My Testimony

Mar 22, 15 My Testimony

1) My Testimony – in the series: About the New Age

 

 

I became a born again Christian in March 2008, when I was 48 years old.

 

Prior to then, I was a New Ager (though I would NEVER have identified myself that way). For more about what New Agers believe, visit my blog, ‘New Age thinking’.

 

My earliest memories were of unseen things and of being afraid to be by myself and of the dark. I remember learning as a child in my crib that I could not sleep on my stomach because if I did, something invisible would aggressively tickle me until I turned over. It was not pleasant. I remember seeing a being of light, I later believed was an angel (though now I don’t think so), walking down the hallway while I was in bed for the night.

 

As a kid, periodically I’d attend ARE meetings with my family. ARE is an acronym for Association for Research and Enlightenment; their prophet is Edgar Cayce. At these meetings, we’d read each other’s auras, prophesize over each other, seek help from the Spirit world and do Eastern-style meditation. Occasionally, I’d go to the Church of Religious Science, which is a New Age church, which is also where I took a class in how to meditate.

 

As a preteen and teenager, I’d consult playing cards for fortune telling and even tried reading tea leaves a few times, once accurately foretelling the month that my grandfather would die. As an adult, I tried numerology too. Throughout my life, occasionally, I’d have “prophetic” dreams, and feel at times that I was astral-projecting. These are just the normalcy of being a New Ager.

 

When I was 14, a school friend took me to a Christian church event and I responded to the altar call. I probably even recited the “Sinner’s Prayer”. I came home and pulled out a new testament of the Bible, which my older brother had given to me a few years before, one of those hand-out type Bibles he’d gotten free somewhere.

 

That evening, I told my mom that I had accepted the church’s altar call and she told me that it was just a bunch of emotionalism and that she herself had responded to many altar calls when she was a teenager, going to church until she realized that the Christian church was just working on her emotions.

 

After that, I still believed in my New Age ideas but I often attended the Lutheran church with my friend’s family and the youth group nearly every Wednesday night. I met my husband there and we married when I was almost 18. By 21, we had 3 daughters, one who died when I was 7 months pregnant. We continued to go to church almost every Sunday, first to the Lutheran church and then an evangelical free church. Wherever we lived, we attended, for the most part, spirit filled Christian churches.

 

On the sly though I still hung on to my New Age belief and studied from New Age books. My husband and his entire family are Christians. Most people just assumed I was too. I did not want to be hassled for my belief system so I stayed stealth, secretive. I was not really impressed by the Christians I knew. I really didn’t think they had anything different than I thought I had. This is why I think it is really important to know that we are as Christians ambassadors for Christ to everyone, even people we think are Christians, because we just never know. (Click ‘here’ for more on Christ’s Ambassadors.)  From my viewpoint at that time, my New Age family acted more Christian than most Christians I knew.

 

I was content in my New Age belief; it answered all of my questions and I could explain its many facets easily.

 

My own particular New Age belief system was “Gnostic Christianity”. To read more about this belief system, please visit my blog: ‘New Age thinking’. Gnostic Christianity is not in any form Biblical Christianity.
Because I had wanted to disprove Christianity to my husband, I read a lot of Early Church history and unfortunately I knew a lot more about Christianity’s beginnings then most Christians I knew.  I didn’t know the Bible but I did know the history of the early church. Because I had this knowledge, this didn’t help me value a lot of what regular Christians would say, especially in their ability to quote the Bible because I believed the Bible was falsified.  Christians could quote it but had no idea who wrote it and how it came into being.

 

I had read books by popular writers who also held similar views about Christianity as I did. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that their “facts” about the early church and the Bible were distorted. Their point was always that the religion of Christianity was all based on a conspiracy by the power hungry church to keep mankind in the dark.

 

I was really content in my belief system. But thankfully, God had other plans and in a slow process, He drew me closer and closer to His Truth.

 

Bit by bit, I came to realize that those books I had read which criticized Christianity and Jesus were basing their ideas on very flimsy facts.

 

I also eventually came to the realization that the Bible actually has integrity, and more integrity than most historic accounts do and I also came to realize that God could actually be speaking to us through the Bible.

 

I started working at a Christian publishing house because I respected the moral ideas of Christianity. My work gave us some worship CDs. I listened a lot to these. I didn’t believe or listen to all of the lyrics, but I loved to worship God through music, which glorified him. Thankfully God had shown me that He was worthy of our praise and I really did feel that. Even as an unbeliever I would raise my hands during worship time because it seemed right.

 

After the 9/11 attacks, because Muslims instigated these, I read a book on the religion Islam, whose followers are called Muslims. Through the book, I learned that only Jews and Christians view mankind as being made in God’s image and believe that God loves us and that God is a Father to us. Muslims, on the other hand, can be killed for stating such things because Islam does not believe any of those concepts. This helped me recognize that not all religions are good and that they don’t all have the same view of God. It helped me recognize that Christianity was actually a pretty healthy religion and a lot better than most other religions.

 

In 2005, a work friend mentioned in passing to me a New Testament (NT) Bible verse:

2 Timothy 4:3,4, which is:

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, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

 

Never discount the power of God’s word as stated through our Bible. Those verses really got under my skin, because I began to wonder, was I one of those people who had wandered off into myths?

In the Bible book of Genesis, there is the account of a man named Jacob who physically wrestles with God, and he would not let God go until God blessed him.

 

After my friend had shared the Timothy Bible verses with me, I did my own wrestling with God, for about 3 years. I demanded that God show me his Truth, (often crying out in anguish) no matter where it might take me and no matter what it might reveal to me. I had also begun reading the gospels in the Bible over and over because I wanted to appear more knowledgeable about the Bible to the Christians at my work.

 

Part of this process was that even though I was not a Christian yet, I became very protective of my nieces and nephews on my husband’s side and their Christian upbringing because I now recognized that Christianity was the best religion to live under. I just didn’t know how to embrace it for myself as I was so entrenched in my New Age belief.

 

In the New Age belief system there is no belief in the concept of “Evil”. This also means that there is no belief in satan, the devil. Well, because I was reading the parts of the Bible about Jesus, it finally started to penetrate that Jesus spent a lot of time casting demons out of people. So the next step in my thinking was that there must be such a thing as the devil and evil because it seemed to be so vindictive and personal.

 

New Agers think that the world is evolving to perfection. Well, I also started to realize that the world was NOT getting better. That it is in fact, really broken for some reason. In contrast to the brokenness of this world and the people in it, I started to see that God’s nature is Holy AND I started to realize that no one else is LIKE him, except Jesus.

 

At this time, the Holy Spirit was also getting through to me that I am not perfect and my concepts of perfection are not God’s concepts. Nice and good are NOT the same thing.

 

In winter 2008, my husband had to do extensive business travel, coming home only on weekends. It was during this time, that the Holy Spirit led me through some good Christian books, one specifically on forgiveness. I was finally recognizing my own sin and I felt incredibly convicted.

 

I read a book entitled, “Lost Boy” by Greg Laurie. His life was a mess before he came to Christ. What drew him to God was God’s love for him. That was not what God captured me with because as a New Ager, I believed that people deserve to be loved, and honored. What got me about the book was how nice it must be to have such a simple faith that Jesus Christ was who Christianity said he was. I really started to wish I could just accept it. I also recognized that the author was NOT an idiot, yet he believed in Christianity. I was realizing that a lot of intelligent people believed in Christianity. AND, even though those New Age books I had read years ago, implied and blatantly stated that information about the Gnostic Gospels and “changes” in the Bible were squelched by the organized church, I was seeing that there were Christians who did know about these things and that the knowledge of these things weren’t a big deal to them. There seemed to be intelligent rebuttal to the criticisms I had read and believed.

 

It was at the Holy Spirit’s urging, a pressing outside myself, that I was able to let go of the last “stronghold” of my New Age belief system, which was my belief in reincarnation. This was the hardest thing for me to do, because so much of my worldview, the way I view everything was based on it. But, I was finally ready just to know his Truth, and I took what is known as “a leap of Faith”. Once I did this, God filled in the knowledge of why reincarnation does not make sense and how much His actual redemption plan through Jesus Christ does.

 

“Repentance”, means: a turning back toward God. I felt a deep, soul wrenching sorrow and for my past actions. There were  nights, while my husband was away that I was physically “on my face” before God.  I sensed God’s presence in a new way and his love in spite of my sins and I recognized that only He could save me, by forgiving the penalty that my sins created.  I finally accepted that I could not be my own Savior because a person cannot work their way into perfection or godliness. Only God can, which is who Jesus is. I “laid” my will and my life down to Him, finally recognizing who Jesus really is and what Jesus did on the cross for me personally.

 

God journeyed me to rest solidly in a belief in true Christianity as Jesus stated in John 14:6: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me”.

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6 Comments

  1. Sharon Wilson

    Thank you for sharing! I’m looking forward to reading more and sharing this with others. 🙂

  2. Madeleine

    I agree, thanks for sharing!

  3. Donna

    I appreciate your honest sharing. There are so few who look at the truth and their life and make changes. Donna

    • Thanks so much, Donna; I appreciate you taking the time to read too.

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