The Bible Means Business forum in North Sydney is holding a series of talks on alternate spirituality over the next six weeks called “Behind the Seens”

  • 10th August  – Astrology: Do the heavens rule our destiny
  • 17th August – Angels: is there a message waiting for you?
  • 24th August – Near Death Experiences: are they glimpses of what lies beyond?
  • 31st August – Personal Empowerment: is self-enrichment all there is?
  • 7th September – Channelling: is it the highway to enlightenment?
  • 14th September – Yoga and Meditation: is it the physical way to spiritual transformation?

I hope this will be more than an exercise in boundary maintenance apologetics. I have personally witnessed for instance, that a major corporation based within 50 meters of the site holds regular yoga workshops and lama training for staff, that other staff within it have at times swapped astrological natal charts as bonding activities, and that Stacey De Marco, author of “There’s a Witch in the Boardroom,” has based her magical business consultancy around the corner. There is real opportunity for spiritual engagement in the business community on these very issues.

If the Christians attending this event could be encouraged to shift to a more culturally sensitive ways of engaging with others then who knows what could happen through the Christian business men and women who will attend. Yet I am also aware just how little experience the organisers have in terms of hands on experience in missions to New Spirituality.

I have tried to steer them towards primary source research in the past so maybe they have taken some of it on board. Lets see.

4 thoughts on “Alternate Spirituality Talks

  1. In view of the first talk’s title being identical to the countercult book “Astrology: Do The Heavens Rule Our Destiny” by John Ankerberg and John Weldon, I’m wondering if the presentation involved any acknowledgement that many of Luther’s colleagues were practitioners of astrology (like Melanchthon, Martin Chemnitz)? Were any positive links made to the Book of Daniel and the infancy narratives about the Magi and Jesus?
    Or was this a case of the presenter arguing that “astrology is disproven by science” and it is forbidden in Isaiah 47 and Deut 18?
    Any feedback/impressions?

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  2. No acknowledgement that many of Luther’s colleagues were practitioners of astrology. I suspect the speaker was unaware of it.
    The apologetic link was made with the Magi astrologers, so there was that at least, but no extension back to Daniel and deeper implications of God connecting with the Magi in the way he did were left unexplored. So, half marks. The speaker has read your book and it encouraged him to make a stab at contextualizing the gospel but fear of invoking more issues than he could handle led him to conduct most of the talk along the “astrology has been disproven by modern science” line of things.
    At the end of the talk there was a question by one non-Christian which prompted some discussion about whether astrology could nevertheless involve real phenomena even if Christians should be cautious about it, and while this was belatedly acknowledged it was interpreted in terms of atrologers using spirits in a mediumistic way, with the questioner being advised to stay tuned for the Angels topic coming up next week. No substantial cultural exegesis was entered into. Oh, I remember now, the question started ”Did you actually talk to any real astrologers when you were researching this…” The answer was “no”.
    I tried to prompt some reflections amongst the Christian business men and women by asking, “Given that I know for a fact that there have been people working in businesses in this area who swap astrological natal charts as an in-cubicle bonding activity and that many more are into astrology at a more superficial level, should Christians listening now be encouraged to initiate conversations with Astrologers as they come across them in the workplace? Should we be welcoming?” There answer was a hesitant yes but wasn’t really pursued in depth. Afterwards the speaker confessed that many of the Christians would be uncomfortable with inititating conversations with Astrologers in a work setting fearing loss of control in conversations as they don’t know all the apologetic answers. I responded by saying that I never expect to have all the answers and frequently entered into conversations having no idea where they were headed, that many post-moderns are suspicious of controlled conversations and that the Spirit has far more room to move in the creative ebb and flow of open dialogue. I found this confession about fear of loosing control as deeply instructive.

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  3. Do you have any comments on the talk about Angels. In particular,was the subject matter stated as something Christians believe in and a useful “bridge” in steering a non-Christian towards Christ, as set out in “Jesus and the Gods of the New Age” or was the talk mainly directed to “don’t worship angels”?

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  4. Unfortunately I missed it. I got caught up in an Enterprise Risk Review which took the entire day and couldn’t get away.
    If you are interested in an angel related approach my friend Jenny Reed has submitted an article to Morling College for publication which may be of interest (when they finally release it). Let me know and I’ll pass you on her email address.

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