5 lies I believed when I was into New Age spiritualism
by Christine Leow // October 18, 2022, 5:55 pm
Olivia Choong was steeped in the New Age movement for over a decade. Since becoming a Christian, she has realised how dangerous and deceptive those beliefs and practices are. Photo courtesy of ZERRIN.
Olivia Choong was in her late 20s and looking for a purpose in life when a friend introduced her to an astrologer.
“I was at rock bottom. I was going out clubbing, drinking and doing stuff, talking rubbish with my friends. It was an empty lifestyle.
“Then, I had a terrible breakup. I didn’t want to get out of bed at that time. I was quite vulnerable,” said Olivia, now 43.
Raised a Catholic in a devout household, Olivia had, by then, moved away from the faith. “God was the furthest thing from my mind.”
“I was so joyless in my life.”
So, when her friend told her that the astrologer was “very accurate” and could tell her what was “lined up” for her based on the planets, she decided to give it a try.
“I wanted to see what life had in store for me. I had no hobbies at the time, nothing to throw myself into. So, I was searching and I grabbed onto the first thing that came along.”
This would lead to over a decade of New Age beliefs and practices. But instead of the purpose and peace she had hoped for, she ended up with the physical torment of inexplicable, crippling backaches, and spiritual disturbances – “I got harassed by spirits”.
“I ended up joyless in my life.”
Now a Christian, Olivia shared with Salt&Light five New Age beliefs and practices she had held on to but has since realised run counter to Christian truths.
1. Lie: If you believe it, it will happen aka The Law of Attraction
Truth: We believe in God and it is He who makes things happen for His glory
The Law of Attraction is one of the most popular New Age beliefs. It is based on the idea that “like attracts like”.
The Bible tells us that our lives are not our own. (Galatians 2:20)
So, whatever you focus your energy on will come back to you. If you focus on good things, you will emit good energy that will attract good things to you. Out of this comes positive thinking and positive visualisation.
Said Olivia: “The Law of Attraction says you can attract what you want, you can get what your heart is set on if you will it and you will it correctly.
“So, they have this visualisation board which they see as a form of goal-setting. On this board, you put things that you want – love, husband, career – and you focus on them.”
There are a few things inherently deceptive and dangerous about this:
1. You are the centre
The Law of Attraction puts you at the centre. You decide what you want; you determine how to get it.
Said Olivia: “We call on these deities – archangels, angels and spiritual beings – to come and serve us. You are number one and you call on everybody else to help you.”
This is contrary to the Bible which tells us that our lives are not our own (Galatians 2:20) and that God should be central to our lives and devotion (Mark 12:30).
2. What you want is the focus
Alongside putting yourself at the centre is putting your wants at the centre. Your desires become your focus and desires are always self-centred.
The desires of our hearts should be the reign of God (Matthew 6:33), and spiritual and eternal rather than earthly and temporal (1 John 2:15, Colossians 3:1).
3. You are in control
The Law of Attraction puts everything in your hands. It is up to you to effect the good things you want.
It fails to acknowledge the existence of God (Hebrews 11:6), that He is the one who provides (James 1:17) and He is the one who determines (Proverbs 16:9) all things for His glory (Romans 8:28).
2. Lie: You can find peace
Truth: God is the One who gives peace
Said Olivia: “For a long time, I felt emotionally unstable. There was underlying anxiety, I wasn’t at peace, I was just very restless.”
One way Olivia sought to have peace was through meditation. She bought CD after CD that led her through various meditation practices so she could experience peace.
“What Christianity gave me was a peace from knowing the Creator.”
“I had one called Journey Through the Chakras and another one was Journey Into Past Lives. I believed in chakras which are meridian points in our bodies. They are energy centres and I had to clean my chakras so I could function well.
“I also believed that I could find out why this life is like that if I explored my past lives because I thought my past lives caused certain issues in this life. If I knew about my past lives, I could stop making mistakes from the past.”
But none of that gave her the lasting peace she sought.
“What Christianity gave me was a peace from knowing the Creator. It’s so simple.”
As Jesus tells his disciples in John 14:27, God is the One who gives peace and that peace guards us against fear and a troubled heart. We cannot find peace in the things that we do or the thoughts we choose to dwell on.
3. Lie: All things supernatural are good
Truth: Not everything in the spiritual realm is of God
One of the things that drew Olivia to the New Age movement was the spiritual nature of its beliefs and practices.
Whatever is not of God is evil. There is no neutral, benign ground.
Psychics and astrologers she consulted tapped into the supernatural and seemed to be able to tell her the future, help her avoid missteps or even provide healing. It all seemed for good.
“I was thinking: Why is it that all these psychics can do these things? They are so gifted.
“For the psychics, they see it as a download from a higher power. But they don’t know who that higher power is. I didn’t realise there are darker things behind it.”
The Bible is clear that not all things supernatural is good. In fact, Ephesians 6:12 states categorically that there are spiritual forces that are evil – rules, authorities and powers of this dark world.
What then distinguishes good from evil? Whatever is not of God is evil. There is no neutral, benign ground. There is only God and the devil. That is why Ephesians 6:11 pits God against “the schemes of the devil”.
4. Lie: There can be supernatural gains apart from God
Truth: Only God can give lasting, positive good supernaturally
In the over 10 years that Olivia was immersed in the New Age movement, she reckoned that she must have spent thousands of dollars on psychics, astrologers and New Age products, all in the effort to find healing, secure peace of mind or obtain a promise of greater provision.
“One healer can cost S$250. I even went to a couple of retreats.
None of what she did had a lasting positive impact on her life.
“I spent S$3,000 on Rudraksha beads because I believed they worked. They are said to give off energy and are supposed to be beneficial to us. When I worked, I would wear them and feel comforted.
“I bought crystals to affect the energy in the house and I got a purple energy plate that was said to be able to bring harmony to my life and I would put it under my pillow and sleep with it.”
She also practised manifestation, a partner concept to the Law of Attraction. At the heart of manifestation is the belief that, by concentrating really hard on what you want, you can make all your dreams come true. It is positive thinking at its most extreme.
“It is about thinking about the life you desire, you deserve. You think: I’m going to be promoted at the end of the year, and you just believe in it, that it is going to happen and you don’t have doubt.”
“I pray and ask God for provision, and trust that He will provide what I need.”
None of what she did had a lasting positive impact on her life though. Instead, she experienced excruciating backaches. At times, the pain was so severe that she could not walk. Once, she had to cancel her flight.
When she became a Christian, a Christian couple prayed for her for healing even though she did not mention her back problems to them. The healing was immediate and permanent.
Marvelled Olivia: “And it was free!”
Olivia has also realised that she should place her trust in God alone and He is the one who will provide for her (Proverbs 3:5-6).
“I no longer struggle with the need to hustle or get stressed about not having enough work. I do not need to manifest money or use the Law of Attraction to get things I want.
“Instead, I pray and ask God for provision, and trust that He will provide what I need. He has never let me down.”
5. Lie: All gods are the same
Truth: There is one true God
When Olivia was deep in New Age, she prided herself on being a spiritual person.
“I’ve learnt that you don’t just believe about Jesus Christ. You have to believe in Jesus Christ.”
She was even a prayerful person.
“I prayed to the Universe or any deity I could grab. I hated flying. When I flew, I would call out to the gods of different religions to remove obstacles.”
In New Age spirituality, Jesus is often seen as just one out of a long list of enlightened beings.
In truth, Jesus is the son of God (Matthew 16:15-16, Mark 3:11) and the second being in the Trinity. He is, in fact, God. There is no other God (Isaiah 44:6).
Said Olivia: “I’ve learnt that you don’t just believe about Jesus Christ. You have to believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.”
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