What’s the deal with Timothy David Miller’s alleged involvement in Lisa Miller‘s alleged international parental kidnapping of her own biological daughter (a minor of whom she had legal custody)?
I don’t know, even though I’ve read plenty of news accounts and other online commentary.
Is Tim guilty as accused?
I don’t know that either. After reading a document purporting to be the official criminal complaint, it certainly appears he did as accused. Even so, I begin with the assumption that Tim acted out of godliness, not rebellion against God-ordained civil authority.
Assuming his involvement, here are more questions I have:
- How did this far-off, non-Mennonite case culminate with Tim’s involvement?
- On what Scripture(s) did Tim establish his course of action, generally as well as specifically?
- Whose counsel did Tim seek prior to and in the process of being involved?
- Which counsel did he choose to go against? And on what basis?
- What is Tim’s track record in matters of submission to civil authority?
These questions are important to me, not so much because I need to know his answers, but because I need to know what my answers would be…if this were about Mark Roth.
And what about the certainty some (many?) have that the following verses describe Tim’s developing ordeal:
So far, I have seen no indication that Tim’s reproach or suffering is “for the name of Christ.” By that I mean that I don’t see any evidence that he is being targeted for being a Christian. At this point, I simply do not see him as a victim of anti-Christian persecution, targeted primarily because he bears “the name of Christ.”
That said, I’m not ready to state unequivocally that he erred or sinned in getting involved. Just too many unknowns exist for me to be certain enough to express so strong an opinion.
If Tim (or anyone else involved) needs to repent of anything associated with this whole deal, I hope they come to the place of seeing that and acting upon it to God’s glory.
On the other hand, if he has done as charged and if he did so for godly reasons and Christian convictions (“as a Christian”), may he have the strength and grace to give an humble witness for the Lord.
May righteousness prevail, may the name of Christ be exalted, and may God’s kingdom be advanced.
Now for some important-though-tangential side notes:
It is virtually impossible to make personal decisions that have no impact others. In this particular case, I’m sorry to see Christian Aid Ministries, Lamp & Light Publishers, The Gingerich Home for the Elderly, the Sierra Madre Mission, and Golden Rule Travel brought into the story (along with the name of Christ and the Mennonite “brand”).
Keep in mind that the media is not friendly to Christianity, especially the conservative “flavor.” They almost certainly will slant and filter their reporting accordingly.
Beware of trusting the privacy and security of any online (and other) digital communications. Be very circumspect with such communication, be it via email, online forum, cellphone messaging, fax, or a simple telephone. (See this and this and this, at least.)
I don’t know Tim Miller, whom I consider a brother in the faith. To my recollection, I’ve never met him nor had any communication with him. And, no, I’ve never been to Virginia, Vermont, Tennessee, Canada, or Nicaragua. 🙂