Christianity Under Critique at FGCU


Cristina Pop, Staff Writer

FGCU students are buzzing with conversation after 40 to 50 members of Team Jesus Preachers flooded the campus on Jan. 30 and 31. Team Jesus Preachers is led by Adam LaCroix who is frequently on campus and preaches the theology of Christianity, but primarily focuses on condemnation and repentance.

Although the Bible teaches repentance and condemnation, it also teaches the correct forms of evangelism and that condemnation belongs to God alone. Although I agree with most of what LaCroix says, I do not agree with his approach.

In the Bible, Jesus did not teach the Gospel through condemnation, aggression, and forceful demonstrations, but through compassion, grace, and mercy. For instance, in Luke, one of the books of the Bible, Jesus did sternly confront hypocrites, but spoke kindly and gently to those who had no prior knowledge of the Gospel. He took the time to know them personally and healed them of their physical, mental, or emotional sickness. He broke down social barriers and associated with people who were considered outcasts. Jesus’ lifestyle was one of love, humility and grace, and that was evident in his speech and approach to spreading the Gospel.

A good example of campus ministries demonstrating Christ’s method of evangelism are Chi Alpha and the Catholic Student Organization. On Jan. 31, Chi Alpha and CSO created colorful signs that read “Jesus loves you” and sat at the Veterans Pavilion.

“We wanted to provide a space for people to approach us on their own and receive the truth of what the Bible actually says, and to provide context to some of the statements made by the preachers,” Chi Alpha member freshman Kristen Kentner said.

As Kentner stated, people need to be educated and have the freedom to choose whether they want to receive the truth or not. It is also especially important to take the setting and population into consideration when speaking on any subject.

“Anxiety, stress, and depression are prevalent on college campuses, and college students being yelled at will only push them away from the Gospel and discourage them, which is the opposite of what Christianity intends to do,” Chi Alpha member sophomore Isaiah Brownman said.

Chi Alpha’s approach is to go around campus and make friendships; they care more about the person and his or her situation rather than simply speaking the truth in a condemning manner. Relationships before rules was Christ’s way of evangelizing. American Author John Maxwell once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Christ lived this philosophy in his everyday living. He showed compassion on the people he met and showed grace to the sinners and downtrodden. Christ-followers, especially pastors and leaders, must do the same.

I believe that Christianity revolves around building relationships and encouragement the primary relationship being the one with God as well as the calling to repentance of sin and acceptance of his gospel. All people have the option and liberty to pursue Jesus, but it is their choice. Conversations are encouraged rather than baseless confrontations, and there needs to be grace in words that are being used.