To: Amy Gibson Re: USE OF +quot;NEW AGE+quot; > Well, tatha't's what I'm here for, to gain
From: Chris Anderson on 1:104/114.1
To: Amy Gibson
Re: USE OF "NEW AGE"
> Well, tatha't's what I'm here for, to gain a deeper
> understanding of everything, and I hope I'll not be the
> only one to try to do so... --Amy
Given the link problems at the moment, not sure when (or if)
you will receive this reply... but here's a brief comparison
of *typical* New Age thought v.s. Christian thinking on the
same issues. Note that "New Age" covers an awful lot of
territory, and that what I'm describing are only *typical*
of the large majority of NA thinking.
1) Christianity teaches a creator/creation distinction.
The NA thinking on this is generally one of pantheism.
Radical difference in world view based upon this.
2) Christianity teaches an objective measure of truth
outside of their own human perceptions (called God).
The NA advocate will usually say that all truth is contained
within the person. The results of this difference are
3) NA thinking usually ascribes "latent godhood" to the
individual. The Christian approach is to value the worth
of the individual (priceless), but it does not equate our
position with that of God. There have recently been a few
abberant (or near-abberant) statements by a certain TV
evangelist to the contrary. These are out of step with
4) NA thinking believes the human problem is primarly one of
"ignorance of our true potential". Christianity, on the
other hand, believes our primary problem is that we have
a tendency to "buck the system" - a system that cannot be
moved as it is inherent in creation itself - and that by
doing so, we've caused whatever grief we've come to.
5) Directly related to #4 is the difference in approach to the
solution to our "problems". NA believes that a process of
"consciousness raising" is alone sufficient. Although
Christianity has no quibble with this as a starting point,
the final result is believed to necessarily become a
consciousness of God's intentions for us, and how Jesus
exemplifies this. NA believes we already have all the
"truth" within us that we require. The Xtn believes that
this truth CAN be placed within us, but that we don't
start out with that knowledge as do the NA crowd.
6) The NA view of history is "cyclical". To this end, the
concepts of reincarnation and the like are almost always
brought into the equation as regards "personal history".
Christianity teaches that history is more linear, and that
reincarnation is not supported by the Gospel.
7) The NA beliefs regarding other religions is VERY dependent
on syncretism. This is the attempt to demonstrate that
most religions are in fact pointing in the same direction.
This belief is shared by many of the "newer" religions.
A fair airing of the teachings of each finds them in some
contradiction on various KEY points, and only by twisting
the teachings of each ALL out of shape can one possibly
claim that they are in agreement. There are similarities
between many of them, granted, but the Gospel as we have
it has yet to be PROPERLY reconciled to any of them. One
example is that of NA teaching, described above and below.
The differences are remarkable, but a NA adherant will tell
you that they don't have any problems with "their" version
of Jesus and the Gospel.
8) Regarding #7, one might look at how NA generally looks at
the person of Jesus in comparison to the view held by
Christians from the beginning: The NA group sees Jesus as
one of the many periodic manifestations (sounds a lot like
Baha'i from here) of God that appear from time to time.
Christianity has always held Jesus to be unique - both God
and man manifested to us.
Hope that helps describe a few things that make the NA thinking
quite different from Christian thinking on these topics. One may
hold what one believes to be both NA and Christian beliefs, but
a careful analysis of the teachings of both find them in
contradiction. Attempting to hold both means bending one or
the other (or both) out of its original shape in order to do so.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank