Monday, June 11, 2018

46 Years in the Crosshairs of Satan: Part I: Naivete and Folly in Confronting Satan


On November 1, 1967 I sought the living God -- coming out of a Unitarian background -- and on November 2 I was answered by an overwhelming diving epiphany which I write about elsewhere. This happened at St. Michael's Chapel at South Kent School, South Kent, Connecticut.

About May 1, 1972, at St. Michael's Chapel, a friend and I experienced the total opposite. The chapel happens to be named after the warring angel who defeats Satan in Revelation 12:7-9.

I was up late one evening in the dining room of the Old Building doing some work when my friend burst in, horrified, on me and several other seniors. He described to us in halting breaths how he had been waiting in the chapel for another friend to finish some work in the adjacent library. As he was, the communion bells rang out three times from the balcony. Thinking he was being spoofed by someone, he called out for the prankster to reveal himself. Silence. So he climbed the wooden stairs to the balcony, searched it, and nobody was there. There was no place to hide apart from where he searched, no other stairs, and all footsteps in that small chapel were most audible. A sense of abiding and evil darkness overtook him, and he fled in horror down the hill to the Old Building.

I was the only one of the several seniors there who took him seriously (or was willing to admit it).

[But too, many years later, I learned that the friend he was waiting for had a similar experience some weeks earlier. He was in the chapel late one evening, keeping track of some lower form students in an adjacent building. Then the chapel bell rang three times, no one on the campus heard it, and a dark and foreboding sense of evil came in.]

In my young faith, I believed there was nothing to fear, so I suggested we return to the chapel and investigate, pray. It was just past midnight, and as we came within 20-30 feet of the chapel, we both looked into the windows. What we saw was a darkness that was blacker than black against the diffused light of nearby buildings, pulsating, alive, extraordinarily evil and very angry at our presence. Another step and we stopped, having come against a terribly tangible but invisible wall of air that was thicker than thick, impenetrable and driving us back. All my critical faculties were alert, and the experience was as real as anything I have known with the five senses. My friend and I turned and fled. I prayed until 4:00 a.m., trying to understand it.

One clue to what was happening is that the “witching hour” is known to happen from midnight to 3:00 a.m., when covens of witches (sometimes including warlocks), those into the deepest witchcraft, regularly meet to do their rituals and to curse their enemies, especially Christians. They prefer certain days and seasons on their pagan calendars, related ultimately to astrological factors. This evil presence was gathering just before midnight when my friend was initially spoofed, and it may have been proximate to May Day, one such pagan holiday – but at the time I did not know to consider this element. As well, the Housatonic Highlands of western Connecticut and the adjoining Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts are well-known for concentrations of such activity.

I was blown away by the experience at the time. The chapel where the very presence of Yahweh descended on me in 1967 was the very chapel where this demonic presence bearing the mark of Satan himself assaulted my friend and me in 1972. The contest of the darkness seeking to displace the Light.

Across the years, I thought I had merely stumbled on such an evil presence. But only recently — and given a more complete biblical understanding of the devil — do I realize that this may have made me a marked man. Namely, I was genuinely naive about the nature of the devil at that time, and yet recklessly, foolishly bold as a believer in Jesus, coming to confront the devil. Satan is angry with any challenge. All that has followed is certainly consistent with this.

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