Ten Warning Signs of New Age Movement
Ten Warning Signs of New Age Movement
The New Age movement will be the dominant life-view of the 90s, replacing secular humanism, according to Christian apologist Norman Geisler. Combining elements of Eastern Mysticism, pragmatism, pietism, and experientialism, it is tailor- made for the decade to come. Not every New Age institution, religious organisation, service, and product will come with a New Age label stamped for public view. How then can we guard ourselves from a movement that is often subtly couched in popular culture?
Here are 10 warning signs that should alert you to a possible New Age world-view.
The New Age movement comes under many different names—the Aquarian Conspiracy, New Consciousness, New Orientalism, Cosmic Humanism, Cosmic Consciousness, Mystical Humanism, Human Potential Movement, Holistic Health Movement, to name a few.
Favourite New Age words include awakening, centring, consciousness, cosmic energy, enlightenment, force of life, global village, holistic, human potential, networking, planetary vision, spaceship earth, synergistic, transcendental, transformational, and transpersonal. Not everyone who uses these words is a New Ager, of course. But frequent New Age use should alert us.
New Age symbols include the rainbow, pyramid, triangle, eye in a triangle, Pegasus, concentric circles, rays of light, swastika, yin and yang (the familiar Oriental symbol of light and dark contained in a circle), and unicorn. Again, the use of these symbols does not necessarily indicate New Age connections, just as wearing a cross does not mean the person is a Christian, It is unfortunate that such lovely (and, at one time, Christian) symbols as the rainbow and the unicorn are now used so often by New Agers. Crystals— sold in many sizes and colours at many kinds of stores—are probably the most familiar symbols of the New Age movement. It is not always easy to draw the line between New Age beliefs and occult beliefs. The two overlap in many ways. Thus many symbols of the occult—the goat’s head and the pentagram, for example—are also used by New Agers.
A IMPERSONAL FORCE
If God is spoken of in terms of either an impersonal Being (identified with the world or energy in any way) or as a potentially infinite, ever-changing God, then you have probably stumbled upon New Age ground. Sad to say, many so-called Christians, including many respected pastors, speak of God in this way.
A HUMAN POTENTIAL
Be alert as to how many movies, songs, lectures, literature, and even business seminars claim that humans possess unlimited potential.” Carried to its logical conclusion, this is just another way of saying that we are divine.
A HUMAN GOODNESS
New Age thought is essentially a form of humanism. New Agers carry the humanistic belief in the essential goodness of man to the point of godhood. Be careful of any teaching that emphasises the goodness of man or ignores the reality of sin in the world.
When seminars and books speak of human potential, be attentive for modernised forms of sorcery. Sorcery may be defined as the attempt to manipulate objects, people, or events by one’s will or mind. “Visualising” or “imaging” an event that one wishes to occur is essentially an occult practice. (This does not mean, of course, that praying and hoping something will occur is necessarily sorcery.)
We should be particularly wary when someone refers to Jesus Christ as “the Christ spirit” or “Christ-consciousness.” Generally, when New Agers (and many liberal Christians) speak of Christ, they are not referring to the historical Jesus spoken of in the New Testament and the great Christian creeds. If they do speak of the historical Jesus, they usually refer to Him as only one of several Christ figures in history.
A MYSTICAL FEELING
New Age thought emphasises using feelings to determine truth. Shirley MacLaine admitted that she had no proof for reincarnation, but she felt it was true. Mysticism is appealing to those who want to ignore their rational faculties. New Agers would have us put logic aside, but God encourages us to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37,38).
A WORLD UNITY
The New Age movement believes in the unity of all religions and the Cupertino of all governments. Thus New Agers are a strong force behind both the world peace and the ecumenical movements
WHAT’S THE APPEAL?
One reason for the appeal of New Age is the unattractiveness of contemporary Christianity, which is often represented by the gloomy, soot-darkened, antiquated churches of large cities. Many think of the church as an impersonal, spiritually weak institution. If the spiritual landscape were not so dry, rivers of New Age religion wouldn’t be flowing from the East. Another reason the New Age is enticing is that modern life has dulled our sense of dependency on God. Education has given us a rich heritage of knowledge.
We’ve created giant computer systems, aerodynamic automobiles, and amazing spacecraft. We’ve eradicated diseases that once killed millions. It’s easy to be lulled into thinking that ultimate security is within our grasp. Yet in recent times there has been a growing awareness of our limitations. Our technological successes have created new threats—threats of ecological catastrophe, economic chaos, moral anarchy, and military holocaust.
Our secular civilisation has awakened to find itself lost. This loss of faith has led to a growing interest in New Age theology. New Age thought can capture the soul of the Western world only if the Christian church fails. In the power of the cross, we alone can give realistic answers and hope for the future.