Sunday, 5 January 2014

Mike Vinson's Church Government

Good 'ol boy from the south, Mike Vinson (er, who else?), has been on his soap box recently about the issue of church governance a.k.a Ecclesiastical Polity

It seems Mike is becoming more and more overt in his insistence that he and his elders do the thinking for the IWWB plebeians and additionally, any possible reservations one might have about whether IWWB is denominational (or not), can now be thoroughly dispensed with. Mike and Mitch have, without a doubt, turned IWWB from a simple gathering of like-minded souls into an indoctrinated denomination that is complete with a figure head (Mike, of course), a statement of faith (the aptly titled "Milk Doctrines") and of course, codified/systematic behaviour that they expect and will enforce, from their disciples. 

At the recent "we can't stand Christmas, so let's run away and hide" conference, Mitch Kuhn delivers a series on "Patience." As they are accustomed to doing, the tail end of the talk goes off on a bit of a tangent and Mike begins to rant about brothers whom he has (supposedly) delivered to Satan and whom have been put out of the fellowship. 

Firstly, here is Mike (and Mitch) discussing this issue:

Mike presents his argument primarily from Matthew 18, whilst also trying to support the notion that he "keeps no record of wrongs" and forgives his brother "70 times 7." How does that work exactly? Clearly, this is but another biblical dichotomy poor Mike has trapped himself in! 

If Mike is keeping records of people's sins, then he can't be loving according to 1 Corinthians 13 which explicitly states that love, "keeps no record of wrongs." But alas, how does Mike follow Matthew 18 unless he keeps such a record? Mike has again snared himself and fallen on his own sword by trying to rigidly apply the scriptures to himself, and everyone around him.

Some sharp-minded brother in attendance actually has the gumption to call Mike out on this but as Mike is wont to do, he does his utmost to bullshit around the topic. It comes across as grasping and desperate to me as Mike tries ever so hard to give the impression that his interpretation of the scriptures is what is the one that is truly meant!

Here is a brief transcript (from 0:34 - 2:03)

Mike - You forgive him anyway, but you don't just act like nothing happened. You can't just act like nothing happened!"

Questioner - Is that true repentance?

Mike - Huh?

Questioner - What is true forgiveness?

Mike - You don't judge whether their repentance is true, sincere or not. If they ask for forgiveness, you give it. 

Questioner - Well that's what I'm saying is, you know, I hear all the time "oh I forgive you, but I'm not going to forget."

Mike - Well that's not, that's not, that's not what you call: "not keeping account of wrongdoings."

Questioner - Well that's what you just said! You said forgive em but you don't act like nothing happened

Mike - Yeah! You would never be able to keep the commandment that says put him out of your midst. You can tell that somebody's just continuing in the sin while they're asking for forgiveness. That's, that's ____ (?)

Questioner - Well how do you walk that line between somebody who's doing that and Christ saying you forgive them 70 times 70?

Mike - Continued. Continued sin.

Questioner - How many times in the day must I forgive a man who sins you 70 times 70 in a day? That's continuing.

Mike - No, no, no. That's not the same sin he's talking about.  

Questioner - You keep forgiving.

Mike - He's not talking about doing the same thing over and over 70 times in a day - same thing.  
Questioner - Well maybe not the same thing in that passage, but still, somebody who's sinning 70 times 7 times.

Mike - yeah but when you turn them over to Satan, you don't waste a lot of time with a brother you've turned over to Satan. You let 'em go. 


You can see that yet again, Mike has thrown himself under the bus, but can't quite admit that he's lying underneath a contradiction of his own doing. 

Later on, at approx. 3:00 in the audio above, Mike likens those he has handed over to Beelzebub as being "cancerous." This seems to be a deliberate attempt on Mike's part to put as much distance as possible between a supposed heretic and his followers, by using a term that carries such a life-threatening stigma. And moreover, it isn't the first time this kind of fallacious and derogatory term has been levelled at those who question the all knowing, all seeing Mike Vinson.

I was sent an exchange a while back on FaceBook from someone who had similar concerns about the manner in which "the least of these" were being treated by Mike and his esteemed henchmen. Here is a statement from an IWWB acolyte regarding those who have left IWWB:
Thomas Piecyk: Would you like to have cancer in your body? We need to protect the body of Christ spiritually. You don't want spiritual cancer do you? The apostle Paul many times had to have people kicked out because of their apostasy. And besides the truth is far from being hidden it was being revealed to them it just wasn't their time to receive it.
Suffice to say, I find the labelling of those who oppose Vinson's teaching as "cancerous" to be a disgusting tactic. How Mike can stoop to such a level and sleep at night is beyond my comprehension. But then again, he is a cult-leader running a WWCoG splinter group so, anything goes, I suppose.

Lastly, here is some more audio that was captured regarding Matthew 18 and the putting out of brothers. In a nutshell, Vinson doesn't want to have to deal with matters "as a church," but rather, he wants to compartmentalise his IWWB group and let certain situations be dealt with on a local basis. 

Without realising it, Vinson is again contradicting himself and not being true to his own magic book. It looks like he doesn't want to have to deal with every little matter "as a church" and now has said that if someone, somewhere else (ahem - that he knows already!) decides that such and such is a heretic, he'll honour that decision and mark that man, keeping no company with him. What a hypocrite! 

All of the above demonstrates both the lunacy and the hypocrisy of Mike and his adjutants, as they try and implement every "jot and tittle" of their magic book in their lives. In truth, they have simply thrown up a red flag, marking themselves as the religious nut-jobs that they are. 

Like I said, when I first came into contact with Mike and IWWB, it was nothing like it is now. Back then, IWWB was simply a community of like-minded souls. There was never any motive at that time, of trying to tell others who they could and could not communicate with. 

However, when you have a bible, an inner belief that you possess absolute truth, and a dash of male-ego, then IWWB's present state is the kind of unfortunate result you end up with!