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The New Age Movement

by Ed Decker

So much has been said and written lately about the New Age Movement that you almost need a directory to sort out all the material. I recently read in one of the national magazines that books and articles dealing with the New Age accounted for approximately half of all Christian bookstore sales this last year.

I don't know how accurate that is but the New Age seems to be around every corner lately. Last year, my wife Carol and I spent a little summer vacation time in Sun Valley, Idaho, a ski resort tucked away in the Sawtooth Mountains. Even though we expected to have a quiet, relaxing time during off-season, the place was crowded beyond capacity with a New Age Conference, complete with Shirley McLaine, Gurus, Channelers and mystics of every size and shape. The attendees paid hundreds of dollars to sit in on this convergence of pyramid power, crystals and New Age clairvoyants. So much for our quiet time away from the pressures and stress of ministry.

A few years ago, Carol and I celebrated our anniversary by taking a quiet weekend trip to one of the nearby islands of the San Juans and looked forward to the solitude at Rosario Lodge on Orcas Island. We just squeezed in at the heavily booked resort and as though they were right on schedule, a New Age Conference filled up the rest of the entire resort. It is as though the Lord has wanted to be certain I took a long hard look at this phenomenon. While they pranced around with their shirts crying out for us to "Visualize World Peace", I put on a similar shirt that said, "Visualize Hell!" It was another fun weekend of rest and relaxation for the Deckers.

I want to talk to you about the New Age movement. I'll leave much of the detail of it to those who are the real experts, but I want to first identify the movement and then show you how we "Got there" and where this fascination for the mysteries is leading our nation and the world.

What is the New Age? That's the first question everyone asks. An actual general definition that can be placed an a table to look is difficult to pull together from the scores of books and articles on the subject. However, one book that cut through the maze for me has been the Huntington House book, INSIDE THE NEW AGE NIGHTMARE, By the late Randall Baer.

In it, Randy identified the two major schools of New Age thought. He defined the first viewpoint of New Age thought as Consciousness Renaissance, a transformation in which mankind is stepping beyond its self-imposed limits to merge with the unlimited powers of a utopian universe.

Baer stated, "Consciousness Renaissance sees humankind currently experiencing the beginning of a new spiritual and socio-political awakening, a modern-day super-Renaissance destined to lead man into a new era of enlightened spiritual humanism. Spurning the thought of man needing divine intervention to assist in the creation of a global utopia, this perspective sees the awakening of "unlimited human god-potential" as the means by which "heaven on earth" will manifest. In essence, as man achieves higher states of god-consciousness through New Age practices, heaven will dawn on earth only through the dawning of man's enlightened "higher consciousness."(pages 89-90)

This philosophy works from the perspective that man's true mind has been veiled by his own ignorance and limits; that man is divine and perfect, the world is divine and perfect and the whole cosmos is divine and perfect and we are all part of the same divinity. All we need to do in order to claim our godhood, both as individuals and as an entire world, is to step into the reality of our perfection and divinity.

The second major branch of New Age thought can be termed the "Quantum Leap of Consciousness." Baer quotes one New Age source as saying, "We are on the brink of a new age, a whole new world. In the twinkling of an eye, mankind's awareness, our collective consciousness, is going to make an instantaneous quantum leap into the heavens. Everything will change in a flash of divine light. Get ready. Your heavenly heritage awaits."(page 90)

Baer reported that when sufficient momentum is generated by enough people having developed higher consciousness, then the entire world will be ready to take that quantum leap into a higher dimension. "In contrast to the Consciousness Renaissance, this model is directly tied to some form of outside, divine intervention." (page 90)

He stated that there are varied concepts as to what form this divine intervention will take. His examples include "Highly evolved extra-terrestials, a Council of Ascended Masters, an Enlightened World Teacher or some other all-powerful "divine" being(s). Earth and humanity are to be pulled up to the next major notch on the evolutionary ladder, thereafter to be governed benevolently by the [pick one] intervening celestial force(s). (page 90)

Baer continued on in that vein for another page, but really hit the new age nail on the head when he summarized his comparisons of the two groups, "Although there is much overlapping between these two major philosophies, the Quantum Leap of Consciousness viewpoint is much more predisposed to the metaphysical-occult end of the spectrum. In particular, the predominant themes lie much more towards mediumship, spiritism, witchcraft, psychic powers, and sorceries in myriad shapes and forms. One of the primary dangers from this branch of the New Age is its major contribution to the historically unprecedented unleashing of demonic forces into the world today." (page 91)

As those around us who are drawn into the mysterious aura of these movements, we see people who are living in a world somewhere between extreme serenity and joyous euphoria. With bumper stickers and T shirts calling for us to Visualize World Peace, they somehow appear to be playing out the yuppy rendition of the peace movements of a generation ago.

When President Bush ushered in his Presidency by calling for "A Thousand Points of Light" a great New Age wave began to come sweeping across our nation. The Clinton presidency fed on those beginnings and today, the New Age movement is firmly in place.

Now we are witnessing what world leaders are calling "The Dawn of A New Age, A New World Order." Ever since WWII this nation (and the rest of the world) has been exploding into this New Age of Man with a speed that has the entire Planet reeling with each morning news.

If you are wondering, "WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO OUR WORLD?" Let's look back a little bit. The Mills Brothers generation was shocked at Elvis. Then the Beetles backed out of the scene to Acid Rock and the Madonna generation. Now we have the likes of 2 LIVE CREW and their filth by court decree.

In the Art World, filth we used to burn is now being created at taxpayer expense...... In today's America, No emotional, sexual, neurotic behavior of any kind can be restrained except decency and Religious Freedom. If you think this is an accidental situation, you are sadly mistaken. Things will get worse, not better.

We have gone from throwing away dishes to throwing away diapers to throwing away families. Today you can go to jail for breaking an eagle's egg yet have the government pay you to kill your own child in the womb. People are given large grants and media support to tie themselves to ships to Save the Whales and Dolphins, yet people who try to Save the Babies are victims of police brutality and severe legal action.

We have gone from a country where the priority was the protection of the rights of its citizens to a Nation that now protects the rights of every deviant in society even when those rights take away the rights of the very citizens it is supposed to protect.

50 years ago, we were the most powerful nation on earth. Today, we are like a giant stumbling and groping about in a state of drunkenness, eaten alive by disease, drugs and poison in the bloodstream of our national life, clawing at ourselves as we attempt to gain control of ourselves. We are like that demonized man in chains that Jesus met who tore at himself.

Remember the book that took America by storm? I'm OK, Youíre OK! It made millions of people who read it very happy. The word was out,

"We are all OK, even when we are NOT!"

It was an answer to prayer - well - the prayers of people who didn't want to bring their sin and guilt before the LORD. Here was someone who bailed them out without a confessional. The country breathed a great sigh of relief.

Then, in 1970, I ran out with everyone else and got my copy of Alvin Toffler's new book, FUTURE SHOCK. and saw in it an emerging pattern.

I just read back through it again after 20 years.

Toffler showed that we were being bombarded with all the elements of massive future shock. Something was radically happening to our society. Toffler said that the pace of change was picking up at such a rate, the curve was going off the chart. I agreed with him then and even more so today.

My first house cost less money than my last car. My last computer cost less money than my first new car and my first used car cost less money than the check for the last meal our family had out. Things are happening so fats it is almost impossible to adapt to them. We've passed "the limits of Adaptability"

Toffler talked about a soldier in battle(pp306) being bombarded from every side with bullets, screams, groans, explosions, shells bursting, rapid machine gun fire, flares lighting up the sky, etc. He said that "sometimes in such an over stimulating environment, a soldier is pushed beyond his limits or beyond the upper reaches of his adaptive range." Army Doctors called it, "long range penetration strain." Too long - too far and too intense.

And this problem has permeated every sector of our society. Its symptoms are Mental deterioration, fatigue, emotional exhaustion. Its victims become dull and listless, irrational, confused, mindlessness, dazed, and bewildered.

We are a nation of confused people running in the wrong direction.To the many people without an anchor, life has become a surrealistic nightmare. They collectively end up with a subjective feeling of loss and a sense of isolation and loneliness, from this massive bombardment of the senses. In truth, it has a probable purpose and an end goal orchestrated by the master of deceit himself. The answer, he wants us to believe, is in the teachings of the New Age, which in reality is still the Old Age lie.

The tricks of the New Age trade are hardly new. The cults have been doing the same things since even before Christ for years and the brain washing techniques of the Korean war gave ample evidence that it either worked or destroyed its victims. It is the same thing in some factories where abusive noise levels create everything from chronic sickness to dysfunctional families. Hard Rock music is not only destroying the hearing of a generation, it has bred rebellion and anger.

The New Age masters have realized that they can easily take advantage of the present chaotic state of mankind and offer our disturbed world a tasty kind of peace that soothes the jangled nerves of society, without society having to deal with its creator.

Toffler gave the example (pp314) of the housewife confronted with squalling children, jangling phones, broken washing machines, the screech of heavy metal music from the basement hideout of her sullen teenager and the blare of the TV from the family room. He said that this lady is probably at full overload and can no longer process data rationally. She has reached the point of decision stress overload. She is most likely incapable of rational decisions.

She is probably not alone. We all fall into that state from time to time. Should I take the new job? Should you buy the new house? Should he have an affair with the secretary? Will insurance cover all the costs of the operation? Will she have to borrow more money? Can the car last another winter or should I buy a new one? Every change requires new decisions, the more complex life gets the more chance for error and the more likely we fall victim to Future Shock.

Some people block out unwelcome reality and let in welcome unreality, now matter how fleeting, how destructive, how costly. Here comes the entry point for drugs, booze and even the soaps and the Guru's of the New Age.

It is here where the Solid Rock of Calvary has always offered the firm foundation of faith to withstand all the fiery barbs of the onslaught. It holds the answers to all the puzzles and pressures of life and brings an everlasting peace within to every one who will let go of self and hold on to Christ.

But there is another kind of belief system that often goes into gear in these tense conditions. It's a rampant intellectual faddism that moves faster than even the rate of these future shock explosions, because it is being propelled by the enemy of God.

These lost and confused people who refuse to reach out to Calvary try to pull from within themselves and failing there, seek help from any source other than God. Here they trade a host of painful, unsolvable problems for a temporary fix as lasting as the last New Age miracle cure.

That's whatís happening to our world and the only ones surviving it are the ones who have anchored to the Rock. All the rest are victims caught up in the turbulent crashing waves of New Age Future Shock. It offers them the chance to Vacate the premises, to empty out all the problems of life and let their New Age guide assist them in refilling their being so that they, too, can experience that joyous Light within The Light and replace the reality of sin and rebellion from God with a new easy loving god from the New World Order.

But God knew this was to come, this falling away before the final judgement and told us in His Word that the world would be racing toward it with ever quickening speed. Satan knew it was coming, too. You see, it's not going to get any better. The curves on the graph aren't going to turn downward. We are heading for that final day.

The New Agers can gaze through Crystals all they want. "Mellow out, dude," isn't going to happen. Chanting and meditating won't stop the clock and a thousand Ramthas don't have the answer. The only way anyone will ever be one with the mighty, creative God of this Universe is through His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

That's where we came in. The New Age marketeers want us to see the peace and serenity of their movement as an escape from the pressures on a volatile world, when in reality it is the very vehicle in which the world is spiraling downward in its final Race Toward Judgement.

This should come as no surprise to those Christians who have a Biblical perspective to their understanding of human events. The Scriptures remind us that, " The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned to fables." (II Tim 4:2)

Billy Graham spoke to a large conference on evangelism in Amsterdam several years ago. In that message, he said something that has stayed with me ever since. He said that there is this large empty hole inside the heart of every man and woman in the world that can only be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. God designed us with that hole filled with His presence in the Garden, but when we separated ourselves from him, our spiritual systems became defective.

The only thing that will ever fill that emptiness is God Himself and until man steps back into fellowship with God through Christ, that emptiness will just continue to ache away. So many people have tried to fill that emptiness with everything except the Lord and it holds especially true for those people lost in the lies of the new age.

copyright, Ed Decker 1999

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