New Age Movement


The Multi-faceted New Age Movement.

Copyright © 1997 Cultwatch. Written by Trevor Mander. Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version

What is the New Age Movement?

nageYou might have heard various terms like “reincarnation,” “holistic health,” “inner healing,” “spirit guides,” “the global village,” “visualisation,” “karma,” “crystal power,” and “the New Age Movement.” What do these new terms have in common? What is the New Age and is it really new at all? Is the New Age Movement (NAM) really a path to “omnipotence and supreme power.” Or is it actually a collection of very old false teachings drawn from Buddhism, philosophical Hinduism, and the Occult? Read on to find out the answers to these and other questions concerning the New Age Movement.


Colourful Rainbow 
nage1The New Age is not a single practise or teaching. It is comprised of a whole range of teachings and expresses itself in many ways.

Some people are seen carrying crystals around with them, not because they look nice, but, they say, “because of the powers and aura they give off.” On the television we see martial arts programmes like Kung Fu which keep mentioning the mystical Chi force which supposedly flows through everything. Well known people are involved with the New Age like Shirley MacLaine, ex-Beatle George Harrison, and Tina Turner.

We read in the Newspapers about terrible multiple killings like the Aromoana massacre or the Bain case where either the killer or a close relation were deeply involved in pyramidology and the New Age. In movies we hear about the good side and bad side of “the Force.” In music stores there is sometimes a “New Age” section which ends up being relaxing instrumentals for the most part.

Walking into the local chemists you might have noticed Aromatherapy with its wild claims to not just be a nice smell but to heal everything from backache to sweaty palms. Gel insoles get advertised with a picture of a foot with other body parts, like the intestines, superimposed on the top. Call it reflexology, another barmy New Age philosophy. And who hasn’t seen the black and white Ying Yang symbol. You used to see Christian fish on advertising, now it’s the swirly pattern.

The NAM is very pervasive, but is it true?

The NAM teaches that it is absolutely true that no absolute truths exist:

“It is absolutely true that everything is relative.”

“Truth is relative and found only by subjective experience.”

“Everything is true, and you’re wrong if you disagree with me.”

But for New Ager teachers to claim that it is objectively true that everything is only subjective is a self-refuting argument! So much for a great new philosophy! New Agers claim that their religious view, that all religions are true, is the only true religious view. The NAM cuts its own philosophical head off when it claims that all truth is relative all the while standing atop a pinnacle of their own absolute.

However silly this teaching might be it has dramatic affects on those who believe it. Logically, it would result in people who are completely self-centered in morality and separated from reality. As the Bible puts it, “Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” This is like believing that 1+1=3, or that murder and hate is just the same as love and kindness. Not the values you want to teach your children!

There’s a much better alternative. You can trust in the Jesus of the Bible for true family values and true faith. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

This is the belief that God is the universe. This is different from the Christian belief that God created the universe (Colossians 1:16) and holds the universe in existence (Hebrews 1:3). The result of believing pantheism is worshipping a finite created thing instead of an infinite uncreated God (Romans 1:25). But why should we offer our ultimate worship to that which is not ultimate?

The NAM teaches that you are actually one with the universe a bit like ‘the Force’ in the Star Wars movie. “You are God,” they say, “it’s just that you need to remember it.” You can come to know that you don’t change. But there is the problem. New Age teachers are claiming you have to go through a process (change) of learning to find out that you don’t actually change. But if you really didn’t change (i.e. if you were God) then you wouldn’t have to learn that you didn’t change because learning is a process of change! Another self-refuting belief of the NAM.

The NAM teaches that pain and suffering don’t exist, that they are just an illusion. This aspect of pantheism doesn’t even attempt to offer a solution to the problem of evil, it just says there isn’t a problem at all! A whole belief system in denial. To which we respond with the famous poem, “If pain is an illusion tell me why it is that when I sit on a pin and it punctures my skin, I dislike what I fancy I feel?” If pain is just illusion why is it so persistent, why does it hurt so much, and why doesn’t it go away? How much better is a faith in Jesus Christ that can help you through the difficult times and offer hope for the future (see Romans 5:1-11).

ReincarnationRiding on the back of pantheism is the NAM teaching of reincarnation (coming back again and again in other lives). This is opposite of the Bible teaching that, “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Reincarnation relies on the doctrine of karma, the belief that if someone is suffering then it is because they did something bad in a past life. Instead of having an answer as to why innocent people are seen to suffer in this world, the NAM again just deny that the problem exists. Only the guilty suffer in the reincarnation world view. Basically, if you’re suffering you deserve it. This is why in India, a predominately Hindu society, there is such incredible poverty and suffering. People are left in the streets because “that’s their karma.”

Contrast this with the profound teaching of the Bible. Jesus said that the second most important commandment in all the universe is to “Love your neighbour as yourself.” The first commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, 39). We can’t throw away our reason when worshipping God, which brings us to the next point.

Hindu Yoga meditationThe goal of such meditation is the emptying of the mind. Just like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars turned off his targeting computer, we are expected to turn our minds off and make our minds a blank slate. “Don’t think, use the Force, Luke!” It’s a great way of getting into a cult but not a good way of getting to know and enjoy God.

Rather, we should make God and His works the focus of our mind. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8). “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10). “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD” (Isaiah 1:18). Fill your mind, don’t empty it.

Advaita Vedanta Hinduism
Also known as Uttara Mimamsa, this Hindu belief teaches that all things that appear to exist (lots of different people, different objects, a personal God, and different experiences like pain) are just illusion. Only the impersonal “One” or Brahman exists, nothing else.

This concept is meant to be grasped not by the rational mind but by an esoteric mystical enlightenment experience called moksha. Which just goes to show how this NAM teaching borrowed from Hinduism is self-refuting. “All experience is an illusion and we learn this from an experience we have.” Not only that, but it’s just not livable to say that everything is an illusion. You might say that cars are an illusion but would you play in the street as if they were? What would happen if everyone suddenly disregarded all laws, road rules, moral standards, and all laws of nature (like gravity)? People who are really seeking enlightenment and wisdom surely would not advocate such ideas.

Wolves in Sheep’s ClothingOne of the distinguishing marks of the cults is information control. They don’t tell you at the start what they really teach and believe. It’s only after time that the truth comes to light.

As Jesus Christ warns, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Cults deceive people and teach man-made philosophies that are contrary to the truth. The New Age Movement and way of thinking is really just of modern mix of Buddhism, philosophical Hinduism, and Occult teaching. It represents a subtle but pervasive invasion into our culture. The erosion of truth, meaning, and morality that accompanies the NAM is a danger not to be ignored. Watch out for the New Age Movement! For further information about important Christian beliefs or further information on the New Age Movement, please contact us.