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Social Issues: New Age

The New Age and You

What is the New Age Movement anyway? There seem to be people everywhere wearing crystals or doing Yoga. Some even say things like, "I am God," without getting locked up. The New Age Movement is basically a set of ideas, very appealing to many people, but not new. The thoughts can be traced all the way back to the Garden of Eden. They did not come from God, although they are close counterfeits. The source is that master of deception, Satan.

The New Age that is dawning is astrological, the Age of Aquarius. (Kids, ask your grandparents about the 60's.) It is superseding the age of Pisces which has lasted 2000 years, interestingly coinciding with the Christian era. New Agers believe that there will be an outbreak of love, peace and psychic powers in the next few years. The entire human race will undergo a leap of "spiritual evolution" so that all who "survive the shift" will become super people. No wonder they are so excited!

But where do they get these ideas? The sources are ancient mystery religions with a view of the universe called "Pantheism," which literally means "All is god." If god is everything and everything is god, then god is impersonal, ("the force be with you"), and we are all therefore god. This sounds special until you realize that everybody else is god, too. In fact, mother earth, the dolphins and even cockroaches are god.

If all is god, then why do we think there are differences and distinctions? "Ah," say the gurus, "It is because of your habits of linear thinking." What we insist on calling "reality" is actually an illusion created by our minds. We must "break free of the shackles of reason," they say. ("Into the blinding white light of stupidity," responded one Christian thinker.)

Believing that they can change reality by changing their minds, New Agers try to "visualize world peace" and think that enough "positive energy" will make it a "reality." But since all is one, peace and war are actually the same thing.

"Relativism" is a natural consequence of this thinking because each person creates his own reality with its own set of rules. Yet, reincarnation, which is also part of the package, says that whether you come back as something "better" or not in the next life, depends on your "karma," the accumulated weight of your deeds in all past lives.

If this is getting confusing and you wonder why these people worry about changing a world that is not even really there, good for you! You still have some functioning left brain.

The appeal of the New Age Movement is that it gives hope and dignity to human beings who have been told by evolutionists that they are nothing more than elaborate accidents, happening over billions of years, with no real meaning or purpose. Yet it leads to intellectual suicide if a person throws away his mind and listens uncritically to the teachings of gurus or "ascended masters," (who may turn out to be demonic spirits.)

"Well," you say, "It doesn't affect me. I can't even get into the lotus position." Still, you must be wise and observant.

These thoughts have thoroughly infiltrated our culture. "Guided imagery" has become an accepted instructional technique in schools. It is fine to imagine yourself in a beautiful place for relaxation or have positive thoughts about the upcoming game. But if you start to believe that you can change reality with your mind or if you try to consult "an inner guide," then you have clearly crossed the line. Also, the original purpose of Yoga was not to relieve stress or stop smoking but to achieve an altered state of consciousness which will allow you to see that "all is one."

Business seminars and "self help" courses are hotbeds of New Age teaching. The ideas have even penetrated the church. "Visualize what you want from God," say some misguided Christian teachers, "and it will be yours." This is a clever parody of true faith in which we claim God's promises and make our case before Him but ultimately trust the Almighty and Sovereign One.

As Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

In addition, we must recognize that people who grasp at the New Age Movement are actually hungry for the truth, although they may not recognize it. We should follow the instruction given through Peter to "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...." (1 Peter 3:15)

Ross S. Olson MD

See Watchman Fellowship's site for more information

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