Thursday, September 6, 2012
Former New Age astrologer warns about questionable influences creeping into church
Are alternative healing, yoga, mysticism right for Christians?
By Mark Ellis
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS) -- Marcia Montenegro was deeply entrenched in the New Age movement, taught astrology, and headed the Atlanta Astrological Society. But a co-worker’s prayers and an unexpected compulsion to attend church led her to Christ.
Now she’s warning about unbiblical influences entering the church with eerie echoes from her past. “I was Buddhist and New Age, so I recognize the concepts right away,” says Montenegro, founder of CANA/Christian Answers for the New Age. She is also the author of “SpellBound: The Paranormal Seduction of Today's Kids” (Cook, 2006).
One of her concerns relates to alternative healing, which involves medical practices outside the realm of conventional medicine. She sees Christians embrace alternative healing approaches after bad experiences with doctors or when they have lost hope in traditional medicine.
“The kind I’m concerned about is based on spiritual views and really doesn’t have objective scientific or medical data to support it,” she says. Montenegro cites acupuncture, homeopathy, and energy healing as examples.
Some practitioners use machines to detect and manipulate “chi,” a supposed life force or energy flow that has its roots in Taoism, according to Montenegro. A National Institutes of Health statement on acupuncture noted that concepts such as chi are difficult to reconcile with science. Generally, the existence of chi has been rejected by the scientific community.
Montenegro also sees many Christians get involved with yoga, including so-called “Christian yoga.”
“Hatha yoga is a part of the Hindu spiritual path, a way of practicing Hindu beliefs and honoring the Hindu gods,” she says. “It’s a very esoteric and occultic practice.”
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