A NEW AGE OVERVIEW
From time immemorial man has grappled with himself and his
environment. Deep down, He knows something is amiss: men kill
each other, children are maimed in a tornado and people starve to
death. Some people have looked to the physical world alone to
interpret these events (Secular Humanists, Atheists). Others
interpret these same events with a larger frame of reference
(Islam, Christians, New Age Movement). They include the
possibility, if not the probability, of causes from outside of
the physical world. That is, the ultimate reason for a
particular event may lie in the realm of "metaphysics," meaning
Usually, but not always, groups which adhere to a
"metaphysical" or "supernatural" frame of reference not only
interpret these horrible events but also suggest a solution which
will rid us of them. Most of the time they call for the
"transformation" of the individual and/or society. Sometimes
they look forward to a time or period of bliss here on Earth.
To this extent Christianity and the New Age Movement (NAM) are
indistinguishable. That is, they both call for the non-physical
transformation of the individual and consequently society to
solve our problems. [Perhaps this is one reason why so much New
Age thought has infiltrated the Christian community.] Also, they
both look forward to an everlasting period of evil-free living.
Christians call this the "Kingdom of God." The New Age Movement
calls it the "New Age."
However, while Biblical Christianity and the New Age Movement
do share a common general thesis,
'if each of us would only accept the ultimate non-physical
reality into our lives, our individual transformations would
transform society as a whole and lead to an eternal, blissful
it must be underscored that the content of their common thesis
could not be further apart. These tremendous differences are
contrasted below for easy comparison.
NAM: Only one kind of thing exists (Monism)
This Eastern concept asserts that the physical universe and the
non-physical universe constitute one eternal continuum. That is
to say, there is no ultimate distinction between man, God and a
potato. They are all reducible to the same reality or substance.
Christian: More than one kind of thing exists (Pluralism)
In diametric opposition to the New Age concept, the Bible
declares God created the universe outside of Himself (Gen. 1).
He should never be confused with creation itself. In fact there
was a time when God was alone, before creation (Is. 37:16). Not
only is there a great distinction between God and creation, there
is also a great distinction between parts of His creation, namely
man and the rest of creation. Man is eternal, whereas eventually
even the sun will burn itself out (Gen. 2:7; Zech. 12:1; Eccl.
NAM: All is God (Pantheism)
Following the necessary consequences of underlying the monism
of the New Age Movement, it is argued that everything is God.
Also an Eastern concept, this type of pantheism holds that you, I
and the lowly potato, being parts of the one reality are all
equally parts of God. Therefore, God is an impersonal force.
Christian: God is the creator of the universe
In sharp contrast to New Age pantheism, Gods word testifies to
the fact that there is only one God (Is. 44:6). Furthermore,
this one God, outside of creation, is personal, not an impersonal
force (John 3:16). Instead of being God, creation is fallen,
including man (Rom. 8:22, Job 9:2-3,20,29-31). This accounts for
most of the evil in the world.
NAM: All religions are in agreement
Perhaps it is a public relations move to widen the appeal of
the NAM, perhaps it is a real conviction, but frequently in the
NAM it is argued that all religions, Hinduism, Christianity,
Buddhism, etc, are all saying the same thing - only in different
ways. In this model Jesus is merely a man who attained the
"Christ-consciousness," instead of the one Messiah ("Christ") for
the entire world.
Christian: Exclusive claim to truth
The effects of this NAM concept are numerous. First it robs
Jesus of his uniqueness. In total contrast, Jesus viewed Himself
as entirely unique: "I am the way and the truth and the life, no
man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6). Second, it
robs Christianity of its exclusive claim to truth which it has
espoused from its inception: "salvation is found in no one else,
for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we
must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Third, it robs the key Biblical
idea, "Christ," of its original meaning. While for the NAM
"Christ" is redefined as simply a "consciousness" which anyone
can/should attain, Biblical Christianity, on the other hand,
retains its original meaning, i.e., "Christ" is an office which
one and only one person can fulfill (John 4:25-26). To reject
this fundamental Biblical concept identifies oneself as
"anti-Christ" (I John 2:20-23). Lastly, this NAM concept robs
one of logical reasoning. You cannot reconcile Hinduism, which
asserts millions of gods, with Christianity, which believes there
is only one true God, with some forms of Buddhism, which do not
posit any god.
NAM: Man is God
Within the NAM there are several sub-groups virtually all of
which conclude that man is God - but they arrive at this
conclusion by different roads. One segment, which is under the
in fluence of Eastern religions, argues that since all of reality
is one and all of reality is God, therefore, we are God. Another
segment, which unabashedly espouses occultism would simply argue
that as it is in the supernatural so it is in the natural. Still
another segment of the NAM, the self-actualizing psychologies,
argue that everything we need, all power, all knowledge, etc.,
are inside us lying dormant ready to be awakened. While each
sub-group of the NAM might follow a different path, they all
arrive at the same conclusion, namely, man is God.
Christian: Man is a creature
Against the NAM, the Bible clearly states many times that man
is "created" (Gen. 1:26; Is. 17:7; Heb. 2:7). Gods word records
the origin of the New Age promise that man may become God. Satan
himself tempted Adam and Eve with the very same promise: "ye
shall be as God" (Gen. 3:1-6). In reality, the promise of the
New Age is the very cause of our fall in the first place!
NAM: Transformation via altered states of consciousness
If we are all God, then why are there wars, sickness and death?
Simple, reply the proponents of New Age philosophy. We have
merely forgotten that we are God. We only need to "remember,"
"recognize" or "realize" that we are God through a personal
"transformation." Here is where the political divergence of the
NAM comes to the fore. Virtually every sub-group in the NAM has
a different method for this transformation. For instance, it may
be induced through an Eastern mystical experience
(Self-realization Fellowship, TM, yoga), contact with UFOs
(Aetherius Society), parapsychological experiences (ESP,
precognition, self-hypnosis), Occultic practices (clairvoyance,
mediumship, seances) or human potential seminars (EST,
Lifespring, Silva Mind Control). The common thread drawn through
each of these transformation experiences is the direction you
look - namely, within. In each and every case the individual is
the source for the transformation experience into God.
Christian: Born from above
While Biblical Christianity also calls for the personal
transformation of the individual, it is quite different from any
of the NAM techniques. Jesus described the Biblical
transformation as being "born from above" (John 3:3,7). The
Biblical new birth takes place when we, as individuals, accept
Jesus into our hearts (John 3:16) beginning a personal
relationship (Rev. 3:20) and give Him control of our life (Luke
14:25-33). Please note that while the NAM techniques point
within, Biblical transformation points outside ourselves to Jesus
Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (Psalm 100, Heb.
NAM: One-World government (Man as king)
By means of the the various NAM individual transformation
techniques, the New Age Movement preaches that a "New Age" will
be ushered in. That is to say, a "New World Order," or a new
world-wide political structure will commence. All current
political structures, United Nations, individual countries and
political parties will all collapse before the new world
transformation. Like the individual transformations, there are
several different models of this New World Order within the NAM.
Some believe that the countries of the world will unite under one
hierarchical, centrally controlled, president. Others believe
that the hierarchy will consummate with the appearance of "the
Christ." Still others believe the new world order will be
decentralized, with each individual connected to every other
individual through a computer/communications network.
Christian: One-World government (Jesus as king)
Far different from the NAM world transformation model, the
Biblical view clearly sees the return of Jesus as the beginning
of the New World Order, New Age, or realized "Kingdom of God"
(Matt. 26:64). Currently the "Kingdom of God" is with us only in
the sense that it is inside us (Luke 17:21) or we are members of
it behind enemy lines (John 18:36, II Cor. 10:3). However, when
Jesus Christ returns (a very different one than the NAM Christ)
He will rule with justice and mercy forever (Is. 2:2, 9:7; Matt.
16:27; Rev. 11:15, Rev. 20-22).