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!


  1. I tried to find another way to contact you. It may be that I should've looked more but I couldn't find out your name either. Anyway, you can respond to this on your site but if you wanted to make the effort you can reply by contacting me from my site.

    A friend of mine paid my way to a Tennessee conference several years ago when Mike and Ray were together. After that my friend recorded Mike's teachings and gave me copies for quite sometime. I went to one of Mike's meetings (after the split) held near my home because of trying to see why my friend couldn't discern what was so obvious.

    Just because we get fooled into trusting someone - who later turns out to not be trust-worthy at all - does not justify turning our back on that which we once received by His Holy Spirit.

    There is definitely a WAY to live life. All that is needed is for us to get past our will and live His will. Jesus came here as a man - the first man on earth to walk under grace - and proved to the rest of human-kind that living a sinless life is possible. (No, I'm not there yet but I have just recently obtained this hope.) When Jesus said, "Follow me" He was honest about it, meaning that we could have what He had and that is the Holy Spirit dwelling WITHIN us.

    God's grace can enable us not to fall if only we ask. That is why we are "saved" from day to day. He gives us the dominion over the power of sin through the gift/Comforter He provided us on the day of Pentecost. Again, we only have to ask.

    The answer is there.

    1. Hi there Freeman Shepherd, thanks for taking the time to reply here.

      The basis of your argument appears to be that even though I was duped by Mike Vinson and his cult of personality, I should not give up on Jesus, which you say "came here as a man."

      The thing is, my dealings with Mike Vinson led me to question the bible itself. I looked in-depth and researched the bible, it's origins, how it was canonised and formed, who wrote it and what researchers know about the details of this book.

      When I did that, I came to the conclusion that the bible is not the word of God and that more than likely, there never was a historical figure known as "Jesus of Nazareth." He is never mentioned within the pages of history (outside the bible) and there exists virtually no circumstantial evidence to corroborate the biblical tales.

      As I was exposed to these new ideas, I came to see how foolish it was to believe the earth was 6000 years old, that dinosaurs were all plant eaters, that donkeys and snakes can talk, that axe-heads can float, that leprosy can be cured by incantations and the blood of a bird and so forth.

      I view the bible as a literary work of scribes, who were writing to get a point across. Is there a God? Yes, I believe there is. But I don't for a second believe that this God authored a magic book endorsing slavery and subjugating women.

      Founding father Thomas Paine had the right of it when he said: "The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed," and "..but the Bible is such a book of lies and contradictions there is no knowing which part to believe or whether any…"

      Yes, the answers are there. They are just not in the bible.
      Take care my friend. God bless you.