False Teachings – Part 8: New Age Movement
Scripture: Genesis 3:1-6
False Teachings – Part 8:
Basic Theologies within the New Age Movement:
- Pseudo-Christian cult – Perversion of God’s word, teachings and vocabulary:
- Empty of Biblical meaning and knowledge.
- Change teams for more “comfortable” definitions.
- Counterfeit gods replace the one true God/understanding/concepts.
- Oriental Cults – One with nature:
- No personal Gods. God is impersonal or detached; no relationship available.
- Reincarnation; what you did in this life determines your next life.
- Pantheism – belief in many gods, not just one.
- The Occult – Spiritism, channeling and witchcraft.
- Spirit guides directing our lives and decisions; tapping into the cosmic forces.
- Astrology, crystals and fortune telling.
- Wiccan – Manipulation of the world using evil power and magic.
- New Age Cult – A religion that suits ME:
- Pick what I want to believe out of any religion; don’t believe what I don’t like.
- Form your own faith to become like God.
- All problems can be solved by mankind and we can save ourselves.
Biblical Answers to New Age Beliefs. Signs and Warnings; what to look for:
- Followers will abandon their beliefs as Christ approaches. (1 Timothy 4:1)
- What we are to look for during the final days. (Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
- Warnings from God. (2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-15)
- Wisdom is not from man but only through God. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Testing the Teachers
- We’re seeing like never before every type of man-made Christ, myth and aberration.
- How do New Age Cults view Jesus?
- Jehovah’s Witness: Archangel Michael
- Mormons: One God among many
- Unification Church: A man who failed
- Baha’i: One of 9 great world manifestations
- Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims: A great prophet
- The Jesus of New Age Cults is not the real, true, Biblical Jesus.
How do we know the real Jesus?
- Test the people/teachers. (1 John 4:1-3)
- The Word becomes flesh. (John 1:1,14)
- We come to know the Father through Christ. (John 14:6)
- No other name on the Earth saves. (Acts 4:12)
VERDICT: New Age Movement is not only a combination of cults but is perhaps the most dangerous challenge to Christianity today. This “feel-good, we’re in control, warm and fuzzy” theology lulls people into a false sense of security believing that salvation can be earned if we only come to know ourselves and the universe better. New Age supplies us with counterfeit answers to all problems. This is why we end with New Age teachings. It is Satan’s ultimate lie; the same lie he used to trick Eve. We must not become misled or confused, but instead bring the “Good News” to them in a loving way that they may be saved. As with every false teaching, we must love them to Christ. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Notes from Superintendent Mark Adams’ “Mythbusters” series:
So, myth busted, not all religions lead to the same place. I want to finish today by emphasizing that this does not mean all religions are bad. In fact, there is a myth coming up in a few weeks were we will explore this idea.I think it might be true that all religions do attempt to fulfill the same function – that is to cope with the harsh realities of life. There are different approaches to this essential problem, and different religions offer methods of coping. The word religion means to bind together, and another critical function of religions – from tribal ancestor worship to Buddhism and Christianity as well is to provide a focal glue for families and cultures and societies to interact well with one another.
But again, while religion does play a common role regardless of which religion it is, religions do not do this in the same way or with the same results. Magical thinking and resignation lead to lack of progress or growth, even if the people get along well with other as a result, for example. What of eternity? In the end, and I mean the end – end, eternity is an issue. If we believe the prophecies and the undergirding message of grace and judgement of the Hebrew Scriptures, as they point to a Messiah who will save people from their sin, and if we believe that Jesus fulfills those prophecies and that his death on the cross was the means God chose to save people from death to eternal life, and if we believe the Bible is reflecting accurately what happened when it says that Jesus rose from the dead and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s salvation for everyone in the world, then we must certainly reject the idea that all religions lead to the same place eternally. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Not merely one of many ways.
Now, some Christian thinkers taking this seriously have argued that every individual needs to make a conscious and intentional decision to receive Jesus as their savior in order to enter heaven. Others believe that what Jesus did on the cross was sufficient for everyone everywhere, and as long as people respond as faithfully as they can to the information they have, God will have mercy on them because of what Jesus did on the cross. Here is my approach. I am certain and convinced based upon both the fundamental path that following Christ leads to on this earth – which is love, that this is the best path to follow and I want people to at least be invited to walk this path as opposed to others. In love, I could not imagine any form coercion in forcing anyone to be a Christian as consistent with anyone on the path of Christ. It is always loving invitation paired with acts of love to give credence to the reality of the ethic of love.
Regarding eternal life, I am convinced, and it is the resurrection that convinces me, and the changes God has made in my life through the holy spirit since placing my faith in Jesus, that Jesus is God’s way to heaven. In fact, this is the distinguishing difference between Christianity and other religions – love is the key ethic, and the means of salvation is a gift from God that must simply be received. Every other religions says we work our way to bliss (Nirvana) or Heaven through good works, righteousness, obedience, magic, karma. Christianity says we receive the gift from God, accepting this free gift of connection with God through Jesus Christ. So with this historic, orthodox view of Jesus Christ, am I condemning people who have never heard of Jesus to eternal agony. No. You and I don’t have the power even if we wanted it. God is in charge of eternal matters. The fact is, if it were up to us we’d probably condemn a lot of people. I’ve heard an awful lot of Republicans speak about Democrats as if they deserved hell, and a lot of Democrats vilify Republicans, especially the President, as if he deserved hell, and a lot of Americans who rather wish we could drop a Nuke on Iran or North Korea, or a lot of folks who view the poor as a nuisance and wouldn’t care one way or the other how many men and women will freeze under Lower Wacker Drive this winter.
God on the other so loved the whole world that he sent Jesus, and God according the scripture wishes none to perish but all to come to everlasting life. God is a lot more generous than his human creation. So in terms of the eternal destiny of those who have not heard directly the gospel, I figure that call is up to God, who already died for everyone’s sins and loves everyone more perfectly than I could ever pretend to. However, again motivated by love, I know for certain that Jesus is the way of salvation. I know for certain that faith in Christ, confessing him with our mouth and believing in our hearts that he rose from the dead is the certain way of salvation. As a result, I am going to all in my power to share the good news of Jesus with everyone, here and around the world.
It’s like this, insulin is the treatment that we know treats diabetes. People without insulin may have many ways to cope with diabetes, maybe a shaman will burn insence over them or maybe they’ll just die young in a diabetic coma but at peace because they meditate about it. However, since I know for a fact that insulin will help them tremendously I am going to do all I can convince them that they should start taking insulin. I can’t force them, I won’t hold them down and inject them against their will, but I will make as compelling an argument as I can, not because I’m intolerant or want to shake their world view to conform to mine, but because I care about them enough that I don’t want to the die or live miserable lives if it can be helped. Maybe they’ll overcome their diabetes without insulin, maybe the Shaman will get lucky, maybe there will be a spontaneous cure. But I don’t live on maybes, I’d rather take the evidence at hand and deal with reality. The reality is Jesus saves.
If I care about the eternal souls and the daily lives of people then it is incumbent upon me, and all who take the life and teaching of Jesus seriously, to introduce as many people as possible to God through Jesus Christ. I do so because the plain truth is, not all religions lead to the same place. Jesus said, “Matthew 7:13-15 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets.”