Recently, the following article appeared in our local newspaper
Here is my response -
In the July 14 edition, you printed a long article about the New Age shops in Danville. Let me say this first – these shop owners have every right to sell whatever is legal to sell. If folks want what they are selling, then they will have growing businesses. That’s how capitalism works. I recently spent time on Etsy to compare prices of hand-made communion sets. Since I never spend time online searching for religious objects there was no way for me to be prepared to see the abundance of fertility goddess statues for sale. I’m not a fan of “cancel culture” so I don’t want the online retailers or the New Age shops in Danville to be closed based on my beliefs, but as a Christian who has been washed by the blood of Jesus – I need to avoid these non-Christian religious practices.
To say these practices are “of the devil” is true. I prefer to say, “they are not of God.” That’s a hard boundary for me and I speak from experience. After I got clean and sober in 1985, I began attending a UM church in California. When I desired more than the Sunday morning service, the pastor sent me to the New Age store. That began a 12 year journey into practices that many promised would lead me closer to “my god.” Unfortunately, that road was broad and led to destruction. (Matt. 7:13-14) Mine is not the only denomination that has embraced non-Christian practices. I believe they are leading many astray.
Christians have 2,000 years of religious practices that we refer to as “spiritual disciplines.” Many of these have their origins in 4,000 years of Judaism. In this one lifetime, I will never exhaust this vast storehouse of practices meant to bring me further into the loving relationship with my Heavenly Father. He loved me so much that his only Son, Jesus Christ, shed his precious blood on the cross of Calvary. That blood is the only way to God the Father – period. After salvation, we can find varied ways to grow up in Christ (Eph. 4:14-15), just not at the New Age store.
Pastor John Bright – Harmony/Swansonville UMC
Dry Fork, VA