New Age-matt Slick

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What is the New Age Movement? By Matt Slick*, Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, CARM *A Calvinist 1. What is the New Age Movement? 1. The New Age (NAM) movement has many sub-divisions, but it is generally a collection of Easterninfluenced metaphysical thought systems, a conglomeration of theologies, hopes, and expectations held together with an eclectic teaching of salvation, of correct thinking, and correct knowledge. It is a theology of feel-goodism
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  What is the New Age Movement? By Matt Slick * , Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, CARM *A Calvinist1. What is the New Age Movement? 1.The New Age (NAM) movement has many sub-divisions, but it is generally a collection of Eastern-influenced metaphysical thought systems, a conglomeration of theologies, hopes, and expectationsheld together with an eclectic teaching of salvation, of correct thinking, and correct knowledge. Itis a theology of feel-goodism, universal tolerance, and moral relativism. 2.In the NAM Man is central. He is viewed as divine, as co-creator, as the hope for future peace andharmony. A representative quote might be: I am affected only by my thoughts. It needs but this to letsalvation come to all the world. For in this single thought is everyone released at last from fear. (Acourse in Miracles, The Foundation for Inner Peace, Huntington Station, N.Y. Lesson 228, p. 461.) 3. Unfortunately for the NAM, the fear from which they want to be released might very well be the fear of damnation, of conviction of sin, and it is even, sometimes, fear of Christianity and Christians. Thoughthe NAM is tolerant of almost any theological position, it is opposed to the narrow-mindedness of Christianity that teaches Jesus is the only way and that there are moral absolutes.4.The NAM is difficult to define because there is no hierarchy, dogma, doctrine, collection plate, ormembership. It is a collection, an assortment of different theologies with the common threads of toleration and divergence weaving through its tapestry of universal truth. 5.  The term New Age refers to the Aquarian Age which, according to New Age followers, is dawning.It is supposed to bring in peace and enlightenment and reunite man with God. Man is presentlyconsidered separated from God not because of sin (Isaiah 59:2), but because of lack of understandingand knowledge concerning the true nature of God and reality. 2. The New Age Movement is a religious system with two basic beliefs: Evolutionary Godhoodand Global Unity. A. What is Evolutionary Godhood?(i) It is the next step in evolution. It will not be physical, but spiritual:a. For the most part, the NAM espouses evolution, both of body and spirit. Man is developing and will soonleap forward into new spiritual horizons. Many New Age practices are designed to push one ahead into thathorizon. Some of them are astral projection which is training your soul to leave your body and travel around;contacting spirits so they may speak through you or guide you; using crystals to purify your body's andmind's energy systems; visualization where you use mental imagery to imagine yourself as an animal, in thepresence of a divine being, or being healed of sickness, etc.(ii) Evolutionary Godhood also means that mankind will soon see itself as god, as the Christ principle. a. The NAM teaches that Man's basic nature is good and divine. This opposes God's Word which says...1. that we are sinners: Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, andin this way death came to all men, because all sinned (Romans 5:12, NIV).2. and that our nature is corrupt: All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of oursinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath (Ephesians 2:3, NIV).b. It teaches that since man is divine by nature, he then has divine qualities.1. This is an important part of NAM thinking. Because the average New Ager believes himself to be divine, hecan then create his own reality. If, for example, a person believes that reincarnation is true, that's finebecause that is his reality. If someone he knows doesn't believe in it, that is alright too because that issomeone else's reality. They can each have a reality for themselves that follows a different path.   c. In contrast to this, the Bible says that God alone is the creator: This is what the LORD says -- yourRedeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched outthe heavens, who spread out the earth by myself (Isaiah 44:24, NIV).d. The New Ager who believes in his own divinity and ability to create, usurps the authority and position of God. He also is still listening to the lie of the devil who spoke to Eve and said she would be like God (Genesis3:5).(iii) Reincarnationa. Though not all New Agers adhere to reincarnation, most believe in some form or another. And, manybelieve the Bible was changed to remove any verses that might have taught reincarnation. But thisaccusation only shows the limitation of their knowledge. The Bible never had any references to reincarnation.b. Reincarnation opposes the Word of God which says that it is appointed for man to die once, and after thiscomes judgment (Hebrews 9:27).B. The second major element of the New Age Movement is Global Unity which consists of three majordivisions: Man with Man; Man with Nature; and Man with God.(i) Man with man.a. The NAM teaches that we will all learn our proper divine relationship with one another and achieveharmony and mutual love and acceptance through the realization and acceptance of this divine properknowledge.Within this hoped-for harmony is economic unity. The average New Ager is looking for a single world leaderwho, with New Age principles, will guide the world into a single harmonious economic whole.(ii) It is also hoped that this leader will unite the world into a spiritual unity; that is, a one-world religion.b. The New Age hope is reminiscent of the Scriptures that speak of the coming Antichrist:2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellionoccurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalthimself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple,proclaiming himself to be God. See also Revelation 13:17, 14:9, 11; 16:2; 19:20.(ii) Man with naturea. Since the NAM says that God is all, and all is God, then nature is also part of God. Man must then get intune with nature and learn to nurture it and be nurtured by it. In this, all people can unite.b. American Indian philosophies are popular among New Agers because they focus on the earth, on nature,and man's relationship to them.c. New Age philosophy generally seeks to merge with those philosophies that put man and nature on anequal level. We are no more or less important or different than our cousin the animal, bird, or fish. We mustlive in harmony with them, understand them, and learn from them, is the general philosophy of the New Age.(i) This is opposed to the Scriptural teaching of man's superiority over animals (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:19). Thisdoes not mean that Man must abuse that which he is over, but Man is given the responsibility of caring forand being stewards of God's creation (Genesis 2:15). God will hold Christians responsible for the stewardshipthat has been entrusted to them.d. The New Agers have a name for the earth. It is Gaia. Gaia is to be revered and respected. Some New Agerseven worship the earth and nature.(i)This opposes the Scripture that says we are not to have any other Gods before God (Exodus 20:3).(iii) Man with Goda. Since the NAM teaches that man is divine by nature, all people, once they see themselves as such, will behelped in their unity of purpose, love, and development. The goal is to fully realize our own goodness. It isobvious that this contradicts Scriptures, c.f., Romans 3:10-12: As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, noteven one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.' All have turned away, they havetogether become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. C. Additional beliefs of the NAM view of God are:(i) He (it) is impersonal, omnipresent, and benevolent -- therefore he (it) won't condemn anyone.a. The New Age god is impersonal. An impersonal God will not reveal himself nor will he have specificrequirements as to morality, belief, and behavior. This is why reincarnation appeals so much to them. With it,there is no judgment, there is a second chance, a third chance, and fourth, etc.b. It should be noted that because the New Ager seeks to elevate himself to godhood, he must lower themajesty and personhood of the true God. In other words, the universe isn't big enough for one true God, butit is big enough for a bunch of little ones.(ii) There are no moral absolutes in the New Age. Therefore, they claim to have a spiritual tolerance for all truth systems. They call this harmonization. a. There is an obvious problem here. To say that there are no moral absolutes is an absolute in itself which isself contradictory. Also, if morality is relative, then stealing may be right sometimes, along with lying,adultery, cheating, etc. Living in a world of moral relativism would not bring a promising future.b. It would follow that if reality is relative and truth is too, then driving a car would be difficult. After all, if oneNew Ager thinks the light is red and another thinks it’s green, when they collide, their different realities willcome crashing down on them. That is something most interesting about New Agers, they don't live what theybelieve. That is because in reality, New Age thinking doesn't work.  c. The New Age movement does espouse honesty, integrity, love, peace, etc. It just wants to do it withoutthe true God. It wants to do it not on His terms, but on its own.  July 2011
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