Article By Joseph C. Lungu
The New Age movement is threatening the thought pattern of many of the professing Christians at an unprecedented rate. I cannot tell how many people I have met, who would do anything in the name of Christianity as long as it doesn’t hurt others. They would do anything as long as it makes them happy. The results justify the means! (dangerous route).
Others even say, ‘it makes me feel connected to God or it makes me feel in the presence of God. Speaking in tongues is being used to generate a certain emotional satisfaction. Umbilical meditations are practiced to feel a certain level of ‘peace’. Prayer is being used as a channel to gratify fleshly desires, no longer centered on Christ. Positive affirmations are given a supreme status and as a result have taken a place for devotions. With many claiming direct revelations equal to scripture, in the spiritual realm, the Bible is rarely read. (Why would you be interested in reading a letter, when you have access to the writer???)
What is the New Age Movement anyway? Well by nature, the NAM is difficult to define because it is fluid in the sense that it is a combination of ideas from a variety of religious beliefs. A definition by Billy C. Sichone, is worth quoting. He also acknowledges that, ” the New Age can be difficult to define because it has many shifting shapes and lacks boundaries. A basic definition follows; it is a movement that integrates different religions, philosophies and ideas that focus on human experience and the quest for fulfillment.”
Another ex-new-ager said that it shouldn’t even be called the New Age Movement but rather the Old Age Movement because we can trace it from the garden. When the serpent deceived the woman the temptation was, “you shall be like God.” There is the point. In new age thought, man wants an elevated position. Wanting to be divine. The desire to be “sovereign”
And this comes in many forms. Some believe they are actually small “gods” based on certain scriptures taken out of context. Some believe that by constant meditation one can attain a higher status of some kind of divine status! Some believe that through scientific discoveries man will become more complicated and what we see in movies will eventually become a reality. (Star-wars, Aliens, etc.).
But let’s pose! And ask an honest question:
Is the world really improving morally? Technologically, it is, but how about morally? This postmodern thought applauds the relativity of moral truth. It considers those who stand for absolute truth as committing intellectual suicide.
In religious circles many strange doctrines are on the rise. And they all, are making man the center. Adherents of this teaching are attracted to a God who is moved by tears, shouts, fasting, leaps of blind faith, repetitions, giving seeds as they are called.
A plea to Christians: Know what you believe. Be aware of some new thoughts that are creeping into the church. And that can only be achieved by a serious engagement with God’s Word and listening to sound teaching. In case you are wondering how you can recognize sound teaching, here are some markers:
1. It is centered on God/Christ and not man.
2. It will reproof or rebuke, instruct, and point to absolute truth.
3. It acknowledges that man is sinful and in desperate need of help, even after justification!
4. It is objective; not based on the subjective experiences of denomination founders. And many more.
God is not only interested in the results or how you and I feel, but in the whole process. And I am not in any way suggesting that when you experience pleasure in this life, then you are not a Christian.
There is pure joy in serving God faithfully; joy unspeakable, joy that can make us go through tough situations with genuine smiles on our faces. But if anyone, whatever their title, tells you that being a Christian exempts you from discomfort, run from such dangerous assertions. Don’t run only because I am saying it but because you know it is inconsistent with biblical teaching and life experience.