Opinion: Christians Should Reject The “New Age” Movement
Escaping oppression in England, the Pilgrims fled to the land we now know as the United States of America in search of religious freedom. These individuals wanted to be free to worship, but who did they want to worship? The one, true God. The God of the Bible.
It should come as no surprise that after being founded upon biblical principles, the U.S. is, to this day, the country with the largest Christian population. According to research done by the Pew Research Center, in 2015, 76.9% of Americans identified as Christian.
Although this might make some jump for joy, it is not as good a statistic as it first presents itself to be. The word “Christian” in America has become a label for many, a commodity that simply means, “I go to church occasionally.” However, when the beliefs held by those who claim the Christian faith are examined, a blaring alarm begins to ring, and it is crucial for the church to listen closely to it.
The New Age movement, or New Age spirituality, is a conglomeration of beliefs rooted in Eastern mysticism. Things ranging from meditation to occult practices can all fall under the umbrella of New Ageism. Although it is difficult to define at times, which is why its followers rarely label themselves as such, this unbiblical worldview has permeated America, including the evangelical church.
While nowadays eight-in-ten Christians say they believe in the God of the Bible, six-in-ten believe in one or more of four predominant New Age beliefs, including the belief in psychics, reincarnation and in astrology. Even though some of these can be easily identified as contrary to biblical truth, there are other beliefs within New Age that have subtly trickled into the church.
Arguably even more dangerous is the self-love and self-actualization ideology that is being fed to many Christians today and accepted as truth. This seems, at first glance, like a belief that could align with biblical Christianity. However, when examined closely, it becomes increasingly easy to see that these claims are actually rooted in New Age beliefs rather than the Christian faith. Although the Bible affirms that every individual has intrinsic value because he or she is made in the image of the Creator, the Bible is also quick to affirm that without God, we are completely depraved.
According to former New Ager, now Christian apologist, Steven Bancarz, Satan is trying to deceive humanity with the lie he started with in Genesis 3: you shall be like God. When entangled by lies of self, we are convinced that life is simply about bettering our character or social standing, and that through affirmation, positive thinking and self-reliance it can be achieved.
Christians, beware. This is not the Gospel that Jesus calls us to. When we follow Christ, we deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow him. The life of a Christian is not a life of self-actualization, but rather of complete self-denial. Not because we don’t have value, but rather because there is nothing good in us that we could give value to on our own. Our value comes directly from God alone. Only through Christ and his work of redemption can we become who we were created to be.
Rosa Elias is a Social Media Manager. Follow her on Twitter at @rosaeliasnajri.