My Views on Evangelical Ministries

When I went out of the city with Elisabetta and her boyfriend Enrico, they took me to this beautiful little Catholic church that is opened to the public 24/7 and is filled with fresco's from floor to ceiling of heaven, hell, angels, and demons, and even of Christ's sacrifice.

The image portrayed of Hell was a definite scary one, the scenes featured demons dragging people to the underworld as their faces were painted in sheer horror. I took the piece in, only thinking of how this painting/image must really affect people and their thoughts of being guilted into a religion in order to be saved from such a place. Purgatory is more ideal of a place to end up than Heaven or Hell to some of the believing Catholics in this area.

If they struggle in believing Heaven exists and have only been taught to fear the thought of death and ending up in Hell eternally, Purgatory is their Heaven, because they have been sent there by grace to by pass having to go to Hell.
Enrico looked at me, and he mentioned it was a very scary and intimidating depiction.

I feel and believe that there are negative and positive ways to spread the gospel even as an evangelist. I do not want to get into all of them, but here are a few I have noticed since being more active in evangelism in a foreign country.

Teaching people about the love of God is important, but depending on the person not the most important factor of teaching people about the love of God when they don't even know what that looks like. But showing them in your actions towards them is a pretty good start in how you show them WHAT God's looks like. Granted we will never be perfect at this because to fully convey the magnitude of the love of the Father almost seems unreal for us to comprehend.

Treating those you SAY you love with honor and respect is a great way to reach the unreachable. If people come to you because they see how you treat people you love, you are small steps closer to sharing with them why you choose to be that way, because it is not always the easiest to love those that hurt you.

Knowing and understanding that while your heart is to reach the lost that are interested in who God is, it is also your job to reach the lost who seem to question everything because they want to learn more.
Charismatic Movement–Pensacola Christian College takes a definite stand against the modern-day charismatic movement.We stand against the un-Scriptural emphasis that is espoused by the charismatic movement, the erroneous interpretation of the Scriptures by the movement, and the divisiveness that the charismatic movement often creates.Without meaning to be unfriendly or unkind to anyone, we feel it is only fair to say the above at the very outset of our relationship.Students are not permitted to participate in or promote charismatic activities.
Hyper-Calvinism–It has been the observation of the College that students who take a stand for hyper-Calvinism tend to spend time discussing these beliefs instead of accepting their responsibility of witnessing to others.  Therefore, Pensacola Christian College does not permit the promotion of hyper-Calvinistic beliefs.

Now these are somewhat varied perceptions of a "former" Christian. He was apart of a very deep cult like evangelical church back in his hometown which caused him to be turned off and turned away from the church because of the MAN leading the church.

People can easily find themselves in this same predicament, while he may be stating some truth and accuracies in what he has seen and noticed of evangelical ministries, no two ministries are the same. In a perfect world they would be, but in our world we have a world of lost of all kind and need to be met in different ways.
My experience of working in Italy for this evangelical family do not speak of the many great opportunities I've had with my home church doing neighborhood outreach or local neighborhood meet ups. It does however allow me to see the types of people that claim and say they are doing many things for the glory of God, and in fact they are doing it more for their manmade reasonings.

I often times got frustrated throughout the course of this trip because I would be talking with the families and people I got to know that opened up to me about the tactics they had seen being practiced in order to reel people into the gospel and it bothered me. It didn't put them any closer to being interested in God as it did to put them in the Catholic church during an Easter service.

Ugo, an unbeliever said something profound that made me shiver. He said he felt that he would willingly listen to the gospel being spoken about when a gentleman would fit it into their conversations, (by fit I mean jam pack all of the conversation about it) but in the manner in which he was being spoken to by a certain gentleman, he felt like he was being sold something which he no longer felt interested in. It wasn't feeling like he was being sold salvation, by a man who died on the cross for him, but that he was being sold a religion that was better than that of Catholic origin. My stomach turned with great frustration because I do not believe that is or was ever the calling.

My views of evangelical ministry are not tainted, or skewed, but I would say that going into this ministry and helping this family, I felt like I was stuck in a limbo of sorts. Being pulled one way to talk about God in the way that was outlined, but when I began to talk about God in a more organic way with these people, I felt that I was leaving there having planted a seed of some sort. Even if it was a small, small seed. I do know that I have many places to call home when I go back because that is the type of relationship that was built with many of these people I call my extended family. God ultimately used me in and throughout those negative situations of my time spent in Italy.


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