The State Hornet, Nov. 20, 2002
by Jaclyn Schultz, State Hornet
A traveling family of preachers drew a crowd of curious- and sometimes angry- onlookers in the Library Quad last week.
Holding signs with phrases reading, “You are born a worthless sinner headed for hell,” and “Jesus says you must be born again,” the Warnecki family passed out fliers to student passersby in the Library Quad Nov. 13.
“He (God) doesn’t want you in college. Do not be conformed to the standards of this world,” preached one of the Warnecki daughters at the south end of the Quad, who remained anonymous to inquiring students. “You’re lost simply because you are separated from God.”
Michael Warnecki’s mission to proclaim his message of Christianity began 25 years ago, when the former Central Michigan University football scholar and his cheerleader girlfriend-turned-wife began traveling across the U.S., raising their children along the way.
The six children in the family receive their education through home-schooling. When asked by students how they fund their travels, the Warneckis refused to answer.
“We live on the road, full time,” said Abraham, their eldest teenage son. “We’ve been doing this all our lives.”
The family preaches in places or events with large crowds, such as Mardi Gras or football games, but mostly college campuses. “That’s where kids are at the prime time in their lives to make a choice,” Abraham said.
Warnecki and his family teach separation from organized religion and other institutions, such as education, work and personal relationships.
“We’re not telling you to come join us, but to come follow Jesus. To get all alone and not join a church or an organization like those hypocrites on campus,” said daughter Ruth, 20, pointing to two men setting up a table for Bible studies on campus.
“Examine it (the fliers) and compare it to the Bible, and find out if it’s true,” Ruth said.
Some students checked the accuracy of their messages with their own Bibles on hand.
“They’re just stringing verses together. They’re not taking one verse in its entirety,” said Sarah Ivy, a junior psychology major. Students were angered when family members started insulting them.
“He (Michael) called us cackling witches and told us to get our brooms,” said Vanessa Aragon, a second-year liberal studies student.
Nadim Uddin, a junior business finance student, watched one of the Warnecki sons pass out a flier to a man, who then laughed. “The boy said, ‘We’ll see who’s laughing on the Day of Judgment and who’ll burn!'” Uddin said.
Onlookers had their own share of insults to hurl at the Warneckis. One angry student stormed up to Michael, yelling in his face, “Why don’t you treat people like you want to be treated instead of yelling out all this sh–!”
Adam Krauth, who works with a Bible study group on campus, shook his finger at 12-year old David Warnecki, saying, “You are cursed.”
“He says he can see spirits, and he can tell me I’m not saved,” Krauth said.
The way the Warneckis preached their beliefs, however, wasn’t at all in line with Christian teaching, said Julian Karrasco, a sophomore Criminal Justice major.
“Jesus didn’t come to the earth to show hatred and anger,” Karrasco said. “The Bible talks about showing love, and they’re not showing love.”
Uddin, a Muslim, said this incident didn’t change the way he views Christianity.
“I’m not judging Christianity as a whole based on this group of people. It’s like saying all Muslims get on planes and fly into buildings,” he said. “By forcing themselves on others, I felt they were unaware of the teachings of Christianity.”
Though Robert Mill, a senior English major, didn’t totally agree with the Warneckis’ views or preaching style, he admired them for their guts.
“Sometimes we’ve sold out on our beliefs,” Mill said. “No one is willing to stand up and speak. Though he’s not totally right, it’s nice to see that someone is putting themselves on the line. Not many people are willing to do that, nowadays,” he said.
Campus police responded to complaints about the event.