What is something that everyone has but everyone doesn’t always want? The answer is: An opinion. We all have opinions about subjects we are passionate about and offer them online, whether they are welcome or not, is a whole different conversation. If you have been a part of the Christian Hip Hop culture for any amount of time, you are probably familiar with these opinions. Trolls on the internet are pretty terrible, but for me it’s worse when it comes from Christians “in the spirit of love.” Christian trolls exist and I suggest that we shift the conversation by refusing to feed them.
Christian trolls, or as they are affectionately called at Trackstarz “Internet Christian Thugs,” is one of the turnoffs when it comes to viewing videos and articles on Christian oriented media outlets. If you are ever bored, go to Youtube and look at the comments on one of your favorite CHH or hip hop artist who is a Christian’s video. Prepare to have your jaw drop. The comments usually go from liking to the song, to things that could have been done better, to the Illuminati, to obscure topics that have nothing to do with the video. If the artist does something slightly controversial; the comments become Scripture encrusted, online rebukes and condemnations. Nothing about these ICT’s (Internet Christian Thugs) or trolls says “love” or “Christian love,” but I believe there is a way to change all of that…… don’t feed them.
What do I mean when I say, “don’t feed the trolls?” Simply put, don’t respond to these trolls, and I know that it’s easier said than done. The trolls have been super low-key this year as opposed to years past, but they are still out there trolling in the name of Jesus. It appears that trolling has decreased but they are still receiving attention whenever we respond to them. One event occurred a couple months ago where poet and rapper Jackie Hill Perry posted a picture on Instagram. Her jeans were ripped and showed her knees and one person made a comment asking about her attire and was she a “Christian first.” I actually thought that was pretty good that only one person said that, but the comments kept coming. Many well-meaning Christians were telling the naysayer to lighten up and of course it made the mess look bigger. Perry eventually took to Twitter and laughed about how ripped jeans started a whole discussion on modesty. That’s how I was made aware of the situation in the first place. There have been other instances where one or a few opinionated folks say something and a slew of Christians swoop in to correct those people. This is counterproductive and leaves us looking foolish to those looking from the outside in. If we want to cut this down, we have to resist the urge to respond to these trolls, then we will starve them of the attention they desperately crave. Contrary to popular belief, our favorite artists don’t need us to rush their defense. They are grown and articulate adults capable of defending themselves if they so choose.
In conclusion, if we want the trolls to die we need to stop feeding them. By starving them of attention, we are hopefully negating their reason for speaking in the first place. This isn’t always true because we “Christians” can be a very special kind of stupid. Persisting in speaking because “The Lord told me to say” or “The Lord laid it on my heart” and to seek to silence them is to “quench the spirit.” In 1 Timothy 4, we are told to have nothing to do with irreverent myths (and dare I say that’s what these ICT’s are posting), and I believe it’s because we have more important things to concern ourselves with. Don’t worry about correcting your brother or sister in love, they will have to give an account for every word spoken (and typed). My job isn’t to correct folks I don’t know. I’ll let the Holy Spirit and the Word of God do that, they will do a better job than any of us ever will.2