Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron… take some pagan mythology, mix in a little Eastern mysticism, two parts occult philosophy, a good sized dose of Gnosticism, a dash of alternative medicine, some crystals, a pinch of UFO lore, a few shakes of karma and reincarnation, a hefty sprinkling of the human potential movement, some right brain/left brain studies, a heaping portion of pseudo-science, a good sized portion of astrology, season it with folk magic to taste, then blend it in a container made of Mayan calendar prophecies and the quatrains of Nostradamus and… Ta-da! You have a modern witch’s brew called the New Age Movement!
This cultural phenomenon burst on the scene in the early 1980’s. Though discounted at first (and often since) as a fringe spiritual movement, the followers of the New Age Movement have consistently held lofty goals. They see themselves as part of a universal human happening that is literally ushering in a new spiritual era. The promise of this New Age is the end of war and violence. All nations will join together and do away with nationalism and divisions. All religions will come together into one world religion. The leader of this new world religion will be the World Teacher, the next great spiritual leader anticipated by all individual religions. He will be the Messiah of Judaism, the Imam Mahdi of Islam, the Christ of Christianity, and the Lord Maitreya of Buddhism. And the good news is that he is already here, on the earth, waiting for the appropriate time to reveal himself to the world.
Although a very contemporary movement, the roots of the New Age concept are in the revival of occultism and Eastern mysticism that occurred in the late 19th century. If there is a grandmother of the New Age, it has to be Helena P. Blavatsky and her Theosophy. (See Truth Builders newsletter issue # 3 for more info on Theosophy.) Other influences include groups such as the Golden Dawn, the Lucis Trust, New Thought, the I Am movement, Christian Science and Wicca. People such as Alice Baily, Krisnamurti, Edgar Cayce, David Spangler and Benjamin Creme are looked on with esteem and respect.
When it first became known in Christian circles the New Age Movement was often presented as a secret political conspiracy to take over the U.N. and the U.S. In the ensuing years, it has proven to be something even more dangerous. It has become a social phenomenon has subtly, gradually and yet effectively changed our culture and affected the worldview of many Americans, even Christians.
Summary of Beliefs
God: God is an impersonal deity. The New Age is pantheistic in theology.
Jesus: A mere man, who was possessed by the Christ spirit. A vessel for the World Teacher.
Salvation: The goal is to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
Human nature: Man is essentially divine, and has unlimited potential.
Sin: What the Bible calls sins are errors and misconceptions. Spiritual knowledge and
experience will free man from these errors.
Afterlife: Reincarnation is a fact. Salvation will come when we are absorbed into the divine all.
Scripture and Texts: Various texts, including the Bible, Eastern religious scriptures, books by
Alice Bailey, H. P. Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce, David Spangler, Krishnamurti, Mark and Clare Prophet, New Thought writers, etc.
Truth: Relative to the individual person.