You are in: Southern Spirit » 4 October 2006 » Page 7...

Page 7

Send this page to a friend Email envolope

Wright's conversion enabled escape from satanic clutches

By Major Frank Duracher

Southern Spirit staff

Wayne Wright insists that for much of his life, few men could say they were further away from God. Wright had been heavily involved in a satanic church, rising to the post of high priest. His "worship" included everything from sorcery to blood sacrifices.

All of that changed when he accepted Christ as his Savior at the Army's Harbor Light Corps in Houston.

"Before I became a Christian, society had given up on me. I was in a psychiatric hospital, facing the prospect of heavy medication for the rest of my life," Wright said.

Shaking himself loose from the satanic church's grip seemed impossible to him. He was tormented mentally and spiritually. "The devil had an unyielding hold on my life. Everyone thought I was mentally ill," he said.

Right: Wayne Wright escaped from his involvement with a satanic church and found a new life in Jesus Christ.

 

Wright recalls that he began to see his life as the result of a spiritual warfare being fought over his soul. He had tried the Harbor Light program a few years before but didn't stay. This time, he promised himself that if he got out of the hospital, he would go back and make it work.

That's exactly what happened. Wright re-enrolled in the program and dedicated his life to serving God instead of the devil. Now he is a soldier of the Harbor Light Corps. He is an employee of the Houston Area Command, as facility manager.

Wright likens his experience to the demoniac whom Jesus delivered in Mark 5.

"I've taken the fight to the devil, this time," Wright testified. "The only blood offering I'm interested in now is the one Christ gave to ransom me!"

__________________________________________________________________

Harbor Light corps effective addition

Continued from page 1

Other weekday activities are more easily recognized. As the men progress in the program, they become involved in League of Mercy visits and even a Men's Fellowship Club. But the most sought-after privilege seems to be singing in the Houston Harbor Light Choir.

Right: The Harbor Light Choir performs at various Salvation Army functions, as well as many events in the community.

The group practices often during the week, is regularly featured on Sunday mornings and often performs in the community for special events. The choir is becoming quite famous in the Houston area, especially among non-profit agencies. The Nelsons consider the choir to be a great public relations tool.

James Privette's incredible journey to the Harbor Light Corps began in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C. A seventh-grade dropout, Privette had no prospects for success and saw his life spiraling downward into alcoholism and drug addiction. Wanting to turn his life around, but not knowing how, Privette began to pray for guidance.

Below: James Privette used the last of his money to buy an Amtrak ticket from Raleigh, N.C., to Houston, saying he was "drawn like a magnet" to the Harbor Light ministry. He is in recovery and wants to dedicate his life by helping other addicted men.

"I felt drawn to Houston for some reason, even though I'd never been to Texas," Privette said. With what little money he had, Privette bought an economy ticket on Amtrak to Houston. Soon after stepping off the train, someone suggested The Salvation Army Harbor Light.

Privette is now a soldier and has shown a remarkable interest in teaching, often assisting Major Lee Ann with her classes. He has also discovered a gift for solving mathematic equations.

"James is a good example of what the Lord is doing here at Harbor Light," Major Kenneth said.

"What appointment could you have where at every meeting, no less than four or five men come to the altar - not just because the invitation is given after the sermon. But because they truly want to bring their burdens to the Lord and give them to Him!"

__________________________________________________________________

Hogwash

By Captain Jonathan Gainey

Amazing new discoveries concerning the gospels have been developed over the last half-century. These discoveries are changing our understanding of some of the sacred texts.

For instance, as David Bivin points out in his book "Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus," the belief that Jesus taught in Aramaic has been seriously challenged, which helps us to understand long misunderstood Hebraic idioms within the gospels. Discovering the meaning of many of these idioms, such as "a good eye," which means "to be generous," as apposed to "an evil eye," meaning "stingy," will change the way we teach.

As scholars and archeologists dig deeper into the cultural setting of first century Jerusalem, more discoveries will influence our current philosophies and transform our current theology from a Greek-based message to a more Hebraic style of reflection and interpretation.

For example, understanding that a "prayer closet" is actually a tah-lit (a "small tent" or "prayer shawl," which was laid over the shoulders and pulled up to cover the face, rather than an actual room) impacts the message. No longer will we tell people that they should "go home" and pray in private, knowing that first century Jews carried their "closet" with them everywhere they went.

I believe that going back into the history of first century Palestine will help the church develop a clearer message and erase centuries of misunderstandings, such as when Jesus said to a "would-be" disciple who wanted to bury his father first, "Let the dead bury the dead." This statement is in reference to the "second-burial" system of that time, when the Hellenized Jews were influenced by Gnosticism. These Jews would bury the loved one and one year later dig up the body and place the bones in an ossuary. They believed that the one year between burials was a time of redemption when the "sinful" flesh was removed, thereby doing away with the sin so that the body could now be buried sinless with its ancestors.

Jesus' words to this "would-be" disciple were actually to say, "Hog-wash! Your father has been dead for a year. Let's go!"

Delving into the historical facts of first century Palestine will give us a more believable message for the masses. As long as we rely on intellect (Western mindset), rather than the practical, useful, wisdom of the Western mind, we will continue to perpetuate a "spiritual only" gospel.

Our beliefs are deemed more important than our actions. In other words, if I stay home and do nothing to imitate Christ, but believe in the fundamental doctrines of the church, I am safe to call myself a "child of God." But, if I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc., yet believe that YHWH is God, Jesus is His "favored and chosen" son (among all of His children) and Messiah, and that the Holy Spirit is Yahweh's power and sovereignty, rather than believing that God is one and three, I am a "child of Satan."

The influence of Greek thought on the Scriptures and theology has allowed redactors of the texts to place anti-Semitisms and angelology throughout. As more research is done, we learn that the influence of Greek thought has done more to damage the message of God than to preserve a people of God.

I have chosen to use less and less of the Westernized commentaries and stick with texts that are more Hebraic - there are far too many misunderstood texts when Hebraic idioms, parables, etc., are interpreted in the Greek or even English contexts. "The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it" is incredibly silly, considering the completely different worldview of a very Jewish Jesus who spoke to a very Jewish people in a very Jewish time. To ignore the difference between Western and Eastern thought is to harm the message that Jesus taught.

I respect all of those who worked hard to understand the words of the Scriptures without the last half-century of discoveries, but should we allow the respect for 1900 years of hard work to outweigh the discoveries of the last 50?

 

 






Search

Enter your search terms below and hit the 'go' button



Site Map Site Map

Quick Links

Find a Center

Enter your zip code to find your nearest Salvation Army

Donate

Donate

Publications