VIDEO INTERVIEW | Pastor Philip: My decision was not to become a pastor, but a follower of Christ
Free Press in support of religious communities in Macedonia. Whether you believe in yourself or in God, Allah, the Son and the Holy Spirit, you are guided by the Koran, the Bible or the Holy Scriptures, in the end you are still a human being, who is part of a community. Orthodox, Muslim, Scientologist, Bektesh, Dervish, Evangelical, Catholic or Judaist. Everyone should build coexistence together and understand and accept each other. Free Press will try to get to know the religions, to answer questions about who glorifies God, who celebrates what, what he believes in, how he follows the faith. The goal is to get to know ourselves, but also the neighbor, the friend, the acquaintance who is a member of another religious community or church. Through a series of ten episodes, we hope to contribute to getting to know each other better and realizing that in the end we are all the same.
Filip Ivanov is a pastor at the Evangelical Church in Veles. It was not his decision to become a pastor, but a follower of Christ. His desire to serve Christ changed his life, and now he serves him.
- I am a pastor and a priest in this local church community, and at the level of Macedonia, the deputy of the president of this community. An Evangelical church is a Protestant church, which means it is a Christian church between Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Protestantism. The Evangelical Church is a Protestant church founded in the 16th century. The main difference is that the Holy Scriptures are for us the supreme authority for faith and Christian practice. Evangelical teaching is different from others because of the Scriptures. It is the first authority. We don't have a specific number of members, 40 to 50 people come to church services - says Ivanov.
He explains that church songs and spiritual hymns are part of the service, sung to the accompaniment of a piano or guitar. Among the holy rites, regular attendance at services every week, evening prayers during the week, and communion are distinguished.
– Our holy sacraments are baptism and communion, mainly the emphasis in everyday life is the relationship with God and how it translates into everyday life. The spiritual fuel is the believer himself, his personal devotion to Christ, in worshiping Christ, in prayer, but also the mutual relationship with the believers - says the pastor.
When asked if depressed people who had problems come, Ivanov says that people often have different needs, they find comfort, shelter and support in spirituality for various problems, anxiety, mental illnesses. In those moments, people look for something outside of themselves, they look for God.
- As a spiritual leader, I lead them through that process. It is not solved with a magic wand and it takes a process and time. We believe that God is triune appearing in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that God is the creator, mover, and healer of all things visible and invisible. In the spirit of Christianity, we see every person as our neighbor. There are all kinds of differences, theologically, but it is our duty to see them all as brothers after Christ. And we see everyone else as our neighbors - says the pastor
About the holidays, he says they celebrate Christmas, Easter, All Souls' Day, a special day is the Protestant Reformation Day, October 31, and they are the main moments when they remember that saving history from the Holy Scriptures.
- My decision was not to become a pastor, but a follower of Christ. My desire to serve Christ changed my life, now I serve him. That was decisive for me to become a pastor - says Ivanov.
Watch the entire interview of colleague Agnesa Chavoli below: