In March our church had the privilege of hosting its annual Regarding Him Women’s Conference! It is a day I always look forward to, and I love having the opportunity to spend such a full day learning about God’s Word and worshiping Him with other women!
This week’s blog post is the second of a two part series adapted from the conference breakout session I had the privilege of giving about New Age Spirituality in the church.
You can also listen to all of the main session and breakout session talks here: https://regardinghim.com/new-age-spirituality-in-the-church/
As we’ve taken time the past month to learn more about how New Age Mysticism has manifested itself within Christian culture, we’ve seen how crystals and astrology are growing in popularity (if you missed last month’s post, click here to check it out). This month, we’ll dive more into the New Age aspects of Reiki, essential oils, and the enneagram and how to identify them within Christian culture.
Reiki was a new concept to me when I first began learning about new age mysticism, yet it is widely popular within Christian culture. Reiki is known as an energy healing technique where a reiki master uses her hands to deliver energy to the body and support healing with minimal touch. Sometimes referred to as “laying on of hands”, it promises to provide emotional, physical, and spiritual balance and relaxation. If you were to come across it on Facebook or Instagram, it would probably be promoted as being like a massage and, interestingly, the women I know who have trained or participated in reiki are all women who either would say they are Christian or at least used to say they were Christian.
Reiki is something that has been creeping into the lives of Christian women in our lives. Here’s what New Age mysticism would want you to know about reiki:
A new age mystic would want you to know that Jesus healed by laying his hands on people.
With this, we agree! Throughout the New Testament we see Jesus healing through physical touch, like in John 9 where he touches the blind man’s eyes and he is healed.
A new age mystic may quote to you 1 Corinthians 12:9 or John 14:12
These verses speak about healing, and “the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.” To which we would agree! God’s Word is inerrant and infallible, and does tell us we can do great things for God. But these verses are taken out of context when used to advocate for Reiki…and only by knowing God’s Word ourselves will we be able to recognize out of context teaching.
Reiki teaches that receiving energy from the reiki master and channeling your inner energy is the key to healing and balance in your life. This is a lie. Reiki often tells Christians it is similar to the laying on of hands we see in the Bible. This is also a lie. When we see healings in the Bible, they are always to bring glory to God. Reiki is about bringing glory to self and glory to the Reiki master. It is about being your best “you” and reaching your fullest potential. It diminishes our sin and brokenness by teaching that by our own energy we can be healed. It idolizes the self and teaches that we are the key to our healing, not Christ.
Does Reiki have a place in the lives of Christian women? I would say no. I don’t see any aspect within it that honors or glorifies God, but much of it glorifies man.
If I had to guess, most people reading this post probably either use essential oils or have used them in the past in some capacity. They are extremely popular and present everywhere we go. But before we dive into how they relate to New Age Mysticism, let’s cover a couple of disclaimers because I suspect this is the most likely New Age topic to feel a bit personal or be a bit touchy.
There is a wide spectrum of ways essential oils can be used. Most of these uses I would not consider to be New Age Mysticism. We can use oils to make our homes smell like orange, help with nausea, or scent our laundry. These types of uses: not New Age Mysticism. But the more I learned about essential oils, the more I began to realize what a fine line it can be to go from using them to enjoy their scents to a more New Age type of use involving spiritual fulfillment and meeting our needs and desires. Here are a few things a new age mystic would want you to know about essential oils:
A new age mystic will want you to know that essential oils are okay to use because they are natural, and God made all things in nature, after all!
With this, we kind of agree. We really need to use discernment here. As we’ve already mentioned, God did create everything in nature and all of nature glorifies Him. But, we need to examine our hearts and look at our motives for welcoming essential oils into our lives. Some oils promise to help make your house smell like oranges, but others offer a very different kind of promise.
I looked into a few of the oils currently offered by the most popular essential oil companies. One company promotes their essential oils with the promise to provide an oil to help you with whatever you may need. You can choose from 5ml vials of oils titled things like “passion,” “console,” “peace,” and “cheer.” Their “brave blend” promises to give you courage and confidence. Another company offers vials of Angelica Essential Oil (which promises to relax, heighten spiritual awareness, and foster feelings of inner peace). They also offer 3 Wise Men essential oil, which promises that for $133 a vial, you can “promote feelings of reverence and spiritual awareness.”
We do not need a potion of oil to heighten our spiritual awareness, foster inner peace, find courage, or promote feelings of reverence.
We seek these things in God alone. God promises us in 1 Peter that we can cast our anxiety on Him because He cares for us.
In Philippians 4 He promises us peace surpassing understanding when we trust and rely on Him alone.
Let’s be diligent to use discernment when it comes to essential oils. Oils themselves are not bad. They become harmful- sinful- when we rely on them instead of God. When they lead us to worship creation instead of creator.
Maybe you don’t put your trust in essential oils for healing. Maybe instead you put your trust in Tylenol or organic foods. It is good to care for the bodies God has given us. But I know how easy it is for me, when I feel a cold coming, to run to my Vitamin C packet before I turn to God in prayer. God is the one who ultimately heals and soothes our bodies and gives us peace.
Maybe you aren’t seeing a reiki master to gain spiritual and emotional wholeness, but are you seeking God alone for spiritual wholeness? Is that popular Christian author, podcaster, radio host, or influencer serving as a type of reiki master for you? Someone influential who avoids speaking about sin altogether but really gives us the spiritual yummies.
We can have confidence that God alone makes us spiritually whole. May we come to Him, confess and repent of our sin, and praise Him for His forgiveness, mercy, and grace.