Thomas White's Deal with the Devil
By Rod Thomas
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“There was such anger that was deep inside of me and I just felt like I want to pour (it out) like a machine gun to the world, to everything I wanted to pour into. So I started writing songs about anger, getting revenge, murder, and suicide.”
For Thomas White, playing heavy metal was an expression of the anger he carried since childhood. His parents divorced when he was a young boy. He remembers, “I was angry. Something was just keeping me angry of the things that happened in the past. Maybe it’s because my parents couldn’t be together.” Thomas bounced between his parents and finally settled in with his dad.
As a teenager, he started playing drums. He was also attracted to music that reflected his pain. “I got into drugs. Listening to heavy metal Black Sabbath and all these bands, Metallica and all these bands were feeding this anger.”
He took his aggression out on his drums, and eventually, himself. “There was times where I would take cigarettes and I would burn my arms, just to feel the pain. There’s times where I have cut myself with glass and actually cut my nerves and my tendons. I’d smash my head against the wall. (I would) Just pour out my aggression on playing drums.”
Over time, his drug use got out of control. After a night of smoking crack cocaine, Thomas’s heart started racing. A friend took him to a hospital. Thomas remembers his time in the emergency room: “I can’t breathe. I’m having a hard time, and I may be overdosing. As this is happening, I – my mind was like flipping upside down and seeing myself as when I was innocent, as when I was a child. It was like, ‘Is my life flashing before my eyes? Am I – am I – is this it, you know? Am I gonna die?’ He stayed in the hospital five days. “The doctor told me that I’m very lucky to be alive, because people that early having a heart attack from crack cocaine or drugs, don’t make it. And they told me if I don’t stop doing drugs, I’d be dead by the time I was 24.”
That was his wakeup call for Thomas. He stopped using drugs, and cut ties with his old friends. But he still needed to vent his anger, so he started his own heavy metal band, and played at local bars around Michigan. “’I want to do this for life. Because this is all I have. This is all I want. This is all I was created for.’”
But Thomas wanted more than playing the local clubs scene, so he made a deal that he thought would take his band to the top. “I always heard Black Sabbath, and all these bands selling their soul for rock ‘n’ roll. Just totally rebelling against God and saying, ‘I’ll give everything to you. I’ll worship you, satan.’” He remembers making the fateful decision: “I said, ‘satan, I dedicate this whole band to you. I worship you with this band.’ What I was doing is basically is an evangelist for anger, hatred.”
Then he learned that the message of his one of his songs had brought serious consequences. “The song was about doing your own thing; dedicating your life to satan. It was called Destined to Smell the Brimstone. There was actually somebody that took that song to heart and lived that way and was killed in a car accident. It humbled me. Humbled me to where I started thinking, ‘Is this the right way? Is this the right thing?’”
There was someone who never gave up on Thomas. “My brother is, every week, having his youth group pray for me.” Eventually, the band fell apart and Thomas was left with nothing. “My band’s gone. My music’s gone. My friends are gone. And nothing is fulfilling me. Nothing is fulfilling me. My mind was getting flooded with murder and suicide. I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m going to buy a gun. I’m just going to do it. I’m just going to do it. I have to. Because I have nothing left.’”
As thoughts of suicide swirled in his mind, Thomas had a talk with his brother. He asked if there was another way. “He said, ‘Until you have the Lord, you’ll never have peace.’ And I thought about it and it cut me to the heart.”
His brother also told him that God has a plan for his life. “I said, ‘Jesus, this is the end. I’m through running. I know You’re real. I confess and I want to see the real Jesus.’ And I confessed and I repented and I asked Him in my heart and said, ‘Change my life.’ My body shook and trembled. An instant peace came from the top of my head to the soles of my feet.”
Thomas began studying the Bible and going to church. “I had to go through some time of deliverance. What it came down to is, I needed to know who I was in Christ. I needed to know my identity and my identity was in Christ, and who God created me to be.”
Today, Thomas has a wife and children. He still plays drums, but now it’s
to worship Jesus. “He delivered me from the chains that were wrapped around my soul. Only Jesus can break those chains. He calmed the storm that was in my heart. He gave me peace, peace that surpasses all understanding, in my mind, in my will and emotions, picked up the pieces in my life… Made all things new and gave me a beautiful family.”
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