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Evangelistic Endeavor -- 14 (Fri, 9/22)


Yesterday was a good day. We had class and took care of some business. In the evening we ate at a church member’s house who is a fun guy and great cook. Today, I finally got to the gym for the first time in probably a month. We went to a local YMCA and they gave us a pass for 10 free visits which will cover us while over here. It’s a great facility and it was good to get some exercise. It’s very easy to not take care of your body while working at these series.


I was anticipating the evening meeting as we had talked about having a healing service and continuing to build on the momentum from Wednesday. My hopes and dreams were dashed. The sermon was on the judgment and it was presented in a condemning way. The preacher talked about how the angels are writing everything we do and we can’t fool God. It was devoid of grace and he even mentioned that he hoped he was ready when his name was called during the pre-Advent judgment (I thought we had moved on from that). He kept on stressing the Sabbath and the need to keep it in a very condemning tone. It kind of feels like the whole point of the series is to get people to keep Sabbath. In fact, it feels like we’re teaching “Salvation by Sabbath.” The other popular word of course is "TRUTH." He says he knows it's hard but he has to preach it because it's the truth. This truth sure is being presented as a brutal task-master that has no room for variance or grace.

He preached for an hour and 15 minutes which made it impossible to do our prayer of healing. We basically lied to the people by telling them we were going to have a prayer service. Instead, at the end we had people pray who needed healing and did a quick prayer for them. At the end he had an appeal for people to keep Sabbath again. Two people came forward which obviously was disappointing for the preacher. The problem is there are few visitors and many of them had already taken their stand to keep the Sabbath. We ended after 9.

Moses talked to a visitor after the program and what she said about the meeting was very telling. She said, “I’ve never felt so condemned in my life.”


I was tired and annoyed before the meeting so my attitude wasn’t in the right place. Then, when this whole thing happened, I just couldn’t handle it. The days of not seeing my wife are adding up and I’m tired of being in “church.” I can’t help but share my complete anger and disappointment with what happened tonight. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the rest of the series. I can’t pretend anymore.

A lot of things have been said throughout the series that I haven’t liked but don’t think are aggressively damaging to people. However, tonight’s sermon was damaging to people’s understanding of God and salvation. I can’t entirely blame the preacher because he was working from the classic slides. However, he could have added grace so I can’t give him a complete pass. There was no attitude you could have come away with after tonight except feeling condemned.

Consistency is a must with the series. You need to start on time and end on time. When you tell people you are going to do something, you have to do it. I feel like we lied to the people about the prayer emphasis and now nothing we say can be fully trusted. I really think our time has been a major problem. When we have 24 meetings scheduled, you can’t expect to go 2 hours every time because it’s too exhausting and time consuming for the people. We need to keep people wanting more instead of filling them to the brim every night.


Anonymous said…
You know it's taken me a few posts to get into it, but now I'm hooked!

Keep it up!

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