A long time ago in a land far far away, I lived as one who was deeply religious. On Sunday mornings I went to the C of E Church. In the afternoon I went to a Gospel meeting. In the evening I went to the Free Church service. After that, I went to the prayer meeting. That was only the Sunday! During the week, I went to a different Bible study or prayer meeting just about every night apart from Saturdays; there were no meetings on Saturdays. I would read the Bible on the beach and in bed. I read it on the loo - you can’t beat a good holy shit! I read it from cover to cover and committed much of it to memory. I have very interesting conversations with Jehovah’s Witnesses!
In addition to all this, I listened to preaching tapes featuring people like Willie Mullen who was an Irish fire and brimstone preacher who hated Roman Catholicism because it was of the Devil. He wanted to dance on the grave of the Roman Catholic Church. I particularly liked listening to David Pawson who preached in a much more reasoned and controlled sort of way. As far as I am aware, he is still around and I’ve seen him on television over the past year or so. I actually got to meet him about three years ago when I saw him preach at the local Community Church. It felt weird to actually shake his hand, as he was to me a bit of an enigmatic figure who I kind of worshipped from afar a long time ago. But not any more. I don’t believe a word of it now; it was all a fantasy - I just didn’t realise it at the time, and I hadn’t thought it through in a logical, rational, reasoned, objective way. This was during my time in Cyprus. It was against this background and state of mind that I had a friend called Sid who came to stay with my wife and I for a few days one summer.
During the time that Sid was staying with us, we were all (the three of us) sat round having breakfast one morning. We preferred breakfast in the morning, it seemed more appropriate than in the evening or the afternoon! However, on this occasion, there was a bit of a strange atmosphere surrounding Sid. He wasn’t smiling much. He wasn’t saying much either. He looked serious. Very serious.
“This looks serious” I thought to myself. I could sense it was serious.
Presently, Sid spoke in a serious tone.
“Did you hear anything last night?”
“No Sid, why - what happened?” I replied in words to that effect.
“The Devil was in the room with me, and I was doing battle with him.” He then proceeded to tell us how the Devil had been accusing him of all sorts of evil transgressions, trying to make him doubt his faith - amongst other no doubt infernal accusations. I can only assume the Devil was standing at the end of his bed. Maybe Sid had eaten one too many Mars Bars and had a case to answer!
“But I didn’t let him get to me”, continued Sid, “I hit him back with Scripture.”
Now, I don’t think this means that he was throwing Bibles at him, but rather quoting Bible verses at him. He went on to relate to us how the Devil could not withstand this onslaught from the Word of God, and had to flee, no doubt taking all his legions of demons with him!