Pastor in Dundee, Scotland to Tony Miano: You’re Not Helping, You’re Harming and Crying Wolf
I ask all who follow Cross Encounters Ministries and/or visit this website to pray not only for me, but for Christians around the world that are facing various forms of persecution, most far more serious than what I experienced in Scotland, as they lovingly and boldly proclaim the gospel to a lost and dying world. ~Tony Miano
From Pastor David Robertson of Dundee Scotland:
“From my perspective having worked hard in this city to build up good public relations with the police, council and local community groups; having tried to overcome the narrow and ignorant stereotypes of Christians that many people have; and having sought to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in many different ways and contexts (however imperfectly); the last thing we needed was an American preacher standing in our city centre … shouting out words that no-one understands, getting arrested and then finding it front page news in The Dundee Courier, the next day….
We are not banned from preaching the Word of God, nor are we restricted (for now) in doing so. So whatever else the arrest of Tony Miano means, it is dishonest and wrong for Christians to say this means that the Gospel cannot be preached in Scotland today….
Being put in jail in Scotland for ‘preaching the Gospel’ will play well with the supporters back home and Christians in the UK who are desperate to jump on the persecution bandwagon. But in terms of communicating the Good News to the people of my city, it is not helpful. In fact, to be honest it does the church and the gospel, harm, both in the short and the long term. In the short term it reinforces the cultural stereotypes and ignorant prejudices of those who already think we are mad and bad.
In the longer term it means that when real persecution does occur – the kind that our brothers and sisters are facing in many countries throughout the world, no-one will notice. They will simply shrug their shoulders and say, there go the Christians again, moaning about ‘persecution’.
Let’s not cry wolf until the wolf is actually at the door. And in [the] future is it too much to ask that self-appointed evangelists and ‘ministries’ might actually have the humility and Christian courtesy to liaise with local Christian churches before they minister in our name to our people? Or are we simply to be those who are left to pick up the pieces and deal with the consequences of the inevitable train-wreck?