Are We New Age?
Someone recently wrote me, concerned that a popular TV show was promoting New Age philosophy, some of which sounded similar to things we say. The question posed to me was, "Are we in this?"
Let me tell you how I approach things such as this stuff. First of all, since I began knowing union with Christ, there have been those who have thought we were heretics and accused us of being New Age. So this isn't new to me. I've been in this since 1980 and have heard it from the beginning.
That stuff from that course on TV is normal regular run-of-the-mill New Age stuff, and there are two ways I view that. One, from a theological point of view, in that they deny the blood and body and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and from that perspective we cannot call it truth. They have left the center, and without the center, any concepts of truth they might speak of eventually hold no water. They are at the least mistaken in ignorance (and that is where many people are -- in ignorance), and at most some are in a sinister way deceiving and being deceived.
Now, I can't think that anyone could read or consider for long what we say and have said for years and years, and could say it is New Age, since at our center we speak continuously of the Lord Jesus Christ, of His death and resurrection, and how through His Cross, by His body and blood, our redemption is secured and given to us. That is at the heart of everything we say. Is it not? We trust God through Christ that all we speak drips with nothing but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified?
Also, these philosophies promote the self as God. Do we do that? No, we speak of the death of ourselves, our old falsely independent selves, as our passage into Him. You won't find that in those philosophies, because they promote self, independent self (unknowingly), and therefore the untruth of the so-called "New" Age is as old as the garden, in which Satan told them if they ate the fruit they would become wise as gods (Gen 3:5).
People hear us say, "Christ as us," and think that is the same thing. But it is not. It is the exact opposite. The kingdom of Satan makes the creature -- us -- god to itself -- the creature as god. But the truth is that in the Cross we have died to that old false me, which was a house of Satan, and the new life that comes into us does not come from us, but from God into us, and the effect of that is that God lives His life in us as one with our very selves. That necessitates the creature (we) must in a sense deny itself, that God might live in it. Again, these philosophies advocate something completely opposite to that. They glorify the self, the fallen self, and by denying sin say there is nothing wrong with it, that it is beautiful and is God as it is. Do we say that? No, we do not!
People get alarmed because they hear New Age and other truths sometimes saying some of the same things we say. At this point I will say truth is truth, no matter who says it, or what outfit we're a part of. If someone says, "love is the most important thing," I will agree, whatever is the person's reason for saying it. We have to realize, that most people aren't attracted to Satan in his evil, but to Satan in his false good. Wouldn't it be the case that Satan would attempt to be as close to the truth as he possibly could, in order to trick people, and since that is the case, then he would use the same words, concepts, and meanings of much of the truth -- except for the continual denial of the Cross, which he cannot and will not take?
If I speak truth out of the Spirit of Christ within me, and someone else says the same or similar words but they are speaking out of another spirit, should I stop speaking the truth because Satan attempts to counterfeit it? No, as far as I am concerned, I have to speak the truth as God gives it. But what we speak always comes out of the center of the Cross and of Jesus Christ. Whether we mention it or not.
Now, I really don't spend any time at all with false teaching, studying it, learning about it, etc., so that I'll know it when I see it. I spend all my time knowing and learning Christ. When you know the true, then the false has no hold on us and cannot fool us. "My sheep know my voice, and will not hear the voice of a stranger." (John 10:4,5) Get to know the Real, and the false, if it comes up, will be obvious.
Let those promoting this on TV do what they do. They are in the hands of the Father as much as you or me. They may be seeking the Father and this is their path to Him. Let the world go the way it goes. God isn't worried. He knows His plan and it is working. He has never gone to Plan B. Nothing is fretting Him or causing Him consternation. He isn't worried about who will be the next US president. (He already knows!) New Age (which is just the "old age" with modern language) is no threat to Him or to His elect. New Age is just some more fodder for people to work through finding their way to the truth which is God Himself. Those who are seeking truth from the heart will find their way through and God will use New Age, or anything else they experience, as their steps into Him.
He did it with me. I spent a couple of years in Hinduism and Buddhism, (which are basically the source of all this new age stuff) and I was as taken with those philosophies and practices as someone could be. I could not see the truth of Jesus during that time because those truths seemed to me at the time to work and to be right. I thought the Cross of Christ was foolishness. But God used all that to bring me to Him. They were my path to Jesus. Honesty demanded it, because ultimately I could not find the satisfaction and rest I was looking for, except in Him Who is ultimate Truth and Reality. When He finally confronted me with Himself, I could not deny Him.
Now, I said above that I view that stuff two ways. The other way is this, and this is the hardest. I've mentioned the theological differences, and how New Age and stuff like that basically denies the central truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and deifies the created self. But I have learned over the years that when I am with people who do not know or believe these things, that people are not theologies. They are not the sum total of the stuff they believe in or don't believe in. I have had to learn to see through, or in some sense, to disregard my "theology," and just see people as people, without the trappings of "belief," and in that sense see everyone in Christ.
Now this is what I mean by that. I don't mean that everybody is a born-again Christian. I mean that the whole world, and everybody in it, is in process. I may see you in New Age today, but I don't know your tomorrow. I also don't know your heart. Only God does. I have learned it isn't the right words that take us into the kingdom of God. No matter how we might mouth the words of truth, it isn't the words themselves that are the truth or make truth happen in us. The spirit from which they come IS the truth of the words. And this is the real heart of what I am saying here. Whatever comes from an honest heart God honors, whether or not the words are said right or contain the correct concepts. (I also apply that to Christians who do not know the things we say. It doesn't matter what they "know," because God flows out of our HEARTS, not our heads. It is the love of God that is real. Conceptual knowledge will pass away.)
Seeing people as where they are supposed to be in the current moment, as determined by the Lord, is tremendous freedom. God in in control. He knows those Who are His and brings them to Himself. It is the Father who draws, through Christ, all men to Himself. Therefore if someone I know who is not a believer, says something that is truth, I can say amen to his truth, even though he may not know the whole truth. New Age says many true things. Where did they get them? Do you think they made it up? No, they took the real truth and borrowed the words of the real truth. Some out of an honest heart, some with intent to deceive. But either way, truth is truth, and by the Spirit of Truth within us we KNOW the truth, which is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We need not be threatened or see some sinister plot to be wary of, because nothing can withstand the Lord. We are safe in Him. "I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety." (Psa 4:8)
If we only find safety in right doctrine, we don't know Him.