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Christian publication crucifies UK evangelist

Christian publication crucifies UK evangelist

We see prejudice ridicule and injustices in our society every day, but we dont expect to see this amongst mature Christians -  yet this is precisely what has happened to British Evangelist, Mr. Tony Anthony and Avanti Ministries Ltd (a global evangelistic ministry that Tony founded over a decade ago). 

A group of professing Christian people who seemed to have what only can be described as a personal vendetta against Tony, provided information with a view to disprove the events and details in Tony Anthony`s book “Taming the Tiger” (first published by Authentic Media). They went to great lengths to systematically tear apart every aspect of his previous life before he became a Christian.  They claimed Tony`s book was pure fiction, produced to make money and was purposed to lift his profile as an evangelist.  This group has maliciously taken a lot of raw data about Tony Anthony’s life and miscommunicated it in the public domain.

The Evangelical Alliance offered to be a broker in these accusations but in the end only caused further harm to both Tony and his wider ministry, by not providing the full picture, leaving out vital answers to questions, which gave further fuel to this fire. The EA said they had little control over the report against Tony because it was an independent investigation.  However, If this was the situation, why haven't they publically distanced themselves from the way their name has been brandished about by those reporting against Tony? Why have they allowed it to be cited as some kind of badge of honour?

If this was not enough for Tony and Avanti Ministries, Christianity Magazine (part of the Premier Group) got hold of this story and embellished it even further by producing a feature piece comprising of a front cover, inside leader and four page ‘report’  totally dedicated to destroying this man’s character and his ministry.  

Christianity Magazine produced a cover picture with a cartoon of Pinocchio representing Tony Anthony and an equally crude picture inside with a photograph of Tony’s face superimposed onto an image of Bruce Lee!  Such news coverage reported so inaccurately with biased and irresponsible opinions, compromises basic principles in journalistic ethics and standards, causing many people to consider this type of publicity to be one of the most shameful episodes in Christian journalism.

The Lord Jesus knew the pain of being betrayed by someone he trusted and this “friendly fire” (as it is called) is most hurtful when it comes from the Body of Christ. 

The Way met with Tony before this story broke last year to encourage him in his ministry, which has been extremely successful over the years. We wanted to meet the man behind the book and even more so to embrace his personal mission “To Communicate the Good News of the Gospel message relevantly with every person in all the world”.

Once the story broke, Tony was advised by trusted supporters to pursue legal action.  After giving this prayerful consideration and taking counsel from scripture and from trusted Christian friends, he believed this was not be the course of action God would want him to take.  Instead, he looked to God to guide him through the darkness of this situation. Meanwhile, to protect the wider ministry, the Board of Directors at Avanti Ministries sought advice from a lawyer over this attack.  With insufficient funds to enter into a defamation of character lawsuit, they reluctantly closed down the umbrella ministry.  

As a result of the turmoil Tony and his ministry were subjected to, we decided to support him in prayer and to be there for him when he required our help. During this time a Godly man named Mr. Ian Bruce headed an investigation by a team who spent months investigating these allegations.  

This resulted in the creation of a web site called http://www.forthesakeofthegospel.co.uk  It details the accusations, innuendoes, half truths and outright lies circulating in the media and confronts them with substantial and good quality evidence, which in our opinion supports the theory that this has been a ‘witch hunt’ all along. 

Tony Anthony has suffered a great injustice by the EA and Christianity Magazine.  Despite this, he has retained his dignity throughout this trial and more crucially, has not stopped sharing the Gospel. We wonder how many people in both these organisations can say that they not only share the Gospel, but have brought thousands of people to Christ!

We do not expect the individuals who started this hateful campaign to apologize, but it seems more than reasonable to seek a statement from both the EA and Christianity Magazine to come clean about their involvement. 

The Way therefore seeks justice and a restoration of Tony Anthony`s character so that he can carry on the work of an evangelist, unhindered by these accusations. After reading the information on this independent web site, we expect both the EA and Christianity Magazine to make a full and unreserved apology for the pain and loss they have caused to Tony Anthony, his family, his ministry and the wider Body of Christ. 

A further blog has recently come on line called http://framingthetiger.com  
 
Posted by Tim Pearson 

Your Comments

posted by John Lawson on 25-03-2014

I could not have put it better myself. I have known Tony for over six years and worked alongside him on many missions. Never have I met a man more dedicated to sharing the Gospel and equipping Christians to do the same. In my opinion the main characters in this defamation of Tony Anthony should be ashamed of themselves. You know who you are!


posted by Jan ONeil on 25-03-2014

Well I will not be getting Christianity magazine anymore. Both the EA and the Premier group need to apologise in print for the distress they have put this man through. Don`t they know the scriptures?


posted by Hannah on 26-03-2014

What a terrible example to others. This was the corruption and betrayal that felt when I left my church. Friendly fire leaves deeper scars. I hope it gets sorted Tony.


posted by colin owen on 26-03-2014

Why are the perpetrators names being withheld? Surely balance requires that we are told who they are...


posted by Peter Knight on 26-03-2014

Christianity Magazine should be held accountable for promoting these lies and innuendoes. It has devalued their reputation.


posted by Charlene Abrahams on 26-03-2014

Mark13vs13'And you will be hated by all for my name's sake...'. We have one common enemy,namely satan, but it certainly is painful when he uses those whom we least expected, only because of Christ in us. It surely is shameful, but God will vindicate. The fruit of Tony's life in Christ speaks volumes, and great will be his reward in Heaven for portaying Christ in the manner that he does even under such harsh circumstances. We all can learn from Tony's life. Our lives have been greatly enriched spiritually since we've met him. What a blessed man!!!


posted by Marion Hosie on 26-03-2014

I not sure what to believe I don't think they would have done anything without proof maybe that why Tony is not doing anything because he has no proof However apart from anything he did preach the Gospel even if his his story us not all true people still got save praise the Lord It not about us it is about Jesus ch ans the bible tell you even if are doing for yourself the message is getting preach nobody can fault him for that


posted by Avril griffiths on 27-03-2014

I read Taming the Tiger quite a while ago, and this book really helped me put my faith back in place. Tony has undoubtably reached out to thousands, through his ministry, including a very old friend of mine, who found Christ, with Tonys help. Who is anyone to judge? Why would you want to destroy the Word of God reaching out to others? I felt judged and condemned in my old church. Tony has my complete backing and faith. These people are not worthy of the title. Christian!


posted by Victor Otet on 28-03-2014

You evangelicals people do not deserve a man as Toni Anthony . But we from Orthodox Church in East Europe we welcometh him with much love . We are hungry for Gospel shared by Toni . He is most pure evangelist ever since Luter was on earth . Welove you Toni ! We welcome back here in Romania dear beloved man of God Toni !


posted by Debra Jones on 29-03-2014

I am totally and utterly disgusted with the way people have treated Mr Tony Anthony, a trusted and close friend of mine personally, Christians are supposed to love others as Christ has loved them, I cannot say that the Evangelical Alliance has kept to this, and so has sinned against the body of Christ in doing what they do. I am an Evangelical and can personally say that after the Evangelical Alliance's deliberate attack against Tony that I have withdrawn all support for them. I however still say that Having known Tony myself and His family, that they are the nicest people you can meet, Tony has led thousands of people to Christ and I doubt many can say that - the reason His been able to do this is because of His trust completely in His Lord and Savior the Lord Jesus Christ ! God will keep Tony Anthony's actions in mind, of course with repenting and asking forgiveness they will be forgiven, I however only pray that The Evangelical Alliance can actually be Christian enough to make a formal and broadcasted non bias and non attacking apology to Mr Tony Anthony to help him and His family live in peace and to be free to communicate the Gospel. Those thinking they are fully justified in their attacks I would say for you to really consider first and foremost "Have u ever sinned"? If u have just remember all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.. none are better than the other ass Christians we are to do things in love. I ask personally for an apology to Tony. God Bless You. Remember what you do to one you do to the many for we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and are to love each other Shalom !


posted by Sophie on 29-03-2014

I am a supporter of Tony and always will be, He is a trusted friend and He is an Evangelist who has reached millions with the Gospel and led thousands to Christ. The Evangelical Alliance owe Mr Tony Anthony an apology via media ! As we are taught to love others we are taught we are one family in Christ, we are taught to support our brothers and sisters in Christ sadly Mr Tony Anthony has not received this from the Ea. The EA needs to apologize for such a despicable attack on Tony. The Evangelical Alliance need to be aware that this shows Evangelicals in a bad light. Mr Tony Anthony I am sorry you have been put through all this, God has got you in his loving arms and knows you by name as do all of us, we are all one family in Christ - we support you and we are honored to call you Our brother in Christ. God Bless You Tony and Family. Let those in Christ sow in love and reap in love loving others as Christ has loved us. ~ Sophie.


posted by Mrs Adelia Washington on 30-03-2014

Unsubstantiated accusations have been made against Christian Missionary and Author, Tony Anthony. This man has been preaching the gospel all over the world for years and years without any reward, recognition or remuneration. He has one of the most fruitful ministries of our generation with multitudes of people coming to know Father God. Since last year, he has come under the scrutiny of a very spiteful group that claim to be Christian–yet through their actions have completely failed to demonstrate any Christian behaviour whatsoever. This group finally appeared to gain traction in spreading their malicious gossip when an independent panel from the Evangelical Alliance UK took their side and jumped on the ‘band wagon’. Since then, the Christian community has been hearing a lot of rumors in the Christian Press and a few Secular articles in the last year about Tony Anthony allegedly telling intentional lies in his autobiography. Until now, there has been no hard evidence brought forward to prove that he has lied in any way at all. In today’s warp-speed world, online missteps spread faster than ever through social media–and this group must feel like they have won a small victory. However, we must not forget that the truth cannot be hidden for long. "So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” (Matthew 10:26) The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has ruled that a person is always innocent till proven guilty. 1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. 2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed. Regarding the right to privacy: 3. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. In simple terms, you should be considered innocent until it can be proved that you are guilty. If you are accused of a crime, you should always have the right to defend yourself. Nobody has the right to condemn you and punish you for something you have not done. Tony Anthony has not been brought to trial for this matter in a court of law, he has not broken the law, and he has not been found guilty of breaking the law. In fact the only thing Tony Anthony appears to be guilty of is being a committed Christian who refuses to stop preaching the gospel. In this matter, Tony Anthony is clearly the victim of defamation, under Common Law rendering this whole matter an outrage. Defamation is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government, religion or nation. Most jurisdictions allow legal action to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism. It is a true credit to Tony Anthony that according to his firm Christian beliefs has refused to pursue legal action. Tony Anthony’s character has been defamed by nothing more that unsubstantiated accusations, reinforced by gossip. This has been directly caused by a vocal minority, and the Church should not tolerate, and make a stand for grace and truth. In this matter, we must stand up for Tony Anthony. Furthermore, the Evangelical Alliance UK appear to have no hard evidence or credibility whatsoever in regard to the matter of Tony Anthony. As such the spotlight is now on this Christian Body to act with Christian humility and tender a full apology to Tony Anthony, and declare that he is fully exonerated of these malicious rumors, speculation and hearsay. The Bible tells us a lot about apologizing and confessing our sins. Learning about the consequences of sins and the harm we do to others leads us to why apologizing is important. An example of apologizing in the Bible is where Jonah disobeyed God and spent time in the belly of a whale until he apologized. Job apologized to God for sins he did not know he had committed. Joseph's brothers apologized to him for selling him into slavery. In each case we learn that there is an importance in adhering to God's plan. We also learn that God is very forgiving, and people should strive to following in God's footsteps. Yet apologizing is a way of confessing our sins, which is an important part of our daily Christian walk. Apologizing is a way of recognizing our sins. It has a way of clearing the air between people and between us and God. When we apologize, we look for forgiveness for our sins. Sometimes it means apologizing to God for the ways we have wronged Him. Sometimes it means apologizing to people for what we have done to them. However, in no way can we expect forgiveness right away for the sins we have committed toward others. Sometimes we also have to be patient and allow other people to get over it. Meanwhile, God can forgive us whether we ask or not, but it is still our responsibility to ask for it. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8) When we obey God, we are sure that we know him. But if we claim to know him and don’t obey him, we are lying and the truth isn’t in our hearts. We truly love God only when we obey him as we should, and then we know that we belong to him. If we say we are his, we must follow the example of Christ.” (1 John 2:3-6) “Children, I am writing you, because your sins have been forgiven in the name of Christ.” (1 John 2:12) Give God the victory. In Jesus’ unconditional love, Mrs Adelia Washington


posted by George on 31-03-2014

I support Tony along with all Christians from Romania...we see God it\'s working with this guy in a such a great way...people from prisons are the ones who need you to keep on working Tony...the Christians should see the good that God brings with this guy ...we love you Tony here in Romania and we know God it\'s loving you to...


posted by Julian Batchelor on 31-03-2014

I worked with Tony for a number of years and got to know him very well. Everything the Evangelical Alliance said was absolutely accurate. It would not surprise me to find out in the future that Tony constructed this web site, and posted all the comments himself under false identities.


posted by Keith and Jenny Raby. on 31-03-2014

Having worked alongside Tony in ministry for the last three years, and in this time also becoming personal friends, we can say without any reservation that he is one of the most honest, sincere, humble, considerate, hard working,loving and committed to the Gospel men that we have ever had the blessing of knowing! Tony and his lovely wife are in a very small minority of people who live such self sacrificed lives for the sake of the spreading of the Gospel, and to know them and to see their true devotion to the Lords work is nothing but inspirational! The allegations that have been made against Tony are nothing but unfounded lies, and the way that this attack has been launched on such a wonderful man/servant of God is appalling and dispicable! We thank God for the clear evidence that has been revealed in this wonderful article and the links within the article. It is now surely time for all who have been involved in this vicious attack to apologise to Tony and his family for this terrible injustice!!! Throughout all of this ordeal Tony has maintained a dignified silence and has prayed for his attackers, So once again he sets a wonderful example to Christians everywhere of how we should behave as forgiven sinners! God bless Tony and his wonderful family, and lets pray that God will keep using this dedicated man for His glory and for the furtherence of His kingdom!


posted by Tim Pearson on 31-03-2014

Just to pick up on Julian`s remarks. The Way checked that the web sites quoted in this article were from independent reliable sources, which shoots holes in both the EA and Christianity Magazine`s comments.


posted by John Lawson on 01-04-2014

Re Julian Batchelor. For the sake of the reader I think it would be wise to understand why Julian would make such ludicrous accusations yet again regarding Tony. You will find a detailed letter from one of Julian's closest aids that organised the NZ tour that Julian makes reference too. Please go to question 15 here: www.forthesakeofthegospel.co.uk Below is an extract from this letter. I have published this here on this page not in an attempt to embarrass Julian Batchelor but to show the reader the root of many of the allegations made against Tony and the despicable way some whom call themselves. Christian's behave I am genuine now as I ask that we pray for Julian to find peace in his heart and repent of this malicious attitude. Julian has done damage to his own credibility in my eyes and the eyes of a great many church leaders in New Zealand... [there was] a large personal fall from grace which resulted in the board dissolving the ministry and well known Christian leaders withdrawing their endorsement support for Julian's book where he misquoted them (Ray Comfort, George Verwer and Tony himself). The board ensured the books had these endorsements, removed from Julian's books and many many supporters were devastated by Julian's action. But to these, he rallied saying it was the boards fault, his wife's fault, the enemy .


posted by Avril griffiths on 02-04-2014

Oh dear. Splinters and planks! I was surprised to see juvenile tactics, Julian. I sincerely hope you become re-directed.


posted by Daniel Picknell on 08-04-2014

I have to say that even if you doubt Tony or just outright disbelieve him, surely we should be looking at the fruit? Without the Holy Spirit there would be no fruit and in my view if Tony's story was built with lies and deceit the Holy Spirit could not work. John 15:2 says "He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more." (NLT) When I look at Tony and his ministry I see a tree of great magnitude and having spent time with Tony in various circumstances I find him to be nothing but a Godly man with Jesus at the forefront of everything he does. A liar out to make money would just not be that way! He doesn't have a mansion with a swimming pool, I know because I've been there. He doesn't travel the world for pleasure with his family, I know because I've helped to arrange the missions and even been with him on occasions. I could go on but http://www.forthesakeofthegospel.co.uk/ will answer a lot more than me here. I guess what I am trying to put across is that if we just look at the fruit (which is so clear to see), we would instantly stop speculating and unnecessarily attempting to pull apart Tony's story and would rejoice in seeing so many people coming to Christ everyday thanks to Tony's selfless lifestyle and never ending commitment to Jesus.


posted by Ruth MacCarthaigh on 09-04-2014

I agree with the last comment. I am a Christian and God saved my 14 year old son through me and my husband, with the help if Avant Ministries. A few months later, we three met Tony and hears him.preach and teach. When I heard of the difficulties he was going through and some of the very negative statements made about him I decided to take a biblical stand. Unless I saw anything to the contrary, I would continue to stand by this godly brother. It's just too easy to believe negative gossip about people. We should expect the evil one to attack anybody who is living a strong and productive life for God, as Tony is. I would no more believe gossip and false aquisations, without proof, about Tony Anthony than I would about John MacArthur or Peter Masters. It means little to me that the attack came from within. Anybody who knows scripture, or indeed lives any sort of godly christian life would not be surprised by this:) Keep.on keeping on Tony. It's great to see God vindicating you.


posted by JohnThree BornAgain on 09-04-2014

If you are a Christian, then people should be able to look for—and find—fruit in your life. Why? Because a disciple of Jesus Christ will produce spiritual fruit. Jesus said, " 'My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father'" (John 15:8). Jesus also said, "'By their fruits you will know them'" (Matthew 7:20). We can always talk about Tony's fruit, but that is enough talking - lets look at Tony's fruits. Now remember that this video clip is only of one littile session out of Tony's busy year - can you even imagine how many people Tony leads to God each year? The only people that would be angry by this and are quick to point the finger at this man would be those that are not even Christians themselves. Look: http://youtu.be/TcEO80--AJs


posted by John Davies from Basis Training on 07-07-2014

I have personally worked along side Tony and our company has supported Avanti ministries in the past, and I just find it despicable that so called christians can act in this way, accusing a very humble man of God. I am so pleased that Jesus has vindicated this servant hearted man and our companies love goes out to him and his family.Love and Bles you Tony from all at Basis Training


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