Mr. Miller, meet Mr. Miller

  • Follow Letters

My name is Jeff Miller. I am a minister serving in Augusta, and have done so for the past 12 years, and for the past 22 years have believed fiercely in God. I also am an occasional guest columnist in the Your Faith section of The Augusta Chronicle.

I chose to write this letter in response to a letter published in The Chronicle (“Example shows prayer fails,” Dec. 4) written by a gentleman also named Jeff Miller. Some folks incorrectly believed I had written that letter and questioned me. This prompted me to respond.

I would love to take the other Jeff Miller to coffee or breakfast perhaps, my treat, and share conversation. We could talk about religion or politics, or neither; we could talk about cars, trees, family or any other topic. I have no agenda and will not bring up faith unless he does. I simply would extend a welcome to him and make a friend. It would be neat to meet another Jeff Miller.

The Rev. Jeff Miller

Evans

(The writer is pastor of Vineyard Community Church in Augusta.)

Comments (34)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
scgator
1042
Points
scgator 12/13/12 - 07:32 am
5
5

Mr. Jeff Miller...............

I would love to take the other Jeff Miller to coffee or breakfast perhaps, my treat, and share conversation. We could talk about religion or politics, or neither; we could talk about cars, trees, family or any other topic.................................
.... "I have no agenda and will not bring up faith unless he does."................ I simply would extend a welcome to him and make a friend. It would be neat to meet another Jeff Miller.

................I know your intentions are meant for good, however, God explicitly instructs us to "share" the Gospel (Death, Burial, and Resurrection of the LORD JESUS CHRIST) to the unsaved, and the BIBLE goes on further to instruct us as Christians........."not to have any fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness"...........your intent is commendable, but the BIBLE teaches us that an unsaved person is "not in their right mind...". It is not that I don't care for the lost, because I do, but "relaxing" the standards does not draw people to Christ............LIVING a life of conviction and Biblical standards draws people. It seems that your approach is to become a "friend" and then as you progress, you hope to "convince" him that your way is better.

The reason the Church is in the shape it is in today is because of adapting the world's ways and methods trying to attract membership.

Riverman1
70606
Points
Riverman1 12/13/12 - 07:51 am
7
1

He could just duke it out

He could just duke it out with him and say one of them would have to give up the name.

Jane18
12331
Points
Jane18 12/13/12 - 08:10 am
3
3

scgator's Comment

Your last sentence is sooooooo correct! Plus, most pastors, preachers,priests, reverends, etc., do not teach the true meaning of words and phrases. They teach what they think, or what some teacher in seminary told them. I've said this many times, but I will say it again, they need to read with great understanding 1Peter 4:17.(Deception(on purpose or by ignorance)is a very bad offense in GOD's word).

seenitB4
72732
Points
seenitB4 12/13/12 - 08:30 am
5
0

haha

I like the duke it out solution too.....:)

seenitB4
72732
Points
seenitB4 12/13/12 - 08:32 am
5
1

PLEEEEZE ac

We are drowning in religious posts....& yall wonder where the baddies went....

CobaltGeorge
138803
Points
CobaltGeorge 12/13/12 - 08:54 am
3
0

Religious Debate

You Write***I'll Read.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 12/13/12 - 09:29 am
5
0

A Business, or doing the work of GOD?

In the last 40 years we have watched a number of Protestant Faiths and churches become "UNITED" religions. An in the process they seemed to us to turn from preaching the word of God to more of a TV evangelist type of entertainment.

We come to church to hear the word spoken and learn more of Jesus and GOD. But sitting in church listening to a Preachers pushing to build a bigger church and seeing 2/3 of the seats empty, we had to questioned his logic. When we noted Preachers repeatedly pushing join the "UNITED"_____ association. We understood it was about business and retirement. Then the congregation finally agreed and pretty soon the hymns we sang changed to the approved list of "UNITED" hymns. The prayers and topics became UNITED canned speeches part of GOD and part of $$$ and no longer local to the community. It seemed every speech included more and more guilt tripping speeches for more $$$, over and above our tiding. So each time we left, it was to seek a small church where GOD and Community and not a Head Quarters where the purpose of being there on Sundays.

To date we have done this 6 times in 35 Years.
You see we are Protestant and a Centralize United politically run religion is the reason that the Protestant worship was started by Martin Luther.

Currently we are seeking a new small church, as our last 2 here in Augusta went UNITED years ago to expand.

So we long ago decided to tide only to a small church with low overhead, that put more in to their Missionary work and more into the community, Than the 12x12 LED Video Display out front.

However, we continue to donate directly to individual people and families in need, but just no longer through a UNITED middle man.

For now we read the bible at home, while discussing our search for our next Sunday hunt for a new small 100-250 member community focused church.

F4therTime
4656
Points
F4therTime 12/13/12 - 09:30 am
4
3

More wasted...

Unpublished

editorial space.

InChristLove
21756
Points
InChristLove 12/13/12 - 10:36 am
6
0

OpenCurtian, I understand and

OpenCurtian, I understand and agree with most of your view in your 8:29am post but my concern is the opininon you are giving that any time a church "grows" it is about money and business. Isn't it possible that God expands His church so that more lives are saved. Isn't that what the gospel is truly about, reaching, teaching, and winning souls for Christ. I'm afraid the impression you give is that anytime a church grows it's time to move on and find another.

As for those who grow weary of reading religious discussions, there are always alternatives and F4therTime no more wasted space in the editorial than some of the other junk we read.

Bizkit
21942
Points
Bizkit 12/13/12 - 10:37 am
3
0

It's America you have the

It's America you have the constitutional right to pursue a religion or not. End of story. On the name issue-you will likely find lots of people with your name. Weird.

Fundamental_Arminian
1725
Points
Fundamental_Arminian 12/13/12 - 11:48 am
5
0

Both Rev. Jeff Miller & scgator sound right

I like a lot of what Rev. Jeff Miller and scgator have written. Of course, scgator is right to warn against downplaying the gospel and fellowshipping with the unfruitful works of darkness, but Rev. Miller seems right to reach out to the Jeff Miller who put down prayer.

When it comes to dealing with lost people, a key question is whether they are pretending to be brothers and sisters in Christ. These pretenders (religious hypocrites!) are the ones we must avoid, according to what the apostle Paul told the Christian community in Corinth:

    (9) I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— (10) not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. (11) But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13 ESV).

Since the anti-prayer Jeff Miller doesn't pretend to be saved, Rev. Jeff Miller is free to reach out to him, if that's God's will. I'm glad to read of Rev. Miller's willingness to step outside the safety of a church building in order to reflect God's love to the lost. More of us believers ought to do the same. As scgator has warned, however, we should never hide or deny our faith in order to be friends with the world.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 12/13/12 - 11:37 am
3
0

InChristLove

I agree I was somewhat overboard....

But my wife and I have have found smaller (Un_United) churches, friendlier, more personal and more community focused.

Please correct me,as I am likely misquoting or just flat wrong.

But I believe it was Peter or Paul that wrote in his letters to Greeks that when a church grows too big, it should split and spread out.

In our case we are there for the Word of GOD.

Jake
30346
Points
Jake 12/13/12 - 11:32 am
2
0

Coincidences

I find it interesting that both men share the same name and have very contrasting views of church, prayer, God, etc.
I have had a couple of people tell me in the past that I looked exactly like someone they know. My first thought was I wonder if their wife is hotter looking than mine and my second one was I bet they have more money than I do. We had seven kids in our family so maybe the old man left one on someone's doorstep.
On a personal level, as far as church is concerned, I haven't been to a church service in about 30yrs except for baptisms, weddings and funerals. You know, when you hatch 'em, match 'em and dispatch 'em.

itsanotherday1
34705
Points
itsanotherday1 12/13/12 - 11:40 am
1
0

"share" the Gospel (Death, Burial, and Resurrection of the LORD

This is where I depart from organized religion. I don't want you knocking on my door to share ANYTHING.

InChristLove
21756
Points
InChristLove 12/13/12 - 12:09 pm
4
0

OpenCurtain, I agree, I tend

OpenCurtain, I agree, I tend to like smaller more intimate churches myself. I think that when a church becomes so large that the needs of those attending can not be personally administered to, then I believe it's best to seek the Lord's guidance in expanding (I hate the word dividing) into two separate churches. Whether it's half the church or only a few families creating a new church, as long as it is led by Christ, then His Will is done and it will grow.

Whether it's a large church or a small church I will agree with you, if the Word of God is not preached, I don't want to be there. May God Bless you and your wife in your search for the place where God needs you for this season.

faithson
4601
Points
faithson 12/13/12 - 11:59 am
0
1

Being Heard

The sincerity of any prayer is the assurance of its being heard... (UB)

I'm gonna leave it at that. This new prayer section should allow for the editors to direct some of these theology discussions to those pages.

Romney a Mormon, sure. value of being a Mormon, prayer page.

Tree up and trimmed, all is good, wish everyone the same.

InChristLove
21756
Points
InChristLove 12/13/12 - 12:05 pm
3
0

itsanotherday1, talking about

itsanotherday1, talking about Jesus isn't organized religion and I don't believe anyone said anything about going door to door preaching. I bellieve the discussion was concerning two individuals meeting for coffee or lunch and whether Christ would be discussed.

"Sharing" the Gospel can be done at any time, any place....but the sharing requires two indivduals in agreement. If you're not in agreement to the discussion, then you can't "share" and it's not religion, organized or unorganized.

GiantsAllDay
8133
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/13/12 - 12:06 pm
0
3

If, as the true believers

If, as the true believers claim, the word 'gospel' means good news, then the good news for me is that there is no gospel, other than what I can define for myself, by observation and conscience. As a freethinking human being, I have come not to favor or fear religion, but to face and fight it as an impediment to civilized advancement.

InChristLove
21756
Points
InChristLove 12/13/12 - 12:17 pm
1
0

GAD, since it appears to most

GAD, since it appears to most that our society has been on the down slope of morality, civilness, and responsiblity, all three in which religion highly teaches, I would question your freethinking in whether "religion" has actually been the impediment to civilized advancement or a result due to a lack thereof.

itsanotherday1
34705
Points
itsanotherday1 12/13/12 - 12:25 pm
1
0

ICL

The post I copied that from implied that Christians are duty bound by the Bible to share, and that the good reverend would be remiss if he just went for coffee without "sharing". That is the same difference as knocking on my door when you "share" unsolicited.

GiantsAllDay
8133
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/13/12 - 12:29 pm
0
2
InChristLove
21756
Points
InChristLove 12/13/12 - 12:34 pm
1
0

itsanotherday1, as believers

itsanotherday1, as believers we are commanded by Christ to share not only our faith but who Christ is. I find a vert large difference in having a beverage or a dinner with someone and the topic of Christ coming up in a discussion versus someone going through the neighborhood and knocking on your door to discuss coming to church or about salvation. In either situation you have the choice and responsiblity of telling the other party you are not interested in the discussion and that person has the responsiblity to honor your wish. I still fail to see how this has anything to do with organized religion as you called it.

InChristLove
21756
Points
InChristLove 12/13/12 - 12:39 pm
1
0

GAD, thanks for the invite

GAD, thanks for the invite but I do not watch youtube videos. Thanks any way.

Itsanotherday1, I did some research on your term "organized religion" and I suppose I understand a little better why you use the terminology and I suppose there are those who have "organized religion". As for me, I'm more into relationship than religion.

nash63
22
Points
nash63 12/13/12 - 12:50 pm
1
0

Tiding

OpenCurtain, you stated the following:

It seemed every speech included more and more guilt tripping speeches for more $$$, over and above our tiding.

Don't you mean tithing, as in giving a tenth of what you earn to the Lord? Or did I miss your meaning?

GiantsAllDay
8133
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/13/12 - 12:54 pm
2
2

Never heard of a Christian

Never heard of a Christian ban on YouTube videos before. Must be the 11th commandment.

InChristLove
21756
Points
InChristLove 12/13/12 - 02:14 pm
2
2

Not a band at all GAD, just a

Not a ban at all GAD, just a personal choice.....but your sarcastic comment doesn't surprise me a bit. Typical.

Bizkit
21942
Points
Bizkit 12/13/12 - 01:01 pm
1
0

Giant here is a good

Giant here is a good wikipedia article which may correct some of your misconceptions of God the Father:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_the_Father

GiantsAllDay
8133
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/13/12 - 01:27 pm
0
1

Bizkit

I read it thanks. It seems that god could just as easily be called god the mother. I guess that's just the sexist attitudes displayed in ancient scripture coming through. One other thing the Wikipedia article mentions: it say most mainstream Christian denominations believd that god the father and god the son are the same guy. So Jesus was praying to HIMSELF in the garden of gethsemane? Was Jesus a schizophrenic?

InChristLove
21756
Points
InChristLove 12/13/12 - 02:24 pm
1
0

You and I live in a

You and I live in a three-dimensional world. All physical objects have a certain height, width, and depth. God, however, lives without the limitations of a three-dimensional universe. He is spirit. And he is infinitely more complex than we are.

That is why Jesus the Son can be different from the Father. And, yet the same. If we were to use math, it would not be, 1+1+1=3. It would be 1x1x1=1. God is a triune God.

God the Son (Jesus) is fully, completely God. God the Father is fully, completely God. And God the Holy Spirit is fully, completely God. Yet there is only one God. In our world, with our limited human experience, it's tough to understand the Trinity.

http://www.everystudent.com/forum/trinity.html

GiantsAllDay
8133
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/13/12 - 02:51 pm
0
1

ICL, Tough to understand the

ICL,
Tough to understand the trinity may be the biggest understatement you've ever posted. It is one big enigma. A mystery wrapped in a riddle. So either god and Jesus are 2 people, father and son, like my son and myself are two different people. Or god and Jesus are the SAME GUY. Just depends on who you talk to and which way the wind's blowing. Either way SOMEBODY sent SOMEBODY on a suicide mission to save the world. Either god sent his son on a suicide mission or he sent himself on a suicide mission. In the very beginning, couldnt the all powerful creator of everything come up with any kind of plan he wanted to in order to save mankind? but no, he came up with the "worship me or I'll punish you" and "my only begotten son is going on a suicide mission" plan.

Back to Top

Top headlines

New chair gets vet off-road to fish

Army veteran Henry Kent's new Action Trackchair has attachments for fishing, with a holder for his fishing pole and a built-in tackle box, but others can be outfitted with gunracks for hunting.
Loading...