Monday, November 28, 2005

My Testimony...

G'Day all...
I gather from looking at other people's Blogs that it is customary to write a bit about yourself as an introduction when first creating a Blog...
Well, here goes...
Those readers, who like me, are old enough to be part of that generation of Australians that was still dutifully trotted off to 'Sunday School', whether or not their parents actually attended Church, will doubtless be familiar with the story of 'The Prodigal Son' found in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 15:11-32).

This parable that Jesus told his disciples mirrors my own experience so closely that the parallel can hardly be ignored. After being brought up 'around the Church' if not actually 'in' it, I was in my mid-teens in the Punk hey-day of 1977-78 and promptly swapped all thought of 'Father, Son and Holy Ghost' for 'Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll'! And, as with most things I've done in my life, I did it with gusto!

Rather than go into the gory details of my teen years it's enough to say that by the time I was 20 I was living in various 'squats' in Sydney's King's Cross, screwed up from too much 'Speed' and weighed only 7 stone 2 lbs (less than 50kg)... and believe me, being 7 stone and 6 feet tall does not make a pretty sight! I looked like I was just out of Belsen! In short, I was pretty much on my last legs, and I knew it!

I put myself in drug rehab for the upteenth time and hoped for the best. There was not a lot else to do!

Through various circumstances I ended up moving to Brisbane after I left rehab and managed to keep my life together for a few years until one Christmas while visiting my family in Sydney I ran into an very old and dear friend from the 'good ol' days' who had managed to get things in order too. He invited me over to his Mum's place and... well, I don't know to this day just how it happened but I ended up in bed with his mother, who I'll call 'Cathy'! It was a very intense relationship and after much ado I left my job and life in Brisbane and we moved in together.

Needless to say, we were the only two people who liked the situation! My friend was livid with rage and wanted to do me physical harm (and probably still does), her friends were up in arms, and my whole family were outraged! We, however, were oblivious... quite smitten... too caught up with each other to pay attention to what was going on around us.

Now, I had never really got on with my younger brother. It really was one of those 'love to hate each other' relationships that only siblings can truly appreciate, so when he came over one night, completely out of the blue, desperately asking for my help, I was stunned! I figured that for him to come to me for help showed just how desperate he must be. He said he was in trouble and had to get out of town... NOW! As I had lived up north for a few years he wanted me to drive the 1000kms with him and help him set himself up.

Despite Cathy's protests and the 'bad blood' in the past between my brother and I, when all was said and done, if he was in this much trouble, he was still my brother... I couldn't say 'No!' Less than 24 hours later we arrived in Brisbane and ended up staying with a friend of mine. It was then that my brother said that he wasn't in any trouble at all. What he wanted to do was to get me 'away from THAT woman' who - as far as he was concerned - 'was ruining my life'!

I went ballistic! I punched him silly! I stormed up to the nearest phone booth only to be told between Cathy's sobs that as we left my brother had made a pass at her! When I walked in my brother was lying on the bed with a steak over his eye. He said "Oh No! Not again!" and I beat him up again!

I started hitching back to Sydney and got as far as the Gold Coast, where I rang Cathy again. She didn't want me to come back and was very hurt that I had 'abandoned her' and chosen my brother 'over her' - especially when she had tried to warn me he was trying to con me. There was no point going to Sydney - there was nothing for me in Brisbane... and I was flat broke!

After a couple of weeks bumming around the Gold Coast, spending every spare cent I got ringing or writing to Cathy, with many tears from both of us, she still would not have me back, and so when I did get some money together I decided to buy a gun and kill myself.

After standing in front of the mirror with the gun under my chin in the wee hours of the morning I decided that I couldn't pull the trigger myself! Although I didn't believe in Heaven, there just might be a Hell, and if the Catholics were right, all suicide's go there... But it would be different if the cops shot me!

Not being in Victoria where the cops have a reputation for shooting first and asking questions later, I figured I had to create a situation where they would feel they had no choice... Well, at least that's what my messed up little mind was thinking at that time... I was staying in a boarding house directly opposite Southport Hospital, so I hid the gun under a full-length leather jacket I was in the habit of wearing at the time and marched across the street and in through the hospital's main entrance. I headed for the lifts and went straight for the top floor and barricaded myself in the nurses station, blocking the doors and sat back and waited for the cops to arrive and shoot me!

Cutting a long story short, I ended up with a gun held to the back of my head and a cop shouting "Don't move @#$%!" in my ear... I knew that all I had to do was flinch and I'd be in the hereafter... After all, wasn't that why I'd put myself in this situation?

When it came to the crunch, I wasn't game to breathe!

After six months on remand without bail, I was convicted with 'having a firearm in public place in manner likely to cause alarm' and 'aggravated assault' (pointing the gun at someone) and became a guest of Her Majesty's Prison Boggo Road.

Boggo Road jail had a pretty bad (and well earned) reputation in the mid-1980's and I can assure all those who regard jails as 'holiday camps' with colour TV's in every cell and that a prisoner's life is one of luxury that they badly need a reality check. Jail is not a good place to be! It is not meant to be a good place to be! And dare I say it, nor should it be!

Jail is a soul destroying place that thrives on a combination of monotony and fear. I've seen, done and experienced a lot in my 40+ years on this little blue rock in space - some good, some bad - but nothing compares with the emptiness, loneliness and fear of jail!

I ended up the same yard as a young bloke, who I'll call Frank, who had become a Christian in jail. Now, Frank was a 'carny', a traveling carnival worker who had left school at 12 and had never learnt to read! He could barely sign his own name, but he had a quick mind and a remarkable memory.
Anyway, I was sitting in the yard by myself catching some sunshine when a shadow fell across me. I looked up and there was Frank grinning at me like an idiot with a beat up Gideon's Bible under his arm.

"Could you read the Bible to me, mate?" he asked, thrusting the Bible in my direction. I don't know whether I was just too surprised to say 'No!' or I just felt sorry for him because he couldn't read, but I obediently took the offered Bible and opened it up at random as he sat down beside me.
I remember my voice choking as I read: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16-17)

Again cutting a long story short, I ended up reading Frank's Bible for him - a lot! One day I asked Frank if it was OK if I borrowed his Bible and took it to my cell at night "just so I can find bits that you might be interested in to read to you later, you understand..." Frank smiled his usual big stupid grin and said "Sure, why not?" And so I began to read the Bible that night - and every other night!

I was blown away! I'd always considered the Bible to be a collection of proverbs and 'morality tales' that were by and large unrelated to each other and had little to do with the real world. Instead, by reading the Gospels I found that all those stories I'd learnt at Sunday School had a context, were about real people with real 'issues' that, when all was said and done, were not that different from the 'issues' and problems that I faced myself!

By this time I was also helping Frank with his mail. He was doing a discipleship course by mail through a group called 'Teen Challenge'. And so, unbeknownst to Frank I began adding little bits to the bottom of the letters he would dictate, asking questions about what a particular bit of Scripture meant or whatever.

One night, alone in my cell, I said the sinner's prayer and asked Christ to be the Lord of my life. The change was dramatic and immediate! My circumstances were still exactly the same. I was still in jail and still had my time to serve, but inside - deep inside - I knew I was clean, acceptable to God for the first time in my life!

Being in jail turned out, in hindsight, to be a blessing in disguise. I probably would never have become a Christian if I had been on the outside where I was the epitome of self-will run riot, but God, in His Wisdom, had placed me somewhere where all my intellectual arrogance, all my prejudices, where all my pride and self-will were broken down and all I could do was come to Him on His terms.

I had a positive hunger for the Bible, which I read avidly and studied in earnest. It was not until I left jail that I truly found what a blessing that time had been. It had allowed me to become steeped in the unadulterated Word of God, to base my faith on Christ alone and not on the word and teaching of man. But now I was on the outside the real test had come and it was a test that I would ultimately fail.

When it became known that I had been to jail and therefore 'had a testimony' I was courted by various groups and Churches and a comic book version of how I came to Christ was produced and distributed. The purity of faith that I had possessed in jail began to be muddied by those I least suspected - my brothers in sisters in Christ, well meaning though many were!

Coming to Christ as I did, I also was horrified by the false doctrine that was sweeping the Church at that time in Australia - 'Name It and Claim It', the so-called 'Prosperity Gospel' and countless forms of 'Christo-Psycho-babble' that had more in common with the spirit of this world that with the Spirit of God. It was certainly not the Gospel that had brought me back into relationship with God that I was hearing in many of the Churches that wanted to 'use' my testimony in one way, shape or form.
During this time, I met and married a lovely Christian girl and we began to look for a church where we could both rekindle that first love for God that had somehow become lost in the raza-ma-taz of comic book testimonies, revival rallies, et al. Eventually, we settled into a small old-style Congregationalist Church that preached Christ... Christ crucified and risen and coming again! But the seeds of self-deception were already planted and were soon to take root.

Recognising the importance of sound doctrine and maintaining the purity of the Gospel message, my wife and I produced and published a small booklet, called 'The Bloodless Coup', that dealt with some of the 'new gospels' that were spreading through the wider Church. It was very well received in some quarters and quite literally banned and denigrated from the pulpit in others.

As time went on, this simple 'one-off' booklet evolved into a series, each dealing with a particular area of false teaching that was impacting upon the Church at large. And as many of the teachings dealt with in the 'Bloodless Coup' series ultimately had, as it turned out, their origins in the occult and/or meta-physics, it seemed only natural to produce an special issue dealing with the occult and witchcraft.

I began looking at the Christian books, available at that time, that dealt with the occult and witchcraft. As today, they ranged from the hysterical and blatantly inaccurate (e.g. 'The Satan Seller' by Mike Warnke; 'Satan's Underground' by Lauren Stratford, 'He Came To Set The Captives Free' by Rebecca Brown) to the well-researched and balanced, but there did seem to be one common problem. Author 'A' would quote author 'B'... who would be quoting author 'C'... who was quoting author 'A'... The vast majority were summations or paraphrases of what someone else said about the subject.

Few, if any, dealt with the occult and/or witchcraft in the style or format we were using for the 'Bloodless Coup' series. That is, by looking at the main proponents of a teaching, see what they say themselves - in their own words - and compare it to Scripture.

Unlike today, where it sometimes seems as if everyone with a black cat seems to have written a 'Book of Spells', in the mid-late 1980's there were very few 'sources' available - and even these were often notoriously hard to find! I read a lot of Crowley, Buckland, Cunningham, Richard Cavendish, Dion Fortune, etc and quickly discovered that a lot of the quotes that even the more reputable Christian authors used were usually incomplete and often taken totally out of context.
In contrast to the deeply fragmented, sectarian and sometimes disturbing picture the Church seemed intent on portraying to the world, these witches and occultists certainly seemed to have a common-sense, cohesive 'theology' - for want of a better word - and at a time when 'Satanic Ritual Abuse' was 'flavour of the month' within some elements of the Church, it was apparent from their own writings, that while they were obviously lost without Christ, but baby-eating maniacs they were certainly not!

Don't misunderstand me, I knew the Gospel, I knew Christ died for me and I knew that Satan may appear as an angel of light... but, it seemed, the more I read, the more sense a lot of this stuff made! And so it was as I had steeled myself against 'false teachings' and 'false gospels' within the Church I had left myself wide open to a direct frontal assault!

It was at around this time my marriage fell apart... and shortly thereafter so did I. After all, how could this happen? Hadn't I done the right thing by God? Hadn't I produced all these booklets on sound doctrine for Him? Wasn't I in the middle of putting together yet another one on the occult and witchcraft? How could God do this to me?!?

Once again, trying to cut a long story short, I wandered about through life fairly aimlessly - disillusioned with the Church, with God, with myself and with life in general - for some time. In short, the honeymoon was well and truly over. I had lost my 'first love' of God... I still believed, but I had no faith! ...And the more I read about witchcraft and the occult, the more similarities I could see between them and things like the 'Hyper-Faith' and 'Name It and Claim It' movements within the Church.

It was only a matter of time before I took that first tentative step of performing my first Spellworking.

I recorded the following in my first 'Book of Shadows': "Some would consider it ironic, others blasphemous, that I am recording this in the book that was originally used for scripts for the 'Bloodless Coup'... I am sitting at a simple altar writing this by the light of candles having just cast my first Spell. Having cast a Circle... and invoking the [elemental] spirits... for power and protection, I cleansed the instruments...

"...I felt fear before [performing the ritual] but now just a little apprehensive and hopeful that this magick will work. God help me!"

And so despite all my fears to the contrary, I was not immediately struck down by lightning, in fact I didn't even 'feel' any different and - more significantly, to me at least - the Spell worked!
I began to practice daily rituals, came to rely on various forms of divination before making decisions and began to make personal contacts within the Pagan community, joining the Pagan Alliance and travelling to attend major pagan gatherings in Canberra, though I was still, at this time, what is known as a 'Solitaire', one who practiced the Craft alone rather than in a Coven or group setting.

As any Coven trained Wiccan from any of the major Traditions will tell you, one should never, ever name another person without their full knowledge, understanding and consent when performing a Love Spell. The reasons are many-fold but put simply this is because:

1) As human beings we do not always see the 'big picture', and...
2) just because we think Joe Blogs or Mary Smith may be our particular 'Mr or Ms Right', this may not be the case. We may be missing out on our 'perfect match' simply because we haven't met them yet.
3) Say, for arguments sake, our spell works and Jan or Joe Smith becomes totally smitten with us. We will never know if it is because they really do love us in their heart of hearts, or it is because we have manipulated them, controlling their will by 'making' them love us through the use of Magic.

The very possibility of such manipulation of another against their will is conidered by many to be a violation of the 'Wiccan Rede', one of the basic tenets of Wiccan practice, which say in part, "Do as thou will, an' it harm none".

This belief is not held by all Pagans, or even all Wiccans (particularly younger or self-taught ones) - as the myriad of magazine articles, books, 'spell-packs', etc available in your local newsagent or bookstore devoted to 'getting Mr or Ms Right' atest - but as stated, it is the dominant view in older, Coven trained Wiccans as to be accepted as a 'given'.

Ignoring the warnings of those more experienced in the Craft than myself I prepared to perform the 'ultimate' Love Spell, on a young woman who lived some 400km away that I had met through the course of my work who had shown an 'interest' in me. One of the earliest axiom's I learnt about Magic is that 'the more you put into it, the more you get out of it' and believe you me, I put everything into this spell!

The results were spectacular and instantaneous! Within a week she had left her home, much to her parents horror, and moved in with me. I thought this was bliss, but soon found an unforseen 'sting in the tail' of my spellworking.

She quickly became quite possessive and obsessive about me, at first ringing me at work several times a day, then coming in to work causing great dramas if I did not drop everything to spend time with her. If I was late home she would call the local Police absolutely convinced I was lying dead or dying by the side of the road somewhere!

It was only a matter of time before the bubble burst and, for my own sanity's sake, I had to break it off. And that's where my problems really began...

There is an old saying that "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". Whether this is true or not I will not dare to say, but what I do know is that this woman went out of her way to make my life hell! One hears all too many tales of stalking, threats, intimidation and domestic violence where the male is the perpetrator, but in this case the boot was certainly on the other foot.

It was a situation straight out of the movie 'The Craft' (which had only just hit the cinemas at the time)! For those who have not seen the movie, it concerns a group of four teenage witches at a Catholic School. One of the girls performs a love spell on a guy she thinks is cute, who quickly becomes so violently obsessed with her he almost rapes her while they are out on a date one night.

Before anyone draws too much from this analogy, let me point that no Hollywood version of any religion/spiritual belief or practice is likely to be accurate. No Christian would consider Cecille B. deMille's "The Ten Commandments" or "The Robe" as accurate portrayals of Biblical truth. The same is also true for movies such as "The Craft". I mention it only because of the similarities of the incidents mentioned.

Cutting a long story short, I was forced to change my name and move house. And in the course of discussing the situation I found myself in with Fiona, a Wiccan friend I had from regional Western Australia, she said "Why not move over here and stay with me for a while if things are as bad as all that". And that's just what I did! Fiona was involved with a Wiccan Coven in Perth and although I considered myself primarily as a Pagan rather than a Wiccan I began travelling the 200kms to Perth every week for training for the next year or so and was eventually Initiated into the Coven and took the Craft name of 'Falcon'.

I began meeting up with other Pagans and Wiccans in our area and an informal 'study circle' formed that consisted of a number of Seekers as well as a smattering of other 1st and 2nd Degree Wiccan Initiates, which continued to grow and evolve into a working Circle. The 'powers-that-be' in Perth decided that they would give the group 'official' recognition and as I had been the driving force in the group, that I would be installed as the Circle's High Priest - and so the 'Circle of the Mystic Moon' was formed.

Coming from a Christian background to the Craft I had a much stronger evangelistic bent than many Pagans or Wiccans normally do, and the Circle ran an advertisment in the local press announcing the Coven's formation and advertising our first formal 'Outer Court' training session. All concerned in doing this - in what some consider to be the 'buckle of the Bible belt' - realized that there was bound to be a response from local Christians, but no-one could have anticipated quite the reaction it recieved!

A number of Christians wrote venomous letters to the paper complaining about the 'Satanists in our midst', making all the usual accusations about blood sacrifices, sexual orgies and worship of a devil that no-one in the group believed in. Even Fred Nile's 'Christian Democratic Party' jumped into the fray with the local candidate publicly calling for the Witches to be 'run out of town'!

By and large, most people in the town were pretty indifferent about the situation at first, but when members cars began to be vandalised and female Coven members started being verbally abused in the street, being called names like "Slut of Satan" and dead cats were thrown on the front porch of our Covenstead, the National press began to show an interest, with items about what was going on appearing in such diverse publications as "WitchCraft" magazine, "The Sunday Times" in Perth and "The Weekend Australian".

And so as a result of these shining examples of Christian love, four things happened pretty much simultaneosly...

Local public opinion swung behind us with letters appearing in the local paper from people we had never met nor heard of condemning the attacks on our members.

Inquiries about membership skyrocketed and we established our 'Children's Circle' so members' children could participate more fully!

Also, seeing themselves as a 'persecuted minority', members of the Circle developed a rare bond of commaraderrie and loyalty to each other and to the Circle itself.

As a result, the 'powers-that-be' from our 'Mother' Coven in Perth began to sit up and take notice of just what their country cousins (who had by now earned the nickname of 'Falcon's Ferals') were up to!

Moving in the sometimes rarified air of Wiccan heirarchy, meeting and 'determining policy' (for want of a better term) with the High Priests and High Priestesses of other Covens, can be quite a heady experience - and quite an eye-opener!

Concerned about just how fast this upstart Circle was growing, how powerful some of our workings had become and our fierce independance in matters concerning the running of the group, the 'Mother' Coven 'fired' me as High Priest and set up an interim 'governing council' of members from Perth.

Word spread quickly within the group, and outraged at what was considered interference from a group some 200kms away who had no idea of the level of persecution we had experienced at the hands of local Christians and had been through together, all but two members of the Circle resigned from the 'Mother' group and decided to continue on as we before - to the indignation of those in Perth. This indignation rose to fever pitch when the Circle made use of contacts I had previously made in the Eastern States and joined the 'Free Pagan Church of Australia', another group that had broken away from the same Perth-based body we had. I was readily accepted as High Priest by the FPCA and my partner, known by the magical name of 'Willow d'Wisp', was installed as High Priestess, and we began to perform our own Initiations.

When attacks from local Christians reached their peak, culminating with the physical assault of our High Priestess in a the car park of a local shopping centre, unlike our original 'Mother' group who had tried to get us to keep a low profile, the FPCA offered enormous support, both emotionally and magically and helped to organise a letter writing campaign which resulted in local papers recieving letter and e-mails from as far away as Germany, the UK and North America decrying the treatment we were recieving!

As the Circle had progressively moved away from the group's Wiccan origins into a more eclectic form of Paganism, members of the 'Inner Court' had bit by bit begun to perform 'darker' workings. In response to the verbal threats and physical attacks we had been on the recieving end for so long the 'Wiccan Rede' ('Do as thou wilt, an' it harm none') had long since been abandoned and what became known as 'The Rite of Vengence' was officially accepted into the Coven's 'Book of Shadows'. This was even reflected in the Coven's Motto: "Sic Gorgiamus Alius Subjectatus Nunc" ("We Gladly Devour All those Who Would Subdue Us").

As far as the 'Circle of the Mystic Moon' was concerned, things could not have been going better! We began producing our own Coven magazine, which although had a limited circulation, was widely accepted as one of the best in the country at that time and the group began another 'growth spurt' becoming a visible prescence at events such as 'Balingyup Medieval Fayre' and even hosted officially sanctioned Halloween and Yule Rituals as part of the the City of Bunbury's Year 2000 celebrations!

As a result of this new public acceptance of the Circle the voices railed against us began to fall silent. And... much to the delight of our members, the head of our original 'Mother' group was exposed in the press as a fraud and a charlaton, allegedly responsible for many thousands of dollars of funds mysteriously missing from that group's coffers, and it dissolved in a mess of accusation and recrimination!

As I said, as far as the 'Circle' was concerned, things could not have been going better! But personally, I was a mess inside! I knew that what I was involved in was against God - I guess I had known it from day one, but had been too caught up in the power games and politics to pay these doubts any heed. But now that things were on a pretty much even keel I had time to look at myself - and I wasn't liking what I was seeing! I so much wanted to experience God's forgiveness for all that I had done, but was convinced that I had 'blasphemed against the Holy Spirit', the one sin the Bible says can never be forgiven (Mark 3:28-29)!

I hoped against hope that I was wrong, and began trawling through Christian chatrooms on the Net, asking if anyone could show me through Scripture that someone could be forgiven if they had been a Christian, turned away to worship other Gods, and sought to come back.
I guess it goes without saying that there were two quite predictable responses... No! Such a person is an Apostate and is lost forever! (Hebrews 3:12-19, 10:26-29, etc) ...and...
Yes! Of course you can! Jesus loves everybody! Alas, the bulk of these replies seemed to rely more on the same sort of 'warm, fuzzy feelings' that I had come to despise in the new breed of self-taught Wiccans that seemed to abound everywhere I went and contained little - if anything - in the way of Scripture to support what they said!

Convinced that I had blasphemed against the Holy Spirit and that I was therefore doomed to eternal damnation, in whatever form that may take, and that further, no matter what I did I was merely "storing up wrath for [myself] in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God" (Romans 2:5) I stood down as High Priest, saying I was taking a 'temporary leave of absence' due to the stress of leading the Coven for the past few years when the persecution had been at its peak, and passed full control of the Circle into the hands of 'Willow'.
Burdened with guilt and fear for the future I gradually fell apart. I was truly beginning to reap what I had sown and lost everything that I held most dear - even Willow. After six years together we finally split up though for all intents and purposes the relationship had been dead or dying for quite some time. I was left totally alone, living in the garage of a friend from a Gardnerian Coven, who had taken pity on me.

Too depressed to want to live, but in too much fear of God's judgement to hasten it by committing suicide I was truly going slowly mad, and on a Disability Pension due to mental Illness, when nearly three years ago I was driving past a local Baptist Chuch in the next town. For some reason I was thinking about my ex-wife, the girl I had married when I was first a Christian all those years ago.

I guess God can even use madness, because my thoughts ran like this... I remembered that when I was about to get get married, the pastor slapped me on the back and said "Welcome to the sufferings of Christ"! Now the Church is refered to in the Bible as the 'Bride of Christ' (Revelation 21:9) and the passages in the Books of Hebrews and Colossians concerning the difference between the Old Covenant of the Law of Moses and the New Covenant of Grace through Jesus Christ ran through my head (Hebrews 8-10; Clossians 2), when it occured to me that each Covenant was like a Marriage Contract, and that the New Convenant could not be entered into without the 'death' of the Old Covenant. God didn't just 'divorce' Himself from the Old Covenant - it had to be "nailed to the cross" (Colossian 2:14) and die!

"Oh that's just great!" I thought "That means because I divorced my wife and she hasn't died that every relationship I have been in since has been an adulterous one! Well at least adultery can be forgiven even if blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can't..." Just then an image filled my mind of the Pagan altars the Israelites had worshipped at in the time of Jeremiah and how God did not turn his back on them but invited them to repent (Jeremiah 3:6-14)

And it dawned on me, I had not yet commited blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, but 'spiritual adultery'! And that - as bad as it was - could be forgiven! And for the first time in years I thought of that first time I read the Bible to Frank in jail...

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16-17)

Now all this happened in the time it took to drive past a small suburban church! It's a bit hard to fall on knees while you're driving, but I knew that if God wanted me back, I wanted to be back with Him!

It hasn't been easy being an exWitch. In fact, at times it's been pretty miserable, but I know that whatever I go through in this life, whether good or bad, is nothing compared to the reward of being with Christ rather than being eternally separated from Him!

I avoided 'giving my testimony' for the first 18 months - in fact only the Pastor and one of the Elders was privy to the details of my past. I don't want to fall into the same trap I did before of being trotted out by well-meaning people as a showpiece of God's grace to my own detriment! I want God to get the glory this time round, not me, not some ministry or church or denomination - no one but God!

One thing I want to drum home before I finish is this... It doesn't matter if you haven't done all the things that I've done... It doesn't matter if you haven't done any of the the things I have done.... It doesn't matter if you've done worse!

The only thing that does matter is this... "Rebellion [against God] is as the sin of Witchcraft..." (1 Samuel 15:33 - KJV) "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..." but "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16-17)

If you believe God is calling you, please, please won't you respond to Him?


Blogger Newbirth said...

Wow, great testimony Jean-Luc! I can relate to TOO many of the things you write about. The blasphemy against the Spirit - who hasn't wondered if they've committed it; God reaching out for you; the struggles so many of us have as ex-Witches following Christ. I can SO relate!

It will be 10 years fo me next May, and yet I still feel like the baby. Among Christians I know, both online and IRL, most are far older in the faith than I. But here I am, about to slip into double digits, and so often happy to just coast along when I know God wants me to go deep into Him.

9:24 AM  

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