The following article was written by Jesse Boyd lead persecuted missionary who was wrongfully assaulted and arrested on November 12th, 2022 in Madison, County and who spent 3 days in solitary confinement. Boyd highlights the fact that he and his fellow evangelists have been “trolled” just like the great preachers, teachers, and Bible translators of old. (Pay special attention as Boyd shares what the State Attorneys have been up to according to his research).
“When a Christian is harassed and harangued by TROLLS, he actually finds himself in good company. The Apostle Paul certainly had his trolls, religious ones. Read Acts 17:13. Early Christians in the Roman Empire were plagued by trolls who leveled some of the most unfounded and ridiculous accusations against them—cannibalism, sex orgies, incest, and even atheism. Heathen trolls went so far as to blame Christians for every disaster under the sun. Toward the end of the 2nd Century, Tertullian summarized the prevailing view of those who trolled the Christians and the Roman authorities who paid them to disseminate lies: “If the Tiber reaches the walls if the Nile does not rise to the fields, if the sky doesn’t move or the earth does, if there is famine, if there is plague, the cry is at once: ‘The Christians to the lion’.”
Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, and William Tyndale had their trolls. Spurgeon spoke of his thus: “those malicious persons who commonly haunt all public men, and especially ministers.” John Foxe dealt with trolls who hated his publishing of “The Acts and Monuments,” or as we know it, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. The papist trolls hurled every false accusation in the book against this man.
Almost every appellation used to describe groups of Christians or their denominations had its origin in the mockery of trolls: Lutherans, Calvinists, Methodists, and even Baptists. At Antioch, the first disciples of Jesus the Messiah to be called “Christians” (Acts 11:26) weren’t called that by each other. They were assigned that label by mockers and trolls. Papal trolls had a whole list of names that were used for Bible-believers down through the centuries, those who clung to the final authority of the Scriptures over that of the pope: Montanists, Donatists, Waldensians, Albigenses, Paulicans, Henricans, Hussites, Arnoldists, Petrobussians, Cathari, Dissenters, Anabaptists, et. al.
There is actually a funny incident from the life of William Tyndale who labored faithfully to translate the Bible into English, despite constant harassment from trolls paid to “dig up dirt” by authorities of influence, including Cuthbert Tonstal, the bishop of London, and even Sir Thomas More. I speak of the same William Tyndale who said right to the face of a papal troll: “I defy the pope and all his laws. If God spare me life, ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture than the pope.”
Tyndale’s English New Testament was first printed in 1525. This really upset Tonstal, the bishop of London, and he pondered much over how to destroy that “false erroneous translation,” as he called it. He went looking to hire a merchant troll who could somehow buy up all these printed English Testaments and deliver them over to him to be destroyed. A merchant by the name of Augustine Packington eavesdropped and overheard Tonstal speaking of these things one day in Antwerp. He approached and exclaimed, “My lord! I can do more in this matter than most merchants that be here … for I know all the merchants who have these books from Tyndale. Give me the money, and I shall buy all of them.” The bishop, thinking he had found the perfect troll, replied, “Do your diligence, gentle Master Packington! Get them for me, and I will pay whatever they cost; for I intend to burn and destroy them at Paul’s Cross.” Ironically, it was Bishop Tonstal who ended up trolled by his “troll.” Packington went to Tyndale and declared the whole matter. Thus it followed: Packington bought up all the English New Testaments in Antwerp. The bishop of London got all his books. Packington got the thanks and commendation. And William Tyndale got a large sum of money. Some mistakes that had been found in the first printing of the English New Testament were corrected, and a second edition was printed with this money from the bishop, MANY MANY COPIES. Tyndale’s second edition of the English New Testament then went thick over into England—three times the number of copies that had been bought and burned. LOL, the trolls fell into their own trap, and the authority who tried to hire a troll ended up trolled himself.
Kind of like Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, his assistant AG Thorin Geist, and Madison County Attorney David Buchler, (a former Montana Assistant AG), have tried to do to me and my family, commissioning and supplying vile online trolls to harass us … the religious authorities in London hired many to troll the preacher and translator. John Foxes writes, “In the registers of London it appeareth manifest how that the bishops and Sir Thomas More having before them such as had been at Antwerp, most studiously would search and examine all things belonging to Tyndale, where and with whom he hosted, whereabouts stood the house, what was his stature, in what apparel he went, and what rest he had; all which things when they had diligently learned then began they to work their feats.”
One of these hired trolls, Henry Phillips, was sent to Antwerp to befriend William Tyndale and seek occasion to have him delivered over to the authorities. It was by this means that the preacher was ultimately apprehended. While in prison, William Tyndale was offered a defense attorney and advocate, but he refused, saying, “I will answer for myself.” Perhaps you know the story: he was condemned without any due process in Augsburg, upon the lies and false accusations of trolls. He was brought to the place of execution in the town of Vilvorde. He was tied to the stake, strangled by the executioner, and his body was burned to ash. It was the year 1536, eleven years after his first printing of the English New Testament. You might pause at the end of this story and sigh, “Well, the trolls finally got him. They finally brought the preacher down.” That, my friend, is where you are wrong. It was the trolls in this matter who ultimately got TROLLED by the Lord God of the Holy Scriptures, the God of William Tyndale. You see, the preacher was imprisoned for a year and a half before his kangaroo court trial and his execution. During that time, his prison preaching brought the jail keeper, the keeper’s daughter, and others of his household to Christ (just as was with Paul and Silas in the jail at Philippi). And yet, that is not the best of it. While tied to the stake, and before he was strangled, Tyndale cried with a fervent zeal, his last words: “Lord! Open the eyes of the King of England.”
The LORD indeed heard this cry and answered it. In 1611, a standard English Bible was completed and authorized for printing by James I, the King of England, “appointed to be read in the churches.” That 1611 King James Bible was 75% the work of William Tyndale. I have a page from a first edition King James Bible hanging on my office wall at this moment, one of my most prized treasures, given to my grandfather by his church congregation and then passed on to me upon my grandmother’s death. The eyes of the King of England were indeed opened, and the King James Bible has since become the bestselling book OF ALL TIME.
How’s that for TROLLING THE TROLLS?
So, if you are being trolled because of your labor and service for the Lord—perhaps in response to your street preaching, your outcries in defense of the slaughtered unborn babies, your homeschooling, your stand against sexual perversion, your whistleblowing in the face of evil and corruption—FRET NOT. Go read Psalm 37 and remember, YOU ARE IN GOOD COMPANY. Never forget the dying prayer of William Tyndale: “Lord! Open the eyes of the King of England.” The LORD has a way of making the vilest of trolls fall into the very trap they have laid for you. As Martin Luther, who had his share of vile trolls, wrote in one of my favorite hymns:
“And though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us. We will not fear, for God hath willed, His truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him. His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure. One little word shall fell him. That Word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them abideth. The Spirit and the gifts are ours, through Him who with us sideth. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also. The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still. His Kingdom is forever.”
P.S. That page from a first edition printing of the 1611 King James Bible which hangs upon my wall includes the end of II Timothy 3 and the first part of Chapter 4. It just so happens to include the theme verse for our ministry, from which it gets its name: “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, MAKE FULL PROOF OF THY MINISTRY” (II Timothy 4:5). I knew my grandfather possessed an original page from a first edition King James Bible, but I had thought it was from I Timothy 3, including the biblical qualifications for a pastor. After my grandmother died in 2003, I learned that she had left this page to me in her will. I just assumed it was from I Timothy 3. At that same time, we had founded our missions ministry, and I had been praying over the name “Full Proof,” while meditating upon II Timothy 4:1-5. I asked the LORD to give me some assurance and direction. While waiting for that assurance, this page was delivered to me, housed in the same frame that was given to my grandfather by his church flock back in 1988. It wasn’t I Timothy 3 after all, it was II Timothy 3-4. When I looked upon this heirloom for the first time in my possession, my eyes immediately fell upon the words “make full proof of thy ministry” as inscribed by a press in England 400 years prior. I had my assurance, and thus we labor as “Full Proof Gospel Ministries” to this day. I WOULDN’T TAKE 100 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THAT PAGE. Its very existence and presence in my home continues to TROLL William Tyndale’s trolls to this day, long after their ignominious demises and deaths.