Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Manic Street Preacher #2

So, Tony "The Lawman" carries a handgun when he's out preaching on the streets.

How do we know this?

Because he blogged about it. He later deleted the blog entry, but thanks to the vigilance of SMRT Jill D the blog post was saved. Below is thiat blog post, followed by a revealing exchange between Tony "PhD" Miano and a young Christian.

The Story of how I earned my 'Ph.D"

(Picture of handgun)

Don't freak. There's a good reason why there is a picture of a gun on my blog. :-)

I closed my last post with the following:

"One of the highlights of the afternoon was when Ray conferred upon me my first Ph.D. That's right. It's now "Dr. Lawman," thank you very much. To be continued....."

So, please, extend grace and patience to me while I digress from the usual evangelistic post and share with you, my friends and readers (not always one in the same), how I earned my first Ph.D.

As most of you already know, I spent twenty years of my adult life serving as a deputy sheriff with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. When I joined the Living Waters team at the beginning of the year, we all agreed that my presence would provide some additional security at headquarters, during film shoots (no pun intended), and whenever the need may arise.

From time to time, Ray will playfully ask, "Tony, are you packin' heat?"

Sometimes I answer. And sometimes, with a twinkle in my eye, I just give Ray a smile.

Well, for my birthday this year, I decided to treat myself to a new gun. When I retired from the Sheriff's Department, I had to turn in the firearm I carried for twenty years. And the other weapons I have are neither practical enough or tactical enough for life as a retired deputy sheriff. I needed something I could discreetly carry on my person that met my needs. So, I purchased the weapon pictured above: a Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm Compact. Ain't she a beaut! (Okay. We law enforcement types get unusual birthday presents.)

Yesterday, as Ray, Mark, and I made our way to Hollywood Boulevard, Ray asked, "Tony, are you packin heat?"

"Yes, Ray." I answered with a smile.

"Does it have a name?"

"No, Ray, I don't name my guns. Some people do; but I just never thought of my guns that way."

"Well, we should come up with a code word, just in case we need it."

"Need what?"

"Your gun!"

"Ah, let's hope that never happens." I said. "Well you're always asking me if I'm packin' heat.

Why don't we use 'Paul Henry' -- 'P' for 'Paul,' and 'H' for 'Henry'. 'Packin' heat,' 'Paul Henry.'

How does that sound?

Ray thought for a moment. Ray is not only a master of analogies, but he is also a master of acronyms. "How about 'Ph.D.!'"


"Yeah. 'Ph.D.' 'Packin' Heat Dude!'"

We all laughed, and the acronym stuck. And that's how Ray Comfort conferred upon me my first (and likely only) Ph.D.

So, in the words of the radio legend, Paul Harvey, now you've heard the rest of the story. :-)

How weird is Ray Comfort?

This, the is an exchange of posts between Tony and a young believer.

Tony Miano,

I believe you misplaced this. No matter, that’s only part of why I’m emailing you. Rather, [and unfortunately] I find occasion to call account of a deed of your’s which I do not see as at all Biblical (quite the opposite, as I hope to convince you). Namely, your carrying of a gun.

First of all, please understand where I’m coming from. As something like a red-neck myself, I completely empathize with you for carrying a gun. I simply don’t believe you have the right. Did the Apostle Paul make any effort to defend himself? Or what of Steven? Or any of the other apostles? Yet their scenarios were far worse then your own, my friend. Rest assured you have the law on your side. Paul didn’t, but he by no means undertook to defend himself.

You talk enough about hell and judgment –you ought to be more practical about it. Could you honestly and deliberately take the life of an unbeliever, knowing very well where that person was going? Might I ask, whatever happened to turning the other cheek? Or is, perhaps, your ministry truly only about yourselves?

Provers 9:8 says “Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Rebuke a fool, and he will hate you.” I think you get the point.

Sincerly, your brother in Christ,
Jonathan Brennecke

The Lawman replies:

You close your e-mail with “Sincerely, your brother in Christ.” Yet the tone of your e-mail, young man, is anything but brotherly or Christian. While you ask some legitimate questions, the manner in which you ask them smack of sarcasm. If you are looking for a rational and respectful conversation, then I welcome it. But I don’t abide the disrespect of my children (some who are older than you), so why would I accept it from you?

So, if you are a Christian, then approach me the way a young Christian man would approach an older Christian man. Change your attitude and maybe we will have a conversation. “Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father” (1 Timothy 5:1a).

One of the reasons I removed the article you referenced is because I came to realize that it might be a cause of stumbling for some. You validated this by the tone and content of your e-mail.

Again, I welcome your questions, so long as you can behave in a respectful manner.

I am in the middle of a conference, at the moment. So, if you do decide to change the tone of your rhetoric, we may be able to continue the conversation in a few days.

So, the question not addressed, Just a slapdown for not showing enough respect.

Jonathan replies:

Tony Miano,

I’ll be the first to admit that my tone was rash –is rash– but love is rash. Love is audacious. Love is uncompromsing. If you must glean nothing more from my words than that, so be it.

I will tell you what love is not. Love is not patronizing, not derisive, not condemning.

I may be young enough to be your son, but I am not your son –don’t patronize me. The future belongs to the young, Tony. Get off your high horse already and recall that Jesus said to come to him like a child.


Tony responds with:
I may answer your questions in a future blog post. But until your attitude changes, this will end our conversation.

In the first reply Miano said one of the reasons he removed the post was:
I came to realize that it might be a cause of stumbling for some.
and he accusses Jon of having done exactly that.
"Causing someone to stumble" is a Christian euphamism for "I can do this thing because I have rationalised it to myself, but if you try and do it, you are not sufficiently spiritually mature and it will lead you into sin".
They tend to use it with regard to things that are not explicitly forbidden in the Bible, like smoking, for example, or heavy metal, or big fat mustaches.


PersonalFailure said...

"stumbling block" is also a synonym for "there isn't really any reason for you not to do that, except that i don't like it, so i will accuse you of keeping me from the lord, even though it has nothing to do with me."

as in "the shirt that woman is wearing is a stumbling block for me".

also, what is up with Ray? i knew he was a freakshow, but what is up with that obsession with guns? why would he need a gun?

this isn't the first time Ray's obsession with violence and weaponry has been revealed. he recently talked about a 1970's gangfight he was witness to in which the members fought with knives and AXES. um, yeah.

he then claimed that the footage he got of the fight was confiscated by the police and the case wound up in the supreme court. um, double yeah.

FrodoSaves said...

Nothing gets me going like Christians calling each other out for being un-Christlike while professing deepest and sincerest love for each other. Hah!

Anonymous said...

if the link works, this would be a gun for the Manic Street Preacher.

"One of the most serious dangers of dogmais that it doesn't contain a self-correction mechanism"