For example, one woman wrote to us about wanting to try something other than pain meds for lower back pain. She ended up involved in what she thought was a “new kind of massage” that turned out to be Reiki.
In another case, a woman who was down on her luck stumbled upon the writings of Jerry and Esther Hicks and their “secret” Law of Attraction which is all about how we attract whatever good or bad fortune comes our way because of the way we think.
Still another person in search of deeper meaning in life became enamored with the works of a New Age guru who offers “life changing energetic expansion” through his powers as an intuitive empath.
It's interesting to note that all of these folks were Christians who were searching – for pain relief, some good news, more meaning in life. And they all found something that they thought was the answer but that turned out to be the last thing they were probably looking for – the occult.
Naturally, I responded by warning the persons about the occult-nature of these practices and gave up-to-date information on the scientific credibility of these practices. (None were determined to be effective.)
Surprisingly, none of them took my good advice. They responded with various versions of the same question: “How can you say that if you never tried it?”
Only someone with no knowledge of the occult would ask such a question. It’s like saying, “How do you know you’ll get hit by a car when you run into a highway full of traffic if you never tried it?”
They refused to listen, even after I explained the very serious dangers involved: that Reiki practitioners serve as channels for spiritual entities; that treating the mind as if it’s a god is a violation of the First Commandment; that intuitive empaths who help people expand their consciousness are relying on psychic powers to do so.
So what gives? Why do people stubbornly cling to these practices even though fully aware of the dangers?
I found a good answer to that question in a recent Benedicta Leadership Enrichment Seminar at the Women of Grace® retreat in Malvern. We had the honor of being instructed by Dr. Siobhan Nash-Marshall, professor of philosophy at Manhattanville College. During one of her conferences, she delved deeply into the relativistic mindset of today’s culture where all points-of-view are equally valid and truth is relative to the individual. There’s no such thing as absolute truth anymore.
“Facts no longer count,” she told us. “Control is what the modern world is all about. Not facts, not truth.”
We have lost the desire to reason, to think things through, to analyze. Instead, we let our emotions be the measure of our truth.
“But it feels right!” I hear over and over again.
Think about it. These folks are willing to toss aside centuries of experience dealing with demonic entities simply because what they’re doing at the moment happens to feel good to them. Never mind that Satan is known to use this very ploy - giving people exactly what they’re seeking in order to seduce them into following where he leads them – which is always away from God. These facts don’t matter. What matters is that it feels “right” to the individual.
They’re even less impressed with scientific facts that disagree with their personal belief about a practice. These facts are routinely dismissed by resorting to conspiracy theories about how modern medicine and big pharma have aligned themselves in order to profit off of the general population. Completely dismissed is the fact that this very same medical community has managed to rid the world of countless plagues and terminal diseases, is now transplanting organs and developing prostheses that have increased the quality of life for persons who used to be doomed just 50 years ago, and has generally increased life expectancy to record levels.
But those facts don’t matter. They don’t “feel right” to the individual who bases all decisions on whatever "feels right" to the senses.
As Dr. Nash-Marshall laments, “How do you respond to the person who makes themselves the measure of the truth?”
Simple. We do exactly what she does every day of her life while teaching college students. We respond by continuing to profess the truth whether it’s in-season or out-of-season.
“ . . . [P]roclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.” (2 Tim: 4:2-5)
This is what Scripture instructs us to do, regardless of whether or not the truth is accepted.
Let us never give up trying to help people out of the deadly embrace of the New Age and occult, regardless of how much rejection we experience.
Remember, the leaders of Jesus’ own religion not only rejected the Truth He taught – they crucified Him for it.
Should we have it any better?