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The Doctrine Of Hate

I wrote this post a few weeks ago for a website for Pastor's wives called CLUTCH.  Thought I'd share it here too…

I woke up this morning bleary eyed, stiff, cranky, but trying to put on a smile for my tired and cranky girls before school. While they were munching their cereal I snuck a peak at my email. For the second Tuesday in a row, there was a notice that yet another blogger had ripped my husband apart on his site.

Blogging has unfortunately become the handy “Christian Weapon of Choice.” Never in history has it been easier, faster, or handier to whip up your angry thoughts and make them instantly viral in seconds. Your words are instant, global, and permanent. When I was at Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. briefing last May, he briefly addressed the issue of hate bloggers. He said he used to ignore it…thinking they’d go away. But, they don’t go away. Their hate and anger builds and builds on these sites claiming all sorts of Bible and Doctrine to support their case in dismantling the leadership they literally seek to destroy. Engaging these bloggers may actually be the thing to do. He said that you need to correct their information and move on. Make a stand for yourself, and then don’t continue the conversation.

Our church and its leadership have borne the brunt of many (and I mean many) an angry blogger. There are men and women whose sole mission is to pick apart the words my husband and the other staff at GCC say piece by piece to discredit them and their message. Rob has been compared to Hitler… (Yeah, really), called a heretic, a pagan, one of the leaders of “Granger Community Circus.” Pretty unbelievable stuff.

The guy that compared Rob to Hitler really got to me. Really. I’ve been to Auschwitz and seen the horrific aftermath of one of the cruelest leaders of our century. I don’t think my husband who comes home happy and singing, ready to wrestle the kids, do the dishes, or play Polly Pockets has anything whatsoever to do with that kind of evil. In fact, every fiber of his being is wired to oppose evil and fight for whatever is good, noble, excellent, or praiseworthy.

I engaged that guy in conversation. I needed to. I let it sit in me for way too long, and my own rage just built and built. Engaging this guy was most likely pointless as far as getting him to change his mind goes. That wasn’t my goal. My point was to shed light on what damage his words had on our family. Our girls were at the age where they started to understand Google-ing their mom and dad’s name, and sure enough, guess what article they pulled up? I wanted that man to know that his words harmed my children. He didn’t care. He said “the lies and deceit your children hear at your church every week is a thousand times worse than anything they would ever read on my site.”

Whatever dude.

So, what did I do this morning?

I didn’t click the link. I deleted the email.

What do you do when the hate-talkers start their talking? Here are some things we have done that you might try:

  • Ignore them…don’t click the link
  • Defend your position, and then walk away. They don’t want to change, but you do have the right to set the record straight and defend yourself
  • Take a deep breath
  • Take it to Jesus
  • Let it go

Good luck with that last point. The letting it go part is what’s worst for me. Criticism eats at my soul. I wish it wouldn’t. I wish I could let it roll off my back like my husband does. What helps you let it go? Ideas?


11 Responses to “The Doctrine Of Hate”

  • Rhoda Phillips Says:

    Oh, Michelle, I had no idea. I suppose I am naive, but I just couldn’t see somebody posting something hateful about Rob or anything about GCC. The truth that it goes on hurts me. Those “Hateoggers” (sounds like a big nasty troll name) are just blind in their own ignorance.
    I am hear to say, and I know you know this, but so many things Rob has said on his blog and at church,have inspired me and bought about within me a new way to worship and be in a healthy relationship with GOD. I am not just a “fan” of Jesus. I completely admire him and want to be just like him, and only with him can I have that.
    GCC is not for everone, I get that, but I have never heard a message their that did not have GOD’S purpose in mind.
    I think you give great advise on how to handle it, I will pray that GOD gives you the courage everyday to handle “hateoggers”

  • Cindy Gray Says:

    This is awful Michelle. Just awful. I have come across haters in my life also. I have done what you have done, Ignore, address, walk away, let it roll off my back, take it to Jesus. The hardest is letting go. But with the Lord’s help it can be done. These haters do not walk with the Lord we know and love. They are ignorant, blind, self-loathing people. They are so unhappy with themselves they have to have a target to unleash their self hate. Or they are so high on their own horse they think they are above us “common” people. (we know this is not how to be!)I truly believe (from experience)that if explaining your side or point of view does not help the situation, it is best to walk away and turn it over to God. Just click delete on anything hateful. If you can’t delete, ignore and know with in yourself you are walking down the right path with Jesus. Pray for these hateful people. As for your girls, they are getting to the age where they are going to be hearing things, reading things etc. I know the way you teach them. You will be able to explain to them exactly what they need to know about these kind of people in the world.
    Walk with Jesus and He will guide you. I know you know that but sometimes we need to hear it again. You and Rob are people we GCCer’s are proud of. We are proud of all our pasters. Hey! They must be doing a great job or the devil wouldn’t be trying to take them down!

  • Lisa Vukmirovich Says:

    My heart has been forever altered by some of the things that people have written about GCC. I am hurt, but I can’t believe that the word “Christian” is so linked with “HATER”. I had to stop reading anything like that (I almost didn’t read this post) because it shakes me to the very core. All I can say is “love wins”. If God is love-we must LOVE. If they are going to hate-there is nothing we can do about it. I could talk about it all day, but I have to go love my kids now. Our family LOVES yours!

  • Kathy Friend.com Says:

    All I have to say is UGRUHHHHH, and I don’t even think I spelled that right!
    Hugs to you and your beautiful family!

  • Dan Clark Says:

    Michelle,
    There will always be the haters who thrive in opposition and darkness. They are being used by the enemy to try to discourage and defeat the kingdom work that Rob and others are doing. I don’t think responding to them serve any useful purpose – they don’t want to know the truth or change their opinion. Its like the old expression about wresling with a pig, you both get dirty but only the pig enjoys it.

  • Ron Windbigler Says:

    I too get very angry when I read the Bloggs that cut down churches, especially our church. I have on occasion responded in anger, but like you said it probably does not make a dent in their thoughts or their motives. There are three scriptures I like to think about, and pray about before I engage the Critics. Sometimes after prayer I will not say anything at all, but just walk away, and then try to encourage the ones that have been put down.
    The first verse that brings me hope is Genesis 37: 5-8, when Joseph dreamed and shared his dream. His Brothers HATED him, but for what, he was just telling the truth as he knew it, and it was revealed to him. Then it did come to pass. That gives me hope for the future. Hope for those that are telling the truth.
    Another verse that often comes to mind is Romans 12: 17-21
    Do not repay evil for evil ~ Do not take revenge but leave room for Gods Wrath. (If I try to control it God does not have room for the Wrath he wishes to impart) ~Then it says to do good to them (those who have treated you with evil, malice), because in doing this you will heap burning coals on his head. Unfortunately sometimes I delight a little too much in that image, (the coals being heaped upon my adversaries head) But that is what Jesus says, so I want to leave that one to him.
    A third scripture that I have used and studied is Matthew 10: 12-16
    It talks about being welcomed or accepted into a home, A persons thoughts and beliefs are their home and if they do not welcome me I would like to have the power to walk away and shake the dust off my feet as I leave, Again I delight in the portion where it says “it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town” (Person) it’s a vision I see at the day of judgment.
    I am not saying I have a lot of success in doing all this just right, but these scriptures do give me guidance and comfort when I take the time to study them before speaking out, or back.
    I think Rob does a great job preaching, I feel he and all those who are allowed to speak from the pulpit of our church are speaking the truth of the bible “from their hearts”, and I believe God will be able to answer the critics in his own way and time. Thanks for letting me voice my thoughts and helping me rethink these scripture once again God bless you and your family.
    Ron W

  • Faye Says:

    I’ve read the hate stuff, too. About GCC, Rob, Tim, Mark — as well as Steven Furtick at Elevation Church in Charlotte, Perry Noble at NewSpring in Andersonville, SC and others. I have listened to the words of these men that I didn’t know before I realized just how ridiculous the hater’s words were.
    I agree with Ron W. the saddest day for these souls will be when they stand before the Lord and hear either, “I never knew you” or “Why did you keep attacking MY child, YOUR brother (sister) in MY name?”
    In my mind, the truth about them is settled by 1 John 7-21. Matter of fact, I think that next time I see a hate blogger’s crap, I might just answer with these words: If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters. (Though they probably won’t believe it unless it’s KJV)
    As for the girls, Michelle, you have some amazing daughters and they have amazing parents. Keep teaching them truth and let them see how you deal with the haters as they grow old enough to understand. That will teach them a lot, too.

  • Mary DeMuth Says:

    Wow. Such a hard thing to deal with. Two verses have helped me in this journey:
    “Those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” 2 Timothy 3:12
    And “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” 1 Peter 4:14
    What’s ironic is that often our persecutors aren’t those outside the church, but those who refer to themselves as believers. That muddies the waters and makes the forgiving and healing much more complicated.
    I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this.
    Ouch.

  • Charity Says:

    Oh man… good post. My comment about mean girls was brought up by a few incidences that have happened this past week and man, talk about the mamma bear feeling coming out. Speak about my husband and it’ll get me like a wet hen but pick on my kids and you’ll have a bear. The hard part… knowing when to let it go and let it pass… we’re on a different platform with different rules and sometimes it stinks. I have a friend who’s husband is a state rep and we’ve come to realize that our boundaries are pretty similar. Anyways… good post.

  • Michelle Wegner Says:

    All of your words breathe life and hope into me. Sometimes I focus too much on the meanies and forget that so many of you are so loving and kind. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.
    🙂

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