Francis expressed concerns over global birthing rate declines and even encouraged couples to adopt if they couldn't biologically have children.
There’s a saying that goes the Lord moves in mysterious ways. We may never know why God does what he does, but we must trust Him and understand that He knows what He’s doing. Brian Cole spent a large portion of his life as a Satanist. For 30 years, he hated Christians and became entangled in the occult. However, a book that mysteriously appeared on the floor of his jail cell turned him back to Christ and changed his life. Brian Cole said that he felt like an outcast and didn’t understand who he was in Christ as a little boy.
In the last episode of “The Playing With Fire Podcast,” Cole explains that he had an abusive father at ten years old. His mother forced him to go to church, and bullies at school tormented him. Cole also says that he endured emotional abuse at church. He felt alone and disconnected from everything in his life until a group of older kids took him in. According to Cole, these older kids gave him attention and talked to him, unlike the bullies at his school. Cole realized the older kids were involved in Satanism shortly after he started hanging out with them.
Satanism was the polar opposite of Cole’s upbringing in the church, but he said he wanted to do whatever the older kids were doing. Before long, Cole found himself participating. In one of his first rituals, the kids told Cole he was going to sacrifice a squirrel. He protested, citing his love for animals. The kids said to him that Satan demanded blood, so they made Cole cut himself. He listened, and that cut was the start of a 33-year-old addiction to cutting and self-mutilation.
As time passed, Cole said that the fear Satanism sparked and the rebellion is what brought him closer to the belief system. At first, it wasn’t a theological connection, but Cole would describe it as dabbling. He would destroy Christian symbols in graveyards and ruin natives. This dabbling continued until Cole was 18-years-old. When he turned 18, Cole got arrested. With a ten-year prison sentence, Cole’s dabbling turned to full-on Satanism. He started ordering books on the occult and ceremonial magic; Cole spent most of his days reading and studying.
Cole even went as far as getting a tattoo of a cross of the bottom of his left foot. His reason? So he could stomp on God whenever he walked. Over time, Cole started to get uncomfortable with the role Satan played in his life. In 2009, Cole got arrested again at the age of 44. At that point, he realized that his life of crime wasn’t working out and something needed to change. He lost his will to live, saying that he wanted to commit suicide.
Cole started warily exploring the Bible as he started his journey of changing his life and getting off of drugs. One day, he came back to his cell and found a book lying on the floor; it was Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Christ,” a book that documented Strobel’s journey from atheism to faith. Cole said after reading the book, he couldn’t deny Jesus’ existence. After Cole got out of jail, he became a pastor.
Brian Cole’s story is one of redemption. Some people will walk away from God, feeling that they don’t need Him. However, Brian Cole’s tale shows that God will always welcome you back no matter how far you stray. Though we may rebel sometimes, God is a patient father. He’ll let us make mistakes, but He’s always there to pick us back up when we fall. If you want to learn more about Brian Cole, visit his website or Facebook page.