Tajender Singh Luthra
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
HE ALSO IS THE SON
OF GOD. AT THAT MOMENT I KNEW THAT HE
WAS NOT JUST AN ASCENDED MASTER. HE WAS
A PART OF THE TRINITY, THE HOLY TRINITY OF GOD, HOLY SPIRIT, AND JESUS.
And there was this
knowingness to really amplify my studies and also to share what I was learning
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
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.
“I WANTED TO BE
COMPLETELY ALIGNED WITH GOD’S WILL.”
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.”
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.
TELLING, AND DIVINATION ARE FORBIDDEN IN THE BIBLE.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
courses really pulled me into it, big time," she said.
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
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
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."
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.
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.
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."
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?"
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
fact that it doesn't appear to be evil is the very danger of it," she
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)."
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.”
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.