By JOEY REISTROFFER
TAYLORS — Dr. Nicholas Abraham is a high-energy guy. This motivational speaker based in Baton Rouge, La., got the folks at Prince of Peace Church pumped up about their faith during a RENEW revival last Tuesday.
He did it by showing them the 2,000-year history behind the church and telling them that they were an integral part of it.
Abraham took them back to the reverential aspect of kneeling. He revived for them the integral struggles of mortal and venial sins, and whether or not they were in a state of grace to receive Communion.
“This is our history,” Abraham said. “It’s like going through a family album … I want you to get a feel for a long, beautiful history.”
Even the darker side of the church is part of our history, Abraham said. “There is lots of corruption,” he admitted. “We are a sinning people. But this is our home. Would you want to go anywhere else?”
Along the way, Abraham said, the church went through three major changes. The first was when believers no longer worshiped in synagogues. The second was the Reformation, and the third was Vatican II.
We are smack dab in the middle of the third one, he said. “Do you realize how exciting the times we are living in are?”
We are the church, Abraham said. “We really have opened up the word, and the word is rich.”
Vatican II introduced important changes in the church. They include an emphasized role for women, female altar servers, taking Eucharist in the hand, lay ministers, and the importance of adult education.
We no longer view the church as a building, Abraham said. “We are the Body of Christ. We are the church.”
So when we act, he said, we must carry ourselves in the spirit of love, charity and justice. “If you really believe in the spirit of the church … then live it, and people will flock to you like flies.”
We have a duty to evangelize, but we don’t do that very well, he said. We don’t invite people to us. “We are an evangelical church.”
Abraham said that his heart hurts for people who are cut off from the church, and it is a duty to welcome them because “all have the image of God in them.”
That is our challenge, he said.
“What he’s been saying really needs to be heard,” Trudy Hock said. People are searching, and we need to spread the faith.
And Mary McNicholas said that Abraham had stimulated her faith in the church. “He really renewed my faith.”