3: Mixing Faith - Exposing New Age Practices
In this post we'll look at the following:
- whether or not the law of attraction is biblical.
- should Christians do yoga or use healing crystals?
- should Christians use the Enneagram?
There are lots of New Age practices being mixed with faith in Christ today. Since much of the new age draws from Christianity and biblical principles; it's hard sometimes to see exactly what the problem is.
The Law of Attraction
Take the law of attraction for example. Many will say it's based on the scripture found in Proverbs 23:7 - As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Another use of biblical support for the law of attraction is the law of sowing and reaping seen in Galatians 6:7.
However, the law of attraction at it's root focuses on improving one's own outward experience. For example if you need a financial breakthrough, visualize yourself getting a cheque in the post. Make this your dominant thought and you will eventually attract or 'manifest' this thought. If you want a promotion at work, make this your dominant thought and you will attract it. If you want better relationships, work on being a "better person" whilst visualizing better relationships and you will attract those people to you.
But is this a practice we should adopt as believers?
Scripture teaches us that it is God (not self or the universe) that supplies all of our need according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19), and that (true) promotion comes from the Lord (Psalm 75:6-7).
Ultimately, what we see with the law of attraction is a heavy focus on attracting the life you desire, as opposed to discovering our new life in Christ and trusting in the Father as the source for all our needs.
If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.
For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.
- Colossians 3:1-3 APMC
Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].
And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever. 1
- John 2:15-17 AMPC
There are so many scriptures we could go through, but the two passages above encompass everything beautifully. In Christ we find new life - one that is internal and eternal. One that is lived in the Spirit and not the flesh. Let us continue in discovering and walking in this life in Christ. For what does it profit us to gain the world but lose our soul?
The law of attraction not only teaches self-sufficiency, but pushes us to bypass God's process of character development before promotion of any kind.
What about vision boards? Should Christians use them?
Vision boards are closely linked with the law of attraction, however, it is the kind of vision you have on the board and the motivation for the board that tells you if it's wrong or not.
Personally, I don't believe visual reminders on a board/wall are wrong, when the vision pertains to things like;
- who God says you are (identity)
- what God has called you to do (purpose)
- how He is calling you to do those things
- encouraging scriptures for your season
- teaching points/principles/diagrams etc
For the purposes of:
- encouraging oneself in the Lord
- keeping God's vision for your life before you (boundaries)
- meditating on His word
- digesting the things God is teaching you
Claudio Narajo, credited as a developer of the enneagram personality types admits that the information for the personality types came to him through something called automatic writing, and he then verified the information through his own observation. Another of the developers (Oscar Ichazo) spoke of a similar experience of information coming to him whilst he was in a trance like state.
"Automatic writing is the process, or product, of writing material that does not come from the conscious thoughts of the writer." This is an occult practice where the source material comes from unclean spirits/the demonic realm. That knowledge alone encourages me to steer clear of anything originating from Satan. Who else has observed humanity since our beginning? That's why the Enneagram can seem so accurate.
Much of the Enneagram usage is meant to be about "self-enlightenment" and self-development. You should be able to see where you are, and work towards some level of self improvement. Christians in general have adopted these ideas, using it to identify weaknesses, sins, etc that will help to understand yourself or your spouse/friends/co-workers better, and ultimately aid your spiritual growth.
Again though, there is a heavy focus on self reliance and self sufficiency; a complete contradiction to life in Christ.
O you foolish and thoughtless and superficial Galatians, who has bewitched you [that you would act like this], to whom—right before your very eyes—Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified [in the gospel message]?
Having begun [your new life by faith] with the Spirit, are you now being perfected and reaching spiritual maturity by the flesh [that is, by your own works and efforts to keep the Law]?
- Colossian 3:1,3 AMP
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
- John 14:26 KJV
Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.
I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.
- John 15: 4,5,8 AMPC
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law that can bring a charge].
We see in the above passages of scripture, that our spiritual growth happens as we rely on and remain in Christ. The fruit of His Spirit is developed in us as we obey Him. It is not by our own human effort. True and lasting change comes by being transformed from the inside out, by His Spirit at work in us, not by modifying our behaviour. We will learn to love God, ourselves, and others well when we surrender to the work that He does in us. When we turn to Him for wisdom and insight in dealing with our children or working with our spouse He will freely answer us. The Enneagram not only pushes us into self effort, but can push us out of intimacy with God! What a sly and satanic agenda that is!
Yoga, healing crystals, love & light.
Yoga is known to have its roots in Eastern Spirituality - Hinduism/Buddhism. A lot of the physical components of yoga connect with the spiritual goal of connecting your spirit to another deity. You essentially open your spirit up to the spiritual realm, and this is a dangerous practice for Christians.
Healing crystals, though they may seem like a harmless thing to have, are used by witches. Burning sage is also a practice of witches, and though you may argue that you don't practice yoga or use crystals and sage etc for the purpose of witchcraft, engaging in them can still give the enemy an access point or foothold into your life.
The bible teaches us that "by His stripes we have been healed." That means healing is already ours. Yes we have to appropriate it. We need to allow God to make us whole in our souls as well as our bodies. Some people may receive instant bodily healing whilst others may not, but it doesn't mean we don't believe God for healing.
Of course eating, sleeping and exercising well also play a huge role in the health of our bodies, but the key thing is this; do we believe IN Christ for all our needs? Will we trust IN HIS power and not the counterfeit power found in the Occult? And even when we don't see HIS manifestation of healing in our body, will we continue to follow Him faithfully?
Love, light & positive vibes is another new age saying - one promoting healing and positivity. We have to be careful of following people or trains of thought just because these saying are attached. Much of the love and positivity is based around accepting everyone and everything - no judgement. Yet in Christ we are to judge righteously (John 7:24), discern between good and evil (Hebrews 5:14), and live by God's standard of love (1 Cor 13:4-8).
There is so much more we could say in this post, but we'll leave with this;
As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him.
Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.
See to it that no one carries you off as spoil or makes you yourselves captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world), just crude notions following the rudimentary and elemental teachings of the universe and disregarding [the teachings of] Christ (the Messiah).
-Colossians 2:6-8 AMPC