Monday, April 14, 2014

The Nomad

Follow me on the timing of this.

September 11, 2011, Tony Miano joins Faith Community Church.
(source) (screenshot)

~August 2012, Miano "began a process with my elders, the goal of which was to have my elders commission me, through the laying on of hands, to serve Faith Community Church as an evangelist, in keeping with the role of an evangelist as delineated in Ephesians 4:11-14".

~March 2013 - Jon Speed and the Babies Are Murdered Here / Gospel Spam / Street Preacher Guild group publicly dissociate from Abolish Human Abortion because of www.churchrepent.com.
Miano stands with them.

September 2, 2013 - Miano makes the following announcement on his Facebook page.














In other words, Tony Miano announces his intention to engage in a Church Repent activity toward Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Before his church elders have laid hands on and commissioned him to be an evangelist representing their church.
(source) (screenshot)


December 2013 - the elders of Faith Community Church "found aspects of my evangelistic gifting and ministry (namely, open-air preaching) philosophically incompatible with the evangelistic direction the elders have set forth for the Faith Community Church family. That being the case, the elders determined they could not lay hands on me and commission me to serve Faith Community Church as an evangelist."

In between December 2013 and February 2014 - Miano decides to leave that church because they won't officially commission him as an evangelist.


March 2, 2014 - Miano joins Grace Community Church because his other church wouldn't commission him an evangelist like I guess he wanted to be.

March 27, 2014 - Miano publishes his hatchet piece on abolition based partly on the fact that he thinks abolitionists lack local church elder authority to do what we do.
(His article) (Our refutation)

August 2016 - Miano leaves Grace Community Church (John MacArthur's church) to join up with some church in Iowa and "sit under the authority" of a pastor who has adultery and divorce in his past and yet who regularly "shepherds" women and girls one-on-one alone in private. And one of his closest allies, Chuck O'Neal, is sounding the alarm about Miano's discernment, which is either suffering from massive downgrade or has always been this bad. (I favor the latter hypothesis, personally.)
Sometimes... you just can't make this stuff up.



Now, if we were to ask whether Miano's elders at Faith CC thought it was permissible for him to engage in a Church Repent action toward Bethel Church, that would be less than helpful. One of the main thrusts of the criticism of Church Repent from the Babies Are Murdered Here / Gospel Spam / Street Preacher Guild group (of which Miano serves as one of the foremost luminaries and most listened-to voices) has always been that abolitionists have no authority to rebuke or exhort another local church, and that because our elders did not send us out for that specific purpose.


Leaving aside the fact that numerous abolitionists have been explicitly blessed in carrying out Church Repent by their elders, is it possible to escape the conclusion that Miano himself planned to rebuke a church without being sent out by his own elders?
And so he has decided to leave that church and forsake those elders because they wouldn't give him what he wanted - official commission as an evangelist. He could have stayed there and worked through the issues with those elders. He chose to leave and see if someone else would do so.

And what if we were to ask Phil Johnson at Grace Community Church of SoCal whether Miano was submitted to his pastoral/elder/overseer/bishop/episcopal authority when he decided to leave John MacArthur's church in favor of a guy who likes to take women into his confidence in the privacy of his office? It sounds like Miano is rootless and looking for anyone who will take him in and give him the affirmation he apparently desires from a father figure. 

What's the word for that? Ah, yes - nomadic.

16 comments:

Ken Cook said...

Faulty Premise 1. Bethel Redding is a Church.
Faulty Presupposition 1. Churches that aren't pro-life can't be true churches.
Faulty Presupposition 2. Tony Miano was operating outside of elder knowledge/guidance in his activities.
Fallacy 1. Continuum fallacy. Serving as a Church evangelist =/= elder supported open air preaching.

Your Argument fails on points of presupposition, Rationality and Proper inference.

Rhology said...

Hey Ken!

Biblically speaking, I don't think we can say it is or isn't a church. It says it is one.

Churches that aren't pro-life can't be true churches.

I'm not sure what this means, sorry. Could you please clarify?


Tony Miano was operating outside of elder knowledge/guidance in his activities...Serving as a Church evangelist =/= elder supported open air preaching.

That merely repeats something I already said in the article. You're kind of missing the point. Could you please read it again?

Also, could you please ask Tony to repent of what he has done against abolitionist brethren?

Ken Cook said...

Redding teaches another Gospel, It can't be a Church.
...

Please forgive the typos...

Churches that aren't pro-life, can be true churches.

Tony Miano wasn't operating outside of elder knowledge/guidance in his activities.

....


Rhology said...

Do they preach another Gospel? Or is their error something else?

Do you think that there are no true believers in Bethel Redding?

From where in the Scripture do you derive the conclusion that a church that doesn't preach the gospel is not a true church?

From where in the Scripture do you derive the conclusion that a church that thinks it's OK to murder children IS a true church?

What is your answer to the article I linked to?

Finally, do you realise that tacit elder approval to do street evangelism is not the issue here?

Ken Cook said...

Redding's Gospel is a False one. Having True believers in it, makes no difference as to if it is a true church. That is about the leadership and over-arching body. If you'd like to try to prove that Bethal has a true Gospel, be my guest.

My views aren't the issue here, the issue is consistency.

My point is that your argument is logically inconsistent. You're attempting to say that our Brother has acted inconsistently. Knowing the situation far more deeply than yourself, I think that you've missed the boat. If you want to attempt to say Tony has done the same thing you are doing, its simply incorrect.

Moreover, The Command of Christ to Love the Brethren as He did, giving his life up for the Church is the real issue here. Frankly, Both sides are missing it. Until humility wins the day we have all lost, because we are in sin.

Rhology said...

Having True believers in it, makes no difference as to if it is a true church.

May I ask how you know that?


That is about the leadership and over-arching body.

Do you have chapter and verse for that?


If you'd like to try to prove that Bethal has a true Gospel, be my guest.

I doubt I can. Can you prove they have a false one?


You're attempting to say that our Brother has acted inconsistently

1) He's not acting like a brother. He's acting like a fault-finding Pharisee.
2) He most certainly has acted inconsistently b/c he imposes a standard on us that he himself didn't meet.
More importantly, OTHER members of the Street Preacher Guild didn't call him out on this at the same time as they were calling us out for it.


If you want to attempt to say Tony has done the same thing you are doing, its simply incorrect.

What you don't seem to understand is that even the best of the churches that have been exhorted in an AHA Church Repent action are not churches you'd want to defend. Keep that in mind. Nobody ever does. Be better than them.


Frankly, Both sides are missing it

There's a difference between those who attack, back-bite, hypocritically divide brethren, and call brethren a cult in private, and those who respond to such sinful activities in ways that are not always perfect. Don't fear man.

Rhology said...

By the way, how is Tony not a nomad?

dustin germain said...

I think you make a compelling case. I don't know what has gone on behind the scenes, but it seems there is more than a bit of inconsistency.

Ken Cook said...

He's not acting like a brother. He's acting like a fault-finding Pharisee.

I guess that absolves you of Christs' Commands then... No need to worry that by the biblical standard of God's Holiness both you and I do far worse to Christ Daily...

He most certainly has acted inconsistently b/c he imposes a standard on us that he himself didn't meet.

No need to make consistent arguments based upon fact, which what you're say he's failed at doing... right?

More importantly, OTHER members of the Street Preacher Guild didn't call him out on this at the same time as they were calling us out for it.

So you've not been treated fairly, as a Good Calvinist, and its by a brother, do you forgive and desire reconciliation or do you attempt to force their repentance?

If you are called to Love as Christ Loved, and Love keeps no record of Wrongs, ought you by biblical standards continue this my friend?

Counting Wrongs serves no purpose. Demanding Repentance Servers no Purpose. Loving your brother, whom you feel is in sin despite any sin against you, that is both biblical and unifying.


What is the Goal brother? Unity or Self-Defense? What was Christ's Goal, Calling and Action?

Rhology said...

Well, Ken, I don't see how I've disobeyed any of Christ's commands. Jesus Himself exposed hypocrisy in the religious leaders of His day and commanded me to do the same.

I disagree that I have made inconsistent arguments not based on fact. But I invite you to demonstrate how, to break down my rebuttals. :-)

I desire reconciliation. As you know, reconciliation in a case like this can come once the party who keeps sinning against his brother repents.
Ken, did you know that no less than four good brothers in the faith have gone to quite a bit of trouble to try to make reconciliation happen? And that Marcus Pittman and Tony showed their interest level was zero?
It is chronicled here: http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com/2014/04/damon-rambo-makes-more-of-hash-of.html
I urge you to check that out and ask yourself, and Tony, why he refused to even try to engage there. Why is it that he and Pittman left so quickly when Toby, Russell, and I were left hanging around, like "Well, we're still willing..."?

I am not keeping a record of wrongs against me for the sake of holding it over the man's head. If he repents, I will joyfully forgive him. I'd even scrub my blog of all of this stuff if he asked me to, if he were really sincere.

But his hypocrisy is actually bad for him, for other good brothers like yourself, and for anyone else who listens to him. It is bad. It is sin. I want him to repent and walk with God closely. He won't listen to me, though. Maybe he'll listen to others. If he won't, I want to protect other people from following him too closely.

Of course, may the Lord protect me from self-defense instincts. I know you know the feeling, that we feel tempted to defend ourselves in these kinds of blog interactions. I am sure I have not been perfect in this area. My motives are, however, mainly what I've stated, and I struggle against the temptations to carnally defend myself.

thepaperthinhymn said...

Amen

Michael Coughlin said...

Greetings, brother. I see the point in the article and I see Ken's points.

I would say that Tony is calling people to repentance and faith in Christ for believing a false gospel, regardless of whether the main focus of the organization calls themselves a church.

The difference is that the AHA Church Repent project seems aimed at what we'd agree are authentic churches of Christ, right?

Either you are calling REAL Christian churches to repent of their apathy toward abortion OR you are calling false churches like Bethel Redding to repent of apathy toward abortion.

In either case, the goal is different than Tony's. Tony is simply preaching to the lost, even if it is poorly worded. There is also a church of Satan - you certainly wouldn't say that calling them out for their sin and preaching the gospel to them is the same as how you'd approach an evangelical church with a valid SOF, would you?

So I'm not arguing the merits of Tony's arguments against AHA or the merits of the CR project, rather, I was trying to help explain Ken's point that Tony's "church repent" call differs fundamentally from the AHA CR project.

I think you step too far in calling Tony nomadic. The fact is that the elders of his prior church actually encouraged him in what he was doing, but told him to find a church where that ministry was something the church would want to support more centrally.

It would be like if you played the drums and your church said, "Hey, drums are OK, we just don't do them here. But another really good church up the street uses them."

So you leave to play the drums and use your skill for God at the other church, not because you are nomadic or your church wouldn't do things your way, but because that is the way it worked out.

My $.02

Praying for your upcoming trip!

Rhology said...

Hey brother,

The difference is that the AHA Church Repent project seems aimed at what we'd agree are authentic churches of Christ, right?

No, not necessarily.
Are lifechurch.tv and liberal Vineyard churches "authentic" churches?
I actually don't think the term "authentic church" is very helpful in this discussion anyway.
http://blog.abolishhumanabortion.com/2013/04/do-abolitionists-have-authority-to.html


Tony is simply preaching to the lost, even if it is poorly worded.

He's calling members of a church to repent.


you certainly wouldn't say that calling them out for their sin and preaching the gospel to them is the same as how you'd approach an evangelical church with a valid SOF, would you?

No, you're right.
http://churchrepent.com/exhort/#a2


I was trying to help explain Ken's point that Tony's "church repent" call differs fundamentally from the AHA CR project.

Yeah. But I disagree. :-)


The fact is that the elders of his prior church actually encouraged him in what he was doing, but told him to find a church where that ministry was something the church would want to support more centrally.

He didn't have to leave. He did. Why not just stay? Is he not in a sense seeking a church that he likes better, which is precisely what he accuses (in ignorance) my brethren of doing?

I don't love the drum analogy. Evangelism is a gift given by God to the church. Drums, while neato, are optional.


Praying for your upcoming trip!

Many thanks!

Michael Coughlin said...

Then I would argue if your church repent project is aimed at inauthentic churches then the focus on abortion is unwarranted and instead we should preach the gospel.

But the point is that AHA isn't being attacked for calling on sinners to repent - AHA is being judged for the perception that AHA is attacking what would be the true church.

Analogies fail. I didn't like it as I typed it.

But that was my point. What Tony did at Bethel is not what he and others are preaching/writing against. I think Ken and I were showing we thought your analogy failed.

Nevertheless, as I said, I wasn't arguing for or against the merits of CR, rather I was pointing out that I don't think you showed Tony to be a nomad nor did I agree his actions disqualified him automatically from the recent arguments against AHA (the merits of which I did not argue).

If anything, your post seemed to detract from the good points you have made concerning your project, AHA and interaction with church.

Either way, you at least have won me over enough that I desire to read your blog, and I look forward to seeing you grow in maturity even if no one else is exhibiting growth. :)

Rhology said...

Analogies fail. I didn't like it as I typed it.

Hahaha, that happens to me a lot.


AHA is being judged for the perception that AHA is attacking what would be the true church.

Yeah. And I would love it if those critics would defend their choice of the word "attack". And also engage our biblical arguments about the true/false church thing.


What Tony did at Bethel is not what he and others are preaching/writing against.

Well, I don't agree with y'all brothers.
I think the main thing to remember is that CR is addressing PROFESSING Christians, and so is Tony. Bethel professes to be Christian. So does the Vineyard church, so does lifechurch.tv, so do the United Methodist churches.
Also, we DO preach the Gospel, all the time. You are probably aware that when you're talking to professing Christians who are in sin, to get them to understand that they are not really living like they're supposed to requires quite a lot of law preaching, and that's what we're doing. The SOLUTION to sin is always the Gospel. But you have to preach law to get there. Especially in the Bible Belt, where you and Tony don't live.

But thanks again for stopping by, and blessings to you on the day we celebrate the grace of the Lord.

Dee said...

"I think you step too far in calling Tony nomadic. The fact is that the elders of his prior church actually encouraged him in what he was doing, but told him to find a church where that ministry was something the church would want to support more centrally."

I am curious, what does that mean-"support more centrally?" Thanks in advance to anyone who cares to answer. I thought the reason Mr. Miano gave for leaving FCC was due to a difference in philosophy of ministry.