"I AM SPIRITUAL"
Religious scholars and historians from the early sixties warned of the New Age ("I am not religious, I am spiritual") Movement and correctly predicted the growth of this group. Spearheads of the past "New Age Movement" teachings were based on some form of Theosophy, Unity school of Christianity, Hinduism, Christian Science, Spiritism, Bahaism and Rosicrucianism. Currently the hot spots for breading such converts of this movement comes from our nations colleges and universities. Many of these "New Age" followers of the past made their way into the classrooms of our children as teachers and philosophers. Perhaps too many parents became lax in their responsibility to lay a suitable spiritual foundation at home so when students went off to college (or simply left their home) they join the ranks of this "mindset". Today over 60 million Americans dabble in some form of New "I am not religious, I am Spiritual" Age thinking.
Time magazine has covered stories (as well as other national magazines, newspapers, radio and television) proclaiming the New Age and even the world of the occult. In one episode there was even showing of of Shirley MacLaine and another , a masked high priest of the church of Satan. Time magazine also noted that there were 2,500 New Age or occultic bookstores in the United States in 1989 alone! We only saw the "tip of the iceberg" during the early 1950's, in the 60's and 70's it built momentum and by the 80's it was in place to set nation on a path to destruction.
C. S. Lewis saw the battle lines clearly drawn and wrote of the final conflict between religions: Hinduism and Christianity as practiced (according to the Word of God) only. Why? Because they would offer the only options ultimately left since Hinduism would include all beliefs (religious systems) and true Christianity would exclude all others by holding faithfully to the supremacy of Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, risen from the dead and claiming "all authority."
Ron Carlson in his book unpublished book on the movement asserts, "The New Age Movement" is too new, too old, too fluid, too broad, too strange, to assign concrete definition, but it does possess certain symbols and characteristics that allow us to enter the metaphysical world of New (I am only spiritual) Age thought. it is a journey fraught with paradox, inconsistencies, conflicting doctrines, ancient and emerging beliefs, and quite frankly, practices and philosophies that are often alien and bizarre to the traditional western mind...moving with almost dizzying speed, but it has no name and eludes description." The New Age (I am only spiritual) is self-centered in nature, a combination of eastern mystic thought and practice coupled with western secularism and psychotechnologies. by it, you can discover spiritual fulfillment without ethic or moral requirements; spiritualism without commitment.
Here are some signs today of those who have been "tampered with" or influenced by this "New Age" thought. They....
-want sex partners without any concern for the circumstances (of marital/ relationship status/ gender/health issues) or even knowing your whole name
-want marriage without love and commitment
-want children without nurturing or even child support
-talk about the concept of "good" and "evil" without any law or God to attach to it because they are the ultimate determination of such, "good" and "evil".
-want a church without doctrine, Jesus without the church or simply God without Jesus.
-ultimately want God without spirituality or simple to be called spiritual without God
Ancient roots of New Ageism trace to the occult. The word occult comes from the Latin word for secret and mysterious. The Bible forbids occultic practices on the basis that they come from satanic power (cf. Eph. 6:11-12) and Deut. 18:9-14). When this origin is understood, New Age is anything but new age! The occult could be called a substitute faith that can be found throughout the history of world religions. In the Bible there were warnings hundreds of years before Christ came to earth concerning occult practices, in such passages as Isaiah 47 where special attention is given to astrologers. "Sorcerers" and "Magicians" are spoken of in the book of Daniel. In 2 Kings 21 the Hebrews received judgement for her failure to obey God concerning the occult. One is quickly reminded of the pathetic situation described in the Book of Judges where "every man did what was right in his own eyes." The New Age "I am spiritual" craze is but a revival of the ancient practices of Sumerian, Indian, Egyptian, Chaldean, Babylonian and Persian religious traditions of men.
Alice Bailey is an important figure in the movement, having become deeply involved with Madame Blavatsky in the Theosophical Society by writing more than 20 books. Even though her writings are important, however, obviously they cannot be held as an official guide for the New Age movement...nor can any other single writer or philosophy represent the movement. By its very definition it is all-inclusive, nebulous, big, variable and fluid. Unlike the Methodists, for example, they have no accepted creed book or discipline.
Because there is no one authority or accepted tradition common to all the philosophies of the New Age, we shall quote from only a few to give contrasts with the Word of God , the Holy Bible.
"I had created a role for myself this time around whereby I would be at the forefront of the New Age spiritual movement, heralding the giant truth that one individual is his or her own best teacher, and that no other idol or false image should be worshipped or adored because the God we are all seeking lives inside one's self, not outside." (Shirley MacLaine) "A higher power, whatever that may be to you." (Common references in the Twelve Step Programs of Alcoholic Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc. , where a "god of your choice" is offered.) God is "Father, Mother, Child." Mahareeshi Mahesh Yoga in his meditations speaks of studying his Hindu scriptures and transcendental meditation for the purpose of getting in contact with "higher beings of gods" on other levels of spiritual reality. God is self. in Hinduism, the goal is to become enlightened to the point of divine-merging with the "one".
2. JESUS CHRIST
The New Age teaching, though varied, has basic areas of agreement. In common they hold that though Jesus was basicly a good person, yet He is NOT, the one and only Savior of the world, is NOT the only way to Heaven, is NOT deity, is NOT the truth, is NOT the life.
Many churches and those who claim to follow Christ believe this also. Take a look at their teachings and expressions.
"I believe that Jesus was the Son of God but not God who came to earth as the Son.
"Jesus is my Savior but not my Lord"
Jesus was a good person but not God"
"I am a Christian but I believe there are some Muslims and Hindus that will go to heaven also.
"What difference does it make of what Church you attend, all of them talk about God"
"I believe there are good people in all churches so what difference does it make what is taught".
My big mamma never went to church, if she is not going to heaven, nobody is"
"Jesus was a good man like other religious leaders,"
I know Jesus said in the Bible that He built His one church but I still believe any church will get you to heaven"
"Man as the image of God is already saved with an everlasting salvation." (Mary Baker Eddy in Miscellaneous Writings, p. 183) Salvation depends upon man looking inward at his own righteousness spiritual nature and recognizing that he is a god. Jehovah's Witnesses also promote "work" salvation (Read JW) that earns a place of righteousness that without a need for Jesus Christ.
Man is intrinsically divine, according to Madame Blavatsky. Man is basically good; he just needs more knowledge.
4. SIN and SALVATION
The New Age movement denies, for the most part, the biblical doctrine of sin and substitutes reincarnation as the means of atonement ignoring the significance of the cross. They choose not to study the Holy Bible as the inspired Word, and choose not to "work the works of God" (John 6). "Man is his own satan just as man is his own salvation. (David Spangler, Reflections on The Christ, p. 39).
A person can be fornicating or murdering habitually and still be "spiritual".
There is very little talk of sin in this New Age (I am spiritual) philosophy. Rather, the love concept is emphasized and no thought is given to the fallen condition of man and his separation from God by his sin.
Salvation is by, through and of self.
5. SACRED WRITINGS
New Agers employ the tools of the occult: tarot cards, crystals, Ouija boards, mediums or channelers, astrologers and fortune tellers. In reality, they seek "the gods of of this age." They focus on various manuals and books written by their leaders, not focusing on the sacred Holy Bible, inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
This has influenced those who claim to follow Christ. They look to horoscopes to determine decision their lives.
There are four steps to transformation as articulated by Marilyn Ferguson:
Entry point. For one it might be psychedelic drugs; for others it may be a book, a psychic experience, a UFO encounter, a seminar. Whatever shakes a person out of their old way of thinking and into a greater dependence on intuition and inner self.
Exploration. Explore what is out there. astrology, yoga, the occult, dietary purification, seminars, the vast inner frontiers of the human mind. A change from objective to subjective thinking; naturalism instead of supernaturalism.
Integration. Go get the knowledge; ever person may adopt a different code.
Awareness. Recognize your "new self." Total bliss. Total nothingness in the realization of Godconsciousness.
Hinduism and Buddism and others deny self and seek to lose self, where most New Agers elevate and exalt self...a serious conflict of interest. The New Age has yet to harmonize the loosing of self with the finding of self....but when each person makes the rules for himself, anything is acceptable.
8. Use instruments of Music in Worship
9. The name Baptist Church; The name non-essential.
10. Lord's Supper (non-immersed (baptized) not allowed to commune. (Pendleton,p.89,90,97). Observed monthly by Baptists.
WRONG TIME: 1607 A. D.
WRONG PLACE: Holland
WRONG FOUNDER: John Smythe
"There is one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in you all." "There is one Spirit." (Ephesians 4:4-6)
"Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one." (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29) Beside me there is no God." (Isaiah 41:6)
"For though there be those that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth...to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 8:5-6)
2. JESUS CHRIST
"I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
He is our great God and Savior. (Titus 2:13)
He has all authority in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18)
He receives worship that is due to God alone. because He is God incarnate. (John 20:28)
He is King of kings, Lord of lords, the Creator of all things. He The Father calls Him "God." (Hebrews 1:1-8; Colossians 1:15-20)
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:9-10.
The world is full of people that are attempting to get to God through a window, crawl space and even down a chimney that is not even there. While "the enemy" who is the Father of lies (John 8:44) has always been there to deceive, multitudes who continue to fall for his tricks to come to God "any kind of way (Proverbs 14:12)". Jesus still says that you MUST enter by THE (one) DOOR and HE (JESUS) is that door! Not any other location or not just any door! (John 10:1) The false teachers (Popes, Pastors, Founders, "Divine Books, Divine Revelations, Governing Boards, gods) that are telling you other ways to serve God are thieves that will rob you of eternality with God.
"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God...there is none righteous no not one." (Romans 3:23;10)
Sin is missing the mark, transgressing the law of God (1 john13-15) The process that leads all persons of accountable age to sin is tempted by our own evil desire, enticed, desire gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full grown. gives birth to death , spiritual separation from the perfect Jehovah God. (James 1:5:17).
4. SIN and SALVATION
Sinner must first hear the word of God
Without faith in Jesus Christ, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6; John 3:16).
Without repenting of sin, all men will perish (Acts 3:19; Luke 13:3,5).
Without confessing faith in Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son (the "one and only on of God") Jesus will not confess us before the Father in Heaven (Matthew 10:32-33).
Without being baptized (immersed) in water by the authority of Jesus Christ we cannot have the forgiveness of sins, salvation (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:15-16; John 3:3-5). This puts a person "into Christ" , into the kingdom of God. Romans 6:3-5; John 3:3-5).
5. SACRED WRITINGS
"All scripture is God breathed." and supplies man all his needs in doing "every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
"Search the Scriptures daily." (Acts 17:11)
"Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from God's mouth." (Matthew 4:4)
The way of salvation and entrance into the body of church of Christ is to follow the primary commands of Jesus in His New Testament. We are thus translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 1:13). See the process above in item #4.