In 2002, I came across a lecture by Elizabeth Clare Prophet (of the Church Universal and Triumphant) on TV for the first time. She radiated a sense of wisdom and authority. She talked about Jesus, quoted Bible verses then laced them with quotes from Eastern religious writings. She sounded so smooth, but I had read about the New Age then, so her philosophies didn’t get to me. But I don’t think a novice would stand the chance.
The New Age Movement has a wide variety of definitions. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “New Age: of, relating to or being a late 20th century social movement drawing on ancient concepts especially from Eastern and American Indian traditions and incorporating such themes as holism, concern for nature, spirituality and metaphysics.”
New Age spirituality can also be defined as an umbrella of movements that emphasize self-spirituality and the authority of self with a focus on healing through alternative therapies such as Reiki, acupunture, biofeedback, use of crystals, music and colours, homeopathy and psychic healing. They have no central body, leader or founder or a set of rigid doctrines which defines what is to be believed, therefore it’s eclectic. It draws inspiration from Christianity, Judaism, Sufism, Kabbala, New Thought, Taoism, Hermeticism and Neopaganism.
Many New Agers may not use the term “New Age” to describe themselves, but their beliefs are actually New Age. They have their periodicals like the New Age Journal, Gnosis, New Humanity, Alterna and Odyssey. There are many New Age books, DVDs and websites being distributed worldwide and adherents number into millions. This is why Christians need to be careful of what they feed on either through books or the internet.
There is no need for me to list out specific New Age authors. Once you are familiar with their slogans and concepts, you can easily detect them. In many of their publications you will come across terms like: Awakening, Awareness, Duality, Enlightment, Energies, Essencing, Christ’s Consciousness, Higher Consciousness, Vibrations and a lot of references to “the Universe” or “the Force.”
Other main themes in their teachings are:
I. That our current age is the Age of Pisces marked by ills and wars but a “New Age” or Golden Age is coming, the Age of Aquarius when there will be love, peace, harmony and abundance. Each New Ager must work towards bringing forth this “New Age” on earth.
II. That positive thinking, thoughts and energies can be used by humans to create positive activities, usher in the New Age and heal planet earth.
III. The belief that human potentials are limited by the mind. So the mind must be liberated to maximise potentials. The mind is to be used to create your own truth and reality. The methods used to “liberate” the mind range from visualization to shamanism. This is where many Christians are unknowingly trapped.
IV. That man has to evolve by seeking ancient wisdom. One way this is done is by “channeling”- communicating with ascended masters, extraterrestrials, deities, nature spirits, angels and spirit guides.
V. That all things in existence are intricately connected and are part of the divine (pantheism). Therefore, there’s a strong emphasis on nature and earth worship.
The New Age can be traced to 19th century metaphysical movements:
(a) The New Thought movement (which includes Christian Science, Unity and Religious Science) a cult founded by Parkhurst Quimby, a hypnotist, in 1842. Their central belief is that all humans are divine and the use of the mind to cure all ills.
(b) The Theosophical Society founded by a Russian psychic, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in 1851 when her “spirit master” Morya contacted her. From there she began to travel to meet shamans and gurus in Mexico, Egypt and Asia. Her main teaching is that within each person is a divine spark of the Universal Mind which can be expanded by occult mysticism.
(c) The Arcane School founded by Alice Bailey in 1923. She was also contacted by a spirit master named Koot Humi and later joined Theosophical Society in 1917. She wrote 18 books through her “master” Djwhal Khu laying down the blueprints of the New Age.
(d) Spiritualism founded by the Fox sisters popularized communications with spirits. Other key influences are psychologist Carl Jung (who received most of his insights from a demon guide called Philemon) and Edgar Cayce, an occult dream analyst (called “the sleeping prophet”).
Hollywood actress Shirley Maclaine promoted the New Age with her book Out on a Limb published in 1983, describing her experiences with astral traveling, UFO encounters and other New Age events. Through her influence, the New Age became a fad among Hollywood stars like Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Lily Tomlin to name a few.
Deepak Chopra emerged with his New Age book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind in 1993 and was pushed to fame by another New Age media guru, Oprah Winfrey. Like the pied piper of Hamelin, she has drawn millions of people (mostly women) worldwide into New Age deception.
For centuries people have been attracted by secret knowledge. The spiritual vacuum created by organized religion also opened the door wide to the old religion recycled by Satan to fit into the scientific 21st century. When people depart from Biblical Christianity to follow such “spirituality,” they are following “deceiving spirits and doctrines taught by demons” (1Tim. 4:1).
New Agers believe in an impersonal God beyond all moral or personal distinctions. They believe all is God and God is all. Therefore, since you are a god and I am a god, then there is no personal creator such as Yahweh to be accountable to, and certainly no supreme divine revelation except the one you make up.
So a New Age can live without any moral or personal boundary or thought of eternal judgement. This may sound good until one takes his last breath. The true God has set down His truth and a day He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31).
“The only difference between you and Jesus is that he fully realized the Truth about himself and you haven’t – yet” (John R. Price, The Super Beings, 1981, 57).
On the contrary, Jesus is uniquely the Christ; He is God through whom all things were made and He alone is the God in human flesh (Jn. 1:1-3, 14). New Agers say Jesus was a mystic who learnt the esoteric secrets of the East from the gurus of India and now he is one of the “ascended masters” in the astral plane.
The real account of Jesus from the age of twelve to thirty was of increasing “in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God” – not in India, but in Nazareth (Lk 2:52). He “came to Nazareth where he had been brought up: and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day and stood up for to read” (Lk. 4:16). Having rejected the true Jesus of the Bible, New Agers cling to a false Christ who at times appears to them to deepen their delusion.
They teach that humans are divine and all that is needed is for mankind to “awaken to the god who sleeps at the root of the human being.” This is a key New Age belief. The few Bible texts they misuse falls apart on scrutiny. There is only one True God (Ex 20:3).
To them sin or evil is a misconception of Judeo-Christian traditions. “The idea of ‘original sin’ is totally false” says John Price “The High Religion has nothing to do with sin, only with the spiritual development of man” (The Super Beings, 12).
They also believe in karma – that good or bad are cosmically balanced with good or bad results. Thus, since there is no sin, there is no Saviour and no salvation in the New Age. But the Bible says the opposite: that all men have sinned and are in need of a Saviour (Rom. 3:23, 6:23). Any solution to the human condition that ignores the depravity of the human heart and God’s perfect work at the cross will not lead to a new age, but the mystery of iniquity.
New agers teach that each person must find whatever philosophies that suits them about the afterlife – whether its reincarnation, non-existence or a higher plane of consciousness after death. In reincarnation, with each stage, man evolves higher till he becomes a god or ascended master. They generally reject the reality of heaven and hell or re-interpret them as being old-fashioned or symbolic.
While Christianity has a testimony of a Man, Jesus Christ who was dead for three days, resurrected and returned to testify about life after death, the New Age has no verifiable evidence. They have belief in what their spirit guides or some mystical book says as “proofs.” But these are highly subjective. Only the Bible provides us with the truth. The many question marks of reincarnation expose it as illogical, unbiblical and fraudulent.
New Ager, David Spangler said: “I see the new age not just as a vision but as a very real spirit” (Emergence, the Rebirth of the Sacred, 84). Yes, it is a spirit and it’s of the Father of Lies. Spangler also said in Reflections on the Christ: “No one will enter the New Age unless he will take a Luciferian initiation”. In other words, the New Age is Luciferianism. It repeats the same four lies that Satan/Lucifer told Eve in Genesis 3:
1. “did God really say?” – Denial of the authority and truth of God’s Word.
2. “you shall not die” – Denial of the reality of death; that the dead return to earth or hover around the astral plane.
3. “your eyes shall be open” – appeal to human pride by promising the highest wisdom and divine secrets that others do not know.
4. “ye shall be gods” – exalting man and depersonalising God. The New Age belief system does not emanate from the God of the Bible.