In my previous article I wrote about the reasons why it is important for a church to get to know more about New-Age, Post-Modern beliefs and ‘modern spirituality’. Different surveys show that no less than 30% of the American population hold (one or more) New Age beliefs. There are good reasons to believe that the numbers in Europe are more or less the same.
In this article I will tell more about the most common beliefs held by people in the New Age belief-system, Post-Modernism and ‘modern spirituality’. These beliefs often result in activities and practices that are opposed to the Christian beliefs. (You can find an overview of practices here.)
These are the most commonly believed ideas:
- All is God
In modern spirituality there is no separate God, because everything is God. We are all God. God is in all of us. This is absolutely not in line with God’s first commandment. We are to glorify, to worship and to love the Lord our God, our Creator. He is Holy and set apart. He is not us, we are definitely not Him.
- TRUTH doesn’t exist
There is no such thing as The Truth, the one and only true TRUTH. Claiming to know the Truth will leave you with people blaming you for being intolerant, exclusive or old fashioned. New Agers say that everybody should be allowed to hold onto his or her own truth and everybody’s truth is equally valuable. Every opinion is true as well, subjective truth is the norm.
- All religions are equally true
Sometimes also referred to as Universalism. The idea is that because all religions share more or less the same concepts as love, forgiveness, acceptance and have similar stories of creation, all religions are basically the same.
- Higher Consciousness
According to New Age beliefs, we can develop a higher consciousness or enlightenment, which is then considered as the most desired state of a human being. In the Western world we see people believe that they can develop a higher consciousness (through Esoteric, Gnostic or Mystic teachings) to the point that they have the same consciousness as Christ, the so-called: Christ-consciousness. In Eastern believe-systems like Hinduism, people work diligently to awaken the so-called Kundalini energy, to open higher consciousness and to support spiritual realization.
Yoga, tantra, meditation, mantra-singing, chakra-balancing are ALL religious practices to support this spiritual path.
- People are ‘good’
Everybody is born as a ‘good person’, as perfect, loving and innocent. We lose our innocence due to life circumstances or bad choices. If people do bad things, are depressed or failing in life we can blame it on upbringing, circumstances or chemical imbalances in the brain. We then should go in therapy or use medication to solve the issues.
- Positive thinking
This is a big one and widespread amongst non-believers: If you think positive you can achieve success in everything. Negative thoughts and feelings have to be avoided at all costs. Strongly related to the following topic.
- Experience & Feelings
When there is no Truth and we are directed towards positive thinking, the logical next step is that you take yourself as your compass. Your experiences and your feelings are your compass and will guide you in ‘the right direction’. All you have to do is to pay attention to what you feel and based on previous experiences, you will know what your next steps have to be. You will be taught to follow your own heart because your heart knows what is best for you.
- Create your own reality
If you do the right thing and if you think positive, you will be able to create every situation you want (wealth, health, etc.). The power is totally yours. If you are poor, ill or in a bad situation in life: it’s basically your own fault. You should do something different to change it to the better.
Visualizations, mood boards, affirmations, ‘the Law of Attraction’ are all part of this idea.
- You can connect to other ‘realms’ to obtain wisdom or guidance
There are other realms outside this world and you can connect with those realms through channeling and psychics to get insight and knowledge. ‘Out there’ are spirit guides, angels, ascended masters or other helpers waiting to support you. You can connect with them through countless spiritual (occult) practices.
Most of the New Agers practice at least one of these practices to receive guidance and wisdom: Tarot cards, Angel cards, astrology, palm reading, divination, pendulums, channeling, and more ….
- It is all about YOU
As a summary of all the ideas mentioned above I would say that in New Age, Post-Modernism and modern spirituality it’s all about YOU. There is no authority outside of you. All truth and direction come from the inside, your inner knowing, your inner voice, your feelings and your personal interpretation of life.
It’s all about your destiny, your personal development, your spiritual path, your higher consciousness and your happiness. You can create your own religion, your own world and your own god. In fact you are god in your own universe.
Wrap up and final ‘warning‘
Do you recognize one or more of these beliefs and ideas? Where did you see them? On TV, in a glossy magazine? Or maybe closer to home or church? It’s a fact that all these ideas contradict the Word of God and what the Bible teaches us about God and who we are in Christ. But most of the time the ideas are brought to us in a nice wrapping, in nice soundbites or slogans. You would almost believe them ….
If I look back at my life, I can see how misguided I was, how wrong I was. But I wasn’t educated about the One True God, so how could I know? In the world outside the church there are millions of people caught in ‘modern spirituality’. People like I was: looking for truth, sensing that there is a deeper meaning in life. Trying to find the truth by putting pieces of all these ideas together. And not succeeding.
Paul warned us in 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus that false teachings would enter God’s church. The concepts above are (part of) the false teachings you will find in church, in the lives of your Christian brothers and sisters. Stay alert. Talk about it. And above all: stay close to God’s Word!
In the next article I will share more about the commonly used New Age practices in our modern society AND in our churches.