Image by Tattooed JJ via Flickr
I'm delighted to bring you a guest post from my dear friend and prayer partner, Pennie DeWitt. I hope you will read her words carefully and prayerfully. Now I'll let her introduce herself:
Hi. My name is Pennie De Witt and I'm a recovering occultist. A former slave to Satan. Below are just some of the thoughts that have been pouring through my mind today.
Can I do pagan things if I just don't think of them as pagan?
What if I dance naked around the fire for Jesus instead of for Hecate?
What if I get a new deck of Tarot cards, assign each of them a Bible story, and use them to get closer to God?
Why don't I redeem orgies and abortion for Christ while I'm at it?
For that matter, why don't I just open back up for business as a psychic and dedicate it to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
Isn't it okay to do house cleansings with a rattle? Well, how about if I ditch the rattle and just wear the mask? Would it be better if I put a smile on the mask? And how about, while I'm wearing the mask I go reveling with my friends, but only for candy? How about if I just make a Talisman and put a cute, innocent, funny-face on it?
Of course I would never do such things!
It doesn't matter if you change your intentions. If you read the Bible you'll see, as I have, that the one thing that always ticked God off the most was when His people adopted the customs of the pagans. It was an abomination to Him.
He is the same yesterday, today and always. And it still angers Him today when we adopt pagan customs, even if we try to do them "with different intentions," and "redeem them for Christ."
As I sit and watch many of my Christian brothers and sisters posting on Facebook about their Halloween festivities, my heart breaks. I'm frightened for them, for our nation, and for God's people.
You see, I spent 26 years in the occult. I started out with Wicca as an adolescent, and throughout the years moved on to every corner of alternative spirituality that I could find - Shamanism, New Thought, Rosicrucianism, Eastern Mysticism - you name it.
At age 24 I became a professional psychic. I spent fifteen years serving Satan this way. I made a lot of money, got my own radio show and developed a world-wide following. I thought I was on top of the world.
Slowly, my world started falling apart. Before it was over, I was being evicted from my home, and my daughter was writhing on the floor, growling, hissing and clawing at the carpet on a daily basis.
I sought answers. I tried all my techniques. I reached out to others and, eventually, I started praying. I told God that if He didn't give me some answers soon, I was going to kill myself so I could stand before Him and get them myself.
Then one morning I was hiking behind my house, and I noticed something moving next to my shoe. I took a couple steps past it and turned around. It was a rattler, coiled, and ready to strike. I looked around and realized I was alone on that mountain. If I got bitten, I could definitely die.
Suddenly, as I stood frozen in front of that snake, it was like the sky opened up, and I saw the King of the Universe sitting on His throne. And for the first time in my life I feared Him. He was so perfect.
I thought, "I could never measure up to that perfection. No matter how perfect I made myself, I could never come close to that."
His purity was like a clean fire. It would burn me up in an instant. That's when I started thinking, "Maybe those Christians have a good idea with that redemption thing."
So, you know what I did after that? I went home and did the only thing I knew to do. I looked up "snake" in my power animal dictionaries. In dictionary after dictionary, the message rang loud and clear: "Give yourself over to transformation, let the old die so that the new may be reborn, let go, new life, new spiritual path..." It would have been almost spooky if it hadn't been so precious. He met me right where I was, and he spoke to me in MY language. I wouldn't have listened to anything else.
I knew those terms, "reborn," and "new life." I knew those were from the Bible. I wondered if perhaps the Christians could help me, so I went to church and started investigating Christianity. It took several months of reading and studying, seeking answers to my questions and facing my fears.
Finally, as I sat on my bed one night, reading "The Case for Faith" by Lee Strobel, it finally hit me! That twisted, tortured figure on the cross was there out of compassion for ME! Jesus died for ME! God cared about me so much that He came to this planet in human form and did this for ME. He saw me, He knew me, He understood my pain and my suffering. He felt it, and He wanted to carry it for me. My whole life culminated in this one moment, and I could see that it had all happened for a reason, that God had been pursuing me through it all. I mattered.
I curled up in a little ball and just sobbed. I was ready to give it all up to Him and let Him take care of me.
That Sunday, Sept 9th, 2007, I got saved. I admitted I was wrong, that I had disobeyed God. I renounced all my occult practices and was set free.
The following Saturday I burned all my occult books and paraphernalia, and eleven decks of Tarot cards, per Acts 19:19-20.
Sunday, Sept 16, 2007, I was baptized.
A few weeks later, my sister got saved and left prostitution and the porn industry.
I sit here watching some of my loved ones turn away from the occult, and yet I see many others still entrapped - people dying in sweat lodges, for example. And then I see the very people who threw me the lifeline now turning toward what nearly destroyed me.
I don't understand. Is Halloween that important? What is so valuable about costumes and Jack-o-Lanterns and candy that it can't be renounced for this God who loves us so much?
I've read articles in which people say things like, "I'm not going to let Satan take away my fun." What is Satan's "fun" compared to the joy of the Lord? He can have Halloween for all I care! There's no fun for me in celebrating Satan's schemes.
My daughter, who was raised from birth in occultism, doesn't miss it at all. She once said, "I can't wait 'til Halloween so we can NOT celebrate it!"
Halloween is pagan, it's based on witchcraft, and it's part of my old life. All things have been made new for me. I don't even feel I need an alternative. I'm not missing anything. In fact, I plan on spending my evening in prayer for those who are still in slavery to Satan. I am eternally grateful to the Lord for the sacrifice He made, and giving up Halloween is the least I can do. I'm free now! Why bother putting my chains back on for one night, in the name of fun, or tradition, or anything else?