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New Agers and the Bible - Part One

The New Age Movement can be described as a westernized form of eastern religious beliefs
combined with occultic practices, self-help, holistic medicines and astrology.

New Age beliefs have been held by eastern religions for thousands of years.
The New Age Movement does not approach spirituality from a Christian perspective.
The New Age Movement has many similarities with Hinduism.
It appears to be a westernized version of Hinduism.
New Age leaders draw on a tradition of mystical and occult sources for inspiration.

They believe that everything is sacred, in the sense that everything is divine.
"All is one and all is God" is an often repeated phrase in New Age literature.
The impersonal must be greater than (or at least the same value as) the personal.
New Agers are usually pantheistic.

Pantheistism is the belief that "God is All and All is God."

Shirley MacLaine demonstrated this in her televised version of her life, "Out on a Limb."
She is told by her spirit guide to face the Pacific Ocean, spread out her arms, and declare: "I am God!"

They also believe in the inner resources of human beings to attain wholeness and enlightenment.
They teach that truth comes from the divine spark within, so the New Ager uses intuition, imagination,
creativity, and "right-brain" ways of perceiving truth.
To follow one's heart and connect with one's inner guidance is the way to "truth."

External evidence is not always rejected, but to them internal conviction and personal experience
are more important than rational argument or logical thought.

If a spiritual experience means something to you, then that is what counts.
Don't worry about what anyone else says.

The New Age believes that all religions at their core are the same.
Therefore the key is to find that core and not quibble about the particulars.

New Age belief takes the teachings of a given religion and finds ways of explaining or joining
that teaching as New Age thought.
This promotes New Age thinking to a stature that it could not otherwise have, for it is then seen
as the embodiment of truth that is universal and long-held, rather than as just a current fad.

New Agers have variations in belief and style.
Christians have tended to portray the New Age as one unified, organized force.
But it is more of a collage of diverse interest groups and individuals, with sometimes
very competing and different views.

There are groups within the New Age Movement that are preoccupied with supernatural occult power.
By occult, New Agers do not mean the worship of Satan.
Rather, they look to various spiritual forces for special powers for everything from
predicting your financial future to getting a message from your dead grandmother.

Famous channelers have made enormous sums of money in allegedly contacting spirits that can offer
guidance to followers of the New Age.
We need to know about the New Age Movement so that be a more effective witness as we share
our faith in Jesus Christ.

Channelers often believe that the problem with humanity is that we have forgotten who we are
and why we are here.
A common phrase is that "we are spiritual beings having a human experience," having chosen
at some previous time in our existence to enter the realm of earth to grow through an experience
of love and unity while in a state of separation from our divine source.

We have been transformed into acting as though we are beings of earthly matter,
and we have come under bondage to the "self," to our desires, to fear and anxiety and ignorance,
all because we forgot that this material world is ultimately an "illusion."

Don't overemphasize the word "illusion," however.
New Agers know the danger of stepping in front of a moving truck.
Other New Agers believe that their most important task is changing society on the level
of spiritual consciousness.

They teach that when enough of us see our need for this focus on spirituality,
it will tip the scale for all of humanity and the New Age will dawn.
However, there are so many unbelievers, so many unwilling or unable to make the transition,
that before the New Age can dawn, there has to be massive re-education in almost every sphere
of human leaning.

To become New Age, in this sense, is to call for a transformation of how we view life.
They teach that we must support strategies to ensure the health and well-being of our race
and our planet.
They stress that we must no longer remain apathetic about the problems that threaten our world,
and we must replace destructive or ineffective values with values that will bring about world peace
and well-being.

They speak of the divine spark which is in each of us.
That spark must be fanned into a flame, so that we can experience all that our divine potential
allows us to, and so get as much out of life as possible.
To do this, we must eliminate the separation between the secular and the sacred and see
everything as sacred.

New Agers believe that dualism (seeing things as either secular or sacred) causes people
to see spirit and matter as having irreconcilable differences.
As a result, there is a diminished evaluation of the body, sexuality, emotions, and nature.

New Agers live and act as if the God of the Bible is a personal God distinct from His creation.

The Bible gives strong warnings to those who confused God with His creation.
"Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles
." (Romans 1: 22-23, NIV)

Our experiences of reality and the teachings of the Bible contradict the New Age belief that we are God.
We are besieged with problems.
Things do not go the way we want them to.
People are not always fair and honest with us.
Our lives experience sorrow and many troubles.

The Bible teaches that while humanity was created in the image of God, mankind is not
and never will be God. (Genesis 1: 26-27)
In Isaiah 43:10 the Lord declares: "You are my witnesses and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me
." (NIV)

Monism describes their belief.
All is One -- everything that exists is One.
All distinctions (including our sense of being distinct from everyone and everything else)
are really "illusions."

The belief that All is One is closely related to the New Age doctrine that everything is God.
One New Ager writes, "The first step in finding that we are not apart from God is finding that
we are not apart from each other, and until we know and realizes that all of us are One,
we cannot know and realize that we and God are One
-- Neale Donald Walsch

The Bible contradicts the belief that "all is One."

We experience ourselves as different from others.
We perceive and treat our children differently than that of others.
New Agers find it is difficult to live as if "all is One."
They treat their spouses differently than they do those of others.

The teachings of the Bible agree with our experience of reality.
The Bible indicates that the reason we do not experience life as being one is because all is not one.
God has created a universe that contains objects that are unique and precious.
We experience ourselves as different from others because God has created us as unique beings
distinct from other things and people.

"For by him all things were created: things in heaven and all earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him
(Colossians 1: 16, NIV)

New Agers also believe in reincarnation.
They teach that after death we will be reborn as a baby and live another life on earth.
Then, we will die and be reborn again, and process will start all over again.

They teach that these cycles of birth, life and death are necessary in order to lose
the "illusion" of separateness from the All.
They believe that we progress toward this Oneness by acquiring positive karma.

They teach that karma is the fruit of our life and actions that are carried by the soul to its next life.
They believe that positive karma advances us toward realizing unity with the All.
And they teach that negative karma prolongs the time needed to realize this unity.
Hinduism teaches that negative karma can cause us to come back as a lower life form.

The Bible denies reincarnation.
"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment." (Hebrews 9:27, NIV)

Reincarnation is a form of salvation by works.
The Bible teaches that salvation through any kind of works is impossible.
"And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace."
(Romans 11:6, NIV)
Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches that salvation from sin and its eternal consequences is a gift
that God gives freely.

Sin results in death -- not in reincarnation.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Romans 6:23, NIV)

The Bible teaches resurrection, not reincarnation.
Jesus said: "I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead
will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live
." (John 5:25, NIV)

New Agers teach that people are divine.
Many New Agers teach that our sensation of existing as finite creatures is an "illusion."
They teach that humanity has forgotten that it is divine.
As a result, people need to become enlightened about their true divinity in order to become one
with the All.

They believe that exercises which are intended to transform consciousness can help one
attain enlightenment.
They believe that techniques such as yoga, meditation, past-life regression, soul travel
and channeling spiritual guides may help a person achieve enlightenment.

The New Age gospel does not call for faith in Jesus Christ.
They call for a shift in consciousness.
This change of consciousness will only be achieved when a person will "stop seeing God
as separate from you, and you as separate from each other
." -- Walsch

The reason New Agers also experience life as if they were finite creatures is that they are not
divine beings and they are limited.
The real "illusion" is the New Age teaching that they are divine, not the sense of finiteness
that everyone of us experiences.

The problem of humanity is sin.
It is not the ignorance of divinity.
While human beings have been created in the image of God, they are not divine.
(Genesis 1: 26-27)
The Bible teaches that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
(Romans 3: 23, NIV)

The only solution to the human predicament is faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

To New Agers - Part Two

Adapted form many sources