Dear Miss Bohlin,
I am a 17 year old aspiring writer who has just recently gotten back into the Church after a hiatus of several years after getting caught up in some odd religious fever and being baptised. I've often wondered why that off sensation came over me, but I'm starting to piece together the way my life has panned out and how things are indeed serving a purpose.
I am writing you because of the article on the web you wrote entitled, "Angels: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly." I was reading because I am trying to do research for a comic book project about a Christian "super hero" in the future, and I would like to feature an angel or two as supporting characters to my heroic lead character.
As I read the article, I came upon the part speaking of the falseness of those preaching the practice of channeling angels and praying to angels, and how these so called angels providing the information were more than likely actually demons. The part that hit me hardest, though, was the part speaking of the promise that those who seek out these "angels" will be visited by a "Shining" angel that is more than likely a personal encounter with an actual demon.
This hit me because of something that happened several years ago. If I remember correctly, I had just entered my teenage career, and had already been baptised sometime before. By this point, though, I had drifted away from religion, and had stopped attending church almost altogether. Lord forgive me if this isn't entirely accurate, I have horrible memory about some things. Anyways, I had become interested in ghosts and psychic phenomenon, and had decided to call a psychic 900-number. The man I spoke with was more than happy to assist when I asked if he could help me strengthen any abilities I may have had. He went with me through the motions for several days of meditating and "filling myself with a light" in my mind's eye. Finally, I actually saw the outline of a being's face, a being that looked like a perfect representation of what I have tended to see Angels as, like some kind of a Greek statue or something.
As I came back to the church, I have been at war with myself internally over what to believe in this world we live in, and in some ways I've been frustrated because I haven't felt a level of religious belonging like the one I experienced in the few weeks leading up to my baptism since the baptism itself. I had been using this "vision" of my "angelic guide" as proof of faith for so long, and now I realize I was trying to use an encounter with a demon as justification of believing in God.
Do you think this could be what has been holding me back from experiencing the joy I felt during the time surrounding my Baptism? If so, now that I have realized it, how should I deal with it? My first impulse at this discovery that I likely encountered a demon and have probably been under some sort of influence since then has been to be horrified and afraid. But as I talked about it with a friend, I began to see it as a backfire in the plans for whatever this being was. If there is a demon, then there must be angels. And if there are Angels, then there must be a God to follow, and obey and have faith in. Is this a good interpretation? Is this a personal victory for me? I've heard it said that nearly anything used for evil can be turned back and used for good. Should I be using my encounter with evil as reinforcement for a belief that there must, undoubtedly, be a good, and I have every reason to seek that good?
Your thoughts on this strangeness are greatly appreciated.
Dear ________, I wish you could see the smile on my face as I read this particular section of your letter:
If there is a demon, then there must be angels. And if there are Angels, then there must be a God to follow, and obey and have faith in. Is this a good interpretation? Is this a personal victory for me? I've heard it said that nearly anything used for evil can be turned back and used for good. Should I be using my encounter with evil as reinforcement for a belief that there must, undoubtedly, be a good, and I have every reason to seek that good?
Yes, yes, yes!! It's an excellent interpretation!
To answer your question, "how should I deal with it?" the best answer I can suggest is that you get Neil Anderson's book The Bondage Breaker. He explains the power and authority we have in Jesus Christ and how to completely renounce any hold Satan and demons have over you in an orderly, step-by-step manner. Many, many people have experienced freedom as a result of Neil's book.
Welcome back to the family of God! I am sure that you will experience the joy that is part of knowing Christ when you disengage yourself from the demonic oppression that is holding you back. . . but only until you find out how the Lord will free you.
In His grip,
Thank you for the quick reply, and the book suggestion.
The more I've thought about it, the more it has just seemed like being hit with a ton of spiritual bricks. When I talked to my mother about it earlier, I actually felt my heart beating faster, felt something like an adrenaline flow. And, though only slight, I was a little choked up about it. I really think that if I were to talk to someone at length, I would begin to shed tears.
I compared it to being allowed into some kind of a higher up club, being shown this article that opened my eyes. The whole world seems like such a vast place now. It's like having my senses tripled in their alertness, the smallest things are catching my attention now. In simplest terms, I saw a representation of a celestial being (for, despite their "Fallen" status, demons are angels, no?). How many people living today can say they have encountered this? Can say they have been shown, have been *allowed* to see something beyond our normal perception of the universe?
Yes, my brush with the celestial was due to a misguided tour into a false representation of the world. A world that I was introduced to due to my doubt-induced gullibility. Yes, I know this, and realize this. I also realize that if God didn't want it to happen for his own reasons, he wouldn't have allowed it in the first place. Why it happened, I don't know. It's purpose, I don't know.
I don't think myself special. I don't think myself better. But it just seems so right. I have always looked at life on a grand scale. I was trying to make a movie in 7th grade, I'm trying to start a Christian comic book company now at 17. I have been asking for a sign that I'm on the right track, and now I'm slammed with the greatest confirmation that my beliefs are not in vain. I'm here for something, that much I know. Your article has brought me nearly full circle in my beliefs, and for that I thank you greatly.
________, You are so welcome.
I hear in your note a longing for the transcendent, a wish to KNOW you have a part to play in a story bigger than yourself, a desire to tap into the supernatural--only the HOLY supernatural and not the unholy supernatural.
Wonderful! Because this very longing is what one aspect of joy feels like. And the supernatural life you desire is what constitutes biblical Christianity. Obviously, with your writing skills, you must be quite a reader. I would like to suggest some other books to feed this part of your soul.
First of all, the Left Behind series provide a terrific look into what the supernatural life can be. It's real life and real SUPERNATURAL life at the same time--weeks of everyday life, nothing out of the ordinary, punctuated by experiences that tap into the super-powered life of awesome answered prayer and God showing Himself in amazing ways.
Secondly, a book called The Sacred Romance by John Eldredge and Brent Curtis. Nothing will resonate more in your soul about your place in the Grand Story of Life than this book. I think you are so ripe and ready for it!
The way you expressed the impact of the spiritual truth in my Angels article shows me that the Holy Spirit is indeed bearing witness in your spirit that He has shown you truth and He wants to free you to be who you were created to be. That involves two parts: disentangling yourself from the spiritual bondage that resulted from your foray into the occult, and moving closer to the Lord's heart by aggressively pursuing holiness and spiritual truth.
Seems to me you're on your way. . . enjoy the ride!