New Age Movement
The New Age movement is something that developed in the late 20th century but it draws upon concepts from Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and infuses them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology. It has been said that "The movement aims to create "a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas" that is inclusive and pluralistic." One of the central teachings of the New Age movement is that "God" is essentially something that is in all of us and that we are essentially God. Many psychologists are suggesting that we need more "self-love" and that anti-social behavior is simply the result of a "low self esteem" or "self-image." However, God's Word reveals that God has a different perspective. Self-centeredness is completely contrary to the Word of God, and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Instead of learning to esteem ourselves, we are commended "consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3). Even our society recognizes the value of loving and helping others. Our identity, self worth, and self esteem are to come from God, who loves us more than we can ever imagine.
On the other hand, there is actually some truth taught within the New Age movement, but the church has rejected much of it. I believe this is largely because we were afraid of supernatural things. The New Age people took it, explored it and practised it in their own way without God. In fact, every major religion of the world has some truth in it.
The teachings in New Age are diverse and cannot be systematically detailed like we do in dogmatics or systematic theology. The New Age movement is nothing new, it's just teachings, largely from other religions, repackaged. It takes the focus off of Christ and places it on ourselves or things other than the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
There have been numerous Christian books written on this subject and I suggest you go to your local Christian bookstore or library and get some books on this subject to educate yourself. There is also a lot of information online. Keep in mind that this is a very diverse movement and these teachings have deeply infiltrated our society. I can't go through all of the different teachings, books, teachers, etc. The most important thing is that you know Christ and His Word, the Holy Bible, and compare everything you encounter to that. It's like detecting counterfeit currency... you need to learn what authentic currency looks like to detect the counterfeit.FOOTNOTES:
1. Drury, Nevill (2004), The New Age: Searching for the Spiritual Self, London, England, UK: Thames and Hudson, ISBN 978-0-500-28516-9 pg. 12
2. Ibid pg. 8
© Todd Tyszka
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