The Three Musketeers Ride Again
by Tim Haile
May 1, 2000
See Gene Frost's response to Ronny Milliner's "Three Musketeers" article.
In the March 2000 issue of The Seeker, Ronny Milliner wrote an article called, "The Three Musketeers Attack the Straw Men." In this article Ronny spends more time talking about "Apollinarius," a fourth century theologian who disagreed with the Catholics regarding the nature of Christ. (See my articles, "A Review of Ronny Milliner's Article on 'Neo-Apollinarianism,'" and "I Have Told You Plainly"). Ronny blindly accepts the apostate Catholics' description of Apollinarius' beliefs. He uses their charges as a framework to construct his own straw heretic, and then he accuses others of being heretics based upon their agreement with what Apollinarius allegedly taught.
In Ronny's article he referred to Gene Frost, Ken Thomas, and me as "the three musketeers," and Ronny sees himself as our opponent. I found his characterization interesting. Like the three musketeers of old, I do consider myself as one striving to defend the honor and integrity of my King. Of course, in my case I have reference to King Jesus, "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Rev. 19:16). I feel quite compelled to defend Him against those, who say destructive and denigrating things about Him. But has Ronny considered the rest of the "Three Musketeers" story? All of the prominent roles need to be filled in order for us to complete the picture.
If I remember correctly, there was a wicked Catholic cardinal named Richelieu, who was power hungry and did not always have the King's best interests at heart. The musketeers eventually found themselves at odds with him. Do we know anyone today who is qualified to fill the role of the wicked Catholic cardinal? It would need to be someone who has demonstrated some affinity towards Catholic theology and orthodoxy. Who would be good for this part? Ronny, perhaps you may have some suggestion. In making this decision you need to remember that you were the one who assigned the roles for the three musketeers. And it was you, who depicted yourself as their opponent.
Milliner's View of Bible Inspiration
In the "Three Musketeer" article, Ronny avoided answering brother Frost's questions to him, but he did attempt to answer Frost's observations regarding the Catholics' treatment of Apollinarius. He wrote:
"Since we have "no primary sources" for Apollinarius, then, according to brother Frost, we have to throw out everything said about him. Brother Frost, do you remember that we have no autographed copies of the writings of Peter, Paul, or John. Shall we throw out their writings as well? If we can not trust the historians of this period in regard to Apollinarianism, why can we trust them regarding Gnosticism, Sabellianism, Marcellianism, Nestorianism, etc.?" (The Seeker, "The Three Musketeers Attack the Straw Man," April, 00)
This statement reveals Ronny Milliner's real problem. He expresses as much faith in the writings of the historians as he does in the Holy Scriptures. He relates the writings of historians to the scriptures - if one is to be thrown out then so should the other. Ronny has completely lost his way. In his determination to defend his Apollinarian heretic model, which he has worked so hard to construct, he has lost sight of the truth. His high estimation of "Catholic orthodoxy" has caused him to devalue Scripture.
There is a huge difference between Biblical writings and Catholic writings. GOD had a providential hand in the preservation of the Bible (Matt. 24:35; 1 Pet. 1:25). The Bible is not just a collection of mere human writings that have been attributed to God. It is the inspired product of divine interference (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:3). The writers were "holy men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:21). They were not prejudiced, unprincipled and unscrupulous apostates who murdered their spiritual opponents, burned their writings, then later ascribed positions to them as they saw fit. It is a mistake to compare the integrity of the Bible to human creeds. God neither authored nor preserved human creeds; He did the Bible.
Ronny, perhaps it is time someone reminded you of certain fundamental truths (I have reference to Biblical writings, not the writings of human councils and creeds). In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul tells us that "all scriptures are inspired of God, and are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness." These scriptures "thoroughly equip us" so that we may be fully prepared to defend truth, demolish every speculative and imaginative argument, and attack every destructive heresy that seeks to deny our Lord and ruin our faith (Phil. 1:17; 2 Cor. 10:5; 2 Pet. 2:1). To fight this battle, we must use the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:17). We must rely upon the doctrine of Christ, not upon the conclusions and councils of the creed. I invite you to join us on the high ground of honest polemics and leave your unscrupulous tactics behind.
"I have offered brother Haile two propositions of his own words in an effort to try and get him to engage in a public discussion on this topic. He rejected them both."(The Seeker, "The Three Musketeers Attack the Straw Man," April, 00)
Ronny conspicuously avoided mentioning what these propositions were and I cannot remember. I do remember rejecting all propositions that were not fair representations of my understanding of the scriptures. As much as I have wanted to debate Ronny and other members of his party on this issue, wisdom has dictated that I not sign propositions that did not fairly represent my views. I do not remember the specific propositions that Ronny makes reference to, therefore I will delay my comments until Ronny sees fit to tell us what he is talking about. Ronny insinuates that I am afraid to debate him. Ronny, send me some fair propositions and we will find out who is afraid to debate whom; who is truly willing to publicly defend his views and who is not!
One Final Note
In case Ronny Milliner hasn't figured it out yet, and in case others are wondering why I have refused to deal with all of the quotes Ronny has produced from other people, let me reiterate. I have no interest in discussing what Ronny Milliner thinks others meant by what they said. Ronny's dealings with Gene Frost have demonstrated his willingness to misrepresent people when it helps him. Furthermore, once he is cornered (as he is by brother Frost's questions which he conveniently continues to ignore) he simply moves to another area and makes more unfounded charges. Milliner may be amused that his brush fires are keeping us busy. What he obviously fails to realize is that every one of our responses supplies more pieces of the puzzle revealing his true character.
If the men Ronny has quoted take issue with my teaching and wish to engage me in open dialogue then I will be happy to oblige. Hopefully, these prospective opponents will make their appeal to the scriptures rather than the creeds. What a refreshing change that would be!
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