I wasn’t always a follower of Christ. Before Jesus saved me, I was heavily involved in New Age practices. If you aren’t familiar with it, the New Age movement includes a wide range of ideologies that promote self-spirituality with the goals of personal growth, evolution, and connection with the Universe. It teaches that all roads lead to heaven and pushes a spirituality apart from Christ. Finally, it promotes the belief that you can create whatever life you desire by simply connecting with your ancestors and spirit guides through spiritual practices. Sounds absurd huh?
Yet to a young, heartbroken girl like myself who had no knowledge of the love of God, this seemed to be the answer. I practiced eastern meditation to clear my mind, used tarot cards for guidance, did yoga for healing, and said spells in an attempt to create a life worth living. I headed down this path for four years and practically became a full blown occultist.
While all of these things promised joy, all I felt was sadness when I realized that I couldn’t manifest my perfect life by following their methods. Thankfully, Jesus found me and rescued me from this lifestyle. After a series of spiritual attacks, one night I found myself pleading to Jesus as I sat on my living room couch. I was tired, confused, and weak in spirit. I said a prayer that would change my life: “Jesus, if you are real, I want to meet you. Show yourself.” Moments after, my living room filled with God’s loving and peaceful presence and all I could do was cry. Well, it was more like a sob. I finally found the relief I had been looking for all these years. The next few months consisted of unlearning the New Age beliefs and getting to know God through His Word.
As I looked for a church to teach me all about Jesus, all I found was more false teaching. This was when I became aware of the Prosperity Gospel. I quickly learned that many of the New Age beliefs I used to follow had bled into the church. Unfortunately, deception is all around us and if we are not careful, we can be led astray.
This is why I want to share five common New Age beliefs that have infiltrated the church. We need to be aware of these teachings so that we can avoid them at all costs.
5 New Age beliefs that have bled into the church
Law of Attraction
This one is probably the most popular. This is the belief that if we think positively and have faith, we will get whatever we desire from God. The Law of Attraction is based on the idea that “like attracts like.” Teachers of the Law of Attraction will often tell you to believe, imagine, or visualize what you want from God and He will make it true for you.
However, as believers we ought to remember that our full reward is in heaven. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t want you to think I am saying that God doesn’t grant our wishes or desires. Yet, we still have to be mindful that when we desire things (especially earthly treasures), we ought to ask for His will to be done, not ours. We should be surrendering completely to the plan God has laid out for us and seek to live a life that glorifies Him, not us. We are called to trust and love God above all, not the things of the world. (see 1 John 2:15)
Follow your heart
The next New Age belief that has bled into the church is the belief that we should follow our feelings and that our emotions are indicators of truth and guidance. People are often told to do what feels right. It sounds good initially but scripture reminds us that trusting in our own minds is foolish.
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.Proverbs 28:26 esv
Other versions read, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool.” We know that the heart is deceitful. (Jeremiah 17:9) Although our feelings are valuable to our human experience, they should not serve as our compass. Rather, we are told that those who live according to the Spirit should set their minds of things of the Spirit, not things of the flesh. The danger of following our hearts is that the enemy can use our emotions to confuse us and lead us astray from God’s will, causing us to sin because it “feels” good.
We are little or mini gods
This belief was popularized by false teachers like Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, and Oprah among others. The idea is that because we are children of God, we are also mini gods and can obtain anything we please because we are also divine in nature. We see this in the church when individuals focus on serving self and their desire for money, fame, and material wealth. They present the idea that Jesus died so we can have all we want here on earth. While this may sound good to itching ears, the Bible consistently teaches us that God is holy, righteous, omnipresent and omniscient, yet man is full of sin and has only been made blameless before God through the death of Christ, not our own innate divinity.
Next, oneness is the idea that we can become righteous or one with God by being sinless, not by faith alone. The Bible teaches that sanctification is a process and there isn’t a destination that we arrive at here on earth. We don’t become “one” or perfect in God until we are united with him in heaven. However, we are called to obey God by renewing our minds daily and repenting when we fall short. The word of God is very clear:
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.1 John 1:8-10 ESV
Remember, we are not called to be perfect. Instead we are called to become more like Christ daily by loving God and our neighbor.
All roads lead to heaven
Finally, this is the teaching that one can believe in Jesus and practice other faiths. They believe that there are many spiritual or religious paths to God and heaven. When we read the Gospel of Matthew, we see that Jesus is very clear that we must enter through the narrow gate to receive salvation. The wide gate leads to destruction. (Matthew 7:13) The only path to heaven is through Jesus Christ himself. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and no one can come to God except through him. (John 14:6)
After all the darkness and deception I have experienced in my life, one thing I can attest to is that the mighty and powerful name of Jesus is the name above all names. If there’s anything you take from this, I pray you take away that when we lean on our own understanding and look to ourselves as a truth meter, we only end up in deception. While it’s good to look to pastors, teachers, and influencers for spiritual growth and support, may we never forget that we have the Holy Spirit within us. He is the giver of all knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. May we never forget to test every spirit to see if it is from God. Finally, may we never forget the gift of our Holy Bible. When we know the word for ourselves, we cannot be easily deceived since we are anchored in God’s truth, not man’s opinions.
We must never forget the warning words of the Apostle Paul:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,2 Timothy 4:3 ESV
There is no need to look to the world for truth or guidance. Our Father has provided us with everything we need to know to live a righteous and God-honoring life. Keep your eyes and heart fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
Bible Teacher & Poet
Chelsea Christen is the founder of Love Enhanced, a wellness and tea brand that supports women in their walk with Christ by promoting intentional living and the use of tea to care for our bodies from the inside out. As a registered nurse, bible teacher, and poet she uses her talents to help inspire women to shine their light and find the confidence to walk boldly in Christ. When she isn’t working, you can find her enjoying long walks in nature, going to the beach, working out, drinking tea, or visiting a new museum or restaurant.