Leaving the Dark Arts of Santeria
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“She's telling me about events that have happened in my life, like the sexual abuse and things like that, that I never told anybody. And the fact that she knew this, I'm like, 'Oh, this is some legit stuff,'" said Jon Clash.
He left his turbulent home at age 17 and spent years in gangs dealing and using drugs. One night a friend invited him to a party, where a woman who changed into multiple personalities made Jon a promise.
Jon remembers, “She said, 'Hey, I know that you want to...', she didn't say 'I.' She said, 'We know that you want to be this famous rapper. We know you want money. We know you want to be on stages around the world and we're going to give it to you. All you have to do is make an altar, and you got to wear these beads, and say what it says on the back of the candle, and keep it lit, and keep the altar nice, and we'll give you everything.' I'm looking at it as if it works, I get money, and fame, and all of this stuff, then awesome. If it doesn't work, what did I lose? I lit some candles.”
Jon built his altar and for several months continued to attend the fortune telling events. “The deeper I got, I started now asking questions,” says Jon. “I'm like, 'So, what is it that we're actually doing here?' And she said it's called 'Santeria.' All of these different times that she changes into a different person or a different personality, that's her being possessed by one of the Catholic saints. And you know, these are saints. They're from God. So they want what's best for you. Why would something from God ever want to do something evil to you? And since I have no spiritual discernment at all, I'm like, 'Alright, I guess that's a good thing. You know, I went to Catholic churches. They light candles to the saints too.' So it just, there was no red flags going off in my mind.”
Jon invested everything into his music career but was met with disappointment when it failed to take off. He continued to light his candles and was introduced to a group of Christians that helped him find success in home-based business.
“I got invited to church and this was kind of my first experience going to church, but they were also really into personal development and the law of attraction,” said Jon. “And they say, 'Oh, quantum physics shows that the law of attraction is real, that your thoughts create reality and what you say vibrates into the universe and brings whatever you're saying back into your life. So, make sure that you're only saying positive things. Make sure you're only thinking positive thoughts.' And so it trapped me in this, I call it the secret cycle, in where I can't think anything negative, I can't speak anything negative. I didn't realize that this was a spirituality. I thought that it was just "science." Then I got invited to another church, I was down at the front, all emotional, giving my life to Jesus, essentially.”
Jon continues, “So after that, I'm thinking about what just happened and I'm like, 'I'm not a Christian. I don't even know what that means.' I had no idea if there was good reason to believe that Jesus rose from the dead. So, I just went on a journey to research different worldviews. And when I did that, I just came to the conclusion that Jesus Christ did rise from the dead, and then what do you do with that? So I put my faith in Him as my Lord and Savior, but I carried everything that I was doing into my Christian walk.”
He continued to practice the law of attraction and Santeria, yet despite financial success, he still had no peace. “So I'm a spiritual mess. I'm still angry all the time. I'm still like wrestling with depression and being sad and I'm just at the lowest of lows,” says Jon. “I end up moving and I'm staying with my mother and right down the street was a church and it was a Bible believing church. This is my first time going to a church where the people just read the Word of God verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book. I learned more in my time in that church about what a true relationship with Christ actually looks like than I had ever learned before.”
As Jon quickly grew in his relationship with God, he tore down his altar and stopped practicing the law of attraction. True discipleship changed his life. “Just being around them changed me. The Holy Spirit worked through them and through me in my life into where now I understood what a real relationship with God is. It's not this, 'I do these things so I can get something from God.'"
Today, Jon loves to share the gospel both online and in the mission field, enjoying the peace he found only in Christ.
“Jesus to me is my everything. He's all that I need. I have had, as Paul says, 'I know what it's like to have plenty. I know what it's like to lack. And in Jesus I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,'" says Jon. “There's no way that you could look at somebody who's done all the things that I've done and say, 'Yeah, that guy's gonna make it to heaven.' That assurance in putting your faith in Christ when all else is just going wrong in your life and things are in shambles, but you have that assurance that for an eternity you're never gonna have to worry about anything again. I wish I could just give that to people, but all I can do is tell you to put your faith in Christ today. And I pray that you experience the same peace that I have.”
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