OK, our actions affect others.
Sometimes the simplest things cause problems one would never expect for many years to come. It’s so important to weigh out one’s actions carefully. I remember from the earliest ages…about 6 or 7 years old being put into the bathtub with a female cousin. Yes, neither my aunt nor mother thought of it too seriously. But it started something that has lasted all these years. Before I was 9, I had already experimented sexually with a girl close to my age. I didn’t have any understanding of the ramifications of our actions. We were just little kids and curious. When I was about 9 or 10, I was playing with my friends in the woods, which we did all the time. Some careless, or perhaps evil, person had littered the hillside with pornography. You can bet what a group of young boys did with that. Yes, we took them and hid them in a hollow tree and visited them many, many times. Now I was no longer innocent. I had been fully awakened. But I didn’t see the evil that I was inviting in to my life.
I asked Jesus to save me because of a visit to church camp at roughly the same time in my life,..I think it was just before we had discovered the porn on the hillside. This was Sunday, Aug 17, 1986. I will never forget that day. However, just as Christ was planting the seeds of eternal life in my soul, the devils of hell were scheming their plans for my life. As I grew up, I knew the things I had done were wrong, but something else was already inside of me, creating strong desires. I didn’t know this, of course, I just thought I was normal. 2 persons were developing both inside this same shell. I was rapidly learning the Scriptures, witnessing to my friends, going to church, and even preaching at a local church in my early teens. At the same time, I was acting out my desires in a personal level.
I had grown up a Free-Will Baptist, often thinking I had lost my salvation and going frequently to the altar to regain it. I was torturing myself in my spirit to try to walk good enough to merit this salvation I had originally gained as a free gift. I say the problem with Free-Will Baptists is that they don’t really try to keep the rules they believe save them. I did. I went soul-winning, studied my Bible for many hours, learned prophecy, even frequently took the flag in this very quiet church, and ran with it around the auditorium. I felt every word of the Scriptures was real. If people were going to hell, we needed to do something and God expected us to do it. But apparently, the vast majority of them didn’t quite see it that way. By my senior year in high school, I had so worn out my spirit by trying, I told God that “if salvation has to be earned, I CAN NOT DO IT. You have to save freely, I simply will never be able to do this.” And there went my Armenian views.
Now with that gone, I was still on fire for God and wanted to please Him, even if not for salvation itself. I went to a Christian College. Unfortunately, the other side of “me” went along. It had never left and was driving me in a personal, private manner. The good side of me, however, was yearning to make God happy with my life (though, again, not for salvation itself.) I often snuck out of college with a female friend, not to do any wrong, but to go soul winning around the area! I also joined a street preaching group, and we did all we could to win the people of Florida, a majority of them trapped in the Scientology cult, to the Lord. I actually had a year or so of victory of my personal sins. While I lived on my own during the summer, I was solicited by a female Sunday school member from a church I had attended. I was visiting her to see if she was coming to Sunday school, as her attendance was infrequent. Still naive, I didn’t see that the reason she invited me into her house was that her parents were not home, and she had plans. When I understood what she wanted, I quickly dismissed myself and got away as fast as I could, remembering the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. Unfortunately, it re-awakened the desires I had some victory over. That was the last time I had victory of this issue.
Seeing the intense apathy of most of the people in my college, I wanted to do more. I also began listening to sermon cassette tapes (yeah, they were still around then). I had even gone on a missionary trip to France for 6 weeks over the summer not long after the event with the woman from my Sunday School class. I remember witnessing to some kids in France about being reborn…a term which in french, happens to be very similar to my interpreter’s name. I was astounded how these kids had no background whatsoever in Scripture as they said “c’est impossible!” “No one can be born twice!” Those were great times, unfortunately, something was back in me pulling me apart. So many of my thoughts were double minded and becoming more perverse.
I transferred from paradise to the ice cold frozen wasteland of the North Western USA. I was pleased to discover that EVERY person was required to be in a ministry. I quickly joined up with the bus routes and the street preaching group. Many of these men are in full time service around the world today, including one of the guys I street preached with, who is a missionary in Haiti. Because of my character, on the outside, I worked my ministry with all I could give it. I went to college full time, worked 40 hours a week or more (moving quickly up the pay-scale all the way to line foreman) and won hundreds of people to the Lord throughout. I brought hundreds of visitors to church, even one time winning a contest (in a church of thousands of people) to bring the most visitors over 6 weeks. We brought 89 visitors on our buses! The win got me an all expense paid trip to visit missionaries in the Philippines for a week. That trip was in my final year of college. I had married and had my first and second daughters. This is where the “other” me had began to show its ugly head. I could not be the person I was supposed to be, even though on the outside, I was everything the college wanted me to be and was teaching me to be. I was angry, frustrated, unloving and uncaring, driving away my wife. I was so obsessed with sex on the inside, that I could not treat her properly. She was supposed to “fix” all this…so I could be the person I wanted to be on the outside. We fought constantly as I discovered the inevitable problems this idea brought onto our marriage.
My final year in college, the same year I had won the trip to the Philippines, I had discovered that I was in no shape to be in any ministry. I had seen others act like me who had failed, caused church splits, and hurt a lot of people. I did not want to be another person like that. I became very depressed as I saw my dreams disappear that I had worked so hard to gain. I took this out even further on my wife and took the other “me” to a heightened pitch. It had never left, but now was becoming monstrous, being fueled by anger and depression.
I knew my wife would not stay around like this forever without help, so we moved closer to her family. Our arguing and fighting grew, nonetheless, and I pretty much just gave up on life, though I still weakly fought on by occasionally driving a bus for the pastor of the church we attended, the pastor being a graduate of the college from which I had just graduated. At least she had help. I didn’t want it to be this way, I just had no idea how to get out of it. We had been to counseling with so many people…pastors, assistant pastors, even a licensed Christian psychologist. Nothing had helped. I took a job driving blood specimens 2 hours away. I was so depressed and so compulsive in what was now a full blown sexual addiction, I used this freedom to try to find some fulfillment. I began searching for strip clubs, prostitutes, and porn distributors. It was not long before I had found them. My wife had never known any of my inner problems, and remained blind to all of this. The monster was now in control anytime I was out of town, sometimes even while I was doing my night time paper routes, as there are strip clubs around home, too. I literally couldn’t stop it any longer.
It felt like I lost myself and was powerless to regain my own thoughts until after the deeds were finished. During this time I still sought answers. I heard on the radio a man named Roy Masters who frequently speaks of his “meditation” in which one is encouraged to step back and see yourself apart from the mess going on your head. His intentions are good, but as I began to do them, something revealed itself to me. I then began to sense and feel a presence..even seeing in my mind’s eye, the thing(s) that were watching me (I didn’t realize at the time, compelling me) to do the things I was doing. I didn’t see them with my eyes, mind you, just inside my head. Perhaps they were the alien greys, I don’t know, because they were all bald. Their eyes were terrible, and in my night dreams, at least one of them had a third eye. I could “see” or “sense” them every time I visited a strip club or went into the area seeking a prostitute.
I wanted so badly to feel right again, to make things right in every way. I just didn’t know how. Surely I should be able to “make” it happen. I could even support myself and family for months selling newspaper subscriptions door to door. I had the character on the outside. “Why wasn’t God helping me”, I thought? I cried out to God and begged and begged for answers. God answered. First, in response to prayer, God forced me out of my out of town route. Next, God began to tell me that something was terribly wrong about my works. I began to realize that I could not please God by my works. A good friend had given me some life changing books that rewrote so much of my mind. I began to understand God as One Who doesn’t require my obedience to love me. His love never changes. I am holding back the tears as I type this here at the library just thinking about it. Imagine, God loves me just because HE IS LOVE. We transferred to a church, the one we now attend, that helped me further this understanding of God. Second, God began to show me, through our pastor’s sermons, the biblical way to love your wife, ask God for what you need, don’t fight to obtain it (as it says in the book of James.) For the first time, I was beginning to see a way out. Unfortunately, something still had power over a large part of my life.
My thinking had been terribly distorted for so long. I look back on my family pictures and I see it, not me. Every female that passed by took my eye…well, anyone one of maturity, I should say. I was not passing that barrier, thank the Lord! I was still having an occasional quick visit to a strip club….usually under 5 minutes, and was renting movies that had pornography in them to view in private. I even had a small stash very well hiddden. It tortures me to think that I could’ve been the next person littering the hillside, so to speak, for the next generation of innocent persons to find them….probably whom would’ve been my own children.
Third, we began going to Reformers Unanimous, a Christian addiction program every Friday. We’ve been going for over a year now. Though I grew more and more, there was still something missing. I still couldn’t shake the compulsions. I now have accountability, something I never had before. I quickly confess my sins, and told my pastor of my recent behaviors. We broke up my video collection in the church parking lot (inside the bag, of course) and trashed them. My attachment was finally growing weaker, but was still compulsive…still controlling my mind and it seemed I could do nothing about it.
Recently, the pastor of the mega church I attended had been arrested for sexual contact with a minor. This devastated my wife and me, but now that my wife and I are working together on these problems and she is fully knowledgeable of my past-(turned out her past she had hidden from me as well) it came with little surprise. Neither did it surprise us much to begin learning that very many of the staff of the church, the former pastor-the one I had listed to on tape and a great number of the graduates who had taken ministries, had been caught in various degrees of sexual sins. If we try to please God by our works, we will find ourselves panting for satisfaction that will never come. God ALREADY loves us, and has done the works required so His love can forever reach us!
Still suffering in my mind by uncontrollable compulsions, I began revisiting every position I thought I knew about the Bible. I began scouring the internet, reading more books, anything I could to find why my mind is still doing this. I looked at people I would never have considered in my fundamentalist ways of the past. I’ve changed several of my doctrinal views during my journey.
The worst part was that I still felt the ominous presence and could sense the evil that was lurking in the shadows. I began to watch Dr. CK Quarterman’s videos, I think from a link from somewhere, but I don’t remember for certain exactly where. I saw Dr. CK Quarterman exorcising demons. The first couple times, I honestly thought he was staging it. It didn’t really match what I thought about the devil. But then, I am in a time where I am revisiting anything I thought I knew about anything. So, I quietly observed from the side, listened in on a few conference calls, and made a few comments on Facebook.
I recently commented on face book about how I look great on the outside, but on the inside, I am struggling greatly. Dr. CK Quarterman took it up on himself to actually ask why, which no one else bothered to do. I told him everything, …kinda risking it, if you will, not totally sure if he wouldn’t do something awkward with the information. But, instead he offered to gather his group around on conference call and to command the devils that are oppressing me to leave.
Last Saturday, I called in on conference line while delivering my paper route. I had pulled over in an empty parking lot. Though I really didn’t know what to expect…would I begin vomiting, speaking in Latin…or begin convulsing uncontrollably?? I just really wasn’t sure…still not too certain what I believed about this subject to begin with. As we prayed, nothing too obvious happened, at least on the outside. But, on the inside, the same presence that I felt, I could sense its fear and pain. It didn’t want to go anywhere. It was living through me, I think. It also told me inside my head some things like “you know this isn’t going to work” and “I’m always going to be here, you know.” Also, I began to feel a physical change as something left me. For the first time in all these years, I have felt in control of my thoughts again! I feel like there is room in my head. I am free to think whatever I want. I have been several days now with no compulsion whatsoever. This has NEVER happened before. I feel very optimistic for the first time in my life…like this is what it is supposed to be like.
I finally have been able to take captive my thoughts, because compulsion didn’t rule over them. I beg that God will give me His Holy Spirit’s control and power over my life, so I can be the person I have always wanted to be. We prayed for God to protect my kids during the conference call….
I no longer want to be the person I was. Never do I want to be double minded or full of thoughts I can not control, or two minds in the same body. There are no more secrets, no more lies. Everything is being dealt with, from the doctrines, to the relationships, to the direct spiritual aspects. I am asking further prayer for my wife. She has been through so much! I was shocked the day she told me that she was going to help me through all this, no matter how long it takes. She has grown so much! We have become sweeter and more loving towards each other, and I expect even better days ahead. She is no longer an object to me. She is not there just to make me into something. That’s not what love is about. However, I am realizing the demons that attacked me are affecting her in ways she doesn’t yet understand, just as I did not understand the role they play. I have seen attacks working through her these last few days. I guess if they can’t get to me inside my head, they are going to attempt to get to me from outside my head! Pray for her, folks! God bless, y’all!