Thank you to Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend Radio for recently having me on his show. I gave my testimony of having been raised faithfully attending church, but of never being born again. In my late teens, I left the church and over the next decade, became deeply involved in occultism and the New Age Movement, including such occultic/New age practices as:
- WiccaGod mercifully saved me out of this darkness, and into the Truth. He opened my eyes to my sinful and wretched condition, and I realized that no matter what I did, all my efforts at helping myself and saving myself were futile. I needed to be saved.......I needed a Savior. I needed Christ, and I needed to be born again.
- Mantra Meditation
- Yoga (including the very occultic Kundalini yoga)
- Centering Prayer
- "Spirit Guides" (which were actually demons masquerading as "friends")
After becoming a born again Christian, I spent a brief period just enjoying being in fellowship with other Christians. But then my own church began to bring in some of the very same practices I had engaged in while in the occult. The first one was so called "Christian yoga." But this Hindu salvific practice had been cleverly repackaged, and now had Christian terminology added to it. And yet it was the same yoga I had practiced in the New Age. I remembered that the word "yoga" itself meant "to yoke" or "to unite," meaning to unite with the deities of Hinduism (not the God of the Bible). I remembered that the yoga positions themselves were prayer postures designed to glorify any one of the millions of different Hindu gods. And yet, after a few conversations, I realized that my fellow Christians had no idea of this!
"The LORD your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, "How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same." You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods. See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it." (Deut. 12:29-32, my emphasis)Another thing that I had practiced while in the New Age was Roman Catholic mysticism (Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Disciplines, Formational Prayer, etc.). This is a practice that can be traced back to Roman Catholic monks known as "the Desert Fathers," and who lived during the 3th-5th century A.D. These monks cloistered themselves mainly in the deserts of Egypt. Situated as they were so close to the east, these monks ended up borrowing liberally from eastern spiritual practices, which they blended with Christian prayer (a practice that God detests). One of these eastern spiritual practices the Desert Fathers adopted was something that is well-known in the occult/New Age world as mantra meditation (using some kind of device for the purpose of emptying the mind so as to encounter God). This is an extremely occultic practice which opens practitioners up the demonic realm, and has nothing to do with biblical meditation.
In my innocence, I assumed that the leadership would be shocked when I explained this to them, and would rush to remove these practices. Sadly, this was not the case. After my husband and I eventually left our church and searched for more than a year for a solid, Bible-believing church, my eyes were further opened that the New Age practices in our last church had not be the exception....but by and large, were the rule for most churches today.
My sister and closest friend, who also had been saved out of New Age/occultism, was also having a similar experience in her own church, several states away. We began to talk constantly of what we were seeing, what was happening, and how our concerns were being received (or not received). Eventually, we began to write the Sola Sisters blog to sound a warning to the church today, and to encourage others who might be having a similar experience in their own churches.
For those who have discovered that their own churches are bringing in New Age practices, the good news is that whom God saves, He saves to the uttermost, and He has also promised never to leave or forsake those who belong to him. This means that if we are in churches that are straying from truth, God himself will uphold us with his righteous right hand, and will give us strength to endure whatever path He has set before us, whether that is remaining in a bad church and earnestly contending for truth or leaving to find a solid church.
Please listen to this broadcast and then send it on to all your Christian friends as well as those you know who are involved in any way with any of these New Age practices.
Listen to the entire interview here.
What Is Spiritual Formation?
Richard Foster's 1978 Book About Spiritual Formation/Spiritual Discplines ("Celebration of Discipline") Taught as a Christian Classic in Seminaries
Donald Whitney and Spiritual Disciplines (Spirituality Without Boundaries)
The Dangers of Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Disciplines
How We Are Sanctified: Through the Means of Grace As Given In the Bible- Not Man-Made Spiritual Formation
Testimony of a Former Mystic
Mysticism: A Counterfeit Holy Spirit
Julia Roberts: "I'm Definitely A Practicing Hindu"
The Yoga Deception
Doctor Prescribes "Therapeutic" Yoga For A Christian Woman
Rick Warren Promotes "Christianized" Mantra Meditation
In His Own Words: The Creator of Centering Prayer (Roman Catholic Mystic Thomas Keating) Reveals The Occultic Roots of This Practice
Rick Warren Recommends Pagan Mantra "Technique" For Christians