“I hear the voice of the Devil!”
These words could have only ever been spoken by the Messiah Himself (cf. Mt. 4:1-11) and madmen. In His own time, even the Messiah was considered a madman. For every actual Messiah, there have been countless madmen who have heard the voice of Satan over the centuries. How many asylums have been filled to overflowing with poor unfortunates who heard the voice of the Devil? How many 20th century serial killers believed they heard the Devil urging them into committing unspeakable murderous crimes. When I hear the voice of the Devil, he urges me, not into committing violence against my fellow men through serial-murder, but violence against God himself through the repugnant blasphemy of my articles for OpheliaTWat.com!
I was reared a devout Roman Catholic. I was an altar-boy. I took Communion every Sunday. I studied the Bible. I prayed the rosary. I intended to enter the seminary and become a Priest. My faith in God was unflappable and my fear of the Devil was inescapable.
As a young man, I was terrified of Rock ‘n’ Roll music. I thought that if I listened to a Guns ‘n’ Roses or Metallica record, that I would be tempted into Satanism. There was a “Satanist” in my high-school who wore a Slayer patch on the back of his denim jacket and he terrified me. When I dared to purchase a Slayer album, I hid it under my couch for a month before I dared listen to it. It scared me to death, but I didn’t become a Satanist. I got into Metallica and Megadeth, before graduating to Black Metal pioneers Emperor and Mayhem. The fact that musicians in Emperor were in jail for church burnings drew me to the Norwegian and Swedish metal scene. I find this music strangely comforting and relaxing. I no longer believe listening to this music endangers my immortal soul.
Other aspects of my life would put my soul into jeopardy.
When I was seventeen, I began to hear demonic voices speaking in horrible diabolical dead languages. I saw demonic eyes, burning red, staring at me from the shadows. Arms groped at me from the darkness. I truly believed that I was in desperate need of an exorcist. So, like the dutiful and devout Catholic that I was, I went to Confession, I confessed my sins, and I told the priest what I heard, what I saw and what I felt. Instead of proclaiming me demon possessed and preparing me for exorcism, he instructed me to see a psychiatrist. I was caught in a spiritual conundrum: would I rather be demon possessed or would I rather be crazy? I chose demon possession. I allowed myself to be tormented by my hallucinations rather that acknowledge that I could possibly have a mental illness. I was eventually diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and put on powerful anti-psychotic medication. Over months and years of extensive psychotherapy, the demons have for the most part vanished from my life.
Like C.S. Lewis before me, I spent the majority of my adult life as a self-professed Atheist, falling into the traps of studying the mythological religions and the occult, only to rediscover my Christian faith while in my thirties. During my years as an Atheist, I continued to be a Christian Apologist and a defender of the faith to the last, as oxymoronic as that may seem. I would obsessively watch documentaries on the Holy Bible and Biblical figures; I would fill my bookshelf with books on every aspect of religion, particularly books on Christianity; I would, surprisingly defend Christianity in debates with non-Christians. In those years, my friends would describe me at the most Catholic Atheist they had ever met.
To be continued on the next page.