Tag Archives: pastor

4/19 – Creative Leadership Conference with Pastor Ed Young

Yesterday I attended the Creative Leadership Conference at Church Unleashed. The conference speaker is renowned writer and pastor, Ed Young. It has been said that he specializes in communicating complex concepts is a simple way (plus his humor is contagious). It’s safe to say the shared time was a blessing.

With this blog, I’d like to just detail some highlights from the conference that prayerfully may challenge or edify you (and your leadership).

As I walked in I noticed there was a set up of The Lord’s Table on the stage. Just then, Pastor Young began to explain that “The Lord’s Table is at the center of all that we do”. He went on to create an analogy of using the church as a restaurant and The Lord’s Table details our menu and work.  He used the 3 chairs to symbolize 3 different types of people in the Church – Chair One: Those who don’t know Christ and newcomers/ Chair Two: Those with a invigorating fresh faith, zealous to serve/ Chair Three: those in the church who have moved on to maturity (Hebrews 6:1).  I rather enjoyed this analogy and explanation, as it challenged us to consider the elements at the Table and how we are offering the Table to each chair (in essence, discipleship). He also noted, “Every great restaurant has a team of people”. Together Everyone Adds More (TEAM). Surely that was exhilarating to hear as we have just become to form and develop certain “committees” at The Blue Point Bible Church. Glory to God!

Pastor Young went on to speak about work in ministry as “brutiful” (brutal and beautiful). He explained the glories and the stresses of serving as a pastor. A couple of insights he shared about the pastorate were: “An hour of study behind every minute I am in the pulpit” and “Always pastor your church as if it is double or triple its size”. Also, he said all meetings should develop “What if, What is…” (For example, What if we did it this way, then consider what is the way we currently do it. He spoke about creating a culture of critique (not criticism). He went on to speak about the importance of canceling superfluous activity (if it’s not bringing in Chair One people, why…?). Simply put, say no to time wasters!

Ed went on the detail the importance of having a vision and sharing a vision. He remarked, “Talk about the vision. You cannot talk about it enough. Vision, vision, vision”. For churches that may not have the resources to bring certain aspect of the vision to fruition, Pastor Young said, “Never allow resources to hem in creativity”.

All in all, the conference was a great time of fellowship and encouragement alongside other pastors on Long Island, including quite a few laughs. The text that was mentioned and that continued to come to my mind as I listened was Hebrews 6:1; “Let us therefore move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity…”. Ed Young challenged us that, “You’re either serving or swerving”. And lastly, the following website will serve as a tool to further creative leadership, www.creativepastors.com

May God be glorified through creative, healthy, and mature churches!

In Service to Him,
Pastor Michael Miano

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Notes from A Preacher & His Models

As a pastor I am always seeking new opportunity to grow in my calling. At a pastor’s meeting I recently attended, Mr. James Stalker’s lectures at Yale were recommended. I know I can surely say I was blessed by reading through The Preacher & His Models, and wanted to share my notes and prayerfully edify others.

“…the mission of Christianity is not to occupy a respectable place apart, but to leaven life through and through” – Penetrate the world with the Gospel! Heal the Nations! Callings the Restorers!

Pastoral calling is not tame!

“We have too tame and conventional way of thinking about our career. Men are not even ambitious about doing more than settling in a comfortable position and getting through its duties in a respectable way. WE NEED TO HAVE MEN PENETRATED WITH THE PROBLEMS AS A WHOLE, AND LABORING WITH NEW DEVELOPMENTS WHICH THE TIMES REQUIRE”.

THE PREACHER AS A MAN OF GOD
“God’s man” – prophetic call, vision of God, vision of sin
“His whole being is taken possession of for the Divine purposes and subjected to the sway of Divine inspiration”.
“…the outer must be preceded by the inner; public life for God must be preceded by private life with God; unless God has first spoken to a man, it is vain for a man to attempt to speak for God”.

THE PREACHER AS A PATRIOT
“Our message in modern times is addressed to the individual; but the message was addressed to the nation”. – we are called to implore the nation with criticism, denunciation, comfort (Isaiah 51:8)
“It will be conceded by all that the preacher exists for the promotion of righteousness and the denunciation of sin in the world”.

THE PREACHER AS A MAN OF THE WORD
Compelled to preach – Jeremiah 20:9; 1 Corinthians 9:16
Demolish Strongholds – Jeremiah 23:29; 2 Corinthians 10
“The prophets had to go amongst men, even if it were at risk of life, and deliver the Divine message. They had to use every device to make it telling, striking it at every opportunity and giving line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. They did not disdain the homliest means, if it served a purpose”.
– thought and expression – win their attention and keep it!
“The more a Bible is searched, the more it will be loved; and the stronger the conviction will grow, that its deep truths are the Divine answers to the deep wants of human nature”.
“To obtain command of language it is good to hear the best speakers and to read the best books”.
“The writing of books is perhaps the likeliest of all avenues by which to carry religious influence to the most select minds”.

THE PREACHER AS A FALSE PROPHET
“There will always be a demand for smooth things and an appropriate reward for him who is willing to supply them in the name of God…But popularity may be purchased at too dear a rate. It may be bought by the suppression of the Truth and the letting down of the demands of Christianity. There will always be a demand for a religion which does not agitate the mind too much to interfere with the pursuits of a worldly life”.
“Neither orthodoxy nor heterodoxy is a guarantee: the only guarantee is a humble mind living in the secret of the Lord”. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

THE PREACHER AS A MAN
– responsibility
– use of intellectual gifts – “Cultivate your strengths”
Using the Apostle Paul as an example – “…there was never a time when to receive the approval of God was not the deepest passion of His nature”.; “He could never have allowed himself that which would have robbed him of his SELF-RESPECT”.
“People do not respect “the cloth”, unless they find a man inside it”.
“It is the manhood in ourselves which enables us to understand the human nature of our hearers; and we must have had life experience, if we are to preach to the life of men”.

Martin Luther’s Qualifications of a Minister
He should be able to teach plainly and in order
He should have a good, level head
Possess a good power of language
A good voice
A good memory
He should know when to stop speaking/ giving wisdom
He should be sure of what he wants to say
He should stake everything on the Truth
Study diligently
Suffer himself to be vexed and criticized by everyone

THE PREACHER AS A CHRISTIAN
1Timothy 1:5; 2 Peter 1 – BeingCHRISTIAN; Growth charts
A personal attachment to the Savior

THE PREACHER AS AN APOSTLE
“…obtain a a definite sphere to fill and a definite work to do” – “God inspired impulses”
“The Christian man says: Here is my own task – If I do not accomplish it, no one else can. This is my corner in the great labor field, which I, and no one else, have to make fruitful and beautiful. I shall be answerable to the Judge of All at the last day for the manner in which the work assigned to me is done”.
“…to love and be loved is the secret to a happy and successful ministry”.

THE PREACHER AS A THINKER
Titus 1:9 – encourage in sound doctrine and rebuke those who oppose it
– knowledge of Church History and thought
– The Holy Spirit by Owens
– New Testament Theology by Weiss
– Life and Epistles of St. Paul by Conybeare

“Pay close attention to YOURSELF and YOUR TEACHING; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you (1 Timothy 4:16)”.

“All of our work is determined by this – the Spirit and power of our preaching, the quality of the influence we exert, and the tenor of our walk and conversation”.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Notebook Review & Resources (4/2016 – 9/2016)

If you know me, you know that I am adamant about the Spiritual and mental health that is provided through notekeeping and journaling.
As I have grown through the years, I have “catalogued” everything. I have also grown accustomed to writing a review every time I finish a notebook – for my own benefit, however many have said they found the details to be edifying. Namely, for my benefit because if you ever read my notes you know full well that they need to be decoded to make any sense, many times, even to me.

 

This most recent notebook was rather small. It looked important though. 🙂 And these last couple months have had some growth spurts, so I am excited to share and review myself. As I have said to some, this has been a harvesting season in my life and ministry. Glory to God!
On April 11th, I wrote in my notes that I woke up thinking about the power of the local church. I wrote, “The local church provides the “knowledge of God” to enable us to live like, worship like, and ultimately love Jesus Christ”. This is a timely encouragement and very important, as I just woke up this morning to reading through my various social networks how so many have come to reject the power of gathering with a local congregation. They spout all sorts of nonsense from “mad-made institution” to “legalism”. In this regard, I had the privilege of being the guest speaker for the April “Monthly Preterist Conference Call” and the topic I had spoken upon was “The Efficacy of the Local Church”. You can listen to that and read more, and the following link, https://preteristconferencecalls.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/01-michael-miano-the-efficacy-of-the-local-church/

 

Early on in the year, as a sort of “divine unction” I began to get very involved in local networking, social meetings, and outreach. This afforded us at Blue Point Bible Church quite a few opportunities to serve the larger community with Brentwood “Hope Day”, hosting a Blood Drive, and being involved in local civic and chamber of commerce gatherings, as well as helping and being involved with other local nonprofits. I also learned a lot, found some inspirations and burdens, and made some friends along the way. #ThePastorLife
As I mine through my notes, I have decided I simply want to share some details and resources that edified me during what seems to be the “season” I was in for while.
Kurt Willems, an Anabaptist writer and pastor, put together an excellent examination of the difference perspectives of Pauline literature (the writings of the Apostle Paul). A great point he made in the midst of that series, which I have mentioned many times before in blogs and even sermons, was “If we don’t know the history, just the theology, we come up with all sorts of answers”. Even if I may not agree with all of his conclusions, I must say Pastor Willems did a great job on this podcast, which you can access at the following link, http://paulcast.org/
It was either earlier April or even late March that I began communications with a Bible teacher named Lloyd Dale. He had emailed me and began discussion regarding some points of theology we agree and disagree on. I was blessed to read through and listen to some of his presentations , and look forward to further communication with him. One point he made in a lecture, which is timely as we currently go through a month of Jewish Feasts, is “If you do not understand what “The Promised Land” was a “type” of, then you do not know what you need to know”.
For the past 2 Sundays at The Blue Point Bible Church (www.bluepointbiblechurch.com), we have been highlighting how important Understanding Contextual Details in Scripture truly is in regards to “Being Christian”, and brother Llloyd Dale highlights that. You can read and listen to his messages at the following link, http://lloyddale.com/ I personally recommend his teaching on “The Kingdom”.
In the midst of this season, I was challenged by a local pastor regarding my understanding of 2 Corinthians chapter 5:6, the infamous “absent from the body, present with the Lord” verse. I was told my understanding of this text, as referring to the “Corporate Body” of Old Covenant saints made me a “heretic” and not “Christian” (even to the extend of trying to have me removed from local pastor meetings). Anyway, this highlights an ongoing discussion and debate within the “preterist movement” regarding the Corporate Body View (CBV) held by Dr. Don K. Preston, William Bell, Larry Siegle, and many others (ie. Covenant Eschatology), and the Individual Body at Death (IBD) perspective, held to by Mr.Ed Stevens, and is more intimately connected to the common “futurist understanding” of the “glorified body”.

I love the work of all of these men, even in disagreement, and look forward to playing my part in helping bring forth clarity on this “resurrection” issue, all the while being humble and kind to one another. I know of about 3 different works currently happening to foster a better understanding of these details.

I had talked a bit about these disagreements and details as found all throughout “Church History” on MGW Online Radio a while back. You can still go back and listen to the podcasts. However, in the midst of the series I had been doing, I took a brief hiatus, and am looking to re-launch the show on October 24th with a series that will bring forth a host of clarity and healing in regards to Full Preterism. I will be bringing guests on the show (even some of the people mentioned in this blog) to discuss pertinent issues, and challenging the various “flavors of Preterism”. Look forward to that coming soon. Visit www.MianoGoneWild.com

As I come to a close with this review, I have to mention a couple last things. I have been blessed to have a co-laborer with perseverance and vision right here on Long Island. Johnny Silonski (Ova) has been a blessing and as I review my notes, I see he put forth some resources that I was blessed by. One comment he made that really stirred me, and has much to do not only with my testimony, but also with all that I labor to do is “My heart cannot rejoice in what my mind rejects”. Amen! Listen to Johnny detail that and more on the Omega Man podcast as well as his thoughts on “The Nature of the Kingdom”, at the following links:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/omegamanradio/2010/08/13/episode-29–johnny-ova-jeff-and-mike-beavers

https://preteristconferencecalls.wordpress.com/2016/09/17/04-johnny-ova-the-nature-of-the-kingdom/

Ironically, on August 31, 2016 I was questioning the seeming “new season” it seemed God was bringing my into. I write this now 2 months later, and through all of these resources, the blessing of an amazing congregation as BPBC, the love and concern of my fiancee, and the Spirit of God, I can testify that God surely brought me into a new season. Confirmation came through the recent book, Chase the Lion written by Pastor Mark Batterson. The book challenges you through various stories of inspiration, as well as Scriptural examples of the need for us to go after dreams and goals that are God-inspired. In his usual fashion, Pastor Batterson convicts the reader to truly examine what God wants them to do for His glory. A book that truly speaks to our time and need, if not, then for a soon coming season.
Two quotes that I was inspired by, which are pretty much carrying me into my next season, and I pray they will challenge you as well are:

“The Christian is called upon not to be like a thermometer conforming to the temperature of his society but he must be like a thermostat serving to transform the temperature of his society”.
– MLK Jr. (Transformed Nonconformist)

“We have learned: One may do much or one may do little, it is all one, provided he/ she directs his/her heart to heaven”. – Rabbi’s of Jabneh

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

My Defense and Explanation of Full Preterism

In 2010, I underwent a rather intense paradigm shift. For those who do not know what a “paradigm shift” is, it is a change in the way you approach a given situation or the assumptions you may have had. Basically, a change of thought.

As a Christian, I believed that the ancient Scriptures contained in the Bible are the way to know the “gospel” – the good news that Jesus came to take away sin and death. I believe that Jesus Christ was Lord and Savior. I also took serious the teachings which Jesus taught His disciples about the “end times”. I was taught the Christian view that the end times were soon. Jesus Christ could come any day, I didn’t agree with what was called the “pretribulation rapture”, but instead believed that everyone would be caught up with the Lord at the Second Coming. I believed that we were living in the end times and should take that serious. If people were going to live in a world of “great tribulation”- what were we doing to prepare? Wouldn’t that be the most loving thing? I could not understand why people didn’t seem to take serious what the “end times” would be about. I desired to see sinners repent and put their faith in Christ so they could enjoy eternal life both here and in the afterlife as well as urge people to take the teachings of Jesus Christ very seriously.

It was in the midst of this passionate following of Jesus Christ and seeking to “study to show myself approved ()” that I underwent the “paradigm shift”. I was challenged with a historical approach to properly understanding the “literary genre”, the original audience, and the context of the story contained within the Bible. However, I resisted and argued because as Maimonides once said, “…. those opinions of a man to which he has been accustomed to from his youth, he likes them, defends them, and shuns the opposite view”.

I’ll never forget the day that Pastor Alan Bondar of New Covenant Eyes Church met with me for lunch and told me that he believed that the “coming of the Lord”, what many refer to as the ‘Second Coming’ already happened. It seemed like a joke. Who believes that?!?!?! I wanted to prove this wrong and “defend the faith”, just as I had done with atheists, Jehovah Witnesses, and others who argued against the truth of God. The more I studied, seeking to “prove all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21), and show why I believed what I believed and that being what Scripture is about I began to realize how true the following statement by J.I. Packer really was:

We do not start our Christian lives by working out our faith for ourselves; it is mediated to us by Christian tradition. In the forms of sermons, books, and established patterns of church life and fellowship. We read our Bibles in light of what we have learned from these sources; we approach Scripture with minds already formed by the mass of accepted opinions and viewpoints with which we have come into contact, in both the Church and the world…It is easy to be unaware that it has molded us. But we are forbidden to become enslaved to human tradition, either secular or Christian, whether it be “catholic” tradition, “critical” tradition, or “ecumenical” tradition. We may never assume the complete rightness of our own established ways of thought and practice and excuse ourselves the duty of testing and reforming them by Scriptures” (quoted from Fundamentalism and the Word of God).

 Pastor Alan Bondar’s belief in “preterism” surely seemed laughable because of what I believed, but even so, I did the Biblically correct, least lazy, and ‘intellectually honest” thing to do- sought to prove it wrong by using Scripture.

It was then through actually reading the writings contained in the Bible in their context and allowing them to say what they said to who they were written (without putting myself as the primary audience) that I realized this view “Full Preterism” had some merit to it. I began looking around to see what others said about this “preterist” stuff. To my surprise, many popular teachers within Christianity believed in some parts of Preterism- what they call “Partial Preterism” but called “Full Preterism” heresy. I wanted to figure out why and prove this to Pastor Bondar.

I remember when Pastor Bondar first asked me, “Mike, what do you believe happens when you die?” I began to explain how the dead go into the grave, and then at the coming of the Lord they will be raised in the twinkling of an eye (1 Thessalonians chapter 4 & 1 Corinthians 15 seem to speak of this). Pastor Bondar explained this was called “soul sleep” and would have been foreign to the Jewish mindset and their view on Sheol/ Hades. I did my research and sure enough Pastor Bondar was right. This peaked my interest.

Reading through Matthew chapters 23-24 realizing that Jesus was giving His actual disciples answers to the questions they were asking. He was telling them about the soon coming destruction of the Temple and the “end of the age” (age does not mean world, instead it means the end to a period of time). Sure enough, reading the things Jesus spoke about in Matthew chapters 23-24 in light of the historical account that Apostles do in the New Testament (gospel being preached to the whole world- Romans 1:8, Romans 16:19, Colossians 1:6, 23 ; persecution – a read through the book of Acts will serve well, not to mention 2 Thessalonians chapter 1; false teachers – again are seen throughout the New Testament however read 1 Timothy 1:3-6, 2 John chapter 1, for some insight; and the 1st century Jewish historian Josephus’ written accounts of the Jewish-Roman War.

After hearing Pastor Bondar explain that he believed the resurrection of the dead already occurred I knew I had him pinned as a “false teacher”. I approached him with 2 Timothy, and how the early church was warned to stay away from those who were saying the resurrection had already occurred. The first point Alan made was – if the resurrection of the dead was understood to be biological corpses coming out of the graves – how in the name of reason could people convince others that this had occurred and they had missed it? I had to admit that was a rather good point. Alan also pointed out that in 2 Thessalonians chapter 1, there were some who believed the “coming of the Lord” already occurred. It forced me to face the fact that the physical sighting of Jesus Christ that I demanded must happen in the future was an error. Actually stood in direct contrast to some of the things Jesus Himself said in John chapter 14.

Pastor Bondar then explained how what we read in the New Testament is referring back to things in the Old Testament. Jesus made it very clear He came to fulfill the Law (the Old Covenant/ Testament). It was His blood that was establishing the New. The Apostle Paul was emphatic about the fact that the gospel he preached was the hope of the forefathers of Israel, “the hope of Israel”, which was detailed in the Law and the Prophets (Acts 24:13-16; Acts 26:22; Acts 28:20). It is vital that we understand what the Old Testament before trying to understand or interpret the New Testament.

A major aspect of the Old Testament is the use of “prophetic language’. The Hebrew Metaphors and idoms that are used throughout the Old Testament are foreign to our common thought. Imagine trying to explain to an ancient Hebrew the expressing “It’s raining cats and dogs”. This would be just as confusing as them trying to explain how they used language such as “hearts melting” (Isaiah 13:7) and the sun turning black (Joel 2:21; Matthew 24:29) to depict the coming war with a foreign nation. I remember as I sought to understand how the ‘original audience’ would have understood these phrases, it caused me to change the way I understood writings in the New Testament. For example, if throughout the Old Testament the prophets used phrases such as “coming of the Lord” to speak about invading armies- why would we interpret Jesus’ words any different? Why all of a sudden to Jesus’ words mean literal cosmic events and a literal Jewish man coming out of the sky? Where do we get this understanding?

After understanding the use of the language, I then was able to pay attention to what are called “time statements” in Scripture. In speaking about the “end of the age” or the “coming of the Lord”, Jesus’ seemingly gave time frames when these things would happen. Obviously, the “end of the world” had not happened yet because I was living in it and there is no historical record of a man coming out of the sky. However, when the “prophetic language” is properly understood we realize the Scriptures speak of the “end of the age”, which was the “present evil age” the 1st century Jews were living in which would change at the “coming of the Lord” (again, I point out that this was a term depicting judgment of God that would come through foreign armies. An in-depth study of the following passages proves this point: Genesis 18:21; Exodus 3:8; Isaiah 19:1; Isaiah 64:3; Matthew 24; Luke 21; 2 Thessalonians 1-2, and so many more!

I knew that embracing the truth as I was seeing it, through a view called Full Preterism, was quite controversial and stood in contrast to the ‘traditional thinking’ most Christians utilize. However, I came to a point where I had to choose from what the Bible teaches in context or the comfort of tradition. This is what men of God like John Wycliffe and Martin Luther had to deal with. If these men where not ‘intellectually honest’ and had the courage to challenge the ‘status quo’, we would hardly have the Christianity we know of today.

By understanding the historical and redemptive context of the Scriptures, as is weaved through the Bible in a beautiful way, we can truly understand the Bible as the original audiences would have understood each of the writings. The Scriptures are not dealing with world history, that is why we do not read about those people in Australia or the natives in the Americas in the Bible. Instead, the Biblical writings are dealing with the God of Israel and His relationship with His people. The Messiah of Israel comes and through His fulfilling their promises, He invites others “through Jesus Christ” to enjoy the blessings of being “in covenant” with Him. That my friends is the glorious gospel as revealed through Scripture. The ‘death’ that Israel experienced in Adam, was taken away in Christ. Those that were without God, without hope, “far off” from covenant relationship with God, “the Gentiles”, were called to the New Covenant (Ephesians chapters 2-3 explains this).

So, all of this serves as my defense of my position as a “Full Preterist”. I have been willing to debate and defend these views- firstly, because I believe my position is correct. If you would like to discuss these things in more detail, I would love to explain. Secondly, I have been wrong once and am humble enough to be wrong again. However, I seek to be faithful to understanding Scripture in an effort to truly understand God- therefore I ask to be shown if I am wrong through the use of Scripture in context and not what ‘tradition’ teaches. I see much hypocrisy alive and well in the Church when it comes to “proving all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) and instead of doing so, many have a “zeal without knowledge” as the first century Jews who persecuted Christ did (Romans 10:2). They believed they were right and the Christians were wrong- how do you suppose the Truth was made known? Go and read Acts 17:11- ‘SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES”. Scripture commands that we “study to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15)” and therefore I ask you, the reader of this document, to not only prove what I am saying wrong (if I am wrong) and prove your position through a historical and Biblically consistent examination.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Public Response to “Scare-Tactic Review” – STAY AWAY FROM THIS CULT!

Recently someone posted an “attack” on my ministry at The Blue Point Bible Church (http://www.bluepointbiblechurch.org). Upon talking with the Elders I have found it a worthy effort to respond directly to the attack.

Please take note the identity of the person who posted the STAY AWAY FROM THIS CULT “review” has obscured their identity. I stand behind the things I say and teach and am always willing to come to the forefront to defend what I say and teach. Therefore, I ask the same from this ‘attacker’. It surely is a hypocritical effort to accuse someone of being a “cult leader” and the host of other derogatory accusations mentioned in the review and then hide.

Might I assume this could be Christopher Hatton or someone of his ilk? I say that because of the personal nature the ‘attack’ has on the ministry of former Blue Point pastor, Pastor Claire Chandler and the mention of Christopher Hatton.

I would like to first respond to this comment:

” They ousted a godly Pastor named Chris Hatton after he tried for some years to preach the true Gospel of salvation through the grace of God alone”.

I find this rather interesting. Can information pertaining to the ordination of Christopher Hatton be provided, as it seems there has been some confusion in these regards. Mr. Hatton claimed in times past and through his ‘interview’ for the pastorate at Blue Point that he was ordained by the Blue Point Bible Church. This is false. Also, if Pastor Claire Chandler was teaching the doctrine of “Full Preterism” and then retired- how did this “godly pastor” obtain the call to serve at Blue Point Bible Church? I can find no other way other than a dishonesty in regards to being a “Full Preterist”. Before we make attacks- let’s get the facts!

The “attack/review” posted by BiblicalChristian seems to give off the impression of a rather paranoid ministry of Christopher Hatton. Why would “spying” be necessary. Ahh..sometimes the failure to ask the “why’s” and “hows” can lead to rather misleading results.
Now let me speak and defend my ministry as the pastor of The Blue Point Bible Church.

This person attacked the size and nature of our congregation by calling us a “so pathetic and small a congregation”. Interesting… Does size of the congregation determine the truth of the doctrine and the “in Spirit and in Truth” nature of Worship? I don’t think anyone would dare to say so. As a man who loves God, loves His Truth, and loves His Church I cannot even fathom why or how relevant such a comment is. Obviously, this is an attack.

Yes I, Michael Miano, was called to pastor The Blue Point Bible Church as of April 2013. I am grateful for the person who wrote the review posting links for people to listen to my messages- PLEASE DO SO. I dare to say, if you are reading your Bible and willing to be intellectually honest you will find the charge of my teachings being “nonsense” I “spout” to be completely false.

I was rather excited to be called “part of a new breed of militant hyper-preterists”. I am not sure what that means other than my compulsion to teach, preach, and defend the Biblical gospel as I understand it. Take special notice at my inclusion of “defend”. Biblical Christian, are you willing to publicly defend your views? Please identify yourself. This shouldn’t be too much of a hassle since dealing with me and my being “so naively unskilled and unlearned in Orthodox Christianity” is something you mentioned.

I am glad that your posted your review since it brings attention to the attacks many bring upon leaders within Christian who are honestly seeking the Truth. I hope and pray that you might be convicted of your words and my response and not only identify yourself for all to know but also be willing to publically defend some of the things you mentioned.

Upon a willingness to visit the Blue Point Bible Church on a Sunday or for any other activity we offer (ALWAYS WELCOMING VISITORS), I believe those who read this outlandish review can and will see for themselves the TRUTH.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:21 we are exhorted to “prove all things”. Let this serve as my public notice and response to the review posted above in an effort to prove how false these accusations are.

For His Glory,
Pastor Michael Miano

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Ensuring “Completeness” in 2O14 – RESOLUTIONS

  Each year, except for last year, I try to publicly proclaim my “resolutions” in an effort to “be accountable”. I have found this to be a fruitful exercise which has enabled to me since 2OO6 to accomplish much: wrote a book, began an internet radio program, developed a personal ministry {The Freaked Out Movement}, developed and enhanced my personal understanding of Scripture, and ultimately began my pastorate at Blue Point Bible Church (planting and working in other pastoral positions along the way). 

  So as I prayerfully enter 2O14, I want to share some of my thoughts and goals pertaining to the year. As many of you may already know, I have developed a sort of “motto” for the year – “Beginning with the end, the the ends of the earth”. Basically, as I have come to understand “covenant eschatology” and what the “good news of Jesus” truly is, I have the desire to help others “see” and “hear” it as well. “The Power of Preterism” conference happening at The Blue Point Bible Church (http://www.blupointbiblechurch.org) is dedicated to the very purpose. In light of what has been accomplished in and through Jesus Christ (i.e., the New Covenant) let us therefore understand how we shall live. Matter of fact, this morning in my devotionals (there is a resolution beginning strongly right there), I detailed this a bit:

 “If through one man’s life there is little more love and kindness, a little more light and truth in the world, then he will not have lived in vain”. – Alfred Delp

    Read 1 John 4:7-1O; 1 John 5:14-21

 Imagine if we truly begin to live as “the people of God” and allow LOVE to be the defining factor of all that we do. 

 So it’s with that in mind that I begin detailing my “resolutions”.

  RESOLUTION ONE- BECOME MORE DEVOTIONAL IN AM AND EVENING READINGS AS WELL AS PRAYER (which in turn should help focus on living a complete and satisfying New Covenant life – “life to the full”. 

 Upfront I must admit, I like to detail “bucket list accomplishments” at the beginning of the year and add new ones to the list, but herein is the issue- one of my “resolutions” is to organize my paperwork (have not quite gotten back into the “swing of things” since my move to New York), so on this blog I will not be able to detail the “bucket list” info. 

    RESOLUTION TWO- ORGANIZE PAPERWORK AND NOTES (i.e., my “preterist box”) AND WEBSITES!

   I am looking to grow into my “pastorate” this year and truly lead with purpose and conviction and therefore have set some goals in doing so. 

   RESOLUTION THREE – GROW INTO “PASTORATE” 

            1. Get comfortable with my office and begin having meetings there (coffee, juice, soda, etc.. all on hand)   2. Organize rooms and paperwork in each room (make use of the file cabinets!!!)  2. Create a membership file book to be able to know more, help them grow more, and keep in touch better (Thank’s Robin for the awesome idea!)  3. Start utilizing “days before” to get ready for Sunday and clean church often   4. Develop a “new comers packet” 5. Launch *new* website  6. Programs such as Alpha, an open class at the college of high school, “Generations” Youth Program etc.  6. Prison Ministry?!?!  7. Organize and develop our “Prayer Room”  8. Hospital Chaplain or at least ministry for 6 months (develop a schedule)  8. In light of LI’s NBT, connect with other pastors and ministries

  As far as personal ministry goes, I am looking to develop a more “missional evangelism” and life in light of AD 7o for the Freaked Out Movement (http://www.freakedoutmovement.com). I currently have some ideas for marketing and maintaining the lifestyle of a “Jesus Freak” and will be developing and sharing them more as the year goes on. Also, keep an eye out for “The Freaked Out Book Club” as an incentive program for people of all ages to keep on reading! Miano Gone Wild Radio Program hasn’t been as organized as I would have liked this year so I will be looking to organize it- obviously bringing brother Derek Lambert onboard with “Truth Be Told” has been a blessing as well. Look for more to come…

 RESOLUTION FOUR – DEVELOP THE FREAKED OUT MOVEMENT (JFREAKS) & MGW RADIO

  As far as some learning exercises for the year, I have some good ones. I want to begin journalizing the Scriptures– which basically means handwriting the Scriptures into notebooks. This is great for reading comprehension and memorization. I have to thank Jen Fishburne for bringing this awesome idea to my attention- what she calls the “King’s Assignment”. In Deuteronomy 17:15-2O we read:

    “…you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves…..Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the levitical priests. It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or to the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel (Paraphrased a bit)”. 

  So, I will begin this effort in February. Please let me know if you decide you might want to do this effort. There is a website dedicated to helping with this effort if you choose to order the books through them to use (I am fine with a regular bunch of notebooks). http://www.graceandtruthbooks.com/category/the-journibles

 RESOLUTION FIVE – JOURNALIZE THE SCRIPTURES

 Also, I am looking to complete classes and so forth over at Fulfilled Covenant Christian Leaders Institute and help Allyn Morton develop the idea for the school a bit more. To be upfront and honest, I am aiming to ask Allyn if I may take a position of authority with the school and develop a full and complete curriculum to train and ordain pastors.        

 RESOLUTION SIX- FINISH AND DEVELOP FCCLI

   Also, looking to revise and republish my book- Freaked Out by the New Covenant

  RESOLUTION SEVEN- REVISE AND REPUBLISH “FREAKED OUT BY THE NEW COVENANT”

 and last but not least, as far as personal study and development I am looking to get through the writings of Josephus, go through Jewish writings such as Mishnah, Talmud, etc.. available at http://www.sacred-texts.com  , and surely learn and teach more pertaining to “hell”. Maybe, I will see you at the Rethinking Hell Conference in Houston, Texas in July. http://www.rethinkinghellconference.com/2014/

  RESOLUTION EIGHT – PERSONAL STUDY AND DEVELOPMENT 

 Well, I am sure I will develop more “resolutions” within the year, but I believe this is a good and busy start. Hopefully I have inspired you to begin a list of your own. If you hold me accountable I will surely hold you accountable as well. 

  Blessings in Christ, 

     Pastor Michael Miano

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Pastor: His Qualifications and Duties ( A REVIEW)

               I just finished reading this book which is basically a compilation of the writings done by 19th century Baptist pastor Hezekiah Harvey. I thought it was interesting as a 21st century pastor to look at the historical view of the role of pastor. I took some notes that intrigued me and wanted to share with those who are in the pastorate, are considering it, and those who might help to hold me accountable.

In dealing with the call to serve as pastor, it is of vital importance that the “call to the pulpit” is a there. In the book it was noted that the man called to the pulpit must “feel that he ought to engage in it, and that he cannot do otherwise without guilt”.

“A pastor’s utmost wisdom and discrimination should be employed in inspiring and guiding young men to right thinking in regard to their life-mission”.

                The above quote was an awesome encouragement considering that is what I feel called to do. Lead men and women to find their calling in Christ- this is true DISCIPLESHIP and ultimately is the way we bring “healing to the nations” and help men and women live ‘life to the full’.

                The Freaked Out Movement, which I direct is dedicated to this very cause- helping men and women find their identity in Christ by understanding what burdens and inspires them.

“The modern pulpit, from its neglect of the Bible,  is singularly narrow, exhibiting little of the vast wealth and variety of divine truth. It leaves by far the larger part of the Bible a concealed book. It’s types,, it’s poetry, its prophecies, its parables, its presentations,, as in the epistle to the Romans , of the truths of the gospel in their connection as one grand, comprehensive system of salvation- how little of all this wealth of Scripture is presented in the pulpit”.

                We are in dire need of a REframation dealing with the comprehensive story of Scripture!

“The absence of knowledge even of the fundamental principles of the Christian religion, on the part of many who are hurried into the church, is one of the alarming features of our times.

The lack of Biblical clarity and Biblical literacy is prevalent among so many within the church. “Growing the grace and knowledge of God” of 2 Peter chapter 1 is so important, and instead of making converts who can recite a “sinner’s prayer” we must begin to make disciples who know and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, as well as explain them in a true and reasonable way.

                As I have grown in my understanding of ‘redemptive history’, I have at times put aside the memorial understanding of the Lord’s Supper. I think Mr. Harvey explains the importance of this quite well:

                “Rightly administered, the Lord’s Supper is one of the mightiest forces God has given to inspire and purify the heart and elevate the life of the church”.

                “The care of the souls is the radical idea of the pastor’s office”. This is something I have begun to internalize and keep at the forefront of my work in ministry. Not the afterlife, but the souls in this life- life to the full.

I appreciated the insight of Dr. Cuyler:

                “Young brethren, aim from the start to be thorough pastors. During the week go to those whom you expect to come to you on the Lord’s Day. In the morning of each day study books; in the afternoon study door-plates and human nature. Your people will give you material for your best practical sermons. After an effective Sunday work go around among your flock, as Napoleon rode over the field after a battle- to see where the shot struck and who were among the wounded”.

Dr. Taylor issued the following admonishment:

                “You will make a great mistake if you undervalue the visitation of your people. The pulpit is your throne, no doubt; but then a throne is stable as it rests on the affections of the people, and to get their affections you must visit them in their dwelling”.

Getting back into the writings of Mr. Harvey, he begins to drive home what the life of ministry for a pastor should look like.

“Men differ in their characteristics and modes of working, and each pastor will ordinarily succeed best with his own model”.

                I believe it to be so vitally important for a pastor to know his “hedgehog concept” so to speak. He must know what style he is utilizing for his ministry, what he is most passionate about, and where his focus needs be.

“Above all, the pastor must remember the injunction, “Instant in season, out of season”. He should make the most of opportunities. In the store, the office, and the shop, on the farm, the roadside, and the car- everywhere he is to seek to lead men to Christ”.

                In our day we call this MISSIONAL! A natural outpouring of the Christian Spirit making the fruits of the Spirit not religious, but authentic. “In a minister’s life the danger is he may degenerate into mere professionalism.

“To make the social life of the church strong, healthful, enriching, such as to render it a magnet to attract other souls, is of primary moment in a pastor’s work”.

                I couldn’t have said it any better myself, the only issue we face today is the “attractional model” of ‘doing church’ which seeks to make things fun and hip rather than focusing on teaching and helping foster an understanding of the contextual Biblical gospel. Utilizing Deuteronomy 4:6 helps in these regards.

                Two main ways Mr. Harvey speaks about doing this are “personal effort to promote mutual acquaintances in the congregation by introducing strangers” and “social gatherings in the church”.

“One chief function of a pastor is to develop and utilize the spiritual, mental, and social forces of the church”.

“The minister is, in this respect, a general whom troops are entrusted; his work is to train and organize and lead”.

One of things we believe strongly in our church is being a “congregational led” church. This helps foster the understanding of “the priesthood of Believers” which encourages us all as disciples of Christ to play a role. “Indeed, one of the strongest bonds which bind a church together is the consciousness of being mutual workers, each having a post of duty and a share of responsibility”.

                “A pastor should carefully study his people with the view of ascertaining and utilizing their special aptitudes and gifts”- This my friends is The Freaked Out Movement and should be for all Christian organizations the focus of Discipleship!

“A pastor who will constantly act on the motto, A PLACE AND A WORK FOR EVERY MEMBER, and will press this motto on those who conduct the different departments of wok in his church, will soon find himself at the head of an active, living, and ordinarily happy people, while yet his is not personally overburdened with the details of church-work”.

                Many people within the Church trivialize the importance of being well educated in matters of the gospel and well as other areas- sociology, psychology, various religions and apologetics, among Biblical literacy. “Intellect is a gift of God: it is criminal to leave it undeveloped”.

“It seems to me one of the highest duties of a pastor to foster in such minds a desire and purpose for an education, and to facilitate in every possible way the attainment of that end”.

“A failure to develop his people intellectually is a discredit to any minister”.

“Cultivation of the Missionary Spirit” has got to be my favorite title of a part in Mr. Harvey’s writings, I love the eloquent way he explains the need for the church to be missional:

                 “The importance of a deep, all-pervading missionary spirit in the church can hardly be overrated”.

“To develop and foster a missionary spirit in the church requires, as a first necessity, the presence of such a spirit in the pastor himself”.

                I know men like Alan Hirsch and Shane Claiborne would love to read that quote and say a big “Amen” for the need of church leadership to step outside the church building!

                As I finished the book I took special mention and many quotes from the boom regarding the “Pastoral Study” and the “Life” of a pastor.

“The pastor’s business is to deal with the human mind and the actual experiences of men; he should therefore, go through the world with his eyes and ears open, thoroughly studying men and life around him”.

                That is the missional mindset a pastor must have! Be in the places to hear about the ills of the world, offer insight when necessary, and utilize the things you might hear at “the bar” for the necessary sermons that must be preached!

                Always have a book in hand and consecrate each past of the day for systematic study- awesome thins I have already had in practice!

                Focusing on the ‘cares of the world’ can be the downfall of any man of God, as Mr. Harvey illustrates:

                “Many  a man circumscribes his own intellectual growth and pulpit power, making himself permanently a narrower and weaker man, by allowing these outside cares to destroy his process of mental discipline and growth. Here nothing will overcome but a profound conviction that study- persistent, regular, life-long study- is the solemn first duty of every man who ventures to stand up in the pulpit as an instructor of the people…the most imperative duty of him who teaches others it to teach himself”.

                Hezekiah Harvey also offers various writings to read and areas such as philosophy that should enter into the pastor’s study time to time. Mr. Harvey also holds the pastor in a high regard that he himself should be a model of the things of which he teaches his congregation. I personally believe it is vital that every pastor sit down and create a short list of things he belives to be most important in the Christian life. I would personally write- understanding the contextual gospel (being able to teach it and defend it), being missional, moderation and not religiousity, and the desire to “heal the nations” by way of the gospel.

                At the end of the book, Mr. Harvey includes a quote from the Pilgrim’s Progress which I believe would make a great motto for the Christian pastor:

                “he, had eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth was written upon his lips, the world was behind his back; he stood as if he pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did hand over his head”.

The pastor must have the view of his ministry as “a solemn duty he owes his God, his people, and himself, or he will fail”.

                I hope these quotes and notes may inspire you.

Blessings in Christ,

    Pastor Michael Miano

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized