Saturday, April 12, 2014
Don't Call Me Brother by Austin Miles
Don't Call Me Brother: A Ringmaster's Escape from the Pentecostal Church, Austin Miles. Buffalo NY: Prometheus Books, 1989. hard cover, 331 pps., inc. concordance.
Austin Miles worked his way up in the circus world. He started off as a clown and eventually become ringmaster. He got married and had a daughter. A co-worker turned him on to Jesus. He became born-again and joined the Assemblies of God [Church]. He fell into a healing sort of ministry part-time, speaking at churches and events all over the country. Against the wishes of his unsaved wife, he quit the circus in order to minister full-time. His daughter also became a born again Christian and attended an Assembly of God near where the family had an apartment.
But all was not well for Austin. He had some run-ins with some higher ups in the A.G. He had some disagreements with some other folks as well. His wife left him, emptying the apartment of furniture and took their daughter with her. He discovered a well-known televangelist romping in a room one night naked with a couple other people of the same gender. Austin Miles began to see the Assemblies of God as a business. He became disillusioned with the actions of other Christians. He left the church in hopes of at least saving his faith.
sapphoq reviews says: I was not aware that Jim Jones [mass suicide, Guyana] had been an Assemblies of God minister until reading this book. Some people will say that any attack on "God's people" [ministers, churches, organizations] is "the work of the devil." It seems to me that much of what is talked about in Don't Call Me Brother is the work of men, not any lower power.
The last chapter of the book is where Austin Miles states what he thinks is wrong with Christianity today and what he thinks ought to be done about it.
I found this book to be enlightening, albeit dry in a few places. Atheists might object that this story is "not atheistic enough." Some Christians will deny much of the stuff in Don't Call Me Brother. Others will acknowledge the truth of it and perhaps work to change it. Recommended.