The New Age Movement

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  • The New Age Movement

    Here is a comparison between Biblical Christianity vs. New Age Thought:


    God is... Bible:

    Father
    Personal
    Only good
    Created all things
    New Age Thought:

    Force
    Impersonal
    Good and evil
    All things
    Jesus is... Bible:

    Second person of Godhead
    God and man
    Died and rose from dead
    New Age Thought:

    Man who took on Christ office
    God in man
    Died and was reincarnated
    Man is... Bible:

    Made like God
    Evil in present state
    Spirit and body
    After death, body will be resurrected
    Saved by God's grace
    New Age Thought:

    God
    Basically good
    Basically spirit
    After death, body reincarnated
    Saved by human works.

    I could write much on this subject, but since have found a chapter on the New Age Movement much more articulated from, "The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare." I am overwhelmed when reading this chapter, thoroughly so due to the accuracy and depiction from within the pages. The author Dr. Ed Murphy nails this system of thought down, in the following chapter:

    Our nation collectively faces spiritual warfare just as we do as individuals. Often that warfare is on a world view level. In our culture, the materialistic or naturalistic world view is revealed in Western humanistic rationalism. The spiritualistic world view traditionally has been represented by Christianity.

    Christianity in the Western world battles competitive religious philosophies today among which are Satanism and the New Age Movement. In the narrowest sense Satanism is a religious system--even though some of its practitioners affirm they do believe in the personal existence of Satan--which pays homage to an evil spirit being called Satan, the Devil, or Lucifer.

    Satanism is a power religion. People worship Satan because he promises his worshippers power. With power comes position. With power and position comes possession. With power and position and possession comes pleasure. Satanist seek personal pleasure. Some of them find it in having sex with children, animals, or even with corpses. Others find it in torturing animals, children, young people, or adults. Others find it in killing animals, children, young people, or adults.

    Satanism becomes in each devotee a power-towards-pleasure system. All that matters to Satanists is power towards pleasure in this life and the life to come. To "hell" with everyone else is their attitude.

    Satanism in the broadest sense of the word is contact with, worship of, homage to, and even use of spirit beings other than the one true God. This covers all paganism, positive and negative witchcraft, occultism, and even non-Christian religions. While it is true that Judaism and Islam are theistic systems closely related to Christianity, they reject outright Jesus as Christ, Son of God, and Lord. The New Testament teaches that apart from the personal knowledge of Christ, one does not know God.

    While Muslims and Jews who do not accept Jesus as Messiah claim to recognize the same God as Father as we Christians do, they do not know God the Father in a saving way. If they knew Him, they would know the Son of the Father also. The apostle Paul, himself a Jew, reveals the satanic dimension of the unbelief of all who reject Jesus as God's unique Son: "the god of this age has blinded [those] who do not believe."

    Paul at Mars Hill encountered some of the earliest humanists, the Epicureans, and the pantheists of his day, the Stoics. They were the early New Agers.

    Christianity battles with all these opposing world view and religious systems. While Satanism is the most horrendous and immediately destructive, it is probably not the most dangerous to the greatest number of people worldwide, because it is too obviously evil for the general public. It has and will continue to thrive among disturbed, evil people who want a religion and champions their total selfishness, sexual perversions, sadistic nature, lack of self-discipline and disregard for others. This self-centered religion glorifies the most evil kind of sin and pain inflicted on others.

    The New Age movement is so dangerous because it seems so right for modern man. It denies the objective reality of evil centered in an evil being called Satan. It inclines itself towards "good" things. It seeks to encourage the full development of human potential. It champions nature, world peace, a new world order. It seems so obviously Christian in its focus on God, Christ, good, world order, full human and earthly happiness.

    I would be safe to assert that the greatest threat to Christianity in the world today is the New Age movement, not Satanism, not the revival of traditional religions like Islam, not even secular humanism. The New Age movement has all the appeal of the one-world religion of the antichrist. It will not necessarily bring in the antichrist, but it is the type of all-inclusive world religion with which the antichrist will be very comfortable.

    Once secular humanism was Christianity's major competition. Coming from western Europe, secular humanism swept across the U.S. from the East coast. It took over America within a few decades. It became law in this nation through major Supreme Court decisions made in the 1960s through the 1980s. Secular humanism directly contradicts the U.S. Declaration of Independence. That document declares, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

    The Supreme Court overturned in principle, if not in fact, this part of the Declaration of Independence. It outlawed the teaching of biblical creation in our schools; thus there is no Creator. It outlawed school-sponsored prayer. It made school-sponsored Bible reading unlawful. It said the Ten Commandments could not be taught in public schools, nor even be posted in a classroom within the public education system in the U.S.

    A gigantic, national spiritual vacuum resulted. The U.S. is one of the most religious nations on earth. We cannot live without God or religion. Secular humanism left us unsatisfied. We became a nation of technicians without peace of mind. We became comfortable, middle-class consumers without real purpose in life. We became secular giants but ethical infants. We had to have a god to be truly human.

    Paralleling this sweep of secular humanism in America was the birth and growth of the Age of Aquarius. It began with dissatisfied young people, but it grew in momentum till it is now one of the greatest spiritual forces at work in America. Although a syncretism of different groups, it basically holds to a Far Eastern world view.

    Dr. Norman Geisler, when asked to explain what the New Age movement is, points to a unique cartoon to give the answer. It is the picture of a man, "an Easterner, sitting in a Western business suit, in an Eastern Lotus position, meditating on his Macintosh."

    It is Shirley MacLaine, who, in her own words from her book, Out on a Limb, (where Shirley was when she wrote it), "When one says, 'I am god,' the sound vibrations literally align the energies of the body to a higher level. You can use, 'I am god,' or 'I am that I am' as Christ often did. Or you can extend the affirmations to fit your own needs.
    The New Age movement is not new. It is the age-old hiss from the Garden when the serpent said to the woman, "You will be like God." John Denver said, "One of these days I will be so complete I won't be human. I will be a god."

    Here are some major views of reality which identify the New Age movement.

    1. It begins with pantheism. God is all and all is god. The Bible teaches theism. Theism declares that God is to the world what a painter is to a painting. God is to the world what a playwright is to a play. Pantheism says God is to the world what a pond is to drops. We're all little drops in an infinite point. We're all one great big drip, we're all one great big drop.

    Thus God is an "It." God is not a father but a force. "May the Force be with you" is pantheism, the New Age view of God.

    2. The New Age is philosophical monism. Monism says there is only one essence in the universe. Atheism is monism: It affirms that the one reality is matter. The New Age monism: It says that the one reality is God.

    God is nature and nature is God. God is the water, the air, the whale, the trees. This is why New Agers show unrealistic passion for the water, the air, the whales and the trees. While we all should be concerned about the environment, the New Agers' concern is a religious concern.

    3. There is holism. If nature is God and God is nature, all is God. Thus the New Age advocates holism.

    4. There is self-deification. If God is all, pantheism; if God is all that exists, monism; if all is God, holism; then man is God, human deification. This is self-deification.

    5. This leads to imbalanced immanence. Where do we go to find God? We do not look to the heavens above nor to the earth below. We look inside us. There we find God.

    6. There is extreme mysticism. This is the ultimate in mysticism. Godhood is obtainable. If you will center on yourself, if you will realize that you are god, if you will awaken from your amnesia, you will find god. Shirley MacLaine said the best kept secret of the twentieth century is "We are all god. But we forgot it. We have fallen into amnesia and we need to awaken from it by transcendental meditation. Godhood is obtainable by mystical experience."

    7. There is reincarnation. We gods have to learn to be God, but if we miss it in this life, we can still obtain it in the next. Or in the next! Or the next! Or the next! The heart of the New Age movement says:
    Life is cyclical. Christianity teaches you must be born again! The New Age Movement says you must be born again! And again! And again! And again! Christianity says you live once and you die once. The New Age Movement says you live over and over again. You live and die! You live and die! And live and die!
    Hindus have been the great champions of reincarnation. Their basic social system, the infamous caste system, rises or falls with their belief in reincarnation and karma, or destiny. While the New Age form of reincarnation does not advocate a caste system, it still possess this semi-fatalistic view of human life. Thus, the need to be reborn over unto one finally gets it right.

    This also helps explain the positive view of New Agers toward abortion. If 4,300 women per day abort an unborn baby in the U.S., that is acceptable. According to many New Agers, it is because these babies sinned in a previous life. They are "punished" by abortion. Yet they will have a chance for another birth yet to come.

    Reincarnation leads to other extremes. For example, you know what homosexual New Agers say? Why am I homosexual? Because I have a female soul from a previous life trapped in a male body and I can't help it.

    8. There is illusion. This means good and evil are one and the same thing. This is a hard concept to grasp until we go back to pantheism, monism, holism, and self-deification. If God is all, and all is God, then whatever exists is God. Thus what we call good and what we call evil are only different sides of the same coin which we call God. Thus, since all is God, both good and bad are really illusions. God is both good and evil. Isaiah 6 says God is so holy that the angels sing, "Holy, holy, holy." If the New Agers are right there should be an antiphonal choir in heaven. One side would be singing 'holy' and the other side would be singing 'unholy.' One side would be singing 'Thou art good.' And the other side would be singing 'Thou art evil.'

    9. There is animism. The universe is alive. It is all spirit. Many of our young people are being taught the Gaia principle, that there is a living force behind everything... This is animism. This is paganism. This is why we sent we sent missionaries to... the world because they believed in this pagan idea that everything is living. And now it is being taught in the name of science in our universities and our schools in America today.

    10. There is evolutionism. The world, that is human society, is evolving. New Agers don't believe in Darwinian evolution--they are concerned about spiritual evolution. They are not concerned about the theory that man came from animals. They are concerned about the fact that man can evolve into God.

    This is panthestic evolution. If it sounds contradictory, it is. How can god evolve into God? New Ageism is a complex system of self contradictory ideas.

    11. There is optimism. New Agers are incurable optimists, not pessimists. This appeals irresistibly to our pessimistic world. New Agers believe that the world is getting better and better. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius. The millennium is coming and the New Agers are going to bring it in. They believe that one day the entire world will be won and all world leaders will work together. There is a New Age coming.

    Presently they see the United Nations as their international headquarters, so to speak. The U.N. does not know this. The New Agers do, and that is all that matters. They have already taken steps to guide and shape the U.N. to accomplish their missionary task: a New Age meditation center already exists in the U.N.; and a catch word both in the U.N. and in New Age is "new world order."

    Not that everyone who uses this phrase is a New Ager, however. President George Bush is an example. He is reputed to be a true "born again" believer, not a New Ager. Yet he often uses this catch word, probably unwittingly.

    The "new world order" is the order of the day in the U.N. Since the New Age is not considered a religion as such, but as more a movement among people of all religions or non-religious faith, many U.N. leaders see in New Age teaching a desirable world philosophy. In fact, some prominent men in the U.N. are New Agers. Finally, the U.N. concept of the world as a "global village" in need of one eclectic world view which will draw all people together perfectly sets the stage for the entrance of the New Age movement.

    We must remember that the New Age movement is primarily Eastern theology married to Western technology. It does not have the high visibility of other religious movements with their world headquarters: no Vatican City, no World Council of Churches headquarters, no Mormon Temple, no Southern Baptist headquarters. It has no international center at all but is a broad coalition of various and divergent organizations, headed by different persons towards the same goal and all sharing a broad, unified world view.

    Their strategy is to gradually develop their goal of a new world order through a new world consciousness. This conversion process will be accomplished by a new world spiritual energy field, the god force within each human being. They use every person, organization, concept, or whatever, which can be harnessed toward the emergence of the new world order.

    This broad, unorganized movement--some call it "the Aquarius Conspiracy"-- takes in all and every group whose goal is a new world order. Some of the groups are not even religious. This does not matter. When the end goal is finally accomplished, all will become religious, for all will recognize they are god. All have this one thing in common. They seek a new world order, a world human brotherhood of peace.

    12. There is globalism. Globalism naturally arises out of social evolutionism and almost deterministic optimism. The entire human race will become one. This is the world as one global village.

    13. There is syncretism. Syncretism can be defined as "the combination of different forms of belief or practices. That is a good definition reflecting what New Age must do to bring about the new world order. All religious and philosophies must be combined. They must be blended into one soup, not a casserole with each maintaining its own distinctives while united with the rest. All religions will be combined into one eclectic world religion.

    This syncretism of the New Age totally rejects the exclusiveness of Jesus Christ. It is a demonic counterfeit, religious system which is now the fastest growing religious movement in America.

    Finally, there is the influence of New Age theology on the church. Subtle pantheistic views are being taught. Counterfeit theology becomes a substitute for biblical theology. Dominion theology and prosperity theology are really New Age concepts. Many sincere Christian leaders do not recognize this. Extremes in signs-and-wonders theology, name-it-and-claim-it, visualization, and mystical meditation come close to the claims and practices of Science and Mind. Whatever you can visualize you can claim. That you can have and you can be anything your imagination can create is not biblical. It is demonic.

    I John 4:1, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

  • #2
    I never before realized how much the meaning of something changes if you simply rearrange the words a tiny bit. Nor did I realize how much my last church definitely had echoes of the New Age nonsense in the gospel. I sort of got why they said God was a force, I mean he made the word with a word so he's a force to be reachoned with. But I never realized that it took away from the title of our Father. They even said that Jesus was God in human form and was reincarnated into his God-form before ascending back into heaven. I didn't even notice it until I saw the graph at the beginning of the article. I do understand where the saved by works comes from because that's basically the book of James. But most churches miss the concept that because you are saved by God's grace and give yourself over to him, you do the works because of it. A lack of works for God and Christianity might be an indicator that they aren't submissive to God's grace but that works alone won't save you. That used to annoy be the most during service. But the works is in the Bible so I can understand where that comes from.
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