There is a common misunderstanding that everyone has a personal view of God, and we all end up seeking the one and only God, albeit via different religious paths. The following explanation can serve as a basic guide to the differences between beliefs central to Christianity and to the New Age Movement, providing both points of view, and thus enabling Christians to share their belief in the Lord Jesus Christ clearly to someone in the New Age movement.
Prepare your heart
When we pray for people who believe something different to us, we should ask the Lord to stir our hearts with a passion to intercede for the salvation of people in different religions so that none would perish (2 Peter 3:9). Much that they profess may sound very similar to what we believe as Christians; but it is not. Christianity is the only religion whereby Someone has given His life so that others (who do not deserve it) can have eternal life – as a FREE gift! Most religions require the appeasement of gods and doing good works to obtain power, money, favour or ‘salvation’, and even this may still not be enough to gain ‘salvation’.
- That God will stir your heart to intercede for people trapped in false religions and who are, therefore, in desperate need of the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Ask that He would grant you compassion for those you pray for.
- Pray for the church to be awakened to the urgency of the times and seasons, and for many to go into the harvest fields of the world, giving their lives for the sake of Christ and those who live in darkness.
- What is the New Age Movement?
There are different types of New Age cults, for example, Eastern Mystical, Occultic, Astral/Galactic and Political/Economic cults. It is important to note that some of the things we will pray through are the typical beliefs of New Age cult groups, but not every cult teaches all of these beliefs and some may hold additional beliefs. One typical belief held by New Agers is that ‘man is God’. They believe that man is part of, and one with, creation (monism) – creation is ‘god’, so man is also ‘god’ (pantheism). Thus, man is co-creator of the universe.
As Christians, we know that this deception dates back to Genesis 3:5, when Satan told Eve that she and Adam would be ‘like God’ if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We were created to live as imitators of God, through living a life of love (Ephesians 5:1). Jesus Christ is the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation of His being (Hebrews 1:3).
- That New Agers will have an understanding of who God, the Father of Jesus Christ, is.
- Ask for a spirit of wisdom and revelation to open their spiritual eyes and ears to the truth of Jesus Christ as the hope of their calling (Ephesians 1:17).
New Agers believe in reincarnation, viz. that man must endure many life cycles until his karma (the sum of all an individual has done, is currently doing, and will still do) is cleansed. Through good works performed in each life cycle, or through enlightenment, man purifies his spirit and attains unity with ‘god’, which is in everything that exists. This is the universal law.
Christians believe that man dies only once (Hebrews 9:27), not repeatedly through reincarnation, and that he is judged on the basis of his one life lived. Christ was sacrificed to take away our sin, because man was unable to overcome sin himself (Romans 3:23-24)! Jesus completely redeems us! Furthermore, the gift of salvation is free (Ephesians 2:8-9), we need not work to obtain God’s favour in order to be saved.
- For New Agers to have a revelation of the free gift of eternal life bought for them at Calvary, through the life and blood of Jesus Christ.
- Ask that many New Agers would be set free from the lie that says they have to go through many cycles of reincarnation in order to be cleansed from sin.
New Agers believe in pantheism, i.e. that God and the universe are the same thing (pan – ‘involving all’; theism – ‘the concept of God’). God is in everything, and everything is god. This belief makes God equal to the forces and laws of the universe and it embraces all gods. For New Agers, Jesus is only one of many gods, a ‘Christ’, a perfect master, a messenger or prophet of god.
Christians believe that Jesus is the only Christ; the only way, the truth and the life; not one of many gods (John 14:6). Furthermore, Jesus is the only Son of God, not one among many. Jesus is one with the Father, an accurate image of God (Colossians 2:9-10). Jesus is entirely God. Anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ is antichrist, he denies the Father and the Son (1 John 2:22).
- That God the Father will reveal Jesus Christ to New Agers as His one and only unique Son, who was revealed to this world (John 1:18).
- Furthermore, pray for them to have an understanding that God the Father is above all things and has given all authority to His Son, Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2:9-11).
- Spirit guides
New Agers believe in spirit beings or entities that are able to provide spiritual insight and guidance, often through mediums (channellers/higher intelligences). To New Agers, spirit guides are helpers who can show man how to become fully conscious and ‘realise self’ (becoming ‘divine’ through recognising their divinity within). They furthermore believe that some spirit guides, ascended masters, help those who have reached a higher level of spiritual consciousness and who have become guides for the spiritual evolution of mankind.
Christians recognise spirit guides and ascended masters as demons. We believe there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). We do not need other spirit-beings to bring us to God (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Isaiah 8:19). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and He will guide us into all truth. He does not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak and will tell us of things to come (John 16:13).
- For New Agers to have a clear revelation of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Ask that God will reveal to them the role of the Holy Spirit, and for them to understand that with our heavenly Father, no more is needed than to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
- Ancient religious texts and writings
New Agers believe that the Holy Bible is insufficient as a guide for man. Ancient religious texts and writings from other religions, as well as fresh new revelations (from people alive today or from spirit entities) are equally valuable and reliable. This specific belief has caused many Christians to stumble.
As Christians, we believe that the Bible is God’s complete word to us, and that nothing should be added to it or taken away from it (Revelation 22:18-19). We believe that all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). Scripture is complete, and it has its origin in God (2 Peter 1:20-21).
- For New Agers to have a hunger and thirst to study the Bible.
- Ask that the power of the word will set them free from misconceptions they hold in their hearts and minds.
- Pray for them to come to an understanding of the uniqueness of the Bible and its Author.
- Occultic strains within the New Age Movement
The Occultic cult within the New Age Movement includes a wide range of groups that advocate the use of magic, astrology and esoteric (or hidden) occult rituals. Some Occultic groups contend that the magic they use is ‘white magic’, and that only ‘black magic’ is evil. Most New Age groups are occultic to some degree, but some are overtly so. It is all about having power and the illumination of humanity, based on the study of ancient philosophies and rituals.
As Christians, we should never try to overpower or control another person. Our ministry, calling or commission is to see man reconciled to God. God reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and He has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. We are, thus, ambassadors on behalf of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-20), and we are to operate with God’s authority, righteousness and justice towards everyone. Reconciliation with God is through the love Christ portrayed when He died for us at Calvary.
- For New Agers to have a revelation of the power of the love of God, and that nothing can separate us from His love. This truth exceeds any power that may be gained through difficult rituals.
- Ask for many New Agers to be set free from bondage, as they choose to follow Christ.
- Cults within the New Age Movement
The ‘Human Potential’ belief within the New Age Movement involves self-improvement, increased creativity and success, etc. These believers emphasize positive thinking, affirmation techniques, mind dynamics and changing one’s inner attitudes and thoughts. People are drawn into this group by the promise of happiness and prosperity. Sadly, many Christians hold this false belief also without realising it.
Christians believe that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are more than enough for all that we need. Whether we need understanding, deliverance, a better attitude or more creativity, God is our complete source who can provide everything we need. However, there is one big difference: What God provides is not to make us great, but to bring glory to His Name! Therefore, we serve God (the source of all we need) with one goal in mind – to bring Him glory with whatever He entrusts to us (Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 4:11; Revelation 1:6).
- That dissatisfaction from pursuing all these efforts will drive New Agers to search out the God whom Christians follow.
- Ask that they would have the understanding that only God can satisfy us, as we live to love and work for His glory.
- Mystery teachings within the New Age Movement
The ‘Mystery Teachings’ within the New Age Movement include esoteric beliefs – secret and mysterious teachings, reserved for advanced ‘disciples’. These beliefs are usually based on ancient mystery teachings, with a great emphasis placed on gods and goddesses, mythological fables and stories from ancient cultures. Recruits to this group are drawn in by the fascination of such mystical and mysterious material and information presented to them. Often, highly educated people are involved in this group.
As Christians, we set our hearts and minds on God to impart to us a revelation of the mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3). We have been raised with Christ, and we seek things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. We are to set our minds on what is above, and not on the things of the earth (Colossians 3:1-2).
- For New Agers to discover the mystery of Christ in the Bible through their searching.
- Ask that God will reveal to them the love of Jesus in a unique way that will cause them to see the folly of their New Age endeavours.
- Pray for many hearts and minds to be turned to follow Jesus Christ without compromise.