Understanding and Dealing With the New Age

How to talk to new age people

The New Age Movement is a grab-bag of many sub-groups and organizations who share common goals and concepts. The recurring link between these groups is their commitment to working for a “new age” in which spiritual consciousness and harmony will come to planet earth. Though some would take pride in using the term “new age” to describe themselves, others might use such descriptive terms as human potential, aquarian, cosmic consciousness or various types spiritualities (such as native American spirituality, feminist spirituality, etc). Certain buzz words are commonly used among New Age groups, such as: holistic, synergy, unity, oneness, global, awakening, self-actualization, networking, energy, etc.

New Agers tend to be very syncretistic, in that they adopt ideas and practices from many sources. However there are various common characteristic, including:

Open-Ended Revelation. Various books (including the Bible) may be honored and used by groups within the movement. Divine revelation is seen as personally perceived and on-going. God (or the Ultimate) may manifest itself to or through anyone. There is no single truth because truth is personal and experiential.

God. The concept of deity is much more nebulous than in Judeo-Christianity. Groups tend to see the Ultimate as an impersonal life-force, rather than as a personal being. Deity can neither be analyzed nor systematized --- because God is all. As in the Star Wars Epic, the Ultimate has a "light" and a "dark" side. In other words, the New Age concept of deity is often dualistic (including both good and evil).

The Cosmos. The universe itself is a form of God. This can either mean that everything shares in the divine being, or that the universe is not fully real, existing only as a shadow of the Ultimate.

Humanity. It will be no surprise, then, that people are also seen an emanation of God. As such, people have infinite potential if they will draw on their inner divine nature and seek consciousness of union with the Ultimate.

Salvation. Though the term “salvation” is sometimes used among New Age groups it is almost never used in the gospel sense of the word: new life and cleansing through faith in Jesus. It usually carries the same significance as the term “enlightenment”, “inner awareness” or “cosmic consciousness”. The goal is to seek a profound and intuitive understanding of the “divine nature within” as the outer, unreal self is stripped away.

Jesus is usually seen as an insightful teacher or spiritual master similar to those in Hinduism, Buddhism or the ancient mystery cults. He is deity only in the sense that anyone is connected to the divine. Many of Jesus teachings are re-interpreted to fit with New Age ideas.

The Coming New Age. As the 1960s musical group, The Fifth Dimension, sang way back in the day, there is a new age coming with the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. The old Age of Pices (the fish) was the Christian era of religious doctrines which stifled true spirituality. By contrast, the new age will be one of spiritual energy and fulfilling personal experience. Linear thinking (typical of both Christianity and Modernism) is a hindrance to enlightenment. The new era will be one of intuitive thinking and freedom.

Self-Actualization. Eastern wisdom, tribal ceremony, feminine perspectives and occult practices are often the preferred methods to foster spiritual awareness. Magic, astrology, crystals, cosmic energy, etc. are used as a means to self-understanding and the releasing of potential. Reincarnation and karma are incorporated because they allow multiple opportunities to achieve these goals.

Tolerance. There is a widespread belief that all religions, philosophies and cultures are equally valid. People ought to accept and tolerate almost any concept, lifestyle or practice. The odd thing is that there are certain exceptions to this general rule. Often it is Christianity which is the target of scorn, dislike and discrimination because Christians are seen as the major obstacle to new age goals.

Dealing With the New Age. A Christian approach to dialog with people from New Age groups should focus on the core truths of the gospel, such as:

The Bible is God's complete revelation (Hebrews 1:1-2). It is God’s loving communication with us through those he inspired to write it (2 Peter 1:20-21). Its purpose is to introduce and explain God’s perspective on the world and his plan for redeeming it. With the coming of Jesus, that plan is fulfilled and no further revelation is required.

God is a personal being who is both holy and merciful (Isaiah 6:3, Psalm 25:6). The fact that he is both holy and merciful is truly good news because he is in no way tainted with the evil and ugliness in the Cosmos, while at the same time he is willing and able to save those who are caught in the dreary and horrifying web of sin. He is also omni (all) powerful, knowing and present (Isaiah 55:9), which means he is strong enough to intervene, wise enough to be trusted and completely accessible. The best part is that he actually desires relationship with us.

The Cosmos is God's creation, distinct from him, but certainly showing evidence of being designed and made by him (Romans 1:20). It is the perfect venue for the utter defeat of evil (Revelation 21:4).

People are made in God's image, which means we are eternal beings, sharing a certain similarity of self-consciousness and creativity with him. Though we are not ourselves divine, people may become his children through a reversal of the faithlessness of the Garden. This happens when people trust in Jesus’ atonement and are forgiven and reconciled to God (John 1:12). The redeemed will eventually be glorified because of our union with Christ (Psalm 8:4-5).

Jesus is the business-end of the Father’s redemption. He is divine (as the Second Person of the Trinity) (John 1:1-4). He is also fully human (Romans 5:17). This too is good news because his deity assures his ability to atone for the sin of the entire world while his humanity allows him to die on behalf of humanity. As a true man, he is also able to relate to our limitations (Hebrews 2:18).

A sticking point for new age people is the New Testament claim that salvation is through Jesus alone (John 14:6). They take this truth as excluding other religions. Sadly, this is exactly backwards because Jesus as the sole source of eternal life is actually tremendously good news. None of the things offered in other religions really leads to any eternal resolution of the fundamental human problem. Not everyone can attain the esoteric wisdom of Eastern philosophies. Few can devote the time to the study of rituals and incantations. Most people are stuck in whatever routines and ruts their birth and culture dictate. The New Testament gospel is simple enough for a child to grasp, yet profound enough to satisfy the most philosophic intellect. It is trans-cultural (Galatians 3:28). It is accessible to male and female. It transcends all classes and backgrounds. The practice of Christian faith can be adapted to any society or culture (Acts 10:34-35).

There is more good news because there is indeed a new age coming when Jesus returns and judges evil and the demonic powers behind it. He will set up a kingdom truth and righteousness and peace (2 Pet 3:11-13).

I think at the big picture is very simple: if the gospel is truly good news, perhaps the best approach is to simply let it be what it is. Christians may need to learn to give up our own need to prove our faith with the very kind of linear thinking many new age people find so unappealing. Letting the gospel be good news and living the good news in everyday life can be a compelling testimony to the truth we have found! People are attracted to authenticity. Few people can resist joy or peace or true self- acceptance that come with new life in Christ. If followers of Christ were to actually seek these qualities and learn to live in the promises of the new life they already possess, perhaps we might experience a breakthrough, with New Agers.

Michael Bogart mbogart.com


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Comments 4 comments

Ellie Perry 7 years ago

Very clear contrasts are included in this article. I recommend the tips for anyone dealing with friends involved in new age movement.


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someonewhoknows 6 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

I agree with your accessment,with one exception.Thinking that we can to continue to sin,and be forgiven in perpetuity.We,will be judged by our works ,for faith without works is dead.

As,for Theophacy which is the leading new age movement.Intuitive thinking depends on knowledge in order for the Intuition to have a source from which our Intution can work.This source,is our own,rather than some unknown source Just as the knowledge placed in a computer is only knowledge because of it's source.Predictions can be made based on that knowledge.The definition of Intuition is the power to know things without conscious reasoning.Prediction shares much the same definition,that being to declare in advance.Both definitions still require a source.You might say ,well Intuition's source is different from predictions source.

Consider this; The word "COMPUTER"

What are the odds that the all of the letters in the word computer could be rearranged and still have meaning within the scope of the meaning of the word.

For example: All of the following have been Intuitively derived from all of the letters in the word "COMPUTER"

"C OUR TEMP"

"TRUE M O P C"

Meaning TRUE Method of Operation ,Personal Computer

"Trump C.E.O."

Trump is a well known name,and the head of a corporation

"COURT EMP"

Court employee's such as judges now use computers over the internet to conduct court proceedings.

"More "T" C.P.U."

More terror central processing unit - Meaning computers are going to be used to terrorize the people.How that happens is not specified,but,it can happen.

Can they be considered Predictions? If,nothing else they could be considered warnings.They are definitely based on knowledge.

We,as humans have the ability for Intuition and prediction based on knowledge.There is nothing so mysterious as to be unbelievable in this,if you believe that there is a connection ,between the past,present.The future is yet to be,for us.But,there is always the possibility that there are those who past could be our future.


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someonewhoknows 6 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Being a conduit,to outside influences,is like being on the phone with someone you never met,don't know wheather to trust.


Beverly Cook 4 years ago

If followers of Christ were to actually seek these qualities and learn to live in the promises of the new life they already possess, perhaps we might experience a breakthrough, with New Agers. Nicely put.....I am a believer of Jesus, which makes me a Christian, many call me a New Ager....I call myself a follower of Jesus....

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