I realise that for some of you, the topics on this blog may be unfamiliar…or downright odd. There is a lot of background information that you might benefit from before you can easily make sense of the articles posted. I have received permission from some wonderful pastors to share their articles on my blog, in order to assist you.
I am thrilled to be able to share a series of background articles on the New Age movement and its influence on the church, Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life and P.E.A.C.E. plan, the Emergent church and its teachings, and many other topics relevant to Christians today. I hope you find these articles helpful. Feedback is always welcome, and if you want more information on a particular subject, I highly recommend you go digging in the websites I have linked.
So, let’s start with an article from Mike Oppenheimer at Let Us Reason Ministries from 2009. It also include some great links to other article of his:
THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT
They know by influencing our children we will then experience a paradigm shift for the next generation. Our society will change from the grass roots level on up.
“We need a new way of governing the whole planet. The problems we face today are bigger than any single country.” (Children’s Task Force on Agenda 21, Rescue Mission Planet Earth: A Youth Edition of Agenda 21, Peace Child Charitable Trust, p.81,1994 )
Working to change the way we view and treat sicknesses and diseases. To change traditional medicine to alternate means. To treat the mind the Spirit and emotions beside the body (WHOLENESS).
The concept is to give people a choice of healing naturally instead of organized modern medicine with its drugs. By healing the spirit or aligning it, they believe we can achieve perfect health. What you don’t know can be harmful because their treatments have spiritual practices contrary to Christianity. It leads one into a spiritual worldview that believes death is only a transition and that the dead can contact us.
HUMAN POTENTIAL MOVEMENT TEACHES THAT MAN IS UNLIMITED & CAN CONTROL HIS REALITY & CHANGE HIS WORLD.
The focus is self. Through various spiritual techniques one goes inside them-selves to find their answers. Various workshops are used as an environment for change. It promotes the powers of the mind, teaching that we all have unlimited abilities and that to think of oneself as sinful is not correct.
Its purpose is to change the way we perceive things, a new paradigm for living is offered. But first the old must be removed. The New Age Movement is like a sponge that attempts to absorb all religions, and beliefs from different cultures into one spiritual, socio-economical unified system. The problem is sponges soak up the bad as well as the good.
“Marilyn Ferguson’s book “Aquarian Conspiracy’ is the Bible of much of the New Age Movement. She describes dramatic revolutions of understanding … sudden liberation from old limits … Each of these discoveries is properly described as a ‘paradigm shift ,’a term introduced by Thomas Kuhn….A paradigm is a scheme for understanding and explaining certain aspects of reality. A paradigm shift is a distinctly new way of thinking about old problems … the problem is that you can’t embrace the new paradigm unless you let go o the old.” (NEW AGE CONFUSION David A.Lewis, p. 23-24).
NEW WORLD ORDER TRANSFORMATION THROUGH POLITICS
This encompasses the political agenda of how we view governments and laws to bring us into unity as global citizens instead of separate countries. World trade and commerce will unite us as global citizens for the 21st century.
On Jan 30, 1976 a document was signed by 32 senators and 92 representatives called the declaration of interdependence(,) “Two centuries ago our forefathers brought forth a new nation now we must join with others to bring forth a new world order.”
Robert Muller former Asst. Sect. General of the UN “The United Nations is much more than a political organization, it is a paradigm, the expression of a deep, evolutionary change which in the long run will transform the world for the best. (New Genesis, p. 122)
‘No one can stop evolution … A new world is being born in the UN.’ (My Testament, p. 17)
Political unification goes hand in hand with spiritual unification.
The New Age is all the modern day occult-based practices and philosophies, world religions united into a one world religion. This encompasses a wide range of religions from spirit worship, Eastern mysticism, Mind-science religion, and even psychology. Its purpose is to rediscover the god-within us all. People have to look no further than themselves, for all of life is answers, everything one needs to know is already inside themselves.
This is no longer some far out concept held by a few uneducated eccentric people searching for alternative living. As Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell wrote “I began to understand the urgent importance of exploring the most promising frontier of all; the human mind and spirit.” So he has gone on a quest to investigate inner space instead of outer space. (Institute of Noetic Sciences letter)
From an article called Ambushed by Spirituality by Marty Kaplan (TIME Magazine, JUNE 24, 1996) “The God I have found is, common to Moses – and Muhammad; to Buddha and Jesus. It is known to every mystic tradition. In mine it is the Tetragrammaton-the Name so-holy that those who know it dare not say It. It is what-the Cabala calls Ayin Nothingness, No-Thingness, It is Spirit, Being, the All.
I used to think psychic phenomena-as New Age flimflam. I used to think of reincarnation as a myth. I used to think the soul was a metaphor. Now I know there is a God-my God, in. here, demanding not faith but experience, an inexhaustible wonder at the richness of this very moment Now, I know there is a consciousness that transcends science a consciousness, toward which our species is sputteringly evolving a welcome development spurred, ironically by our generational rendezvous with mortality.”
Beginnings: Many attribute today’s rise of the modern New Age Movement (NAM) to prior occult movements, such as New Thought and Theosophy. In the late 1800’s early 1900’s the counter-culture movement of the 1960’s looked for alternatives to life and spirituality, they discovered Zen, Gurus Transcendental Meditation, and yoga Carlos Castanada. The Beatles shaped our way of thinking anew.
The origin is traced to Babylon where man wanted to become one without God. It is Hinduism in disguise, which is the oldest traditional religion in the world. It believes we have no real self, all is an illusion and that we are divine.
Founders: Being an eclectic blend of many ancient and modern religions and philosophies, there is no single human founder. Although many claim it is Teilhard “de Chardin” who was the catalyst, who was an apostate Jesuit priest. He taught that man is evolving spiritually to a race of supermen, that we would all become like Christ until we finally reach he ultimate goal omega point being god or gods more correctly. “A ‘religion of the future’ (definable as a ‘religion of evolution’) cannot fail to appear before long: a new mysticism, the germ of which (as it happens when anything is born) must be recognizable somewhere in our environment here and now. (Christianity and Evolution p. 240). It can certainly be traced to Alice Bailey and others involved in theosophy in the 1880’s to early 1900’s.
While Teilhard De Chardin is credited as the current human source for the movement The spiritual founder is the devil a fallen angel with enormous power who has invented the various religions and opinions popularized today. His most useful disguise is to become an angel of light and look as if he is delivering the very knowledge of God.
Official Publications: There is no central organization or headquarters and the movement strength is diversity. They are like spokes in a wheel working together toward the same goals. New Age groups have literally hundreds of publications. Some popular publications and journals are New Age Journal (circulation went from 15,000 to 150,000 in just 4 years), Body, Mind & Spirit, Yoga Journal, Astrology Gnosis, East West, Noetic Sciences, Spirit Speaks, Inner light, Psychic News and Omega. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of smaller newsletters and newspapers and magazines published. (Ohohia, the Source, Light/Line, the healer, Joan’s Crystals)
Names: Higher Consciousness Movement, the Human potential or development, New thought, Eastern Mysticism, Eastern Spirituality, Enlightenment, paradigm shift, Occultism, Ancient Wisdom, Age of Aquarius, Holistic Health Movement.
Key words and techniques: Alignment, affirmation, transformation, reawakening, spiritual tools and paths, shifting, balancing energy, centering, decreeing, meditation, channeling, astral projecting traveling, empowering, energies, crystals, initiations, invocations, (this does not mean everyone who uses these words is an a occultist, not everyone who wears a crystal is. But it can be possible they have some relative views or practices).
Key participants and promoters: Robert Mueller former Asst. Sect. General of the UN, Benjamin Creme and Tara Center, talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Marilyn Furgueson, Elizabeth Claire Prophet, movie director Ron Howard, lecturer and writer Marianne Williamson, Movie producer George Lucas, Hollywood’s Shirley Maclaine, Author Brad Steiger, author Whitley Streiber, talk show host Art Bell. (While some in this list may not know what they are promoting; there are many who do).
Other participants and promoters from Hollywood: Joyce Dewitt, Marsha Mason, Lisa Bonet, Sharon Glass, Ted Danson, Linda Evans, Levar Burton, Stephanie Kramer (all of these have been influenced and are an influence to others in various degrees).
The New Age Movement is both a religious and a social movement. Western culture has currently experienced a new paradigm, a spiritual and sociological shift; it is a religious world-view that is hostile to Christianity. It’s multi-faceted and has the ability to synthesize mystical religions and world religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Occultism. The only religion that cannot be conglomerated into its unity is orthodox Christianity. It is the theosophy that has been practiced and hoped for by occultists for centuries. “A general convergence of religions upon a universal Christ who fundamentally satisfies them all: that seems to me the only possible conversion of the world, and the only form in which a religion of the future can be conceived.” (PIERRE TEILHARD DE CHARDIN CHRISTIANITY AND EVOLUTION P.130)
It is comprised of thousands of groups (last count 10 years ago over 10,000 in the US, 27,000 world wide probably double now). They are Individuals who are in the work place, school, government, sociology, psychology, medicine, ecology, and science, bringing their new influence to affect almost every area of our culture.
Arts- we find paintings are drawn by contact of ancient masters where they channel there energy, some claim you cannot tell the difference of the style to even their signature (Luiz Antonio Gasperetto ad) Music is channeled as well as inventions.
Education- New Age curriculum goals are to be in all American public schools by 2000 A.D.
The movement has been mainstreamed into our culture. Their influence is felt in the business community, the media, entertainment, sports, and even the church. In Marilyn Ferguson’s book The Aquarian Conspiracy she writes: “A leaderless but powerful network is working to bring about radical change in the United States. Its members have broken with certain key elements of Western thought…. This network is the Aquarian Conspiracy…. Broader than reform, deeper than revolution, this benign conspiracy for a new human agenda has triggered the most rapid cultural realignment in history…. The Aquarian Conspirators range across all levels of income and education, from the humblest to the highest” she calls them legions of conspirators. schoolteachers – office workers, famous scientists, government officials – lawmakers-artists – taxi drivers – celebrities, leaders in medicine, education, law, psychology…. they are found in corporations, universities, hospitals, faculties of public schools, factories, doctors’ offices, in state and federal agencies, city councils and the White House staff, in state legislatures, in volunteer organizations, in virtually all arenas of policy-making in the country.”
The movement expresses itself in widely divergent and various forms, from the blatantly obvious to the subtle. For example the names have been changed from astrologers and psychics to intuition consultants and Astro-economists. Astrology charts are used in business predicting when it is good or bad to make moves in their companies by the stars and alignment of the planets. Psychic energy can be called therapeutic touch. Titles and practices are constantly being renamed. Dick Sutphen said “One of the biggest advantages we have as New Agers is, once the occult, metaphysical, new age terminology is removed, we have concepts and techniques that are very acceptable to the general public (and) open the new age door to millions who normally would not be receptive.” So they change the terms purposely to accepted terminology so one can participate without even knowing.
The most central and commonly shared beliefs among New Agers are various conglomerations of gnosticism and occultism. They learn spirituality by experience. Marilyn Furgueson states it this way: “The radical Center of spiritual experience seems to be knowing without doctrine … the teacher does not impart knowledge but technique. This is the ‘transmission of knowledge by direct experience.’ Doctrine on the other hand, is second-hand knowledge, a danger. Do not get entangled in any teaching.” (The Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn Ferguson, pages 371, 377.)
Gnosticism is an ancient world-view stating that spirit is the only true reality, and that the unconscious Self of man is actually connected to or is this essence. It is through Intuitive knowledge, “visionary experience or initiation into secret doctrine” (not the plenary revelation of prepositional truth in the Bible), that man becomes conscious of this true Self (Encyclopedia Brittanica, Vol. 10, 1968, p. 506; New Bible Dictionary, pp. 473-4).
Occultism is a “general designation for various theories, practices, and rituals based on esoteric knowledge, especially alleged knowledge about the world of spirits and unknown forces of the universe” (Encyclopedia Brittanica, Vol. 7. p. 469).
The term “New Age” Is an informal term, which teaches that this earth and mankind are on the verge of an evolutionary transition from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age and a new spirituality. With it comes harmony to all things, the golden age talked about from all religions is soon to emerge. That those who have participated in the higher consciousness revolution have already made a transition to homo-Noeticus and soon to Homo-Christos. The “New Age” is hardly a new view, in fact, it is very ancient, the most ancient of all lies.
The New Age Movement is actually a modern revival of ancient religious (pagan) practices. The original source is found in Genesis 3:1-5, expressed in Satan’s temptation of man. The original lie had man fall from his pure estate; Satan brought doubt of God’s word, His authority and benevolent rule to man Gen.3. He disputed that death would occur from disobedience to Gods decrees andclaimed that if they acquired what god said not to, they could be enlightened and be “like God” their creator. The original lie echoes through time to today, the modern Gnostic movement is yearning to repeat history, to their own demise. By gaining knowledge of both good and evil they had something that God was protecting them from, evil being sin. The immediate affect is shame and guilt which we all have today. The fig leaves did not cover Adam and eve and today they have no covering either.
Many of the occult practices and beliefs revived by the modern NAM were a part of very early pagan cultures. Many practices common to the NAM such as witchcraft, sorcery, spiritism (contacting spirits from the other worlds), divination, astrology (clairvoyance; seeing the future), necromancy (consulting the dead) mediums (channeling) all of these and more are clearly and strongly condemned in Scripture (Deut. 18: 9-17; Lev.19, Isaiah 47: 9-15). These and other occultic practices were practiced by the ancient tribes and mystery religions of the Chaldeans, Egyptians, and the Babylonian culture. Horoscopes, palm reading, crystal ball, water witching, pendulum, divining rod, tarot cards, tea leave reading, numerology, palmistry, Ouiji board and the study of animal entrails have given way to more modern updated names but the practices are still the same. Only the names have changed such as channeling or spirit guides is the practice of ancient mediums and spiritism. These have been used by shamans, witchdoctors and mystics in the ancient world. God has always warned his people not to participate in this.
More recently in more modern times in America by Emanuel Swedenborg (mid 1700’s) and Theosophy introduced by Madame Helena Blavatsky (mid to late 1800’s) also Annie Besant . Rudolf Steiner and Alice Bailey had a strong influence. The decade of the sixties witnessed a revival of Eastern mysticism in America as traditional values were discarded and replaced by the new (old) ways. Today its premier speaker would be Benjamin Creme who is trying to introduce the new age “wanna be” Christ.
In the mid eighties, Shirley MacLaine’s books and TV mini-series gave the NAM more exposure and prominence. J.Z. Knight and Lazarus as well as Mafu were given promos on Oprah Winfrey as well as other TV programs. Various research polls have indicated a significant shift has been occurring in the West, both in the beliefs and practices of the New Age world-view. 60 million American believe in psychic powers and have had some type of experience with the paranormal. For example, 36% of Americans believe that astrology is scientific, after all it’s in almost all the newspapers. 25% now accept reincarnation. Near-death experiences have been popularized, therapeutic touch, channeling, Meditation, UFOS, extra terrestrials, space brothers, ascended masters, are all part of the cultures consciousness because of TV talk shows and movies. Psychic readings on ones credit card had become the #1 info-mercial on TV. America is fascinated with the occult.
The movement has their own vocabulary and even start their own communities. They have made their services known nationwide by having a new age yellow pages, a US guide to consciousness raising services, products and organizations. 52 publishing houses had formed the New Age publishing and retail alliance. Their slogan to start was a consciousness whose time has come. Occult and metaphysical books are in and big business. Snowboarding to Nirvana by author and occult promoter Fred Lenz made it to the NY times bestseller list. This has become more accepted as literally our culture begs for the unusual to the bizarre for entertainment, even in books.
Financial success: Forbes magazine in June of 1987 reported the new age market increased to 3.43 billion dollars. It has become big business. New age music brings in well over a hundred million a year, new age jewelry over 5 million, crystals are sold from 10.00 to 100.00 dollars and some up to 10,000 dollars.
New Age groups are quite eclectic; drawing from several different sources but one of the more prominent unifying themes of the NAM is their experiences which bind them together. Absolute truth is replaced by subjective experiences. All is relative and interpreted by each individual.
The term “New Age” Is an informal term which teaches that this earth is on the verge of an evolutionary transition from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age a new spirituality. With it comes harmony of all things, the golden age talked about from all religions. That those who have participated in the higher consciousness revolution have already made a transition from homo-sapien to homo-Noeticus, and soon to homo Christos. This is a spiritual evolution where man discovers himself as God, for he consists of and is the creator of “the forces.” Man needs only to awaken to this fact. The only discontinuity between man and “God” is our ignorance of the unlimited potential already in us.
Even though many New Age adherents describe “God” in personal terms, ultimately, “God” is an impersonal life force, consciousness or energy (M. Ferguson, Aquarian Conspiracy. p. 382; Shakti Gawain, Living In the Light, pp. 7-8).
Man is himself God, for he consists of and is the creator of “the forces.” Man needs only to awaken to this fact. The only discontinuity between man and “God” is our Ignorance of the unlimited potential in us already. Man creates his own reality. Absolute truth is replaced by subjective experiences.
The cosmology (the nature of the world and universe) of the NAM is pantheistic, which means that everything that exists is of one essence, and that one essence is God. Everything is expressed in a different form of that same essence (energy, consciousness, power, love. force). So all the universe is in the state of God.
(1) Jesus was not and is not the only Christ, nor is he God.
Jesus was a man who evolved spiritually to the state of “the Christ” being. “The Christ” is an actual state of ultimate essence. Everyone’s true being is “the Christ” and each person’s goal is to come to that self-realization (A Course in Miracles, Vol. 3, pp. 83-4). So to the New Ager, Jesus the Christ, is one of Many ascended masters – a wayshower, whose function is to awaken humanity and Illumine the Path. Many even reinvent the historical Jesus by claiming that He traveled to India and learned the New Age doctrines there during His “silent years” (Shirley MacLaine, Out on a Limb, pp. 233-34).
(2) The most prominent theme held in common in the NAM is their experiences which unifies them together. “God” is impersonal, cosmic, a God of energy of forces.
3) Man’s Destiny-Since Man is intrinsically divine and perfect, his only real problem is Ignorance of that fact. Man has a Perception of finiteness, which is in reality an illusion (Ken Keyes, Jr., Handbook to Higher Consciousness, pp. 125-29). Salvation in the New Age is for man to become enlightened through experiential knowledge (gnosis). Man should seek and accept his spiritual instruction and direction from spirit guides. New Age groups offer various Occultic techniques to enable individuals, and ultimately the world, to evolve into this oneness (unitive) consciousness (James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy: An Experimental Guide, pp. 243-60). These techniques May Include altered states of consciousness (often transcendental meditation), yoga, crystals, channeling (spirit guides), psychics, past life therapy, acupuncture, etc.
(4) All religions and religious teachings lead to the same goal. All are equally of merit. New Age groups are eclectic, they draw from numerous different sources as long as it is agreeable to their world view.
(5) The “ancient wisdom” of Babylon, Egypt and Greece not the Bible-is the basis of all Truth. No one religion has the truth. One learns by experience, he receives a special gnosis leading him on his own path. Barbara Marx Hubbard believes we are experiencing a new Pentecost.
(6) Sin and evil do not exist. Peace and love are the ultimate realities. Man is not sinful but is a potential God since his true essence is divine and perfect. Yet Paul said that in him dwelled nothing good. And Jesus’ mission was to deal with the sin factor not give us a higher consciousness
There are universal beliefs among New Ager’s that are held in common. The Hindu concept of reincarnation which teaches that after death souls comes back in another body to continue their spiritual lessons of evolvement back to the source which is God. New Ager’s consistently misrepresent church history, they argue without any verifiable proof that the early church suppressed the teaching of reincarnation and censored its teaching at the council of Nicea. Doctrines of Christianity are often distorted using Scripture indiscriminately to support their occult ideas by finding separate words or phrases to make it say what they would like it too.
A CHRISTIANS RESPONSE
Individual followers of New Age philosophies are at various stages of experimentation and different levels of its teachings. They may not belong to a particular group but are picking up what they like from what they read or hear. In the NAM, truth is relative to the individual so they are not unanimous in their opinions, ask two New Ager’s a question and you will probably get a different answer from each. The only absolute in the New Age is that there are no absolutes. We must approach New Ager’s as individuals. Ask New Ager’s lots of questions. What religious background did they come from, if any? What happened in their lives that began their search and path they are now on? What books, experiences, people or ideas were the most influential and most important to them? The answer should give you a good direction as to where to focus your attention on.
What needs to be disproved is relativism and their acceptance of inaccurate historical events. They need to see the inconsistencies of living out their world-view and seeing that it is not logical, a clarification of the real God, Jesus, and gospel, contrasted to their own beliefs.
We don’t dispute that they are being given information, knowledge, and powers, but we are disputing the sources it is coming from. Matt 24:24; Jer.14:14. What is their source of truth? If truth is relative then it really does not matter what they believe either.
We must be able to convince them of these facts from the scriptures and logic, debating from our own opinions will be argumentative and lead nowhere. It must be the word of God explained and proven so that it may be received (2 Tim .2:24-26 Rom.3:23-24, Hebrews 4:12.). First show the bible as historically, prophetically accurate unlike any other book. Intercessory prayer is absolutely necessity. The battle for their soul accomplished through God’s grace, by our intervening in their behalf. Pray in warfare as though you’re fighting for their soul, because you are.
If we approach them in this way we will be obedient. Having faith and trusting that the Lord will do the work His way. Remember we don’t battle against flesh and blood. Isaiah 55:8-9 &11; 2 Tim 4:2-5; 2 Peter 3:17-18.
BOOK RESOURCES ON THE MOVEMENT
Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, John Ankerberg and John Weldon. This well researched work covers a wide range of New Age beliefs, practices, and leaders, providing a Christian analysis. 670 pages with index. $17.
Can you Trust Your doctor John Ankerberg and John Weldon.another well researched work on the Holistic health movement 415 pp. $20
A Crash Course on the New Age Movement, Elliot Miller. One of the best overall analysis and critiques of New Age ideology and trends. 260 pages with index, $13.
Unmasking the New Age Douglas Groothuis the first of many thorough works on the whole movement and practices.
America the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice Dave Hunt T.A. McMahon exploring the world of new age alternatives and the mainstreaming of it’s philosophy and practices.
Seduction of Christianity D.Hunt and T. McMahon explaining how it is being integrated in the Church over 13 years old but is still current.
Thieves of Innocence, John Ankerberg. John Weldon, Craig Branch. Covers the beliefs of NAM and uncovers its strategy to infiltrate schools influencing the next generation of minds and souls of our children. . 345 pages with index, $10.
The Counterfeit Christ of the New Age Movement, Ron Rhodes. Reveals the false history and their reinterpretation of “Jesus”- presented by the New Agers, contrasts the NA Jesus with the authentic Jesus. 255 pages, $12.
When the world will be as one Tal Brooke showing where it’s all headed
Psychic forces and Occult shock Wilson and Weldon explains the practices of the holistic health movement and spiritual practices in the occult. (hard book to get now)
Occult Invasion by Dave Hunt an encyclopedia of current new age /occult beliefs and systems.599 pg.
The new age Cult the late Dr. Walter Martin a good basic book to familiarize yourself with their teachings.121 pages.
Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow by Constance Cumbey. A classic book on what is working under the surface in the movement.
Inside the new age nightmare Randall Baers journey as a new age author and how he found Jesus. Excellent book to give someone who is involved, 194 pages.
Your child and the new age Berit Kjos new age influences in education.
Reprinted with kind permission from author Mike Oppenheimer.
Let us Reason Ministries http://www.letusreason.org/Nam4.htm
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