“The Devil is a liar”…
By Fred Comella
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
Everywhere we look, from our houses of government, to the courts, and from the lowest to the highest levels of academia, we hear the incessant drum beats of so-called “equality” and “inclusion” played for the masses as fronts for historical revisionism and low accountability. The politics of personal values, as they relate to ones beliefs, have been hijacked by a small but extremely vocal and relentless group of folks, bent on changing the dynamic of issues like traditional marriage, homosexuality, abortion, and faith. And while I’ve always tried to remain neutral, in the hopes that I might not be “broad-brushed” as intolerant or bigoted, it has become increasingly obvious to me that these misguided among us simply will not be satisfied with our collective desire to be non-judgmental, but rather demand total acceptance of their personal belief systems in spite of our own.
Now as Christians, we understand that this is not possible in the eyes of God and as it is defined in Scripture. Moreover, we find ourselves defending the beliefs we hold dear, not in the sense that they are somehow wrong or intolerant, but as they are clearly the antithesis of those held by the aforementioned vocal minority seeking validation.
Now please pardon me this month if I seem overly political, however nothing could be further from the truth. I’m simply frustrated by the razor sharp clarity I feel in my heart on the matters of traditional family and the like, as a means to address many of our societal ills. To be clear, my Savior would not approve of my judgment of others, but for to explain His teachings and those of Scripture as my reasoning for the things I hold dear. Nevertheless, I do believe there are clear and obvious consequences to a life lived in sin, and I cannot or will not deny that for the sake of political correctness or some societal “trend”. Moreover, as someone who was, is, and always will be a sinner, and as someone who has walked through his share of fire with more surely to come, I cannot emphasize enough that I see it as my responsibility as a Christian to pray that His saving grace might visit on anyone who needs it, and to try, without condemnation, to bring them into the light. In short, condoning that which we understand to be Biblically wrong must be the greatest hypocrisy.
So as I struggle for the correct analogy and/or group of words which adequately reflect my deep sadness at watching the wanton dismantling of our Judeo-Christian value system in favor of that which is without accountability or reason of family, let me instead tell you of a man whose entire life speaks to that battle, as well as the will of Jesus Christ and the power of His healing love in our lives. His story is a poignant record of turmoil to triumph, and from sin to a sense of purpose and worth.
… I was immediately struck with a feeling of apprehension. I was about to hear an all too real story of victory, snatched from the jaws of defeat, a story of Christ over the Devil, and of the power of a living God in our lives. In fact I had already read the story, but now the man who lived it would tell it to me in his own words, complete with all the riveting pain and joy, and in his own words. 43 year-old New Jersey native David Arthur told me straight out, “THE DEVIL IS A LIAR”!
David never knew his dad, as he’d committed suicide before he was born. As a young child, he was molested by more than one individual, but explained to me that while these facts of his life certainly affected him, and may have contributed to his fall, they were not excuses for his life’s choices. David’s childhood was a blur of drugs, alcohol, and the homosexual lifestyle, driving him to run away from home numerous times, to the point where the state finally stepped in and placed him in an all-boys school.
Not unlike many young folks lost in the battles of depression and family strife, David actually excelled to an above average standard in terms of his school work and intelligence level. Sadly, this would not be the trigger he needed to break the bonds of sin, already engulfing him with the fiery speed of a Devil in hot pursuit of his soul. By the age of 14, David’s growing love of the street ways had taken over his entire life. He’d finally run away for good and was prostituting himself on a regular basis. He was dressing as a woman, taking female hormones, and was fully engaged in a lifestyle that included an endless cycle of parties, sex, drugs and alcohol. Worse yet, this hapless young boy, completely taken in by the evil one, was now HIV positive as a result. My heart sank as David delved deeper into the hidden world of homosexual and transgender prostitution, a world of confusion and lies that would nearly kill him.
As David’s life continued to spin out of control, one sin seemed only to lead to another as he was now gambling and selling drugs on a regular basis. David’s partners were many, some paid, others not. His health had become an issue and was now rapidly deteriorating. Doctors explained that he now had the beginnings of osteoporosis, and was suffering from diabetes. And as if things could not get any worse, David’s nefarious activities had drawn the attention of law enforcement and he found himself in county lock-up at the age of 17. David would eventually serve the better part of two sentences in state prison. He told me that in prison, the inmate population saw him as somewhat of “a commodity”. Comporting himself like a female, David felt a misguided sense of belonging, and even enjoyed his time there, at least to the degree that he could even understand true happiness or enjoyment. So with that misplaced sense of belonging, David set about doing his time and “living” his life.
David’s illnesses continued to worsen in prison however, and he eventually began to find himself longing for something he could not quite understand or identify. Time, especially time spent in jail, can do this to a man. Having worked as a Correctional Officer at the state and Federal levels, my interaction with inmates bears this out. David explained that it was during this period he began to wonder why whenever a certain Correctional Officer or (CO) would come walking by his unit, the other inmates would scramble and say, “Let’s go… Here comes Bishop”. (To this day he doesn’t know the CO’s real name).
Now something else I know a thing or two about, are the nick-names that tend to follow a C/O in prison. With that said, David told me that “Bishop” was a saved man and would try and touch as many in prison as he could. David began to speak with Bishop who procured a Bible for him. He began to read that book and to listen as “Bishop” explained to him that “this was not who God had made him to be.” (Romans 1:27) For the first time in his life, David had come across a person who wanted absolutely nothing from him, but rather only wanted to give something to him. This was strange and almost alien to David, but he simply needed to know more of this saving God Bishop spoke of. There conversations continued and David’s interest continued as well.
David was eventually released from prison however, and in his own words, he “returned home to NJ to die”. Suffering from massive infections in his brain and mini-strokes brought on by a devastated immune system ravaged by the virus raging inside of him, David was now walking with a cane, (and eventually a walker), and was living at his mother’s nearly confined to a hospital bed. Doctors had told him they could do no more for him and that he would likely pass at home. The devil, had apparently done his job well with this chain smoking addict, and stood proudly poised to claim his prize in short order. Oh, but Christ was not prepared to accept defeat in David’s life…
David hadn’t forgotten his friend in prison, and remembering his words of encouragement, began crying out for God to “take it all away”. Take away the pain of addiction and sin. Take away the misery of depression, loneliness and sickness. Take away the anguish of living without the knowledge of His love and mercy. David had reached the lowest point in his life and was surrendering to God no matter the consequences. He was begging for Christ to intervene in his life and either save him or take him home to Heaven. He knew with certainty, that his life was in the hands of his maker, and strangely he wasn’t troubled by that. He prayed with the power of man struggling to throw off the enemy in favor of his one true Savior, and he pledged everything he was about, everything he would become, and everything in his life. He knew at that very moment, that if it was His will, he would move on or go home.
It was 2010 and it was suddenly very quiet. For the first time in his life, David was truly unafraid……..
Within three months, David was out of bed and walking unassisted. His T-Cells were normal and his “viral load” was that of a man without any trace of the HIV virus. A nurse practitioner who visited him regularly confirmed what the doctors just would not admit outside of the diplomas hanging on their walls, “it was a miracle”, my God it really had to be a miracle…
Subsequent visits to the doctor’s office were no less dramatic, with the medical team explaining that “it must have been a radical diet change” or some other anomaly which was causing David’s “miraculous” recovery. David knew better however. How then would they explain that his bone density was now off the charts and he’d seemingly reversed the effects of osteoporosis which had left him nearly bed ridden just months earlier? How was it that the burning brain infections and fevers that had threatened to kill him were now eradicated? David had even signed off of the psych medications he was taking for treatment of PTSD, as well as other ant-depressants, telling his therapist: “I just don’t need these anymore”. “I don’t need you anymore”. “I have God”!
David was “on fire for the Lord” as he described it, and there was no stopping him. Even a subsequent battle with colon cancer could not impede him, as his doctors explained that following corrective surgery, he was cancer free and without ill after affect which often accompanies such surgeries. There are simply no limitations to the power of Christ’s intervention so long as you accept His love and forgiveness of sin, David explained. He has even dropped from a massive 415 lbs. to 290 all while simply praying for the guidance and life discipline only He can provide.
Needless to say, that by this point in our conversation, the power of David’s testimony had left me in awe and slightly shaken. Don’t tell me of your conflicts. Don’t tell me of your need for acceptance or validation. Don’t tell me of your anguish over your station in this life. And while we all have our “crosses” to bear, none is greater than His or its power to overcome yours…
Now there will be those who dismiss this story as the extreme, and still others who try and paint David as misrepresenting his sexual orientation or previous lifestyle for the purposes of promoting his faith. And indeed there have been those from David’s past who’ve sought to derail his journey back to the light of the world. Well my friends, denial has become far too prevalent in our society today, and many of those same nay-sayers now seek David out, but for different reasons, begging him to help them find what he has found. Begging to understand how the death in his eyes has now become a sparkling light. David tells them simply. “It’s free for all those who truly seek it”!
David’s story is indeed one of hope and rebirth, of a sheep gone astray of its shepherd, manipulated by the evil one, and then saved by the grace of a loving and forgiving God. And so looking at it through that lens, I asked the now Hancock ME. Resident, what’s next? David told me that he now regularly networks and travels to tell his story to any who would listen, he hopes to eventually initiate “halfway house” projects for those trapped by the LGBTQ lifestyle. He explained that while there are intervention houses for all of the related issues of drugs and alcohol, there aren’t any to provide the assistance and spiritual guidance to folks confused by the myriad of misinformation being spewed by the modern media today. David believes that this type of support network is essential in providing everything from day to day living quarters for those on the street who’ve been shunned and cast out, to spiritual and scriptural guidance away from the darkness of sin. There is hope he tells me, and he is motivated as only God can motivate, and by the power of the Holy Spirit that saved him, to help rescue those lost souls trapped by a lie of monumental proportions.
To that end, David is available to speak on request and has traveled around the country in support of His message, and under the banner of his own ministry, “I Belong, Amen”. I truly hope that you are as moved by this short and wholly inadequate representation of a life changed as I have been, and that you might consider supporting David’s efforts as he goes to set the record straight. Ultimately and for my part, I believe it will not be an election so much as all of us striving to live as God intended us to live first, which will allow us to turn this mighty ship around. David is living proof of that. And to the extent that it is not my place to judge my fellow man, I must also be unafraid to state the truth, as David has…
Be joyful in the risen Lord today and always…
You can learn more about David Arthur at ibelongamen.com or contact/write/donate at PO Box 176, Hancock, ME. 04640 or call (207) 669-4242.