Reader Asks: Is it Okay to Practice Santeria and Serve God? Is This Why Demons are Haunting Me?on January 5th, 2011 Posted in Demons and Evil Spirits
A Cuban reader who wished only to be identified as “Confused” wrote in to share his experience with Santeria and a lifetime of trouble with evil spirits. Here is his letter and my response follows:
“First of us, I will be 100% honest, otherwise there is no point in posting this message here. I am a 38 y.o. Cuban living in the USA. My first language is Spanish so I apology in advance for any butchering of the English language.
As many Cubans I grew up religiously believing in syncretism (catholic religion mixed with Santeria[African religions]). Santeria is spread throughout the country and as such I have practiced it in many forms: being in “consultations” with spiritist and santeros, done a lot of so called “remedies” (using different herbs, perfumes, powders, objects, etc). I admit that I still keep some of these remedies at home.
Since I can remember I have felt a lot of contradiction (religion-wise). As I have been doing these practices I have always felt guilty as if I have been doing something wrong in the eyes of God. Nobody taught me to believe in God, I just felt it. When I was a teenager, and due to all of this, I felt compelled to go to several churches (catholic, Methodist, etc) but found so much hypocrisy and shallowness that completely drove me away.
I don’t believe in the concept of church AT ALL. I also believe in the bible but in my own way; I see it more as a history book. I believe that God can only be found within ourselves.
When I was a kid I started having strange ideas and dreams with shadows, evil spirits and so forth. Sometimes they went away of their own but other times my mother took me to see either spiritists or santeros, who were able to fix the problem at a time. 15 years ago, while studying abroad, I had a recurrent strange dream that lasted for 2 or 3 weeks. In that dream the devil (or a demon, I don’t know) was doing really bad things to me and every night I tried to battle him (even physically fighting) with no success.
On one day, in the middle of the dream, I started using the name of Jesus Christ with a lot of conviction and after a lot of fight I was able to beat whatever/whoever that was. The next day I threw away all the funny stuffs that I had over there and bought a golden chain with Jesus in the cross. Bye bye bad dream; Did not have it again.
Well, years passed and for fears and temptations of life I went back to practice (mostly when I visit my family in the island or on a demand basis when problems arose) this religion and things have been ok as a whole (I separated from my wife a few months ago but I guess this is part of life).
My madrina (Santeria priest) in Cuba told me 3 years ago that I have a strong spirituality and that I could become Santeria priest if I wanted too or that I don’t actually need a Santeria priest because I can take care of myself in this area, something like that I can be my own priest. She also said that I needed to start paying better attention to my dreams because spirits would start talking to me in my dreams.
I have been having some dreams for a year of so in which I see people (sometimes close relatives that are dead, sometimes people that I don’t know) that look and behave totally ok, but I feel that they are hiding something. I start talking to them and they seem to behave normally but I still distrust them somehow, then I start invoking the name of Jesus Christ and they become ugly demons. When I try to expel them, many times it happens that although I can see that they are afraid of Jesus Christ they laugh at me and call me a hypocrite because I call his name but act in a different way.
By the way, I have used the name Jehovah a few times and they don’t care about this name, which I find strange (My grandmother is a Jehovah’s witness). I have no idea of my sub-consciousness is playing a bad game with me or if this is really happening on a spiritual level.
Something strange happened when my father died. He was in Cuba and I was not able to go there because I did not have the Cuban immigration permit at the time. I spent the whole night awoken with 2 lighted candles and a picture of him. He was to be buried at 2 pm and I felt sleep on the couch approximately at 11am for 15 minutes.
Well, He appeared in my dream looking in his 40’s and in a hurry. I started asking him questions but he only nodded yes or no, he didn’t utter a word that I remember; At some point I asked him if he was going with Jesus Christ and he laughed and nodded YES so I assume that he was my real dad. I also told him that we would see each other again; he nodded yes and went away.
As soon as I woke up and called my mother in Cuba and told her about the dream and how I saw my dad looking happy and young that had come to say goodbye; she confirmed that he was strangely looking very young; then I asked her about what clothes he had on and she described the clothes, … exactly the same colors that he was wearing in my dream.
I wanted to share all of this with you. Your comments will be appreciated!!!”
-Confused in Cuba
Hi there, Confused. It sounds like there is an awful lot going on that has been happening in your spiritual life for a long time. I hope I can help to explain a few things and answer some questions that are lingering in your mind.
About your father’s death: When the spirit of your father appeared to you, it is significant to note that he couldn’t talk, only nod. This suggests that your father was being held captive by an evil spirit, in this case the spirit of Death, which is a demon. To be clear- all evil spirits work for Satan. You can read about this spirit here: Why the Dead May not Really be Dead.
About Santeria: You know deep down that you cannot dabble in the magical arts and spiritism and serve God fully. He is a jealous God and demands 100% of our love and worship. We just can’t half-way love the Lord and half-way do things that He hates.
There are many places in the bible that mention how God feels about spiritism and magic. Here is one that comes to mind. Deuteronomy 18:10-14 says,
“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.
“Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.
“You must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.” (NIV)
A stronghold is like a key. A stronghold is something that a demon or spirit can use to come back to you whenever it wants. Sometimes strongholds are items that we have in our house (like the “remedies” you said you keep at your house still).
Other times, strongholds are things inside us, such as ideas or sins that we have not repented from. False religion is a stronghold, so practicing Santeria can give these spirits unlimited access to your mind. Another example of a stronghold in your case could be that you believe God can only be found within ourselves.
God is a real person, just as Jesus is. They are the most powerful people in all of existence! It would be hard for a demon to take you seriously when you try to cast it out in Jesus’ name with the power of God, but not really believing God and Jesus are even real.
Demons know your strongholds and they need them. If they have no stronghold in you, they have no way to get to you. It’s going to be very important for you to find out what your strongholds are and destroy them. I’ll talk about that more below.
It’s true that the bible does have a lot of history in it, but it’s so much more than that. It is a supernatural book with power in its very pages. The bible is writing from God himself and its words hold His power.
God told me before to never go anywhere without my bible because it is his Word and a strong weapon. I even sleep with my bible next to my bed (you may want to try this).
I am familiar with your grandmother’s religion, as some of my extended family was JW. Their views on casting out demons are not entirely scriptural, as you found out yourself. Jesus told us that we must cast out demons in his name, so we do. Spirits recognize that we have this authority from God and Jesus and MUST submit to it.
My biggest advice for you now is to make a final decision, once and for all, to be on God’s side only. There are no “remedies” stronger than God’s power. There is no spirit who knows more than God does, or who can give us information that God’s Holy Spirit won’t give us. There is no need for Santeria in your life when you have the one true Lord!
I believe God has brought you to this site so that you can ask the questions you have, get the answers you need, and feel comfort inside that what you know deep down is really true. Being raised in a false religion is something that creates strongholds in our mind. Don’t worry! You can get rid of these strongholds and be done with the trouble these evil spirits are giving you!
It’s time to get saved and get these demons our of your life! Start off by praying out loud to God. Do it today:
- Tell Him you want to give your life totally to serve Him.
- Tell Him that you believe Jesus died for our sins so that we might be saved.
- Renounce the false religions that you practiced in the past.
- Renounce the items you have which are related to these religions and tell Him you will throw them away.
- Renounce the connections your family members have to false religions.
- Ask God to break any generational curse on you that has been caused by your ancestors practicing false religion.
- Ask God to let you know of any other strongholds there might be in you. When he tells you what they are, renounce them.
- Repent from any sins, naming them specifically, and ask God for His forgiveness.
- Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit and to cast out every unclean spirit from you so that you may be delivered from evil.
- Close your prayer by saying that you are praying in Jesus’ name.
Next, go throw away all those items you still have in your possession. Don’t open them or look inside. Just put them in the trash, tie it closed, and get it as far away from you as possible.
You’ll want to make sure you spend time reading the bible, praying, listening to worship music, singing praises to God, and staying full of the Holy Spirit to keep the demons from trying to tempt you back to Santeria. Remember that God is stronger than any other! There’s nothing He can’t and won’t do for you, because He loves you that much.