This page exists to answer additional questions not raised by forthesakeofthegospel.co.uk, including questions about the site itself.
1. Why have you done this?
I am a bookseller by trade, who has been directly affected by Mr. Anthony’s lies. I have sold Taming the Tiger, Cry of the Tiger and Passion in my store, and have actively recommended Tony Anthony’s books, and by proxy, his ministry to my customers, including schools, and ministries who work with vulnerable and at risk people, including those in prison.
I am also a Christian, who is actively involved in the local church, and the gospel mission of Jesus Christ to all people. I strongly believe that God’s word is truth, and that, in the words of Francis Bacon, we must not “offer the Author of Truth the unclean sacrifice of a lie”
If Tony Anthony and Avanti had been more forthcoming, this site, and my previous comments here would not need to have been made. However, instead of an open dialogue leading towards healing and restoration, they responded with legal threats, silence, misinformation and more lies.
Put simply this site exists for the sake of the gospel, and the truth that it represents. You can read more about this here.
2. Who is the author of this site?
This site is written by Luke Hughes-Bunger, an independent bookseller, and director of The Hub Christian Resource Centre Ltd. in Walsall.
I am also a husband and father who is active in the local church in my area.
I spent three years involved in full time missionary work with an organisation called LifeFORCE Teams International, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to people in Canada, the United States, the UK and Malta. The organisation also worked in countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and South America, as well as other parts of Europe.
During that time, we worked in prisons, homeless shelters, theatres, schools, youth groups, pupil referral units, and on the streets, amongst many others. I understand the importance of missions work, and ensuring that the Gospel is preached to all people. I understand the life changing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I do not take any pleasure in seeing that work undone.
However, I am a Christian, a slave to the truth, and cannot sit idly by as lies are being told in the name of truth
3. Where did the information here come from?
The vast majority of information is that which has been shared by Mr. Ian Bruce on his site.
In addition to this, some information comes from publicly available sources like newspaper and online articles, books and other published sources. These are linked to wherever possible.
Finally, some information comes from private conversations and correspondence with individuals. You are welcome to contact these individuals to confirm the accuracy of what I have said.
At no point in our conversations was any private information from the EA investigation shared with us by anyone.
In addition to this, some publicly available information has been found for us by third parties, including members of the research group, and Mr. Anthony’s supporters. I have thoroughly investigated any information they have provided ourselves, and where appropriate, included it in our findings. In all cases, this information was not included if it could not be backed up by sources already in the public domain.
4. How long did this project take?
The responses were thoroughly researched before posting.
The initial draft of our response was drawn up over the course of around 3-5 days following our initial contact by Mr. Anthony’s supporters, drawing our attention to the site.
This was then presented to Mr. Anthony for comment and clarification on any points, He had the option to rebut each comment individually, and I also offered to fully retract all statements en masse, and fully endorse him, his testimony and his ministry if he could provide documentary evidence of three particular points (see next question).
The response was also passed on to several other third parties including Mr. Anthony’s supporters and detractors, for comment and clarification.
Additionally, it was given to professional proof readers who edited the document for clarity.
Finally, it went through a final set of revision incorporating some additional information uncovered by these third parties, and considering their comments and suggestions, before being posted here.
I would estimate that this site represents around 50+ man hours of my own time, in addition to that of the other people who have contributed.
I genuinely thank all of those who have been involved in this process, on both sides, and their desire for the truth to be revealed.
5. Explain the offer you made to Tony Anthony?
Prior to the publication of this information, I contacted Tony Anthony, for comment. This included the first draft of my response, the final version of which you can read here.
The email I sent to Mr. Anthony included three options. The first was to comment individually on any or all points which I had made. He declined to make any comment or clarification.
The second option was for us to fully retract all previous statements made about him, publicly repent of any sin towards him, and fully endorse his testimony as truthful, and endorse his continued ministry. We also offered to play whatever part we could in restoring his ministry to full recognition within the body of Jesus Christ.
In order to do this, I asked for three pieces of documentary evidence which could be used to validate key parts of his story.
I agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement, with a £100,000 penalty if I publicly revealed any of the names, places or otherwise confidential agreement revealed to me by Mr. Anthony.
Specifically, I asked him for:
- The Chinese name under which he competed in Kung Fu World Championships, and the name of the sanctioning body which certified these championships.
- Any documentary evidence, including, but not limited to, passport stamps, international visas, plane ticket stubs, photographic evidence from a Chinese airport or other verifiable Chinese location, or any postmarked and dated letters from friends, family or anyone at all addressed to Mr. Anthony in China or any other documentary evidence which proves that he spent any time in China as a child.
- The name, nationality and rank of the international diplomat he was close protection bodyguard for, and the actual dates of his employment with him.
He declined to offer any such evidence, in spite of this having no negative side effects for him, given the non-disclosure agreement which I had offered to sign.
This offer remains intact, and he can take this up at any time.
Finally, I offered Mr. Anthony the chance to come clean, to confess his sin and repent of his lies. I offered Mr. Anthony my full forgiveness for his sin, and agreed to play whatever part I could in his restoration to the body of Christ following his repentance.
Once again, this offer was declined.
6. You are a mean spirited hypocrite. What about John 8:7, “he who is without sin should cast the first stone.”?
Firstly, I quite possibly am mean spirited. I, like all of us, am a sinful man. I make no presence about this. I am a sinner saved by grace alone, through faith alone. To quote Todd Friel… I am “the wretch the song refers to.”
However, I do not believe that this fact precludes me from doing as the scriptures instruct and practising discernment, and warning the flocks about wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15).
Notwithstanding the fact that John 8:7 does not appear to exist in the earliest manuscripts, the use of this verse here does not apply.
The point of the story, if it is authentic at all, is to point out that, just like the woman in adultery, at that very moment, the Pharisees who would condemn here were similarly guilty of unreported sin. None of them were viewed as righteous before God at that time, because all of them were unrepentant and unregenerate sinners. However, unlike, it would appear, the Pharisees themselves, the woman in adultery did repent of her sins, and leave her past life behind.
I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus. Though I still sin, God does not see that in me, as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice.
As I have demonstrated here, there is significant biblical support for Christians to call those amongst them to repentance, and publicly rebuke them if they do not.
7. I appreciate what you have done, can I support you?
Firstly, and most importantly, if you find this helpful, please use it, and share it.
If you become aware of churches, ministries or other groups using sites like forthesakeofthegospel.co.uk to endorse Mr. Anthony’s testimony, please direct them here as well.
If you see links to forthesakeofthegospel.co.uk or similar sites posted in forums, articles, or social media, please ensure that you respond with links back here.
Ensure that people have both sides of the story before making a decision.
Finally, if you still feel led to support this financially, you can make a financial gift to the site, either by cheque, made out to Luke Bunger, bank transfer (details on request) or credit or debit card, via paypal (details on request). All donations will be used to cover the costs of running this site.
8. Tony Anthony is a victim in all of this. You are making things worse for him.
If Tony Anthony is the victim in all of this, then the only person who is making things worse for him is Tony Anthony. He could easily provide all of the information which validates his testimony, but he continues to refuse to do so, in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary.
If you believe Tony Anthony is innocent victim, then please encourage him to prove it, and take up our offer (see Question 3). Mr. Anthony has my details. You can email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Tony Anthony has always preached Jesus and done great work for the Gospel. Shouldn’t we should follow Paul’s teaching that “in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.” (Philippians 1:15-18)
We fully and readily acknowledge that, over a great number of years, Tony Anthony has preached Jesus Christ, and his Gospel, and, according to his own good purposes, God has chosen to use Mr. Anthony, even in spite of his lies, to impact the hearts of those who have heard it by his Holy Spirit.
We certainly rejoice in that Christ is proclaimed, we rejoice for every heart changed and life saved as a result of the Holy Spirit using Mr. Anthony’s preaching. We are all flawed, sinful people, yet God has, according to his own purposes, decided to use flawed and sinful men to preach his Gospel, because He is good, and He is mighty in salvation. Our flaws, imperfections and sins do not hold His purposes back.
However, we do not take Paul’s words in this regard isolation. We also follow Paul’s instruction to Timothy, that “As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.” We do not believe that his former preaching of the gospel should be a sufficient excuse to allow Mr. Anthony to “persist in sin”.
10. You acknowledge that Tony Anthony has not significantly benefitted financially, or abused his position to live lavishly. What possible reason would he have to lie?
We can only speculate, but we do not think that it is unreasonable to suggest that for some people fame and influence is a greater motivator than money.
Indeed, this is a temptation I know all too well myself.
I know the temptation to embellish a testimony. At first, it may genuinely be to try and help people respond to the gospel. You embellish your testimony to make God’s grace seem more significant, because you don’t believe it is powerful enough on its own. But soon, you keep embellishing because of the way it makes people respond to you, because of how it makes you feel.
For myself, it was as simple as putting myself front and centre when retelling stories from my past for which I was merely an observer, or at least, not the instigator. I grew up in a pretty bad area, and saw a lot of nasty stuff, but I grew up in a good family, who loved me and supported me, and grew up knowing Christ from a young age. In spite of being surrounded by drugs, violence, and all kinds of negative influences, I never gave in to them. I didn’t think that testimony was very compelling—I now know otherwise, I know that it is the Holy Spirit which convicts and saves, not the strength of my testimony, or cleverness of my words, and he can and does use all of our stories to do this—so I made myself the star of stories which happened to friends, classmates and acquaintances.
I know Tony’s temptation. I know how easy it is to fall into that pattern. I know how easily ego takes over, and pride puffs up. I know how significance and self-importance can become like a drug, so difficult to leave behind. I know how the admiring gaze of even complete strangers can be infinitely more valuable than any financial benefit.
Though my embellishments were, fortunately, relatively small, did not persist for very long, and were easily apologised for, I know full well how easy it can be to become trapped by this.
But I also know the freedom which comes forgiveness, both by Christ and others. I know how it feels to confess, and walk away from these lies. I know how God can restore you, and use you for His glory in spite of mistakes.
I fully understand how Tony Anthony may have fallen into this lie, and I do not hold it against him. We are all sinful men, with sinful hearts and quickly fall into sinful desires. What I cannot come to terms with, however, is why, especially having been found out, he would not quickly repent, and run towards the forgiveness of Christ, and the embrace of the Christian community, who stand ready to support and restore him.
11. Is it not true that newer editions of the book already contained a disclaimer? Doesn’t the disclaimer mean it was unnecessary for the publisher to remove the book from print?
We have contacted Authentic Media, Mr. Anthony’s former publisher, and have spoken at length to Steve Mitchell, their managing director on multiple occasions for clarification throughout this process. Authentic media have confirmed that no printed english language edition of the book has ever included any disclaimer such as has been suggested by Mr. Anthony.
Any claims that “A clear disclaimer stating: “Some scenes within the manuscript have been dramatised with authentic, though not necessarily actual dialogue, and to protect the author and his family, and the rights of those whose paths he has crossed – some of the names, places, and details of the events have been altered.” appears in more recent editions of Taming The Tiger” as stated here (Question 2) are wholly false. No english language editions of the book in print contain that, or any similar disclaimer.
We understand that Mr. Anthony is attempting to re-publish the book elsewhere and that future editions of the book may contain this disclaimer if any publisher chooses to pick up the book, but it is disingenuous to claim that such a disclaimer exists in “more recent editions” prior to the re-publication of the book.
Authentic Media have also confirmed that such a disclaimer would not, in any way, be sufficient to offset the clear and significant issues with the narrative, and would not consider republishing the book in any form, regardless of ant proposed disclaimers or corrections.
The vast majority of international publishers have also followed Authentic Media’s lead and removed the book from publication, though a small number have not yet done so, pending further investigation.
It is also our understanding that an updated edition of the book titled “Burning Tiger” published by Baker Publishing in the USA was withdrawn prior to its scheduled publication in April 2013 on the basis of the evidence against it. This was prior to the EA investigation.
We believe that this edition had already incorporated many of the proposed amendments Mr. Anthony has agreed were inaccurate, and may have included the disclaimer, and in spite of this, the publisher still declined to publish the book, given the strong evidence against him. Put simply, in the absence of any documentary evidence to the contrary, Mr. Anthony’s existing publishers feel that the presence of a disclaimer is not enough to cover the serious and significant issues with the book.