Volume. XXVI, No. 9
Sunday, 28 August 2011


Biblical Assessment of the New Age Movement - Part I


Introduction

What is the New Age Movement? It is a movement that has gained momentum in its popularity over the last thirty years or so, and its related philosophies and practices have even been promoted by both secular and religious bodies, and unfortunately even by many evangelical churches today. Nobody seems to know exactly where the term, “New Age” came from; however, the term has been around for a long time. Many elements of the New Age movement, like “faith healing,” “fortune-telling” and “transmigration of souls,” go back for centuries and even millennia. In fact, the movement has become an umbrella term for the rise of the occult in our day. This is why it is also called, New Age Occultism. The New Age Movement is also known by other names such as “the Aquarian Age,” “the Human Potential Movement,” “the Third Force,” “the Holistic Health Movement,” or simply “Cosmic Humanism”. According to the New Agers, the “Aquarian age,” is the new age that we have just entered into since the turn of the 21st century. The movement is totally about “man”, driven by an entirely man-centred and man-focused philosophy and ideology, so it is actually also a religion. This religion of “self-proclamation” has been around since the dawn of human civilization (Gen 11:4). It is a religion of man, centred around man and the “almighty self” - with no defined order of sin, repentance or salvation because man is his own saviour. Therefore, the so-called New Age Movement is simply a modern revival of ancient pagan traditions, along with a potpourri of influences, including Eastern Mysticism, humanism, witchcraft, sorcery, divination, fortune-telling or astrology, shamanism, spiritism or animism and a whole range of occultic beliefs and practices. As a soldier of Christ, we must guard ourselves from all these satanic doctrines. Yet, the best form of defence is to possess well rounded knowledge of our enemy’s tactics and strategies. So, let us examine New Age Movement by considering its “theology”. 

Theology of New Age Occultism

The New Agers believes in Jesus, but he is just a Guru

The word “Guru” is a Hindu word which means “a religious leader and spiritual teacher” or “one who gives spiritual instruction”. To the New Agers, Jesus is no more than a great Guru of spiritual instruction. How did Jesus end up being a Guru? This is because the New Agers claim that Jesus spent 18 years in India absorbing Hinduism and the teachings of Buddha, plus an occasional dab of pantheism and sorcery. Of course, such claim is a totally non-sense—not one historical writing supports such a ridiculous claim. Many New Age writers would also refer Christ as “a spirit”. They believe there have been many christs, Jesus being only one of many “christs”. Last year, a movie called “Avatar” was released and it made a big hit on the silver screen. The word “avatar” actually originates from a Hindu word which means “the manifestation of a Hindu deity”, especially “Vishnu” in human, superhuman or animal form. The New Agers believes that Buddha is considered an avatar of the god Vishnu. And we should not be surprised to hear some of our New Age friends say that Jesus is also an avatar or a manifestation of Hindu deity Vishnu. Most unfortunately, you may even hear some “Christian” TV evangelists today echoing a similar heresy as gospel truth. In fact, New Age prophetess Alice Bailey and author of many occult books, including “The Reappearance of the Christ”, describes the "Avatar of Synthesis," which she says is a close associate of "the Christ". She wrote, "He (Avatar of Synthesis) works under the great natural Law of Synthesis, producing atonement, unification and fusion. His function (in unison with the energy of Christ) is to generate spiritual will in humanity, the will-to good.” To the New Agers, Christ is nothing but a reincarnated avatar, a messenger sent from the hierarchy to give the living on earth spiritually advanced revelation like Buddha. In fact, the New Age Occultism accepts that Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, Jesus, and all other founders of religions as \'christs\'. The “Baha\'i World Faith” claims to be in perfect harmony with the Christian Faith, yet sees the historical Jesus as only one of several manifestations of Christ on equal ground with Abraham, Moses, Krishna, Zoroastrian, Budda, Mohammed, the Bab, and their founder: Baha\'u\'llah. Nevertheless, according to God’s inspired infallible, inerrant Word of God, the Bible, Jesus Christ is more than a teacher of spiritual instruction. He is the only begotten Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, the very God Himself who incarnated to become a man in order to be our Saviour, yet remained fully God.

God is Impersonal Cosmic Forces

New Agers not only see Jesus as a Hindu Guru and manifestation of Hindu god Vishnu, they also see God as “Impersonal Cosmic Forces”. The movie Star Wars is perhaps the biggest movie ever made to promote the New Age Movement in our generation. Many of us watched this movie when we were kids. But many of us failed to understand why Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the main characters in the movie often said, “May the force be with you”. This particular movie character was actually trying to substitute the word “God” in the common Christian farewell: “May God be with you” with the word “the force”. Now, if God is “the force”, then the force is God. And according to Star Wars, the force is within each of us, we just need to discover it or bring out its fullest potential—this is called “cosmic humanism”. Now, what does “cosmic humanism” have to do with the New Age Movement? The central teaching of the New Age religion to promote to weaken the force within us. What is “the force” that the New Agers are referring to? Here is the brief definition by Bar­bara Hanna, the author of ‘The Force: The New Age “God” ’: 

“All things, including man, constitute the one called ‘Universal Mind’ or ‘The Source,’ ‘Universal Self,’ ‘Cosmic Consciousness,’ ‘Universal Presence,’ or ‘The Force’. They are all of the same things. Sometimes, they called ‘the force’ your ‘Inner Voice,’ ‘Higher Self,’ or ‘Intuition.’ This teaching is somewhat in line with Pantheism and Panentheism: The former believes everything is god and the later believes that everything is in god. So, if the force” is god and god is the force. Then God is an impersonal energy and therefore everything is in god, the force.”

To the New Agers the force, immanent in all things (including man and animals), can be referred to either as she or he, mother or father, god or goddess. This is why we get the term “Mother earth” and “Mother nature”. They are New Age terminologies which Christians should not be using at all. God is the one who provided us with abundant natural resources, not “Mother nature”. New Agers do not mean God or Jesus Christ of the Bible when they say that they believe in God or a god! Most New Age teachers hold “Mother Earth,” “the Sun,” “the Moon,” and “the Stars” as gods! According to the New Age Movement, all of nature can be worshipped as God and should be worshipped as God, and they perhaps don’t mind adding Jesus as one of the many gods they worship.

To be continued…

Ps Weng

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements

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*All worshippers are encouraged to join any Neighbourhood Bible Study groups. For more details, please see Ps Weng or Elder Lee.

*Batam Missions: planned with Ebenezer BPC (Melb) for 4 - 7 Jan 2012.

Looking Ahead

* AFG Retreat, 1 - 3 Oct.

* Christmas Concert, Sat, 3 Dec.

Praise and Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Bro Joseph & Sis Chrisanthi Selvanayagam & family (Adl); & others who arrived safely.

2. Church activities - over the past week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. Graduation: Sis Suzane Lim.

5. God’s guidance at last Session Meeting & ACM yesterday evening.

6. Working Bees -  for their labour of love.

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser;  Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Myung Ki (Lond), Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mrs. Chuilin Yap (Malacca); & others in affliction.

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry; Life University; Rev Moses Hahn & Ministry; Rev Srun Chivan & Ministry (Sihanoukville).

3. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry.

4. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

5. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr H S Lim (Melb).

6. IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman, Board & Missionaries around the world.

7. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.

8. Ministry in New Life BPC, London - Ps & Sis Ki; Ps Ki’s preparation for Pastors’ Conference in Kenya & Tanzania; God’s protection of Sis Myung in London by herself.

9. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries.

10. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

11. House of Hope, Cebu, Philippines.

12. Journey mercies: Ps Ki (Kenya & Tanzania); Dn David & Sis Giok Yeo & family (Europe); Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng & Joash; Sisters Xandrea Cai & parents; Cyndi Chan & relatives (Melb/Adl); Sis Margaret Hooper (Cruise - SEA); & those who are travelling.

13. Job - Sis Clara Sim.

14. Studying in Auckland, NZ - Bro Peter Koo

15. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.

16. God’s comfort - Bro John Wong & family; Sis Sally Teng & family; & others in grief.

17. Street-Evangelism - Protection of participants & Salvation of those who received Gospel tracts.

18. Mission work in the Philippines - Bro Richard & Sis Myra Horenung (Mindanao).

19. Believers under torture/persecution in Islamic & Communist countries.

20. Obed Family - Guidance for their future in Vanuatu; Bro Tevi - his work in World Bank; Sis Edna - good health & safe delivery of twins (in Oct); their son, Anderson, to grow in the Lord.

 

 

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