While my wife and I were outside at a park celebrating her birthday, we noticed a group of women gathering under a gazebo. They started stretching. Then we noticed smoke rising above their heads. “That’s odd,” I thought. “I’m no nutrition expert, but smoking and stretching is probably not a good combination.” That is when we saw the women began to take turns waving a smoking wand around the outline of each other’s bodies. The smoke was caused by burning sage, and my wife and I stared curiously at what initially appeared to be a Pilates meetup quickly escalating into something much more mystical.
After waving their bodies around the smoky stick, each woman quickly passed the burning sage onto the next so that they could receive the treatment. Everyone anxiously awaited their turn in the ritual, and their body language transformed from anxious to calm, giving the impression that they were participating in some form of “release” and “cleansing.” After this burning sage escapade, the women moved on to misting each other with a mystery spray, likely another form of sage. Once everyone completed the ceremony, this Hogwarts-esque event ended in silent meditation. Amidst this unusual event, one thing was clear to me and my wife: humans are deeply spiritual beings. There is no telling what we will do to live out this core part of our identity.
Although there is no single agreed-upon text or creed (like the Bible) that defines and regulates New Age worship, this movement is characterized primarily by three things: the deification of humanity, relativism and the rejection of absolutes, and the promotion of religious pluralism/universalism. Expressions of New Agism may differ, but at its core we can identify these three ideologies that are against the truth found in God’s Word.
That being said, here are three ways that we can share the gospel with those entangled in empty New Age philosophy.
1. Center the Conversation in Truth, Particularly the Reality of Jesus Christ
Romans 1 tells us that mankind’s problem is not so much that we do not know the truth, but that we reject the truth in our unrighteousness. Because humanity loves their sin, we suppress the truth about the existence of God, the truth that He alone deserves worship, and the truth about our moral accountability to Him.
As human beings made by God to be both body and spirit, it is not wrong to desire the supernatural. It is not wrong to desire communion with the Divine. It is not wrong to desire prayer and meditation. It is not wrong to want to grow in our understanding of spirituality. It is not even wrong to desire cleansing and purification from the evil that we notice inside of our thoughts, motives, and actions. What is wrong is pursuing these things in falsehood, apart from truth. What makes New Agism most destructive is that it is spirituality divorced from reality.
New Agers rightly acknowledge that we are spiritual beings, that a deity exists, and that we need cleansing from the evil we know exists within us. But rather than seeking teaching that is grounded in reality, New Agers create their own spiritual “reality.” Rather than submitting themselves to self-attesting revelation from God, the Bible, New Agers are a spiritual guide unto themselves.
The problem is New Agers have no foundation for their beliefs other than thoughts and feelings brought about by spiritual experiences. They have no basis to defend their claims that man is divine, that there are no moral absolutes, and that all religions are different expressions of one spiritual reality. There is no unchanging truth underlying this religion, only malleable “personal truths” that drive this self-constructed spirituality.
On the other hand, Christianity is rooted in the historical reality of Jesus Christ, who claimed not to be a woke mystic but God Himself. He asserted to know the hearts of men and women. He spoke clearly about the sinful condition of humanity. He announced His purpose, not to enlighten mankind’s divine consciousness but to save them from divine wrath. He argued for exclusivism, that He alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one gains a right relationship with the Father except by Him.
And this Jesus is not a legend or a character in religious literature. He is a historic figure whose life, ministry, claims, and resurrection are unmistakably witnessed by thousands of manuscripts and billions of people who have been transformed over the last two-thousand years.
No matter how good that sage smells, New Agers must come face to face with the thunderous reality of Christ and His claims.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Greg Sukert