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A Christian response to the New Age movement [part 5]

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CHAPTER FIVE - The New Age Agenda '

 

'There is actually a Plan and a Purpose behind all creation... World unity is the goal towards which evolution is moving. The world plan includes: A World Organization... A World Economy... A World Relegation'. Vera Adler. When Humanity comes of age, (p. 190-193)

 

Since New Agers believe that 'all Is one', boundaries and divisions between people, whether national, religious, racial or political are considered artificial and the enemy against which they are working. Thus New Agers can be expected to be Interested in movements advocating world peace, racial harmony. Feminism and ecumenical Inter-faith programs. This again causes confusion for some Christians because some causes adopted by New Agers appear moral and for the good of humanity and one may be considered narrow minded and bigoted if one criticises them or withdraws from such movements. But we need to ask where they are coming from and where they are going to. They are coming from a view of the world which emphatically rejects the unique role of Jesus Christ as mediator between God and man and is moving towards a one world government guided by a world religion which resembles eastern religious systems and pre-Christian paganism. In such a world the committed Christian who seeks to present the Gospel message has no part - in fact Christians who insist on staying loyal to the Lord are certainly amongst those considered unfit to participate in the New Age.

 

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the grand guru of Transcendental Meditation has said: 'There has not been and there will not be a place for the unfit. The fit will lead and if the unfit are not coining along there is no place for them. In the Age of Enlightenment there is no place for ignorant people. Nature will not allow ignorance to prevail. Non existence of the unfit has been the law of nature'. (inauguration of the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment. ).

 

Just as many naive and gullible Christians have helped Communists come to power, impressed by their propaganda about peace and justice, so many professing Christians are actively helping to further New Age programs today, lacking discernment to see the difference between God's programme for world redemption as it is revealed in the Bible and the New Age programme, which, if successful must lead to the anti-Christian system prophesied for the end times.

 

Multi-Faith Objectives

 

The New Age programme, as we have seen, is based on a fusion of humanism, the occult and the expectation of a change in human consciousness with a new messiah coming for our age. New Agers are encouraged by current trends in the world. Much of Christendom is in disarray with prominent clergy publicly denying the foundation beliefs of Christianity. The ecumenical multi-faith view expressed by Dr Runcie in chapter four has become the new orthodoxy amongst leading churchmen. New Age writer Lola Davies has praised the World Council of Churches, which she says 'has potential to serve as a source of unity among a diversity of religions. The West is becoming more familiar with the eastern religions because of the efforts of some' (Towards the world relegation for the New Age p.212)

 

Rome too, appears to be is moving down this path. Leading New Ager, Benjamin Creme has said, 'Pope John Paul II is one of the few leaders who has consistently proclaimed the same message as Matreya the Christ.' Significantly the Pope's New Year message in 1990 called on humanity to build 'the hoped for civilisation of love' not for Christians to build the kingdom of God. There are many danger signs in the Pope's enthusiasm for world peace and unity that are very similar to New Age objectives of one world government and one world relegation. On October 27th 1986 the Pope organised the Assisi 'World Day of Prayer', involving amongst others the Dalai Lama, Hindus, Sikhs, Moslems, Bahais, Shintoists and pagan cult leaders, including snake worshippers from Togo.

 

Commenting on this Michael de Semlyen says 'Rome's leadership of both the peace movement and the multi-faith advance towards religious unity parallels her central role in the quest for political unity.' Ecumenism - Where is it leading us? (p. 25). Parallel to this desire for world peace visions of Mary are being claimed by Catholics all over the world especially in Eastern Europe and the messages bear a strong resemblance to New Age messages about a coming age of peace and light.

 

Political Objectives

 

On the political front there is also great encouragement for New Agers. Disarmament talks between USA and USSR and the changes taking place in both Eastern Europe and South Africa are seen as the result of the 'great invocation' for light and love to fill the earth.' When Gorbachev addressed the United Nations (7/12/88) he announced that he no longer regards the Marxist dogma of 'class struggle' as relevant to the modem world, which, he said, needs to work together for a 'new world order through a universal human consensus.' The 'universal human consensus' mediated through the UN is exactly what the New Agers are working for and there is a 'meditation room' in the UN building in New York where people of all faiths are encouraged to meditate and pray for this goal of political and religious barriers between people coming down.

 

Sri Chinmoy, Hindu mediator and chaplain at the UN has said. 'The United Nations is the way, the way of oneness, that leads us to the Supreme Oneness. It is like a river flowing towards the source, the Ultimate source. The United Nations becomes for us the answer to world suffering, world darkness and world ignorance... A day will dawn when the vision of the United Nations will save the world.' The UN - An Instrument of Unification, Share International Magazine 4, no. 3, Mareh 1985.

 

As national governments find themselves unable to cope with the problems which are international in character - pollution, wealth distribution and financial debt, terrorism, drug trafficking, AIDS, etc - the possibility of an international organization having power to regulate the affairs of the nations is attractive to many. Europe is already moving fast down this road and may well become the example for a greater unification of the nations.

 

Christian response

 

The trend towards unity, both religious and political, would seem to be here to stay. Those who stand against it will no doubt be accused of bigotry and standing in the way of peace and progress. Where they are in positions of influence, once the New Agers gain power, they will be removed from those positions, especially when they are committed Christians. Bible believing Christians should not go along with this trend towards unity. It is a unity based on a denial of the Lord Jesus, who has broken down the "middle wall of partition" and made peace between those who were previously enemies through the shedding of his blood at the cross (Ephesians 2:13-14). A unity which denies this must be the false unity of Babylon, first attempted at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 2) and which the prophetic scriptures warn us will arise again in the last days in 'Mystery Babylon the Great (note Babel and Babylon is the same word in Hebrew). This will have both a religious dimension (Revelation 17) and a political dimension (Revelation 18). The instruction to believers is clear:

 

"Come out of her my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any other plagues." (Revelation 18:4).

 

Ecumenism

 

The New Age movement and the ecumenical movement cannot bring in the age of peace and unity of which they dream. This Utopian vision is shattered on the rock of the biblical truth of God's sovereignty over history and the fact of the sinful nature of humanity. Because it is based on the humanistic idea that we can save ourselves it will fail and inevitably lead not to liberation but to tyranny. There will be no 'millennium of love and light' while human beings are in the dark, and the only way we can be delivered from this present world darkness into the light of God is through the true light of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

When the utopian religious vision for changing the world confronts the reality of human sinfulness, it inevitably become repressive and dictatorial. There are two basic reasons for this. Firstly the people trying to change the world are still in the dark themselves. Secondly the people they are trying to change fail to conform and resist what is being imposed upon them. In the Middle Ages the Roman Catholic Church sought to impose its will on 'heretics' by the Inquisition and sank to depths of cruelty and tyranny in the name of Christ. When the Communists encountered resistance to the 'paradise on earth' Lenin promised to build, they used force to destroy their enemies, which led directly into Stalin's reign of terror. Islamic revolutionaries have imposed another dreary, corrupt police state on the countries they rule, intimidating and smashing those who resist them and refuse to submit to their version of despotic Islam.

 

Persecution of Believers?

 

The New Age movement also recognises that there will be those who do not fit into the New Age. Ruth Montgomery writing in Threshold to Tomorrow says. 'Those who survive the shift (i.e. the change into the New Age) will be a different type of people from those in physical form today freed from strife and hatred, longing to be of service to the whole of mankind... The souls who helped to bring on the chaos of the present century will have passed into spirit to rethink their attitudes.' {p. 306) The question is, will they need a little help to 'pass into spirit'? Texe Marrs in his book Dark Secrets of the New Age (p. 144) believe such statements are coded messages pointing to the need to execute those who resist the New Age. He cites Moira Timms' book Prophecies and Predictions: Everyone's Guide to the Coming Changes in which it is said that those with obstinate attitudes 'will graduate on to planes of existence more suited to their unfoldment.' Marrs comments: 'This is a thinly veiled commitment to wipe off the race of the earth those who worship God and His Son only and deny the New Age man-god doctrine'. The biblical prophecies of the end times make it clear that Christians will face persecution (Matthew 24:9-10, Revelation 13:10) At that time the Lord will stand by his people and give them special wisdom by the Holy Spirit (Mark 13:11), so that those who know their God will be strong and do exploits for him (Daniel 1 1.32). By knowing his word we should not be deceived by false promises of world peace when they are made by those who reject the Prince of Peace. While people ate saying. "Peace and safety", destruction will COME. On them suddenly as labour pains on a pregnant woman and they will none escape (I Thessalonians 5:3).

 

The Reign of God

 

The Bible does not encourage us to believe that this age will end with humanity solving the problems of the world either by the New Age or any other political or religious agenda (including 'Christianisation' of the world). In fact Jesus clearly stated that this age would end with a time of great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now (Matthew 24:11, and that if God did not intervene by cutting short those days no human being would survive). Any realistic assessment of what is going on in the world today must make this distinct possibility in OUR Time, which would mean that we are expecting a totally different scenario from that expected by the New Age. The nations are collapsing in a swamp of moral decadence, violence and deception, as in the days of Noah. For all that we talk about ecology we are making little or no progress towards reversing the catastrophic effects of industrialization in destroying the earth. Far from moving towards the 'revitalization of the earth' by learning to live in 'telepathic communication' we are heading for the destruction of the earth as the greed, folly and wickedness of mankind reach their fullness in these days.

 

On the other hand the Bible does encourage us to believe that there is a new age coming in which the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9) and they will beat their swords into plough shares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more. (Isaiah 2:4). But this will not happen on this side of the coming of the Lord, but only after his feet stand on the Mount of Olives when he will come with all the holy ones (Zech 14:5) and be king over the whole earth (Zech 14:9).

 

To prepare for this day we need to respond ourselves to the message of the Lord and to share it with the world in its desperate need. (God) commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead (Acts 17:30,31).

 

Questions

 

The possibility of persecution or martyrdom awaiting Christians in the West is hardly ever mentioned in our churches. Do you think this is the will of the Lord?

 

How would you discern when it is right to 'come out' of a church or a business in which you are involved?

 

In what ways is the inter-faith ecumenical movement moving along parallel lines to the New Age movement?

 

Why do so many movements promising to enlighten and liberate humanity end up doing the opposite?

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