Thirty-nine-year-old J. Brett Prince says he was living just fine in the secular world, without faith. "I thought that I had no need for religion, I thought that the Bible was wrong, I thought that Jesus didn't even exist. I was very, very wrong," he confesses on Youtube.
To look at, Brett is a surprising advocate for Christianity. For years he specialised as a tattoo artist in satanic imagery, as his body bears evidence. He has a sigil of Lucifer tattooed on his cheek bone, a large Baphomet (goat symbol) covering his throat, a quote by famous Satanist Aleister Crowley across his collar bones and a pentagram on his left palm. Besides these, he is inked with various other masonic symbols and demonic depictions.
"This is the place I came from," he says. "I'm not proud of these things but they are going to be my tools to reach others who are in the place where I was."
Brett was raised by his mother and went to church on and off until the age of about 10. At 12 he decided to get baptised but says there was no heart-change in him.
Brett's lifestyle in fact got a lot worse. At 13 he started smoking weed, drinking alcohol, dropping acid and having sex. He also became enthralled with heavy metal music, horror movies and "anything that was dark".
A straight-A student, despite the drugs, Brett pursued study in biological sciences because he was fascinated with the theory of evolution. But in his desire to make scientism an infallible source of truth, Brett discovered many problems and questions he was uncomfortable with. "Some things just didn't make sense," he admits.
Just after he married his first wife, they had a daughter, Hayley, but the marriage didn't last. "I was caught up in my ego, my self, my worldly desires and the satisfactions of the flesh. I was very angry as a young man and fought with my wife a lot," he confesses.
A tattoo artist got Brett interested in kabalism, esoteric symbolism and theosophical thought, today commonly called the New Age movement.
So Brett studied art and philosophy and then went into an apprenticeship to become a tattoo artist. He later worked for a shop called Natas (Satan backwards) and his art became exclusively dark and satanic.
Brett did very well and eventually got his own shop, but he had rage issues and was prone to violence. He partied hard, drank heavily, continued smoking weed and exploited a lot of women. He also started taking cocaine at tattoo conventions.
At one convention he met Kim, a nude model, exotic dancer and high class prostitute, who later became his wife.
He and Kim had a very toxic relationship that sometimes got violent. He struggled to deal with the way she was making money but liked the lavish lifestyle that money could buy.
Brett's temper, resentment, high expectations and constant substance abuse, eventually took their toll.
“I knew at
that I was
forgiven”"I lost time with my daughter, lost my business, lost my career. I had a terrible reputation as a womanizer and a temperamental jerk. I was violent and judgmental. I cut ties with my immediate family and threw everything from my past in their face," he shares with tears.
He and Kim eventually got married, despite the fighting, and he begged her to stop selling herself and said he would pay for everything. Then he found she was continuing to work as a prostitute and they separated.
Brett decided to fix his life up and in his studies on the internet he came across Christian apologists, whose arguments he couldn't refute and brought into question his whole worldview.
Brett says he didn't want to be a Christian but he started being intellectually backed into a corner. "The truth became undeniable," he shares.
Brett looked at the moral teachings of the Bible and could see how much of a disaster his life was because he had disobeyed them. Once his head was convinced, his heart began to be touched. On December 30, 2016 it seemed Jesus was everywhere Brett turned, whether on TV, in a magazine or in books or in testimonies on social media. Brett knew God was speaking to him.
He suddenly felt so convicted of the times he had denied Christ, mocked Him, and blasphemed Him deliberately, that he got down on his knees in tears and said sorry to God. He then thanked God for all the blessings he had been given and finally Brett asked Christ into his life.
"I knew at that very moment that I was forgiven. Right then. I didn't have to run anymore. I didn't have to search for happiness in the wrong places. I didn't have to prove myself," Brett remembers.
"I knew I was instantly forgiven right then for free. Not just one of my sins but all of them. God knew everything I had done. Not only did He not leave me, He had chased me so hard with these lessons. It may not be comfortable at times. You might think God is punishing you but He's not, He is trying to show you He loves you. He became Christ to come into our dimension in order to show us how much He loved us through His death on the cross for us. He is supernatural, yet personal."
Then Brett felt God say to him, "Call your wife". Kim was raised atheist but she told Brett about a dream she had had of a bright, shining being, called 'Yahweh'. She didn't know what a Yahweh was but found out it was a name for God and she had been praying ever since. The couple decided to go to a church.
Brett says that despite all his satanic, expletive filled, angry posts on social media, his Christian friends never unfriended him or judged him. One of them, realising Brett was on a journey to Jesus, messaged him saying, 'when you are ready I'm here'. So at this point Brett accepted his invitation to church.
Brett says: "Satan will tell you that the church will judge you but we had never felt such warmth in our whole lives as we did there. We were smiled at and treated like family. After five minutes of the sermon, I turned to Kim and said 'I think we're home'".
The couple later got baptised, did courses and are getting involved in serving in the church in youth ministry.
"If people can look past all my demonic tattoos and masonic symbols, and look in my eyes and see I love Christ, then they will look past your past too," Brett tells those afraid of church. "True Christians want to live like Jesus and treat others like Him. You won't be judged, you won't be condemned by the church. You'll be prayed for, you'll be welcomed, you'll be loved."
Since coming to Christ at the beginning of 2017. Brett says there have been enormous changes in his life. His marriage is much happier, his temper is under control and he has no more road rage. He no longer drinks or does drugs, after stopping instantly without suffering withdrawal symptoms.
"I am more pleasant, kinder, more giving, more loving. I consider everything in my life from the perspective of what God wants and approves of. I have given up revenge, I pray for my enemies. I pray for the lost to find what I have found," he explains.
Brett encourages others to explore the roots and basis of Christianity, the authenticity of the Bible and the lives of Christians to see for themselves the radical difference Jesus makes in people's lives. "Look at the evidence for yourself," he urges. "It is the truth. I can't tell you how good this is! You can find contentment. And it's free. It's free and it's immediate."•
See Brett's full testimony on Youtube.