Pastor Edi Giudetti;
Married since 1991 to the wonderful Maria, I have three of the most beautiful Children on Earth, Saskia, Michael and Natalie: and am clearly not biased 🙂 .
I currently own my own small subcontracting company in the Building Construction Industry and have been in my own business since I was 24 years of age (with a couple of short term jobs in between).
I came to the Lord in late 1996 at the age of 29 years being a devout skeptic. My questioning led me to search more about God and reality in general.
I love to read and came to believe in the existence of God while reading books by physicists who, at the time, professed either atheism or agnosticism. The book that finally had me leap a giant step forward in my thoughts toward God was a book called ‘A Brief History of Time’ by Stephen Hawking; this together with ‘The Mind of God‘ and ‘God and The New Physics‘ by Physicist Paul Davies, convinced me of the reality of God, even though none of these books are written as proofs of his existence. Nevertheless, refuting the odds against his existence I truly believed was a fools errand particularly when such a remote option of ‘chance’ is the only option factored in, i.e. that from nothing came everything. This I truly believed to be a position beyond all logic and reason. I delivered a Chances Are lecture series on this very issue in 2016.
I finally understood that which the late and celebrated Atheist Philosopher Antony Flew came to realise in the closing years of his life, that it is simply not possible for man to exist by chance, there must be purpose behind a universe that demonstrates that same purpose through everything in the universe. However I did not know WHO God is, but I did begin to actively defend the reality that God indeed is.
The Gospel was first shared with me when I was seventeen years old and loitering in Footscray (a suburb of Melbourne, Australia) with my mates, when a younger teenage girl simply presented that “God IS”, when I asked her “where”? She said “open your eyes”.
Only in heaven will she ever learn of the infinite difference her poor presentation of the Gospel made to this young agnostic. She was a year younger than I was at the time, incredibly she was also a student at the same school as I in the far western suburb of Melton. God only knows what brought her to the inner city suburb of Footscray that night.
But to this young girl God is ever present and readily recognised in creation itself, that he is self evident. It was years later when reading the Bible that I recognised the truth of what she already knew, the Bible saying also;
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night sheweth knowledge.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
It would be twelve long years that would go by before I heard the Gospel again and I came to understand the truth of reality. Though the blessed part of those twelve years including meeting my wonderful wife Maria and the first born of my children, Saskia, it also included the several most dangerous and depraved years of my life, years I might have been spared if I had believed the truth when it was revealed to me that night.
I heard the Gospel again, for only the second time in my life, at a conferance and at twenty nine years of age with a loving wife and small daughter I could not sit on the fence anymore, I repented of my unbelief and asked Jesus Christ to save me from sin.
We don’t like to talk about experiences too much for several reasons, but I could not deny what just happened. It was as if every hour of every day a page of sin piled up one page after another onto my shoulders, weighing me down, but never noticed consciously until, in a moment of time, at my appeal to Christ, it was lifted off me. Years later I was somewhat amazed to read of John Bunyan’s description of the “burden” on the back of Christian during his journey to the wicket gate, it was written in John Bunyans wonderful analogy ‘Pilgrims Progress’ penned four centuries ago, how similar my experience was.
This is what the Bible presents as being “born again” (John 3:3-6), a spiritual beginning of life where the Spirit of God makes his residence in us, replacing the ‘old man’ with the new man.
The next eleven years however had seen me live an up and down life. My ‘life focus’ remained on the desire of wealth that I once lived for, but the Lord wanted this changed. Sadly, while in a Church that focused almost exclusively on diverse forms of experience and very little on teaching what the Bible, the book of life, says, I found no answer but continued to suffer in sin and depression, not even knowing If I was actually saved.
I sold out of my food businesses, purchased a house, I worked where I could; from selling computer networks before Y2k (on a commission only basis and… knowing nothing of computers; embarrassing really!), to selling new cars, laboring in the meat-works in Braybrook and even working as a small-goods sales rep, until eventually beginning a company in the construction industry. But I was still depressed and still confused.
My new company had grown rapidly but not healthily, within three years I found myself working over 100 hours per week trying to keep up. My ongoing depression began to mix with a level of stress that turned into insomnia, until mental chatter plagued my mind in the quiet times of the night, this I discovered to be a sign of serious stress.
Incredibly at this time I became a deacon in the Church (like I needed something else to do!). I certainly did not fit the biblical requirement for this position, but this Church was not one to let the Bible get in the way of a role they needed filled, a nomination and an acceptance qualified you as a deacon, the second highest office in a Biblical Church. But church became more social than educational or spiritual, and my discomfort over certain antics within it began to be troubling, but not understood at the time.
The nervous breakdown finally came two years later, the business was lost and life needed to begin all over again. With a wife, three small children and debt….I began to do what I never thought to do before and read my Bible.
Slowly things began to change. Not another year had past before I knew that God had called me to Pastor. It was not what I ever wanted to do, but the more I studied the Bible, the more I had a growing burn to preach and teach it. This was recognized by the pastor of that same Church and he gave me the opportunity to preach.
My depression continued however and would still take another five years to dissipate. There are many ways the Lord deals with pride in men, my depression turned my thought to Jesus, the more I trusted in him, the less I trusted in me and the more I rested.
My awareness of what the Bible teaches however was having other ramifications that I did not expect so soon. I realised I was in what is known today as a Charismatic or Pentecostal Church, and the Pastor was teaching many things completely opposite to what the Bible teaches and this was a great concern to me.
For the Pastor and the other leaders in the Church, it was the ecstatic experiences and range of emotions and feelings that was to be the manner in which the Bible was interpreted, not the plain reading. It was personal and subjective “what does this mean to you” rather than asking what it means period. Experiences such as a babbling form of tongues, being ‘slain in the spirit‘, and what the Bible refers to as “lying signs and wonders” ( 2 Thes 2:9 ), ‘words of knowledge’ etc, and teaching many other things contrary to the Bible, that became the norm, not expositional Bible teaching.
Many of the leaders were sincere, they did indeed seem to have a Love for the Lord, but being in sincerity and not having a love for the truth is not good (Josh 24:14; 1 Cor 5:8). They had little regard to the plain reading of the Bible (A natural symptom of the variety of ‘versions‘ today). Their sincerity, though genuine, was in error and could equate to cause within them the sin of Nadab and Abihu when they offered “strange fire” before the Lord (Leviticus 10:1).
Finally, after contending earnestly for the truth over a two-year period, I and my family left our first experience with a modern day Church, desiring only to find a church that teaches the book that had been such a life support and encouragement to us.
After a few months of ‘church at home’, the Church desired for was found in Faith Baptist Church in Fawkner, a suburb just North of Melbourne. Pr Frank Guglielmo is the faithful servant of the Lord preaching and teaching Gods word. Myself and Maria and the children settled here for the next nine years as the Lord continued to prepare me for the work I desired.
I did have many opportunities to preach at Faith Baptist Church, I studied the Bible and continued my regular reading of many books by Godly men, believing also that God speaks to the ‘common man’ through it. And trusting that;
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Trusting that the Bible alone is a Lamp unto my feet, and also in the Psalmist words when he said;
I have more understanding than all my teachers: For thy testimonies are my meditation.I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep thy precepts.
The studies, the preaching, the opportunities given to lecture in Schools and Camps to both youth and young adults, the blessings of Godly men such as Pr Frank Guglielmo, Pr Steve Shaw of Heritage Baptist Church, Pr Stephen Wivel (formerly Principle of Victoria Baptist Bible College), and the wonderful support of a light filled family, continued to prepare me for the ministry.
On the 7th August 2016 Hope Baptist Church was planted in Sunbury by Faith Baptist Church, I was set as the worker and began as associate Pastor to Pr Frank. On the 5th February 2017 Hope Baptist Church organised as an official Independent Baptist Church and I was elected as Pastor.
So far it is a short history of myself and an even shorter history of Hope Baptist Church, yet we look forward to the Lords work and will for us, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, through the Book that both brings and sustains life, the Holy Bible.
I do hope that perhaps this testimony would be an encouragement in whatever way to any young man who desires the office of a Bishop, for he does indeed desire a good work (1 Tim 3:1). But he will need patience 🙂
Pr Edi Giudetti