To: Amy Gibson Re: USE OF +quot;NEW AGE+quot; > Well, tatha't's what I'm here for, to gain

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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 pretty dramatic. 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 the Gospel. 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.

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