Recently a retired couple moved to our area and has since been attending our church. They are very generous, loving and lots of fun and joy to be around. Over the summer I helped them harvest their two or three acres of corn and helped them take it around the city to give away. We even set up booths in church parking lots to give away free corn.
Spiritually they seem to be enjoying the services (worship, scriptures/messages and fellowship) and are very happy to be a part of our congregation. Well, we were at a local chapter meeting of christian business partners this morning and the wife said that she visited the group’s website to sign up for membership but was told that CBP – Christian Business Partners Christianbp.com does not give membership to people who are members of the New Age Movement. So being the only pastor at the meeting this morning, they turned to me and asked me why. So I tried to explain in a few words why a christian organization such as Christian Business Partners would refuse membership to people of the new age movement. But I wanted to be a little more clear and to the point so I told them I will do little research and get back to them. Here is what I found to be a more accurate and to the point response:
The New Age movement has kindred elements with secular humanism. The movement maintains that humankind stands at the threshold of a “new age” toward which individuals now must evolve mentally and spiritually. New Age evangelists proclaim that the good within all people is actually the dormant god existing in each person. The New Age goal is to awaken the god who sleeps deep within each human. In order to realize this false spiritual state, a new consciousness is needed to usher in a worldwide transformation of individuals and society, as people come to realize that they themselves are gods and therefore divine. Interestingly, what is called “new” in the western world has influences from ancient eastern philosophy.
Another falsehood of New Age is the monistic belief, taken from the Hindu religion, that all matter, including human beings, are of the same origin. Thus “all is one.” This pantheistic belief maintains that “all is god.”
New Agers also believe that through enlightenment and gaining a higher consciousness of one’s inner deity, one is able to save both himself and the world from destruction. New Agers have also borrowed from the Hindu concept of reincarnation. By being born again over and over in cyclic births, New Age followers believe they are able to purge themselves of sin and bad karma. They also believe that since they share a divine oneness with all things, they can create whatever is visualized through the power of the mind.
An announced purpose of the New Age Movement is prevention of the extinction of the human race, expected to occur either by nuclear holocaust or through depletion of the world’s natural resources. Thus protecting the environment is a top priority for the New Age movement. New Agers support the establishment of a New World Order that will police the globe and bring the East and West together in harmony.
Sadly, New Age thinking has permeated nearly every aspect of modern life. Large corporations send their decision-making managers to seminars on mind enhancement. Therapists employ techniques based on inner reflection and exploration of consciousness. Marketing experts emphasize human potential for its motivation power. Entertainers turn inward to discover an inner power that will catapult them to popularity. What was once an insignificant subculture of devotees has now moved into the mainstream of American life. The church must resist every expression of this perversion of the truth.
Scripture exposes the deception of this subtle dishonesty. “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one” (Rom. 3:10-12). Unlike New Age, the Bible declares that truth is found, not by looking inward to self, but by looking upward, not by looking to men, but by looking to God (Jer. 17:5,9). Paul’s rhetorical question says it best: “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Cor. 1:20). Indeed, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Now, I must say I don’t know the degree of the couple’s involvement, but here are a few practices in the NAM:
- meditation – New Age meditations are often influenced by Eastern philosophy, mysticism, Yoga, Hinduism and Buddhism, yet may contain some degree of Western influence
- channeling – It is a practice in religious beliefs such as Spiritualism, Spiritism, Espiritismo, Candomblé, Voodoo and Umbanda.
- crystal healing – is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine technique that employs stones and crystals as healing tools.
- astral projection – or astral travel is an interpretation of out-of-body experience (OBE) that assumes the existence of an “astral body” separate from the physical body and capable of traveling outside it. Astral projection or travel denotes the astral body leaving the physical body to travel in the astral plane.
- psychic experience – from the Greek ψυχικός psychikos—”of the mind, mental”) is a person who professes an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception
On the basis of God’s inspired word, all the above are inconsistent with the christian faith, the christian life and spiritually dangerous to the follower of Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 10:20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.
- 1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.
- 1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
- Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”