Cameron Clark finds Christ in his search for spiritual truth in the midst of worldly struggles
by Katie Milligan
Cameron Clark has always committed himself to the search for truth. Despite coming form a Christian home, he explored various spiritualities for years before rediscovering that true authenticity can only be found in Christ.
A junior transfer student at Cedarville University, Clark is a biblical studies major on track for a master of divinity degree. Born and raised in Centerville, Ohio, Clark asked Jesus into his heart at four years old. He then attended church with his family through his elementary and middle school years.
When Clark was a freshman in high school, he left to attend a summer intensive ballet and modern dance program at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Torrington, Connecticut, 12 hours away from home. He lived there through junior year of high school and then transferred to Pittsburgh Ballet Theater for his senior year. Since he did not get connected to a local church, Clark said he identifies this move as the catalyst for his journey away from Christ.
“I still considered myself a Christian, but I didn’t take sin seriously at all,” Clark said.
By the time he was a senior in high school, he had grown comfortable with alcohol and marijuana.
“I allowed myself to be deceived, and eventually those things took control,” Clark said. “I thought that drugs were better because they made me feel good. I began to be attracted to other worldviews and spiritual things that justified my choice.”
After graduating from high school, Clark attended Butler University for two years to pursue an arts administration and dance degree. However, he said he quickly burnt out and shifted his focus away from dance, deciding to transfer to Miami University at Oxford, where his focus became network marketing.
During Clark’s second semester at Miami, he began to experiment with various spiritualities. He visited a pagan crystal shop, which sparked his interest in the New Age movement.
“The premise or basis of the New Age is that the world is going through an ascension process by each human realizing themself as a god and becoming enlightened,” Clark explained.
He considered himself a pantheist, someone who believes that everything in the universe is God, and that God is expressed in everything in the universe.
By the end of that school year, Clark had become unintentionally immersed in the New Age witchcraft culture, and dropped out of Miami. He spent some time dancing for a professional modern dance company in West Virginia before going on the road.
He traveled for two years, seeking spiritual fulfillment in all the wrong places, he said. During this time, his drug use became more frequent and serious, as he began experimenting with psychedelics such as LSD. He said the frantic search for drugs controlled him, as he believed it was the way to achieve enlightenment.
During his travels, Clark collected several tattoos; all carry a dark symbolism. For example, the familiar peace sign on his right hand, the same one that became popular during the 1960s at Woodstock and is still common today, is actually a depiction of the magic symbol called the crow’s foot. The three-dimensional image on his left forearm is a representation of the demonic god Baal. The 2D symbol is commonly called The Star of David today.
In the future, Clark hopes to cover his tattoos with ones that better describe what he now stands for.
“Who I am now wouldn’t get tattoos unless they were Christian-themed or were going to be effective for ministry,” he said.
After two years of pursuing worldly passions and otherworldly agendas, Clark realized that his situation was dire; he had been suffering from severe depression, anxiety and paranoia, he said. The deeper his involvement in New Age philosophy became, the more he discovered the manipulation that he was under, and his physical condition continued to deteriorate. He called his parents and asked to come home.
Clark attributes his recovery to the assistance he received from his family. Even when he was rebelling against them, they continued to show him patience and love.
“They didn’t push me away, or judge me, or jump down my throat with Biblical anything. They just prayed for me,” Clark said. “People don’t realize how powerful prayer is. [It] literally saved my life.”
Upon returning home, Clark quit drugs but continued to practice healing methods he had learned from New Age to regain his mental health. He used magic crystals, spells, astrology and meditation. He even tried counseling, yoga and kinesiology. Nothing was working until the day Clark read a New Age article about Christ.
“I stopped using drugs, but what I really needed was Jesus,” Clark said. “While I was still stubborn … Jesus met me where I was at in a New Age article to heal me from spiritual warfare.”
He read Luke 6:28, which says, “Bless those who curse you,” and decided that since he had been open-minded to so many other healing solutions, Christianity was worth a second try. Clark prayed to Jesus, and he immediately experienced relief.
“I felt His power push back the oppression that I was experiencing. It was amazing, and it was nothing that I did, other than surrender to Jesus,” Clark said.
From that point on, Clark said he began habitually reading the Bible and gaining Christian insight. Watching videos from Stephen Dollins, a Christian who used to be a high priest at a pagan church, was a validating and liberating experience for him.
Additionally, Clark met a youth pastor and his wife who formerly practiced witchcraft and had since been converted to Christianity. Her story impacted Clark greatly, and the broken pieces of his life began falling into place and his relationships were renewed.
“They restored my understanding of who God is from a pantheistic view of God,” Clark said. “Very quickly, I was restored to functional relief from anxiety and paranoia. I recommitted my life to Jesus after that.”
Just weeks later, Clark felt a calling to ministry. Though Cedarville had previously not been an option, he coincidentally was spending time with friends who were driving a student back to campus, and Clark felt God nudging him to apply. Several weeks later, he was accepted and enrolled for fall semester 2017 as a psychology major, but quickly changed to Biblical studies.
Clark said Cedarville is the ideal environment to grow in his relationship with God. He said he greatly enjoys chapel, Bible classes, SGA prayer nights, and volunteer opportunities. His girlfriend, sophomore nursing student Rachel Lynch, spoke of Clark’s dedication to his faith
“He is so passionate about the Lord that it inspires me to be more passionate about the Lord,” Lynch said. “When you interact with someone who is truly pursuing the Lord, it really shows. You can tell the impact that God had on his life, and that has changed his heart, so everything that flows from it now looks like Christ.”
Clark said that from this point on, he will do whatever God asks of him and seek to become an open vessel for God to use for His glory. He admitted that if he had not gone through the struggles that he did, his faith would not be as strong now.
“Where I was at that point in life, the truth hurt, and I would run away from it until I was ready for it. When I was ready for truth, it was Jesus who gave it to me,” Clark said. “It’s so much easier for me to grasp onto truth now, because it’s truth that set me free and allowed me to heal.”
As he looks back on his life, he realizes that the truth that is the power of the Bible kept resurfacing.
“The Bible is healing me, in a way that no drug, no crystal, no magic spell, no New Age meditation or soul mate search was helping me heal,” Clark said. “The Bible is the most important thing in all of existence.”
Going forward, Clark hopes to use his testimony to bring others to Christ, especially fellow New Agers.
“Jesus is Lord of everything seen and unseen, and he called me out of the wilderness of sin that continued until I was 25. I’m a very open person, and I’m going to be authentic because God is authentic and exposes every part of Himself to us through the Bible.”
Clark is amazed at the change Christ brought about in him and claims that since coming to faith, he has realized how foolish he was to stray.
“Christianity is the most real, most spiritual, most amazing thing in all of our lives. It’s so much more than a religion, it’s a relationship with God.”
Katie Milligan is a freshman English major. She enjoys taking Polaroid photos, eating pasta, and watching Disney movies.