But all of that imploded when, in early September 2015, the King of the universe showed up in an "and suddenly" moment that would alter the course of his life forever.
After a series of events — including an incident where he hurt someone he deeply loved — his brokenness precipitated in the recognition that his New Age beliefs and the meditation practices he was doing had yielded no good fruit. All the knowledge about people, God, human emotions and relationships that he thought he understood proved to be false and futile.
"I was an absolute wreck," Bancarz said, "a slave to my psychological programs."
In a moment of desperation where he realized how wrong he was, he was moved to fall on his face and cry out to God.
"Every ounce of my strength was ground to nothing, and I said 'OK, that's it. I'm done. I'm done playing games, God. I just want you. Jesus, I want you in your fullness.' ... And that's when I just fell at His feet," he recalls.
As he repented, there, on the back deck of his house, the living God answered him and a supernatural peace that transcended anything he'd ever experienced saturated him in the fullness of God's love and forgiveness.
To further walk out his repentance, Bancarz shut down his latest project for his website that could have made him thousands of dollars in passive income, promptly sold his house, and deliberately sought to formally renounce his New Age beliefs.
God providentially led him to a local Pentecostal church where a seasoned prayer minister led him through a process of deliverance wherein he broke every agreement he had made with every occult philosophy he had ever subscribed to while in the New Age movement. As the evil spirits left him he became dizzy and started breathing heavily, feeling like he was going to pass out. At one point he even felt paralyzed from his elbows down to his wrists and hands, which made him realize the severity of the darkness in which he had been steeped.
Because believing Christians struggle to wrap their heads around these kinds of things and sometimes even dismiss the reality of the demonic as psychosomatic silliness, CP asked why there seems to be a breakdown of understanding in the West about these distinctly spiritual phenomena.
"I think what some of it might have to do with is the way Christianity has either been misrepresented or the way Christianity has been malpracticed," Bancarz offered. "What we seem to have, from my background at least, is a very cookie cutter, conservative, and dry religious system. And that's the way it is perceived from the outside world."
Much of the Western Church has largely forgotten the third person of the Trinity.
"What I have observed from dealing with people in the New Age movement," Bancarz adds, "is that there are a lot of people who when you say the words 'Holy Spirit' they ask 'What is that?' Everyone thinks that [Christians] believe in a certain set of facts. When really there's an entire dimension to it which is the ministry of the Holy Spirit that I think secular culture has done a good job of pulling a veil over the eyes of people to dilute Christianity down to nothing more than a religious system, when what it really is that you're interacting with the presence of living God."
Many spiritually hungry people are drawn to counterfeit spirits and false teaching in pursuit of something more.
"In a materialistic, 9-to-5 world where everything is pre-ordained and planned, people are thirsty," he asserted.
But the good news is that the Holy Spirit is the real thing and what the enemy meant in Bancarz's life for evil, God is now employing for the advance of His Kingdom.
Although he did not complete his university studies, Bancarz has a philosophy background and sees his critical thinking abilities and knowledge base as something God will now use to dismantle the deceptive mindsets and pagan spiritualism, including the variations of Universalism one might likely see on an episode of Oprah's "Super Soul Sunday."
"God is giving me the discerning of spirits to be able to rightly judge what material and what spirits are not of God, and to show me how to best expose them," Bancarz said. "For those who claim to be Christians who are involved in 'new' spirituality or stuff that's just straight up esoteric, I think the best thing to do is to remember that there is an objective standard for authority by which to measure the correctness of these things."
"And that [standard] is the Words of Jesus Christ Himself and the words of the Apostles themselves."
"Until Deepak Chopra or any of the 13 Dalai Lamas resurrect from the dead, Jesus Christ is the authority on everything from the afterlife, to how to live a healthy spiritual life," he continued. "So we should get our opinions from someone who has actually proven Himself to hold the keys of truth and who has actually had the stamp of approval put on Him by God through His resurrection. And so we need to lean not on our own understanding but on the understanding of the Lord."
Christians must "hold everything up to the light of Scripture because all Scripture is God-breathed," he added.
Bancarz emphasized to CP that the most important thing for people to know is that God is truly knowable and we can come into a personal relationship with him that is supernatural, and his presence is tangible.
"The minute that we encounter the living, breathing presence of the Holy Spirit everything changes. And I would encourage people to pursue that, to pursue God in His fullness and to seek Jesus as He really is rather than who we want Him to be. The minute that we do that it is His promise in scripture that He will make Himself known to us. ... You don't need a certain level of intelligence, you don't need to be in a certain state of consciousness, you don't need a certain level of knowledge, all you need is a heart that hungers for the reality of God. And Jesus is the real deal."
Bancarz's new website, Exposing the New Age, is a Christian apologetics resource hub specifically aimed at derailing New Age and other occult deceptions as well as debunking false claims made about Jesus Christ.
To learn more about Steven Bancarz, click here.