The widespread and multifaceted New Age Movement touches virtually every aspect of the American culture. Business seminars, public school classes, psychology, health, science, music, art, entertainment, politics–and even churches–have all felt the effect of New Age theories and claims.
The New Age Movement denies the Judeo-Christian belief in a personal, righteous God. It obliterates distinctions between the spiritual and material, claiming that there is a universal and pervasive spirituality which, as a vast, inter connected web of higher consciousness, binds everything and everyone together. The New Age Movement’s worldview is based on the notion that the cosmos is a universal energy field of life force. Persons in the Movement contend that this energy can be used by those who learn how to appropriate it through the divine power that resides in all human beings. The Movement claims that the proper use of this energy will result in universal spirituality, global harmony and peace.
The New Age Movement uses religious language and a selective collection of borrowed spiritual concepts as it contends for its own utopian world vision. This makes it attractive to a largely materialistic society that is abandoning traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs, yet has failed to provide a replacement to meet the universal spiritual hunger of humanity. For this reason the New Age Movement is dangerous.
New Age religion rests on a naked subjectivism which places a person in the God-like position of determining right and wrong. People are encouraged to “create their own reality.” This, of necessity, results in a thorough-going moral relativism which cannot avoid endorsing any particular brand of reality that individuals may have created. This kind of moral vacuity is dangerous and corrosive.
The National Association of Evangelicals recognizes the dangers of the New Age Movement, its shallow pop psychology of self-indulgent self-affirmation, its synthetic blending of half-truths, and its involvement–with practices such as “channeling”–in a spiritual world that it does not understand. The NAE especially warns Christians and the Church to beware of therapies, seminars and courses that claim to manipulate energies, that make unscriptural spiritual claims, that draw on the secret knowledge of an elite individual or group, and that belittle the value of critical thinking.
The National Association of Evangelicals asserts the truth and unique authority of Holy Scripture and its distinctive worldview: (1) That all are sinners, out of fellowship with a personal God; (2) that a right relationship with God is made possible through the gift of God’s grace; (3) that this is achieved only through receiving by faith the person and atoning work of Jesus Christ who is the crucified, risen and reigning Sovereign Lord of the universe.
The hope of the world does not lie in visionary secular utopias and counterfeit religious systems, but in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, the life-changing power of Jesus Christ and the sure promise of the Kingdom of God under the reign of Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, believing that analysis of the New Age Movement, warning of its inherent dangers and understanding its distinctives are important, we would prayerfully recognize that the need exists to develop and implement serious and thoughtful strategies for evangelizing both leaders and adherents within this Movement.