“… and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
— Genesis 3:5
Have you felt as bewildered as I at the recent proliferation of crystals, psychics, and gurus? A “new” religion has swept through our land—the New Age movement—attracting converts with the speed of a runaway train. But the only thing new about this movement is its slick Madison Avenue makeover. In reality, the New Age movement has existed since the Garden of Eden. An old serpent in a new skin, this worldview slithers around our society today, consuming people by the millions.
The term “New Age” refers to an astrological belief that every two thousand years the world moves into a new zodiac age. New Agers believe that at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we will pass out of the house of Pisces and into the age of Aquarius. (Interestingly, the fish symbol has always signified Christianity.) Although the New Age movement has many different and loose strands, we may glean three dogmas underlying it:
- The material world is an illusion. It’s not real. Only things in the spiritual realm are authentic. Sounds like Plato.
- Only one infinite, eternal reality exists—one force, one life energy, one spirit— and it envelops everything (including us). Sounds like pantheism—each of us is one spark from the same fire. In other words, each of us is “god.”
- Since each of us is “god” or a part of “god,” we have no need for the “old-fashioned” Christian concepts of sin, guilt, and redemption. We only need enlightenment—to recognize that we are “god.”
The New Age religion takes bits and pieces from Eastern mystical religions— Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism—Western neo-pagan occultism, ancient philosophy, modern psychology, and Taoist physics. When we mix all this together, what do we come up with? The original lie that Satan gave to mankind in the Garden of Eden: “For God knows that in the day you eat of it [the tree of knowledge of good and evil] your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” New Age thinking weasels its way into many places, even into so-called Christian organizations. As you seek to grow closer to God, test the philosophies you hear. If anything sounds suspect, seek the truth in God’s Word and by His Spirit. God will never lead you into anything contrary to His being or His will.