I have a heart for New Agers being a former one myself. Having walked that path, I am very familiar with the rich tapestry of New Age spirituality, teachings and even spiritual techniques associated with this movement. Lucid Dreaming, OBE, native spirituality, and shamanism were of particular interest to me decades ago.
What I want to address here is some Christian dogma associated with new age teaching and also some pitfalls that former new agers turned Christians fall into once coming to Christ. New agers have certain proclivities of nature that make them ripe for false doctrines popular among the church. Let’s face it, the spectrum of Christian traditions and teachings can be as bizarre and fanciful as any new age teaching out there. So, what do former new agers and new converts to Christ need to know about Christianity?
Broad Brush Fallacy
Some Christians are quick to totally discount everything this topic encompasses as thoroughly demonic, I don’t see it that way. There is without question dormant abilities that have been with us since creation. God gave us a spiritual nature and even the means to have spiritual experiences. The entire Bible consists of God led spiritual experiences. Anybody reading through the Bible recognizes the fact that its pages are littered with records of supernatural experiences. We see both God led experiences and likewise demonic led experiences. The vehicle in which we can have both are via the human spirit and consciousness we possess, a consciousness that God has created within us. In Proverbs, we read,
The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly. Proverbs 20:27
To me, this verse is saying that the “spirit of man”, or the consciousness/conscience of mankind are the vehicle in which God searches out our spiritual substance; that he uses this process to reveal who he is, relative to who we are as fallen creatures. This spiritual process is profoundly unique to each individual, and will be different from person to person. No two experiences will ever be the same. The Bible itself is justified in authority via the accuracy of prophetic writings, writings given to us by Holy men in days past. How much should we desire to live righteous holy lives in the hopes that God to can move in us?
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1:20-21
In scripture, God uses dreams, visions, angelic visitations, prophets and more to communicate to humankind. To discount these experiences and the means in which they happen is a major theological failing on the part of close-minded Christians. The vehicle of consciousness is meant to be open to spiritual prompting, especially by God through these means and through the conviction and right application of His word on our life.
If you were to tear out every page of the Bible that dealt with dreams, visions, prophetic instruction and miracles you would have a very small Bible. What’s more is that small, desecrated Bible would be absent of almost all of the prophetic words that give us insight into how the Messiah would be revealed. So, we can never fully and universally denounce the new age infatuation with the esoteric preoccupation with supernatural experiences seeing that God is the giver of such things. God is the true revealer, and he wishes all would have a seekers heart, one that is infused with a passion and awe for all of creation.
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, Ephesians 3:9-10
Having a seekers heart is what it is all about, God can and does use our longing for Truth to bring about a knowledge of Him. We would be foolish to disregard any vehicle and means in which God might use to bring us insight as to His will in our own lives.
I hear Christians from all sorts of backgrounds generalize this topic and paint with a broad-brush saying anything the new agers talk about in terms of dreams and visions are universally evil. That is not so, considering God used dreams, visions and prophecy through scripture. When I hear these things I often smirk recognizing they have no experience with such, and also they are dead wrong to broad brush the subject seeing Peter at Pentecost preached on this very thing. We are to expect it as Christians, not quench this spirit.
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: Acts 2:17
We need to be more sophisticated in thought on these topics, what we have is a Biblical model and framework for supernatural experiences, and then we have a secular-minded framework and lingo within the melting pot of new age thinking. Both are talking about similar things we can all experience in different ways, the only difference is in the way we talk about them and who is directing them. We all dream, we all have spiritual intuition to some degree, we all have a system of beliefs that we frame these experiences in, what makes them evil or good comes down to the intent in which you engage with this level of spiritual reality. Are you looking for, and seeking to be guided by God and the Holy Spirit, or are looking for ascended masters as a means to acquire power over the physical?
A good analogy on how we can think about our vehicle of expanded consciousness is to think about it like a gun. The Gun is a neutral inanimate object, it is a piece of shaped metal nothing more. In the wrong hands it is used with evil intent, and in the right hands it can be used to protect life. Shunning dreaming and spiritual experience is like strawman gun arguments, it isn’t the gun that it is evil, no it is the intent of the human wielding it that becomes evil. Our ability to engage in spiritual discipline can be good or evil, it is how we end up using it that matters.
Again, sophistication of thought on this topic is a must. I am not saying all dreaming and spiritual seeking is good, but I am not saying it is all bad either. The unreasonableness of Christians on this topic is very off-putting for most new agers, having the ability to dialog and use a common understanding to communicate spiritual seeking is never a bad thing. Paul in 1 Thessalonians reminds us what proper spiritual seeking looks like if we are to stay blameless before God.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessolonians 5: 14-23
My own personal quest to bridge this understanding was critical to my own growth as a Christian. Many ex-new agers are rife with false thinking, being mesmerized with spiritual power in general. That is why they were attracted to the new age in the first place. It is this lust of power that can take control of us and can have people doing extremely bizarre things, that are repugnant to us by nature.
Natural and Unnatural Spiritual Abilities
This is where the line is drawn in my mind. What falls under the category of natural seeking and abilities that God gave us at creation, and what blurs into that realm that falls under explicit condemnation as sorcery, divination, witchcraft, etc?
For example, the topic of dreaming. Now this is something we all can’t help but do every night, a natural phenomenon that God has used in scripture as a means of communication, but also has been clouded by a lexicon of new age practice and technique. Christians would say that any type of lucid dreaming or Out of Body experience is ungodly and demonic, but there are countless instances of recorded testimony of what seems to be a verbatim Out of Body experience in the Bible. Paul is the most notable when he says of himself,
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 2 Corinthians 12:2
So, is an advanced dreaming awareness a sin? I would say no. In fact, I would argue that one is far more susceptible to demonic influence in the course of normal dreaming people do. Shallow, clouded awareness in a dream that has them caught up in the most bizarre of circumstances and totally unaware of what is being done to them, in those dreams one isn’t safe when you think about it. In these erratic dreaming circumstances things can be planted by the demonic far more easily than if one is totally conscious of the fact that they are dreaming. In fact, the nature of fuzzy, unaware dreaming would almost preclude that is exactly what is happening, unhindered demonic attack.
Personal Experience with Dreaming and Some Thoughts on the Topic
This topic of dreaming is one I would love to elaborate on at another time, I feel my experience lends to some interesting insights, and the bulk of Biblical texts dealing with the topic are enlightening to say the least.
First, let me be clear, I don’t pursue dreaming as a discipline like I used to, but I still even to this day often have both Lucid and OBE experiences, it is a skill that one acquires much like any skill. With practice. Being aware of things as they happen in a dream puts you in more control of how a dream entity or situation impacts you. For a non-lucid-dreamer, I would compare it to the difference between being intoxicated by alcohol and someone who is maybe buzzed or even sober. Who is more likely to make a spiritual mistake? Obviously, the one that is not in control, the drunk. The same goes for dreaming, yet if I was to tell your typical Christian this they would chastise me for sorcery. They would thing bring up things like sleep paralysis and other things as proof of demonic dominion over dreaming realms. Not always the case and also another topic hope to elaborate on at some point in the future.
Lack of knowledge, experience and fear is shaping their believes on Biblical and New Age Dreaming. Most of it is hearsay from their pastor or favorite Bible teacher. They refuse to even learn about it on an intellectual level, closed-ears on a topic the Bible deals with extensively. People are quick to self-limit themselves from our spiritual natures. I know how God has used this ability in my life, I can only say it has been a net gain and is extremely profound to know that you can be aware apart from your physical awareness. This type of dreaming is accessible to all, but shunned by scientific and religious community’s alike, why? What is the larger spiritual agenda behind the devil trying to veil the natural God-givenspiritual abilities of our human souls?
I personally have had extremely profound experiences while dreaming, and can only think of a small handful of times, out of hundreds of lucid or OBE dreaming that I felt threatened or manipulated by something. The vast majority are simply just adventures in dreaming, something I don’t have time to elaborate on but in reality is just the novelty of dreaming awake. I don’t feel Satan has used my dreaming, nor do I think God has overtly used my ability or talent to dream. It is more there as a springboard for my imagination. My imagination being genuinely pure and a seeker of God and truth I feel limits any evils in the dream world in much the same way that it limits and curbs my desires in the real world. In fact having become proficient with dreaming, I don’t pursue it any more simply because I became bored with the dreaming universe to a small extent. It no longer holds a fascination enough to dedicate the time and energy to it. I would much rather deal in the affairs of men, and engage the battle here where souls are at stake. I know this is my opinion and is hardly touched upon outside of unyielding condemnation so take it or leave it as a secondary doctrine of little import. Just some thoughts on broad brushing seemingly Biblically important conduits of God’s Truth.
Now my past ambitions with dreaming has always been to seek Truth and God, I have a genuine desire to be used by him. I am open to him using that as well as anything in my life to communicate to me. I don’t seek to acquire money, power or popularity through the access of such venues of consciousness, but I am not a fool and see how it can be used by people of a power-hungry nature. I can see how they could possible heap to themselves spiritual injury in the form of demonic oppression. These things have no value to me and are nauseating to even think to engage in, but let’s face it like that gun the temptation can be there to use it for the acquisition of power.
I think what makes things like dreaming, meditation and other somewhat natural processes evil can be determined by two things; what is the intent of the heart and also how far you have strayed away from natural human possibility and into unnatural, even grotesque means to acquire knowledge in a supernatural sense.
We have scripture plainly laying out how Satan also uses the vehicle of human consciousness to work evil in this realm and the next. This is why so many Christians are afraid of the mere mention of “new age” practices. Rightfully so,
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 6:12
Some are attracted to New Age thinking and practices because they simply want power. Power over themselves, over the physical world and even in extreme cases of new age indoctrination, power over God Himself. To gain these abilities one becomes a seeker of power over a seeker of truth and freedom, willing to bend their spirits and nature into bizarre unrecognizable shapes. It is here where we draw the line as to what truly is good and evil.
To effectively witness to new agers, or help them overcome some of the indoctrination I feel we need to be able to effectively talk about everything in reason and in the Truth of God. If we don’t have an answer for the new age seeker as to what sparked our own faith then how can we be an effective witness to this growing demographic? We can’t shy away from experiences and perspectives simply because we have no frame of reference for these experiences. Again the Bible is full of insight, demonstrating how we need to think and address these things. The enemy is using new age dogma to entrap lots of people, people that need answers to deep questions pertaining to the nature of creation and the human condition.
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians, that we must have a working knowledge of all things to gain those caught up in their respective ideologies.
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; o them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Everything under the sun can be brought into the knowledge of Christ, but we have to have a working knowledge of the spiritual frameworks of the world in order to be able to win these to Christ.
From Darkness to Light
Having transitioned from the new age movement myself to Christianity I know that in a way the new age movement rewires your brains and expectations of spiritual awakenings. As a result, there are a few common pitfalls I have seen plenty of former new agers fall into, they tend to repeat the same patterns they once did, only replacing new age lingo with the veneer of Christianity instead. The process of being purged from new age thinking may, in reality, take the Holy Spirit years to rid. The twisted doctrine of Satan have a way of shaping thinking even when we are actively trying to rid ourselves of these things, looking to live righteous and Biblical lives.
Here are two very common things I have seen former new agers allow to disrupt their Christian walk.
Continuing the Pursuit of Power
Men and woman are attracted to the new age because ultimately, they want to move beyond this hollow mundane life into one of bliss and power. They are looking to overcome the weakness of the human condition, they are looking to discover insights into nature and creation that few have. They are attracted and even become obsessed with these things. So when they finally come to the knowledge and Truth of scripture and Christ, they already have a proclivity towards esoteric knowledge. Sadly, many lose their obsession with new age teaching only to plunge headlong into the mysteries of the Bible that are indeed interesting, but really only secondary in importance to salvation issues and witnessing.
Their personal fixation with Astral Travel, meditation, channeling, remote viewing, ufo’s, etc, are replaced with an obsession with prophetic spiritual gifts, speaking in tongues, Prophetic timelines and End Times eschatology. In a sense they are making a transition to Christianity with the wrong motives, they still seek power and knowledge through a Biblical framework. This leads to all sorts of errors.
The real and only mystery we should concern ourselves with is the mystery of salvation, and the work the Holy Spirit seeks to do in our life. The Holy Spirit seeks to remove this obsession with power, and replace it with a desire to be more Christ-like in everything we do.
If we love God and obey Him we are content in leaving all knowledge, all power, and all authority in the possession of Christ. These things are ultimately His. If we have any knowledge or spiritual insight it is because God gave it to us first to use to benefit ourselves and win others to Christ. It amazes me to see how Christians will use the Bible as a means to empower themselves in the eyes of others through the use and mastery of Biblical knowledge. The Gospel is there to expose our weakness, and need for Christ Jesus, not inflate our egos and pride.
There are dominations that place such an emphasis on acquiring spiritual gifts and demonstrations of power, that they are as flaky and out there as any new ager. They feel if they heap spiritual gifts and knowledge to themselves then people will believe them to be some sort of spiritual giant. Much of it is nothing more than talk and show, but it works, and many people are fooled and corrupted by such pursuits away from the true nature and meekness of the Gospel. Just because something has a Biblical veneer doesn’t make it Christ-like and a Godly representation of how God would truly have us be and act as Christians. There are many false teachers in Christian circles, and I implore any new ager or a Bible-believing Christian to examine one’s motives. Are you after the love of God in meekness? Or are you after the powers that are demonstrated in scripture? Understanding this is critical to acquiring the right spirit and motivations when it comes to our Christian faith.
Jesus said he is meek and lowly of heart, it is there when we give up the obsession for this knowledge and power that we find Him. He should give our spirits rest, not more restlessness of esoteric searching and pursuits of power.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:29
Wavering on the Knowledge of Their Salvation.
Another thing I have to touch on is how new agers often have doubts about their salvation in Christ. This has a lot to do with how the new age religion has taught them that the measure of their spirituality is how proficient they become at esoteric practices and abilities. So, when they leave the new age and come to Christ they are often seeking signs of these spiritual gifts as a measure of their faith. Nothing can be further from the Truth. Our salvation rests on Jesus and the Cross. Nothing we can do or achieve in the way of spiritual gifts or knowledge can act as a demonstration of our salvation. If you are looking for signs in your life that you feel demonstrate that God has blessed you and has elevated you to a superior spiritual status, again you need to check your motives.
The only knowledge we need is the knowledge of the Cross, the spiritual gifting we need is the assurance of our faith in the work of salvation. There is no guarantee you will experience anything other than your common everyday sober conscious self. If you are looking for a massive spiritual awakening or the performance of miracles then you still suffer from symptoms of the new age indoctrination.
The work of the cross is sufficient, to say we need anything else apart from this as an assurance of our faith is to say that we have no confidence in the cross. Big mistake.
This, in reality, is a sin, the sin of works based faith. There are a lot of denominations that say we have to have a second baptism, and perform signs and spiritual gifts as an indicator of our salvation. That is not the case at all, it is a false measure of our salvation, and is also false doctrine detracting from the work of Christ. Whether we obsess over keeping the Law or we look towards the signs and works of our faith as a measure of our salvation both are wrong. We are secure in Christ and His work alone, it is Christ that we need to look toward for the assurance of our salvation and not the signs and works of men.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:8
And if we are in Christ then nothing can take us from Him, nothing.
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:28
To me the desire to gain spiritual abilities and insights into creation is a natural urge all humans have at varying degrees. I would never condemn someone for being a spiritual seeker. People without question have an innate spiritual void in their hearts, and will do and try anything to fulfill that void with something meaningful. While not everyone goes to the extent of doing drugs, meditating or participating in occult rituals like new agers do to fulfill their thirst for knowledge, some find it necessary. It is these people I have always found common ground with over the years and have found it easy to witness to about my personal faith in Jesus Christ. Please Sign-up for our Newsletter and Like us on Facebook, for updates
I personally pushed myself to the spiritual limits in a quest for truth, I also assume that any new age adherent at their heart desires these things and push themselves also. The thinking being we have with in us the ability to search out the mystery of creation. I get that, but I want to assure you as someone who has gone this route, nothing compares to the knowledge of Christ. Nothing.
Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. Revelation 15:4
Article posted with permission from Wake the Church