Transcript for Extreme Evangelical Family Believes in Starting Street Sermons Young
In the bible, Jesus tells his followers, unless you change or become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Unclear if Jesus had in mind what the Lavelle family of Washington state is now up to. You are about to meet parents sending their ten children out into the streets to preach a fiery brand of gospel to complete strangers. Here is ABC's Neil Karlinsky for "Faith matters." Reporter: A Thursday and big night out for the Lavelle family, home work is done, dinner eater and piling into the minivan on a regular routing. Are you nervous? Little bit. Reporter: Not bowling or a movie but to do this. If you do not turn from your sins, you will die! It's that simple. You either turn or you burn. Reporter: 15-year-old joannah is part of the Spokane preachers. If you do not repent you will be cast into the lack of fire and you will be burn there forever. Reporter: Already a fierce preacher and it is easy to see why. God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son. But the world so hated god it sinned against him. Reporter: That's his father David Lavelle. One of the founders of the group that doesn't just include Christina and Jonah, but ten kids raised to join him in these sermons that make people very angry. You won't tell me nothing! Reporter: Some of the people we have spoken to a lot when they see your kids it is owe cape F -- okay for adults. Kids shouldn't be put in a position like this. They'll take their kids, to movies, hockey games, all kind of violence. Never think about what they're exposing them to. Reporter: "Nightline" spent 48 hours with the lavelles. We are the Lavelle family. They may interview me, I'm the new preacher. Suzanna Lavelle is 11 and tonight getting ready to undergo this unusual rite of passage. What do you expect from people out there on the streets? A lot of people get really mad. And they -- claim that you are shoving your religion down their throat. Reporter: The lavelles long had their children accompany them on street missions. The preachers will come down and ruin everything. Reporter: Their fundamental belief that churches preach a candy coated watered down message to skirt some sins in order to apale to a broad audience. This is what you call love speech. We're told the truth here. We, we love you. Reporter: Where you stand their version is either tough love or annoying and inappropriate. Friday we catch up with them outside one of their favorite targets, the Spokane islamic center. All you can -- he deallah doesn't give you power to be holy, what does Allah give you. They have a belief different than yours. You are shouting theirs is false. Is false, right. Probably pretty difficult stuff for them. Trying to go into pray. They have that being shouted at them. Reporter: We are speaking so they will be woken up. What is hateful about telling somebody the rupted by a county sheriff stops them from using the mega phone, so powerful designed to be heard across the noisy deck of an aircraft carrier. A little too loud. Would you be okay with -- them preaching their beliefs on the public sidewalk outside of your house? I would take it as an opportunity to really talk to these people. In fact, I might welcome it. Reporter: When they're not out preaching, the Lavelle family lives a quiet life, no television, home schooling all of them in it together. This one is -- Okay. Named after his father. The day's rituals are a seamless patchwork of school, and bible study. This is proverbs chapter 2 listen. I will ask you questions out of what we read. Reporter: What do you say to those that look at what you do. You are an adult. Fine, do as you please. These kids -- they don't really have a choice. They're not old enough off to know their home schooled. They don't have access to outside thinking. Well they have access to all outside thinking in that they understand when we go out into the world they're going to encounter all those things. Son Jonah has been preaching since he was 13. Is it scary out there preaching in the streets? Some times. People who reject you out there. A lot of them I guess. What do you think of those people? I think it's because they're, they hate god and they hate god's people. So they curse at us. And call us all sorts of names. Reporter: Because the kids are home skoomchooled, field trips can end up at planned parenthood where they protested. We minister as a family. Every one of the children is a testimony to life. Jesus Christ will come back and judge all of us. Reporter: Clearly they have a right to express their opinions on abortion. But their critics wonder if it is right to expose young kids to all of this. She has a sign about hitler. He has a sign with bloody fetuses. And pretty rough stuff. For little kids. Should they really be here amidst all that. This is the reality. This is the ugliness of abortion. Reporter: Some of Spokane's religious leaders worry what the lavelles are doing isn't just free speech. I feel for the children with them. They are -- touting a message that is cruel and hateful. And that drives people away from christianity. The church is often targeted because they welcome members of the gay and lesbian community. In this video, posted on youtube, they confront of a member of the congregation. This church out here. In the public. Support homosexuality on the streets. Given the fact that so many people. Think you're crack pots. Angry, yelling. Maybe there is a better way for you to spread your word. If there was a better way I would use that way. But unless that sinner repents he will not receive god's forgiveness. Now Suzanna is ready for her preaching debut. Nervous about going out to the streets? A little bit. Reporter: Little bit? Yeah, I pray brave. Reporter: You are. Her battleground. The sidewalk outside the college basketball tournament. Alongside ticket scalpers. This is a moment of heart swelling pride to the lavelles. When she begins it's like someone pressed play on ape message she practiced her life. Blessed is the man who not standeth in the way of sinners. You must repent! Turn from your sin! You must turn from -- everything. Drinking! Pot smoking! Everything. You must turn from your sin. Your message doesn't register. But sends waves of joy through her parents. All right. Heavens rejoicing. Sweetie. How did you feel as the a mother watching your daughter out here tonight? I thought it was fabulous. Wonderful. Brought tears to my eyes. God is powerful. You must repent and believe in him. Whatever you think of the message. These messages will be here. And people shouldn't be angry with them, they should be thanking them. I'm Neil karlinski, "Nightline," in Spokane, Washington.
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