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New Age or New Birth?

Created: 11/10/2023 - 0 Comment(s) Society and Christianity

Marilyn Ferguson in her best-selling book “The Aquarian Conspiracy” (1980) asserts that we can all soon look forward to a “New Age” of brotherly love, peace, understanding, and harmony in our world. This is supposed to happen when humanity experiences a paradigm shift in their thinking about themselves, God, society, and spirituality. George Trevelyan, founder of the Wrekin Trust (an educational charity) writes: “…to bring about this change in human consciousness, the cleansing of our planet is necessary.” [1] Will this idea of planet-cleansing be the most accepted explanation when millions of Christians disappear in the Rapture of the Church? Will this event be blamed on aliens who “have our best interests at heart”? (For more information on why this theory is not plausible please read the excellent book by Dr. Hugh Ross - astrophysicist “Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men”).

In her self-help book “The Secret” (2006) Rhonda Byrne applies the New Age teaching of the law of attraction to assure people that if they properly apply the power of thought to their lives, they can achieve health, prosperity, and improved relationships. In her book she states:

“You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing itself as You. You are a cosmic being. You are all power. You are all wisdom. You are all intelligent. You are perfection. You are magnificent. You are the creator, and you are creating the creation of You on this planet.” [2]

These statements sound like the lie Satan told Eve in the garden of Eden in Genesis 3:5. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” The New Age idea that “thoughts are things” (if you think it, it will happen in reality) is espoused by authors such as Napoleon Hill in his book “Think and Grow Rich” (1937) and the book “Thoughts are Things” by Mulford, Prentice (1908).

New Age teachings of mysticism, special knowledge, divine energy, ascended Masters, and cosmic consciousness are based on Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. Leaders of the New Age Movement whose philosophies incorporate Eastern religions include Madame Blavatsky (founder of the Theosophy Society in 1875), Mary Baker Eddy (founder of Christian Science in 1866), L. Ron Hubbard (founder of Scientology in 1950), Paul Twitchell (founder of Eckankar in 1965), Eckhart Tolle (author of “The Power of Now”), Shirley MacLaine, Deepak Chopra, and many others.

Carlos Castenada (considered one of the fathers of the New Age movement) wrote a series of books based on secrets he learned from a Yaqui Indian shaman. The Church of Religious Science (which I used to be a member of) is a New Age cult based on pantheistic philosophy and the idea of a Universal Subconscious Mind. This cult states that people can become exactly like Jesus Christ when they attain Christ Consciousness. Wicca, (witchcraft) is another manifestation of New Age thinking based on pagan rituals and nature worship.

Why are people attracted to the New Age Movement? Do they really believe that crystals, pyramids, meditation, affirmations, yoga, astrology, tarot cards, spirit guides, and channeling will bring them knowledge, happiness, power, and success? Will anyone using these New Age tools get closer to God or become God because of using them? Being or becoming God is what is implied when a Hindu greets someone with the word “Namaste”. Namaste is a Sanskrit word meaning: “the divinity in me greets the divinity in you.” [3] Advocates of New Age philosophy believe that traditional religion is not necessary; that people can grow and develop spirituality in many ways. They believe they don’t need God and they want to be totally autonomous.

Christians rely on a “New Birth” instead of “New Age” thinking and tools to transform their lives. They believe in historical evidence that Jesus Christ was a man living in the first century in Israel who was also Almighty God. They believe that He proved it by performing miracles and being raised from the dead after he was tortured and died on a Roman cross. They believe Jesus did these things to reconcile people to God because He knew there was no way they could do that by themselves. He knew that God requires punishment for people’s disobedience and rebellion. He knew that people could not pay that debt themselves, so He decided to pay their debt for them because He loved them so much. Because Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life, He was qualified to pay the price for humanity’s sins, satisfy God’s justified wrath, and bring people back into relationship with God.

True Christians accept what Jesus Christ did for them, ask Him to come into their hearts, and pledge to follow Him for the rest of their lives. When they do this, they become born-again believers in the God who loves them. They experience the “New Birth” where God makes all things new in their lives (“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17). This means that instead of utterly relying on their own knowledge, wisdom, strength, and resources, they learn to pray, read the Bible, and become a member of the body of Christ. They receive strength and encouragement from fellowship with other believers in a local Bible-believing Church.

I attended the Church of Religious Science for three years. After each service, people held hands and sang "Morning Has Broken" by Cat Stevens.  It was a moving ceremony and I thought “Wow, how happy and peaceful we are singing this song together in harmony.” I see now after my “New Birth” that this was a superficial and temporary peace and harmony between people, and that this cosmic force, a force like magnetism or gravity could not help me or answer my prayers.

Christians do believe in a coming new age of perfect harmony and peace on this planet, but they believe it will happen the way God said it will happen as written in Biblical prophecy.  The reason I believe this is true is because I trust the Bible. It has been around for over 4,000 years and every single prediction has come true. As for the New Age concepts of peace, love, brotherhood and harmony, God said it first and God said it best in His Word so why should I go anywhere else for truth? 

References:

  1. “New Age Spirituality” by Pat Collins, published by The Furrow Vol. 49, No. 2 (February 1998), pp. 91-97
  2. “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne 2006, published by ‎Atria Books/Beyond Words; 10th Anniversary page 172
  3. “Namaste” The Power of Namaste

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