(By: Rich Daniels)
Some time ago I was a co-host of Pagan Central. I logged on to a chat channel and in the main conference area I saw a group called FREE ADVICE. I was curious as to what the FREE ADVICE was. HEISIAM said good night to one of the people who was there about a minute after I joined the group with "Sleep soundly in Jesus." Rather than rudely just exit the group, I apologized that I was in the wrong place, and when HEISIAM asked me why I told her straight out that I was (at that time) the co-host of Pagan Central.
Her response surprised me, rather than a sermon, she began to ask me about paganism. Which led to a long discussion via email about what pagans believed. As I began to answer questions I came to understand how empty and worthless paganism is. In the course of the discussion I came to question my questions about Christ, and my questions I had about the Bible.
To make a long story short in the past 48 hours I have tossed into the dumpster around $1000 of pagan paraphernalia , dumped over a megabyte of pagan related materials from my hard drive, erased my personal favorites that contained pagan related usenet groups, resigned as co-host of pagan central, and gave my life over to Christ, begging his forgiveness for my past unbelief and sins, and asked that His Atoning Blood remove sin from my life.
I know I have much to learn and a long struggle ahead of me. I have found an apartment closer to work in order to further remove myself from Salem, which is a pit of paganism. I cannot remain in such an atmosphere.
Thanks for taking the time to read all of this. I do hope you got this far and not deleted this after the first mention of Pagan Central.
This was written about a week later in response to email and forum posts:
If I have to pick a point in my conversations with HEISIAM that was a defining moment, a turning point, it were, was when I asked a question concerning what about the people who had died before Christ was born. She went back to Noah and after the Flood, to the Tower of Babel when God dispersed the populace and confused their languages, and His true Word was kept by the line of Abraham through Jacob.
I am not sure how many of you all know this, but paganism debunks Christianity based upon similarities between various myths and the Bible. Hold on, before you go flying off the handle. In particular, the Babylonian myth of Gilgamesh. Pagans hold that since Abraham came from that area of the world, Genesis is merely a stripped rendition of that myth. I hope you are still with me at this point.
One small problem, the myth of Gilgamesh is very fanciful, elaborate and Genesis is very plain and matter of fact. Now this is the key point which made me stop and reconsider some presumptions. I am not a scholar by any stretch of the imagination but I do know that stories as they are told become more embellished and fanciful, NOT the other way around.
It was at this point I had to at least admit that it was possible that Genesis was in fact the original, and the myth of Gilgamesh was not. Which was a 180 degree turn around in my thinking along those lines.
The next pagan belief to crumble was the concept of reincarnation. Basically after you die, you get to do it all over again. The pagan basis of reincarnation comes from observation and worship of nature. The trees lose their leaves and die in the winter, then in the spring they are reborn, is one way it is put. Another fallacy came crashing down on me when the thought came into my head that the trees aren't actually dead, they are in animal terms hibernating. When a tree dies it rots, falls down, and continues rotting until nothing is left, it doesn't spring back to life. The metaphor falls apart on close examination of the facts.
With the underpinings of the concept of reincarnation pulled out, it rapidly comes crashing down as well. This left me with a very hollow feeling. It's tough to have ones beliefs fall apart so easily. Believe me when I say paganism isn't really a faith system. It is some observations and twisted logic. No one likes to admit they are wrong, but I had to admit my notions of religion were wrong. So what was right?
I knew atheism was wrong, and agnostics were just beating around the bush. I long ago concluded that if there was a creation there had to be a Creator. Where I went astray, and hindsight is 20/20 here, is when I first read the Bible, about ten years ago; parts of it made me VERY uncomfortable. Instead of questioning why it made me so uncomfortable, I put it aside, and said to myself in effect, that is not for me. I pulled the KJV Bible my grandmother had given me as a graduation gift out of the closet, where it was gathering dust, and opened it up. At the time, I said to myself, I at least have to give Cheryl the benefit of the doubt and see if I missed anything before. After all, what had I to lose?
I began to read the Gospel of John. It was in Chapter 8 verses 13-59 where Jesus was answering the Pharisees particularly verse 17, "It is written in your law, that the testimony of two men in true." That hit me hard. There are four Gospels, Mark and Luke both being writings of what they were told by the disciples, but Matthew and John were both eyewitnesses.
At that moment I felt total condemnation and I felt like dirt. I continued reading John through the rest of the week. I knew what the conclusion was, but I felt compelled to keep reading, that the answers to my questions were there.
This is where words fail me, I am not sure if I can ever express what I went through as I kept reading. I had already had my pagan belief system stripped away, and now all the barriers I had put up to keep myself nice and comfy trashed all in one week. I admit, I was resistive. I tried to put the barriers back up, but no matter how hard I tried they came crashing down and I just reached a point where I stopped fighting.
It is now Saturday the 10th of September. My life was a shambles;everything that I had believed had been ripped away. I felt less than dirt. I knew in my heart why and where my only hope lay, but my mind was resisting little thoughts like, you are just a bit confused, you can't honestly believe this can you, and stuff like that would run through my head. I decided that I'd lay down and get some sleep. I lay there awake, but sleep wasn't there. I just wanted to get some sleep and be left alone.
What is going on with me, I've never been this miserable in all my life, I thought. Thoughts like this kept popping up. I thought, maybe I should pray, but as soon as that thought would come a million more would rush in about how futile and a waste of time that would be. I whispered to myself, "God, I just give up."
I had felt guilt, but not remorse. I was too proud to say I was sorry to God. God had to rip away all the barriers and pride I put in place to keep Him out. I began to pray to Jesus for forgiveness and confessed to Him that He is the Son of God, and that there are no other gods but God. I just poured my heart out to Him. After I finished praying I felt like I had never felt before. For the first time in years I felt happy and at peace. I am not the best at putting feelings into words, so words really do fail me to be able to describe the incredible relief and love I felt.
I confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was born without sin and never sinned, but bore the sins of the world, died on the cross, and on the third day rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father. In His death, my sins are paid for by His blood, and in his resurrection I am born-again in Him.
Thank you so much for reading my testimony of how God revealed and made Himself real and alive in my life. My prayer for you is that He will do the same for you. He loves you no matter where you've been or what you've done. He gave His life so that you could be set free from the bondage of sin in your life. If you've never given Jesus Christ a chance in your life, I pray that you will now. Thank you and God bless you now as you continue to search for answers in your life.
In Christ, Rich
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)