It’s fashionable today for local churches to form a steering committee or to send their pastor on a vision quest (literally or figuratively) to determine the mission of their particular church. At best, this is a colossal waste of time. At worst, it is a form of creative disobedience. The Word of God is explicitly clear that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). If Christ’s mission is not our mission, simply put, we are not following Christ. For the most part, today’s steering committees and vision quests are a form of creative disobedience designed to avoid the high calling of Jesus and the necessary conflict it produces with a world steeped in rebellion against our LORD and King:
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” –Mark 8:34-38
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” –Matt. 10:32-34
Paul was called by the Lord Jesus Christ and sent on a global evangelistic rescue mission “to save sinners” through the proclamation of the Gospel “publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20-21). Paul’s mission is still our mission today:
“to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” -Acts 26:18
By the grace of God, through the power of the holy Spirit, may we cease our creative disobedience and fully embrace the Great Commission, boldly declaring our King’s simple terms of peace and salvation: repentance of sin and confession of Jesus Christ (fully God, fully man, crucified for sinners, buried, resurrected on the third day, and seated at the right hand of the Father as the one mediator between God and men) as Lord and God.
Let’s make the Great Commission great in our churches again, and fill the earth with the glory of our King! Christ’s mission, message, and method have not changed:
“Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.” -Luke 24:46-48
*NOTE: The audio above was edited to 16 minutes for brevity, and contains subtitles and commentary for clarity. To avoid any claim of dishonest editing, the full, uncut, 70 minute version is available here.
On a personal level the title and content of this article have a surreal feel to them. Bad has indeed gone to worse (see previous article). It is difficult for me to comprehend how Tony Miano, a man that I love, a man I have known to be morally and theologically solid, whose ministry I have joyfully supported, who has stayed in my home, who has stood in my pulpit many times, who has spent hundreds of hours with me proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the streets of many cities, whose advisory board I served on for several years, who had me write the forward to his last book…is now helping Mike Reid export his moral and theological madness to Africa. May the Lord grant Tony Miano faithful friends that will love him, his family, and Christ’s Church with action and truth. Many men have contacted Tony to call him back to Biblical morality and theology, and others yet need to; “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Prov. 27:6).
Here’s a summary of the reasons why Mike Reid training men how to be pastors in Africa (or anywhere else) should never happen, and why Tony Miano helping him to do so is morally reprehensible:
In a truly alarming attempt to twist Scripture, Mike Reid defends his dangerous practice of meeting alone with married women, single women, and teenage girls with a false doctrine that he calls his “boast in Christ,” whereby he claims he and other genuine believers are not able to fall in adultery (hear Mike’s boast).
Mike sees no conflict between his “shepherding ministry” and the commands of Scripture to “flee sexual immorality” (1 Cor. 6:18) and to “make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Rom. 13:14) and violates those Biblical and moral safety parameters without pain of conscience (listen to his own words).
When challenged with the tragic and destructive reality of many pastors falling in adultery as a direct result of the intimacy created by meeting alone with women for pastoral counsel…Mike’s response is to claim 100% of those pastors were not genuinely saved, and thus they fell.
When challenged with the reality that David was a man after God’s heart and yet he fell in adultery bringing destruction on his family and the kingdom of Israel…Mike claims David fell because he wasn’t genuinely saved (hear it directly from Mike).
In an attempt to blame the Bible, Mike and Tony defend his dangerous practice by claiming the Word of God commands him and all pastors to “shepherd” men and women without any distinction for their gender (you will see Tony’s attempts to twist Richard Baxter’s writing to justify Mike’s practice & doctrine below).
In an attempt to blame the husbands and fathers, Mike defends his dangerous practice by claiming the husbands and fathers of the women and girls “desire” and “requested” that he meet with their wives and daughters alone for private Bible studies with the pastor, effectively blaming them, while knowing full well that he is the one who taught the husbands and fathers that this is Biblical, good, right, moral, safe, and necessary for discipleship and spiritual growth (this is must hear teaching from Mike’s lips to your ears).
To be consistent with his own life and ministry, Mike extends his dangerous practice and false doctrine to other adulterers, claiming men who have “repented” of multiple adulteries and subsequent divorce can be pastors and should meet alone with married women, single women, and teenage girls for private pastoral instruction.
Mike preached a Sunday morning message and did a follow up Q & A in 2015, in which he introduced the men and women of his congregation to “holy kissing, claiming the men ought to be kissing their sister’s in the Lord, claiming men ought to be kissing other men’s wives, and claiming there was nothing wrong with kissing them “EVEN ON THE LIPS!” (hear him for yourself)
Mike and Tony recently taught “holy kissing” together in a Sermon Audio instructional that includes training men to kiss men, to kiss married women, to kiss single women, and to kiss teenage girls…and then of necessity, teaching the women and girls to be kissed by the men of the church (hear Mike and Tony teach it for yourself).
In light of all of Mike’s other dangerous practices and doctrines it is hardly worth mentioning that Mike says owning a gun for defense of one’s family is premeditated murder; he says it’s sin for Christians to be police officers, soldiers, sailors, airmen, etc.; he says “politics matter nothing;” he says “who cares who wins the presidential election…[and] I am to be involved in the political process none…I won’t even cast a vote…it doesn’t matter to me…who cares;” he hasn’t voted in many years and tells others not to vote despite the fact that millions of unborn lives and many other moral issues hang in the balance; (hear it all and more here)
Mike Reid’s dangerous “shepherding” practice and the false doctrine he defends it with will bring further harm to the church in Africa that is already ravaged by sexual scandal among pastors. What the churches in America, Africa, and everywhere need are pastors that teach and model a commitment to basic Biblical parameters for sexual purity, not scandalous doctrine and a life example that systematically defy Scripture, roughly 2,000 years of pastoral polity, and plain common sense.
TONY MIANO & CROSS ENCOUNTERS ARE NOW UNDER “PASTOR” MIKE REID’S AUTHORITY & INFLUENCE
Tony is moving his family and ministry 2,000 miles to be beneath Mike Reid. Despite still being physically in California, Tony is already fully onboard with Grace Fellowship Church, Nick Rolland, and Mike Reid’s ministry in Iowa and Africa. On Aug. 31st, Tony wrote an article that opened with this offhand statement: “One of my elders, Nick Rolland…” Nick Rolland is Mike Reid’s fellow elder at Grace Fellowship Church. Tony has shown that in his heart and mind he and his ministry are already under Mike Reid’s “shepherding” authority and influence. For the last 12 weeks, Tony has employed mitigation, obfuscation, nuance and claims of misrepresentation in defense of his new pastor’s practice and doctrine (Mike Reid makes his “shepherding” practice & doctrine clear in the youtube video above).
TONY MIANO IS NOW HELPING MIKE REID EXPORT HIS MORAL & THEOLOGICAL MADNESS TO AFRICA
Mike Reid is going to Kenya withInternational Church Planters, December 1st-10th, to train pastors. Because no sound pastor anywhere does what Mike Reid does and no sound pastor anywhere teaches what Mike Reid teaches regarding the “shepherding” of women, I’m confident International Church Planters has no idea who Mike really is. They and any other ministry that would consider allowing Mike to train pastors how to “shepherd” the Lord’s flock have a need to know Mike’s “shepherding” methodology and theology. Note the title of the pastoral training that Mike is scheduled to provide: Pastor Training, Women & Children Discipleship.
In the following audio recording from Aug. 24th, 2016, Mike Reid announces that he’s going to Kenya to train pastors and that Tony Miano’s helping to develop his curriculum.
Tony is using Richard Baxter’s book, “The Reformed Pastor,” to create a curriculum for Mike Reid. Despite Tony’s tacit attempt to show continuity between Richard Baxter’s instruction and Mike Reid’s “shepherding” methodology, the puritan pastor and Mr. Reid are not good bedfellows.
Mike Reid claims that he is called to “shepherd” men and women without any distinction or difference made for gender. Mike believes systematically meeting with the women of the church alone for private “shepherding” meetings is a vital part of pastoral ministry. Tony Miano has ardently defended Mike Reid and his “shepherding” practice, now he’s helping him to export it to impressionable pastors and churches in Africa, and he’s doing this with full knowledge that the church in Africa is being scandalized by men using and abusing their pastoral position and authority to prey upon women in their congregations and communities. You get an idea of the bent of Tony’s upcoming curriculum from the instagram below.
Tony is actively defending and aiding Mike Reid’s “no gender distinction” ministry as he works on a curriculum for African pastors, bending Baxter’s words to Mike’s dangerous practice and doctrine. We can be quite sure Richard Baxter would not condone Mike’s scandalous “shepherding” ministry and the false doctrine he defends it with. The uninformed person seeing what Tony circled, underlined, wrote, and placed in all caps wouldn’t catch what he is attempting to justify. Anyone who knows Mike Reid’s “shepherding” methodology and his false doctrine can see that Tony is attempting to use Richard Baxter’s teaching to justify Mike’s abhorrent practice and doctrine. In noway does Richard Baxter, a puritan, say anything that condones men systematically meeting alone with married women, single women, and teenage girls for private “shepherding.”
CONRAD M’BEWE WARNS OF WIDESPREAD SEXUAL SCANDAL AMONG AFRICAN PASTORS
The last thing African pastors need is for Mike Reid to go to Africa to teach them that “repentant” adulterers can become pastors who design their ministries to systematically meet alone with the women of their congregations for private pastoral “shepherding” instruction, to teach them his false doctrine that assures them that they are unable to fall in adultery, and to teach them that “repentant” pedophiles can also be pastors who meet alone with children. I was with Tony Miano at the Strange Fire Conference when Conrad M’bewe warned of “the scandals, especially the sexual scandals that are accepted in those ranks…I wish I would say this is just a few churches here and there, scattered across Africa. I wish I would say you have to hunt long and hard to find them. But what I’m saying is that this is fast becoming the norm…And when they tell you what’s been going on, it’s disgusting.”
The “Strange Fire” America has already exported to Africa has born much perverse fruit. Soul damning, life crushing, marriage destroying, ministry ending practice and doctrine are known to be spread through the Charismatic Movement and the broader theologically anemic Evangelical Movement. Africa cannot afford to have Mike Reid’s “Reformed” moral and theological madness exported to their impressionable congregations and pastors. Tony Miano’s involvement in this is unconscionable. Tony should be warning Christ’s Church and International Church Planters, not helping Mike Reid export his dangerous practice and doctrine through their ministry. Again, what the church in America, Africa, and everywhere desperately needs are sound pastors that teach and model a commitment to basic Biblical parameters for sexual purity, not scandalous doctrine and a life example that systematically defy Scripture, roughly 2,000 years of pastoral polity, and plain common sense.
EXPORTING SYSTEMATIC TEMPTATION BY DESIGN
No pastor desiring to heed the clear instruction of Scripture would ever design a “shepherding” ministry in which he systematically meets with the married women, single women, and teenage girls of the church alone for private pastoral instruction on a regularly scheduled basis…but that is exactly what Mike Reid has done and what he intends to train others to do. Mike has literally designed systematic temptation into his ministry. Generally speaking the Word of God exhorts us to stand firm against sin and the Devil, with sexual sin we are consistently told to flee. Mike Reid has designed a “shepherding” ministry where he tramples the counsel to flee beneath his feet by systematically going in the opposite direction and moving toward the temptation. He has designed a “shepherding” ministry where he regularly meets alone with men’s wives and daughters for private pastoral instruction that no husband or father should ever consent to. He has designed a “shepherding” ministry that would undoubtedly unleash scandal upon Christ’s Church around the globe if it were universally adopted. Mike’s “shepherding” of women systematically opens the door to temptation, to affairs of the heart, and to full scale affairs of the flesh. Mike’s “shepherding” methodology systematically defies the warnings of Scripture and thus has a fatal design flaw that puts him, the women, and the teenage girls of his church at risk. Exporting this “shepherding” design to Africa will only add fuel to the fires of sexual scandal that are already raging in the African church.
EXPORTING DANGEROUS FALSE DOCTRINE
Mike Reid’s dangerous practice, has dangerous doctrinal roots.Mike defends his “shepherding” methodology of meeting alone with the women and girls of the church for private counsel and instruction with false doctrine whereby he claims (in writing and conversation on multiple occasions) that 100% of pastors who commit adultery with women after counseling them alone are “not even believers.” When I found out Mike met with the women of his church alone, I reminded him that 99.9% of pastors who fall in adultery do so by meeting alone with women in their congregation. His answer was shocking, he said, “and 100% of those are not pastors, not even believers.” That is false doctrine. It is an indefensible claim that all pastors who fall prey to the lusts of the flesh and commit adultery…did so because they were not actually Christians. It is an indefensible claim that genuine Christians cannot fall in adultery and other sexual sins. It is an indefensible claim of moral invincibility. When King David was put forth as an example of a man after God’s own heart who fell to adultery and murder after being alone with another man’s wife (2 Sam. 11), Mike responded in a manner consistent with his false doctrine, by saying, “Was David even saved?”When further pressed, Mike claimed that he cannot fall in adultery because 1 Cor. 6:9-11 assures him that he can’t. He went on to explain that his boast is not in his flesh, but in Christ, saying repeatedly, “My boast is in Christ!” Mike’s false doctrine enables him to blatantly and systematically defy a multitude of Scriptures that directly or indirectly compel men to flee from temptation and the opportunity to commit sexual immorality. This is a terrible example for the men of the church. If it’s true for the pastor, it’s true for all other genuine Christians too. Mike’s history, dangerous practice, and the false doctrine he uses to defend it,simply cannot be ignored, swept under a rug, mitigated, obfuscated, or nuanced away. May the Lord protect the pastors and churches of Kenya from Mike’s false doctrine.
EXPORTING CONSISTENT MORAL MADNESS
Mike Reid’s false doctrine, consistently applied to other sexual sins, turns into moral and theological madness. I tested how far Mike was willing to go in defense of his false doctrine by asking him whether he would support a similar “shepherding” ministry involving a man professing to be a “repentant” child molester who now meets alone with children. I expected him to pull back his false doctrine, to at least attempt to keep it out of the realm of moral madness. He did not. Mike Reid is alarmingly morally and theologically consistent. The same dangerous false doctrine that Mike uses to defend his practice of systematically meeting alone with women, compels him to say that a “repentant” child molester can be a pastor and can meet alone with children.When directly asked, two different times, ifa man who has “repented” of child molestation could be a pastor who meets alone with children…and if that would be in keeping with Biblical repentance…Mike Reid said, “Yes!” and “Yes!”That is unconscionable moral and theological madness, madness entirely consistent with his own practice and doctrine, but madness never-the-less.
Americans, Africans, and all men need dogmatic moral and doctrinal clarity, not Mike Reid’s moral and theological madness. Men who have molested children are not and will never be qualified for pastoral ministry, not in America, not in Africa, not anywhere. Men who have molested children should never be alone with children. Men who profess to have repented of child molestation and position themselves to be alone with children are not repentant…they are dangerous. No exceptions. Pedophiles can truly repent, truly believe upon Christ unto salvation, truly be forgiven, truly be born again, truly be washed in the blood, and truly be new creatures in Christ by amazing grace…and that doesn’t change anything written before this sentence. No exceptions.
My pastoral hands were already tied with Mike’s history, dangerous practice, and the dangerous false doctrine he defends it with. When Mike extended his false doctrine to pedophiles, claiming they can be pastors and that they can meet alone with children, my hands were chained, locked, and weighted down. Mike’s moral madness cannot be ignored, swept under a rug, mitigated, obfuscated, or nuanced away. Tony Miano may be angry about the necessary stand that I and others have taken, but he surely is not shocked. What is shocking is that Tony is defending Mike Reid instead of defending Biblical morality, sound doctrine, and Christ’s Church. What is even more shocking is that Tony is now helping Mike Reid spread his moral and theological madness to another continent.
PASTORAL DUTY TO WARN CHRIST’S CHURCH
In a previous article I said the substantial danger that Mike Reid’s practice and doctrine poses requires a PUBLIC WARNING. The fact that Mike now intends to export his “shepherding ministry” to Africa, and that Tony Miano is actively helping him, heightens the need for PUBLIC WARNING.Tony should be warning people away from Mike’s ministry much like he has done with other churches engaged in dangerous practices and teaching dangerous doctrines. Instead, Tony is actively and very publicly commending Mike Reid and his ministry to all of his Cross Encounters ministry partners and the Christian world at large with newsletters, blog articles, Facebook posts, and through Twitter. The individuals, families,churches, and ministriesthat Tony is actively seeking toyoke to Mike Reidand his teaching must be warned. International Church Plantersmust be warned.
BAD HAS GONE TO WORSE…TONY MIANO IS NOW ACTIVELY HELPING MIKE REID SPREAD HIS MANY ABERRANT DOCTRINES IN IOWA, ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB, AND TO PASTORS AND CHURCHES IN AFRICA
Unpacking all of Mike Reid’s unheard of and dangerous practices and doctrines would require a fair sized book, not a lengthy blog post. Some are abhorrent. Some are dangerous. Some are unhealthy. Some are simply aberrant. Africa’s pastors don’t need any of them, and they and their churches will suffer great harm under some of them. Here’s a quick list:
-Unheard of and morally dangerous systematic defiance of Biblical safeguards for male and female interaction (1 Cor. 6:18 & Rom. 13:14) via meeting alone with married women, single women, and teenage girls for “shepherding” through regularly scheduled “one on one time with the pastor” private instruction
-Unheard of and dangerous doctrinal defense of willful defiance of Biblical safeguards for male and female interaction…Mike Reid claims 100% of pastors who commit adultery after meeting with congregants alone are not saved…Mike Reid claims 1 Cor. 6:9-11 assures him he can’t fall in adultery…Mike Reid claims his boast is Christ!…Mike Reid claims King David fell in adultery because he wasn’t saved…etc.
-Unheard of moral madness displayed in an alarming consistency of position and doctrine whereby Mike Reid claims “repentant” child molesters can be pastors and meet with children alone (he states it twice in the video at the top of this article).
-Unheard of “holy” kissing:Mike Reid practices the “holy” kiss of2 Cor. 13:12without warning or permission on men and women. The first time I met Mike he leaned in and kissed my cheek without permission or warning as is his practice. Mike Reid and Tony Miano teach men to kiss men, to kiss married women, to kiss single women, and to kiss teenage girls…and then of necessity they also teach married women to be kissed by the men of the church, single women to be kissed by the men of the church, and teenage girls to be kissed by the men of the church (it’s all in the following video).
-Unheard of regular calling of church attenders out from the pulpit, by name, while they are sitting in the pew, during the church service, and pointing out their unsaved condition and/or some level of their sin issues…and then placing it on Sermon Audio for the world to hear
-Unheard of regular public congregational confession of sin during the corporate gatherings of the church where too much information is given…and then placing it on Sermon Audio for the world to hear
-Extreme personal pacifism teaching that it is wrong to defend self, wrong to defend family, and wrong to defend neighbor from rape, murder, etc., and that owning a gun for defensive purposes is premeditated murder. “Why do you own a gun? You have premeditated murder.” http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=617141523135
-Extreme personal pacifism: “When you start talking about guns for self defense you have no Biblical backing…what does a Christian need a gun for? What are you going to do with a gun Christian?…Christian, what do you need a gun for?…For some it’s idolatry…I think it is…Christian, what do you need a gun for? You put yourself in a position to murder someone…I’m not going to own a gun premeditatedly knowing that I might murder someone…” http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=531161424276
-Extreme political pacifism: “I am to be involved in the political process none. That’s what my Bible would teach me about the political process.” “I won’t even cast a vote.” “Who has the most Christian beliefs? It doesn’t matter to me…who cares…I really mean that.” “Who cares the who wins the presidential election in 2016.” http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=10615159419
-Extreme political pacifism: (8:30-16:40 min mark) “The form of government that we practice in America is not Biblical…Where’s Romans 17, where Paul addresses how we interact with a democracy? How we interact with government is right here…Should we be involved in making those laws? Who cares…Who cares…it’s a waste of time, I’m going to preach the Gospel…I’m not going to waste 5 minutes of my time trying to keep the right to preach against homosexuality…I’ll just go preach in jail…Show me in Scripture where we’re supposed to care about those things…” http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=113014202161
-Extreme political pacifism from Rom. 13parts 1-3 & review 1-3 (this whole series is full of significant extreme pacifism problems & reveals that this is a major worldview issue for Mike and the church)