Street preacher Tony Miano’s sent out a mass apology regarding his bad behavior and rhetoric towards Pastor David Robertson of Scotland.
I need to share with you a followup to this article I posted earlier: “Persecuted” Street Preachers: Pastor Josh Williamson, Tony Miano, Chuck O’Neal and Humility. I had not been aware that Miano had issued a public apology at the time the article was written, so it’s important to give that followup, but I noticed a pattern that I wanted to point out – a pattern we’ve seen before among Christian leaders. Let’s take a look.
It appears that the public rebuke given by young Pastor Josh Williamson of Scotland has been heeded. Tony Miano has since issued a public apology and also a new article. A few people notified me about Miano’s new article and I found it on Miano’s Twitter feed. But look closely:
I’ve been around the Twitter block to get a feel for how things work. People usually tag someone if they are related to the tweet. So I can understand why he tagged the people connected with his recent ministry trip: Paul Washer and Bjørn Storm and also David Robertson, the pastor/blogger to whom Miano was apologizing.
But why would he want to tag the following individuals? What was his motivation? Some of these are popular names.
- Dr. Steven Lawson’s bio here (@DrStevenJLawson), friend of John MacArthur – teacher at Masters Seminary)
- Pastor Steve Camp (@PastorSJCamp) (Friend of John MacArthur)
- Phil Johnson (@Phil_Johnson_) – the #2 guy at Grace Community Church under Dr. John MacArthur, blogger on Pyromaniacs
- Mike Riccardi (@MRiccardi23) cripplegate.com
- Geoffrey Kirkland (@GeoffKirkland)
- Steve Cooley (@TheTuesdayGuy) of nocompromiseradio.com
- Dan Phillips (@BibChr) – blogger at Pyromaniacs
- Frank Turk (@Frank_Turk) – blogger at Pyromaniacs
- Chuck O’Neal (@ChuckONeal_) My former pastor who sued me and who now tries to schmooze w/big name street preachers and people connected with his hero, John MacArthur
Aha – – – could this be why? Look at this – – he’s getting public recognition from a big name, Phil Johnson, who in turn sends out this tweet linking to Miano’s article, plus an attaboy at the same time.
Turns out Johnson wasn’t the only one who sent out tweets about Miano’s apology article. All of the bolded names above spread the love.
After seeing Phil Johnson’s tweet, I got worked up. I admit it. But here it is nonetheless:
For some reason, my comments were not well-received by one of Miano’s friends from Norway, Bjørn Storm. Check out this response. Does the tone sound familiar to you?
Wow. That tweet speaks for itself. I do have a side question, though. I wonder if Mr. Storm would ever ask a man: “Why don’t you start behaving like the bible tells a woman to behave?” What do you think?
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matt 11:29
After Miano left Pastor Josh Williamson’s place in Scotland, he traveled to Norway for the rest of his trip. Williamson had time to think about what had taken place: Miano’s arrest, Scottish Pastor David Robertson’s article challenging Miano’s arrest and behavior, and then the very negative public response by Miano and his friends towards Pastor Robertson.
Christianity has been in a decline in Scotland. Pastor Robertson’s words came from a position of having done ministry work in that country for 22 years. Could Miano be undoing the good work that has already been done in Scotland by initially causing a stir by discussing homosexual sin and then later by his foolish public behavior defending himself?
Scotland is now Pastor Josh Williamson’s home and he will surely rub shoulders with Robertson. Imagine the predicament Miano left for Williamson. Imagine what it would have been like for Williamson to mingle with pastors in his new home country knowing he was the one who hosted Miano and Miano’s behavior was not well-received there. I believe Williamson was compelled to openly rebuke Miano and the others who spoke out against Pastor Robertson. He was brave in doing so – especially considering Miano is his senior – by possibly two decades.
But it was equally important for Miano to publish his apology – maybe for two reasons. First, because it was the right thing to do (noble). Secondly, who will likely be his primary support network once he flies to Scotland in April to face trial for his arrest? (Hmmm)
It’s important to note that this public apology for harmful rhetoric is nothing new for Miano. Here‘s an example from only a couple of months ago, in November 2013:
Do I conduct myself in such a way as to invite and encourage others to glorify and honor Jesus Christ? The time has come for me to stop leaning on my law enforcement persona and catchy, typecast nickname. It’s time I stop using it as an excuse for unbiblical behavior, too.
On the other hand, when my sinful behavior is seen and heard over and above the offense of the gospel, I, in effect, give the unbeliever an opportunity for self-applied, impotent, ineffectual justification of his unbelief. I cannot push anyone away from Jesus (John 6:37; John 6:44; Romans 9:14-18), no matter how sinful my behavior.
From my heart, to my mouth, to the words I speak, I must honor Christ Jesus the Lord as holy. In my one-to-one conversations, in my open-air preaching, in my pulpit sermons, in my blog articles, in my communications with Mahria and my girls, I must honor Christ Jesus the Lord as holy. In the end, if I am to be reviled, let it be for my good behavior (1 Peter 3:16), not for my self-justified bad behavior (1 Peter 4:15).
Just a couple of months earlier, in September 2013, Miano said he was going to be curtailing his social media:
The reason is simple: with all of the benefits of social media, for me it has become a distraction and a stumbling block. Interaction with friends has provided great encouragement, but sometimes interaction with others (including friends) has proven to be an opportunity to sin (i.e. needless arguments, harsh words, self-promotion under the auspices of glorifying Christ, gauging ministry effectiveness based on the number of “likes, “follows,” and positive comments, etc).
How many times are we going to read this song and dance of Miano becoming a distraction and stumbling block to the Gospel because of his bad public behavior, apologizing, then going on a social media fast, and repeating the same scenario again?
Why is it that a 26-yr old pastor can see the behavior and had the courage to publicly rebuke it, yet American leaders, Miano’s friends (whom Miano tagged in the tweets) cannot see what is going on? Or maybe they choose not to deal with it.
What a sad state of affairs when a grown man has to tag Christian leaders to say, “look at my humble apology,” so they in turn can further showcase his “humility.”
So, for the 3rd time in recent months, Tony has put limitations on his social media involvement, but only about his arrest:
In order to avoid stumbling in the before-mentioned ways again, and in order to do my best to prevent others from stumbling, I have deleted (as many as I could find) videos, Facebook posts, and tweets related to my arrest–content I determined might inadvertently bring about such stumbling.
I will try to limit my public communication about my arrest to positive, devotional thoughts on this blog.
JA’s prediction (not to be confused with a prophetess): I predict a repeat Miano performance in April when he goes back to Scotland. We’ll shall soon see.