I recently listened to some people talk about spiritual matters. Their language perplexed me. While some of their expressions fit within my worldview, other utterings did not.

I resist labeling people, but labels can aid in understanding (though they’re more likely to produce misunderstanding). I wondered if they operated within a New Age perspective, the melding of various Eastern and Western religious practices.

While I respect their search for spiritual enlightenment, their path is not one I embrace. My dilemma, however, was how to react to the things they were saying.

One person asked everyone to “send positive energy” to someone who was struggling. Should I interpret that as an opportunity to pray to Jesus for that person’s healing or dismiss it as heresy?

Then someone suggested meditating to find answers while bowed before an altar and with incense burning. Could I understand that as quieting my heart before God and listening for the Holy Spirit’s direction? Or should I dismiss it?

A third person talked about praying to the divine. Do I apply that as praying to the God of the Bible or reject it as making an impersonal petition to an abstract deity?

These three questions, however, beg a bigger one – one for which I have no answer: When confronted with divergent spiritual perspectives, can I practice my faith within the constructs of that religious structure or should I remove myself from the situation?

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