I was a follower of ‘Reverend Ken and the Lost Followers’
In high school, I attended the “church of the open bottle” at the Red Dog Tavern on Hunter Street in Peterborough, Ontario.
My best friend, Monica, and I had a spare (no scheduled class during that time) before lunch and so this gave us extra time to walk down to the pub before our next period.
We often enjoyed lemons and salt, washed down with Tequila.
On Wednesday nights, we’d sneak into the pub to watch Reverend Ken and The Lost Followers Band. We thrilled at the fact that we were considered one of his lost followers and bought the T-shirt to prove it.
His shows were a ton of fun with Reverend Ken on fiddle and Washboard Hank on horns, cymbals, cowbell, and (of course) washboard.
We’d all raise our beers in the air as Reverend Ken shouted, “Let the spirits enter the body!”
Years later, imagine my surprise at seeing Reverend Ken as an actual minister at an outdoor wedding I attended.
I leaned over to whisper to a woman from my church, “See the minister up there? I remember him in a very different role.” I snickered and told her about my past adventures at the Red Dog Tavern.
But instead of laughing along with me, she looked horrified.
“You did what?! Do you realize that you invited the devil into your body? By agreeing to such an action you opened yourself up to let an evil spirit inside of you.”
Those who do not believe in devils or angels may balk at this.
But I believe.
I believe in angels and I believe in Satan. Not the cartoon character of a red guy with spiked horns and a pitchfork, but rather the evil, wicked, hellish enemy of our souls. I recognize that demons are real and they are waging a spiritual battle around us and we are caught in the crossfire.
To hear that I opened myself to this enemy spirit — actually invited him in — rocked me to my core. I invited this enemy, with all his awful ways of lying, stealing, and cheating to live within me. The devil who tempts me to not forgive, to be anxious, to be bitter, to steal, to be angry, to lie.
What I thought of as an innocuous action had opened me to the oppression of the devil. Just like the ordinary young man in the satire by C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, I fell for the trap the worldly-wise demon had set.
He ultimately wanted me to disobey God. He wanted me to rely on myself instead of God.
Sadly, he got his way.
It wasn’t until years later, when I was born-again, that I repented and prayed for God to destroy the footholds and protect me from further demonic oppression.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
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