New Age

Thousands of people who have been ensnared by the teachings of the New Age movement are waking up to the realization that they are now hostages to Satan and his demons.  Others are still deceived, believing that they have come to a new understanding of themselves by tapping into the hidden powers of the universe.  Let’s think about the subelty of Satan’s trap and then point the way out of his mystical maze.  Fortunately, Christ’s power can destroy his clever grip on the lives of those who admit their need for help. — Erwin W. Lutzer

Many churches are already incorporating New Age forms of “Spiritual Formation,” contemplative prayer or meditation to cleanse the mind and bring peace and energy to the body. This is straight New Age teaching, not biblical, yet Richard Foster and others have successfully leavened this into many churches.

A large number of people in the New Age movement (NAM) don’t like that label — while others would not even consider themselves part of the movement. NAM is eclectic and diverse. There is no hierarchy, doctrine or membership. They believe man’s basic nature is good and divine. Moreover, they believe in evolutionary godhood and that man will soon see himself as god. New Agers have an interest in Eastern mysticism and hold to a belief in reincarnation. Their “theology” is based in diversity, feel-goodism, universal tolerance, and moral relativism.

New Age ideas can be traced to Eastern religious traditions such as Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism

Fast Facts:

  • Based in esotericism, i.e. private enlightenment through mystical spiritual experiences and spiritual searching.
  • Characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture.
  • Call the earth Gaia. Gaia is a goddess and the “creator and giver of birth to the Earth and all the Universe,” thus she is to be revered and respected, even worshiped.
  • Put man and nature on an equal level. Nature is part of God and through Nature all people can unite.
  • Human Potential movement – cultivation of extraordinary potential believed to be largely untapped in most people.

Global Unity:

  • Man with nature
  • Man with man
  • Man with God

Major Tenets:

  • Monism: All is one
  • Pantheism: all is God
  • We are gods: ignorant of divinity
  • Goal of NAM: to discover own divinity

Additional beliefs:

  • No condemnation
  • No judgment
  • Subordination of the true God; elevation of man

Phrases, Practices and Terms:

  • Spirituality
  • “As above, so below”
  • Astrology
  • Yoga
  • Contemplative Prayer
  • Labyrinth
  • Visualization
  • Centering down
  • Meditation practices – Transcended meditation, contemplative prayer
  • Holistic Health – treats the whole person — promises healing and wholeness
  • Modern Psychology – Freud, Abraham Maslow, Carl Jung who was steeped in the occult, even had his own personal spirit guide.
  • Astral projection – also called astral travel, or soul travel which is training your soul to leave the limitations of your body and travel around the world into heavenly dimensions;
  • Crystals – used to purify your body’s and mind’s energy systems
  • Visualization – where you use mental imagery to imagine yourself as an animal, in the presence of a divine being, or being healed of sickness, etc.
  • Witchcraft – is now called WICCA, Earth Religion, and is closely related to Goddess worship. The doctrine is that we are all part of the earth and God is nature.
  • Contacting spirits – so they may speak through you or guide you
  • Cosmic humanism
  • Cosmic consciousness
  • Christ consciousness

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Evangelicals:

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What the Bible says: 

The Bible tells us to pray to the Lord with our mind, body and spirit. We cannot be cleansed from evil by visualization techniques, only by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, our repentance from sin, and our believing and following Jesus.

“When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.”  Leviticus 18:1-1

The Bible is clear that the believer is being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ by the grace and conviction of the Holy Spirit.  But some these days teach that man can be the cause for this “spiritual transformation”.  God is the sole cause of spiritual transformation in the believer and the Bible teaches that it is the Holy Spirit testifying to the Word of God that transforms the believer.

The words “contemplative prayer” are not in the Bible.  The word “contemplate” is defined as “to think deeply or carefully”.  The Bible does teach us to think deeply and meditate on the Word of God.  But some of those promoting “Contemplative Prayer” teach almost the opposite:  That we “contemplate” by emptying our minds or reciting mantras.