New Age thinking

Mar 22, 15 New Age thinking

5) New Age thinking and a warning to Christians – in the series: About the New Age

 

New Age is a term, which covers a wide range of seemingly diverse beliefs.

 

A great analogy for the New Age belief system is to imagine a person walking through a cafeteria, picking and choosing the “desserts” only, from other belief systems, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, astrology, mysticism, Native American beliefs, Kabbalah Judaism (which Madonna used to follow), witchcraft/Wicca, the Occult, Theosophy, Rosicrucian, Gnostic Christianity, Sufi Islam, etc.

 

This cafeteria style is referred to as ‘Syncretism’. The over riding “binder” in the belief is that there are no set rules, because anything and everything is okay … except set rules.

 

Typically a person who holds this belief system describes their self as “being Spiritual, not religious”. They don’t often or typically refer to themselves as a New Ager.

 

New Agers believe that all religious paths lead to God so all religions are basically the same. What they don’t like is a religion that accepts only one path to God, such as Christianity.

 

At the root of the New Age belief system is the belief that each of us, are part of the divine or god but for some reason, we don’t realize it SO we each have to spend many, many, many lifetimes until we do, learning different lessons, hopefully creating enough ‘good karma’ to outweigh our ‘bad karma’, so that we can pass on to a “Higher level of understanding” called “Christ-consciousness’, when we will eventually becoming perfect like God.

 

The belief in having more than one lifetime is called ‘reincarnation’. This progression to perfection all depends on our own effort and works. Each person is their own Savior and not only is each person evolving to perfection but the world community as a “Global” community is as well.

 

This is important for us to realize. New Agers believe that the world is just getting better and better but one of the things holding us back is Christians and their intolerance. This was how I used to think. I couldn’t wait for the world to get evolved enough so that the Christians would just go away.

 

You are familiar with the Bible verses, Matthew 24, 40,41, “Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left., which Christians believe is about the Rapture? Well, there is a New Age belief that only the truly evolved believers like themselves will be left on earth and that those who are not evolved are basically stubborn souls who, will be removed. This is the way satan has prepared them for the Rapture, when Christians disappear from the earth.

 

People who believe like this also then believe that there is no such thing as evil. This also means that there is no belief in satan, the devil. They think that the appearance of what Christians would call ‘evil’ is actually just ignorance of who we really are. Therefore, they believe there is no sin. They believe that every decision a person makes, even a bad one, has value in learning a lesson in that particular lifetime. There is no reason to repent or turn to God from one’s sin, because, guilt is only an invention of the Christian church.

 

When a person dies, New Agers accept it as just another phase of consciousness and just another passing (reincarnation) in their process of spiritual evolving into oneness with God.  A soul’s next phase is to evaluate what was learned from that life and to prepare for the next earthly life, whenever that will be and as whomever the soul decides it needs to be to learn its next lesson as a human.

 

This view of Death is an oxymoron because of course a New Ager mourns someone who dies but there is also an attitude that it really isn’t that big a deal because, after all, death is just a cycle in the process. The New Age belief system cheapens death. I remember thinking that if a person dies for a cause in a war, on the surface, it is noble but really they will get to live again (and again).

 

This belief system cheapens life. If a woman aborts a child, it’s no big deal because the reincarnating soul doesn’t take residence into an unborn child until just before birth. Even ‘crib death’ is explained away. The soft spot in a child’s skull (fontanelle) is there for the first couple of years of a child’s life as an ‘escape hatch’, of sorts, in case a soul decides not to stay in that particular body. (The soul is only tethered to its body by an invisible “silver” cord, which is connected through the top of the head. Until the fontanelle hardens, the silver cord can be severed more easily.)

 

Because death and life are just a part of a never-ending cycle in the process of spiritual evolution, there may come a time of increased persecution to Christians from those practicing New Age. Under that belief system, I’ve already mentioned that they believe the world is just getting better and better because we are evolving spiritually, and that the main problem to our evolution is Christianity. Christians are holding mankind back from global spiritual evolution.

 

If there is no real belief in the finality of death, it is not really a cruelty to remove (kill) Christians for the betterment of mankind. It actually helps that stubborn soul in their spiritual evolution; perhaps they’ll just go to another planet to work on some lessons so that they can catch up with the rest of evolved humanity but for this lifetime, it’s best that they just aren’t around to hold mankind back. Yes, that is the rationale.

 

You think that sounds too crazy to be true? Well, I’ve read New Age books that state just that. There are Christian books, which have done a very good job on dismantling the New Age belief system, and they also reference New Age books, which rationalize killing for the sake of mankind’s spiritual development. I recommend Warren B. Smith’s book, “False Christ Coming: Does Anyone Care?” Warren references very popular New Age books, which talk about this and they are books I have not read. I make this point because even if I read this idea in a few obscure New Age books, the popular New Age writers cover this crazy idea in their books too.

 

John 16:2 [Jesus said] They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.

 

One New Age segment is “Gnostic Christianity”, a form of Gnosticism. Gnostic Christianity believes that Jesus was an example only; literally, the first born of what we all will eventually become after many reincarnations.  Gnosticism is the belief that salvation is gained through a soul’s own knowledge. When you add the Gnostic Christianity to it, the belief expands to believing that the Christian church has lied and does not teach the true teachings of Jesus. Gnostic Christianity believes that Jesus taught true teachings to his closest disciples (students), and that they then, taught them to others, sharing the New Age “truth” that each person can work as Jesus did to acquiring a “Christ-consciousness”.

 

In the New Age belief system, nothing really is at stake, because a person believes that we are souls or spiritual beings who became trapped as humans in a physical world and God loves us all enough to just allow us to keep coming back lifetime after lifetime until, like Jesus, who also had many lifetimes, we finally perfect ourselves so we no longer have to return to earth as humans.

 

In this belief system, there is no eternal separation; there is no threat from hell because there is no such thing as hell.  They believe, ALL of that is only an invention of mainstream religious Christianity (the “power hungry” church), a conspiracy, in order to keep mankind in control under the church’s power and to keep us all in the dark to our real identity.

 

There is a well-used “choice” reference from C.S. Lewis’ book, “Mere Christianity”, which is that you believe either 1) Jesus is either a lunatic or 2) a liar or 3) who he stated he was which is God.

 

From the New Age point of view, there is actually a fourth point, which I refer to as “The Da Vinci code” theory, which is that Jesus came to earth and did everything supernaturally that the Bible states he did but his words were distorted in the Bible by the church in an attempt to keep mankind from knowing their true identity, which is that we are ALL divine / God.

 

The New Age belief system permeates our culture.

 

“The Da Vinci Code” book, which became a movie, is about Gnostic Christianity.  Hollywood widely promotes through their movies, this worldview.  Other movies with an obvious New Age slant are “Crash”, “The Matrix”, “Avatar”, “Star Wars”, “What Dreams May Come” and “Pocahontas”.

 

When I was a New Ager, I read a lot of New Age books. There is an abundance of them in non-fiction and in fiction, such as “The Da Vinci Code”, and all other books by Dan Brown. A recent popular non-fiction book is “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. I personally stay away from any books recommended, like this one was, by Oprah Winfrey, because she is a New Age believer. Another book she recommends is “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. These and other books like them are runaway bestsellers around the world, translated into many languages. Truly, it is a case of 2 Timothy 4:3,4 ESV: For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

 

Regarding Christian books, in 2012, a major secular publishing house (secular means: not religious but worldly instead) bought out one of the largest Christian publishing houses in the world. They had already bought out another large Christian publishing house about 20 years earlier. So now they own 50% of Christian publishing worldwide. We are now seeing some of the books touted as “Christian”, no longer reflecting the true Christian message, not only by this “Christian” publisher but also, unfortunately by others too.

 

We are also seeing an acceptance of New Age ideas and practices infiltrate our churches. For examples, we have seen how the “positive thinking”, “law of attraction”, “Name it and claim it” New Age practice has soaked into our churches and now, many respected Christian spokespeople are endorsing ‘Contemplative prayer’ (also known as centering prayer, or “be still and know that I am god” practice). It is a blatant New Age form of meditation. Jesus never told us to empty our minds and “seek” an experience from “God”.

 

Contemplative prayer was introduced by Richard Foster, a mystic Quaker in 1980 through his “Christian” book, “Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth”. That practice is now everywhere in Christian circles. (Click ‘here’ to read from my blog, False Jesus.)

 

I like Ravi Zacharias, well-known Christian apologist, but even he made a mistake by endorsing a person who he thought was a Christian. In his bestselling book, Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi relates how spot on Henry Nouwen is in his interpretation of the Prodigal son. Ravi has since recanted his endorsement when he read further works of Nowen and discovered his lack of Biblical adherence and that he holds Universalist theologies.

 

Besides Henry Nouwen, the following is a list of other New Agers being accepted by Christians: Thomas Merton, Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, Brother Lawrence, Thomas Keating, Napolean Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, George Fox.

 

The term ‘New Age’ began to be used at the end of the 19th century. It refers to the 12 astrology horoscope signs of the zodiac. They believe we are currently in the horoscope age of Pisces; the sign is drawn as two fish. It is considered the era of Christianity.

 

They believe that the symbol used by early Christianity of the fish, which means “fishers of men” (you may have seen an example on a car decal; it is known as an “Ichthys”), actually refers to the age of Pisces horoscope sign.

 

New Agers believe that in the Bible when Jesus states in Matthew 28:20b, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”, it means that he will only be with us as the savior of this particular “age”. They do not believe the actual Bible meaning, which is a reference to the entire time before Jesus returns in judgment.

 

New Agers believe that the next age we are approaching is the Age of Aquarius, so a “New Age”; the era of Christianity is ending. Each age is approximately 2160 years long. And each age has its own “Savior” who they believe comes with a message about the “truth” of who we really are, which is part of the Divine. They believe that Jesus was an avatar ushering in the age of Pisces. So they also believe that there will be a Savior for the Age of Aquarius too, just as there were Saviors for all of the other ages before the age of Pisces. This is the way satan has prepared them to accept the Anti-Christ when he comes. He will be heralded as the Savior of that particular age.

 

So what do they believe about the Age of Aquarius?

 

When I was a kid there was a very popular play: “Hair” and one of the songs is “The Age of Aquarius”. In fact, in 5th grade I sang a bit of it as a solo in the school choir. The first line is:

“When the Moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars; then peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars.”

 

This is horoscope, astrology language.

 

New Agers believe we are ushering in this New Age when we will be tolerant and no longer have the restraints of religion, specifically Christianity. They believe one of the “restraints” which will be broken in our current culture is the backward idea that sexual relations should only be between a married couple, which consists of one man, and one woman. This is why in our culture, we are bombarded now with examples of other sexual lifestyles and we are told that these are all okay and that Christianity is not okay because it is so intolerant.

 

When I was studying Kabbalah, which is a mystic, esoteric form of Judaism, which believes in reincarnation, the main focus was on traversing the “Tree of Life” in such a way that you balanced it as it, should be. It is almost a yin yang idea or the idea that opposites are actually a false dualism. So, the soul’s job is to try to travel up the middle of the tree. For example, on one side of the tree, you have the concept of “goodness” and on the other side of “evil”. Those are just illusions and your soul is suppose to find the “balance” or learn to transcend the “appearance” of separation. This is also true for the Kabbalist regarding the differences in male and female. That difference was just a necessity on the part of the Creator when we were created in this base world, but its up to the soul to reconcile the two different aspects, male and female, into one aspect. That’s a not very clear explanation to state that a person’s sex should not define them; if we were evolved, we should be neutral, expressing the positives of each. This crosses over into the act of sex as well then so any sexual experience is sanctioned. A good Christian book that speaks about, among other things, the undermining of sexuality in our culture is “One or Two” by Peter R. Jones.

 

The New Age, Syncretism way of cafeteria-style religion, prevalent now through books, through movies, through the infiltration of New Age ideas into our churches, is alive and flourishing.

 

For a blog about our duties as Christians, see ‘A Call to Discern’.

 

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  1. My Testimony | Blogging with Elaine - […] Prior to then, I was a New Ager (though I would NEVER have identified myself that way). For more…

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