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How to Respond to New Age Spirituality

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
February 11, 2021 1:00 am

How to Respond to New Age Spirituality

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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February 11, 2021 1:00 am

Episode 640 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

1. A friend of mine has bought into the teachings of a New Age guru who has told her that she is the reincarnation of Mary Magdalene and that Jesus is her husband. I was reminded when you spoke about 1 John and our need to use discernment when testing the spirit. I am wondering if I need to take a break from this relationship because she is saying hurtful things. What should I do?

2. My son died when he was 14. I miss him greatly and I am wondering if he is in heaven?

3. Why is the Song of Solomon so often neglected in the church?

4. My son is a Freemason and is asking my husband and I to join him. How should we respond?

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A friend of mine believes in New Age teachings about spirituality, and she says they're compatible with Christianity.

How should I respond? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Pick up your phone right now, and you can talk to Pastor Adriel live on the air with your questions. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts, and you can email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Well, first up today, here's a voicemail that we received yesterday. Hi, my question is, I've really been trying to help out someone who is an acquaintance friend that had been asking me to lead her to the Bible, and she has been told apparently by some New Age guru that she had been reincarnated from Mary Magdalene and that her husband is Jesus. And I tried telling her that that is false. You know, it kind of pulled at my heart, looking at 1 John, how it says that we're supposed to be loving to others and share the gospel, but then also talking about discernment. She keeps arguing with me and publicly saying things that slander the name of Jesus Christ, and it's hurtful, and I just don't know if I should completely walk away from trying to help her be saved or if there is some kind of angle that I could come at her to help her see that this is a delusion and that reincarnation does not go hand in hand with the Bible.

Thank you. Thank you for that question, sister, and I'm encouraged by the fact that you're wanting to share the faith with this friend of yours, and I know that sometimes it can be frustrating when we're having conversations with people and they clearly reject what the Bible teaches about Jesus, and sometimes it can even get argumentative. And so I think one prayer is so important. We have to remember when we're having conversations with friends and family members, we want to understand the gospel that really understanding comes from the Holy Spirit. Acts chapter 16, I love this passage of scripture where Paul is preaching at Philippi, and in verse 14 it says, One who heard us was a woman named Lydia from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods who was a worshiper of God, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

And so I would say you pray that the Lord opens the heart of your friend knowing that this is first and foremost a work of the Holy Spirit and that as you're having conversations with her, you're dependent upon the Holy Spirit, but you also want to bring her to an understanding of what the Bible actually says about Jesus. And I like that you mentioned 1 John there, 1 John chapter 4, it says, 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. By this you know the Spirit of God, every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. You know, it's heartbreaking, but the fact of the matter is, today in the world, the spirit of the Antichrist is clearly at work.

And here's what the Antichrist wants, here's what the spirit of the Antichrist is seeking to do in the world today, confuse people about the identity of Jesus. First and foremost, the most important thing for each of us, the most important question you can ever answer is, who is Jesus Christ? Getting that right is key, and it sounds like your friend is getting that really wrong right now, she's listening to some spiritual teachers that are leading her astray. And so I would say, focusing on the person and on the work of Jesus Christ, as you have conversations with her, saying, look, Jesus is not just another person, a good spiritual teacher, he is the Christ, the Savior, the Son of God, who came to pay for our sins, so that when we stand before God on the day of judgment, we can be forgiven, we can have the hope of eternal life.

The scripture is absolutely clear in places like Hebrews 9, verse 27, it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes the judgment. And so all of us are going to stand before the Lord on judgment day, and the question is, are we standing with Jesus, or are we standing in our own righteousness? And if we have a false understanding of who Jesus is, then we're lost. If we think that he was just some other person, or her reincarnated husband, her husband cannot save her. Only the true Jesus can, and so you want to pray for her and have conversations around who Jesus is and what he came to accomplish, and may the Lord bless you as you have those conversations, sister. Interesting question, and I'm glad you said her husband can't save her, because you know, sometimes people think their spouses can save them, and that's just not the case. My wife knows for sure that I can't save her, so we point each other to Jesus, and that's the only hope that we have.

Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to David, who's calling in from Branson, Missouri. David, welcome to Core Christianity. Thank you, Pastor. Hey David, welcome to the program.

What's your question, brother? Pastor, my son passed away 10 years ago. He was 14 years old. He lived with his mother. He's a product of two self-absorbed people who never got married. To my knowledge, he never was introduced to Jesus Christ in any way.

I had him read some Psalms and some Proverbs, but other than that, I don't know that he ever was introduced to Jesus Christ. He's gone. I miss him. I don't know if he is in heaven or otherwise, and I wish you could clarify that for me, if you would, please. David, I'm so sorry to hear about the death of your son.

I know you said it was 10 years ago, but I'm sure that the pain is still very real. The first thing I want to do for you is pray for you, brother. Father, I lift David up to you, and I ask God that you would comfort him, that you would be with him, that you would help him, Lord, to rest in the fact that you know all things, God, that you are absolutely sovereign, that you're bigger than we are, that our days are numbered, each one of them.

That we have, Lord, even before there were any. That's what the psalmist says in Psalm 139, Lord, that you are in control and that not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from your sovereign will, and that you care for us, Lord. You care for us more than the sparrows, and so I pray that you would comfort my brother with that reality, with the fact that you are the Lord, and we can trust in you. We can look to you even in the midst of the pain that we experience in this world, and so would you be with him and comfort him and draw him near to you through your son, Jesus, in whose name we pray.

Amen. You know, David, I'm not the judge of heaven and earth, and I can't tell you whether or not your son is in the presence of the Lord. But I do know that God is good, and I do know that Christ is merciful, and I know that all those who turn to him by faith are saved. We don't know what happens in an individual's life as they're moving towards death. We don't know. We just don't know, and so I think it's wise for us to reserve judgment. In fact, that's precisely what the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians chapter 4.

It's just not up to us to make that judgment. What we do know is that God knows all things. I mentioned Psalm 139, and I just think the words there are so powerful, especially when we're wrestling with these kinds of questions. In Psalm 139, the psalmist is reflecting on the fact that the Lord is in total control, and he says this. Verse 13, for you formed my inward parts. You knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works. My soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance. In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. In other words, the psalmist is saying, God, you know me better than I know myself.

You knew each and every one of the days that I would have on this earth. And David, God knew that for your son as well. He knows that for you. And you can look to him, you can trust in him, you can put your hope in him. And it doesn't help to speculate, but what you can rest in is in the fact that God is just and that God is good. And that God is merciful to us through Jesus. And so I would just say cast yourself on the mercies of God and on the hope that God knows all things and ultimately is good. And so, brother, I think that's where you have to go.

And again, I also mentioned that passage where Jesus talks about the sparrows, how God cares for even the sparrows. God loves you, loves your family, and you can rest in that, David. May the Lord bless you.

Difficult situation. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And we want to remind you that you can listen to this program anytime and hear previous episodes by subscribing to our podcast. Now, if you subscribe on the podcast app and leave us a five star review, even more people will be able to hear about the podcast and also have a chance to learn about the core truths of Christianity.

So download the podcast app if you don't already have it and check out Core Christianity either today's episode or past episodes. Let's go to Duncan from Ottawa, Canada. Duncan, welcome to Core Christianity. Good evening, folks. Your program blesses me more than you'll ever know.

Thank you, Duncan. Pastor Sanchez, I have a question relating to the Song of Solomon or Song of Songs, as it's called. I've oft times wondered why this book is seldom studied.

Now, some folks say it's pornographic. I don't believe that for a second. If that were the case, it wouldn't belong to the canon of Scripture. Now, it is said that Jewish young people under the age of 30 were discouraged from reading the Song of Solomon. Is there any truth to that? Thank you for this question.

You're totally right. You don't oftentimes hear sermon series on the Song of Solomon. I think that there are a few reasons for that. One, what we have here in the Song of Solomon is very poetic. So I wonder if pastors don't avoid it just because they're trying to think about how can I actually apply this to my congregation. It seems difficult to understand all of these images, all of these allegories of what's going on here. So there are a lot of people who don't want to touch it with a ten-foot pole for that reason, but also because in the Song of Solomon you have erotic poetry in some places. That was understood historically.

How are we going to address that in the context of the local church and from the pulpit? But the fact of the matter is I think it's really important for us to think about this book, and there's so much for us to glean from it. Historically, it's been interpreted in different ways. I mentioned the idea of it being erotic love poetry, he's celebrating human love. Others have interpreted it primarily as an allegory of the love that exists between God and the human soul. You saw this a lot in the medieval church, for example. Traditionally, the Jewish view was that it was an allegory of God's spousal love for Israel. And that's something that we see throughout the Old Testament.

It really is quite beautiful that one of the pictures that God gives us for his relationship with his people is he's the bridegroom of his people. He took Israel to be his wife. Now what happened in the context of redemptive history? Israel turned her back on the Lord. She committed spiritual adultery. You think about that scene in Exodus where the people of God created the golden calf and turned their backs on the Lord.

And yet, God continued to pursue his bride. And when Jesus shows up on the scene in the Gospels, he refers to himself as the bridegroom. You see this in particular in the Gospel of John. And so I think there's a way out on the surface that we can see it as celebrating the human relationship between a husband and a wife, the intimacy that exists there, something that's given to us by God as a gift. And I think it's important that we see that because one thing that we can do, and I've seen happen in Christian churches, is these topics become sort of taboo and we don't know how to talk about them when in reality it's okay to talk about these things.

I mean, marriage, intimacy, those are gifts given to us by the Lord that can be celebrated or they can be abused and misused. And so Song of Solomon is helping us see how this ought to work and how this ought to look. But also, as this allegory of God's love for his people, I think it communicates to us so much, you know, this vivid picture of the kind of relationship, the kind of intimacy that the Lord wants with his people, that Christ has with his bride. We're united to him in this organic way by faith. Every time we take the Lord's Supper, for example, I think that's one of the things that we're participating in and experiencing.

It is this beautiful thing. And yet, like you said, a lot of times we just don't talk about the Song of Solomon. And so, yeah, I think it's for the reasons that I already mentioned and hopefully, you know, this short answer is encouraging some pastors out there to consider picking up this book and maybe doing a Bible study on it because the Song of Solomon really is a beautiful book and one that we should be encouraged to study as believers. You know, Adriel, my pastor preached on this about a year ago and he did have a little, I guess, warning to the parents in the congregation saying, you know, there are some things in this particular book that, you know, if you've got younger kids, you may want to make sure they're in Sunday school that day. But yes, it is a beautiful book on so many levels, as you said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And we've been talking this week about a wonderful resource that Adriel has created. It's called Seeing Jesus.

And we'd love to make a copy of that available to you today. Yes. You know, just going back to the earlier caller that we had, David, thinking about death and just the pain and the sorrow associated with death. You know, one thing about Jesus Christ is he is the high priest who came to deal with the problem of death. We don't often think about that, but that's actually something that's very clearly communicated in the Gospels. And one of the chapters in Seeing Jesus, that's what it focuses on. It focuses on Jesus, the priest who deals with death. And so if you're someone who's wrestling with that very question, I mean, trying to think about faith and the light of death and mourning, pick up this resource. It's yours for free.

I think it'll be an encouragement to you in your walk with the Lord and it'll fix your eyes on Jesus, the one who conquered death. To sign up to receive your free copy of Seeing Jesus, just head over to corechristianity.com forward slash Jesus. You can also call us at 833-843-2673 for help getting any one of our offers. Again, our number is 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Rachel, who's calling in from West Hartford, Connecticut. Rachel, welcome to CORE Christianity. Thank you. Thank you.

Rachel, welcome to the program. What's your question? So my question has to do with, there are two things that I was hoping that I could get an answer for, get some idea about scripturally. A, my son, who's an adult, he no longer lives with my husband and I, he's independent, and he is a part of a cult called the Freemasons. And it's been really difficult for our family because we're Baptist Christians and we, clearly they're opposites, and he has been actually trying to convert us in believing in that system. And so there has been many arguments and tried different ways to, you know, being nice, trying to show him scripts. And the long and short of it is how do we deal with these kinds of situations where families are being kind of torn apart from the different systems that are, from his belief system versus biblical, our faith.

Yeah. Well, one, I'm just so sorry for the tension. You know, I think about what our Lord Jesus said, I didn't come to bring peace on earth, but a sword. And he talked about how following him and embracing the gospel at times would create divisions even within families. Sometimes following Jesus displeases the people that we love the most, our parents, our children, our friends, and yet we're still called to follow the Lord, but the difficult thing, and I can hear it in your voice, Rachel, is just we want to see the people that we love know Jesus and experience his grace. And especially when our loved ones are caught up in another system of belief that is crushing a cult, and you think of all the cults, but something that's not going to be life-giving for them, but is ultimately going to take from them, well, it breaks our hearts. And so the first thing, Rachel, is I would say you have to be committed to praying for your son.

And I said this earlier, it really is so important. Sometimes we think of prayer as not really accomplishing anything, but at the end of the day, it's the main ingredient in terms of sharing the faith with others because it's only by the grace of the Holy Spirit. It's only through the work of God that our hearts are open, that our eyes are open. There's a veil, there's this blindness there that we need the Lord to remove, that you need the Lord to remove for your son.

And so pray for him. And then I think focusing on, I mean, it's really easy to get caught up in all these different arguments, you know, about religion, about faith, about the Bible, focusing on the gospel. See, what cults can never give an individual, false religion can never give an individual, is the gospel.

They'll give you a laundry list of things to do, of ways to better yourself, of how to be spiritual, that kind of a thing, rules and regulations that ultimately burden people down. What we have in the Christian faith is something so much better than that. We have the good news of the gospel that God has borne our sins at the weight of the law.

He has carried for us. And so focusing, I think, Rachel, on the goodness of the gospel, on what God has accomplished for us, and offering that, extending that to your son. And it's so clear, it's so important for us to grasp this. I was just thinking about this passage in 1 John 5, because I'm currently preaching through 1 John. And John says in 1 John 5, if we receive the testimony of men, this is verse 9, the testimony of God is greater. This is the testimony of God, that he is borne concerning his son. Whoever believes in the son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe has made him to be a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God is borne concerning his son. And this is the testimony that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his son. Whoever has the son has life. That's what you get to put before your son, is the life that God extends to us freely through his son. And so pray for your son, Rachel, and focus on Jesus. Focus on the Gospel, focus on what God has done to rescue us. And Rachel, can I pray for your son right now?

Absolutely. Let me pray for him. Yes, I'd appreciate that. Father, we come before you and we do know, Lord, that it is only by the grace of your Holy Spirit that our eyes were opened to see the light of your son, Jesus. And we pray for this young man, we pray, Lord, that you would do that work for him, that you would open his heart, that you would give Rachel and her family wisdom and grace as they communicate. Lord, that you would help her, Lord, in the conversations that she has, just to speak the word clearly for her son to hear, and that he would have ears to listen, Lord. Be with them, we pray. Open his heart, we ask, in Jesus' name. Amen. Rachel, thank you for calling us. Thank you, Rachel. We appreciate so much your concern for your son.

You know, Adriel, I was thinking about it as we close out the program. There are some resources that our listeners should probably get their hands on if they're dealing with situations like this. We've had people calling in about cults, about dealing with a New Age person. One, of course, we've talked about many times before is Mere Christianity, which is a great book that can help you really understand the core concepts of the faith by C.S.

Lewis. And then, of course, the book by our founder that this program is based on, Core Christianity, by Dr. Michael Horton. Yeah, those are all really wonderful resources, and we're reminded of why it's so important for us to know what we believe, to have our understanding rooted in the scriptures, and to be able to articulate that to others. People right now desperately need to know the truth, and if they don't know it, they'll be swept away by all the false teaching that's out there in the world. We need to be grounded in God's Word. That's why we have this program to help ground you and in the scriptures. And so look to the Lord and rest in His Word and know it. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-25 12:15:09 / 2023-12-25 12:24:35 / 9

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