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Influential New Age Guru Encounters Jesus

A spiritual guru with hundreds of thousands of followers has a terrifying vision and realizes he underestimated the powers he played with. He turns to the Bible to find out if Jesus is who he claimed to be. Read Transcript


I believe that I was God, and that we could all

become Christ, too, if only we realized

this inherent connection we have to God.

NARRATOR: At 19 years old, new age blogger Steve Bancarz

was a spiritual guru to hundreds of thousands of followers.

For Steve, it had spiritual and financial benefits.

I was getting 200,000 to 300,000 views on it a day.

And the income, to me, was an affirmation from God.

I believe God was rewarding me with helping wake people up

into a higher state of consciousness.

It gave me a sense of power, a sense of purpose,

and a sense of meaning, and value perhaps.

NARRATOR: Steve grew up in a Christian home,

but as a teenager, developed a fascination

for aliens, the paranormal, and psychic phenomenon.

That led him to question his parents Christian beliefs,

and eventually led to a full blown obsession

with new age theology.

The first thing that really got

me doubting the biblical worldview was ufology--

all of these UFO sightings, evidence from the ancient world

that we might have been visited.

And there was enough evidence to make

me consider that maybe the universe is filled

with intelligent biological life that was, perhaps,

naturally evolved.

If you piece together the alleged evidence

for reincarnation and the alleged

evidence for ancient astronaut theory,

you get new age theology.

NARRATOR: Jesus remained part of Steve's worldview.

I didn't really reject him, but I didn't accept him

for who he truly was.

I created an idol out of Jesus to suit my own preferences,

to suit myself, and to suit my sin.

This Jesus was politically correct.

He was a Universalist.

I wanted to be my own guide, and I

didn't want to have to play by somebody else's rules.

NARRATOR: As Steve began blogging about new age

practices and supernatural phenomena,

he came to enjoy his prominence, and the money

and vices that came with it.

But it was never enough.

I was a lust addict for 10 years or so.

I was a really broken person.

I didn't realize how broken that I truly was.

But I was depraved.

I was miserable.

I had depression and anxiety that I was suppressing.

I had all this quote, unquote, spiritual knowledge,

all of this information, and it wasn't bearing

any real fruit in my life.

I felt like something was missing.

I felt a little bit dead inside.

NARRATOR: Steve had a disturbing dream.

When I opened my eyes, I was hovering four feet over my bed,

and realized that I was out of my body.

And I started having a panic attack.

And a being appeared in front of me.

And this being had red skin with black markings on his face.

It just scared me.

Because I realized that I wasn't in control, that this stuff is

more powerful than I was, that these forces were real,

and that they didn't care for my well-being.

They didn't need my permission.

I was in their playground.

NARRATOR: Shaken by the experience,

he began investigating the claims of the Bible and Jesus

more closely.

I would sleep with the Bible under my pillow,

because I knew there was something

there that was authoritative, that was true,

and that was secure, and that had power over anything

that I was scared of.

NARRATOR: In his search for answers,

Steve was drawn to stories in books and online of people

who had encounters with Christ.

I would watch another near-death experience where

someone would go to Hell.

Jesus would rescue them out of Hell,

and they'd come back, and the fruit of their lives--

they would be totally transformed.

And I'd feel moved and touched.

And I'd think to myself, OK, there's

something real to Jesus--

the Jesus of the Bible.

NARRATOR: Steve finally accepted one

of his mother's many invitations to go with her to church.

At the end of the service, he prayed and asked Jesus

into his life.

But it was more of a mental exercise than an act of faith.

I just decided in my head, intellectually,

that I was going to soften up to Him.

But I still held all the same new age beliefs.

I still believed in everything that I believed in my sin life.

I wanted a little bit more of Him.

But I guess I still didn't want all of Him.

NARRATOR: After a few days, Steve

realized he couldn't ignore the truth any longer.

I reached a point in my life where the brokenness

was weighing on me so much that I needed to stop

playing games with my life.

I needed to stop playing games with God,

and stop playing games with Jesus.

And I just decided to go outside and to just

fall on my face before Jesus, and just weep.

I was just weeping like a baby.

I was submitting.

I was repenting.

I was tired.

I was sorry.

I was broken.

And I couldn't do this alone anymore.

And I was crying out for Him.

I wanted Him.

NARRATOR: In that moment, Steve had an experience

with Christ of his own.

I could feel that He was Lord over me,

and He was Lord over all creation.

I could feel that he was concerned for me.

But I could feel that he was King.

I knew that he was King over creation,

that the whole universe was under His feet,

and the wind was just totally infused with His presence.

And the thing that stuck out for me,

that made me realize that I was dealing with God,

was how the wind, and the trees, the sounds outside, the birds,

the crickets, they sounded like they were glorifying him--

like He was there with me, and they were acknowledging that

somehow--

like creation recognized him.

NARRATOR: Steve burned all of his new age books,

and made a public statement to his online followers.

I told people within a few days of that experience,

I'm sorry for misleading all of you astray.

This stuff is not of God.

They're tools of demons to deceive us, and lead us away

from Jesus.

And Jesus is the Son of God.

And he is exactly who He claimed to be.

NARRATOR: Steve endured waves of ridicule and personal attacks

from the online community.

But that hasn't stopped him from trying to teach

those who persecuted him.

His website, reasonsforjesus.com,

provides evidence and sound reasoning

that prove the claims of the Bible,

and the only path to truth, forgiveness, and joy in life

come through Jesus Christ.

He delivered me from the stronghold of new ageism,

and of occult philosophy.

I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life.

I feel more whole than I've ever been in my life.

If there's hope for me, there's hope for anybody.

I was the most lost person that I knew.

And the Lord drew me to himself, and had mercy on me.

We come to the Lord.

He forgives us.

He gives us His spirit, and He wants to help us heal,

and restore us, and walk us through these traumas

and these pains.

He wants to accept us and welcome us as a son

into a relationship with Him--

not into dry religious rule-keeping,

but into a supernatural intimate relationship with Jesus Christ

and His presence.

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