A series of props from the famous Russell Crowe epic, “Gladiator,” have been used to help encourage young people in their faith. As part of a ministry and evangelism program extending across the English diocese of Durham, teenagers have were given the opportunity to be adorned with the very armor worn by Crowe in the 2000 hit movie.
“This was purchased by a collector at auction for many tens of thousands of pounds,” said youth worker Warren Furman, who appeared as “Ace” in the wildly popular 90’s TV show “Gladiators,” before giving his life to Christ and setting up a youth ministry organization called “Ace Active Ministry.”
— Sophie Jelley (@revsophiejelley) March 24, 2019
A gifted communicator and passionate follower of Christ, Furman often utilizes this “Gladiator” theme in local schools, retelling a brief history of the Roman Empire, the effects of Christ’s coming and the conversion to Christianity of Emperor Constantine. In addition, Furman is able to draw upon the famous “Armor of God” passage in Ephesians 6:10-19:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Often speaking about life-defining issues such as addiction that continue to plague the next generation, Furman was delighted to use the famed props as a way of illustrating his powerful gospel message.
Thank you to all who attended and helped at The Pulse last night @durhamcathedral. A really memorable night – youth from across @DioceseofDurham with @York_Aceactive and amazing new #GrowingYoungLeaders worship band! Lots more pics https://t.co/IRG8gOEsq7 pic.twitter.com/vkbdYZbi1Q
— Andy Harris (@ddyouth) March 25, 2019
“We are thrilled to be able to use it as part of the work we do going around the province talking to young people about faith,” he said,” according to the Diocese of Durham. Warren, who now works with young people across the Northern Province of the Church of England, delivered his testimony at the event in Durham Cathedral Sunday, in front of around 130 young people.
— Diocese of Durham (@DioceseofDurham) March 25, 2019
You can watch him talk about his incredible conversion to Christ below:
Furman, who had a difficult upbringing, “went from living life on the breadline to fame and fortune,” according to his website. However, after a few brutal but lucrative years as a Gladiator host, he soon “found to his surprise that things are not always as they appear” and began to search for true meaning in his life, his website notes.
“Though he was experiencing the celebrity lifestyle and enjoying a level of wealth that many craved, he did not find contentment,” the bio continued. “So he began to explore the purpose for his life.”
Eventually, Warren came to Christ, and the rest is history!