The New Age? Why Should I Think About That?
may be surprised how few Christians really know about the New Age. They've never heard of Neale Donald Walsch or Barbara Marx Hubbard, and as far as they're concerned
the New Age movement ended when the 60s hippie era ended. I should
know ... I was one of those Christians.
After 25 years of faithfully sitting in church every week, I rarely heard the term even mentioned, let alone explained. But nearly five years ago, Dave and I were introduced to a 6'4", fellow named Ray Yungen who carried around a manuscript called A Time of Departingand who just happened to have researched the New Age for over twenty years. "Would you take this manuscript home with you and read it?" Ray asked, as he sat across from me in a Salem, Oregon coffee shop. I took the bundle from this humble, gentle-mannered guy and brought it home. Reading it gave us the shock of our lives. Not only was the New Age alive and well, it was alive and well in the Christian church! A year and half later, we began Lighthouse Trails Publishing and a little later Lighthouse Trails Research Project. A Time of Departing was our first published book.
What does the term New Age really mean? Ray Yungen explains the it like this:
"The Age of Aquarius [synonymous with the New Age] is when we are all supposed to come to the understanding that man is God. As one New Age writer put it, "A major theme of Aquarius is that God is within. The goal in the Age of Aquarius will be how to bring this idea into meaningful reality."1
Contrary to what many people think, the New Age did not die out in the 60s but was slowly but surely integrating into every facet of society - medicine, business, schools, science and religion. The last frontier for the New Age to conquer was the evangelical church, and it is with great sadness we see that it has finally achieved that victory.
In order to spot New Age beliefs when they come into your church or Christian college, it helps to know who the influential New Age leaders of today are and what they are teaching. You may not have heard of them, but we guarantee their teachings have made major inroads into our society and are moving full speed ahead, altering the message of Jesus Christ as being the only way of salvation and pressing society into a mold that says, "All paths lead to God." Here are just a few:
As you study the New Age and its leaders, you will begin to see some common themes that are now being taught by many well known Christian leaders:
- Global Peace Plans
- Meditation (i.e. contemplative prayer)
- Global Connectedness (Unity and Community)
- Ecumenism (Finding Truth in All Religions)
understand the New Age and its effect on the church, we encourage
you to listen to some of the radio interviews by some of the authors
and researchers we know. We also encourage you to read Ray Yungen's
first book, For Many Shall Come in My Name and Reinventing Jesus Christ.
Both these books give excellent and compelling explanations of
the New Age and it's effect on the world and in the church.
We can tell ourselves it isn't necessary to know about the New Age, that we aren't personally involved with it so why should we have to understand it? But what about our fellow brothers and sisters and friends, children and grandchildren? What is the world going to be like for them? More importantly, what is the church going to be like for them? Will what is called Christianity be recognizable in ten years? At the rate things are going today, with countless Christian leaders swaying to the New Age beat, the "gospel" will have a new definition, and while true Christianity and the gospel of Jesus Christ can never be changed, a new gospel and a New Age spirituality will counterfeit the real thing, deceiving many and presenting to the world a false christ.
"But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand." Ezekiel 33:6