B.BéNI - A Christian Women's Alternative to Alex and Ani
Posted on May 31 2017
Seems Fine at First Glance
Almost everyone in the U.S. has heard of the wildly successful Alex and Ani charm bangle bracelet line. Everywhere you go it seems women have at least one of the jingling and very appealing charm bangles on their wrist. The New Age jewelry line catapulted to stardom a few years back and is still going strong. The jewelry line which is designed to please...well, just about everyone, includes charms of everything from the Blessed Mother to Buddha to the Eye of Horus, which is an Egyptian amulet worn for protection; to the ouroboros serpent that eats its own tail.
The bracelets are supposed to be infused with Positive Energy, giving the wearer, among other things, divine direction, supernatural protection, and enlightenment. The website talks about how their mission is to share the benefits of positive energy through the unique beauty and symbolism of their products. The jewelry is inspired by the wisdom of ancient thinkers. Apparently, the company researched the most effective methods of designing their jewelry with the beneficial positive energy that scientists refer to as "vital force", which is referred to by many names: chi; prana; etheric energy; life force; zero point energy; homeopathic resonance.
A Big Difference
Many Christian women, myself included, love the look of the Alex and Ani bangle bracelets but refuse to wear them. Charm bangles are fabulous, but not when we are compromising our faith. Nothing is that spectacular. One of the main reasons that I founded the B.BéNI jewelry line was to give bible loving women of faith a way to wear gorgeous charm bangles on their own arms without compromising our Christian beliefs! Each piece of jewelry features a biblical verse or concept and brings it to life in the form of a beautiful piece of jewelry.The fundamental New Age principles on which the Alex and Ani line is built are in direct opposition to the Christian belief system.
Just to explain, some basic New Age beliefs are: God is in everything (pantheism); All things are one; man is God; mind creates reality; one’s own experience validates the truth. Alternatively, some basic Christian beliefs are: There is only one God (monotheism); Christians recognize Jesus as the Son of God who was sent to save mankind from death and sin; justification by faith - that through the belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and in his death and resurrection, they can have a right relationship with God; belief in the Trinity - that is, God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and lastly, that there is a life after earthly death. Christian women often love to wear jewelry that gives glory to God and represents their faith. Many pieces of inspirational Christian jewelry have deep spiritual meaning that is very dear to their hearts.
The Dark Underside
In Christianity, the practices of magic or sorcery, by which a person attempts to tame occult powers so they can place them at their service and have a supernatural power over others—even if this were to be used for a good cause, such as healing someone—is gravely contrary to the foundation of the religion. When amulets, idols, or magic charms are mentioned in the Bible, God’s attitude is against them and those who put their faith and trust in them. “I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the LORD." (Psalm 31:6, NIV). Alex and Ani implies that a woman can attain certain “powers” or “qualities” by wearing specific charm bangle bracelets. For example, the St. Anthony bangle, states that the wearer will attain “divine direction and soulful enlightenment” if she wears this particular charm bangle bracelet. Amulets are magic charms worn by people to protect themselves from negative energies, evil and injury, and also to bring good luck. These talismans are believed to have mystical powers, which supposedly bring personal protection, success, and prosperity. They are viewed as transmitters of healing energies and positive vibrations that are thought to promote feelings of happiness, peace, and tranquility.
A popular Connecticut jewelry store that carries the Alex and Ani line posted in their blog..."I met a good friend of Alex and Ani’s owner and designer Carolyn Rafaelian. She lovingly refers to Carolyn as a "Mystical Witch" who relies on numerology to open her new lines. Hey, whatever works!" I guess this is considered to be a good thing in some circles? Also, as this article in Business Week states, ” . . . The company uses numerology to choose the most auspicious dates for store openings and occasionally employs shamans to bless its workplaces.”
A Better Way
There is nothing wrong with wanting protection from evil and demonic powers, and all of the bad things out there in the world today. We would all agree that in today's world there are more bad things than ever and God offers something far superior to amulets and protective medals. For starters, let's not turn to magical charms and amulets that offer supernatural protection because that is exactly what we are NOT supposed to do. Much better to “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. . . . Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:11, 14-17, NIV).
A Personal Choice
The purpose of sharing this information is not to condemn anyone who wears these bangle bracelets or parents who have bought one for their children in the past. Quite frankly, many women love the concept behind them, are unaware of it, don't believe in it, or just plain don't care. I just want to let women of faith realize and understand, be able to make an informed decision and be aware that there are alternatives. B.BéNI jewelry was created for this very reason, to offer an alternative. I am a long time lover of jewelry, jewelry makes me happy.
One of my very favorite pieces is the God is King Bangle. God really is the king of my world and I really enjoy wearing a bracelet that reminds me of that during the day! I feel good knowing that women of faith can enjoy meaningful and beautiful jewelry that speaks to them on a deep spiritual level and does not compromise their faith. The price points of both jewelry lines are very similar and both jewelry lines are manufactured in Rhode Island. Ultimately, we all need to follow our hearts and for Christian women, the word of God prevails!