Dancing with the Devil: An Honest Look Into the Occult from Former Followers Paperback – 4 Sep 2012
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Until the church recognizes the real face of the occult, it cannot serve as a source of hope and lov....
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Mr. Harshbarger, a former Satanist, compiled a collection of true stories telling what led the person into the occult; the torment & terror, bondage, depression, isolation, fear, & in some cases suicidal ideation due to hopelessness that occured as the person delved deeper into the occult; & what made the occultist decide to leave & how the occultist made his/her way to Jesus Christ who was this person's only hope of salvation.
This book is also designed to inform the Christian on ways to tactfully introduce this person to Christ & dispel the fear of meeting & greeting this person. While the gospel message is in no way to be compromised, there is no one model used to introduce a person to Christ. It is important to know that most occultists are law abiding citizens who merge into mainstream society & never impose their beliefs on anyone. It is important not to go rushing in preaching condemnation & punishment of sin with hellfire & damnation. Also pointing out that their beliefs are wrong because the Bible says so will fall on deaf ears. It is important to be prayed up & led of the Holy Spirit. The Christian needs to reach out & first be a friend, reach out a helping hand if needed, listen to what the person is saying, & win their trust & let the occultist come to you with his/her need when the time is right & then you can lead this person to Christ. Once the person leaves the occult, it is going to take a long time to heal from the emotional & spiritual scars so threre are going to be additional needs that must be met. Christians cannot just leave the new converts to find their own way. These new converts are going to need your continued friendship & your gentle guidance all the more because they have given up their old life, beliefs, & friends-everything.
This book was very believable & credible. I would recommend this book to a teenager as well as to an adult-anyone that can read on a high school level. The stories came from a variety of practitioners such as Satanists, Wiccans, Pagans, Spiritists, & a Psychic Vampire so the reader gets to learn a few quick facts about different facets of beliefs & practices without too much sensationalism. This is one of my favorite books.
Also, the author welcomes questions from anyone trying to get out of the occult or anyone trying to help them at : firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I first became acquainted with Jeff, he suggested I followed up reading Kristine McGuire's book (Escaping the Cauldron) with his own book called `Dancing with the Devil`. Dancing with the Devil is a compilation of personal stories and testimonies from individuals who were caught in the darkness of their mind and involvements. Each chapter is richly educational and a testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit's work in the hearts of these, now, brothers and sisters in Christ. To use the description on the cover, it is; "An honest look into the occult from it's former followers." It took me a few weeks to finally sit down and read it, but when I did I completed the read, on and off in one day.
Before Kristine's book, I haven't read much on this topic. With Kristine's book, I found that I could easily identify with it because I've known of some individuals who were and some that still are involved with similar spirits and things as she was. However, with Jeff's book, I found it as a look into some of the deeper and darker struggles of people in which I am not familiar with, but ones that are quickly rising and becoming more common in these next few generations and within our culture.
Each chapter (which is an individuals story) has it's strengths. However, there are always a way in which people that tell their story, that you may be able to latch on to more than others. The strongest chapters for me were; Chapter 5 `The Reality of Christian Witchcraft' by Kristine McGuire, Chapter 6 `From Spiritualism to Christ' by Laura Maxwell, Chapter 7 `Escaping The Vampire's Lair' by Brian Reed and the testimony of Jeff Harsbarger. However, for me, all the chapters were strong but two of them. The chapters that were not as strong for me were; Chapter 3 `Son of Sam, Son of Hope' by David Berkowitz and Chapter 8 `Freed From Satan's Grasp' by Vince McCann. I am in no way saying anything about the testimony or evidence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of these chapters authors.
Skillfully crafted in the beginning of the book is a introductory look at the occult and the book finishes with resources and help on how to reach out to those lost in the darkness of the occult. Boiled down simply, we find really the occult's main roots are a quest for self-worth, power and acceptance. However it eventually belittles it's victim and perfectly distracts them away from a creator God, from love, from others and from true worth. In the Chapter `Dabbling with Darkness', Greg Griffin shares that he has found that the majority of all occult followers live by two fundamental rules; (1) Do what thou wilt, for this is the whole of the law and (2) Say in your heart, I am my own redeemer. Like alcohol or a drug, the quest to experiment is tipped off through the hidden symbols and references in our culture, media, mindsets and movies. After a few gateway experiments, often the follower successfully becomes an `working alcoholic' able to dabble in the occult and live everyday life. However, eventually it's addiction takes it's follower to the status of victim and confuses, abuses and rapes their mind and stability mimicking psychiatric diagnosis, that are secretly and truly spiritual problems. The occultist is not a individual on the fringe. So many times they are the person next store and you would have no idea, including Teachers, Doctors and People in the Military. So often, they are common people, like you and me, on a quest to fill a void.
This book will help you in recognizing the real face of the occult, a religion which truly dominates the world's mindset. Each chapter features quick facts and guides to difference avenue's of the occult and how to confront it. It will make you sensitively aware to the symbols and references around us in our culture, media, mindsets and movies. I have been thoroughly convicted through both Kristine McGuire's book and Jeff Harsbarger's to make sure we as a family minimize the presence of these symbols and references, into our everyday life. More importantly, for those in the church, leadership and ministry positions - through hearing the stories of these witnesses of truth, you will be more informed on recognizing signs of those involved, the traps that welcome people into the occult and most importantly you will read what works and what does not as you read on how they were delivered from the occult. Many of these individuals had bad experiences with followers of Jesus, who tried to lead them out of the occult but often just victimizing them more. As this truly old religion, grows in popularity once again, we as a faith community must be prepared with the knowledge, evidence, truth, know-how and answers to this common threat. Each author also successfully not only shares how they became involved and how deep they got, but also they bear contagious witness to the spiritual truths that enabled them to break free.
I truly believe this book has the power to encourage and remind us as followers of Jesus to focus on the Kingdom of God, as well as aid us in bringing the truth to draw others to the saving power of Christ Jesus. The Church has been misinformed for years on what the Occult is, it's time to become informed.
I encourage you to read this book to know and see the power of God's love and Holy Spirit, a power that embraced each one of these individuals in some dark places.
Here Jeff has collected the real life-experiences of a variety of now-Christians, who each in their own way followed paths into the Occult. No less than 10 examples are offered, in their own words - each describing what was their childhood, what drew them to the spiritual world, what were the effects and practices, and what ultimately was able to save them from the spiritual oppression - namely, the Demonic.
Jeff recounts again his own story and in this version I found more details of inner turmoil, more details about his own thoughts. These are helpful insights into why people turn to (evil) spiritualism. This book serves as an enlightening catalogue of how Demons entice us, lure us and ultimately entrap humans. There are common themes that emerge and are once again helpful to note: anger, feeling unwanted, not fitting in, seeking power, hearing voices, cutting and mental illness...
I am thankful this book helps to dispel the common stereotypes offered by Hollywood concerning the Demonic, and
rightly places all the salvation into the hands of Jesus Christ. And just like addicts who recover, the process is not often smooth or short-lived. (I do offer a caution though, because it appears that those who once sought out the magical/spiritual experiences of the occult, often seem drawn to the experiential ecstatic worship of Charismatic churches - and their particular bent and past addiction may keep them from seeing that many so-called churches are hiding demonic influence in plain sight.)
You never know what is going on in a person's life. Scary to think that a Satanist aspired to be a child psychologist. However, nice to know that God is still in the miracle business, every time He changes a human heart.
Wicca disguised as innocent nature appreciation, but in reality it's worshiping the creation rather than the Creator.