From New Age to Eternity: My Journey Back to Christianity

Written by Eveline Maedel

faith_newageThe New Age movement is growing rapidly and gaining influence in our modern society. In his book, “Searching Issues” Nicky Gumbel quotes a survey that estimates that 25% of Americans are involved in some form of New Age practice. Many of those taking an interest in New Age are seeking deep, spiritual experiences and meaning in their lives.  Even Christians, who have allowed their faith to dry up, can become victim to seeking fill that spiritual vacuum elsewhere. I know. I’ve been there.

It began more than ten years ago. Although raised, baptized, confirmed and married in the church, I did not really know God.  I knew of Him, but I didn’t really have a relationship with Him.  With a deep desire to know something more than what I was getting out of my occasional Sunday attendance, I began to look elsewhere.

Understanding the New Age movement

New Age has been around for many years.  It is an eclectic mix of practices involving Eastern mysticism, occult, meditation, humanism, nature religions and various self-improvement techniques.  On my quest, I read tarot cards, collected crystals, and studied Buddhism, meditation, visualization and Wicca.

New Age gains its appeal by emphasizing the importance of experience and spirituality. On the surface, who would question its apparent values of love, compassion, and unity?  It promises Utopia.  New Age also seduces in its worship of self (God is within you) and its apparent freedom from guilt (no such thing as sin).

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the further I got into the New Age movement, the farther I got from God, whom I was desperately seeking.  I was constantly moving from one practice to another, reading the latest book, seeking the latest “experience”.

We live in the instant generation.  We want our answers now.  “New Agers” often move from one technique to another, one guru to the next, seeking the next better spiritual high. Though the power found in many of these experiences is real, it is often short lived and fails to satisfy.

Finding spiritual fulfillment

There came a day when I simply could not read yet another New Age book.  They all sounded the same and I was slowly realizing that none of this was filling me up.  Spiritually, I was empty.

Returning to church was not easy.  At my first attempt, I cried during the service and felt very alone.  It would have been all too easy to walk out the door again. I struggled deeply with what I thought I believed in. Could Christianity be true?

I also struggled long and hard with pride. It took me a very long time to admit that I had been traveling down the wrong path. I thought myself fickle and wondered if Christianity would be “just another phase” for me.

I realize now that I should have talked to someone at this point, but I felt that if other Christians knew about my involvement in New Age I would be spurned, or worse, lectured to. I wanted to know more about Christ, not what I had done wrong.

Fortunately, I kept on going back. Occasionally at first, and then every Sunday. I attended workshops, read Christian books and took the time to sort out my faith.  Slowly I let the Holy Spirit seep back in and fill me up.

Representing Christ

But what of others in the New Age movement? How are we presenting Christianity to those earnestly seeking spiritual fulfillment?

In Acts, we are told of how Paul spoke to the Athenians about their altar “To an Uknown God”. Paul tells them that the God they worship as unknown, is “the God who made the world and everything in it” and who “himself gives all men life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:23-25).

God is not some impersonal energy floating out there somewhere. God is real. He is the creator of the universe, and He wants a relationship with us. Acts 17:28 says, “For in him we live and move and have our being.” Christians need to show more of this experience of God, this relationship, to the outside world.  Our very lives must demonstrate the supernatural, lasting power of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Instead of condemnation, show compassion. Look for common ground in some New Age beliefs – the search for truth, fulfillment and spiritual experience – and use these as a bridge to discussion about Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to the woman at the well “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:19)  We need to show how this living water is working in our lives and how deeply it satisfies.

The challenge for Christians is to live with Christ as the center of our lives, the Well of Living Water that will never run dry. We need to show others that Christ is relevant today and that the search for a transformed life can only rest when it meets the awesome power of the Holy Spirit.

In Christ the seeker can come home

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.

Is this the life for you?

If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.

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69 Responses to “From New Age to Eternity: My Journey Back to Christianity”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Suzanne, I am pleased to hear that this article and opportunity for conversation has been helpful for you. You ask really good questions and it is one that many people have wrestled with in so many different settings. Paul wrote, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.” (1Corinthians 6:12) Trying to discern between what is helpful or not can be a source of dispute between different people.

    I appreciate how you identify how anything can ‘dominate’ our hearts, even things as innocuous as being appreciated by others. It seems to me that God allows the ambiguity in order for us to look for His direction in our lives. Paul writes about how people are at different places in their relationship with Jesus and are being convicted about different behaviours. In 1Corinthians 8 he points out that some people’s former involvements with false religious activities can make them more easily drawn into sin through those activities. He then encourages, “Take care that this right of yours [to engage in practices that some see as components of false religious worship] does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1Corinthians 8:9) The implication being that what is permissible to you can be a source of sin to someone else.

    That said, I think it is also makes sense to proceed with caution when dealing with practices that are used by other religions as a part of worship. There is no doubt that yoga, chakra manipulation, etc. are used by people as a practice of spiritual ‘enlightenment’ that takes them further away from the truth of Jesus. There is spiritual significance of the body positions in yoga that do lead some people into a connection with spiritual beings. Chakra is used for spiritual alignment as well as physical well-being. One article I found talks about Chakra in this way, “To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.” The Bible tells us that Jesus is the source of life not Prana energy. Jesus is not some impersonal force the is manipulated to serve my needs. The author then goes on to detail the 7 different chakras, identifying both the spiritual and physical significance of each. In regards to the 7th chakra, “The Sahaswara chakra or the ‘thousand petal lotus’ chakra is located at the crown of the head. This is the chakra of enlightenment and spiritual connection to our higher selves, others, and ultimately, to the divine.” The Bible says that our connection to the divine is through Jesus, not through an invisible energy wheel located at the crown of our head. Going deeper into the meaning of words being used here it becomes evident that the author is not referring to our relationship with God through Jesus, but rather about the divine force of which all things are a part. This is part of the Eastern religious worldview that sees humanity as divine, or at least with the potential to be divine. These concepts are in direct conflict with the Bible’s teaching that there is only one God.

    I know people who suggest that in their involvement with these practices, they can disconnect the physical benefits and the spiritual components of these activities, but I am not sure that there is such a division point. In your experience Suzanne, is there a way to make that division?

    I agree that God is the Creator of all things, but I also know that He did not create the wickedness within my heart. There are many evil forces in this world that are the result of rebellion against God. Just because something exists does not mean that God is the source of it. The Bible is clear that the gods of the people living around the people of Israel were evil. Asherah was a goddess of fertility and it was thought that proper worship of her helped to produce healthy crops, healthy reproduction in livestock and in humans. The Israelites stumbled often because they thought they could take the ‘good’ parts of the religions around the and add it to their lives without it impacting their relationship with God. We all know how that worked out! :(

    So how do you discern what is true and good about yoga and chakras? How do you know that it is from God?

  • Suzanne says:

    Hello,
    I have not had a lot of time today to read thru all the comments but I am so grateful for this conversation. I am hoping someone(s) will take the time and respond to my questions. This is a bit lengthy so whatever you feel compelled to weigh in on is appreciated.

    I am trying to understand why the God who created everything we see, hear, touch, breathe, smell, discover did not create the chakra system or yoga stretching/ aligning of the body as other things for us to discover, enjoy, use. If someone could address this I would really appreciate your perspective. I understand NOTHING should ever be placed in front of God but could it not be given as a gift and not an evil ploy or deity that exists and trying to confuse/ trick us? God’s word speaks to having other gods, fortune telling, and the like. As with anything, if chakras, pilates, yoga (Christ centered being my focus) is a god to you like food, drugs, shopping, approval or anything else in our culture today then we are called to repent and turn from it. I grant you the line can be fine in many instances but I believe it exists. The same line exists with those eating to live and eating to forget, bury pain, etc..

    I am not in any way suggesting it should be tied to any sort of mysticism or other religious system. It is the God who inspired the only living book written that I speak of. If we can separate good from bad in the Bible (David- heart after God/ murder and adulterer; Joseph being arrogant ,brothers lying, contemplating murder but sold him into slavery and who later came to him in need and were blessed/ Judah having our Messiah in his lineage) why can we apply that understanding of truth in other places? Did everything that happened outside of the chosen people’s community equate to total evil that needs to be removed?

    Was the chakra system part of a religious ceremony or was it used to understand and explain an unknown truth from a society much like ours with medical tech discoveries? What about the search to cure terrible illnesses and scientific discoveries using plants that were used in other cultures religious ceremonies (potentially)? Should we never use them to help our world? Isn’t part of this about the heart and the intent which our omniscient God is aware of? If we believe God has calls us to do something and we were wrong does God despise the action (assuming it is within His law) and punish or does He like a good parent train, turn the child, love and educate them?

    Guns can be used for good or evil; marijuana for those suffering or others looking for a high; taxes to help or harm communities, populations; the Bible to love, encourage, edify or to separate, tear apart, dominate and marginalize if used inappropriately? I love the Lord with all my heart, mind and soul and would never knowingly choose to step out of His will. I believe I use wisdom, knowledge, prayer and intuition that HE gives me to know if I am going down the wrong path. Please weigh in and share your thoughts. Thanks kindly in advance.

    Blessings.

  • Elkay says:

    Kara, thank you for describing God’s loving intervention into your life and we too pray that your post will be read by others who have been misled into false religions that are opposed to God and His Word and quickly realize the errors they are making. Jesus warned us at Matthew 24:24 that in the “end times”, false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and deceive even God’s chosen ones. It is precisely for this reason that the article warns us that we must “live with Christ as the center of our lives” and be led by the Holy Spirit unto the spiritual truths that are found only in Scripture. Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” So we compare our faith and beliefs with Scripture in order to avoid the risk of being gravely misled.

  • Kara says:

    Eveline,
    I did NOT have such an easy transition back to Christianity from New Age things as you did! But I am so glad you are back! And me too!!!

    I had always believed myself to be a Christian and loved God, but during a long bout with illness and chronic pain, I began seeking treatment from alternative sources and ended up in a new age “medical” center, where I received new age counseling using guided imagery, essential oils, emdr, hypnosis and other things, as well as treatments including reike (DON’T DO THIS!!!), accupuncture, energy work and therapeutic massage of various origins. I had these treatments for a long time, during which I thought I was getting relief, but in truth the relief was very temporary then I’d start feeling worse! So I’d go back for more thinking that was the solution!

    Over time I was getting sicker and sicker. Then I began getting strange and rare serious illneses, one after the other, until they culminated in me nearly dying! During this time, supernatural and frightening things began happening to me and in my home. It still took me a while longer to put the pieces together, but I finally realized what was going on! I believe Jesus opened my eyes to the truth! I stopped all treatments, repented, confessed and begged God for forgiveness. Slowly things began getting better. MY pain eased up, my health improved and the supernatural things dieed down.

    I have since been “Saved” and changed. I read the Bible. I have a much closer relationship with Jesus and God. I got rid of everything in my house that was new age-ish (or related to other religions), like crystals, Feng shut books, certain figurines, etc.

    I thank God for showing me the truth, even if I did have to suffer leading up to that. Evil is real! False Gods (like those related to buddhism, islam, etc.) truly offend our Heavenly Father, the One and Only true God!

    New age, energy work, including chakras, auras, reike, pilates, things like karate and other martial arts, meditation (unless it’s on God’s Word), accupunture, and many others have their roots in the occult or ancient religions that go against God’s Word and Christianity!

    You are very lucky you didn’t suffer or encounter evil for getting involved in that stuff and I’m so happy you are back (and me too!), and I pray that anyone who reads this stops those things which are offensive to God Almighty, and that they return to the ONLY true faith, the ONLY faith that matters, and the ONLY faith which, through belief that Jesus died for our sins, was resurrected and is seated in Heaven next to God Almighty…is the ONLY way to Heaven!

    GOD BLESSINGS You.

  • Elkay says:

    Carole, I am so very sorry to learn about your friend’s deception and her moving to a set of “new age beliefs” and understand why your heart aches. We can certainly pray that she will soon have an experience like Eveline Maedel did, “realizing that none of this New Age was filling me up. Spiritually, I was empty.”

    There is a spiritual battle going on in your friend’s life but Jesus’ death and resurrection defeated Satan once and for all (Hebrews 2:14). By being aware of Satan’s evil influences and knowing that he no longer has any power over our lives, we can proactively pray against spiritual evils without fear, because Jesus, strong and mighty with all authority in heaven and earth (Matt 28:18), is always with us and will never forsake us (Heb 13:5).

    Carole, please continue to be best friends so that as she sees the beauty of Christ in you , she will come back as a stronger Christian.

    “Heavenly Father, You have invited us to come to Your Throne of Grace to find help in our troubles and Carol’s best friend has fallen prey to a set of false and deceptive beliefs. We know that Jesus is the way and the truth and that He has all authority in heaven and earth. And so it is in His name that we pray that Carole’s friend realize that she has fallen for lies and quickly come back to the truth. And Lord, when she comes back to your way, give her a great spiritual purpose in life so that she will seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness and honor You forever. We ask for this in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.”

  • Carole says:

    Hello: I found this website after Googling “when Christian converts to new age” because a close friend of mine has just recently done that… I am so heartbroken for her… She is being deceived and doesn’t even realize it! Thank you for sharing your testimony and all the comments. With fervent prayer to the Lord, He *will* bring her back to Himself! Thank you… my heart aches… :-(

  • Tom Tom says:

    Jill—
    It sounds like you could use a healthy dose of understanding about God’s love for you.

    God is so great, so awesome, so powerful and all-knowing that he “spoke” and the entire universe came into existence. The size and scope of what he created is beyond understanding. Yet, in the middle of all that immensity, he created this tiny little planet and breathed life into the creatures he also created. He made man and woman. And even though they rebelled against his authority, and we rebel against his authority, and are only the tiniest specks in all the universe, he still loves us so much that he sent his own perfect son to become a man and be hideously murdered so that we could once again have sweet fellowship with him. Stop reading this for a moment and think about what love that is.

    And you know what Jill? If you were the only person who ever sinned against God, he still would have had his son die for you. Can you feel the love?

    It is commonly said that God takes us just as we are. In other words, we don’t have to work or strive to earn his good favor. He already loves us even though we’re lawbreakers by his standards. We need only “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and (we) will be saved.” (Acts 16:31). Believe in Jesus; trust in Jesus as your one and only savior. Peter reminds us that God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but that all would come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) He made you and he wants for you to live forever with him in glory. Too many people over-think salvation. Too many people allow Satan to deceive them into thinking, “Did God really say (such and such).”

    All of the things you’ve experienced, and all the difficulties you’ve faced—you need only take those things to Jesus. “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest” said Jesus. (Matthew 11:28) That’s what you need Jill—to simply rest in Jesus. Believe in him; trust in him; rest in him. He has made it a point to save the worst of sinners. He wants to save you too.

  • Jill says:

    Tom

    Thanks for that. But the thing is, I think I was oppressed for a looong time,but God led me through Godly people, but for some reason I find it hard knowing the Bible. There were times when I feel condemned in church. I think God was leading me to Jesus, but when the moment came, I think I have lost focus on Him and focused on my sin. When it finally wore me out, I thought to myself, that I should give up. I thought a very sinful thought but I was serious about it… And I kid you not, something out of this world happened. I had a vision and my heart beat so loud and so fast from that moment to the day after. What’s weird is that, I couldn’t feel anything, my brain was empty. I was just frozen. No love, just emptiness and anxiety. That never happened to me,ever. So here I am after a year… I thought, I’d just leave it up to God. If He decides to save me then great, and if not then I’d think that it’s justice being served. I’m trying to fix my relationship with Christ, but there’s a part of me that feels rejected and I’m at peace with that. I’m just thinking maybe God will draw me again.

    Is there still hope for me though? Should I just let go and wait for God to draw me back? Thank youuu

  • Tom Tom says:

    Janette–
    To which “cults” are you referring?

  • Sharon says:

    to Janette I am sure the bible was written by Godly men and women and didn’t write the new age readings I am sad for you for not believing in a God who loves you and died for you so you can have life in HIM Sharon

  • Janette says:

    OMG you went from one evil cult to another. They are the SAME. Same beings who wrote the bible have the new age. I cant believe you cannot see this…. there is so much out there to show you. My heart is sad.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Jill–

    If you have been born again spiritually–trusted in Jesus Christ as savior–then the Holy Spirit has come to permanently indwell you. Ephesians 1:13, “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation– having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.”

    This is why it’s critical not to live by feelings, but by God’s promises. Feelings will change with the circumstances. God’s promises are permanent and true.

    Look at 1 Peter 1:3-5: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Sounds pretty permanent, doesn’t it?

    When you stray from the Lord, confess your sins to him. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. God loves his children and will always be there to clean us up when we fall in the mud.

  • Jill says:

    I just read the comments.

    Tom is right, Crisha…

  • Jill says:

    Thank you… I’m very confused and struggling right now and needs aome reassurance. Do you think that when the Hoky Spirit leaves, He will come back? I think I have grieved Him deeply. I felt Him leave. Like a white light coming out from me. And afterwards I just felt empty inside. Is there still hope or am I condemned forever? For some reason it’s easier to believe that it’s over for me… because that’s what it seems like at the moment.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Crisha—
    It is obvious you have given much time and thought to your beliefs, and I thank you for answering my questions. However, I’m very concerned about a number of things you wrote.

    If any “clarity has come to (me) through (your) response,” it is that you have been, and are being, deceived into believing things that are outside biblical revelation and even contrary to what the Bible teaches. I hear in your words portions of pantheism, Hinduism, and New Age teachings. And while I don’t profess to be an expert on these religions, my spirit (which is guided as a believer by the Holy Spirit of God) was immediately uneasy with many things you wrote. To wit:

    While no one can dispute your personal “experiences” as things you hold dear and to be true, I would suggest that experiences are not necessarily the truth. Dreams and visions, for example, can just as easily come to a person through the workings of Satan, the great deceiver, as they can through God.

    You speak of a “higher place from within,” as if every person has some ability to know God on a higher plane than what he has revealed of himself in scripture. While that may sound “spiritual,” it also sounds very much like Satan speaking to Eve in the Garden when he told her, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

    You say, “I deny that he (Jesus) is to be worshipped as greater than us.” Since Jesus is God in human flesh, if one does not worship Jesus, then they are not worshipping God. What’s more, if you are not trusting in his virgin birth as God incarnate, and are denying he was sent specifically to die for your sins, then you cannot be saved. One is only a child of God when they believe in and trust the Lord Jesus (John 1:12). Until then, they are children of Satan. Even if you believe Jesus to be God incarnate, saying that he is not greater than us (from a positional and spiritual standpoint) is simply blasphemy, and again mimics Satan’s words to Eve.

    You say, “. . . our words are God inspired according to our own revelations.” This seems to indicate that anyone can convey extra-biblical revelations, assuming they have a certain closeness to God. But this, too, is contradictory to the closed revelations God has given us in the completed canon, and places us on a par with Jesus Christ and therefore God himself.

    It is not hard to sense a great deal of self-worth and pride in what you’ve written, rather than a humble admittance that God (and Jesus) is God, and we are not. Galatians 6:3 says, “For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Man is lost in his sins, and there is nothing we can do short of trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ to save us. Man is not an equal to God or to Jesus, and it is the lie of Satan to believe that we are. And while “enlightenment” can be a good thing, that enlightenment never comes from within one’s self, but from the Bible and the Holy Spirit only. If you’re saying that there are other God-inspired “sacred texts” besides the Bible, then you are placing mere man’s writings on a par with the Bible. This shows a lack of true understanding on your part, and a need to repent, confess, and turn to Jesus Christ as the true Lord of your life.

    Crisha, while I can’t expect you to agree with all I’ve written, my hope is that others reading these posts will realize that one does not have to be some sort of spiritual giant, seeking for “enlightenment,” in order to understand what God wants us to understand. Believing and trusting in Jesus Christ as God in human form, having been born without sin and living a sinless life, being crucified for our sins, buried, and raised again as victor over death and sin, are everything one needs to know to be saved and to become a child of God.

  • Crisha says:

    Answers to Tom-

    It came from a higher place from within. At a point in my life where I had nothing but my faith I looked into the inspired words of the bible and saw truth in a more empowering light. This was then backed up through miracles that began to take place in my life as a result. Healings, peace and a oneness with God I had never felt in all my years as a “Christian” I am one that had been bless from a child with visions and dreams that come to pass. A vision confirmed this new enlightenment with Jesus statement saying the kingdom of God is within you. That we are the sons of God. and that when we see him we see the father (this is because just as jesus we all are the reflection and extention of the ultimate source of this world). That take your cross and follow me was to follow in his way, his understanding, his revelation, not in worship to the Man Jesus.

    I deny that he is to be worshipped as greater than us. I embrace that he is to be honored as incarnated revelation of the christ within all of us. That gratitude should be given to him for the revelation and the reconnection of our souls mind back to an understanding of who we are. You also have to understand that the virgin birth story as been told is multiple religions even before Christianity. It is the portion of scripture that is to be taken as written recordings from the enlightenment of the men of that day. Yes it is inspired! Yes it is the word of God. Why because all of humanity is an expression of God itself and therefore our words are God inspired according to our own revelations. I could not turn my back on him because my worship to his was enlightened and has evolved to a true understanding of him, of which we all still do not understand in its entirety. The christ is my guide and my knowledge of the fact that I am an extension of source is directly become of Jesus, I love him for that.

    I think I answered some of this in the last section but would like to say that all sacred text is a revealed word of God to mankind to find our truth and our God expression. If you ever study religion or spiritual practice seeking God you will come to understand it all is about enlightenment. For example, to the men of that day heavens where the clouds (literally) they had no knowledge of the stars and planets and magnitude of the universe as we do today. There are other examples but this post is already long.

    I hope clarity has come to you through my response. I encourage you to hold tight to your faith and if all this sounds erroneous it is ok, your purpose may be to reveal Jesus to all and mine has evolved to reveal his greater intent. Both are divine and perfect in the presence of God we all seek the same a connection with the source that created us to give us joy, love and peace in this experience. God Bless.

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