Journalist Jill Neimark wrote an article titled “Shaman in Chicago” about her very unconventional uncle.

A well-educated, prosperous commodities trader, he has become a high priest in the Ifa religion, which practices animal sacrifice as its highest act of worship. Formerly an atheist, he is now a convinced believer in a divine energy that he insists cannot be experienced in traditional religion.

Neimark thinks her uncle is an extreme example of those millions of questing Americans who crave a firsthand experience with dynamic supernaturalism. As one of Neimark’s friends put it, “We want to dial God direct; we don’t want to go through the operator.” Or as Neimark says, we’re “beating our own path to God.”

We who know the truth, power, and joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ can be grateful for these truths: (1) There is no need for any further sacrifice, because Jesus offered Himself as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sin (Heb. 10:10). (2) There is no need for any other mediator between God and us, because Jesus, who is our mediator (1 Tim. 2:5), guarantees direct access to God. (3) There is no need to beat our own way to God, because Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6).