Volume. XXVI, No. 11
Sunday, 11 September 2011


Biblical Assessment of the New Age Movement - Part III


In the last two weeks, we have explored the occultic nature of the New Age Movement in which the Theology, Anthropology and Soteriology of the New Age Occultism were considered and biblically assessed. In the third of the series of articles, we shall explore and examine its Bibliology and will continue with its Pneumatology in the next article.

Bibliology and Pneumatology of the New Age Occultism 

New Age Bibliology: "Ancient Wisdom" is the Basis of all Truth

What is Bibliology? The term Bibliology (from Greek biblos meaning “book”) refers to the study of the nature of the Bible as revelation. It often includes such topics as revelation, inspiration, inerrancy, canonicity, illumination, and interpretation. To Christians the Scripture is the supreme and final authority with regard to all Christian beliefs and practices. Historic orthodox Bibliology is founded upon the fact that the Scripture is verbally and plenarily inspired by the Holy Spirit; henceforth, the Scripture is infallible and inerrant even to the jot and tittle and completely sufficient and perfectly trustworthy. Before he went to the cross at Calvary, our Lord told his disciples that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, will be their infallible Teacher who will guide them into all truth—and it is still the same today! (John 16:13) The Scripture teaches us that man is a sinner hopeless without God’s grace (Rom. 5:12; Eph. 2:3,8), that man is dependent upon God for all things (Isa. 43:7; James 1:17; Acts 17:28), that punishment of sin in hell and then in the lake of fire is real and eternal (Luke 16:24; Mark 9:47,48; Rev. 14:11), that the wages of sin is eternal separation from God (Rom. 6:23; Isa. 59:2), that Jesus is the only way to God for He is the sole mediator between God and Man (Matt. 11:27; John 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:5), and that the Scripture is the only inspired word of God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21). Yet down the millennia, the devil has employed his messengers of hell and workers of iniquities to seek to confound the world that none of the above is true—but alas, even some of the elect today have also been grossly misled and disillusioned by his lies!

In contrast to New Ageism, “ancient wisdom” is the source of all divine revelation and basis of all truth. When I say ancient wisdom, I mean ancient religious wisdom apart from the Bible solely derived through ancient pagan occultic practices and beliefs. Thanks to the enthusiasm of the agents of the devil in the recent decades, most if not all of these occultic practices and beliefs are being revived and promoted through the New Age Movement in the form of witchcraft, sorcery, spiritism, divination, astrology (horoscopy), necromancy or consulting the dead and mediums or channelling (it will be discussed in fuller details in part 4 of the article). As one New Age author, Marilyn Ferguson, writes:

“Something remarkable is underway. It is moving with almost dizzying speed, but it has no name and eludes description . . . Within recent history “it” has infected medicine, education, social science, hard science, even government with its implications. It is characterized by fluid organizations reluctant to create hierarchical structures, averse to dogma. It operates on the principle that change can only be facilitated, not decreed. It is short on manifestos. It seems to speak to something very old. And perhaps, in integrating magic and science, art and technology, it will succeed where all the king’s horses and all the king’s men failed.”

What had been observed by Ferguson (who died in 2008) in the past few decades is definitely remarkable to the eyes of a New Ager or an occultist, but it is rather daunting to a Christian because it threatens the biblical Christianity today. That “something very old,” yet recently been integrated into the realm of science and technology are nothing but things which were practiced by the ancient tribes and mystery religions of the Chaldeans, the Egyptians, the Babylonians and other pagan cultures. These damnable satanic practices are not only pagan in origin, but are most clearly and strongly condemned in the Scripture as utterly abominable to the thrice holy covenant God of His people. God’s covenant people were explicitly commanded to have nothing to do with them (Deut. 18: 9-17; Lev.19; Isa. 47: 9-15) — not even to imitate! To add to that severity of warning and damnable consequences of defaulting on their covenant duties, the LORD sternly warned His people, “Learn not the way of the heathen…”(Jer. 10:2) The word “learn” means to get “accustomed to” or “familiarised with”. This means, God’s people are not even permitted to expose ourselves or our children (ie. to get accustomed to or familiarised with) to these occultic practices contrary to the popular notion and concept taught in our society, schools, universities and main stream medias which encourage us and our children to expose to these evils in the name of multi-culturalism and globalism in a world by and large driven by spirit of political correctness and humanistic tolerance, which tolerates everything but Jesus and the cross.

As Christians, it is high time for us to realise that the spiritual deception of the New Age philosophies is already having disastrous spiritual effects in our culture and society and alarmingly even within the Church. As Ferguson (a New Ager herself) mentioned earlier on, the New Age Movement has infected “medicine, education, social science, hard science, even government with its implications”. The New Age Movement is like a sponge that attempts to absorb all religions, cultures, governments, schools and universities. It seeks to unify all systems into one spiritual, socio-economic unity. As Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry writes,

“[New Age Movement] uses various means to have mystical experiences with God and/or nature and/or self. Some of the methods were described in Omni Magazine (How to Have a Mystical Experience. Dec. 1988, p. 137-145) as imagining, where you are told to imagine your own reality; transcendence, going beyond the limits of time; sleep deprivation, with the purpose of inducing a mystical experience; focusing, ‘to experience all of reality as unified and not as a collection of disparate objects’; avoidance, where communication with the outside world is stopped in order to reinterpret the world without its influence on you; identification, ‘To trade places mentally with a dog or a cat, canary, or animal in the zoo’; reflection, an exercise designed to help you to view the year to come, differently; and star-gazing, "to induce a sense of objectivity about your life and a feeling of connectedness to the rest of cosmos."

In view of this troubling trend in our society and culture, God’s people today must be awakened to the threat of the New Age Movement. We should be watchful to recognise what is false and teach what is true. We should be wary because the Edenic lie still rings strong in the hearts of the deceived—and they want us to believe as they are! They are as the Apostle Paul warns, “6…they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts. 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim 3:6,7) Yet, many Christians and non-Christians alike are like “silly women laden with sins” thinking that we need not to be so paranoid because the world isn’t as evil as some believe—New Age influence could not have possibly infiltrated every facet of our culture! Then we need to be reminded of the words of C.S. Lewis: “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence, the other is to believe and then feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” For those who are skeptical about the facts which have been presented in this article, could it be because they have already grown too comfortable with certain New Age practices without knowing they actually have their occultic origin? Or simply because they are just too lazy to do some homework and study the Scripture to find out whether if those things were so, like the Bereans of old? (Acts 17:11) Unfortunately, most people today including many Christians fall under either of these categories. The question we need to ask is this, why can’t God’s people develop any interest in these occultic practices? The reason is this. When a child of God has fallen into Satan’s trap to get familiarised with it or show any interest to it, he or she has essentially entered into unwanted spiritual fellowship with Satan! Did not the Apostle Paul warn his readers, “for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?…And what concord hath Christ with Belial [a descriptive term for Satan]?” (2 Cor. 6:14b, 15a)

Conclusion:

Dearly beloved, to the New Agers, the Bible is nothing but a collection of writings by men who have attained higher spiritual power. Unfortunately, many Christians’ level of trust in God’s word and dependence on His Spirit to guide in their lives often seem to suggest that they also agree with what New Agers think of the Scripture. Did not the Apostle Peter charge his readers: “20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Peter 1:20, 21) If we, as God’s children, really desire to be spiritually blessed by God in our celestial journey to heaven, we must denounce every form of New Age teaching and detest every form of pagan, religious or occultic practices in our lives that are deemed abominable to God and allow His Spirit to guide us into all His truth so that we may know His will and do them. For, “blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.” (Psalm 1:1a)

(To be continued with New Age Pneumatology)

Ps Weng


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Cong Pham. Next Lord’s Day: Dns Joyce Gong.

*Hope Bookstore - open 12:30-1:45pm every Sunday.

*Photos & videos relating to Hope Church over past the 25 years required. If you have any interesting material, please let Dn Wai Kin Wong know.

*Christmas Concert: Helpers needed for this year’s 25th Anniversary Christmas Concert committee. Many key roles needed to be filled in ranging from venue I/Cs, stage director, scripting, publicity/publications, to audio/video production. Please contact Dn Wai Kin Wong if you are moved to serve the Lord in this year’s Hope Church Silver Anniversary Concert.

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

* Service Roster for Oct-Dec is being prepared. Please let Dn Edwin D’Mello know of your availability to serve God.

 

Looking Ahead

* AFG Retreat, 1 - 3 Oct.

* Christmas Concert, Sat, 3 Dec.

 

Praise and Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Sisters Xandrea Cai (Adl) & parents (S’pore); Margaret Hooper (Adl), Daphne Lai (HK); & those who travelled.

2. Church activities - over the past week.

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

 

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 Stephen Choi & Ministry (Phnom Penh & Kandal Province);  Rev Luke Kim & Ministry (Phnom Penh & Veal Renh).

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 at Pastors’ Conference (Kenya & Tanzania); God’s protection of Sis Myung in London.

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 (Lond); Bro Samuel Ki (S’pore); & those who are travelling.

13. Job - Sis Clara Sim & others looking for a job.

14. Studying in Auckland, NZ - Bro Peter Koo

15. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.

16. God’s comfort - For those 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; Sis Edna - good health with twin pregnancy.

21. Australia - Wisdom for those in authority in Federal, State & Local Governments.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063