Fool: The simple fool opens his mind to any passing thought and opens his arms to any passing stranger. In other words, he lacks discernment. He has an over-simplified view of life and fails to recognize the cause-and-effect sequences that affect every area of life. (See Proverbs 22:3.)
  • The Silly Fool: A silly fool believes that his own way of thinking is right (see Proverbs 12:15), so much so that he reacts to instruction when it is offered: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools [’eviyl] despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7; see also Proverbs 10:21).
  • The Sensual Fool: The sensual fool’s focus is on that which brings him immediate pleasure. He glories in that of which he should be ashamed.“It is as sport to a fool [kecîyl] to do mischief … ” (Proverbs 10:23; see also Proverbs 13:19–20).
  • The Scorning Fool: This type of fool not only has rejected truth; he also has embraced that which is abominable to God. Psalm 1:1 describes the progression of foolishness, referring to a man who first walks “in the counsel of the ungodly,” then stands “in the way of sinners,” and finally sits “in the seat of the scornful [lûwts].”
  • The Steadfast Fool: A steadfast fool totally rejects God and His ways. “The fool [nâbâl] hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good”(Psalm 14:1). This type of fool is self-confident and close-minded. He is his own god, freely gratifying his lower nature. It is his goal to draw as many others as possible into his evil ways.

The list of the different types of fools looks correct. However, there appears to be some disagreement (see here, here, and here). Since I cannot read the Bible in the languages in which it was originally written, that’s a technical dispute beyond my competence.

What Should We Conclude?

Of course we should believe in God. At least that is what God Himself indicated when he described Job to Satan with these words.

Job 1:8 New King James Version (NKJV)

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

Nevertheless, it seems that by Biblical standards someone can disbelieve in God and still not be a fool. Consider what Psalm 14:1 says.

Psalm 14:1 New King James Version (NKJV)

There is no God.”
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.

In addition to disbelief in God, to be a fool a man must do what is wrong. Therefore, if an Atheist or an Agnostic is not committing abominable works, just because they say they don’t believe in God does not give us sufficient cause to berate them.  If they are willing to listen, we can speak of God to such people, but whether they listen or not there is still no point in treating who behave well as if they do not.

More On The Definition Of A Fool

Modern Examples Of Foolishness

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humor.pngIn the last series, WHY WOULD A MAN HANG HIMSELF?, we got into the subject what the Bible says about answering the folly of fools. However, that was not the subject of the post. In this series we will consider how the Bible describes fools and how we should answer them.

Why should we take up this topic? We have entered difficult times, times when the worst kind of foolishness is on the increase.

  • Privacy is becoming more and more difficult. Yet how this problem is growing is quite peculiar.  In the past, people spent their entire life in a small villages, and everyone knew everyone else’s business. Yet these people were family and friends. Now our records are online, and strangers can learn about our most personal concerns. With drones and cameras multiplying, at any moment someone will soon be able to learn of our whereabouts and what we are doing. And our government is one of the culprits.
  • Our world is growing more unstable. Large and powerful governments, powerful even relative to our own, are building up the military forces. Some, like Russia, have already attacked their smaller neighbors.
  • Special interest groups increasingly use our own government to stick their noses into other people’s business. These, supposedly in the public interest, bully and rob their fellow citizens.
  • And so forth.

To answer fools, people who will not live and let live, we need to understand just what makes one a fool.  Then, to avoid appearing foolish ourselves, we need to understand how we are suppose to answer and debate such people. If need be, we need to know when to fight a fool.

Future Topics

Author’s Note

I begin this series not claiming to have all the answers. Suggestions and comments are welcome. However, I believe the topic is important and people want to discuss it.

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Examples Of The Failure Of “Reason” Part C

The post continues from WHY WOULD A MAN HANG HIMSELF? — PART 3B, and this post is the final installment in this series. Here we will consider examples of the failure of reason with respect to our self (For an explanation of the gods of sex, stuff, state and self, see AN ABUSE OF THE IMAGINATION.).

Examples Of The Failure Of “Reason”:  SELF

Those who worship at the altar of stuff take pride in the quantity and quality of their stuff. Those who worship the state take pride in the power of their government and their position within it. But one who worships himself measures everything against his own desires.

Here is an example from john zande. He tells us what Jesus — God — should have said. It is so comical we have to wonder how serious he is.

In the roughly 12,000 days this self-named Middle Eastern God walked the earth he didn’t once mention bacteria, pasteurization, or the importance of dental hygiene. In the roughly 1,000 sunlit days Jesus was on his ministry, speaking to sets of desperately eager ears, he didn’t once explain the sun, the composition of the atmosphere, clouds, or sooth people’s fears of the terrifying blights of lightning and thunder. In the roughly 1,000 long, long television-free nights Jesus had to say something new or useful, he didn’t once look up and explain to his friends the moon (and the tides), the stars, the planets, our position in the solar system, the galaxy, the nature of gravity, light, radiation, or on a more practical note, dispense the formula for sun block. In the three years of his ministry he didn’t point anyone in the direction of morphine, teach a soul about the nature of asthma, epilepsy, genetics, the periodic table, volcanology, the causes of headaches, muscle cramps, prenatal care, plate tectonics, architecture, evolution, or tell a single living being about the science of corrective-optics. (from here)

When we put our self before God, why do we do so? Because God is God, true opposition to His will is not possible — unless He allows it. Satan opposes God because he wants to be God, but few of us make such a deliberate decision to oppose or simply ignore God. Instead, we decide to pursue pleasure, do anything we can to avoid suffering, and fail to consider the cost.

Why do we suffer? No one has a complete answer, and I suspect most pastors will state as much. With regard to the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy. Don Merritt observed:

I’ve heard people say that God must have a plan in all of this… but what could it be?

Personally, I do not pretend to have any of these answers.  In fact, I’m not even sure they are the right questions… there are lots of things that I neither know nor understand. Having a close family member in harm’s way, I have paid this disaster more attention that I might otherwise have had however, and I have wondered what God’s thinking is about these kinds of things.

Alas! He hasn’t seen fit to share His thinking with me… or has He?

We often like to boldly discuss God’s plans for our lives, but in truth, God’s plans are only made clear in His Word, and there only in a generic sense: His plans for us all. Does He have specific plans for me or you?  Maybe, maybe not. (from here)

But we do have partial answers. insanitybytes22 suggests we choose our own suffering.

I really do choose my own suffering, what to get angry about, who to grieve for, what to feel sad about. Suffering is not all bad, it serves a purpose. Our grief when somebody passes away, is a statement of our great love for them. What we get angry over, defines what we care about. How we respond to events is a declaration of our character, a statement about our determination. Our suffering paints a picture of who we are and what we choose to emotionally invest in. It is also a measure of our own resistance. (from here)

However, one commenter, Tina Blackledge, partly disagreed.

The bottom line, suffering is from Satan and is a direct result of a broken creation. The earth is Satan’s playground and he has reign here until Christ returns, which I pray is soon. Until that day Satan will continue to cause further fractures, decay, and misery into creation. He wants to turn the tide so that his most valuable weapon, a fallen child of God, will spread his poison throughout all of humanity. More damage can be caused by bitter child of God, who has given up on his/her faith and turned their back on the Creator. So, yes, our choices do cause us suffering but please do not stop there because there is so much more going on than the consequences of choices we make. (from here)

Satan does have a role in suffering. He caused Job to suffer. Job lost his property. He lost his children. Painful boils covered his body. And his friends told him he had no one but himself to blame.

In a small way, because of a severe allergy,  BJ can relate to what Job suffered.

I cannot imagine the pain and anguish that tormented his soul as he cried out to God while simultaneously arguing with his friends. He really did expect to die. There are moments in his speeches that can only be read from that light. Even more than an end to his misery, he wanted an explanation for it. He wanted justice. From deep within the pain and torment afflicting his pain and his soul, Job was crying out, “Why?” The closest I can come to understanding that pain was the night when I fought minute by minute, breath by breath to simply inhale and then exhale. Inhale, and then exhale. I too spent much of that battle asking God why. (from here)

Job accepted his suffering, and he learned from it, but God never gave him an explanation. Yet through the Bible we see what Job did not. Therefore, in his notes on the Bible John Wesley is able to offer this observation as to why God gave Satan permission to persecute Job.

It seems strange, that, God should give Satan such a permission as this. But he did it for his own glory, for the honour of Job, for the explanation of providence, and the encouragement of his afflicted people in all ages. (from here)

Sometimes we do know why we suffer. Rob Barkman reminds us that our Lord punishes us for bad behavior.

Revelation 3:19 KJV

(19)  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Although we have a tendency to forget this…. One of the greatest blessings that a Christian can receive from the Lord is the blessing of His chastisement.  Keep in mind, the chastening hand of the Lord comes upon us to renew a right relationship with Him, to restore our Godly testimony in the eyes of others, and most importantly show us His love. (continued here)

Sometimes we must even choose to suffer.

Jesus spoke repeatedly to His disciples about taking up their cross (an instrument of death) and following Him. He made it clear that if any would follow Him, they must deny themselves, which means giving up their lives—spiritually, symbolically, and even physically, if necessary. This was a prerequisite for being a follower of Christ, who proclaimed that trying to save our earthly lives would result in our losing our lives in the kingdom. But those who would give up their lives for His sake would find eternal life (Matthew 16:24–25; Mark 8:34–35). Indeed, Jesus even went so far as to say that those who are unwilling to sacrifice their lives for Him cannot be His disciples (Luke 14:27). (from here)

Christianity is always under assault somewhere. Sometimes those attacking Christians can be quite grisly.

The latest video horror apparently released by the Islamic State (Isis) shows the mass beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya and underlines the alarming spread of the jihadi group far from the familiar killing fields of Syria and Iraq. (continue here)

Here in America as James Atticus Bowden observes, Christianity’s opponents are usually more subtle.

I downloaded the transcript of the speech delivered by President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, February 5, 2015. I wanted to see his exact words for myself.

Barry Soetero had some good things to say. Not kidding. But, he dripped his poison into everyone’s ecumenical coffee.

POTUS’s killer lines were, “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”(continue here)

The Bible tells us we are God’s children.

John 1:12-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Just as our children sometime suffer, not understanding why we ask them to do something they don’t want to do, we too suffer. Then, just as we ask our children to have faith in us, we must retain our faith in God.

Romans 8:28-30 New King James Version (NKJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Other Posts In This Series


This is for an ornery commenter who goes by the moniker of scout.  He keeps asking about the title.  The answer is at the beginning of IF YOU GIVE A MAN ENOUGH ROPE, HE’LL HANG HIMSELF.

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