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Spiritual Meditations (21 May 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Religion per se Is More Than A Dispenser of Wisdom and Knowledge; It Brings People Together and Inspires Them to Work Together For Peace and Harmony

By Tajender Singh Luthra

May 21, 2019

The debate about the relevance of religion is an ongoing one in the modern secular world. One view that is current today is that religion is not required. However, if used with a sense of balance and proportion, religion could be beneficial in many ways for everyone, including agnostics and atheists.

Let’s first examine the wisdom and knowledge generated by the modern secular world. We get knowledge from our teachers, various books, movies, journals and newspapers. But however much we like a book or an article, after some time, we often forget its lesson. Sometimes, we even forget the title of the book. We surf the internet, talk to our friends, or search our bookshelves to reconnect with the book or the article to refresh our memory of its lesson. The same happens even with our favourite movies. With the passage of time, we forget the story, the protagonist, characters and the fine nuances of the plot. The modern secular world struggles with ways and means of retaining its knowledge and wisdom perhaps because we are so distracted by multitasking and our focus gets dissipated.

Religion has ingenious ways and means to help seekers retain its knowledge and wisdom. It offers and emphasises regular repetition that engenders retention, comprehension and propagation of knowledge and wisdom acquired from religious teachings. Most ancient religious teachings are universal and timeless; hence it is important to appreciate this priceless heritage and conserve it for present and future generations.

Religion per se is more than a dispenser of wisdom and knowledge; it brings people together and inspires them to work together for peace and harmony – and for the common good. In many cases, it provides solace to the suffering, hope to the hopeless and stimulates the intellect of those who seek answers to profound existential questions.

The sense of togetherness is evident when we visit a place of worship and when we feel at ease with complete strangers. It’s the ambience created by prayerful individuals who come with faith in their hearts and a prayer on their lips. There is no negativity to upset the feeling of oneness.

On the other hand, technology of the modern secular world can connect us, give us information, news, lots of material goodies but it cannot by itself create a sense of belonging and affiliation among its followers. We neither feel assured nor have a sense of belonging when we meet a stranger who is on the same social media network. Thus, though, technology connects us at one level, it does not create a sense of belonging and affiliation.

We get connected through technology yet we don’t feel confident of forging lasting, meaningful friendships. Those who are members of a religious satsang, for example, would perhaps experience a deeper sense of understanding and empathy with their group members, as they try to practice the hallowed teachings of their guru or faith.

In the modern secular world, it is one’s absolute choice to be an atheist or a believer, but an open-minded approach towards religion and its best practices may help us enhance our emotional well-being. This would contribute to a more stable and positive approach to life.

Tajender Singh Luthrar, an officer of the Indian Police Service, is a practitioner of positive psychology

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/toi-edit-page/place-of-religion-in-a-modern-secular-society/

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/spiritual-meditations/tajender-singh-luthra/religion-per-se-is-more-than-a-dispenser-of-wisdom-and-knowledge;-it-brings-people-together-and-inspires-them-to-work-together-for-peace-and-harmony/d/118658


  • Doreen Virtue, Popular New Age Author, Becomes Christian & Renounces New Age Movement

    By Steven Bancarz

     As a former New Ager myself, this was exciting to see.  Doreen Virtue is a former author that has written roughly 40 New Age books and has produced over a dozen “card decks” used for intuitive readings.  She has been featured in the past on Oprah, CNN, and The View, and is literally a staple author in any New Ager’s bookshelf.

    She is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures ever involved in the New Age, and she has recently given her life to Jesus, been baptized, and renounced the New Age movement.  She now considers herself a “born-again Christian” on her website.  This radical change started when she had a vision of Jesus in church on January 7th, 2017 and was finalized by her baptism a month later.

    Upbringing and background

    Doreen grew up in a home with Christian values, but the churches she was raised in didn’t hold traditional orthodox beliefs.  As she explains, “Since I was a child, I’ve loved Jesus. And I’ve been reading the Bible since I was a child also.  But I had a really different viewpoint of Jesus growing up.  You see, I was raised in the New Thought churches of Unity and Christian Science…When I was growing up I read the Bible, and I would read the positive things of the Bible only because that is what the focus was on.”

    With this loose background in Christianity, she began to take interest in psychology, getting her M.A. in counseling psychology and doctorate in the philosophy of psychology, and practicing as a registered psychotherapist. She started into the New Age movement when she was invited to speak at the Whole Life expo in 1995.  Here, she was introduced to incense and crystals and reiki for the first time.

    This opened up a whole new world of interest, and she began taking classes and actively studying New Age subjects.  Her favorite subjects of interest were medium- ship and psychic development, which she began to practice and incorporate into her work.

    In the same year, she had an experience where she believes an angel told her to scream, scaring away people who were about to carjack her before they were able to.  We see a lot of these stories around the world come from both Christians and non-Christians, of supernatural interventions by what seem to be angels.  This led her to research more about angels, and as someone who had a predisposition to supernatural experiences from a young age, her fascination with the New Age and angels continued to lead her down a path of practicing divination involving ‘angels’.

    What was her view on Jesus during this time when she was involved in the New Age movement?  For most people in the New Age movement, the view of Jesus is watered down.  Bible verses are cherry-picked from to fashion a politically correct Christ who embraces all faiths.  Jesus is not the exclusive Son of God and only means of salvation, but just another ‘prophet’ and ‘teacher’ here to show us a universal path to enlightenment.  Sin means nothing, the cross means nothing, and the death and resurrection of Jesus ultimately means nothing.  This was certainly true for Doreen.

    “Some people said that ‘No, Jesus is the equivalent of Buddha and Krishna and other Ascended Master.’  So this is the direction that I started to see Jesus in.”

    When Jesus began to draw her

    Things began to change for her in 2015 when she began to do research for her “Loving Words from Jesus” card deck, which would contain Bible verses on the cards. To find out what Jesus really said, she started to read the Gospels front to back and really analyze the words of Jesus.

    “My view of Jesus is that he was this warm cuddly bear with no edges, and of course I knew about him tipping the tables in the temple, but to me he was someone who went around espousing verses like ‘ask and it shall be given’, which he did, but there is so much more to Jesus…I went through the Gospels, and I was really surprised with what I read…Here is what I read that was my wake-up call.  In Matthew 10:32-33, Jesus says ‘Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.  But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.’

    When I read that, I thought “Well that’s not very teddy-bear like.”  And then I read the same thing again in the synoptic Gospel of Luke in Luke 9:26, “If anyone is ashamed and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when He returns in His glory and the glory of the Father and the holy angels.”

    This ended up convicting her of being inconsistent of her view of Christ, and gave her a new appreciation for the person of Jesus.  She began to go to church, fellowship with other Christians, and volunteer with them, but she still had a foot in the New Age movement as a practicing psychic.

    Her experience with Jesus

    On January 7th of this year, Doreen had an experience with Jesus while in a church service.  A fellow volunteer was leaving the church and was receiving acknowledgement from the priest at the front of the church.  As she was staring in her direction, Jesus appeared to her:

    “And as I was looking at her, all of a sudden the scene changed.  She disappeared, the church disappeared, all of the people disappeared, and there was Jesus right in front of me, standing there.  Well, floating really.  And He was glowing, and He was glowing so brightly…it was this glow all around Him and especially from his heart, and the glow was this candle-like color, and this smile on his face. 

    And he was looking at me, but it wasn’t a sense of me personally like my ego, it was a sense of everyone that included me, and when I saw him it was a whole different experience than I had ever had in seeing the angels or in any of the work I had done.  This was the most three dimensional experience I have ever seen. 

    And I was blown back in my chair.  I don’t know how long it lasted, but all I know is that when he showed up a few things became my knowledge.  I went from believing to knowing that He is real, that he knows who I am, who knows who everyone is.  Not in a judging way, but in a compassionate ‘I-hope-that-you’ll-do-the-mission’ type of way.


    And there was this knowingness to really amplify my studies and also to share what I was learning with others.”

    What has changed since then

    The Bible tells us that we will know a tree by its fruit.  It says in the book of James that faith without works is a dead faith, and that such a faith is useless and cannot save us.  Real saving faith is always followed up with works of repentance as the Holy Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ.  The Bible tells us we will see evidence of salvation.

    She addresses this in her testimony video.  People have asked her, “How do you know you saw the REAL Jesus?”

    “The Word tells us that by their fruits you shall know them, and after seeing Jesus I was completely changed.  I started to read the Bible even more.  I started to volunteer at the church even more.  And I started to give up things that were against the Bible like mediumship, fortune telling, which is predicting. 


    She has told Hay House Publishing that she wants the royalties she has been receiving from her old tarot cards to go to their charity, and that she will be taking her name off them in about a year.

    She also shared with them that she can no longer write about anything that isn’t scriptural, wants to take the Ascended Masters books and cards out of print, and will only be writing Christian themed material from here on out.  From publishing dozens of New Age works to refusing to receive royalties and produce anything that is not Christian is a huge shift, especially of an author of this size.

    “God says we can only serve one master, God or money, and I trust that God will serve my needs.”

    Mediumship, divination, and ‘predictions’ are things of the past for her.  She now prays with people instead of giving them readings.  She is downsizing and simplying her lifestyle to be obedient with Scripture and because her financial situation has changed as a result of this experience with Jesus.


    Moving forward

    Since her baptism, she has been working on a book called Mornings With The Lord which is a daily devotional reading with an encouraging thought for the day from Scripture.  She has been incorporating the Bible into the messages she produces on social media, and is taking a God-based Bible-based approach to her work.

    Her emphasis is on the loving, compassionate, non-judgmental hand that the Lord is extending to sinners calling them into relationship with Him.  “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:17

    She closed of her testimony video with a prayer of salvation for those listening:

    “Dear Jesus of Nazareth, (and we say that to make sure it’s the real Jesus because there are masquerading beings trying to pretend they’re Jesus.)  Dear Jesus of Nazareth, I ask you to come into my heart, and save me.  Save me from all these situations Lord, and help me to save others with your help.  I ask that you come to me Lord and be my Lord and Savior.  Help me to know what the right path is for my life.  Bring the Holy Spirit to me Lord as my teacher, as my wayshower, as my comforter, and my advocate.  Help me to know what my spiritual gifts are, and how to best use them to serve the Lord, to serve peace, to serve God’s divine love.”

    By dean pierce - 6/30/2019 1:03:45 PM

  • Former New Age Astrologer Finds New Purpose, Warns Against the OccultA

    AsHalloween approaches and the public’s attention turns toward the world of the paranormal and “spirits,” one SES (Southern Evangelical Seminary)  graduate (class of 2011), a former astrologer, uses what she learned at SES to help Christians defend against New Age beliefs and to educate those flirting with the paranormal.

    "I had no interest in being a Christian at all, and no one witnessed to me," Marcia said, thinking back a few decades to the height of her spiritual quest.

    Marcia studied Eastern religion in college where she began researching the life of Gandhi. Hinduism intrigued her, and with no firm faith foundation—her dad was agnostic, her mother a nominal Christian—she found herself wanting to practice something. She was also developing an interest in the paranormal.

    After college, Marcia got involved in a couple of Buddhist groups that taught her meditation, marking her entrance into the New Age. It wasn't long before she enrolled in classes on psychic development and astrology.

    "Those courses really pulled me into it, big time," she said.

    Marcia became a certified astrologer and served as president of the Metropolitan Atlanta Astrological Society.  Marcia would collect birth data and plug it into a chart calculating the position of the sun, moon and planets relative to a person's birth place and time. Marcia then interpreted the chart, advising the client on job goals, relationship issues, strengths and past influences.

    After a while, Marcia started feeling compelled to go to church again, but ignored it—for months.

    "I wanted to get rid of it," she said, and even wondered if the feeling had to do with unfinished business from a past life. Eventually, she visited a church, but with plans to leave early. When the service began, everyone stood as a boy carried a cross down the aisle.  

    "As he passed me, I felt this love falling down on me," Marcia said. "It was like there was a personal God who was telling me He loved me."

    Moved to tears, she stayed through the whole service, then went back the next Sunday, and the next. She joined a Sunday school class, but didn't see any conflict with retaining her Buddhist beliefs. Just a few weeks after stepping foot in church, "I started getting this impression that God did not like astrology." A few weeks after that, Marcia felt God was telling her to give it up. But two more events reinforced her discomfort.

    Marcia visited her chiropractor, who was into witchcraft. As Marcia lay on the table, the woman said she was starting a coven and wanted Marcia to be the astrologer. Marcia suddenly felt a weight on her and graciously declined.

    Shortly after, at an Astrological Society open house, Marsha was lecturing on zodiac signs. "While I was talking, I felt this very strong urge to say, 'We shouldn't be here.' ... I had to stifle it."

    Finally, the night before Thanksgiving, Marcia told her rector what was happening. He took out a Bible and shared God's warnings against practicing divination. But without astrology, Marcia thought, "What was my life about?"

    Marcia started reading the Bible every night, beginning in Matthew 1. "As I read, I started sensing that there was something very pure about the words." By Dec. 21, she was in Matthew 8, reading how Jesus calmed the storm. "Where is your faith?" Jesus asks the disciples.

    The story grabbed her. "God just opened my eyes. I suddenly realized who Jesus was. ... I had to have Him as a Savior." She asked Him to be part of her life right then, and "as soon as I did that, I knew I was a different person." Marcia remembers telling a co-worker about it and found out later that he and his young adult group at church had been praying for her for a year. 

    When she heard there was a seminary that focused on answering objections like those she encountered in the New Age and in the occult, she enrolled.

    "My ministry is mainly how do you respond to the New Age?" That's what drew her to SES—its emphasis on how to defend biblical Christianity.

    From the very first course, she began using what she was learning at SES as she talked to Christians curious about New Age ideas or to people who were already enmeshed in it. She's able to share why those ideas don't align with the Bible.

    “With so many people mixing religions and leaving the church, you're bound to come across someone who's not a Christian, and you need to be ready,” Marcia said.  She recalls reading the paper on the subway once when a woman nearby asked to borrow the horoscope section. Marcia took the opportunity to tell her why it wasn't a good idea to read them, and then shared the Gospel with her.

    "The fact that it doesn't appear to be evil is the very danger of it," she said.

    "The evil of the occult shouldn't be sensationalized, but not underplayed or dismissed either," she said. In the Bible, talk of the occult is linked to worship of false gods. "God has very strong words on it; therefore, it's not something to play around with (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Galatians 5:20)."

    “What about Halloween?” is a question she is often asked. She tells people that Halloween tends to “glorify darkness” and to nurture fascination with evil. She also points out, however, that “Christians should follow their consciences.”


    Southern Evangelical Seminary ranked the Best General Apologetics Graduate Program by TheBestSchools.org, since 1992 Southern Evangelical Seminary has provided a synthesis of sound philosophy, classical apologetics, and a cohesive theology based on the inerrant Word of God in order to equip Christians to persuasively share their faith in a secular world.

    By fabio teci - 6/1/2019 10:38:09 AM

  • Hats Off is stuck in some medieval version of Islam that he projects  on me and others. Lying and slandering seem to be his only contribution to this forum!
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 5/22/2019 12:11:22 AM

  • if positive psychology is basically lying, obfuscating and misleading people then no wonder you love it. you are a past master at all these sterling islamic qualities.
    if a man chooses any other religion than islam, his will be hell fire for life.
    this is for example how islam encourages a dialogue between the kuffar and the momeen.
    your hollow moderatism, inherent jew hatred and mild kuffar hatred, contempt for the west (which you anyway happily exploit without conscience), pretended tolerance and a flair for lying perhaps makes you most suitable for interfaith.
    non stop lying seems to be your fitra.

    By hats off! - 5/21/2019 5:54:19 PM

  • An excellent testimony on what religions should be and can be! The author is a practitioner of "positive psychology" which is the exact opposite of what Hats Off practices.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 5/21/2019 11:58:43 AM

  • is this why every religion describes all other religions as misguided, wrong, corrupted, false and inferior?

    By hats off! - 5/21/2019 5:58:10 AM

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