Posted by Christine Pack
For those unfamiliar with how we post, and who's who, here's a quick thumbnail sketch:
▸ Cathy Mathews and I (Christine Pack) are real-life sisters. We both write articles here and also post on the Sola Sisters Facebook wall.
▸ Marcia Montenegro is not our real-life (blood) sister, but is our sister-in-Christ. Marcia is seminary trained, and graciously helps moderate on the Facebook wall, but also has her own ministry website (Christian Answers For The New Age) and her own Facebook ministry site (Christian Answers For The New Age-Facebook). We occasionally post and link Marcia's articles here on the Sola Sisters website and on the Sola Sisters Facebook wall because all three of us have similar backgrounds, and are in alignment as far as our concerns about New Age teachings coming into the church today.
As noted above, Christine Pack and Cathy Mathews are sisters in Christ as well as sisters in real life, and were both saved out of New Age Spirituality.
We (Christine and Cathy) created the Sola Sisters website as the natural extension of long telephone conversations we were having years ago about "Christianized" New Age teachings that we were both seeing coming into the church, Cathy in her church in Arkansas, and Christine in her church in Georgia. These practices had been cleverly repackaged with Christian terminology, rendering them all the more deceptive and dangerous.
Our purpose in writing articles was, and is, to sound a warning to today's church, and to encourage and equip others who might be having a similar experience in their own churches. Christians must remember that God has called his people to be set apart unto him, to be in the world, but not of the world. The act of syncretizing worship of the LORD with pagan practices is something that the LORD calls "detestable."
"The LORD your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, "How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same." You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods. See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it." (Deut. 12:29-32, our emphasis)
The New Age is a movement that, on the whole, tends to follow along with whatever new trend comes along. Once we were saved, we recognized this foolish chasing after of trends for the worldly wisdom that it was:
"Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?" (1 Corinthians 1:20)
"Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become 'fools' so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: 'He catches the wise in their craftiness'."(1 Corinthians 3:18-19)
As believers, God was now the Rock upon which we stood so that we would not be shaken by every wind of doctrine to blow, and God was our standard for Truth in all things, not the fickle ideas of the world which change from day to day, and culture to culture. God is Truth, and He has given us revelation of Himself through (1) the person and work of Jesus Christ, God's only Son, who made atonement for sinners; and (2) the Bible, against which all teachings must be tested.
"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." (Colossians 2:8)
The Bible also commended the Bereans for searching the Scriptures to see if what was being taught to them lined up with God's word already given to them:
"Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." (Acts 17:11)
As we noted above, the trend that is the most concerning to us is the practice of combining New Age philosophies and teachings with Scripture. Some examples of this would be:
(1) Mysticism that comes into the church disguised as prayer/meditation. While Christians are often exhorted by Scripture to meditate upon God's word, it should be understood that Christian meditation is meditation in which the mind is fully engaged. This type of meditation stands in stark contrast to the New Age form of meditation, in which a light trance state is entered into for the purpose of connecting to "God." However, with the addition of scripture and/or Christian terminology, this New Age meditation practice is often deceptively marketed as "contemplative prayer," "breath prayers" or "Jesus prayers" (this latter practice is extremely deceptive in that it utilizes the name of our Savior as a mere device, a mantra, for corralling the mind and entering into a light trance state). But the addition of Scripture does not somehow magically sanctify this New Age practice which is, at its essence, a New Age spiritual practice, and is forbidden to born again believers (please note the Deuteronomy passage referenced above).
(2) Yoga that is often marketed today to Christians as either (a) having purely physical benefits, or (b) being a spiritual practice that, although Hindu in origin, can be "done unto the Lord." We have written and linked to a number of articles which explain how neither of these things are true.
Out of our concern, we began writing articles. These articles eventually turned into the Sola Sisters website, and we eventually added the Sola Sisters-Facebook discussion forum, which is where we discuss our articles and also take questions from readers and discuss other trends in the church in a more informal way.
We have a deep love for the Word of God, and now as born again believers, we stand firmly upon the Rock of Christ instead of standing on the shifting ground of whatever new teaching-fad-class-book-technique-discipline-etc. to come along (as was always the case in the New Age, and sadly now is often the case in the church).
We have named our Sola Sisters site after the rallying cry of the Reformation:
・Sola Fide (by faith alone)
・Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone)
・Sola Gratia (by grace alone)
・Solo Christo (through Christ alone)
・Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be the glory)
We host ongoing discussions about our articles (and other current issues) on our Facebook page because we think it is important for Christians to not only study God's word, and pray, and be in fellowship for personal growth and edification, but to also know how to answer to the heresies of the day. And we find that these kinds of apologetics forums (like ours here, and others) are helpful in terms of putting us as Christians through our paces so that when these heresies show up amongst our loved ones and friends and fellow church members, we can biblically refute them.
The Sola Sisters ministry is not about keeping lists of who's okay and who's not, based on this or that endorsement or conference or casual association. After all, such a list would be constantly changing, a moving target, as it were. Even though we do occasionally single out specific books containing false doctrine, we are more interested in teaching women to grow in learning general discernment principles, and understanding how to apply them so that they can evaluate each teaching, sermon, book, etc. based on its own merit and how it lines up (or doesn't) with God's word. That is far better than list-keeping. We don't want women to be at the mercy of the keeper of the list.....we all need to know how to look at a person's ministry or Facebook wall or website or writings or Bible studies or whatever, and decide if they are biblical or not. The book of James exhorts believers to pray for wisdom, and our desire is that all women wishing to grow in discernment will take that exhortation to heart, pray for wisdom, and dig in to the task of discernment with great joy, because as we grow in truth, our walks WILL become steadier and steadier, and our joy in the Lord will only increase.
In closing, we want to state that we are both aware that there are a number of online discernment ministries who appear to feel that the freedom afforded by the anonymity of the internet gives license to be sharp and unguarded in their commentary. Knowing this, we make every attempt to speak truth in love, and to be "wise as serpents but gentle as doves," (Matthew 10:16) as Scripture exhorts all Christians to do. We are quite sure that we do this imperfectly, and while it is a delicate balance that we hope to strike, please know that it is our desire to be as kind as possible in this endeavor, through the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We also have the oversight of a pastor, who reads every article and every Facebook post.
May God be glorified and our walks be steadied as we all sharpen each other ✟ ♥
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Contributing writer Marcia Montenegro is a former professional astrologer, now a Christian writer, researcher and public speaker. Before becoming an astrologer, Marcia was involved with various New Age, occult, and Eastern beliefs and practices, including Inner Light Consciousness, Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Hindu teachings and meditation, and psychic development classes. During these years, she also participated in past life regression, numerology, Tarot cards, spirit contact, seances, astral travel, and received a spirit guide through a guided visualization.
Since becoming a Christian, Marcia has been on many radio shows, including "Unshackled!," Bill Bright's "WorldChangers," "Janet Parshall's America," the "Dawson McAllister Live" show for teenagers, the Echo Zoe program, and the Janet Mefferd Show. She has also been on Christian television, including having her testimony dramatized on Dr. D. James Kennedy's show. She has led workshops and spoken at conferences, churches and retreats, and written for Christian publications (including Rose Publications). Marcia is the author of SpellBound: The Paranormal Seduction of Today's Kids (Cook, 2006).
Marcia is a full-time missionary with Fellowship International Mission, an independent mission board based in Allentown, PA, and does her ministry with the support of her church, as well as through donations from fellow Christians. Marcia's website is CANA/Christian Answers for the New Age, and is an informational and outreach ministry. Marcia has a Masters in Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary, Charlotte, NC.