WHO CARES WHAT GOD SAYS, I GOTTA BE ME!
By Marsha West
May 5, 2007
For those of you who are unversed in the Bible (you know who you are) here's a word of caution: When Julie tells you she's a "spiritual person" what she's saying is that she's a New Ager - or a coward.
Generally New Agers are religious kleptomaniacs who steal ideas from Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shamanism, Native American spirituality and whatever else suits their fancy, to form their own "real and personal spirituality."
Lately I've noticed that a large number of people are saying they're "spiritual" even though they're professed Christians. In our PC world, admitting you're a Christian might create an uncomfortable situation, so mum's the word. But isn't it more prudent to hide your faith in the closet, so to speak, than to risk being ridiculed? Here's the problem with that logic. The "spiritual person" you fail to open up to may be on a quest for truth and, as often happens, God has engineered the situation to give you an opportunity to share your faith with a lost soul. Hiding in the closet makes you a coward.
Most people who think of themselves as "spiritual" are not into Christianity, they're into New Age Spirituality. New Age devotees prefer paganism over biblical Christianity. Since New Agers reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ they don't have The Truth. They want is to create their own truth, their own reality, they're own religious experience. Their esoteric experiences may make them feel "spiritual" but it will separate them from God.
Another thing New Agers are big on is Spiritualism (not to be confused with spirituality). Spiritualism uses Christian rites and prayers. For example, a blend of Christian and African folk beliefs that originated in Brazil, which is heavily into Spiritualism, is now practiced in the U.S. The undiscerning Christian who attends these kinds of services are misled into thinking it's a Christian worship service, when the truth of the matter is they're involving themselves in occult rituals that are forbidden by God.
When is the Church going to wake up and realize that historic orthodox Christianity is not all-inclusive! New Age Spirituality and Christianity are incompatible. Apostate Christianity is born out of unorthodox beliefs and practices integrated into the Church.
New Agers are also involved in Spiritism. Spiritism has blown into the West like a tornado, wreaking havoc in its path. Whereas Spirituality refers to matters of the spirit, Spiritism, once called animism, is a religious practice involving the invocation of spiritual beings. Spiritists (fortunetellers) commune with those who have "crossed over" after death.
So, how does a spiritist contact the spirit world? Spiritists claim they receive radiation, frequencies or vibrations from the dead. "Communication from the spirit world manifests itself in psychical phenomena (e.g., telepathy, clairvoyance, trance speaking, and apparitions) and in physical phenomena (e.g., levitation, automatic writing, and poltergeist and ectoplasmic activities)."
In the Bible God, not man, instigates the communication. Generally He uses angels as His envoys to humans. Not a lot is known about angels, either the elect or the fallen, but what we do know from biblical accounts is that on occasion God sent His holy elect angels to Earth to deliver messages. He also sent angles to minister to people and to protect them. Angels also execute God's judgment. Their only aim is to glorify His holy Name, and to accomplish His will.
Lucifer/Satan is the most notorious of the fallen angels. The Bible refers to fallen angels as demons, spirits of darkness, and evil spirits. These are the ones told about in Genesis who rebelled against God and fell from grace. Fallen angels have no chance of redemption. God hurled the rebellious ones out of heaven forthwith and they remain separated from God for all eternity. Theologian John Mac Arthur tells us what happened next: "At that point, Satan gained the rulership of the world, and the term world took on a third meaning: the evil system opposed to God that now dominates this planet. The system that Satan began will continue to develop up to the time period known as the Great Tribulation."
You get the picture. Since Spiritism is rife with occult practices Christians should have nothing to do with it or with those who practice it. I mean, think about it. Can you trust God and Satan at the same time? Listen to the Apostle Paul: "What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? What fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Beliel?" (2 Corinthians 6:13-15) Oil and water do not mix!
In John 8:44 Jesus called Satan "a liar and the father of lies," which is why communicating with "familiar spirits" is dangerous. They lie! In his article, "Theosophy's Shadow" Nicholas Weeks, admits that even those who are guided by an "inner voice" can be deceived:
"Channels such as [Alice] Bailey are sincere and convinced that their inner voices and visions are real Masters. Unhappily, sincerity is no protection from delusion. In 1884 Master KH wrote to a psychic of that time, giving an explanation for the befuddling of a channel or seer. "Since you have scarcely learned the elements of self-control, in psychism, you must suffer bad consequences. You draw to yourself the nearest and strongest influences "often evil" and absorb them, and are psychically stifled or narcotized by them. The airs become peopled with resuscitated phantoms. They give you false tokens, misleading revelations, deceptive images. Your vivid creative fancy evokes illusive Gurus and chelas [disciples], and puts into their mouths words coined the instant before in the mint of your mind, unknown to yourself. The false appear as real, as the true, and you have no exact method of detection since you are yet prone to force your communications to agree with your preconceptions.'"
Weeks was once a staunch believer in the Bailey teachings and a member of the Arcane School so we should heed his warning! The "often evil" spirits speak through the mouths of the willing. People who get themselves into a trance state with the purpose of channeling spirits are inviting spirit possession. Granted, some channelers are simply good actors who are writing a script as they go along. They're charlatans, in it for money or fame - or both. However, many channelers are dupes who allow their bodies to be used by spirit guides to pass on anti-God, moral relativistic propaganda. The spirits aspire to point you away from Christ, not to lead you to Him.
The Bible tells us to, "Test the spirits to see whether they are from God" (1 John 4:1). We are also told to flee (run like a maniac) from the devil who "prowls around like a roaring lion waiting to devour." Picture a lion hiding in the brush waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting wildebeest. The devil is the hungry lion, only he's in the spirit world, waiting to pounce on God's people! Even knowing this, Christians still engage in all sorts of mystical practices designed by the devil and his demons. One such practice is contemplative prayer a.k.a centering prayer, which, by the way, is not biblical prayer. You say, "Yeah but millions of Christians are doing it, including church leaders, so it can't be wrong." Oh it's wrong alright. The method used to attain "the silence" is Eastern meditation.
In an effort to fuse the cultures and to make mysticism more palatable to Westerners, occultic practices have been wrapped up in a pretty package to entice people to open the box and look inside. Inside you will find not only contemplative prayer, you will also find "Christian yoga," which is all the rage in evangelical churches!
Speaking of unbiblical beliefs, a belief in reincarnation is held by many Christians, yet it's not taught in the Bible. In fact, reincarnation is a major tenet of Spiritism! The classic form of reincarnation originated in India in the 9th century BC. In our post-modern culture reincarnation is a hot topic. You will even hear professed Christians allude to something that happened to them in a "former life." Sadly, they're not joking.
There are a whole host of beliefs about reincarnation, but the most widely touted is the view that at the moment of death the spirit exits the body and goes in search of another body to inhabit. Adherents of the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation believe they have hope as they continue their existence in further lives to work off their karma (consequences of one's actions).
Ask professed Christians flowing through the doors of a Sunday worship service if they believe in reincarnation and some will give you a cavalier "Yes," like its no big deal for a Christian to mix Hinduism with Christianity. But embracing reincarnation is a very big deal for the serious Christian. Belief in reincarnation goes against the Bible's teaching of the soul's final judgment by a holy God. Scripture never mentions that humans are given the opportunity to work off their karma. On the contrary, Hebrews 9:27 says, "Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment."
Many professed Christians are ignoring God's directive to "Hate what is evil; cling to what is good" (Romans 12:9). Hating evil means you've got to deal with it! When the Apostle Paul came face to face with a Jewish sorcerer by the name of Elymas, he called him a "child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right." Paul accused him of perverting the right ways of the Lord. (Acts 13: 10) Through the Holy Spirit, Paul caused Elymas to go blind! He not only put out the sorcerers eyes, he put him out of a job as well. When it came to confronting evil, Paul never backed down, never hesitated, wavered or vacillated. When going after evildoers, Paul had all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
Essentially mysticism is all about the quest for "hidden wisdom" or "deeper truth." And of course deeper truths can only be uncovered by the "knowers."
Far too many Christians are unaware that the Lord quite literally detests all forms of occultism. There are no exceptions. Even astrology is banned for believers. Doesn't matter if it's "just for fun." One cannot be a Baptist on Sunday and a Spiritist the rest of the week.
Which brings me to two blogs I recently stumbled on. Both bloggers say they're Christians. They also share their Zodiac signs with visitors to their site. One studies Christian apologetics; the other is a youth pastor. Gullible young people visit this pastor's site and learn that he's a Gemini. Fortunately he doesn't include discernment as one of his "spiritual gifts." If these men have read Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 18:9-12, Exodus 22:18 and other such passages, they don't take what God says seriously. Apparently they do take the time to read their astrological forecast.
When confronted with an evil practice, believers, especially Church leaders, have got to lace up their trusty running shoes and high tail it out of there, pronto! Flee from horoscopes (astrology), numerology, ances, tarot cards, tealeaves, palm reading, crystal balls, talking boards, omens or signs; do not get involved in wizardry, witchcraft, the study of Kabbalah, nature religion (Wicca), the practice of yoga (its purpose is purely spiritual), Transcendental Meditation, labyrinths — basically, stay away from pagan customs and practices. If you are currently involved in any of these things, you must bring it to an end today! Dabbling in sorcery is sin, so repenting of it is of paramount importance. And never return to it, even if it's "just for fun."
Bear in mind that the demonic powers operating in the realm of the occult are very real. These spirits are stronger and more dangerous than people seem to realize. The Bible says, "Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God" (Lev. 19:31).
The Apostle Paul knew that evil forces are ever present in the "heavenly realm." Thus he gave a warning to followers of Christ to wear the "armor of God" to protect against familiar spirits that prey on gullible humans. He gave specific instructions to the Church in Ephesus:
"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:1-12).
Take Paul's instruction to heart and daily put on the full armor of God. And be encouraged, "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Amen!
Animism - from religion-cults.com
article was first published in 2006, Going Against God "Just for
Fun;" this version has been modified with additional information.
© 2007 Marsha West - All Rights Reserved
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Marsha West is the Founder and Editor of the E-Mail Brigade News Report, an online news report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a freelance writer specializing in Christian worldview. She is a regular contributor to NewsWithViews.com, Alainsnewsletter.com, CapitolHillCoffeeHouse.com, plus her commentaries appear in MichNews.com and bibleteacher.org.
is also designer and webmaster of a Christian apologetics website, On
Solid Rock Resources. She is currently writing a series of children's
books for homeschoolers. Marsha and her husband reside in historic Jacksonville
The Apostle Paul knew that evil forces are ever present in the "heavenly realm." Thus he gave a warning to followers of Christ to wear the "armor of God" to protect against familiar spirits that prey on gullible humans.