Friday, June 27, 2008

God - Religion - New Age Spirituality

I can remember having an almost "out of body" experience when I was 4 years old. It was at a Baptist church on the south side of my home town. It was what you would call a "black" baptist church. But the reason I say that it was an "almost" out of body experience is because unlike the traditional: " My soul left my body and I was looking down on everything going on in the room" it was more of an actual awakening to my "duality". I recall staring at my little fingers thinking that they were separate from me. (Me being my non-physical being)

It's interesting that my focus was on my fingers. I had no clue at the age of four that my fingers would become an integral part of who and what I would become. That marked the beginning of my church life. Three years later my family would move to a nearby city and I would start attending a "First Assembly of God" Pentecostal church. It was very animated, at times scary, but very, very charismatic. My mother use to drop off my sister, brother and me on Sunday morning so they could have some time alone.

Ten years later, at the age of 17, I would spend a year trying out new churches on my own. My mother had died 6 years earlier and I felt that God would give me some answers to my mangled upbringing. After my year of prospecting, I found the Church of Christ. Not the United Church of Christ. Not the West side Church of Christ and certainly not the Church of Christ of latter day saints. The Church that claims to be the original church Jesus founded on the day of Pentecost.

I know that the Catholic Church claims to be the "universal" church. But some argue that the Catholic denomination has done more to hurt the cause of traditional Christianity than to support it. The Church of Christ is a church that claims to follow the teaching of the new testament just as the original 7 churches of the 1st century did. The Church of Christ is also an independently run church that has it's own autonomy just as the church of Corrinth, the church of Phillipi, and the Church in Rome etc... did. None of them are nationally sponsored.

This appealed to me. It seemed as legit as an organized church could get. Their MO is: "If it's practiced in the new testament, we will practice it as such. If there's no evidence of practice or authorization of a practice, we will not do it. As that would be adding to the scriptures".

I was a member of the Church for 32 years.

I preached a number of sermons when the preacher was gone or when the congregation was without a preacher. I never considered becoming a preacher as I don't feel I ever had the "calling". I was however a very active song service leader up until I left the church in Sunnyvale. It was there that I had a 2nd epiphany. I visited the church of Rev. Paul Shepherd at the Abundant Life Christian fellowship church in Mountain View. It's a mega church of about 4000 worshippers, mostly African American but very diverse. It was this church that opened my mind to the actual "spiritual aspect" of God. Until I worshipped there; I felt I was attending a Christian University. (all knowledge and little practice) I could instantly feel the presence of a Spiritual being in this church. I came home and felt like I had "gone to church" for the first time.

The New Age Movement


For personal reasons, I haven't been in a church for about a year now. I have studied much of the "new age" movement of spirituality that is sweeping the nation because of the success of the movie "The Secret". I've always said, and I still mean it, that people who say the above statement: "I'm Spiritual, but I'm not religious" are like people who say, I'm physical, but I stay in bed all the time. I now understand that people that make these statements, are probably people that have just come to understand the duality of their life. (meaning physical and spiritual or non-physical) Deepak Chopra and Pierre Tielhard De Chardin were among the early leaders of this "new age" movement. To me, I see it as modern man's search for truth in a greater dimension or being. People that enjoy this movement are often people that do not like the restrictions or (dare I say it) "Control" of the traditional church.

Having studied both viewpoints with an open mind; I can truthfully say that both have their Pros and Cons. Both belief structures have logical/spiritual explanations. At the end of this post I'll give you my feedback on where I stand. (For what it's worth)

God is Something or Someone that corporeal man can not understand because of our limited knowledge. Some say God is purely Spiritual and can only be appreciated from the Spiritual POV. Yet Scientist still refer to Hurricanes, Volcanic eruptions, Floods, Tsunamis and Fire storms as "Acts of God". God Himself responded to Moses when asked: " Whom should I say said this?" "Tell them I Am that I Am". I interpret this as "It is what it is" A statement used to describe the unexplainable. New Age followers refer to God in a number of ways:

1. Source Energy
2. Higher Power
3. The divine
4. The Universe
5. The collective vibration of source energy

As you can tell, these monikers are less positional than the traditional God/Servant paradigm. The great "Almighty" is reduced to a "Scientific theory"

The traditional church has it's drawbacks as well. Western religion gets it's instruction from the Hebrew Torah (first five books of the old testament) and the New and Old testament of the Holy Bible.

What started as Christ Jesus and the 12 Apostles in Israel grew to a number of 2.1 billion believers in the 21st century divided amongst an approximate 34,000 denominations.


One of the biggest accusations made towards traditional western religion is that the validity of the writings can not be trusted as text could have been lost in the translations over the last 4000 years. Yet the dead sea scrolls written in Hebrew and the new testament written in Greek translate almost verbatim into the English standards that we have today.

Interpretations account for the 34,000 denominations. Much of the writing and preaching is symbolic. So this lends to many different interpretations of the same word. One night, my former Bass player and good friend Page Jackson said to me that his wife could not worship in a different church other than the church she belongs to. It was this defiance that led both of us to ask if Jesus meant for His followers to be divided as greatly as they are?

The drawbacks of traditional western religion is that the writings divide people. Ironically, the assets of western traditional religion are the writings. The value of the scriptures give us a template for living. It stresses love and stewardship. It encourages the corporeal being to be humble and appreciative. (as does the law of attraction) It empowers the believer with the Law of attraction. Jesus spoke: "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Now that's Intention Manifestation!

The drawbacks of the new age movement is that most information is given through Psychics or Spiritual Channelers. The validity of the Psychic is not only an issue but the validity of the Spirit channeled is also a very serious issue. And in most cases, there is no theology. It's all "universal law".

The value of the new age movement is that the complacent believer must now become more aware of the spiritual world. Cook book spirituality does not work. It's refreshing to see people doing things to free their subconscious minds of limiting beliefs. Like it or not, belief is a huge part of the Law of attraction. As Wallace Wattles wrote: "There is a thinking Stuff that fills all the inter spaces of the universe."


I worship the God of the Hebrew Bible as the God of all creation. I do not claim to understand what God is as I believe that is beyond man's capability. I believe all the writings of the Hebrew Bible and the Greek Bible to be inspired words of God. Because one human is not capable of interpreting the Bible for all of man; I believe that man must approach the Bible using his spiritual skills. I believe that God wants man to have a "Spiritual" relationship with Him. Not just a concious relationship. Using new age techniques, I believe man can separate his Ego from his subconcious mind to have a closer relationship with the Holy Spirit.

I believe that without the guidance of the principals of the Holy Bible, working with Spirit guides can lead you to an unwanted situation. The new testament or Greek Bible admonishes the use of things like spiritual readings, Star chart readings and other psychic help. It doesn't say that it's not real. Prophets have been around since the beginning of time. But not all spirits have your best intentions in mind.

We all need to understand the "duality" of our being. I say, understand new age teachings. (although they're not really new) but respect and obey the teachings of God through the Bible. It's good to know how quantum physics work and effect your spiritual life. But understand that life as we know it is really short. Think twice before a psychic tells you something contrary to the teachings of the Bible. Satan wants you to believe that you can re-incarnate. Trust Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Don't completely trust your psychic. Learn to vibrate at a high frequency. It's OK to ackowledge that you are the full essence of God's love. If God's love is in you, then you are love. But know that you are not God nor are you greater or more important than God. This is a popular new age teaching that has a satanic ring to it.

Peace and Love

Ace Out........................................................


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