Christian Library Australia

...because God cares about you

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Cults The New Age Movement

The New Age Movement

E-mail Print PDF

Cults By Rev. Paul Seiler

The New Age Movement

17.1 INTRODUCTION.

The New Age movement is not a cult as such, with a single cult leader. Rather it is a a general religious and philosophical approach to life that is shared by many cults and societies operating in the world today. The New Age movement is a common world view which is fundamentally Hinduistic in character. One of the primary ideals of this movement is oneness of mankind. Some New Agers see this in the eventual formation of a one world government and a one world religion.

There can be no question that this religious movement is having its impact in Australia today. One only has to observe the existence of many New Age shops operating in Australia today. This religious movement is alive and well down under. The New Life Magazine, 4th April 1996 edition, contains an article on a New Age festival that was held in Melbourne's Exhibition Hall in 1996. It reported that some thirty thousand people attended this Exhibition in order to see samples of alternative remedies, lifestyles and faiths. The article said:

Celtic revival, eastern mysticism and massage exponents alike decorated their booths and waited eagerly for interested visitors to ask them about their reasons for participating. Most popular were the psychic readings (including astrology, tarot cards and palm reading) and aura readings. People lined up for up to an hour and half and parted with $20 for these services.

Many ordinary people in Australia are embracing the views of the New Age. This is plainly evident when you attend a market in Australia, where you will almost invariably find some stalls peddling New Age merchandise, such as crystals, and pyramids, which are supposed to help one tune in with the powers of the universe. The New Age movement is making significant inroads into Western society everywhere. Walter Martin, a leading, world authority on the cults, says that in 1988 there were some sixty million people in America involved in New Age practices. He quotes the January 1988 edition of Time magazine, which noted that more than two and a half thousand New Age and occult bookstores existed in the United States alone at that time.283 The following quotes taken from Time Magazine December 7th 1987 give some indication of the extent to which this religious movement has taken on in America:

"Though it is hard to say exactly how many Americans believe in which parts of the New Age, the movement as a whole is steadily growing. Bantam Books says its New Age titles have increased tenfold in the past decade. The number of New Age bookstores has doubled in the past five years, to about 2,500. New Age radio is spreading, with such stations as WBMW in Washington and KTWV-FM in Los Angeles offering dreamy light jazz that one listener described as "like I tapped into a radio station on Mars".

The Grammy now include a special prize for New Age music (latest winner: Swiss harpist Andreas Vollenweider). Fledging magazines with name like "Brain", "Mind Bulletin" are full of odd adds. "Healing yourself with crystals", "American Indian magic can work for you", "How to use a green candle to gain money", "The power of the pendulum can be in your hands", "Use numerology to win the lottery". And perhaps inevitably, "New health through colon rejuvenation".

If some of those have the slightest greedy tone, the reason is the New Age fantasies often intersect with mainstream materialism, the very thing many New Age believers profess to scorn. A surprising number of successful stockbrokers consult astrological charts; a yuppie investment banker who earns $100.000 a year talks of her previous life as a monk. Some millionaires have their own private gurus who pay house calls to provide comfort and advice. Big Corporations too are paying attention. "The principle here is to look at the mind, body, heart, and spirit," says a corporate spokesperson, who asks that her employer be identified only as a "major petrochemical company." This company provides its employees with regular workshops in stress management; it has hired a faith healer to "read auras" for ailing employees and run her hands over their "fields of energy." Even the U.S Army has commissioned West Coast firm to explore the military potentials of meditation and extra-sensory perception."

17.2 CHRISTIANS NEED TO BE AWARE OF THIS MOVEMENT.

Christians in Australia need to be informed about the New Age Movement. This religion is having a significant impact on the way people think in Australia today. Many people in Australia have had their thinking influenced by this movement unbeknowns to them. These ideas are being promoted through such films as Star Wars and through television. If we are to effectively evangelise people in Australia today we need to be aware of the impact of this movement. We need to be able to demonstrate the errors of this system of belief. The fact is that even some Christians are being unwittingly absorbed into New Age thinking.

If you have the impression that it is only the lunatic fringe who are caught up in the New Age movement then you are wrong. There are many educated and influential people who are taking this religion on board. The film star, Shirley MacLaine has done much to popularise this religious movement in America. Robert Muller, long time Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, is an ardent devotee to this religion. In Australia, Dr Jim Cairns, formerly a senior member in Gough Whitlam's government, has embraced the religious ideals of this movement.

17.3 PROMINENT PEOPLE IN THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT.

Alice Bailey:

Alice Bailey was among the more prominent contributors to this movement. She has written a number of books promoting New Age ideas, such as The Reappearance of The Christ. in which she proposes the view that the world will soon be revisited by Christ. In this book, she does not speak about the literal return of Jesus to this world in all His glory. Rather, she speaks of the coming of the Avatar or Mahatma, who indwelt Christ. The essential message of her book is that this Avatar will reappear in some individual very shortly. Alice Bailey was deeply involved in the Theosophical Society, from which she gained most of her ideas. Like Helena Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, claimed to be influenced by a spirit guide. She has done much to initiate this expectation of the coming of a messiah.

Benjamin Creme.

He is the leader of an organisation called the Tara Foundation.284 He also wrote a book entitled, The Reappearance of the Christ. In which he wrote:

"The christ is not God, he is not coming as God. He is an embodiment of an aspect of God, the love aspect of God. His is the embodied soul of all creation. He embodies the energy which is a consciousness aspect of Being we call God..... He would rather that you didn't pray to him, but to God within you, which is also within him........ He said it himself. 'The kingdom of God is within you'."285

Marilyn Fergusen.

Her book The Aquarian Conspiracy, which was first published in 1980, sets forth the agenda of the New Age Movement. In this book she said:

"A leaderless but powerful network is working to bring about radical change in the United States. Its members have broken with certain key elements of Western thought, and they may even have broken continuity with history."286

In this book she asserts that there are many people in prominent and influential positions in Western society who are promoting this cause. She has had a great impact on spreading New Age ideas into the West.287

Shirley MacLaine:

Shirley MacLaine, the film star, is one of the most popular New Age personalities. She is the author of a number of New Age best sellers, such as, Out on a Limb, first published in 1983. This book relates the beginning or her conversion to New Age theology. In her search for truth she has been assisted by two spirits, who have been guiding her in New Age thinking.288

Napolean Hill:

His book Think and Grow Rich has sold millions of copies. This book has become the basis for man motivational seminars held in business circles in the U.S.A. His thesis is basically that the secret of making money and being a success in business lies in the power of the mind.289

Werner Erhard:

Werner Erhard was converted to New Age thinking while driving his car in California. This experience prompted his interest in Eastern occultism. Among his contributions to the New Age movement is a program of mind-control. He and others he has trained hold seminars, which used to called est but is now known as Forum. This is an intensive sixty hour seminar which is designed to change the way people perceive reality. In this seminar people are told that they are god and that they live in a perfect universe.290

Edgar Cayce:

Edgar Cayce was born on a farm near the town of Hopkinsville, Kentucky on March the 18th 1877. From his earliest childhood Edgar received visions. The foreword of the book - Edgar Cayce and Reincarnation it says:

"Edgar Cayce displayed powers of perception which seemed to extend beyond the normal range of the five senses. At the age of six or seven he told his parents that he was able to see and talk to "visions," sometimes of relatives who had recently died. His parents attributed this to the overactive imagination of a lonely child who had been influenced by the dramatic language of the revival meetings which were popular in that section of the country."291

When he was in his early twenties he began to diagnose sickness in a very unusual way. He would go into a trance state and receive information about the physical condition of the enquirer. Over the span of forty-three years he claimed to have helped many people in various ways who came to him. Cayce believed in reincarnation and thought that he had been an Egyptian high priest in ancient Egypt. He had also been a soldier who helped to defend Troy. He taught that Jesus was incarnated as the biblical Adam around 12,000 years B.C. This of course presents the very serious blasphemy that Jesus was a sinner in a previous life. Shirley MacLaine quotes Cayce as an authority on channelling and reincarnation. 292

Robert Muller:

Robert Muller, once time U.N Assistant Secretary General, is a New Ager, and said the following about the New Age Movement:

For the first time in history we have discovered that this is one planet on which we live. Now it remains for us that we have to discover that we are also one human family and that we have to transcend all national, linguistic, cultural, racial, and religious differences which have made our history. We have a chance to write a completely new history.293

17.4 WHO IS THE GOD OF THE NEW AGE?

Who is the God of the New Age? The god of New Agers is certainly not the triune God who is revealed in the Holy Scriptures. The New Age god is not the personal God of the Bible, but an impersonal force. The late Jane Roberts, through whom a spirit spoke, said this about the New Age god:

He is not one individual, but an energy gesalt ..... a psychic pyramid of interrelated, ever-expanding consciousness that creates, simultaneously and instantaneously, universes and individuals that are given - through the gift of personal perspective - duration, psychic comprehension, intelligence, and eternal validity... This absolute, ever expanding, instantaneous psychic gestalt, which you may call God if you prefer, is so secure in its existence that it can constantly break itself down and rebuild itself. 294

Shirley MacLaine, in her book, Out on a Limb, relates her own experience in arriving at the conclusion that she is god. Speaking to her friend David, she said:

"But do you really believe the soul is a physical force?" "Yes exactly, but it is a significant different kind of force from the physical atomic and molecular forces that comprise the body. It is a subatomic force, the intelligent energy that organises life. It is part of every cell, it is part of the DNA, it is in us, and of us and the whole of it - everywhere - it is what we call God........." "You see?" he said gently. "This is it. This source fills and organises all life. It is the beginning and the end; the Alpha and the Omega. It is the God of Creation. And it is very much in Us..." "So you see," said David, "when Christ said God is everywhere, in a sense he was being literal - what he meant was this life-guiding spiritual energy is everywhere. Life, then is the combination of the molecular structure which is physical matter, and Source which is spiritual energy. This physical form dies. The Spiritual energy lives forever."295

It can be seen in this quote that New Agers, like Shirley MacLaine and Jane Roberts, regard God as "energy gesalt" or "spiritual energy." It is plainly evident that the New Age god is not the personal God revealed in Holy Scripture but a energy gesalt, an ever expanding consciousness. This is pure pantheism. The New Age religion, in keeping with its Hindu origin, regards god as an impersonal force.

17.5 WHO IS THE CHRIST OF THE NEW AGE?

Not all those who have been influenced by New Age movement necessarily hold particular views of Christ. However, there are certain cults of the New Age movement which have very definite Christology ( a theology of Christ). This is particularly true of the New Age cult - Theosophy. You will recall that Theosophists believe in the existence of Mahatmas. These Mahatmas are commonly referred to in New Age circles as "Avatars." According to Alice Bailey, a prominent New Age writer, these "Avatars" have appeared at various times throughout the course of history. They are mediators between god and man. They have the capacity to transmit divine power, and are part of a spiritual order who are concerned with the welfare of humanity. They are spirits who have attained perfection, and they enter human beings at certain times in history. According to Alice Bailey, the chief avatar entered into Jesus of Nazareth at his baptism. She considered Jesus Christ in the West and Buddha in the East, as the most recognisable of the avatars.296

Alice Bailey and others in the New Age movement hold that when the necessary preparations have taken place, Christ will return. Not the Jesus Christ in whom we trust, but someone who is indwelt by the Christ-spirit. According to Alice Bailey he will come some time after the year 2025. Meanwhile he works through his disciples in the New Age. They believe that the most necessary preparation for his return is world peace. Alice Bailey wrote:

"Today, slowly, the concept of a world religion and the need for its emergence are widely desired and worked for. The fusion of faiths is now a field for discussion. Workers in the field of religion will formulate the universal platform of the new world religion. It is a work of loving synthesis and will emphasise the unity and the fellowship of the spirit... The platform of the new world religion will be built by many groups, working under the inspiration of the Christ".297

It is evident from the quote above that Alice Bailey did not believe in the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Rather, she believed in a universal Christ, who is fusing all faiths together. This christ is a spirit being who indwelt Buddha and Jesus - he is the chief Avatar.

17.6 THE NEW AGE VIEW OF THE WORLD.

New Agers regard the whole universe as simply a manifestation of god. In their thinking there is no difference between god, a person, an animal, a vegetable, or a rock, all things which exists are really part of god. They believe that everything that constitutes the Universe is part of one continuous reality. Any perceived differences between separate entities are only apparent and not real. In this view man is really only an extension of god itself, he has no real personality or existence. As Douglas Groothius points out, this idea is well expressed in the children's movie - The Dark Crystal. In this movie the Mystics and the Skecsees, represent two rival ruling factions in the land. The Mystics are lovable and nice group of beings, whereas the Skecsees are evil and depraved. However, due to the restoration of the lost chard that had once been split off from the planet's magic crystal, the Mystics and the Skecsees are fused into one unified group of beings. Good and evil are transcended and cosmic unity is restored.298 This is nothing short of pantheism, in which everything is considered to partake one divine essence - everything is god. When this view is taken to its logical conclusion personality ceases to have an real meaning. For personality can only have meaning when it stands in relation to other beings. If all is one, then there is only one being, who does not have a personality, but is beyond personality. The idea of God is abandoned in favour of an impersonal force or consciousness.

17.7 THE NEW AGE THE OCCULT PRACTICE OF CHANNELLING.

One of the most serious aspects of the New Age movement is that it encourages occult practices. Satan hates God and he wants people to be devoted to himself. So he masquerades as an angel of light, as a benevolent spirit, who wishes mankind well, whereas in reality he is intent on their destruction. Many New Agers are falling prey to Satan's deception by communicating with evil spirits. For one of the common practices among New Agers is channelling. This is the practice of communicating with evil spirits and permitting them to speak through you. New Agers frequently speak with spirit-beings and allow these spirits to speak directly through them. The practice of channelling was first initiated in the West by Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the Theosophical Society. It has now become a very common practice among New Agers. Shirley MacLaine is an enthusiastic supporter of channelling and has the following to say about her own experience of it:

"But I was struck also by the variety and strength of personality demonstrated by the different entities who were channelled through. The rather hazy odor of solemnity that surrounds the phenomenon of channelling in the minds of most people (perhaps because their own mood in approaching the prospect of a discussion with a disembodied spirit would be somewhat sombre?) seemed at odds with the reality. There was a rich humour and occasional downright flippancy in some of the channelled personalities, for instance. Whoever, or whatever, these entities were, they conveyed enormous individuality of character and an aura, not so much of solemnity, as of experience.....Moreover, channelling was something that had been going on for some time and several famous people not only believed in it but had practiced it, including Abraham Lincoln, who used Carpenter (the medium actually lived in the White House with the President) for regular consultations, J. P. Morgan (who used Evangeline Adams), William Randolph Hearst - and many more from widely varying fields........... Best known of the current channelled spiritual entities appeared to be a spiritual master known as D.K., channelled by Alice Bailey, and later by Benjamin Creme. Seth, channelled by Jane Roberts, was a particularly interesting case and one which presented more than one facet of the phenomenon of channelling."299

Another movie star, Linda Evans, is reportedly in contact with a channeller who speaks to Ramatha, an all-wise 35,000 year old spirit. Apparentl y Linda believes everything Ramatha tells her, including where she is to live and what investments to make. The writer has no doubt at all of the reality of these spirits, since the Bible clearly attests to their reality and to their wickedness. Jesus repeatedly cast evil spirits out of people. So it is no surprise that evil spirits spoke through Helena Blavatsky. How else does one account for the growth and popularity of her Theosophical cult? These spirits are not benevolent as Shirley MacLaine implies in the above quote. These are not benevolent spirits they are evil spirits, who are seeking to lead people astray. They are intent on destruction and those people who practice this sort of thing end up having their lives badly effected.

17.8 THE AIMS OF THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT.

The key objective of the New Age movement is the transformation of this world. New Agers believe that the a new age is coming. Erwin Lutzer says this about the aims of the New Age movement:

"The movement abounds in unrestrained optimism. There is a popular feeling that we are on the verge of a radical breakthrough in the evolutionary process - as great a step as that between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The integration of metaphysics, science, and ancient wisdom will succeed where Christianity has failed. The old ways simply will not do for today; we are invited to go to the top of a mountain and look around and view reality from an entirely new perspective."300

New Agers believe that this society must be transformed for this new age to come. They are committed to transforming the world to what they consider a better world. Western culture needs to be changed, there needs to be reform in education. Knowledge and values in Western society need changing. The present order of things must go, so that the New Age may come. In order for this to happen people have to be weaned from their attachment to the old. Traditional values and religion have to go, the old order must be destroyed. David Spangler, once a key figure in the New Age movement, says in his book, Toward a Planetary Vision:

"We are each of us the creative potential inherent in the world, a creative potential that is now being asked to be released that a New Age can be born."301

Another prominent New Ager, committed to the transformation of society, is the former deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Jim Cairns. He speaks of this transformed society in his book, Survival Now - the Human Transformation, in which he says:

"The new culture will be a culture of conservation, of a respect for all forms of life, of an appreciation that the essential importance is within each human person."302

He also speaks about the need for a new consciousness, which he defines as the "third consciousness:"

"The first consciousness, a female-centred one, brought the first humanising forces in the evolution of the species. The second consciousness, that of patriarchy, transformed it and gave man fantastic power to build and destroy but finally to destroy himself. The third consciousness will be whole - the child, the woman, the man, the earth and the cosmos. The signs of it can be seen everywhere. Aquarius is rising."303

Alice Bailey, in her book The Reappearance of Christ, also speaks of this coming new age, which she regards as the being ushered in by the re-appearance of christ, but not the Christ of the Bible, but a false christ. She wrote:

"Now, in the fullness of time, and through the process of evolution, there is an emerging group who will bring salvation to the world; and who (embodying groups and ideas and emphasising the true meaning of the Church of Christ) will stimulate and energise the minds and souls of men that the New Age will be ushered in by an outpouring of the Love, Knowledge, and Harmony of God Himself, as well as by the re-appearance of Christ in whom all these three faculties of divinity will be embodied."304

How do New Agers propose to bring about this transformation in society? One of the major ways it will come about is through individuals gaining a new perception of reality which results in a change in their values and attitudes. Shirley MacLaine, in her book, Out on a Limb, gives a biographical account of how this altered perception of reality took place in her own life. She gained this altered state of perception through Eastern meditation. New Agers are committed to the concept that man has within himself the ability to transform society and the way forward is to develop this altered state of consciousness. David Spangler, in one of his earlier books, Revelation: the Birth of a New Age, makes the point that there is power present in each person to transform his world and to bring the New Age into being. He believes that potent energies are now being released into the realms of the human consciousness, and that these have the capacity to bring in this new age.305 Some New Agers even advocate the use of drugs, as promoting this altered state of consciousness. Marilyn Fergusen said this about the use of psychedelic drugs:

"It is impossible to overestimate the historic role of psychedelics as an entry point in drawing people into other transformative technologies ..... The changes in brain chemistry triggered by psychedelics cause the familiar world of metamorphose. It gives way to rapid imagery unaccustomed depths of visual perception and hearing, a flood of 'new' knowledge that seems at once very old, a poignant primal memory ..... psychedelic awareness is not fuzzy but many times more intense than normal waking consciousness."306

One can certainly see the potential harm that this movement presents. For it encourages the use of drugs. Marilyn Fergusen also believes that there are a number of other ways in which altered states of consciousness can be brought about. They include: biofeedback, music, painting, psycho synthesis, Sufi stories, dervish dancing, shamanatic and magical techniques, Silva Mind Control, chanting, hypnosis, meditation, Est, theosophy, hatha yoga, and T'ai chi, karate. "Est" (Erhard Seminars Training) is another means to bring about this altered state of consciousness. These seminars are a combination of psychotherapy, brainwashing, abuse, and denigration, occultic teaching and meditation. They are aimed at a total transformation of the trainees values, world view, self image and life goals. The purpose of Est is to bring about a change in the state of consciousness. At an Est seminar several hundred people are brought together for two successive week-ends of marathon sessions. These sessions are designed to help them gain an altered state of consciousness. During the sessions they are confined to their chairs for long hours without note-taking, talking, smoking, clock-watching, or sitting next to anyone they know. They are given minimal food and bathroom breaks are strictly observed. Each sixteen hour session is led by a trainer, who berates, taunts and humiliates the crowd by insisting that their lives don't work. The sustained intensity of this sessions causes many to become sick, to cry or break down in some other way. The goal is to lead them to this new state of consciousness.

The New Agers are right in their belief that this present world needs transforming, and they are right in their belief that people need changing. But they are completely wrong about the nature of the transformation that is necessary. And they are wrong about the way this transformation should take place. Their proposal that this new age will be brought in by means of an altered state of consciousness is very dangerous. For many of these methods are simply going to leave people open to demon possession. The New Age religion is very dangerous because of its occultish practices. The Bible does not teach that mankind needs an altered state of consciousness. Rather, it teaches that man's great need is to be free from the tyranny and bondage of sin. Man will not solve his problems by altered states of consciousness, or by any other human means. The only way man's primary problem of sin can be dealt with is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Mankind is incapable of solving his own problems. As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, "You must be born again". Man does need to be transformed, but he cannot do it himself, only the Holy Spirit can transform him. Man will never transform society for the better, all his best efforts will come to nothing. Rather, Christ came into the world to begin a new society, a new kingdom, of which we can be part through faith in Jesus Christ and repentance from our sins.

17.9 REINCARNATION AND THE NEW AGE .

The New Age cult consistent with its Hinduistic mindset believes in the doctrine of reincarnation. Shirley MacLaine believes that she has had many previous lives. Through contact with one of her spirits she discovered that she was the reincarnation of a princess who lived in Atlantis, an Inca who lived in Peru and even a child raised by elephants. In some previous existences she was male and in other she was female.307 New Agers believe that there is an evolutionary process taking place in which souls rise up the ladder of perfection. They do this through a system of reincarnation. However, regression is also possible for those who build up a bad karma in this world. If a person lives a bad life then they will build up a bad karma. Such people might end up coming back as a spider or a rat. The doctrine of karma means that everyone gets what they deserve. The way forward according to the law of karma is by renouncing the material world. The outworking of this philosophy is well illustrated in India today. Indian society is divided into four main castes. Those in the lowest caste are so polluted are despised and regarded as untouchables. The attitude of those in the higher castes to these people is that they have built up bad karmas in former lives and so they deserve to be in the condition that they are in. A wealthy business man will walk right past a poor man in India with no thought of helping him. He would say to himself that if he did help this poor man he might interfere with the law of karma which says that this man is suffering for his own sins in a previous life. Is it any wonder that little is done to help the poor and needy in India? This doctrine of reincarnation is an essential pillar of the New Age world view. The purpose of reincarnation according to New Agers is to atone for misdeeds. Each rebirth in the reincarnational wheel of life provides the opportunity to correct the errors of past lives so that finally a person is absorbed into the divine being.

Shirley MacLaine believes that karma is a better explanation of suffering than what is provided by the Bible. She says that people are born deformed or in bad circumstances because of the sins they have committed in a previous life. Conversely if people are born wealthy then it is reward for a previous life. The whole philosophy behind reincarnation is contrary to the gospel. For according to the doctrine of reincarnation people build up a good karma by means of their own works. Reincarnation teaches that man by his own efforts eventually gets to the point where he is absorbed into god. The Bible teaches that we are never absorbed into God but will be raised up physically and live with Christ and distinct from Him forever. Not because we have built up a good karma but because Jesus died for us and saved us by His own precious blood.

This doctrine of reincarnation is clearly ruled out by numerous texts of Scripture. The writer of Hebrews says that it is appointed unto man to die once and after this comes the judgment. (Heb.9:27,28). This statement clearly rules out the doctrine of reincarnation since reincarnation requires multiple deaths and lives. This doctrine is also clearly at odds with the teaching of Jesus in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man in that parable after death went to a place of torment and Lazarus to a place of comfort. That parable refutes any notion of reincarnation.

17.10 THE LEADERS OF THE NEW AGE RELIGION.

The following list of leaders in the New Age Movement is taken from Walter Martin's book - The New Age Cult.

Alice Bailey, who has been greatly influenced by the Theosophical Society's beliefs.

Thomas Berry - A Jesuit theologian who promotes the New Age religion through a variety of books.

Annie Besant - Took over the leadership after Helena Blavatsky died.

Helena Blavatsky - Founder of the Theosophical Society.

Peter and Eileen Caddy - Founders of the Findhorn community in North Scotland.

Fritjof Capra - A specialist in quantum physics whose books The Tao of Physics and The Turning Point have done much to popularise the New Age Religion.

Benjamin Creme - Founder of the Tara Centre and author of a number of significant New Age book - The Reappearance of Christ and the Masters of Wisdom.

Marilyn Fergusen - Author of the important New Age book - The Aquarian Conspiracy.

Matthew Fox - Controversial Catholic Author.

Beverly Galyean - Founder and promoter of the book Confluent Education.

Donald Keys - A longtime consultant to the United Nation's delegations who founded Planetary Citizens in 1972.

J.Z Knight - A popular New Age channeller who makes regular appearances on American T.V.

Thomas Kuhn - Author of the New Age book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Jessica Lipnack - Co authored Networking with Jeffrey Stamps.

James Lovelock - Formulated the Gaia Hypothesis which sees all life on the earth as a single self-supporting organism.

Robert Muller - A recently retired UN Assistant Secretary General who believes the human race must transcend all national linguistic, cultural, racial, and religious differences.

Lewis Mumford - Author of the book - The Transformation of Man.

Jacob Needleman - Popular philosopher in New Age circles.

John Randolph Price - Author of The Planetary Commission, a book promoting peace.

Jane Roberts - A channeller through whom a spiritual guide named Seth communicated twenty books worth of revelation

Theodore Rosak - A New Age analyst who believes that each person's goal must be to awaken the god in them.

Kevin Ryersen - A New Age channeller who came into prominence because of his affiliation with Shirley MacLaine and her movie "Out on a Limb."

David Spangler - Considered a prophet by many New Agers. He took over the education program at Findhorn community in Scotland.

Jeffrey Stamps - Co-authored the book Networking with Jessica Lipnack.

Starhawk - A modern Wicca witch who promotes feminist goddess-worship.

Rudolf Steiner - Founded the Anthroposophical Society in 1924. He taught that people possess the truth in themselves.

William Irwin Thompson - Cultural historian who has written several books that trace the emergence of the New Age world view.

George Trevelyan - A leader of the New Age movement in Britain and author of two books - A Vision of the Aquarian Age and Operation Redemption.

John Walsh - Author of Intercultural Education in the Community of Man. This book promotes the wholeness of humanity.

17.11 NEW AGE CULTS AND ORGANISATIONS.

Below are a list of the various cults and organisations in the world today who embrace the New Age religion. These organisations are not governed by anyone leader or organisation, but simply share a common idealogy. Walter Martin gives the following list of New Age organisations which embrace the New Age Religion.

ASSOCIATION FOR HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY - a worldwide network that explores human potential, personal growth, and holistic health. The group publishes a journal and features workshops on topics such as optimal health, self healing, and spirituality.

ASSOCIATION FOR RESEARCH AND ENLIGHTENMENT - This group promotes the teaching of psychic Edgar Cayce. Seminars and workshops are sponsored on topics such as self-hypnosis, visualisation, and psychic guidance.

ASSOCIATION FOR TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOLOGY - an international organisation that publishes a newsletter and lists various graduate programs in transpersonal psychology.

CHINOOK LEARNING CENTRE - A learning centre that features seminars and workshops designed to effect personal and global harmony. Seminars are offered on topics such as "Spiritual and Cultural Transformation" and "Ritual and Ceremony."

ESALEN INSTITUTE - A human potential group that explores trends in religion, philosophy, science, and education. The group offers a variety of seminars and workshops for mind, body, and soul at its Big Sur, California, location.

THE FARM, - A counter-cultural New Age community in Summertown, Tennessee. This group does humanitarian work in America and in other countries, through its PLENTY project.

FINDHORN - A prototype New Age community located in Scotland that offers an ongoing educational program in the principles of New Age spirituality and world service. The community emphasises the sacredness of everyday living.

THE FORUM - Founded by Werner Erhard, THE FORUM targets the business community for its human potential seminars. The group teaches that each person creates his or her own reality and that people are responsible to no one but themselves. Human beings are depicted as having limitless potential.

GLOBAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATES - This group seeks to engender a planetary perspective in young people. The group conducts intensive educational programs for the general public and provides speakers and consulting services for schools.

GREEN PARTY - A growing political party that seeks to challenge traditional politics by emphasising issues such as ecology, feminism, disarmament, non-violence, and "human-scale democracy."

GREENPEACE U.S.A - A non-profit environmental organisation with over two and half million supporters worldwide. The goal of this group is to engender a "planetary consciousness" in the world. They promote ocean ecology, disarmament, and the prevention of toxic pollution. They accomplish the goals by two means: educating people and legislative lobbying.

INTERFACE - A group that sponsors activities on a variety of New Age interests including consciousness, meditation, and transpersonal psychology. They also offer body-mind classes and workshops.

LIFESPRING - A New Age consciousness- raising group that offers human potential seminars. Lifespring teaches that man is perfect and good just the way he is, promises enlightenment to its clients, and is similar to FORUM in its emphasis that people create their own reality.

LUCIS TRUST - Originally Lucifer Publishing Company, this group publishes and promotes the writings of Alice Bailey.

PACIFIC INSTITUTE - A group that offers human potential seminars with an emphasis on self actualisation through visualisation and affirmation.

PLANETARY CITIZENS - An activist group committed to engendering a "planetary consciousness" among the New Age groups and the general public. This group seeks to influence world leaders toward a one world government.

SELF REALISATION FELLOWSHIP - This group provides home study lessons that focus on Kriya Yoga meditation techniques and the teaching of the late Paramahansa Yogananda. The group seeks to train students in the harmonious development of body, mind and soul.

THE SIERRA CLUB, - A non profit group that promotes conservation of the natural environment by attempting to influence public policy decisions. Not all who are involved in this club are New Agers, but it is heavily influenced by New Age thinking.

SIRIUS COMMUNITY - A community that sponsors a full week of workshops in a spiritual living environment. This group incorporates meditation and dance into their daily routine. They also offer day and weekend programs on topics such as holistic health and mythology.

TARA CENTRE - This group is headed by prominent New Ager - Benjamin Creme, with the Tara Centre as his platform. Creme often speaks on the emerging New Age and its social, political, and economic order.

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY - (See previous study)

UNITY-IN-DIVERSITY COUNSEL - A New Age "mega- network" of over one hundred networks and groups. The Counsel promotes global co-operation and interdependence on a worldwide scale.

WINDSTAR FOUNDATION - A group founded by John Denver that promotes "global awareness" and "a sustainable future". They also sponsor programs in ecology, conflict resolution, and citizens diplomacy.308

17.12 THE POLITICAL AGENDA OF THE NEW AGE.

The New Agers have a political agenda. Marilyn Fergusen said, "the political system need to be transformed." 309 There is presently a general dissatisfaction with the prevailing political powers and New Agers are looking for a shift in politics. Their agenda to see a transformation in Western society is connected with a desire for a transformation in politics. Douglas Groothius, writing in the eighties did not regard their influence as being substantial.310 However, a consideration of the various groups, mentioned above would indicate that they are growing in power. The root idea of New Age politics is oneness and unity, in keeping with their pantheistic philosophy. In practice this means the ecological and conservation become crucial concerns. Since the natural world is part of god, then it must receive much attention. Now, Christians should, of course, be concerned about the ecology, but for a very different reason from a New Ager. The Christian view of the ecology is based on God's mandate to subdue the earth, which includes the responsibility to properly manage its resources.

Central to this new political agenda is also the breakdown of the traditional distinction between the sexes. New Agers are committed to the male-female equality. In their thinking Western culture has suppressed the yin (female) and accented the yang (male).311 In the thinking of New Agers for their to be wholeness in Western society there must be an equal expression of the yin and the yang.

The New Age political agenda is that the world might become one. Douglas Groothius says this:

"Cosmic consciousness knows all as one; New Age political consciousness knows the world as one also- one interlocking, interrelated, interpenetrating system. Therefore, the idea of strict national boundaries and divisions between the nations and peoples must be transcended by the realisation of unity and interdependence......According to New Age activists, we all share a cosmic commonality that must be translated into political reality. Patriotism and nationalism result from the false consciousness of separation and exclusiveness."312

New Age politics emphasises the need for a political system that is consonant with the cosmic order of oneness. In short their ideal is for a one world government. Planetary Citizens, one of the groups mentioned above, is dedicated to seeking the transformation of politics. It was founded in 1972 by Donald Keyes, a long-time consultant to the United Nations. It has had some very influential members. Keyes regarded the United Nations as, "the nexus of emerging planetary values."313 Another political wing of the New Age is the group - World Goodwill, like Planetary Citizens, its headquarters are located on the United Nations Plaza, right near the United Nations headquarters. This group is sponsored by Lucis Trust, which was formerly known as Lucifer Trust, founded by Alice Bailey.314

Groothius says that it is difficult to gauge the success of New Ager politics. What is evident is that their platforms are certainly gaining a very strong support. For their aims are very much in keeping with the general aims of more trendy politics. Their emphasis upon global unity, ecology, feminism and so on are shared by many today. It remains to be seen how successful they become in influencing politics. With regards to their current success Groothius says:

"New Age politics is also gaining currency outside the United States. According to the New Age newsletter Renewal, Sweden is the first country where transformation orientated politics have entered the political mainstream. The Swedish government sponsored a conference called "Living Companies in the New Age" that drew five hundred people, mostly corporate executives to hear New Age thinkers Hasel Henderson, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Carl Rogers and like-minded Scandinavian transformationalists. The government-run Secretariat for Future Studies serves as an ongoing catalyst for implementing New Age ideas."315

17.13 HOLISTIC HEALTH.

Another major inroad of New Age thinking into Australian society has taken place in the area of medicine and healing. There would hardly be a suburb in any Australian city today, which does not have a shop which offers a whole range of New Age health products. You would be surprised to find out how many healing centres and health food shops are promoting New Age thinking. Such thinking is also promoted through the various therapies such as: personal growth; mind expansion; relaxation and healing. Many acupuncturists, chiropractors, masseurs, and naturopaths are also caught up with New Age philosophy. Many health food shops are centres for spreading New Age ideas. Many books on diet and health are subtly introducing the New Age religion. Many of those unaware of New Age thinking, are ignorant of this and have unwittingly taken on board Hinduistic types of thinking. The New Age agenda is transformation and one of the ways this transformation is being promoted is through "Holistic health." While there may be some element of truth in the New Age views of health, most of it is a lie. The New Age holistic health is based on a Pantheistic view of the world.

17.14 THE NEW AGE IS A RELIGION OF THE DEVIL.

The New Age religion is the religion of the devil, for it has clearly yielded to very same temptations to those which the devil tempted Eve with. You may remember that the among the promises that the devil made to Adam and Eve was that they would become like God. New Agers teach that man is god. The following article on Shirley MacLaine appeared in the Time Magazine 7th November 1987:

"Now come to the ballroom of the New York Hilton, where 1,200 of the faithful have paid $300 a piece to get the word from the New Age's reigning whirling dervish, Shirley MacLaine.. A woman in the audience complains that she has suffered chronic physical pain since childhood. MacLaine is not fazed. "Sometimes people use pain to feel alive" she explains. "Pain is a perception, not a reality." That is basic New Age doctrine: you can be whatever you want to be. The doctrine is sometimes a little hard to apply. The woman in the audience does not feel healed. "No one else goes through what I do" she says. From the back, another small voice says, "I do". MacLaine moves into visualisation exercises aimed at cleansing the third eye (the one behind the forehead) of negative thought patterns. More questions: "How do I deal with vibrations of joy and ecstasy that I get when I meet my higher self? a woman wants to know. "Mine is a naked cupid". Ecstasy is a new frequency which we are just beginning to define," MacLaine says. "It is a complete surrender and trust, the key words for this are new age." With all due respect says another voice, "I don't think you are a god." (That is another New Age doctrine, that everybody is a god, co-creator of the universe.) "If you don't see me as god" says MacLaine, blithe as ever, its because you don't see yourself as god. If this seems to make little sense, it nonetheless pays handsome dividends. MacLaine's five books of self-exploration and self-promotion have run to more than 8 million copies. Her third volume, Out on a Limb, which tells how she discovered the spirit world, became a five hour T.V extravaganza that was aired earlier this year. Her fifth volume, Its All in the Playing, published last September and best seller for more that two months, is mainly about the making of the television version of volume three, including conference/seances on how her astral guides feel about being cast to play themselves on television.

Shirley MacLaine is probably the most well known leader and promoter of the New Age religion. She is serving Satan in her evangelistic zeal to spread her false gospel. She has fallen for the same line that Adam and Eve did - "You will be like God" (Gen. 3:5) Satan is successfully using the New Age religion to tempt men and women to aspire to be like God. Those who embrace this religion embrace Satan's counterfeit gospel.

17.15 EVANGELISING TO NEW AGERS

We have a God given mandate to evangelise all people, including people who embrace the New Age religion. It may well be that you will encounter someone who is influenced by the errors of the New Age religion or that you already known people who have. You have a responsibility to make every effort to warn them of the errors of their religion and to present the gospel to them. You must remember that people caught up in cults like the New Age are deceived by Satan. They are blinded to the truth of the gospel and are incapable of believing the gospel unless the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. The apostle Paul says that the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him. (1 Corinthians 2:14 ) Paul also says that Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel. (2 Corinthians 4:4 ) Therefore, when you undertake to evangelise them be sure that you seek God's strength. You must earnestly pray that God might open their hearts to the gospel. You should also pray that God might give you the words that you need when you are speaking to them. It is a good thing if you can get them to read passages of Scripture for themselves. Take them to passages such as Ephesian 2:1-10. In this passage Paul clearly spells out that salvation is by grace, not by works. Do not make the mistake of getting caught up trying to refute all the errors of this religion. Even if you successfully prove to them that the New Age is wrong, you still have not achieved your main purpose, which is to make them a disciple of Jesus Christ.

283Walter Martin The New Age Cult Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1989, p.8

 

284ibid p.17

285ibid p.18

286Erwin W Lutzer & John F DeVries Satan's Evangelistic Strategy for this New Age. Victor Books, U.S.A Canada, England, third printing 1989, p.50

287ibid p.50

288ibid p.50

289ibid pp50,51

290ibid p.54

291Noel Langley Edgar Cayce on Reincarnation - Case histories of rebirth can help you to achieve the potential of your inner self Greenhouse Publications 1989, p.8

292Erwin Lutzer & John F DeVries op cit p. 55

293Walter Martin The New Age Cult op cit p.71

294Walter Martin The New Age Cult op cit p.25

295Shirley MacLaine Out On a Limb Bantam Books Toronto. New York. London. Sydney 1983, pp. 331,332

296Morag Zwartz The New Age Gospel: Christ or Counterfiet? Parenesis Publishing 8 Alison Avenue Melbourne. p.58

297Alice Bailey The Reappearance of the Christ Lucis Publishing Co New York, 1979, p.9.

298Douglas Groothuis Unmasking the New Age Intervarsity Press Downer Grove Illinois, 1986, p.19.

299Shirely MacLaine op cit pp. 163,164

300Erwin Lutzer op cit p.14

301Morag Zwartz op cit p.20

302ibid p. 21

303ibid p.21

304ibid pp.21,22

305ibid pp. 20,21

306ibid pp 18,19

307Erwin W Lutzer and John F DeFries op cit p.74

308Walter Martin The New Age Cult op cit pp.115-118

309Douglas Groothius op cit p.112

310ibid. p.113

311ibid p.115

312ibid p.116

313ibid p.118

314ibid p.120

315ibid p.122

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 08:37  

Follow us on Twitter