Being Woven

Caught But Not Trapped in New Age Religion

john1_5txt

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.   1 John 4:1

I was raised in a Christian home, learned about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  (Please note, for later in this conversation, that I said, “…learned about….”)  We were a Navy family and moved every two to four years, therefore changed churches without changing denominations.  I was not introduced to Jesus as Someone with Whom I could have a relationship.  In my senior and fifth year of college, I lived away from home and did not attend church at all.  Shortly after college, I married a man who never had attended a church and wanted nothing to do with one so having a spiritual conversation was not even an option.  (Let me throw another fact in to be absorbed a bit later: Before marrying him, I heard a quiet voice say to me, “You are not to marry him” which I ignored completely.”)  Upon divorce ten years later, I felt “something” was missing from my life.  I set out to find a church that I felt comfortable in and landed upon one with a very strong singles’ group.  This church was a different Christian denomination from my childhood one, yet also did not introduce me to Jesus, only spoke about Him.

When I moved back to be near family again, I found another church. It was what I came to know as a New Age church. They taught things that made me “feel good.” I finally thought I had found what my heart and soul had been missing. Although Jesus was taught as “a good teacher” as was Buddha, and some philosophers, those who had founded this “religion” were the most revered. The Bible was used as a resource, but their “bible” was a text book created by the founders. Parts and pieces of many religions worldwide were integrated. I thought very little of these oddities as they seemed to be right and good. I was so hungry that this “stuff” made sense. I attended weekend workshops which left me feeling happy and self-loved. I studied books that espoused the self and the god within. I was taught that the mind could control everything. There was an integration of science, religion, nature, and philosophy. I participated in this for about ten years. I was confused often by their teachings, but I felt good, so that seemed to be all that mattered. I ignored the confusion as best I could.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15

I moved a couple more times, continually seeking this kind of church. On the last move in 1990, this brand of religion had no presence in this city. I sought no others at that time. Then, a dear friend committed suicide, leaving a note at my apartment so that I would end up being the one to find him. My world came tumbling down. Believing that I could handle this alone, that this “self” would get me through it all, I was hit squarely between the eyes. I realized that all that I had thought to be truth were lies, bold-faced lies. I began attending a Christian church, but, once again, the introduction to Christ was lacking. These denominations that I am calling Christian (and not New Age) are predominant ones in the United States. Jesus is believed in. Where was the invitation to have relationship with Him? …the admission of sin? …the call to repent and ask forgiveness? Where?

I met my second husband who is a Christian and who has a relationship with the One and Only Savior, but this fact was unbeknownst to me initially. On our first couple of dates, he listened to my mixed-up beliefs when he spoke of spiritual matters. He shared Jesus, Scripture, the Truth with me. Tears welled up in my eyes on our second date. Tears, for me, are a tell-tale sign that a vulnerable part of me is touched. The Truth had done that, as we know It surely can do. After seven months of his patience, his gentle love, his Christ-like ways, our spiritual conversations, plus his dear mother sharing the LORD with me, I finally turned to Jesus, as I was lying alone on my bed one morning. I asked Him to be my LORD and Savior through an acknowledgement of my sin, repenting to Him, and beseeching His forgiveness. I had spent year after year living a life filled with sin and disbelief. I was not a “bad” person, but I did not believe. After hearing that “still, small voice” in 1971, I continued to wander along wrong paths, making wrong choices for another 22 years. I was 45 when Jesus, the Holy Spirit came to live in my long-awaiting heart. And I have never looked back. I have dug into the Bible deeper and deeper, and continue to do so.

In these past 21plus years, I have discovered that I had beautiful women friends from the various places I had lived praying for me, for my salvation. They rejoice now. One dear woman prayed for me, but, before she could and did, she had to come to know Jesus as her own LORD and Savior. We had met in a New Age church. She came to Jesus about two years before I did so her prayers were lifted high to the LORD for she knew where I was headed if I stayed on the track I was on. We both stand in awe of our amazing God. He never gave up on us. Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus!

Religions espousing self, mind-over-matter, the prosperity gospel, use textbooks or books other than the Bible as their bibles, these so-called religions are manmade. They are not of God. And why were churches, considered mainstream Christian denominations, not teaching that Jesus wanted to be the LORD and Savior of our lives and, to have that, we needed to have a relationship with Him? I pray that since I last attended one of those churches, they have come to see this Truth. Oh, I pray, Father, that they have changed.

If we know someone “caught in a ‘church’” that teaches New Age thoughts or they are attending a Christian church that teaches ideologies that are not Biblical, we need to be the Christ that they may never see any other way. We must step out in faith, guiding them by love, prayer, words and actions. Our conversations should be centered around Jesus as LORD and Savior. If they are turned off and will not listen, then pray. Be Christ to them in the way you speak and in your behavior.  Most of all, pray.

You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be know and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, Who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:2-6

He Looked Beyond My Faults
by Dottie Rambo

Amazing Grace..Shall always be my song of praise.
For it was grace, that brought me liberty,
I”ll never know, just why Christ came to love me so.
He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.

I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary,
To view the cross, where Jesus died for me
How marvelous, His grace that caught my falling soul
He Looked beyond all my faults and saw my need.

I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary,
To view the cross, where Jesus died for me
How marvelous, His grace that caught my falling soul
He Looked beyond all my faults and saw my needs,
Christ looked beyond all of our faults and saw our needs.

Father God, I thank You, thank You dearly, for saving me by the Blood of Your precious Son. You caught my falling soul, looking far beyond my faults. You saw the need of this soul. You never left me nor forsook me, LORD. You were standing at the door. Thank You. I love You so, my dear Abba Father. On knees before You, I weep with joy as I realize the beauty of my salvation. These hymns, above and below, mean more to me today as I write this piece than they ever have, Father. With tears for Your bottle, I thank You. Amazing grace, how can it be? In the Strong and Saving Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Amazing Grace
by John Newton, 1779

Amazing grace!
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

As I am…Being Woven ~ linda

Photo/Graphic: John 1:5 @ Heartlight

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