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Archive for July 16th, 2014

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In my book Tony Miano is one of the better Open Air Preachers out there.  In some ways, he is refreshing to hear especially with his desire to be Biblical and his love for the local church.  Apparently a few days ago while he was in Canada he was physically assaulted during one of his open air preaching campaign as the picture indicate (Source of photo).

His facebook page has many comments with some supporting Miano while some were critical of Tony Miano’s method of evangelism.  While I think there is room for one to ask how one might engage differently in Tony’s situation, it is hard not to notice a much larger theological problem among some criticizing Miano.  I spent a significant amount of time yesterday responding to some of these comments.

Some objections seem to forget who is the victim and who is the one who inflicted harm; my response to such comments was the following:

Don’t you think there’s a certain level of irony in which the man who sinned was a victim and the victim who was physically attacked is the one you put blame on? What makes your kind of logic different from those physically abuse their victims and blame it on them?  That is frightening!

Some of the guys who were complaining needed to study the way Jeremiah and Jesus preached in their ministry.  Some thought it was wrong to say to someone that they were murderers at heart.  But we must remember the Word of Jesus:

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5:21-22 )

To those who think it is never right to say someone is a murderer in their hearts, we must ask the question: Are you better than your Savior?

We must remember:  “Name calling is a horrible display of Christianity” –Things Jesus never said (John 8:44, Matthew 12:34, 23:34)

In general I thought there were comments that were frightening spiritually to read as a Pastor: there were people with an attitude of self-righteousness almost if they were saying, “God, I thank you that you did not make me like that open air preacher! I love so much more than he, and speak more gently and graciously than he did to those who are angry with me.”

The one person I had the longest exchange with is a guy name Sean Gates.  The dialogue went as follows:

Sean Gates Way to go!?!? You pushed that person completely away from Christ. He may never give his heart to the Lord bc you preahing out out hate. Wake people. Ministry is to be done with love.

My Response: Sean you are pushing Tony Miano away when you approach Tony Miano like that by preaching against him so hatefully. Ministry is to be done with love and because of your tone and what you said I’m afriad now Tony will completely be pushed away from the softer, kinder, gentler, New Evangelicalism Politically Correct, Wierd Animal loving-VBS kind of Christianity.

Sean Gates And then you boast about your “injury” which you could have avoided by not being a moron.

My Response:I imagine you are responding to Tony Miano’s “name-calling,” among other things; don’t you think it’s kind of ironic that you called him a Moron?

Sean Gates You’re right I am. In the same since doing exactly what he did to that guy that decked him.
Like · Reply · 11 mins
My Response:Let’s repent of hypocrisy first brother Sean Gates; I think you should study how Jesus preached it might be edifying and change your perspective on open air preaching and preachers
Sean Gates But answer me this how many people came to Christ that day?

My Response:How many came to Christ when Jesus preached Matthew 23?

Sean Gates You never answered my question tho. This day this event how many people were led to the Lord!? I’m starting to think none. So that must mean this style of evangelism doesn’t work and maybe offends people who aren’t saved and getting called a murderer on the street. So maybe this pastor had what was coming him. Bc he is publicly judging people he doesn’t know. So for all this effort was for nothing. But he great news article pastor. Glad you are getting attention

My Response:In logic a question that’s a complex fallacy can’t be answered before the faulty presuppositions are addressed (see Jesus in action in Luke 20:1-8); My question to you that addresses your question still stand: how many came to Christ when Jesus preached at Matthew 23? Or how many came to repentance in Jeremiah’s ministry?

My Response: I also think it’s incredibly ironic Sean Gates that you charge Tony for judging people he doesn’t know; you called Tony a pastor more than once when he’s not one which reveal you don’t know him; yet you judge him for getting attention (something you don’t know from his heart); I’m using your own reasoning here to point out that you’re doing the same thing you are charging Tony of doing.

Sean Gates Look here is my point. Non saved people aren’t getting reached effectively by methods like this. This comes across as aggressive and they won’t even give you time of day. Evangelism its kinda like chess. You have to be strategic and spend time doing it. It’s not just something you stand out in public and yell at people through a mega phone. It’s not just something you check of your daily to do box and day well I told them about the Lord. People don’t trust any more. Spend the time and get to know the people who you are ministering too

My Response: What is “effective”? Before I came to Christ I reacted violently towards His message; but it got to me deep and later I repented; true effective evangelism is FAITHFUL to the Bible’s way of doing evangelism. again, your criticism is problematic when it goes against the ministry that Scripture commend of God’s men such as Jesus, Jeremiah and Noah.

But why would out concern? Question the methods of how you are witnessing! You need to know if you are being effective or not.  It concerns me that you guys are ok with this guy who may now never come to the Lord and in his mind this will be something that pushed him further away.

My Response: Again, read my words carefully; I think you are getting so worked up that you are slipping with self-refuting statements and other fallacies (complex questions, ad hominems, etc); I never said I didn’t care about being “effective;” note my comment earlier: ” true effective evangelism is FAITHFUL to the Bible’s way of doing evangelism.” I care about being faithful to the Way God wants us to evangelize; my dispute with you is that your criticism of Tony Miano is Biblically off the mark

Sean Gates You’re right I don’t know him. Neither does he know this murderer. Dude can keep doing this, but you can’t tell me this was effective and that he was right.

Jesus called people murderers in John 8:44 and Matthew 5:21-22; are you going to be Jesus’ evangelism consultant and tell Him it’s not effective or right? I trust you don’t have that much pride and self-righteousness; again, read your Bible.

Sean Gates Not saying God isn’t sovereign. I’m saying you’re method didn’t work. Think about what happened logically. Took called him a murderer trying to minister to him he got offended and hit you bc of what you said. God can change his heart even tho our the events that happened for sure. But you didn’t help him. You did nothing for him

Again, Jesus’ method didn’t work right? He too got rejected after His confrontational preaching in John 6, after Matthew 23 and after Luke 20. This is a great hubris if we are to evaluate evangelism by pragmatism rather than faithfulness to the Bible and the content of the Gospel and confronting sin.

 

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