We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching
the Bible and understanding our time in
the light of Bible prophecy
A Christian response to the New Age movement [part 4]
CHAPTER FOUR - The Christ of the New Age
One of the many confusions which may mislead Christians encountering the New Age
movement Is the view of Christ which they express. We should not be deceived by statements
professing admiration for Jesus, but test whether the Jesus they are referring to
is the one revealed in the Gospels. As the New Age teaching bears a strong resemblance
to the Gnostic heresies which
plagued the Early Church, the tests of true understanding of the person of the Lord
Jesus Christ given In 1 John and the exposure of false prophets in 2 Peter and Jude
are very relevant to our response to this question.
In the New Age view Jesus was a great teacher, a Messiah for his time, but not the
Messiah for all time. Helen Shuchman summed up this view in her Course in Miracles,
a New Age programme which some liberal churches have adopted, but which is profoundly
anti-Christian. She says: 'Jesus was an historical person, but the Christ is an eternal
By separating the historical person of Jesus from his title Christ/Messiah the spirit
of antichrist is revealed as 1 John 4:2-3 teaches. "This is how you can recognise
the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the
flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.
This is the-spirit of the antichrist." The implication of Helen Shuchman's statement
is that 'Christ' as a condition came upon Jesus at some time in his life (usually
considered to be his baptism) and left him when his mission ended. That same 'Christ
condition' had previously come upon other great religious teachers of other faiths
and will come upon the New Age 'messiah' who is believed to be coming for our Time.
This is actually the Hindu idea of the 'avatar', the divine mediator who comes at
different times of world history to bring in new revelations for that period or age.
La Vedi Laffeny and Biid Hollowell writing in The Eternal Dance (p.2) express this
view, 'We acknowledge the World Teacher who appeared as Jesus the Christ, also known
variously as the Lord Matreya and the Bodhisattva, as well as other appearances of
the Christ through such personalities as Melchizedek, Krishna and Mithra.'
New Age 'Christ'
Since the New Agers believe that the present age is the astrological age of Pisces,
which is the sign of the fish, a sign associated with Christianity, this idea actually
becomes a formula for rejecting Jesus as the Christ, because they believe that the
Piscean Age is a 'dark violent age' which is giving way to the Aquarian Age - 'a
millennium of love and light.' In order to bring us into this New Age a new messiah
will have to come, receiving the 'Christ spirit' which is 'transpersonal' (i.e. can
go from one person to another living in another time). New Age writings abound with
expectations of a new messiah coming for our age and a consequent rejection of Jesus
In April 1982 the Tara Centre publicised the coming of a New Age Messiah through
full page newspaper advertisements in many countries:
'The Christ is now here . . . pointing the way out of our present crisis ... He comes
not to judge but to aid and inspire . . The World Teacher, Lord Matreya, known by
Christians as the Christ. And as Christians await the Second Coming, so the Jews
await the Messiah, the Buddhists the Fifth Buddha, the Moslems the Imam Mahdi. and
the Hindus await Krishna. These are all names not One individual. His presence in
the world guarantees there will be no third World War . . . With His help, we will
build a new world.'
I was horrified to see on a Christmas Day concert in 1988 on BBC TV the most blatant
expression of this hope when in the midst of traditional Christmas carols the song
A child is born was sung. This song has the following words which were not sung but
spoken in a dramatic, prophetic manner, 'The world is waiting, waiting for one child;
black, white, yellow, no-one knows. A child that will grow up and turn tears to laughter,
hate to love, war to peace and everyone to everyone's neighbour, and misery and suffering
will be words to be forgotten forever.'
This is a clear expression of the New Age dream and the expectation of another messiah,
who is obviously not Jesus Christ, coming to save us. Coming in the midst of traditional
Christmas carols about the birth of the Lord Jesus it shows very clearly the religious
confusion of our time.
Many in the liberal churches have accepted this line. Liberal theology has demythologised
the Gospels robbing them not only of the miracles, the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection,
but even questioning the divinity of Christ. Liberal theologians are agreeing with
New Agers that Jesus was a normal man who had 'Christ consciousness' to a marked
degree. Dr Rodney Romney, pastor of First Baptist Church, Seattle writes in his book
Journey to Inner Space, finding God in us:
'This Jesus came to be called the Christ, meaning the Anointed One of God. It was
a title he neither invited nor disclaimed. Yet what he did was even more startling.
He inferred that each person was potentially a Christ. He claimed nothing for himself
that he did not claim for his disciples. The task he gave his followers is to realise
the Christ within their own consciousness and to know that the kingdom of God is
within them. If they search for it outside themselves they will never Find it. Although
Jesus did say I am the way' he meant that he was the Way-Shower to God. He was not
God and never claimed to be'.
This apostasy leads straight into the super ecumenical view being expressed by many
church leaders, including Dr Runcie, as archbishop of Canterbury, that the spirit
of God can be discovered in expressions of all the great world religions. 'We should
recognise that other faiths than our own are genuine mansions of the spirit with
many rooms to be discovered, rather than solitary fortresses to be attacked... All
the centuries that the Spirit of God has been working in Christians, he must have
been also working in Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and others... We must learn to recognise
the work of the Spirit at the centre of each of our faiths ... and ... to explore
together the moments of revelation and the spiritual treasures which our respective
faiths have handed down to us... We need both courage and humility to recognise this
work of the Spirit among us in other faiths.' (The Sir Francis Young husband Lecture,
Christianity and World Religions, May 1986).
Against all this the Bible-believing Christian must recoil in horror, recognising
it to be the apostasy which will mark the latter days and give rise to the one the
world is waiting to accept as messiah, who is the man of sin, the antichrist. The
Bible is absolutely clear that Jesus Christ alone is God incarnate, unique in his
status as Messiah and mediator:
"I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through
me" (John 14:6). "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under
heaven given to men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). "For there is one God
and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a
ransom for all men" (I Timothy 2:5).
Anyone coming after Jesus Christ claiming to be a Messiah or a mediator between God
and man, or bringing a new revelation about how to find God must be a deceiver or
antichrist, of whom the Lord warned us there would be many in the end times. "False
Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive
even the elect - if that were possible" (Matthew 24:24). When Jesus Christ returns
it will not be a private event revealed only to a few at a secret location, but a
public event visible to all humanity:
"So if anyone tells you, 'There he is out in the desert,' do not go out; or 'Here
he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the
east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man" (Matthew 24:26-27).
"Look, he is coming with the clouds: and every eye will see him.." (Rev.l:7).
Moreover we cannot save ourselves by discovering the 'Christ' within:
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God - not by works so that no one can boast" (Eph.2:8-9).
Obedience to God and an ongoing relationship with him brings true spiritual enlightenment
and growth, not mystical experiences or attempts to discover 'Christ consciousness'
"God's elect ... chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through
the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling
by his blood." (I Peter 1:2).
Why is it so important to 'test the spirits' in the light of information given in
this chapter? How would you do this in practice?
Why is the astrological view of the Piscean Age and the Aquarian Age incompatible
with biblical Christianity?
Why is the literal application of verses like John 14:6, Acts 4:12, I Timothy 2:5
under attack from so many quarters both inside and outside the professing church?
How would you defend the view that these verses point to the unique stains of Jesus
Why is the teaching of Jesus on his second coming given in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew
24, Mark 13, Luke 21) helpful if we are to avoid some of these deceptions?