Former New Age enthusiast renounced his beliefs after an unexpected personal encounter
At age 22 Steve Bancarz was "living the dream" with a sports car, a mansion and a New Age website receiving a minimum of 150,000 hits a day. Website advertising revenue was making him a fortune but nothing could shake the feeling of unfulfilment in his life.
His "journey down the rabbit hole", as Steve describes on his Youtube channel, began in high school when he was exposed to a television series about extra-terrestrials.
"This caused me to question the Biblical worldview and everything I had been brought up to believe," Steve says. "I started to research aliens obsessively."
Steve had grown up in a Christian home and attended church regularly but never considered himself a Christian.
His alien research led to research into channelling, hidden knowledge, spiritual science and mysticism. Knowledge led to practise and Steve delved into Tarot card reading, lucid dreaming, astral projection and meditation.
"I was having out-of-body experiences," he recalls.
In November 2012, Steve started a Facebook page to share information he had gathered from four years of research into New Age practises. The page exploded in popularity and he was invited to write for a well-known New Age website.
Two years later he gained enough of a following to launch his own website and the money began rolling in.
"I was full of greed and materialism. I was obsessed with making money," Steve admits.
At the time he believed God was the energy of the universe, an impersonal force, and that to have a relationship with God meant having a relationship with your inner self.
Steve was majoring in philosophy at university and Christianity seemed to him naïve and childish.
But he says: "In my research I saw testimonies of people having seen Jesus in near-death experiences, or having seen heaven or hell. I was moved by their testimonies. I had to admit that there is something unique and special and pure and holy about Jesus. I couldn't put my finger on it and I couldn't reconcile it with what I was researching and experiencing in the New Age."
He put his questions and confusion on the back shelf but "always knew there was something different to the person of Jesus".
“For the first time I had the conviction to live righteously”Then, says Steve, life issues led him to "face all the traumas and skeletons in my closet at the same time".
He began reading the Bible and exploring things pertaining to Jesus more open-mindedly but was still writing New Age articles.
"I still felt lost inside," he admits.
"[Then] one night I went outside on my balcony fell on my face weeping and reaching out to Jesus; and I felt the atmosphere around me start to change. I could feel in the air that there was something holy and pure around me. And it was also personal. I knew I was in the presence of Jesus.
"The wind felt like it was infused with His presence and when it hit me it just completely broke me. I felt like He was showing me Himself, who He is and where He stands in relation to me and to life."
People had been telling Steve that Jesus is God and Christianity it is not some complex mystical thing.
Now, as he stood in the presence of God, he realised "Oh my gosh this is it!"
He started thinking about all the New Age things he had been involved with and realised how deceived he had been.
Steve's life was radically transformed.
"I never wrote another New Age article again. Drinking stopped, smoking stopped, pornography stopped, sex stopped and addictions just fell away immediately," he shares.
"For the first time in my life I had a conviction to live righteously and to live a holy life before God."
In the New Age there is no belief that sin separates you from God but now the conviction of sin and the need to deal with it was strong.
A day or two later Steve cut all of his work ties and deleted everything on his site affiliated with the New Age. He threw all the idols out of his house, burnt all his occult and new age books, and started seeing through his new spiritual lens that things like astral projection, channelling and aliens, which he had previously seen as harmless were "false, dangerous and demonic".
Steve's income was cut by 97 per cent without his writing income and he had to sell his house and car.
"And I was glad to!" he smiles.
Steve has now started a new website www.exposingthenewage.com and his testimony can be seen on his Youtube channel From New Age to Jesus, which also debunks New Age beliefs and explores the evidence for Christianity.
Steve wants others to know: "God is not an energy blob, not an impersonal force, prana, or a void, God is a personal being who loves you and sees you and has a purpose for you. It is his promise that if you seek Him diligently and sincerely that He will reveal Himself to you, as it says in Jeremiah 29:11."•