Monday, 15 July 2013

Shaming the Tiger - Tony Anthony Exposed

After an investigation into his life story, evangelist Tony Anthony has this weekend been exposed as a fraud. Official statement from EA here. More detail here.

Tony came to Reading a number of years ago and many, including me, enjoyed hearing his (now largely fictitious) story.

Why did he do it? Was he an attention seeker? Did he want money? Was he addicted to the adrenaline rush of seeing many fall for his fairy story telling?

I don't know, it's probably not worth speculating either.

So what about all those who were converted at his meetings?

Whilst the life of the evangelist may have been a lie, the gospel of Jesus Christ is not. Whilst the jar of clay may have been faulty, the treasure inside it was not.

People who were dazzled by the wow factor of Tony's story and "gave their life to Christ" on the strength of that story, if they haven't fallen away already, will be rocked to the core. But those whom the Spirit of God touched, who were awakened to true faith in the gospel presentation he gave at the end, whilst being saddened by this development, will not be finally rocked.

As for the rest of us, it is business as usual. The early church preacher, Paul said in his letter to the Philippians that this kind of stuff was a fact of life (Phil. 1:15-18). He doesn't try to stop it or control it for in the whirlwind created by all this, some good will come. Not that he condones malpractice, (2 Cor. 4:1-2) but that he commits all these things that he can't control into the hands of God and runs hard in the task he has been called to, not deterred or distracted (1 Cor. 9:25-27). For whilst this turn of events will create a lot of noise and soul searching in the household of faith, the silent darkness and death, which holds many outside that household captive, is greater still.

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