Phil Johnson, Tony Miano, Grace Community Church and Public Rebuking for Bad Public Behavior
Last week, I posted this article, Open Air Preacher Tony Miano’s Insensitive Tweets after Nepal Earthquake Disaster, after Tony Miano sent out this tweet:
There was an enormous negative response on Twitter directed towards Miano from Christians and non-Christians alike.
Tony Miano has let it be known many places that he is under Grace Community’s authority. Miano mentions it here on his blog:
“As my family and I seek membership at Grace Community Church, I will also seek to bring myself and my ministry as an evangelist/open-air preacher under the authority and accountability of my pastors/elders. How long this will take, what processes will be involved, and exactly what all of this will look like will be determined by the elders of Grace Community Church. (Source)”
If Tony Miano is under the authority of Grace Community, does Tony Miano’s words and behavior represent Grace Community? Do the leaders at Grace Community Church endorse his behavior?
A response eventually came from Grace Community’s Phil Johnson on his personal Facebook page:
A couple of recent incidents compel me to say this:
Romans 12:15 says, “Weep with those who weep.” The immediate context is about how we should treat unbelievers, including overtly hostile unbelievers. Natural disasters, funerals, memorial services, and other times of grief are not appropriate times for strangers to stand on the sidelines with a megaphone and broadcast a message of damnation. That’s the spirit of Westboro, not the Spirit of God.
I was grateful for the response and tweeted about it here. The tweet includes my words on top and the screenshot of Phil Johnson’s Facebook comment below:
When looking through the comments on Phil Johnson’s Facebook wall, however, I saw someone asking a very legitimate question and comment:
“Am I correct that at one point, Tony Miano was, if he is not still, a member at Grace Community Church? At least he advertises that he is accountable to the elders at GCC. This is not the first incident with him. Is there some sort of church discipline for this kind of stuff? And if he is no longer a member, then maybe there needs to be a public distancing between the two parties, in the same manner that he publicized going there. “
This is something that we have been wondering here for some time as we have observed Tony Miano’s public behavior. I tweeted the comment (using a screenshot taken from my cell phone):
(It’s important to note that the above comment was removed from Johnson’s Facebook page.)
But it is the response to that tweet from Phil Johnson that gave me pause. I’ve included the entire Twittter conversation. I’ve heard Phil Johnson is John MacArthur’s right-hand man. I have seen him use his position to speak publicly for Grace Community and/or John MacArthur.
That’s the spirit of Westboro, not the Spirit of God. ~Phil Johnson
I’ve seen Johnson publicly call out Mark Driscoll, Joel Osteen, etc. But . . . crickets . . . . when it comes to naming one in his own flock who behaves like Westboro? What gives?!
To say that someone is behaving in “the spirit of Westboro, not the Spirit of God” is a very serious conclusion to make about someone who is a member of your congregation – – and you are a shepherd.
But take a look at how Johnson feels free to publicly rebuke me, not a member of his church:
Interesting. Phil Johnson is not my pastor and he publicly rebuked me. Tony Miano insists that he is under the authority of Grace Community, but even after Johnson’s Facebook note appeared on April 27, Miano apparently did not get the memo from Johnson (notice the dates):
122 thoughts on “Phil Johnson, Tony Miano, Grace Community Church, and Public Rebuking for Public Behavior”
“Tim, yes, I think there is a sense in which grace and justice are mutually exclusive. Grace comes at a cost in terms of justice. One may assume that cost, but should never impose it on another. Even where ones agrees to forego a modicum of justice, that does not mean there cannot be preconditions. To grant grace without an expectation of repentance is to encourage the perpetuation of bad, even criminal, conduct.”
there is another very confusing aspect to this issue. who are we talking about when we are talking about abusers? are we talking about long time professing Christians? are we talking about Christian wgo make a living teaching others about Jesus?
when Jesus was teaching the Sermon on the Mount I honestly do not believe he meant that the Jews should stand there and take a constant beating from another Jew. I believe it was in reference to the Roman occupiers. He covers the Pharisees a bit later.
I think it is perfectly okay for us to have a higher expectations of those who profess Christ when it comes to abusive behavior. I also think there has to be an expectation of grace for the one who is abused.
Regarding lydia00’s post of MAY 11, 2015 @ 10:57 AM
And to add to my post from above, my sister, the always angry sibling, who has to chew me out when she’s upset over her life, has always claimed to be a Jesus follower.
I’m a firm believer in healthy boundaries with toxic people.
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I’ve had to learn about boundaries. My mom lacked boundaries, she thought it was “mean” to have them, so I was discouraged from having them or using them my entire life, too. I only learned about them a couple or three years ago.
I’m now trying them on people, but they don’t seem to work with my sibling.
She does not want to change. I don’t know if she ever will. In the meantime, I’ve cut off most communication, even on social media, because she screams at me on there too. I don’t know what else to do about her.
I am here saying what I have said because JA & the people who have been most vocal in this thread have spoken. Having never met, let alone being wronged by, horrible evil and lies were spoken. Simply because of disagreement in theology and because what you call abuse (but not ONE single follower or family member would agree, no one would not even come close to agreeing).
The thing is what you call abuse is simply not in many cases. If you want to attack (mostly) men who have wronged you personally, who you have documented interactions with after you have gone through the protocols of scripture I really do not have a problem with it. But that is not what you do here. You attack anybody whom you disagree with and speak evil of them and make lies up out of thin air- you do not contain malicious accusations spoken out of thin air from your own scars and hurts and not from the reality of the people in the situation. You become bullies and abusers because you were either were bullied or abused & speak out in ignorance, labeling those who disagree with you or in hatred, fear and dishonesty.
Furthermore you attach credence and truth to accusations of people with no first hand knowledge, people who are actively there and pursuing because they have an agenda to disagree and even hurt and destroy.
I do not believe complementarianism is a gospel issue. I do believe it is very important that leads to a slippery slope for most folks, but I believe comps and egalitarians will share salvation. What I don’t believe is there is a good chance that people whose egalitarianism and progressive faith has become their god (just as there are those whose comps has become there god), and not Jesus Christ will be in heaven. And this place is full of those people, because you attack men (mostly) whose wives have no problem with them, whose kids have no problem with them, and whose followers have no problem with them (and I mean by have no problem with them that they are trying to live godly, loving, grace and truth filled lives filled with the fruit of the Spirit and it is acknowledged by family, friends and those in the faith). In fact, the only people who have a problem with them are people who went looking to have a problem, like yourselves.
Most comps I know do not care if you drive a truck for a living or if you want to have an egalitarian marriage. We just want to be able to worship, run our churches, marriages and families and live before our God in a way that we believe is righteous & godly without being attacked and bullied by the likes of you who also call yourselves christians.
Your group is just as lacking in love, grace and truth as the people you speak about who actually do abuse people (which is the minority of the people you speak about).
But the fact is, almost all men and women in comp churches and under comp teaching want to be there and believe that is what the Bible teaches. If you don’t want that for yourselves, don’t have it. But stop speaking evil against those who have never wronged you, whose spouses, families and faith group are in agreement with them. Stop your disobedience to how you are to treat other christians when they have not wronged you or others.
Most of your problems are you think the worst of those who disagree with you (again whether many of you have been wronged and are speaking from hurt or maybe you can admit that there are some who are just full of sin with bad intentions in your midst). You call yourselves full of grace, but you have received but a small fraction of the venom you sent out that was felt by your group. You do not accurately weigh what your words mean.
Nor do you accurately understand those on the other end. For example, you think it is fun to make fun of someones writing ability and yet you do not understand the credentials of the one who writes you. You might be shocked. You think more highly of yourself than you ought and more lowly of those you disagree with than you ought.
You speak of my ranting and venom and yet no one from my group did you any wrong and nor did we come looking for you or for a fight. It was you who brought the venom, the lies, the ranting to us. The internet makes it easy to say things you ought naught to say because you do not understand the heart of the person saying it. The same words can mean the the exact opposite to two different people because of their hearts intention. You ought naught go around looking for a fight & sinning against brothers and sisters in Christ who have not wronged you. If you have direct personal contact with someone and you feel it necessary, I don’t think it is beneficial but if you think it necessary. But the truth is, you take the attack (the bully and venom) to Christians who have done nothing to you- who leave you alone to practice your niceness and egalitarianism in peace.
So again I will say, you have become the bullies and the abusers. You have made your egalitarianism and your progressive christian faith your god and it makes you as ugly, as evil and as mean as the the folks you speak against that you occasionally get it right about.
I know one man (him & his wife) very well whom you have spoken evil about and know of at least two others a little. I have been in their homes many, many times, prayed and shared the deepest thoughts, burdens and joys with the wife, have seen their children grow and play, have shared our lives with these people. Seen the love, sacrifice and Christlikeness this man/men tries to lead his family with. They love their wives and children very much. They do not abuse those who follow them. They simply have a different theology than you. One which their wives, children and followers are more than glad they have. They may speak boldly and be men of strength but they have done you no harm. They do you no harm, they do not require your attendance at their church or to show up under their teaching and yet you continue in a wicked crusade because your god is not Christ but yourself and your egalitarianism which is why your fruit shows such decay as you speak evilly against those who call Christ Lord and whom believe differently than you.
@ Sage said,
“You speak of my ranting and venom and yet no one from my group did you any wrong and nor did we come looking for you or for a fight. It was you who brought the venom, the lies, the ranting to us.”
From your group? I don’t know what you are talking about. I think I’ve only seen you post on here.
Gender complementarianism beliefs did damage to me as a kid and as an adult, as it did to my mother. Gender comp limits girls and women, it’s unbiblical, and can and does lead to or enable physical, verbal, and emotional abuse.
To whom are you referring here, to gender complementarians? Or to whom?
If you mean gender complementarians:
I used to be a gender comp myself, as was my mother, but I realized later in life that gender comp is a man-made construct, not God’s will, not God’s intent, and it’s simply not supported in the Bible.
I did not make fun of someone’s writing ability. I simply determined that Sage was not Chuck O’Neal based on the spelling. Please read it again:
I brought the truth to you, the truth that many of you also told me privately, yet when the rubber met the road, you decided to stay with CON most likely because of fear. And rightly so, you’ve seen how he and those closest to him go after people who leave (with recording devices, leaving “true BGBC Survivor” business cards on cars, residences, stalking former members on the internet, calling pastors where former members currently attend, etc).
I pray one day that you will no longer live in fear and that you will be free to experience true godly fellowship.
Many of the ekklesia, the Body of Christ here at SSB are still praying for you in the precious Name of Jesus, the Christ. Your soul is still precious to Christ and we will not repay evil for evil. We are called to holiness and desire the same for you, dear brother/sister. Many of us have come out of an abusive church system where those in leadership are what you have described in your posts and will not, in the Name of Jesus, heed your words as wise counsel.
At the end of the day, we can still pray. In Christ’s love for you.
Really? Tell me, what colour is the sky in your world?
Well, that’s a little more detail than you’ve supplied till now. Still, you keep accusing Julie Anne of lying and speaking evil of people you know. But you won’t tell us how she’s lied or about whom. That makes it hard for me to take you seriously.
You think that Sage is a woman? If you’re right, she must have the most serious case of Stockholm Syndrome that the world has ever seen.
Well, I can only admire those of you who are able to extend grace and love to Sage in the face of her ranting and reviling. Maybe I too could find it in my heart to be gracious toward her if only I knew her personally and had had first hand experience with the teacher and teaching she appears to be under. After all, I had great affection for my German Shepherds, and I dearly miss them now that are gone, but one had to be careful what the were fed. Otherwise, their flatulence could be unbearable.
So, perhaps I can by an act of the will force myself to lift up a prayer for Sage the person (there, I just did it), but I will continue to find her reviling, ranting, cyber exudations offensive. That’s cyber exudation, as in Sage spelled backwards, with a hyphen inserted between the resulting first and second letters.
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Oh Sage, sweetie, the people here are wonderful. It is a real community of supportive men and women. There are no evil lies being told. We know abuse when we see it and we also know how hard it can be to think for yourself and recognize it when you have been taught ‘Scripture’ that is distorted, wrong, and filtered through an abusive agenda. You are trying so hard to dismiss everything you read by making judgments against us. What are you afraid of?
LOL, Gary. Think of the family members who have left Westboro. They left the hatred of the group, but they still have love for their family, even though their family members treat them horribly.
You’re right, when you have been part of a group, you are part of that family. We left that “family” thinking we’d still be cordial with one another, never thinking that we’d be shunned, stalked, and called all sorts of names (at each communion service, no less). That is not coming from them, it is coming directly from CON who told them to Mark and Avoid us, to have nothing to do with us, and even told them to abandon their own family if they weren’t Believers.
Sage: There have been some abusive posters on here, but not the regulars. I think people are simply asking you to specify what lies have been written.
If you are happy as a gendercomp or a genderegal, or a neither, that is fine with me. But if something has been written which is false, it cannot be addressed without some specificity.
My guess: She’s afraid of being cast into The Outer Darkness, weeping and gnashing her teeth, cut off from The Very Best Pastor in America. Or something to that effect.
Thank you for all you are doing to expose EVIL!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you for your concerns about Phil Johnson/GTY.
Cults use bullying/shaming to silence truth-tellers.
I was there!
I. WAS.. THERE…………
That’s an oldie!!