Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on davidwilber.me. Tabernacle of David considers this ministry trustworthy and Biblically sound.
Author: David Wilber
Last week, a YouTuber aptly named “The Revolting Man” published a three-hour-long video in which he spent a considerable amount of time ranting about how he hates me and wishes violence against me. (He said that if he could make my head explode with his mind, he would.) I learned some lessons from this experience. But first, here’s some background:
I’ve never met The Revolting Man (hereafter TRM) or even heard of him until a friend of mine sent me his deranged video. In the video, he condemned me to “the hottest spot” of hell, said he hates me, called me weak, made fun of my voice, and on and on. When he says he hates me, he really hates me—enough to make a three-hour-long video on the topic! (To be fair, I didn’t watch more than about 10 minutes of it, but TRM did inform me later that “only” 45 minutes of the video was about me. Still!)
Why was this dude so unhinged? Because I said some stuff about the Bible that he disagreed with. Namely, that men and women are ontologically equal and that Ephesians 5 teaches that husbands and wives should look out for the other’s interests before their own. He didn’t like that.
TRM disagrees with Ephesians 5 and instead advocates for a type of modern patriarchy. This shouldn’t be confused with complementarianism, a view that is biblically defensible even though I differ with it on some points. (I align more closely with biblical egalitarianism). No, TRM’s opinions don’t resemble what you see in the Bible. Maybe he gets his views from the Quran? I don’t know.
To give you a picture of TRM’s theology, if secular feminists could create a person in a lab who embodied all of their most cartoonish caricatures of biblical teaching, TRM would be their creation. He advocates modern-day polygamy, views wives as the property of their husbands, believes women don’t have anything of value to teach men, etc. He basically espouses with sincerity all of the unfounded rumors about the Bible that atheists cite in their memes (and which I refute in my book).
Anyway, the whole experience of seeing this guy’s video was so surreal to me. I didn’t know what to do except laugh. And when I find something funny or bizarre on the Internet, I usually share it with my friends and followers on Facebook. So that’s what I did.
Predictably, all of my friends and followers joined me in laughing at how insane the guy seemed. There were hundreds of comments. People made fun of the guy. One person even made a funny video using clips from the guy’s rant. (Apparently TRM saw the video and also thought it was funny, so I’m not a jerk for linking to it here—promise!) It was a good time.
However, eventually, TRM himself tracked down my Facebook post and saw all the fun we were having at his expense. So, he decided to chime in. This was when it got sad.
I engaged TRM in “discussion” (if you could call it that) for a bit and learned about how he believes it’s okay for husbands to abuse their wives physically. He admitted to hitting a woman and choking his former wife. Obviously, the fact that any “man” would promote hurting a woman enraged me. A real man protects women. A real husband loves his wife and is willing to lay down his life for her.
Nevertheless, it started to make sense to me why TRM was so angry about my biblical views. He is clearly intimidated by women and feels threatened when people like me teach that the Bible affirms their value. Through a distorted misuse of the Bible, TRM has found a way to maintain control over the women in his life. So, when he sees his sense of control slipping away, he lashes out.
It was at this point that I actually started to feel bad for him. Maybe a woman hurt him deeply in his past. Maybe he was also abused. (That certainly would not excuse his own abusive behavior, but it would contextualize it somewhat.) Whatever it was, something happened to him to make him feel insecure and like he needs to abuse women and make three-hour-long videos condemning Christian teachers to hell.
Anyway, I started to pray for him, which is what I should have done from the start. I’ve since been praying for him regularly that God would deliver him from the pain of his past and from false religious doctrines. I’ve been praying for his family. I’ve been praying for God’s love to pierce his heart.
In the process of praying for TRM, the Lord started to reveal to me some ways that I’ve been a revolting man myself. Like TRM, I can be insecure, and the way I handle my insecurities is not always the best. My approach is often to hide my pain behind sarcasm, passive aggressive behavior, or mockery. Similar to how TRM made an entire video for his YouTube audience attacking me, I shared his video with my Facebook audience so we could all laugh at him. It felt good to feel affirmed and to have back up in disparaging my attacker. Maybe that’s part of the reason TRM made his video—he wanted to feel affirmed and backed up after encountering views that threatened his sense of control.
I don’t think it was necessarily wrong to make the Facebook post (after all, I just posted the link to his video and described what it was), but I do know that my insecurity played at least a small part in me doing it. I knew that all my friends and followers would immediately take my side and laugh at the guy (if you watch the video, it’s hard not to). I wanted that affirmation. In a small sense, I did what TRM did to me. And isn’t there something in the Bible about not repaying evil with evil or reviling for reviling? (There is: 1 Peter 3:9; Romans 12:14-21.)
So, one lesson I’ve learned is that I can be quite the revolting man myself in the sense that I am apparently willing to tear someone down to build myself up. I leveraged my audience to respond to a personal attack so that I could feel affirmed and secure. There really was no edifying reason to share the guy’s crazy video about me. There was no substantive argument TRM made that I could have responded to so that my audience could benefit from the post. No, the video was just an insane rant, and I wanted to post it so my friends and I could make fun of it and I could feel better.
A second lesson I’ve learned is that there is a blessing “when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matthew 5:11). Yeshua goes on to say, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:12). This time of being reviled and having evil uttered against me falsely has prompted me to do some needed introspection, and God has revealed areas in my life that need to change for His glory and my good. God uses these situations to purify our character. It’s a blessing!
A third lesson I’ve learned is that feeding the trolls invites more trollery. Had I just ignored and not shared TRM’s video, the whole thing would have been forgotten about and TRM would have moved on to different topics that didn’t involve me. Now, because I’ve given him negative attention and he feels the need to validate himself, he won’t leave me alone. So that’s great…
The fourth thing is not really a lesson. I just have a renewed sense of confidence in the biblical teachings about the worth of women. I’m more convinced than ever that I am on the right track theologically. TRM’s “arguments” were utterly unpersuasive because they weren’t actual arguments. It says a lot about the validity of your views when people like TRM have to resort to misrepresenting your views and attacking you personally. So that’s encouraging.
All in all, it was a good experience. I am not looking forward to more unhinged videos being created about me. But hopefully, in the future, I’ll handle it better.
In the meantime, I want to make a public apology to TRM for sharing his attack video and making fun of him. A better response would have been to ignore it entirely. But since I’ve made it public to my audience, I now feel a responsibility to correct my immature response (hence this article) and ask my followers to join me in prayer for TRM, if anyone feels led to do so. It doesn’t matter what TRM decides to do or if he ever changes. I’ve just come to believe that prayer is a more edifying way to handle these kinds of things. At the very least, you could ask the Lord to reveal the ways you have been a revolting man or woman, and commit to doing better.
About David Wilber
David is first and foremost a passionate follower of Yeshua the Messiah. He is also a writer, speaker, and teacher.
David’s heart is to minister to God’s people by helping them rediscover the validity and blessing of God’s Torah and help prepare them to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope within them (1 Peter 3:15)…