Author: Mike Shreve
The New Age Movement is a term that covers a lot of territory spiritually. It can reach all the way to the left and embrace the dark side of the occult like Wicca, witchcraft and even Satanism. It can reach all the way to the right and embrace things like success seminars and positive thinking teachings that do not even deal with a basic concept of God, yet incorporate certain ‘New Age’ principles. It is generally a movement within our society and world based on a man-centered (humanistic) approach to the revelation of who we are and what our destiny is.
Basically, the term “New Age” originally stemmed from a belief in an astrological age called “The Aquarian Age.” According to certain astrological teachings, we are presently moving from the Piscean Age (an age of knowledge and scientific advance) into the Aquarian Age (an age of spiritual enlightenment and harmony on the planet). Most ‘New Agers’ subscribe in some way to the idea that we are in transition spiritually into a new era during which drastic spiritual changes will take place on our planet. This will culminate in a higher spiritual atmosphere for the inhabitants of this world.
Within this context, it could be said that Christians believe in a ‘New Age’- for most Christians believe in the coming ‘Kingdom Age’ in which Christ will reign on this planet for a thousand years of peace, harmony and heaven-on-earth conditions. However, this coming new era within a biblical interpretation is much different than the one described by ‘New Agers’, so the biblical phrase “Kingdom Age” and the modern term “New Age” actually refer to two different concepts that are actually opposed to one another in many essential areas of interpretation.
Twelve Basic Beliefs That normally Unify All “New Agers”
Though there is great diversity among ‘New Agers’ on various issues, they tend to agree on the following twelve things:
1. Fascination With The Supernatural-This is always associated with “the New Age Movement” and often with no defining boundaries as to which experiences are correct or incorrect. Supernatural experiences provided through various worldviews are all embraced syncretistically and fused together into one belief system. Many practices are aimed at exploring the supernatural realm and experiencing various superhuman powers or states of consciousness.
2. Pluralism – the belief that all religions are different and equally valid paths to ultimate reality and no one worldview can fully unveil the truth. All religions are one.
3. An Impersonal God – Most New Agers agree that Ultimate Reality in an impersonal cosmic energy: a non-thinking, non-hearing, non-seeing, non-speaking, non-emotional, non-volitional, non-responsive life-force from which all personal beings originate and into which all personal beings will ultimately be absorbed.
4. Pantheism – the belief that the universe is an emanation of God and that, therefore, all things have a divine essence. In absolute pantheism God does not exist apart from the natural cosmos. All is God.
5. Monism – the belief that all things are of one essential substance, giving rise to statements like, “I am the universe. I am one with all things.” There is no room for a dualistic view of God transcending creation, and being apart from creation, in this mindset. All is One.
6. The Divinity of Man – those who subscribe to this philosophy deify man, teaching that all men have a divine essence, giving rise to affirmations like, “I am God. You are God. We are all God.” The problem with this point of view is simple: in ascribing divinity to man, the next step is necessarily ascribing evil, darkness and sinfulness to God. All things, including the evil rampant in this world, are an emanation of God.
7. The Power To Personally And Subjectively Create Reality – Most New Agers tend to believe that reality is subjective not objective, that any person can create his or her own reality by the embracing of certain beliefs, or by making certain affirmations, declarations or confessions. This gives rise to statements such as, “You can have your truth. I can have my truth. And we can both be right simultaneously” (even if the viewpoints appear to contradict each other).
8. A Weak View Of Satan And Sin – Usually New Agers either have no belief in Satan or a weak view of the Devil. Some negate the existence of this being, equating Satan with merely the negative attitudes that dominate the world system. ‘Demons’ are merely unbeneficial or negative attitudes that tend to dominate the hearts of men and carry them away from the truth. Some groups differentiate between Satan and Lucifer, lifting the latter to the level of a divine being, even a ‘god’ (the ‘Lightbearer’). Lucifer is the one who brings wisdom and enlightenment. Man’s problem is not sin; it is ignorance – ignorance of his own divine essence. Man does not need to repent, as one accountable TO God; he needs to be enlightened, as one who IS God.]
9. Enlightenment – Most New Agers avidly seek after an ‘enlightened’ state of mind and have many terms for it (Samadhi, Nirvana, Christ-consciousness, God-consciousness, etc.). Many means are used to accomplish this: chanting, meditation, yoga disciplines, etc. There is a difference between the Christian experience of being ‘born again’ and the experience of enlightenment. The born again believer comes into a relationship with God (through the washing away of sin by the blood of Jesus). The ‘enlightened’ person comes to a realisation that he IS God.
10. Evolutionary Optimism – Most New Agers accept the coming of a ‘New Age’: a time of greater spirituality and harmony on this planet, a time when many of the problems facing the human race will be resolved.
11. The Coming Of A Messiah – Though great differences of opinion exist concerning the exact nature of this person, most New Agers await a Messiah-like figure who will be the pivot heralding and fully bringing into manifestation this ‘New Age’ in all of its facets. New Agers tend to assert that the Messiah of Judaism, the Christ of Christianity, the Fifth Buddha of Buddhism, the Imam Madhi of Islam, Saoshyant of Zoroastrianism and Kalkin of Hinduism are all to be fulfilled in one individual. However, the legends and traditions concerning these hoped-for individuals are so diverse (except for Judaism and Christianity), they cannot logically be merged into agreement.
12. A Global Family Outlook – Because of their monistic, pantheistic and syncretistic doctrinal basis, most New Agers are all-inclusive in their belief system, not exclusive. All-inclusive means ‘including all people, all cultures, and all religions into one unified whole.’ Though love for others is usually the motivation for choosing such a perspective, it makes ‘choosing’ a correct worldview unnecessary. Those who do have an exclusive view of truth are labelled unenlightened and uncooperative with this next scheduled ‘paradigm shift’ in society (the Aquarian Age). Though some aspects of this ‘one world’ mindset are good (genuine compassion for underprivileged members of the human race), in many ways it will pave the road toward things that are not good-a one world religion, a one world banking system, a one world police system and a one world political system that will eventually become tools in the hands of the AntiChrist to impose his deceptive control of the planet. Though the above twelve points are very simplistic, basically, the embracing of these beliefs signifies someone who can be labelled an adherent to “the New Age Movement.”
© Mike Shreve.
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