Thursday, October 7, 2010
Larry and I returned from our little vacation in Florence and Cinque Terra on Thursday afternoon and back at the church by 7:30 where we celebrated communion with about forty or so people. I was asked to speak again and talked from Hebrews 9 comparing the two words, “Often” and “Once.”
Friday and Saturday, October 8 and 9
I was advertised to teach on Mormonism to the Progetto Archippo, Ministry Training School on Friday evening and Saturday for most of the day. This is not a big group. They regularly have about twelve students but wish for more. The cost is prohibitive for most potential students at 35 Euro a month. The problem is, if we charge less we can’t afford the teachers expenses and if more we can’t attract the students so we are trying to get people to adopt a student at about $350 a year. This is something I hope to give a push. It really isn’t much money to prepare people for future ministry.
Anyway, I gave it my best and they were all good listeners as I explained the nature and criteria of a cult and then showed in general ways how to do apologetics and theology. I used Mormonism to demonstrate their erroneous thinking and the unbiblical use of biblical terminology. I am hopeful that some will be able to detect false teaching (cults and aberrant Christian teaching) without becoming overly suspicious as are some Christian groups in Italy. I once read that, “A cult was simply any group that does not believe exactly what you believe.”
I spoke one more time to the youth. “Youth” here is not what it is in America. Youth could range anywhere from sixteen to twenty-eight years of age. In all, about forty showed for a two-hour service. I spoke on “Self Deception” and though it was a serious subject they were laughing their heads off at my own stories of self-deception.
I had wanted to stay home for the evening, pack and be ready to go the next morning at 4:30 to catch the train for Milano and the shuttle to Bergamo for my 10:20 flight to Oslo Torp. I wondered why there was such an insistence for me to show up. At the end of the meeting, they had a big cake with a Grazie, Tony on the top and celebrated my visit. I can’t tell you how generous they are to me. They don’t have money but they sure know how to express their appreciation and affection. This is my home church in Europe, so when I am here they are the sending church and are proud of their part in my ministry.