Tonight I watched a HBO documentary on a minister that has formed the Hard as Nails Ministry. You can also find this story in the current issue of Newsweek. It is lead by a man named Justin Fatica, an un-ordained Catholic minister. The young “minister” is very energetic, very persuasive and very passionate. He has some very different methods he uses to reach the young kids today, which I will get too.
Fatica (who is a self proclaimed prophet) has come up with an outreach program that can best be described as a scared straight witness. The yelling, screaming, humiliating way that Fatica uses to reach these is a kid is scary. Fatica will have someone bash him in the back with a chair (WWE Style) while he talks about Jesus and his love. He believes that kids should feel the pain that Jesus suffered for their sins. And how does he accomplish this: He blindfolds them, has them carry a cross up a hill as other teens ridicule them, he has them pretend to get beaten as Jesus was beaten, and then they pretend to be nailed to a cross, all while blindfolded and ridiculed by other teens in the group. He also uses tactics like asking people if they sin, then would they also bash Jesus in the face. He also wants to reach troubled teens, suicidal teens. He does this by asking during his “service” who has ever tried to kill yourself, raise your hand and come on stage. While it is always alarming to see any young kid admit they have had suicidal thoughts, it is not cool to parade them on stage.
It is scary that teens are looking to people like this. He claims to have preached to over 60,000 teens last year alone. He gets into these kids minds, tears them down and then yells that he is making warriors for God. The funny thing to me is that I have never heard of Jesus ever humiliating anyone to get his message of hope across to anyone. Please take the time to read the links posted above.
At he end of his documentary, Fatica says the following, paraphrased of course. You may not like my tactics, but I am doing the best I know how, and if you do not like the way I do it, then you do it! HMMMMM