Love Hurts? An Interview About Domestic Violence with Vision of Hope Ministries

19 09 2010

Black and blue is not the color of love. But sometimes people paints it to others who they suppose to give their love. We shouldn’t  expect domestic violence in a relationship but in this fallen world we need to open our eyes to reality.  It really happens. A nightmare comes true when boy beats girl. A very painful truth.

Jason Sweeton of Vision of Hope Ministries gave us some dose of this sad reality and much more as we talk about domestic violence.

ROCK Ministry: First let me ask about your ministry and who do you minister?

Jason Sweeton: Vision of Hope Ministries is a Christian counseling ministry. We were started to minister to the victims of domestic violence. We also counsel teens in their many issues from cutting, depression, and sexual abuse. We counsel the victims of sexual abuse and post traumatic stress disorder. Our counseling centers also provide family and marriage counseling. Our centers treat much more though. We have counseled everyone from people that don’t go to church to pastors and missionaries and their families.

V.O.H.M. was started as an answer to a local problem in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. God had been dealing with my mother Joyce Sweeton for some time to start a ministry for battered women. At the time I was serving as the chaplain of the Chattanooga Rescue Mission. C.R.M. is a emergency homeless shelter in Chattanooga. I noticed women and children being brought to the shelter by the police from domestic assault situations. The women and children would stay at the most a couple of days and return to there abusers. I realized the women felt they had no choice. C.R.M. didn’t have the facilities to help them.

In 1997 I resigned from C.R.M. and with my mother we started V.O.H.M. to help the victims of domestic violence. The ministry God called us to do has grown beyond our expectations. We have ministered to 4,745 women 23,725 children 1,265 men in the past thirteen years. God has blessed us with the opportunity to lead 14,867 people to Lord Jesus Christ. We now have ministries in four states here in the U.S.

V.O.H.M. administers counseling centers, clothing and food distributing ministries for the homeless and poverty-stricken. V.O.H.M. has three 24/7 hour mission churches in Georgia and Tennessee. We have 11 full time missionaries and 54 volunteers. God has allowed us to counsel women and men in sixty five countries by way of the internet. Men and women who need help but we would never be able to reach any other way. God has blessed us so much. Our key purpose is to help people. We know no better way to help people than to share Jesus Christ with them. Jesus is at the center of everything we do here at V.O.H.M.

ROCK Ministry: I have a straight forward question: Why do guys sometimes beat girls?

Jason Sweeton: A batterer abuses because he wants to, and thinks he has a “right” to his behavior. He may think he is superior to his partner and is entitled to use whatever means necessary to control her.

ROCK Minstry:  Why does this kind of violence commonly happens in a relationship?

Jason Sweeton: Domestic violence often occurs because men may believe:
1 they have the right to “control” their female partners in any way necessary.
2 “masculinity” is physical aggressiveness
3 they “possess” their partner.
4 they should demand intimacy.
5 they may lose respect if they are attentive and supportive toward their girlfriends.

ROCK Ministry: What are common abuse women undergoes in domestic violence
Jason Sweeton: Domestic Violence includes a wide range of abuse including:
1 Physical Assaults
2 Sexual Assault
3 Psychological abuse
4 Threats
5 Intimidation
6 Emotional abuse
7Isolation
8 Manipulation of children
9 Economic control
10 Destruction of property or pets

RM: What are the physical and emotional trauma attached to those experience?

JS: Victims of domestic violence often experience emotional systems like:
1 Having unwanted thoughts or pictures in the mind about the abuse when nothing’s happening to remind you;
2 Suddenly reliving the abuse as if it’s happening again;
3 Getting distressed or upset when reminded of the abuse;
4 Having the kinds of physical reactions when being reminded of the abuse that it’s usual for people to get when they’re frightened, like the heart beating faster, the breathing speeding up, the muscles getting tense, getting butterflies in the stomach, and other things;
5 Trying to avoid thoughts and feelings that remind you of the abuse;
6 Trying to avoid conversations, activities, people and places that remind you of the abuse;
7 Being unable to remember some important things about the abuse;
8 Losing interest in things like the job you were doing before, or the social activities or other things you used to like;
9 Feeling detached or cut off from people around you;
10 Feeling emotionally numb; so that would mean being unable to experience some feelings, perhaps loving or joyful ones, and being unable to cry;
11 Feeling as if you’re bound to die before your time or that you won’t achieve anything in life; not expecting to live to raise children to adulthood, or to be able to get a good job, and so on.
12 Having difficulty falling or staying asleep;
13 Feeling anger and grief about what happened.

RM: How can someone who says he loves a girl ever raise his hands to that girl?

JS: This one will be fairly simple, he can’t. love is not just word and feelings it is actions. Violence at it’s root is an action of selfishness and hate not love.

RM: What are the signs that most likely identify an abusive partner?

JS: Early warning signs that your date may eventually become abusive:
1 Extreme jealousy
2 Controlling behavior
3 Quick involvement
4 Unpredictable mood swings
5 Alcohol and drug use
6 Explosive anger
7 Isolates you from friends and family
8 Uses force during an argument
9 Shows hypersensitivity
10 Believes in rigid sex roles
11 Blames others for his problems or feelings
12 Cruel to animals or children
13 Verbally abusive
14 Abused former partners
15 Threatens violence

Common clues that indicate a teenager may be experiencing dating violence:
1 Physical signs of injury
2 Truancy, dropping out of school
3 Failing grades
4 Indecision
5 Changes in mood or personality
6 Use of drugs/alcohol
7 Pregnancy
8 Emotional outburst

RM:  What should a girlfriend do if she wants to get out of this relationship?

JS: Gather the support of your friends and family. Confide in your friends about your situation. Your friends and family should help for the first couple of weeks after your break up.

Make sure your mind is clear when you break up with your boyfriend.

If your afraid your boyfriend may harm you after you tell him you want to break up, take at least one friend with you, keep a cell phone by you at all times, and have another one of your friends waiting in a car outside so you can quickly escape.

If you are afraid of him harming your friends and family, do not even tell him about breaking up. Gather all your belongings ( Without him noticing of course) and leave immediately. Notify him that you have left him, and tell him that you are going to file a restraining order against him. This should be enough incentive for him to leave you alone.

File a restraining order against him. Do not answer his calls or texts.

Make sure he doesn’t know where you are. You may have to live in motels for a couple of weeks, but in the end, it will be better than having him find you. If you have children, keep your children with you at all times.

RM: There are girls who undergone this abuse and feels that no one will ever love them. What can you say to those girls who feel hopeless?

JS: The thing you need to keep in mind domestic and dating violence is an isolating experience. Let them know they are not alone. Simply put be a friend. Never push them to do anything they are not ready for. It will only make them feel more isolated and alone. Let them know you love them and will always be there for them. Above all else let them know Jesus loves them and is concerned about there suffering. When they are ready to seek help be prepared to act quickly.

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Basta Advice ni Kuya: ROCK interviews Kuya Kevin Sanders

19 06 2010

Love, sex and relationships. These three grabs Pinoys interest. You don’t believe me? Well check out tons of Mexican and Korean telenovelas out there. Or your neighborhood sari-sari store pocketbooks for rent. Or try to tune in the radio to hear Joe D’ Mangos wannabes. Filipinos love talking about these topics.

ROCK Ministry recently got a hold with Kuya Kevin Sanders, a campus minister, author and host of the radio show “Basta Love Life” and asked some questions about his blog, books, radio and campus ministry.

ROCK Ministry: How did all this things happen? Did you plan all this? When did you start being a kuya?

Kuya Kevin: I became a Christian when I was very young.  A few years later (my teenage years) I felt that God was calling me to serve Him.  It didn’t make much sense to me at the time because I’m more of an introvert (shy type).  But God has continued to confirm this decision.

To make a long story short, I got interested in missions when I was in college.  I told God I would be willing to go if He would make a way.  He eventually did, and I ended up here.  One of the reasons I chose Manila is I really wanted to work with college students.  There are hundreds of thousands of them here, so I have plenty of work to do.  This is my dream job!

ROCK Ministry:  There are lots of people especially in the media that has this love advice segments or columns. Dr. Love copycats are like mushroom here. So tell us what makes your advice different from those gazillions out there who wants to take a stab on someone’s relationship problem?

Kuya Kevin: The show was started in part as a response to some of the shallow, worldly advice that seems so prevalent on some shows.  Erwin (my co-host) got the idea while on a late-night bus ride.  He heard this radio “counselor” telling a caller that same-sex relationships are OK as long as you are in love (definitely not what the Bible teaches).  We started talking about doing our own show–a show based on biblical principles.

I think what sets us apart is the biblical approach.  We stick to the Word and try to make it very practical and relevant.

We are also careful to avoid legalism.  The Bible gives us some clear guidelines (such as saving sex for marriage), but I’m afraid some Christian teachers and authors go a little overboard.  It makes me think of Paul’s words: “Do not go beyond what is written” (1st Conrinthians 6:4).

ROCK Ministry:    One question that rises is: you are American, so how can you give advice to Pinoy considering the culture background?

Kuya Kevin: Well, part of the answer is this: many of the issues I deal with are common among youth/singles all around the world.  Sometimes I find myself personally relating to questions I’m asked–things I’ve experienced myself when I was a student in the States.

But culture does play a role.  I had already lived in the Philippines for a few years before I started doing purity seminars–I didn’t start this as soon as I stepped off the plane.  In other words, I had a pretty decent understanding of Filipino culture by the time this aspect of ministry developed.

ROCK Ministry: Wow. So what can you say about Pinoys and how they handle their love life?

Kuya Kevin: I think Filipinos tend to take courtship very seriously.  The process is a little more formal than what we do in the States.  We Westerners, for example, only use the term “propose” to refer to a marriage proposal.  We don’t make a formal proposal for courtship.

I hate to admit this, but the Filipinos’ biggest problem is they are starting to act like Americans–having premarital sex, having children outside of wedlock, cohabitation (living together outside of marriage), etc.  The traditional Filipino values more closely match the biblical teaching on love, sex, and marriage.

RM: What do you think makes good advice?

KK: First and foremost, good advice is based on the Bible.  Beyond that I think keeping things as simple and as practical as possible is the way to go.

RM: In your experience as a campus minister, what are the challenges you face daily as you minister to students? Do you have an unforgettable story you can share with us?

KK: The ministry I do is kind of unique in that I spend a great deal of time outside the church.  Most of my ministry happens in schools, with students that may not have any spiritual background.  The greatest challenge is reaching out and being patient with the students’ responses–even those who are not interested in the gospel.

I’m not sure that I have one favorite story–there are so many.  Celebrating victories is important, so I make sure to reflect on every life I see changed by the power of the gospel.

RM:   I’m also a campus minister and I learned a lot from listening to students when they pour their hearts out. It’s not just to connect to their generation but to share what I experienced. How about you? What is the most important lesson you have learned while these college kids express how they feel?

KK: The most important thing I learn is whatever is going on in that particular student’s life.  It is a great honor to have someone share his or her life with you.  I’ve learned that just being willing to listen goes a long way in doing ministry.

RM:  Who do you seek for encouragement and advice?

KK: My parents have been a source of support and encouragement for me.  They’ve always told me to do whatever it is God is calling me to do.

I have some great friends, and each of them encourage me in different ways.  Some of them may just hang out with me for coffee and a movie.  I have a friend in the States who has known me since college.  He’s the one I usually email to talk about issues in my personal life–I can pretty much tell him anything.

I’ve also been blessed with some great mentors over the years.  I still keep in touch with most of them.

RM:  Lets get to your books, you wrote two of them. Can you tell us about the books? How did you get the idea to put out a book?

KK: It all started with the blog (KuyaKevin.com).  I was looking for a way to connect with students I met in seminars–a way to keep sharing my thoughts with them once the seminar was over and they go back home.  I started blogging as a way to share advice.

Students were responding to my blog articles, so I kept writing.  I contacted Church Strengthening Ministry (CSM, my publisher) after a year or so of writing–it seemed publishing was the next logical step.

That’s how Basta LoveLife came into being.

I’ll give you a little more background on Basta LoveLife.  I noticed two things when looking at relationship books in the Philippines: 1. Most of the books here were simply imported from the States.  2.  It seemed many of the locally authored books were written by women.  There’s nothing wrong with that, but I figured it was time for something written from the masculine perspective.

This first book is basically a collection of my thoughts about love, sex and relationships–from a biblical perspective, of course.

The second book, Learning the Hard Way, also started on my blog.  I was seeing a lot of sad stories in my email inbox–testimonies of those who were making terrible mistakes and paying the price. “What if stories like these were used to warn others?”  I asked myself.

I started a “Learning the Hard Way” section on my blog, and it was a big hit.  It seemed like it would make a good book, so I approached my publisher (CSM) about it.  The end result was book number 2.  Erwin designed the cover and artwork for it.

RM: Those are things that a Christian Pinoy looks for. You know Kevin “Basta Love Life” book is very Pinoy. What are some reaction of people who read that book?

KK: It’s funny you mention that.  One of the greatest honors I’ve received is hearing Filipinos tell me they can relate to what I’ve written.  It puts a smile on my face because I known I somehow managed to reach my target audience.

RM: Your radio show/podcast is great. You and Kuya Erwin make a good tandem. So tell us how do you prepare for the radio show? Have you already made your response to the questions that you received? How do you pick the questions you will discuss in the show?
KK: Thanks–I’m glad you like the show.  Erwin and I jokingly call ourselves the Philippines’ most unprofessional broadcasters.  Don’t get me wrong–we are very concerned with quality.  But neither of us really come from a broadcasting background, and both of us have full-time ministries off the air.

Here’s how we usually arrange the show:  I choose the topics and questions, and Erwin is responsible for the music and production.  You’ve heard the show, so you know he also gives his own insights during counseling segments section.  This arrangement works well because Erwin is the musician/artist.

Or different cultural backgrounds are also a big asset.  Erwin is a Filipino.  He grew up in Manila, moved to the States as a teenager, and moved back to the Philippines a few years back.   I’m an American who moved here about eight years ago.  I think it gives us a pretty good balance in terms of cultural perspectives.

RM: You have a blog, books, radio podcast and you minister to students. I think many are curious; do you still have time for your own love life?

KK: Well, it can be challenging to balance full-time ministry and a social life.  But the biggest challenge for me has been finding the right person, not finding the time.  I can always make time for the right person.

I’ll add something here–something I find a little amusing.  People have asked me how I can write a book on love when I’m not married.  Here’s my answer: my books are not about married life.

I think it is great to hear from those who marry young and had relatively few romantic troubles.  But what about the rest of us?  I think we need to hear from those who, like me, have experienced rejection, breakups, blind dates, and all the other trials of single life.  Basta LoveLife, for example, has a chapter or two on breakups.  I included this because I noticed this kind of thing was mysteriously absent in some Christian books–as if Christians never experience broken hearts.  Believers need to know God is with them in the midst of their most trying moments.

RM:  In closing, please give a message to those who follow you in Twitter, Facebook, read your blog and books and listen to your podcast. Most of them really benefited with your advices for sure.

KK: I would probably refer back to the “two commandments”: be pure and be wise.  Keep yourself sexually pure and use biblical wisdom in your relationship choices.  Do this and you’ll avoid most of the disasters.

Bro Kevin thanks for giving your time for this interview and God bless as you minister to students.





A Supernatural Interview: An Interview with former New Ager and Astrologer Marcia Montenegro

13 06 2009

Rock The Campus (RTC) interviews Marcia Montenegro (MM), former professional astrologer and New Ager now the head of CANA or Christian Answers for the New Age. We talk about spirituality in school, yoga, occult, astrology, Twilight etc., that seduces high school and college kids.
You can check her website: http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org

Rock The Campus blogsite: rockthecampus.wordpress.com

Rock The Campus: Hi Marcia. Do you think that the school has a great influence in students specially in terms of spirituality?

Marcia Montenegro: When you ask about schools, I can only answer in terms of schools in the U.S. I know schools in the U.S. have an influence on spirituality. Many teachers are open to all kinds of beliefs and this comes through their teaching. Also, events like Earth Day can subtly promote pagan views. In university religion courses, the professors are often against biblical Christianity and will try to attack the Bible or Christianity, using arguments that are not based on facts or logic.

Rock The Campus: Tell me what do you mean by New Age and occult in laymens term? How do high school and college kids get involve in this kind of stuff and why?

Marcia Montenegro: New Age is a blend of gnosticism, Eastern views, and something called New Thought. New Age often overlaps with the occult, but the occult is dealing with supernatural knowledge or power through divination, sorcery/magic, and spirit contact.

The occult is a set of practices related to various beliefs that involves gaining supernatural knowledge or power through divination, sorcery, or spirit contact. These categories often overlap each other so distinctions are somewhat artificial.

Divination, often called fortune-telling, is reading hidden meaning into the natural world or into symbols, such as in astrology or tarot cards, or gaining knowledge through supernatural means such as using psychic powers. Other forms of divination include palm reading, tea leaf reading, using a pendulum, numerology, and scrying (gazing into an opaque surface such as water, crystal, or dark glass). Contacting spirits for guidance can also be a form of divination, as well as falling under the category of spiritism.

Sorcery, usually called magic by those who do it, is the attempt to alter reality by your will using certain rituals, incantations, and/or magical tools through calling on forces, spirits, or powers, whether believed to be within or outside of one’s self.

Spirit Contact, or spiritism, is contacting or summoning spirits, whether one thinks they are ghosts, angels, the dead or any kind of disembodied being. Using the Ouija Board is a form of spiritism as well as a form of divination.

All of these are strongly denounced and forbidden by God throughout the Bible. Deuteronomy 18:10-14 lists all occult practices and forbids them. These practices were related to the worship of false gods.

I think many high school and college students get interested in these things partly because it concerns the unknown, and maybe because these things are seen as forbidden or dangerous. This often makes them appealing.

Also, sometimes people get interested because they do not realize the danger involved, and due to playing games that features these things, or seeing movies and TV shows that make these practices glamorous or powerful looking, people dismiss the danger or are lured by the power and glamor attached to them.

Rock The Campus: Some might say”Hey were just having fun. Its not like we are abadoning our faith. This kind of stuff doesnt promote Satan.” What’s your response to that?

Marcia Montenegro: Playing games or watching TV shows or movies that glamorize things God considers evil can have a subtle effect on us. It can make us less sensitive to these things, and to evil itself. If we expose our minds to occult themes, after awhile the occult does not seem so bad. Or we may think it’s all just pretend. Also, Christians should remember that they are ambassadors for Christ. Others watch us. So what we do can influence weaker believers or unbelievers. It can send the wrong message.

Rock The Campus: The Harry Potter and Twilight books are very popular here in the Philippines. They portray witches and vampires as heroes.Tell me is their a good or some say white witches or has Dracula just gave vampires a bad name?

Marcia Montenegro: There are witches who think they are “good” or “white witches practicing white magic. However, God makes no distinction between “white” or “black” magic; all magic is condemned in the Bible. There are even people in the occult who do no think there is a true distinction between black and white magic. Also, there are occult views that black magic is not wrong, it’s just a more powerful type of magic.

As for vampires, there really is no such thing. However, vampires in fiction used to be seen as scary or evil. Now they are portrayed sympathetically or even as heroes, as in “Twilight.” Although there are no real vampires, there are those who believe they are vampires. The vampire subculture contains very unbiblical views and behavior. Everything a vampire represents goes against the godly character Christ calls us to. Books like “Twilight” are softening the vampire image and calling evil good

RTC: Is their a difference between cult and the occult?

MM: A cult is a group or organization that is authoritative and dictates a lifestyle to members. People are not allowed to question or criticize, or they are discouraged from doing so. Also, religious cults always have teachings that are anti-Christian and against the Bible. The occult comes from a Latin word for “hidden.” The occult is a set of practices tied to different beliefs (see question 2). There are cults that use the occult, but the words “cult” and “occult” are not related in usage.

RTC: High school and colleges kids specially girls like horoscopes and card readings about their future, love life, etc in your experience as a former professional astrologer what goes behind that? When you read their “future” what do you see? Do you see the actual stuff or are you merely guessing? Do you feel some sort of supernatural powers albeit evil forces while your doing it?

MM: Astrologers look at planets and patterns in a birth chart and the influence of planets at the present time on a birth chart to give what they call “forecasts.” Most astrologers do not claim to be able to tell the future, but rather, they say they can see various options. Also, most astrology readings are not future oriented, but more about the person’s past and present, and what choices they have. It’s very much like a counseling session sometimes, except the information is faulty. Giving forecasts may be only 15 to 20% part of a reading.

Horoscopes are based on the movement of the moon and the faster moving planets. Astrologers look at their positions and then relate them to each of the 12 zodiac signs. Most professional astrologers look down on horoscopes as useless because they are so general. Most astrologers do not do horoscopes – they do charts. However, Christians should not read horoscopes because they are based on a belief in the planets having a meaning for our lives

Astrologers have spirit guides. These are fallen angels, though the astrologers do not think this (same goes for tarot card readers, palm readers, psychics, mediums, etc.). Therefore, sometimes astrologers get info correct and are accurate about the person’s past and present because the fallen angel is feeding this info to the astrologer (tarot card reader, palm reader, psychic, etc.). People who do these things do not think it is evil. They may sense or be aware of supernatural guidance, but they don’t think it is evil. They are not guessing.

Just to clarify, there are a group of psychics, astrologers, and others who are professional scam artists. These people usually have storefronts and big signs outside advertising what they do. This group is not the group I am talking about in answering these questions. I am talking about people who do what I used to do – people who believe in it and are usually in a New Age type of spiritual belief

RTC: Some pyschics after predicting future events say”You dont really have to believe all this stuff. Prayers and faith in Jesus is more stronger and will prevail.” Whats your response on that?

MM: .I’ve never heard of a psychic or astrologer saying this type of thing. I would say, however, that almost all astrologers and psychics who claim to believe in Jesus are probably not true Christians. They may pray before the reading or say they are Christian or have a cross on the wall, but this does not mean they are really Christian because what they are doing is against God. Even if they are a Christian, then they are going against God.

RTC: Marcia, let talk about yoga. Yoga is very popular here. From TV ads, cup noodles, corporate entity yoga has really gain grounds. What about yoga? Can you just filter out the spiritual stuff of yoga and just get the healthy benefits of it?

If one filters out all the Eastern concepts, terms, and activities from yoga, then it is no longer yoga. Yoga is not an exercise, but a spiritual discipline that is part of Hinduism. There are many types of yoga – Hatha Yoga, the kind we are most familiar with in the West, is just one. The word “Hatha” comes from the words for “sun” and “moon.”

The purpose of all forms of yoga is to unite with the Hindu godhead – in the New Age, one would say unite with the One, with God, with the Source, with the Higher Self, or whatever a person may think is some higher spiritual being or awareness. Hatha yoga is designed to prepare one’s body and mind for deeper levels meditation found in more advanced yogas.

Whatever benefits in health that one may get in yoga can be found in other ways. Since yoga is a spiritual practice from a religion opposed to Christianity, one should assume there can be a spiritual cost in practicing yoga.

Hinduism teaches that trying to arouse the kundalini (an alleged power coiled at the base of the spine) through the chakras (the 6 or 7, depending, invisible “wheels” that range from the base of the spine to the top of the head, can be dangerous and one can even die doing this. Therefore, one should only do this under the guidance of a teacher. Likewise, yoga was once practiced only by those who were supervised by gurus. It was not for the general public and certainly not for the west.

This does not mean it’s okay to do these things with a teacher of course. The point is that the original teachings were very exclusive and esoteric, but they have now become popular and mass marketed. This does not, however, remove the danger. I do not see the danger the same way as the Hindus, but I do think there is danger.

RTC: Whats the difference of eastern New Age and westernized New Age?

MM: The New Age tends to take Eastern beliefs and make them more acceptable to Western minds and sensibilities and less complex. For example, Hindu beliefs are that a person can reincarnate as an animal or even insect. But New Agers believe you can only reincarnate as a human.

Some terms and concepts are also changed to have a more psychological meaning sometimes. For example, the idea of death is taken in the West to mean destroying something that is holding you back, such as your fears.

New Agers in the U.S. have the more optimistic American outlook on life and so don’t keep the more sober or darker aspects of some Eastern practices and beliefs. In some forms of Buddhism, one is encouraged to meditate on corpses, or on a picture in you mind of yourself as a dead person. This is supposed to help you overcome the usual fear and concept of death. However, we in the West do not hear much about this kind of meditation unless you are reading the more serious Buddhist texts.

The Dalai Lama is held out in the West to be very tolerant. However, the DL believes time is on his side, because he believes that one day everyone will eventually be Buddhist. He does not think there is another way to be enlightened or liberated – Buddhism (in particular Tibetan Buddhism) is the only way.

RTC: What makes Christianity stand out or more true than New Age?

MM:The only answer for that is that Christianity is based on God’s word and has the authority of Christ. The New Age comes from many beliefs and has no authoritative evidence or writings.

RTC: You have one of the amazing testimony that I read. Its straight out of X-Files. Whats the difference back then and now that your a Christian?

MM: The difference between how I was before and now that I am a believer are mainly two things: I have the assurance of the truth through knowing Jesus, and I have the assurance of where I go after death. Before, I was searching for various “truths” and picking what I liked. I also was not sure what happened after death though I believed in reincarnation. Still, no one had clear answers as to how this worked.

RTC: There are people who might be into New Age or trap into to it and wants to get out. What can you say to them.Is their really hope? Is Biblical Christianity really the truth that they can trust?

MM: People in the occult might feel fearful and often think there is no way out. However, Jesus is more powerful than any power in the occult, and He died to pay for our sins because of God’s love for the world (John 3:16). Jesus said that to believe in Him is to have eternal life. So the occult is death but Jesus is life. Anyone, no matter what they have done, can have this eternal life when they trust in Jesus.

RTC: Thank you Marcia, your a power house of information. Tell me about your ministry and what you do?

MM: My ministry, Christian Answers for the New Age, is to educate Christians about the New Age and the occult so they can be more discerning and better equipped as believers; I also respond to those in the New Age and occult so they can hear about eternal life through faith in Christ. I do these things by speaking, writing, being on radio, and through my website, http://www.christiananswersforthenewage.org