THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Much of the following material is taken from the book
entitled "Unmasking The New Age" by Douglas Groothuis
Eastern religions are moving West and forming a kind of ecumenical
movement of Easter, occult and New Conciousness groups that are networking
together in the New Age Movement. But, the basic New Age assumption is
older than history, i.e., its belief that "all is one". To experience
"oneness" we must do away not only with our uniqueness as perosns but also
with our capcity for conceptual and critical thinking. It challenges not
only our distinct personhood, but the reality of the world we observe and
the distinction beteen good and evil. It is pantheistic in its world view
believing that God is the universe and everything in it, not a personal
Creator who is above it and distinct from His creation. It is therefore
very difficult to evangelize a New Ager who sees himself already divine,
having endless potential for self-improvement, not inherently sinful, and
in need of the gracious, once-for-all provision of Jesus Christ's
New Age advocates argue that the West has been locked in a prision
of the ordianry and one-dimensional, seperated from the mystical vitality
of a universe of harmonious dancing and energy. The problems besetting the
modern world are blamed on a false and rapidly decaying world view, an an
outmoded perspective on life. The old ways and views are impotent and
cannot rescue modern humanity. Therefore a "New Conciousness" is needed to
bring about a New Age. This "New Consciousness" (religion) will provide a
new world view necessary to bring in the New Age. We must therefore
diligently see what if affirms and why, lest we credulously follow its
dictates without giving it a thought.
This study will hopefull challenge us to:
1. develop and teach a sound theistic world and life view
2. to develop a personal comprehensive Christian belief system,
incorporating revealed truth relevant to physical and
3. to develop a method of pre-evanglisim like that of Paul among
the pantheist of ancient Athens (Acts 17:16-31) by helping New
Age people understand that they are dependent on a
transcendent, personal Creator, accoutable to him and guilty
I. SIX DISTINCTIONS OF NEW AGE THINKING
A. All Is One - the basic premise of the New Age Movement
1. Or, "monism" - (mono=one) the belief that all that is,
is one. All is interelated, interdependent and
interpenetrating. Any precieved differences between
seperate entities are aonly apparent and not real.
2. Ultimate reality is beyond good and evil, the essential
teaching of much Eastern religion and occultism.
3. How is this premise radically at odds with the Christian
view of reality? See Genesis 1 Colossians 1:17 -
undifferentiated unity or created plurality? What about
the trinity )tri- unity)?
B. All Is God
1. Pantheism - all things said to partake of the divine
2. All is one and all is god. Whatever is, is god and
3. All dualities in reality dissolve into the cosmic unity
including the idea of personality. Therefore, there is
only one being, the One, which does not have a
personality since it is beyond personality.
4. The idea of a personal God is abandoned in favor of a
personal energy, force or consciousness. Ultimate
reality is God.
Picture twenty-five firat-graders laying on the floor of
their classroom floor. It's not a fire drill or an air raid, but
part of the new curriculum. The children are being guided through a
meditation in which they are instructed to imagine the sun radiantly
shining toward them. They are then told to gaze into its brightness
without being hurt by the light. Next the children are asked to try
to bring the sun down into their bodies and feel its warmth, power,
"Imagine that you are doing something perfect," the
teacher commands, "and that you are perfect."
The children are told to see themselves as resplendent
with light, they should feel at peace, for they are perfect. They
"are reminded that they are intelligent, magnificent, and that they
contain all of the wisdom of the universe within themselves."
This exercise acutally took place in a Los Angeles public
5. What does the Bible affirm? Romans 1:25; Eccles. 5:2
What is idolatry? Is God an impersonal force?
"thou shalt not" (amoral)?
C. Humanity is God
1. We are not only perfect, we are, in fact, gods.
"It has long been held that whoever denies [the
transcendent]God asserts his own divinity. in dropping
God, man recovers himself. It is time that God be put in
his place, that is, in man, and no nonsense about it."
Philosopher and New Age precursor L.L. White
Discussion: Is there anything new about this attitude?
According to Roamsn 1:18-32, what really happends
when man "drops God?"
2. We are god in disguise. Only ignorancwe keeps us from
realizing our divine reality. New Age gosl, according to
New Age analyst Theodore Roszak, is "to awaken the god
who sleeps at the root of the human being."
"Kneel to your own self. Honor and worship your own
being. God dwells within you as You!" (Suami
Discussion: According to Romans 18:18, 19, what part does
truth and ignorance play in knowing the true God?
What attitude does the Bible take towards human
pretenders to the divine throne? Isa. 14:13-15;
Ezek. 28:1-2; Acts 12:21-23.
D. A Change in Consciousness
1. If all is one; all is god; and we are god, then why
don't we know ourselves as gos? Answer, IGNORANCE.
2. Our Western culture has stiffled our metaphysical powers
(i.e., mind over matter). This problem can be reversed
by techniques designed to alter ordinary consciousness,
enabling us to see true reality, leading to an awareness
of oneness and spiritual power. For example: *
Sports - according to Murphy, founder of Esalen
Institute, extreme physical achievement can induce a
mystical state of consciousness much like that spoken of
in Eastern religions.
* contact with extraterestrial beings (UFO's) *
EST (Erhard Seminars Training) - mass training session
for the purpose of triggering a revoloution in
consciousness (now called Forum). Participants have
included Yoko Ono, Diana Ross and John Denver, a
self-appointed evangelist for the cause. *
Self-hypnosis * Internal Visulization (like the
school children) * Biofeedback - controlling the
brain wacves my mechanical means. * Sex act *
Parapsychology - e.g., telepathy, ESP, precognition,
(predicting the future), telekinesis, etc.
3. There are many names for this transforming experience:
cosmic consciousness, God-realization, self-realization,
enlightenment, illumination, Nirvana (Buddhist), Satori
(Zen), at- one-ment, or satchitananada (Hindu).
"Free will is simply the enactment of the realization
you are God, a realization that you are divine: free
will is making everything accessible to you." (Shirely
Discussion: In what basic ways does this philosophy go against the
Bible teaches free will?
4. The One cannot be grasped intellectually. It must be
experienced not discussed.
Discussion: How does Christianity address the need for a chanbe on
consciousness? Genesis 3
THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
This lesson will scrutinize the historical roots of the New Age
Movement to help us understand the forces that propelled it into out
I. The Counterculture of the Sixties - A key factor
"The Sixties' counterculture offered people a doorway into the
new and the untried. The "business as usual" of American life had
lost its life, they claimed. The "square" mind was enslaved by the
demands of a dispirited world of technology and materialism.
Secularism had paralyzed the spiritual imagination and nailed shut
the doors of the soul. The appollonian attitude of hard work,
restraint and disciplined achievement (or the work ethic) left the
counterculture cold. Instead they celebrated they dionysian ideal:
the exuberant experiences beyond the mundane and predictable."
A. Essential elements of the counterculture: 1. Imported
Eastern religions 2. Sects and cults The above resulted in
a generation accustomed to non- Christian spiritual beliefs
and practices. 3. Hallucinogenic drugs to raise the level
of consciousness 4. Psychedelic drugs, a forerunner of
other transformational technologies 5. Occult - The Beatles
fused hallucinogenic experience, Eastern philosophy and
political dissent into songs. Counterculture announced itself
as the "Age of Aquarius". Astrology is based on a monistic
philosophy and is one of the most ancient occult arts (Daniel
B. The "love-ins", "happenings", Easter religions, and occultism
of the sixties became less ostentatious and quite well integrated
into the general culture by the mid 1970's and continue on in the
II. The Demise of Secular Humanism
A. Secular humanism teaches atheism, while human reasoning and
scientific innovation become the final authority for life and
B. This easily leads into nihilism - the belief that everything
is meaningless and absurd. No culture is able to survive on a steady
diet of atheism (e.g. Communism) because we are made in the image
of God and therefore seek transcendent meaning, purpose and value.
C. Secular humanism has been unable to develop a durable or
compelling world view. True, ideologically it has yet to lose its
grip; yet the logic of its resulting nihilism can do nothing but
weaken its power. While it appeals to humanity's quest for autonomy
and crowns "man the measure of all things", we find ourselves the
lords of nothing - nothing but a meaningless universe with no
direction, destiny or purpose.
III. Counterculture's Complaint
Christianity divested the world of spiritual significance by
transforming it into a cold machine of natural laws and regularities
(brought on by the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions). God became
distant and even forgotten; nature became a testing ground for man's
technological devices. Result - the dehumanization of man and pollution of
IV. The Rise of the One
A. New Age advocates say West has an incorrect world view that
must be overthrown.
...the dualism of Christianity and secular humanism must be
eradicated so that all reality may be seen and experienced as
it truly is, as one. An overly mental faith in history and
doctrine must be replaced by an inner experience of truth
through the raising of consciousness. - Roszak, New Age
analyst and advocate
Better the enchanted world of spirits than the lifeless bulk
of a meaningless universe (Thompson). So we see that just when
the spiritual was thought to be banished, it came back with
B. Although no clear line of transition can be drawn from the
sixties counterculture into the present New Age movement,
differences can be see:
Counterculture New Age Movement
1. Primarily a youth movement
1. More sophisticated and influential in culture generally and among all
2. Hardrock music a rallying point 2. Development of new age style of
music combining jazz, electric and meditative elements
3. Free sex promoted openly and publicly, but not yet pervading society 3.
Pervasive 4. Use of chemical hallucinogenics to alter consciousness
4. Use of meditation and hypnosis to alter consciousness
5. Many of those now involved in the New Age movement were not involved in
C. New Age advocates believe that the failure of secular humanism
and the rejection of Christian theism has left us with a
crisis in every area of our culture and society: militarily
(threat of nuclear annihilation), spiritually, politically,
economically. The only solution is radical transformation and
there is no turning back.
D. Question: What elements of truth and positive aspects, it any,
do you see in the New Age movement? How does the Bible address
V. The Appeal of Hope
A. The key ingredient in the appeal of the New Age is hope for
personal and social transformation. They are contagiously
optimistic, especially in the following areas:
1. Spirituality - in search of meaning and
self-validation 2. Ecology - they say, "Noting less
than oneness of all things - god, man and nature - can
insure a whole and balanced view of the natural
environment." 3. Feminism - they see the male God as
being both exclusive and distant. They are promoting
the maternal ground of all being, emphasizing the
feminine in nature and ethics. 4. Authority - on
which to build their lives. Secular humanism eroded
this. Now turning to New Age ideologies to regain a
sense of bearing that only comes from following an
established authority and unified world view. New Age
derives much of its authority and appeal from pantheism,
a belief system that has touched or permeated one
culture after another since the dawn of recorded
C.S. Lewis wrote: Pantheism is in fact the permanent natural bend of
the human mind....It is the attitude into which the human mind
automatically falls when left to itself.
B. What hope does the Bible offer relative to transformation in
the above areas?
1. Spirituality: Gal. 2:20 "loved me" II Cor. 5:17 2.
Ecology: Gen. 1:26; 9:1-3; Ps. 8:6-8 3.
Feminism: I Cor. 11:3-12 4. Authority:
VI. Cosmic Humanism vs. Secular Humanism
A. Secular Humanism has a monism of matter and energy while
cosmic humanism (the One) has a monism of spirit - all is god.
B. How is salvation obtained by the secular humanist? Through
rational inquiry and the development of science.
...by the cosmic humanist?
By becoming one with the One and thus gaining access to
unlimited potential. Man becomes the metaphysical master.
C. "Secular man 'killed a God in whom he could not believe but
whose absence he could not bear.'" - Mircea Eliade
How does the Bible explain this dilemma?
D. Because our society cannot bear God's absence, it is creating
a variety of religious beliefs (pluralism). However, this
creates another problem because gods have no equals. Result:
Fragmentation and confusion. The Church must allow the true
God to take advantage of this climate of instability.THE NEW
THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
In this and the following lessons, the infiltration of New Age
philosophy into the areas of health, psychology, science, politics and
spirituality will be charted and analyzed to see if the One is truly "for
all." Lesson 3 will deal with holistic health. The goal of holistic health
(from the Greek word "holos" meaning 'whole') is to treat not only the
sickness but the whole person - body, mind and spirit. Holistic health
practitioners see modern Western medicine as having reduced persons to
mere bodies - machinelike assemblages of separable parts. Disease is
viewed as a mechanistic malfunction remedied by chemical or surgical
intervention. Spiritual concerns are banished from health considerations
"Physicians pour drugs of which they know little, to cure
diseases of which they know even less, into humans of which
they know nothing." -Voltaire
Thus, disenchantment with modern medicine along with a gnawing sense
of helplessness in the face of death and disease has brought many to seek
help from holistic health practice. While certain aspects of the movement
can be helpful and corrective, most practices are based on pantheistic
and/or New Age philosophy. Its goal is often said to be to attune one with
the One. It uses such practices as Chinese medicine, self-hypnosis,
macrobiotics, biofeedback, meditation and other means.
Question: Can Christians learn from it or must it be rejected?
1. Ten dominant themes that characterize its adherents (note: not
all who believe in one or some of these ideas should automatically be
labeled a New Ager, not do all holistic practitioners follow all ten of
A. The whole is greater than the parts (therefore treat the
whole man) B. Health is more than an absence of
disease. C. We are responsible for our own health or
disease (not the doctor) "The healer resides inside us
is the wisest, most complex, integrated entity on the
universe. Furguson D. Natural forms of healing are
preferable to drugs and surgery E. Most methods of
promoting health can be holistic, but some methods are
more innately holistic than others:
1. Acupuncture, acupressure 2. Biofeedback - using
electrical monitoring of brain waves to bring normally
unconscious, involuntary bodily functions under
conscious, voluntary control. 3. Chiropractic 4.
homeopathy - small does of substances considered harmful
in larger dowses are prescribed for healing 5.
Iridology - inspection of the iris of the eye for
irregularities that signify disorders elsewhere in the
body (Prov. 15:30???) 6. Massage and body work
therapies 7. Meditation techniques 8. Psychic
diagnosis and psychic healing 9. Sexual/mystical
F. Health implies evolution - Holistic health is seen by
many as one manifestation of the advance into the New
Consciousness and New Age.
G. An understanding of energy, not matter, is the key to
health. "We are clumps of dead matter but
configurations of active energy. To increase the
flow of healing energy we must attune ourselves to
it and realize our unity with all things."
H. Death is the final stage of growth. Death is viewed as a
transition to another state of consciousness or as
an illusion. Because all is one, individuals
I. The thinking and practices of ancient civilization are a
rich source for healthy living.
J. Holistic health must be incorporated into the fabric of
society through public policy. They desire that its
practices be implemented governmentaly through health
education and health policies.
Holy or Holistic?
A. Christians are exhorted to test the spirits to uncover
unbiblical ideas. Consider the following questions relative to the
above ten themes:
1. Is it possible that a host of rebellious spirits or
demons can masquerade as agents of healing and health?
If so, for what purpose?
2. What does holistic health tend to ignore insofar as
man's sin and its consequences and God's holiness is
3. Is physical health and emotional contentment synonymous
with salvation? Insofar as God is concerned, what is the
final goal of our salvation?
4. Satan often disguises himself as an angel of light (II
Corin. 11:14) What are some of the way he can do this in
NOTE: Acupuncture and acupressure is intimately connected with
Taoism, and an essentially monistic world view. Shamanistic
and traditional folk healing are premised on an animistic or
pantheistic view. Psychic and mediumistic healing is just an
old fashioned occultism.
5. Should Christians shun holistic health since some of its
practices are based on a non-biblical world view?
6. Since in certain ways, "the medical establishment has
become a major threat to health" should we therefore
make a wholesale escape from modern medicine?
7. What guidelines for health do the following Bible
concepts and passages give?
The Sabbath Exod. 15:26 II Chronicles 7:14 II
Chronicles 16:12 Proverbs 3:7,8 John 10:10 John
15:7 I Corinthians 6:19 Philippians 4:5 James
THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
INTRODUCTION: What has replaced theology in the secularized West as
the center of human concern? Psychology. Result? People are looking within
to find answers to our modern anxieties. According to Martin Gross, we
live in "the most anxious, emotionally insecure and analyzed population in
the history of man...in which, as never before, man is preoccupied with
SELF." Everything in our modern society seems up for grabs these days.
Consequently, people turn inward for direction and guidance, having
abandoned the social structure as incapable of providing meaning. When the
social structures of society that give meaning and value collapse, we turn
within. This in turn leads to anxiety and stress because the search within
frequently falls short of the authenticity and assurance that is craved.
Stress contributes to a host of illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer,
lung ailments, accidental injuries, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide -
six of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
Along comes the New Consciousness offering itself as a new mind, a
new way of thinking and being. The help if offers is the answer within, a
revitalized self seen for what it truly is: an unlimited source for growth
and potential. In promising this personal transformation the New Age seeks
to provide a new psychology, a psychology that becomes a main tributary
for the One for all. This lesson will chart the leaning of modern
psychology toward the New Consciousness.
I. The Humanistic Psychology of Abraham Maslow (1908 - 1970)
A. Maslow's efforts paved the way for an exodus from the old
psychological view of humanity (as set forth by Sigmund Freud
and B.F. Skinner) toward a new human that is essentially good
and has within himself unlimited potential for growth.
*FREUD: concluded that we are governed by the unconscious
and not by reason; that we are essentially animals driven by
instincts constant in collision with societal standards; that
all human behavior can be reduced to sexual impulse.
*SKINNER: concluded that we are programmed not by our
unconscious but by our environment; behavior consists of
responses to stimuli; peace and harmony for humanity attained
not via the mind, but through a completely controlled
environment; ordinary ideas of freedom and dignity are
B. Maslow says far more important than simply satisfying our
sexual needs (Freud) or being socially conditioned (Skinner)
is to experience self-actualization. Through
self-actualization we can experience perfection, justice,
richness, beauty, truth and self- sufficiency, etc. We become
divine or godlike, going beyond the merely human.
C. Maslow's psychology contains the message at the core of New
Age teaching: Human experience is the center and source of
meaning and is valuable apart from any dependence on or
subservience to a higher power.
Question: How could the fall of man then be portrayed by Maslow's
followers as "the first act of freedom" for man?
Question: How could the act of disobeying God's commandment not to eat
of the forbidden fruit be portrayed as "the beginning of
Fromm, another humanistic psychologist, says, "virtue is self-
realization, not obedience." Explain.
II. Other Trends
A. The Human Potential Movement
1. This movement also stresses human goodness and
2. We are "gods of our own universe" in complete control of
all that happens to us.
B. Transpersonal Psychology
1. Transpersonal refers to those dimensions of
consciousness wherein we are one, achieved by psychic
abilities and unlimited potential.
2. Old-fashioned secular humanist said, "There is no deity.
Long live humanity." The new transpersonal humanist
said, "There is no deity but humanity."
III. Self-Actualization And Morality
A. As one observer put it when describing the negative impact of
self- actualization, "Because personal experience equals
reality, once changes reality by focusing on the self."
Question: How would such a philosophy influence one's morality and what
would be some of the consequences? (see I John 2:15-17;
Galatians 5:13-15; Romans 1:24-32)
B. Ironically, the New Age which proclaims pantheism (all is god,
all is one) produces polytheism (many self-actualizing gods.)
IV. Divine or Inflated?
A. Psychologist David Myers concludes that human problems are not
rooted in a poor view of self. but in an inflated
self-concept. Self- deception, not self-actualization, is the
true state of affairs. For example: (can you give scriptural
evidence for the following?)
1. We are more likely to accept credit than to admit
failure 2. Almost all people see themselves as better than
average 3. Our propensity to justify ourselves in spite of
the facts 4. We consistently overestimate our beliefs and
judgements so as to assume our own infallibility and prophetic
eloquence 5. Our unrealistic optimism, i.e., We more
readily perceive, remember and communicate pleasant
(information)...than unpleasant information 6. Our tendency
to overestimate how desirably we would act in certain
Who can actually and honestly claim Proverbs 20:9?
B. QUESTION: Can the mere lack of understanding of the self's
supposed potential really account for humanity's long history
of savagery and slaughter? What hint of hope does Psalm 8:4
give to man in spite of his self-deception?
V. A Christian View of Human Nature
A. Discuss the ramifications of Genesis 1:26,27 relative to man's
dignity purpose personality self-sufficiency
B. New Age emphasizes self-actualization. What does Christianity
THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
INTRODUCTION: After centuries of warfare between science and religion,
today we see these two disciplines coming together in peace. Science is
grasping hands with the spiritual and together they are following the
same path. Science and technology, once they looked upon producing a
spiritually cold world of barren materialism, has gained new social
credibility and is being employed by the New Age to empower the One for
all. New theories in the field of physics about the nature of the cosmos
have opened the scientific community to some new ideas: the unity of all
things, the nonexistence of an independent external world and the unity of
opposites. In other words, science has been brought fact to face with
This lesson will explore those forces that have transformed a
rationalistic scientism in to mysticism, the mysticism of the New Age.
I. The Fall of Newton
A. Physics: That branch of science which deals with mechanics,
dynamics, light, heat, sound, electricity and magnetism
(Webster). Simply stated, it is the scientific study of
METAPHYSICS: The science of the principles and causes of all
things existing: the philosophy of mind as distinguished from that
of matter (Webster). It is the nature of all reality.
B. Until the turn of the century, physics stood on the unshakable
foundation of Newtonian mechanics: the world is made up of
predictable mechanical laws set in the context of absolute
space and time. The atoms of matter dutifully obeyed the
unbending laws of nature.
C. Albert Einstein and theory of relativity, How did this
revolutionary theory impact the Newtonian world view?
1. Space and time no longer viewed as absolute, but
relative to each other and in relation to the fixed speed of
2. Einstein's equation, E-mc2, stated that matter and
energy were not strictly separable; rather, all mass has
energy and may be translated into energy - atomic energy.
3. Result: science looked for new models of the universe.
QUESTION: How at this point, do you see the new world view that is
developing (under Einstein) laying some foundation stones for
present New Age teachings?
D. Birth of the "quantum theory" (1900): Idea that "matter
absorbed heat energy and emitted light energy discontinuously"
in unexpected limps or spurts called (by Einstein) "quata"
(photons) . They acted unpredictably, not mechanically.
Conclusion: the sub-atomic world is not a mosaic of hard bit
E. Bases on the quantum theory which has established itself as
the best explanation of natural phenomena, many scientists
have said that reality is at best run by chance. This
"achievement" has led to the marriage of science and religion.
II. The Quanta and the Buddha
A. "Subatomic particles....are not 'things' but are
interconnections between 'things' and these 'things' in turn,
are interconnections between other 'things' and so on. In
quantum theory you never end up with 'things'; you
always deal with interconnections." (Capra in Turning Point)
Therefore, we must see the "basic oneness" of the
B. In his very popular book, The Tao of Physics, Capra finds
parallels between the new physics and that which the Eastern
mystics have been saying for thousands of years (Buddhist,
oneness of all things the unity of opposites
(complementarily) the relativity of space and time the
ever-changing nature of reality
III. A World Of Your Own
A. "The electron does not have objective properties independent
of my mind", (Capra). Thus, rather than observing and
recording reality, we through consciousness determine it. This
leads to the theory of "quantum solipsism": self is the only
thing that can be known and verified....Everything depends on
you. You create the whole universe; you are the
"you-niverse.'" (Fred Alan Wolf).
B. Conclusion: consciousness creates reality by means of the
universal life energy that connects all things.
QUESTION: Even if quantum theory or other theories could demonstrate the
substantial interconnection of all things, would this change
God's position in the order of creation?
IV. A Christian View Of Creation and Science
A. The solipsistic interpretation of quantum physics is hotly
debated among scientists. Why would this be true?
B. New Age says we construct reality instead of discover it. If
carried to its rational conclusion, this position opens the
door to subjective existentialism in which terms like truth,
reality and objectivity become mere symbols without content.
What content do these terms have in a Christian world view?
C. Does the Bible view God as a deistic clockmaker totally
removed from creation (mechanistic) or a God who
pantheistically merges with His creation? John 1:1-14
Colossians 1:15-20 Hebrews 1:3
D. Christians are enlightened by the Logos, the Creator of all
things (John 1:3,9). Can we therefore untie every scientific
knot relative to creation and the universe?
E. How does the Bible picture God insofar as the unity,
interconnection of all things, and distinction of entities of
creation concerned? Gen. 1:11-25.
F. If the spiritistic realm of this world is courted without the
protection and guidance of Christ, what will the result most
likely be? Acts 19:13-16.
G. New Age says that perhaps nothing is beyond our powers. Read
THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
INTRODUCTION: Another area of our society and world which New Age is
permeating is politics. Religion can never be severed from politics since
political vision stems from our deepest beliefs concerning reality and
value. Politics follows faith. The New Age has a political agenda geared
toward bringing in the whole society into harmony with the One as the New
Consciousness produces the New Age. This philosophy is also true of the
last days when the unholy trinity will work in harmony with one another:
Satan will energize the false prophet (the world religious ruler), who
in turn will perform miracles on behalf of Antichrist's political
This lesson will only touch briefly upon some of the more important
aspects of New Age politics.
I. New Age Politics
A. Its name: Transformationalist politics - They say our present
day political system requires not only a change of political
structure but a new consciousness, a new world view. This new
politics must transcend traditional ideologies and our present
B. Its message: Our consciousness is unlimited and our
responsibility is total. As gods come of age we must transform the
C. Its agenda: To replace the old political system that sees the
planet basically as a machine with a new holistic system that views
the planet as an interrelated system - an orgasm.
What bearing would this have on the following political/social
2. Feminist movement
4. Population control
5. Nuclear disarmament
II. A New World
A. They say, "the idea of strict national boundaries and
divisions between nations and people must be transcended by the
realization of unity and interdependence."
Read Genesis 11:1-9. What happened historically when mankind
insisted on a one world order?
Should we try to do away with all national boundaries and
B. The following political groups are, to one degree or another,
promoting New Age reformation politics:
Planetary Citizens - founded 1972 by Donald Keys, a long-time
consultant to U.N. delegations and committees.
World Goodwill - a political lobby headquartered on U.N. Plaza. It
heralds the U.N. as the agent for world peace and order.
United Nations - call by Keys the "nexus (connection) of emerging
planetary values" and he hopes it will establish a "planetary
C. it is difficult to gauge the success of New Age politics as
many of those who agree with New Age concerns may not share the
pantheistic world view.
III. Faulty Foundation
A. New Age politicians say a holistic world view is the answer to
our planets problems, However, "The holistic world views that have
for thousands of years dominated in the Far East have not avoided
hunger, violence, overpopulation, not the cultural revolution."
What is mankind's basic problem?
Can a mere change of perspective solve that problem? John 3:3
New Age lacks any absolute moral standard. What would be the
outcome of a world led by such people? Romans 7:7-23.
How is the putting of one's hope for peace and prosperity into
a world government equal to idolatry?
How do New Age politics tend to ignore the reality of
collective human evil?
Satan tempted Christ to believe that the kingdoms of this
world could become His on false terms (Matt. 4:8-11). What
false terms is New Age using in our modern world to tempt
What was Satan's promise and strategy when he first tempted
humanity? Genesis 3:5-6.
Despite all rebellion, who remains king of all the earth? Rev.
What warning does the Bible contain for all political
impostors? Ps. 2:10-12.
In what ways can this lesson affect our lives practically?
THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
INTRODUCTION: This lesson deals with New Age spirituality. It reveals
how the West has injected Eastern, neo-pagan and occult ideas into Western
religious thought, producing a hybrid spirituality. New Age of the West
has taken the essence of Eastern religions while retaining some elements
of the Western Judeo- Christian world view. Eastern practices of mysticism
have been stream-lined to fit into our modern fast-paced lifestyle. It
repudiates the world-denying, ascetic approach in favor of a
world-affirming and even hedonistic lifestyle where "enlightenment" is
fully compatible with worldly success.
A. Read Unmasking the New Age, p. 133-34 "The New Pagans"
B. What is it? By-passing Christianity, it is the return to
pre-Christian nature religions of the West (e.g., ancient Norse,
Greek, Roman religions and the surviving tribal religions) with an
attempt to revive them or recreate them in new forms. Goddess
worshipping groups are popular among these, as is shamanism
C. Neo-Pagan feminists: Claim that a male Deity such as God the
Father leads directly to male oppression of females in society.
1. Is God male or female? Read text page 139 part 2
2. What do the following passages tell you about God and
His attitude toward the female gender? Gen. 1:26 Matt.
23:27-39 Deut. 32:18 et al.
"For the fatherhood of God to be significant, there must be a
difference between fatherhood and motherhood." Susan Foh
Is the fatherhood of God significant?
II. The Essence of Eastern religion and its appeal
A. There exists an -all-encompassing oneness and the person is
identified with the whole.
QUESTION: How does this differ substantially from Christianity?
B. Experimental knowledge of the true Self releases us from
illusion and the cycle of reincarnation.
C. The classic Western spirituality of prayer, faith and
obedience to an external God must be replaced by monistic
meditation, personal experience and the God within.
QUESTION: What is the Biblical meaning of meditation? See Matt. 6:7;
Ps. 1:2-3; Gal. 2:20; (who is the "divine within"?)
D. Beyond good and evil lies the One who is both good and evil,
for He is the All.
III. Jesus goes East
A. One means that has been used to introduce pantheism in
Christian terms in the West so as to be more acceptable is by
reintroducing the heresy of Gnosticism (I John; special knowledge).
The New Age seeks to place Christ in its pantheon of monistic
masters by speculating on the eighteen "lost years" of Jesus not
elucidated in the Gospels. During this time, Jesus is said to have
traveled to the East where He learned esoteric (private) mysteries
and was eventually initiated into the One.
1. How would you refute a New Ager who quotes Luke 17:21 to
mean that all people h ave the divine within?
2. How would you respond to the use of John 10:34 to assert
the divinity of all people? (See Ps. 826 where term
'gods' was the title used to designate Jewish rulers).
IV. Other New Age Doctrines
A. Reincarnation or redemption? They say many lives are requires
to reach oneness with the One, but what saith the Scriptures? Heb.
9:27; Jn. 1:14.
B. Beyond good and evil: They teach that all is one, all is god
and we are beyond good and evil. Read text pgs. 153-155: Manson;
thugs See Isa. 5:20; Heb. 5:14.
C. A knowable God: For New Age spirituality the experience of
God- consciousness is beyond the personal and rational. On the
contrary, the Christian God is rational and knowable. "If an
experience is 'beyond rationality' how can it be used as a rational
justification to believe that 'all is on'? In this sense, if the One
is beyond logic and language, it is beyond belief."
D. An exclusive God: For New Age, the pulse of the One is at the
spiritual heart of all religions. But, hear the warning of Christ -
Matt. 7:13-14. "A gospel which is not exclusive will never include
the world, for it will never master it. No religion will include
devotees which does not exclude rivals."
"While some truth can be found in nearly all religions, the truth of
salvation is found only in Christ." Matt. 24:24; Phil. 2:9-11.
INTRODUCTION: In this final lesson we will consider the following five
things: (1) How the New Age is being packaged for modern tastes; (2) The
inherent flaws of the New World view; (3) The specific points at which
Christianity parts ways with the New Age; (4) Compromises that christians
must avoid and (5) Witnessing to the New Age.
I. Marketing the New Age
A. Two categories:
1. Occult New Age - any philosophy that seeks liberation
from within the self by discovering the secret or hidden
wisdom (gnosis). In this sense, the entire New Age
movement is occult. But in another sense, "occult"
refers to exotic spiritual beliefs and practices having
to do with the miraculous in general. This kind of
occultism is simply not palatable to many moderns.
2. Mainstream New Age - that aspect of New Age thinking
that packages its occult philosophy in culturally
attractive and appealing wrappings.
a. Popularly available and attractive books that have
translated occult terminology into the vernacular.
b. Big corporations "growth seminars" that
incorporate New Age concepts.
c. The integration of "cosmic humanism" (New Age)
with secular humanism. Necessary to get the modern
world to listen.
B. This philosophy is ultimately doomed due to its inability to
forge a credible synthesis between the spiritual and rational.
II. Inherent Flaws of the New Age World View
A. The New Age tires to erase the realities of time, space,
mortality and individuality. Yet, all human experience is
necessarily bracketed by our creaturely limitations which in turn
point to the impossibility of self- salvation.
time - Ps. 90:10
space - Luke 16:26
mortality - Heb. 9:27
individuality - Gen. 1:27; I Cor. 12:18-20
B. The oneness of all things demands the erasing of all
distinctions and dualities including the division between good and
QUESTION: What happens when a world view consistently denies
ethical realities? See Isa. 5:20-25.
Irony! By its own logic, the New Age has no basis for saying
that it is good or even true. These categories cannot exist.
C. The New Age appeals to human subjectivity - the divine within
- as its prime source of truth, not to an objective revelation form
a higher authority. All manner of subjective experiences are given
free rein as the distiller of revelation and truth.
QUESTION: What are the results of looking to the "divine within"
as the source of truth?
Does experience per se guarantee to validate the truth
of the experience? see I John 4:1
III. Christian Essentials that Must be Maintained as we Confront the New
A. Personal: The cosmos and all it contains must be understood
according to its personal and sovereign Creator (Cosmic
If souls are separate, love is possible. If souls are united
love (other than self) is obviously impossible.
B. Supernatural: While the spiritual world interpenetrates
the natural world it is not identical with it. God is transcendent -
above His creation; He is super-natural. He is free to miraculously
intervene in the normal workings of his creation (e.g., Christ's
resurrection). The Christian seeks help "from above", the New Ager
seeks help "from within."
C. Ethical: God is holy and morally perfect.
D. Rational: Christians do not denounce reason, but see it as a
God- given capacity and an indication of our being created in the
image of a rational God (Gen. 1;26-28; Jn. 1:1-3. 9).
God's wisdom appears foolish to unredeemed people because the
pride of humanity balks at a gospel that convicts the world of
its utter inability to save itself.
E. Experiential: Christianity touches the heart without
by-passing the mind (Matt. 22:27-29; Gal. 5:22).
F. Holistic: The creation is an interrelated whole orchestrated
by the plan and power of God. Therefore, the breaking of God's
covenant resulted in ecological as well as ethical desolation (Hosea
G. Objective: Christianity provides a standard beyond and above
the created world and subjective experience by which to evaluate all
of life. That standard is found in the Bible and in Christ (II Tim.
H. Historical: Christianity view history as linear, not cyclical
IV. Compromises that Christians Must Avoid
A. Placing an imbalanced emphasis on subjective introspection, in
that corruption, not salvation, comes from within. (Col. 3:1-2).
QUESTION: What must direct our thoughts and life?
B. Mystical "Christian" writings that stress the believer's
"union with Christ" so as to border on pantheism. Salvation is not
deification; redeemed humanity should never be confused with
C. An over-emphasis on positive thinking or positive confession -
the idea that whatever we believe or verbally affirm will become a
D. A pantheistic romanticizing of creation resulting from an
over- concern about ecological problems.
V. Witnessing to the New Age
A. Become culture watchers to discern the presence and influence
of New Age ideas, particularly in those mainstream areas of society
that we have considered, namely; education, politics, science,
psychology, health and religion.
B. False philosophies must be refuted, not just exposed.
Therefore, have a reason FOR your faith (I Peter 3:16) and reasons
against the New Age (II Cor. 10:3-5).
C. Make a conscious effort to reach out to the New Ager with a
humble loving spirit.
D. Look for legitimate common ground in your beliefs while at the
same time clearly specifying and defining the differences between
the world views.
E. Rather than abandoning crucial areas of culture, i.e.,
education, politics, science, etc., we must fill the void and
implement the truth (Ps. 127;1).
CONCLUSION: Donning the armor and weapons of the Spirit (Eph.
6:10-18) and equipped with a full-orbed Christian world view (Rom.
12:1-2), we must try to prayerfully and actively stem the tide of the One
THE SECULAR HUMANIST, NEW AGE AND CHRISTIAN WORLD VIEWS
1. Metaphysics -
A. God and the world
Secular Humainst: Universe is self-existent, no God
New Age: God is the world - pantheism
Christian: Creator/creation distinction
B. Nature of God
Secular Humainst: God is a superstition
New Age: God is impersonal/amoral
Christian: God is personal/moral
C. Nature of world (cosmology)
Secular Humanist: Matter/energy, atomistic
New Age: All is spirit/consciousness, monistic
Christian: Creation of God upheld by God, interconnected byt
2. Epistemology - Basis for knowledge
Secualr Humainst: Man is measure of all things
New Age: Man is all things, truth within
Christian: Truth revealed in Bible
3. Ethics -
Secular Humanist: Autononmous and situational (relative)
New Age: Autononmous and situational (relative)
Christian: Based on the revelation of God's will, absolute
4. Nature of Humans
Secular Humanist: Evoleved animal
New Age: Spiritual being, a sleeping God
Christian: Made in the image of God, now fallen
5. Human Problem
Secular Humanist: Superstition, ignorance
New Age: Ignorance of true potential
Christian: Sin-rebellion against God and His law
6. Answer to Human Problem
Secular Humanist: Reason and technology
New Age: Change of consciousness
Christian: Faith and obediance to Christ
Secular Humainst: Linear but chance
New Age: Cyclical
Christian: Linear and providential
Secular Humanist: End of existence
New Age: Illusion, entrance to next life (reincarnation)
Christian: Entrance to either eternal heaven or hell
9. View of Religion
Secular Humanist: Superstition, some good moral teaching
New Age: All point to the One (syncretism)
Christian: Not all from God, teach different things
10. Views of Jesus
Secular Humanist: Moral teacher
New Age: One of many avatars
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