The New Age is a reference to a coming day when the human being, as a species, takes a major evolutionary leap forward, transcending the “normal” five senses into a higher state of consciousness and life. Perspectives under the New Age umbrella are abundant and very popular here in Seattle. New Age ideas have become normalized in our culture over the last several decades. We see New Age teaching in popular and palatable forms in the self-help movement, books and seminars, as well as positive thinking gurus, entrepreneurs, and TV personalities often seen on major programs such as Oprah and elsewhere. Most people do not know the underlying principles and beliefs of the New Age and may be shocked at what they find.
KEY POINTS / BELIEFS
- The self is prime reality. We are all on the road to a coming day when human beings as a species will take a major evolutionary leap forward into a New Age of existence into a universe which is unseen in this present world.
- The cosmos are manifested in the visible universe, which is accessible through ordinary consciousness, and the unseen universe — known as the “mind at large” or “universal consciousness” — is accessible only through altered states of consciousness.
- It is hard to identify what a human being is exactly, but the self is creative and imaginative, not just part of the universe but a universe-maker.
- Physical death is not the end of “the self” since it is not tied to just one life or one body, but continues to manifest itself in a series of conscious lives. Many times you recognize the souls of those whom you have lived past lives with.
- Little importance is given to question of right and wrong, true and false. If an individual experiences something, it is true and right.
- The specific history of a life or time period is of little importance, but cosmic history which ends in the deification (making gods) of humanity — especially the leap to a new consciousness and evolution of humanity and “the self” — is seen as the great hope and vision to which the history humanity is headed.
- New Agers are committed to realizing their own individual unity with the cosmos, creating and recreating their world in their own image through their own creativity and divinity in an attempt to reach the new consciousness of the New Age.
WHAT MAKES IT ATTRACTIVE / RELEVANT?
The New Age perspective puts “the self” at the center of everything. Our personal pursuit of happiness and freedom is what we should be striving for, and many of us already operate this way. We get to create the universe that we want to live in. While the selfish “Ego” is seen as the problem, self-help techniques and tools give us a sense of control and ownership over who we are and what we can become.
RUBS WITH CHRISTIANITY
LOGICAL RUB = Is your worldview logical?
This worldview is optimistic about humanity’s progress towards this new life, a new person, and a new age…
- But is this optimism congruent with what we see happening in the real world?
- But when we judge our species honestly, do we see a better humanity emerging?
- Or do we see the same old problems of pride, greed and selfishness ruling today as in ages past?
GOSPEL RUB = Is your worldview gospel-centered?
How can imperfect, ego-driven beings by their own effort jump out of the pit they have made for themselves? How does imperfection + desire + time + effort = perfection?
DON’T WE NEED A HELPER TO OVERCOME OUR “EGO” and IMPERFECTION?
- The gospel presents us with that helper — Jesus Christ — who is the perfect Son of God and capable to deliver us from our brokenness and Ego, because he is untainted by sin (Hebrews 4:14-16) to pave the true way forward into a truly new age which God calls the New Heavens and New Earth.
SCRIPTURAL RUB = Is your worldview biblical?
- Revelation 21:1-4 – “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.'”
- The coming of the New Age has already been initiated through the resurrection of Jesus. The hope we have is ALREADY present now in the historically risen Lord Jesus, but NOT YET fully present as we away the future fulfillment Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:
- Matthew 24:3-9, 13-14, 29-30 – “As Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these thing be, and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wards and rumors of wards. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake…But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come…Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will from from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.'”
- Conclusion: We are not limitless like the New Age movement claims. We are limited sinful beings created in the image of a limitless Creator God. And so, it will take someone who is limitless to help transcend our limitations and return to the fullness of what were were created to be. That helper must be more than just human and yet able to relate to us as a human being. This helper, this savior can only be one person the Son of God who took on humanity through the incarnation and lived and died as a man, only to transcend death and become the first to enter into the new age of resurrected life. When we turn to him we find our hope and our help to also enter into the heavenly resurrected life.
- Study the gospel of John chapters 20 and 21to read about three different eyewitness accounts of the resurrection–Mary Magdalene, Thomas and Peter.
- Engage in deep and meaningful conversations.
- How is the coming age that the gospel promises different than what the New Age perspective promises?
- Do I need a helper or can i fix myself?
- Honestly reflect on how you may have adopted some of the normalized New Age perspective. Are you putting yourself at the center?
- Listen to this week’s sermon on our website.