Last week we discussed prayer vs meditation. During the conversation with Marcia Montenegro, she brought up some critiques of meditation that I thought we should discuss.
Some may wonder why would anyone have anything critical say about this trend of self-help to relieve stress, relax you, and make you feel better about yourself. Or, so proponents say. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be critiqued. In a world increasingly makes it difficult to disagree with anything, it’s important for us to use our minds to evaluate the things in our world.
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Marcia practiced as a professional astrologer for eight years. She took astrological classes for over two years. After these studies, she passed the 7-hour exam given by the Atlanta Board of Astrology Examiners, a Board set up by the City to formulate and grade exams to be given to aspiring astrologers wishing to practice legally in the City of Atlanta. Marcia later was a member of this Board for four years, and Chairperson for three of those years. She was also active in the Metropolitan Atlanta Astrological Society, serving as president for a year. She was also Chairperson of the Curriculum Committee, as well as working in other areas of this organization.
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.
Being an astrologer and involved in the New Age/ occult community gave Marcia a diversity of friends and astrological clients including witches/pagans; New Age healers; psychics; palm readers and card readers; Sufis; followers of Rajneesh, Sai Baba, Muktananda, Maharaji, and other gurus; Hare Krishna devotees; est and Silva Mind trainees; and others. Through these contacts and her own experiences, she became familiar with a wide spectrum of beliefs and practices that were an intrinsic part of the New Age and occult community.
As an astrologer, Marcia taught astrology for over five years, wrote for several astrological and New Age publications (some articles were translated into German and Spanish for European magazines), conducted workshops, did public speaking, did a weekly spot for a psychic’s cable TV show, and was interviewed by the “USA Today” news show and by “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.”
Since becoming a Christian, Marcia has been on several radio shows, including “Unshackled!,” Bill Bright’s “WorldChangers,” “Janet Parshall’s America,” and the “Dawson McAllister Live” show for teenagers. 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. Marcia is the author of SpellBound: The Paranormal Seduction of Today’s Kids (Cook, 2006).
Marcia’s ministry is CANA/Christian Answers for the New Age, and she is a missionary with Fellowship International Mission, an independent mission board based in Allentown, PA. CANA is an informational and outreach ministry.
Marcia graduated with High Honors from Florida Presbyterian College (now Eckerd College), St. Petersburg, FL, with a degree in literature. Marcia has a Masters in Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary, Charlotte, NC.