World Religions and Cults: The New Age Movement (Pantheism and Monism)

Cindy was exposed lớn age calculator in years
New Age movement through a human potential seminar sponsored by the company she worked for. The teacher of the seminar informed each attendee, “ You are your own god, ” và “ You can create your own reality. ” By embracing these ideas, he claimed, each employee could become much more successful at the workplace, ultimately leading mập increased profits for the company .

Cindy was confused. If she was a god, wouldn’t she already know it? Why does a god have to attend a seminar to discover that he or she is a god? She later found out that this seminar was part of the New Age movement. It didn’t sit right with her. She decided to be very cautious in evaluating the New Age ideas she learned at the seminar.

The New Age movement first emerged in the West in the 1970 s và then mushroomed in popularity in the 1980 s. Even today the movement continues phệ influence people on the religious landscape around the world. Many no longer use the term “ New Age ” — they prefer the term “ new spirituality ” or something similar, but it is all part of the movement that emerged in the 1970 s .

A major problem one encounters in discussing the New Age movement is defining it. Some have attempted to categorize it as a single unified cult.1 It is probably wiser, however, to define it as a loosely structured network of individuals and organizations who share a common vision of a new age of enlightenment and harmony. Those who share this vision typically subscribe to a common set of core religious and philosophical beliefs—that is, they hold to a particular worldview. This worldview centers on monism (all is one), pantheism (all is God), and mysticism (the experience of oneness with the divine).

Despite these core beliefs, the collective body toàn thân of New Agers around the world is organizationally diffuse. For this reason, we cannot properly categorize it as a unified cult. Cults are typically exclusivistic groups made up of individuals who subscribe bự a uniform phối of beliefs và operate according mập a rigidly defined organizational structure. Movements, on the other hand, have an element of unity ( core beliefs ) but are also multifaceted — involving a variety of individuals & groups with different emphases. This is the case with the New Age movement. ( More on this shortly. )There are a number of factors that contributed lớn the emergence of the New Age movement in the 1970 s. First và foremost is nineteenth-century transcendentalism, a school of thought that was heavily dependent on Eastern scriptures, such as the Hindu Vedas. Transcendentalism emphasized intuition as a means of ascertaining truth. It also held that all religions contain divine truth, và affirmed that the goal of religion is mập obtain conscious union with the divine. Such ideas helped mix the stage for the eventual emergence of the New Age movement .We can also point Khủng the revival of occultism that took place in the late nineteenth century. This revival took khung in the emergence of such groups as the Theosophical Society ( 1875 ), the Anthroposophical Society ( 1912 ), the Arcane School ( 1923 ), và the I AM movement ( 1930 s ). We need not investigate the chất lượng teachings và features of each nhóm. It is sufficient phệ recognize that spiritistic phenomena — that is, tương tác with entities from the beyond, such as “ ascended masters ” 2 — was common in such groups. This helped mix the stage for the emergence of modern New Age psychics & channelers .

Also contributing to the emergence of the New Age movement was a lesser movement called neo-gnosticism. As a backdrop, Gnosticism—from the Greek gnosis, “knowledge”—was a heresy that emerged in the second century A.D., purporting to offer knowledge of otherwise hidden “truth” as the indispensable key to human salvation.3 Though gnosticism with its secret knowledge is long gone, a revival of certain gnostic ideas (called neo-gnosticism) occurred in the late nineteenth and early-to-mid-twentieth centuries. These ideas include (1) Man has the spark of the divine within, (2) Man is ignorant of his divinity, and (3) Jesus came as a way-shower to bring enlightenment to humankind. These ideas eventually became prominent in the New Age movement.

We might also point mập the counterculture of the 1960 s. Indeed, in the 1960 s many people reacted against the West’s traditional way of doing things. During the turbulent ‘ 60 s, people were open bự new ideas — religious & otherwise. The counterculture became saturated with fringe ideas. Common were antimaterialism, utopianism, communalism, interest in the occult, & a rejection of traditional morality. All this helped béo lay the groundwork for the emergence of the New Age movement .Also during the 1960 s, the West experienced an Eastern tidal wave. The most pervasive interest was in transcendental meditation, reincarnation, chanting, visualization, & the idea that all of reality was divine và sacred. Thes e ideas would soon become pervasive in the New Age movement .Finally, we must recognize the failure of secular humanism. Cultural observers in the ‘ 60 s & ‘ 70 s recognized that human reason had not been able béo solve all of humankind’s problems, as had been imagined by its proponents beginning in the Enlightenment. Moreover, with its relentless overemphasis on secularized reason, one’s sense of the divine, the sacred, & the transcendent faded. In the New Age movement, people therefore sought a return béo the divine & the sacred in all things. This is an example of the cultural “ pendulum effect ” — that is, there was a swing from the secular bự the sacred, a swing from the merely rational bự the transcendent & the mystical .Thes e six factors, among others, collectively provided a rich & fertile soil for the emergence và worldwide growth of the New Age movement. The so-called Age of Aquarius blossomed & flourished .

We’ve already noted that core beliefs of New Agers include monism (all is one), pantheism (all is God), and mysticism (the experience of oneness with the divine). Along with these primary core beliefs are some secondary characteristics that are true of most New Agers. For example, most New Agers are highly eclectic. By this I mean that New Agers typically draw their religious and philosophical ideas from a variety of religious sources. They consult holy books like the Bible and the Hindu Vedas, but also feel free to consult psychics and channelers, whose “revelations” from spirit guides are considered just as authoritative as those found in holy books. They have no hesitation in consulting astrologers and others who practice the occultic arts of necromancy, palm readings, ball gazing, tarot cards, etc.

Not surprisingly, New Agers are also syncretistic. By this I mean that New Agers combine & synthesize religious & philosophical ideas from Jesus, the Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, alleged “ space brothers ” aboard UFOs, Ascended Masters who live on planet Venus, và many others. New Agers believe there is truth in all religions và religious traditions. This willingness lớn pick và choose what they believe from various sources of enlightenment is a vivid demonstration of the arbitrary & inconsistent nature of the worldview .

Most New Agers are also transformational on two levels. First, New Agers believe that personal transformation takes place when a human being recognizes his or her oneness with all things in the universe. Second, planetary transformation takes place when a critical mass of human beings come into this same awareness. We are allegedly transforming—or transitioning—into a New Age with a new consciousness.

Not unexpectedly, New Agers are typically relativistic in their view of truth and ethics. One New Age curriculum that found its way into some school districts in the United States taught students how to discover their own values. The idea in this curriculum is that values are not to be imposed from without (such as from Scripture or from parents) but must be discovered within. The underlying assumption is that there are no absolute truths or values. New Agers are well known for their view that “you can have your truth and I can have my truth,” and that “your truth should never infringe upon my truth.” And yet, it is interesting that they are willing to impose (infringe) this alleged absolute truth upon everyone! This is a self-refuting position as it creates an illogical internal inconsistency within the worldview.

We might also observe that most New Agers are open mập meditation. I am not referring phệ meditation on the Bible ( e. g., Psalm 119 : 148 ). I am referring bự an Eastern form of meditation in which one goes into a trance-like state & seeks phệ attain a sense of oneness with all things. The goal of meditation varies, but the common belief is that it allows one béo kết nối lớn the divine or the force that permeates the entire universe. Emptying the mind và directing energies within the body toàn thân allows the balancing of vital energies ( present in meridians or chakras ) which is used Khủng promote spiritual & physical healing. bốnThe use of crystals, essential oils, body toàn thân positions ( Yoga asanas ), breathing practices, mantras, & other methods are used Khủng kết nối mập the divine force & release và balance divine energy within the person doing these practices .Closely connected phệ meditation is the New Age view of visualization, which basically involves the idea of “ mind kết thúc matter. ” One New Ager said, “ Your thoughts are always creating your reality — it’s up béo you bự take charge of your thoughts và consciously create a reality that is fulfilling. ” 5 Another said, “ We literally create our reality through the beliefs we hold, so sánh by changing those beliefs, we can change reality. ” 6 Today, this idea of manipulating reality through focus practices is called “ mindfulness ” & is commonly taught in arenas from public schools và children’s programming lớn self-help seminars và corporate trainings .If New Agers are eclectic ( open bự many religious & philosophical sources ) và syncretistic ( combining & synthesizing religious & philosophical ideas from many different traditions ), then one would naturally expect them mập have deviant views on the key doctrines of the Bible. This has indeed turned out bự be the case .The Bible is a good case in point, for New Agers believe it is merely one of many holy books communicating revelation from God, or the divine. New Agers believe it is incorrect bự read the Bible in a straightforward way. Rather, they look for truth by seeking hidden, secret, or inner spiritual meanings of Bible verses, especially in the teachings of Jesus. For example, when Jesus said, “ Seek first the kingdom of God ” ( Matthew 6 : 33 ), he was allegedly teaching people bự seek an awareness of their own inner divinity. Such Scripture twisting is common among New Agers .Moreover, in place of the biblical Creator-God with whom we can have personal relationships is a pantheistic concept which says that God is all & all is God. In pantheism, all reality is viewed as being infused with divinity. The God of pantheism is an impersonal, amoral “ it, ” & not a personal, moral “ He. ” The distinction between the Creator & the creation is completely obliterated in this view .New Agers also have twisted views of Jesus Christ. Notice I said “ views, ” for New Agers phối forth many strange ideas about Jesus. Foundationally, New Agers distinguish between the human Jesus và the divine Christ. New Agers agree that Jesus became the Christ, but they have different interpretations as phệ how that happened. Some say that a divine cosmic Christ spirit descended upon the human Jesus at His baptism. Others say that Jesus underwent seven degrees of initiation — an occultic ceremony — in Egypt, the seventh degree being “ the Christ. ” Still others claim Jesus traveled mập India as a child & learned from Hindu gurus, và this eventually led mập his Christhood. Regardless of how he became the Christ, New Agers agree that Jesus was an enlightened way-shower for humankind, demonstrating Khủng humans how they, too, can become the Christ .

Since New Agers hold to monism (all is one) and pantheism (all is God), it is not surprising that they view human beings as divine. Because humans are divine, they are believed to have unlimited potential. Many Fortune 500 companies have sponsored human potential seminars.

The New Age view that humans are divine has powerful implications for the doctrines of sin & salvation. New Agers claim there is no sin, & hence there is no need for salvation. If human beings have any problem at all, it is allegedly an ignorance regarding their divinity. This being so sánh, humankind’s need is enlightenment, not salvation. All we need is “ God-realization. ”With their twisted views of the Bible, God, Jesus, humanity, sin, & salvation, it is no surprise that New Agers have also completely redefined the over times. New Agers offer different interpretations of the Second Coming. Some believe that prophecies of the Second Coming are fulfilled in the coming of a specific individual named Maitreya, who will allegedly take the primary role of leadership in the New Age. In this view, Maitreya has allegedly been living incognito among human beings since 1977 when his consciousness entered a specially created human-like body toàn thân of manifestation, the Mayavirupa. In the near future, Maitreya will allegedly manifest himself béo all humanity và usher in a new era of peace và happiness .

Other New Agers interpret the Second Coming in terms of the “cosmic Christ” (a divine spirit) falling upon all humanity so that human beings around the world come to recognize their divinity. This Second Coming is thus viewed as a “mass coming” involving not just one “Christ,” but all humans coming to recognize their “Christhood.”

It is difficult bự assess how many New Agers there are in the United States và around the world. After all, they are not a monolithic nhóm that keeps membership roles lượt thích the Mormons & Jehovah’s Witnesses. Moreover, as noted previously, not all who hold a New Age worldview actually Call themselves New Agers today .

During the early ’90s, it was estimated that around 12 million Americans were active participants in the movement, with another 30 million avidly interested in one or more different aspects of the movement. At present, the New Age tome titled A Course in Miracles has sold well over 1,000,000 copies and has spawned over 1,000 study groups in the United States alone. Such statistics point to a broad penetration of New Age ideas in Western culture. This broad penetration has been reflected in Hollywood movies (for example, Ghost and The Sixth Sense) and TV shows (for example, Medium and Ghost Whisperer).

Another way phệ gauge New Age influence is lớn consider statistics related Khủng specific paranormal beliefs. 7 A Gallup poll reveals that 32 percent of Americans believe in some sort of paranormal activity. This statistic holds true for even graduating college seniors và college professors. Meanwhile, 28 percent of Americans believe we can communicate with the chết .Among teenagers, some 73 percent have participated in psychic activities. Four out of five have had their horoscopes read by an astrologer. Seven million claim lớn have personally encountered a spirit entity, such as an angel or a supernatural entity. Two million claim béo have psychic powers .Even the United States government has been interested in the occult & the paranormal. According mập government documents that were declassified in the 1990 s, America — during the years of America’s cold war with the Soviet Union — spent a whopping USD trăng tròn million studying extrasensory perception và other psychic phenomena .Such facts reveal that the New Age movement has indeed broadly penetrated American culture. For this reason, Christians ought mập be equipped phệ answer the primary claims of New Agers .Someone said that the New Age movement is a target-rich environment when it comes bự opportunities for critique. In what follows, I will provide a brief biblical response mập some of the primary ideas phối forth in the movement .

Relativism is not logically satisfying. One might interpret the statement “all truth is relative” to mean it is an absolute truth that all truth is relative. Such a statement is self-defeating. Or, one might understand the statement as saying it is relative truth that all truth is relative. But such a statement is ultimately meaningless. In contrast to such nonsense, absolute truth and morals are grounded in the absolutely true and moral God of the Bible (see 1 Kings 17:24; Psalm 25:5, 43:3, 100:5, 119:30; John 1:17, 8:44, 14:17, 17:17; 2 Corinthians 6:7; Ephesians 4:15, 6:14; 2 Timothy 2:15; 1 John 3:19; 3 John 4, 8).

All religions do not teach the same truths. One cannot rationally claim that the various world religions are teaching the same basic truths. This becomes evident by examining key doctrines in each religion. The doctrine of God is a good example. The Christian Bible reveals that there is one personal God who is triune in nature (Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:29; Romans 8:15). The Muslim Quran teaches there is only one God, but God cannot have a son, and there is no Trinity. The writings of Confucius affirm polytheism (there are many gods). Krishna taught a combination of polytheism and pantheism (all is god). Zoroaster set forth religious dualism (there is both a good god and a bad god). Buddha taught that the concept of God was essentially irrelevant. Clearly, the world’s major religions hold completely contradictory views regarding the nature of God. The same is true in their view of Jesus and their view of salvation. This means that the New Age claim that all the religions teach the same basic truths is wishful thinking.

Pantheism—the view that “all is God”—is fraught with problems. In pantheism, all distinctions between the creation (which is finite) and the Creator (who is infinite) are destroyed. Biblically, God is eternally distinct from what he created (Hebrews 11:3; see also Genesis 1:1; Psalm 33:8–9). Moreover, pantheism contradicts common sense. If everything in the universe is truly God, then there is no difference between myself and anything else (or anyone else) in the world. Such an idea is nonsensical.

The truth is, the pantheistic God is an impersonal force, not a personal being with whom personal relationships can be established ( see Mark 14 : 36 ; Galatians bốn : 6 ). The God of the Bible is infinitely more appealing & is the only source of the existence of everything in the universe ( Colossians một : 15 – 18 ; Hebrews một : tam ) .

There are many problems with reincarnation. The concept of reincarnation finds its roots in Eastern religions and has no basis in any real experience. Even the most sophisticated views of ongoing cycles of birth and death are filled with logical inconsistencies and practical evils.

For example :

Occultism is dangerous. Deuteronomy 18:9–12 warns that all forms of occultism are detestable to God. Exodus 22:18 even instructs that sorceresses were to be put to death—a penalty in Old Testament times that demonstrates how serious the sin of divination was. Leviticus 19:26 commands, “You shall not. .. interpret omens or tell fortunes.” In Acts 19:19 we read that many who converted to Christ in Ephesus rightly destroyed all their paraphernalia formerly used for occultism and divination.

The New Age openness lớn channeling — consulting psychics in order Khủng tương tác the chết, or phệ liên hệ a guardian angel, or mập liên hệ “ space brothers ” aboard UFOs — is an especially heinous sin against God. Deuteronomy 18 : 10 – 11 is clear : “ There shall not be found among you anyone who. .. [ is ] a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the chết. ” Leviticus 19 : 31 instructs, “ Do not turn lớn mediums or necromancers ; bởi not seek them out, và so sánh make yourselves unclean by them : I am the Lord your God. ” In một Samuel 28 : tam we read that ” Saul had put the mediums và the necromancers out of the land. ” Later, we read that “ Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, và also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. ” ( một Chronicles 10 : 13 ; see also Leviticus đôi mươi : 27 ) .

New Age meditation can be injurious. New Age (Eastern) meditation’s stated goal of transforming one’s state of mind into a monistic (“all is one”), if not an outright pantheistic (“all is God”), outlook lies in direct contradiction to the biblical view of the eternal distinction between God the Creator and His creatures (Isaiah 44:6–8; Hebrews 2:6–8). Moreover, Christian experts in occultism note that altered states of consciousness (which occurs in New Age meditation) can open one up to spiritual affliction and deception by the powers of darkness. Additionally, some New Agers may use drugs like LSD to enter these altered states, a practice Christians must avoid. Contrary to such Eastern meditation, Christians ought to practice biblical meditation. This involves objective contemplation and deep reflection on God’s Word (Joshua 1:8) as well as God’s person and faithfulness (Psalm 119, see also 19:14, 48:9, 77:12, 104:34, 143:5).

The New Age method of interpreting the Bible is faulty. The New Age method of seeking hidden, secret, or inner spiritual meanings of Bible verses violates the scriptural injunction to rightly handle the Word of God and not distort its meaning (2 Peter 3:16; 2 Corinthians 4:2). Among New Agers, the basic authority in interpretation ceases to be Scripture, but rather the mind of the interpreter (i.e., man is seen as the supreme authority over God and His Word). They rely on their own inner illumination as opposed to reliance upon the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 2:9–11; John 16:12– 15). More often than not, New Agers superimpose mystical meanings on Bible verses instead of objectively seeking the biblical author’s intended meaning.

Contrary lớn this New Age subjective approach phệ Scripture, it is better Khủng interpret each verse in the Bible in its proper biblical context. Every thế giới is part of a verse ; every verse is part of a paragraph ; every paragraph is part of a book ; & every book is part of the whole of Scripture. It is wise béo pay attention Khủng both the immediate & broader contexts of Scripture. Moreover, one ought mập consult history bự get a better grasp on the historical milieu in which the biblical book was written. This objective approach will keep one on track in properly interpreting Scripture .

Jesus didn’t train in the East as a child. Many New Agers suggest that the man Jesus studied under gurus in India as a child, returning to Israel as a master to perform miracles and spread the teachings he learned. There are many factors that argue against such an idea. First, Scripture explicitly states that Jesus was raised in Nazareth (Luke 4:16). As he grew up, he studied the Old Testament, as did other Jewish boys His age (see Luke 2:52).

Once an adult, those in His community seemed quite familiar with Him as a long-standing carpenter ( Mark 6 : tam ) và as a carpenter’s son ( Matthew 13 : 55 ). Had Jesus just returned from India, this likely would not have been the case ( see Luke bốn : 22 ) .Some in His community were offended that Jesus was drawing such attention. They treated Him with a contempt born of familiarity ( see Matthew 13 : 54 – 57 ). Again, had Jesus just returned from India, this likely would not have been the case .

Consider also the Jewish leaders. They accused Jesus of many offenses throughout His three-year ministry, but never once did they accuse Him of teaching or practicing anything learned in the East. If they could have, they would have. This would have been excellent grounds for dismissing Jesus as the promised Jewish Messiah. The truth is, though, that Jesus didn’t train in the East.

Jesus was the Christ; he didn’t become the Christ. Jesus did not become the Christ as an adult, but rather was the one and only Christ (Messiah) from the very beginning. The angel said to the shepherds in the field, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11). Jesus’ beloved disciple John wrote, “Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22).

It is noteworthy that the 100-plus prophecies of the coming Messiah in the Old Testament were fulfilled in a single person—Jesus Christ (for example, Isaiah 7:14, 53:3–5; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 12:10). Of course, the New Testament counterpart for “Messiah” is “Christ” (see John 1:41). Jesus was uniquely the Christ.

We might also observe that when Jesus was recognized as the Christ, he chưa bao giờ said, “ You too have the Christ within. ” Instead he warned that others would come falsely claiming lớn be the Christ ( Matthew 24 : 5 ). Today, we see that fulfilled in the writings of teachers lượt thích Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Edgar Cayce, và others who teach that each person can attain béo Christ consciousness as promoted by spiritualists such as Oprah Winfrey và other popular truyền thông outlets .

Human beings are not divine. Contrary to the New Age claim that human beings are God, Scripture portrays them as creatures who are responsible to their Creator (Genesis 1–2; Psalm 100:3). Because human beings are creatures, they are intrinsically weak, helpless, and dependent upon God (you may wish to consult 2 Corinthians 3:5 and John 15:5). The recognition of creaturehood should lead human beings to humility and a worshipful attitude (Psalm 95:6–7). They have confused the fact that we are made in the image of the divine God (Genesis 1:26–27, 9:6) with falsely being equated to the divine God.

One cannot avoid asking, If human beings are God, then why do we have to buy and read New Age books to find out about it? Wouldn’t we already know it? The fact that a person comes to realize he is God proves that he is not God. For if he truly were God, he would never have passed from a state of ignorance to a state of enlightenment as to his divine nature.

Still further, if it were true that human beings were divine, one would expect them béo display qualities similar phệ those known phệ be true of God. This seems only logical. However, when one compares the attributes of humankind with those of God ( as phối forth in Scripture ), we find more than ample testimony for the truth of Paul’s statement in Romans tam : 23 that human beings “ fall short of the glory of God. ” Indeed, while God is all-knowing, all-powerful, và everywhere present ( Matthew 11 : 21 ; Revelation 19 : 6 ; Psalm 139 : 7 – 12 ), man is none of these things ( Job 38 : bốn ; Hebrews bốn : 15 ; John một : 50 ) .

Human beings are fallen in sin and need to be saved. Contrary to the New Age claim that human beings are God and merely need enlightenment about this reality, the biblical truth is that human beings have a grave sin problem that is altogether beyond their means to solve. Human beings are sinners (Isaiah 64:6; Luke 15:10), are lost (Luke 19:10), are capable of great wickedness (Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:20–23; Luke 11:42–52), and are in need of repentance before a holy God (Mark 1:15; Luke 15:10). Because of sin, human beings are blind (Matthew 15:14, 23:16–26), enslaved in bondage (John 8:34), and live in darkness (John 3:19–21, 8:12, 12:35–46).

Jesus came into the world to offer a salvation based on grace. The word grace literally means “unmerited favor.” Unmerited means this favor cannot be worked for. Grace refers to the undeserved, unearned favor of God. Romans 5:1–11 tells us that God gives His incredible grace to those who actually deserve the opposite—that is, condemnation. Eternal life cannot be earned. It is a free gift of grace that comes through faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ. As Jesus Himself put it, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” (John 6:47; see also John 3:15, 5:24, 11:25, 12:46, 20:31).

Jesus is the only way. While the Jesus of the New Age is open to all religions, the Jesus of the Bible is God’s exclusive means of salvation. Speaking of Jesus, a bold Peter proclaimed, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). The Apostle Paul affirmed, “There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Jesus also warned His followers about those who would try to set forth a different “Christ” (Matthew 24:4–5). Truly, Jesus is the only way of salvation, and the only Jesus who has revealed Himself in the pages of Scripture.

Jesus will come again at the Second Coming. Contrary to New Agers who claim either that the Second Coming has already taken place in the person of Maitreya, or through the cosmic Christ falling upon all humanity, Scripture reveals that the very same Jesus who ascended into heaven will come again at the Second Coming. Acts 1:11 tells us that angels appeared to Christ’s disciples after he ascended into heaven and said to them, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” This Second Coming will involve a visible, physical, bodily coming of the glorified Jesus, and every eye will see Him (Revelation 1:7). In Titus 2:13 Paul speaks of “Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Following are some key considerations bự keep in mind as you dialogue with your New Age acquaintances .

Befriend the New Ager. Befriending the New Ager means being friendly to the New Ager. As 2 Timothy 2:24–25 puts it, “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.” The word gentle here carries the idea of being kind. When you witness, don’t quarrel; instead, be kind.

Don’t make false assumptions. Many New Agers use some of the same words Christians do—words like revelation, Jesus Christ, God, resurrection, and ascension. Do not make the false assumption that simply because they use such words, they mean the same thing you mean by these terms. You must be careful to define the terms you use.

Another false assumption béo avoid is the idea that all New Agers believe exactly the same things. While they may be united in certain core beliefs, they also hold certain distinct beliefs. In view of this, it is important not mập tell a New Ager what he or she likely believes. Ask questions about their views và then let the New Ager verbalize what he or she believes, và then you can accurately address what they’ve said ( Proverbs 18 : 13 ) .

Try to avoid unhelpful behaviors. For example, try to avoid arrogance and pride. Some Christians tend to carry a “spiritual chip on the shoulder.” Acting like a spiritual know-it-all is a real turn-off. It is better to be humble, speaking with grace and truth.

It’s also important phệ be patient. When witnessing, you will likely have mập explain the same thing more than once. Expect this. Don’t say, “ I already told you this, ” or “ Have you listened bự anything I’ve said ? ” No matter how slow the New Ager may seem in grasping your points, be patient as you tell the truth about Jesus Christ .

Try to find common ground. As you interact with a New Ager, watch for common ground that you can use as a launch pad to dialogue about spiritual matters. (The Apostle Paul used this approach in Acts 17.) For example, if they speak about ecology, you might say that ecology is good, since God created the earth (Genesis 1:1–2) and the earth belongs to God (Deuteronomy 10:14). Or if you want to talk about Jesus, you might mention how John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16 tell us that Jesus is the Creator of all things. If you watch for opportunities, it is easy to segue to spiritual matters based on something the New Ager said.

Address the inadequacy of mysticism. The truth is, so-called mystical revelations are too uncertain and insufficient as a ground upon which to build our knowledge of God (i.e., they are arbitrary and lead to an arbitrary understanding). Talk to any three mystics, and you will likely receive three different views on the same issue.

The Bible stresses the importance of objective, certain, historical revelation. For example, John 1:18 tells us “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” In the empirical world of ordinary sense perceptions, Jesus was seen and heard by human beings on earth as God’s ultimate revelation to humankind. This is why Jesus said, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also” (John 14:7).

The Apostle Paul also stressed the importance of objective, historical revelation. According phệ Acts 17 : 31, Paul warned religious people in Athens of the objective reality of a future judgment based on the objective evidence for Christ’s Resurrection from the chết. Based on how people respond lớn this objective, historical revelation, they will spend eternity in a real heaven or a real hell .There is another related matter worth noting. Thos e involved in New Age mysticism seem blind béo the possibility of spiritual deception by the powers of darkness. Second Corinthians 11 : 14 warns that “ Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. ” We are also told that Satan has the ability Khủng blind the minds of unbelievers ( 2 Corinthians bốn : bốn ). Through mysticism, a New Ager might think he or she is having a positive spiritual experience, when in reality they are being deceived by the devil, who is the father of lies ( John tám : 44 ). Mysticism is a breeding ground for spiritual deception .

Point to pantheism’s failure in accounting for the problem of evil. One great way to show the inadequacy of pantheism is to demonstrate its inconsistency with the problem of evil. If all is one and all is God, then God is evil as well as good, hatred as well as love, death as well as life. In such a view, life becomes an absurdity. How can it be said that Hitler’s extermination of six millions Jews was a part of God (pantheism)? As hard as they might try, New Age pantheists cannot satisfactorily deal with the problem of evil.

Talk about the appeal of a personal God. An important component of your dialogue with a New Ager ought to be contrasting the personal God of Christianity with the impersonal “It” of the New Age movement. The idea of an impersonal God is utterly unsatisfying because one cannot have a personal relationship with a force. In this context, a good idea is to share your personal testimony and speak openly about your own personal relationship with God.

Jesus was not a mere enlightened master. New Agers typically revere Jesus as an enlightened human being who came to help other humans attain enlightenment. Christians, by contrast, worship Jesus as the eternal God (John 1:1), who became a human (John 1:14), atoned for our sins at the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21), rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3–8), and ascended back to heaven (Acts 1:9–11), far above all other beings (Ephesians 4:10).

Let us be clear: Jesus was not a mere enlightened master. Rather he was and continues to be the Light of the world (John 8:12) who “gives light to everyone” (John 1:9). True “enlightenment” therefore involves believing in and following Him who is the Light of the world (see John 1:4–5). Note that the word believe occurs almost 100 times in John’s Gospel. Salvation is found in believing in Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. It is he—as the Light of the World—who has delivered us from the kingdom of darkness (Colossians 1:13–14).

At the top of this chapter, we learned that Cindy was exposed lớn the New Age movement through a human potential seminar sponsored by the company she worked for. The idea that she was a god who could create her own reality did not sit well with her. After all, why does a god have phệ attend a New Age seminar béo discover that he or she is a god ? This dilemma ended up motivating her Khủng tìm kiếm for the truth .Her tìm kiếm for truth led her béo the following conclusions : there is such a thing as absolute truth ; New Age mysticism can lead lớn deception ; the idea that all is god is nonsensical ; there is a personal và chất lượng Creator-God ; she herself is not a god but is rather a creature ; her problems stem not from being unenlightened but rather from the sin that plagues all humanity ; deliverance from this sin comes only in the person of Jesus Christ, the only true Savior .

Long story short—Cindy became a Christian, and now has a ministry that warns others about the New Age movement!

Summary of New Age Beliefs
Doctrine Teachings of New Age
God Most hold a pantheistic view of divinity, denying the Creator-God of the Bible. All of nature is connected phệ the divine or vital force. Divinity is within every person, though it is veiled in most .
Jesus is not the Savior, but merely an enlightened master who can give guidance .
Authority / Revelation All spiritual views contain elements of truth, so sánh various holy books ( Hindu Vedas, Koran, Bible, etc. ) are used béo find hidden truths through mystical means. Revelation comes from spiritual guides who communicate those truths Khủng humans through meditation, visualization, & channeling .
Man All of humanity contains the divine spark within but needs bự be awakened or the individual enlightened bự the divine within. Some believe each person is bound by the deeds of former lives ( karma ), & their position in society or circumstances are based on those experiences ( reincarnation ) .
Sin The biblical idea of sin is denied. Most believe in the ideas of positive và negative forces / energies that need bự be balanced for life béo be connected bự the divine .
Salvation There is no need for salvation, in the biblical sense, since sin does not exist. The ultimate goal is Khủng attain connection with the divine or vital force that connects all of humanity Khủng the divine, vital force, or “ Christ consciousness. ”

Various creation myths are seen as viable explanations for the creation of the universe. The common core is of the universe emanating from one source lớn which all in existence is connected .

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