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"And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him." (Gen.22:2-3)
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Br. Samuel Babu, Believers Brethren Assembly, (BBA), Majlis - Bahrain For the last few days, we have been relentlessly praying for Br. Samuel Babu, who suffered Cardiac Problems and was admitted in Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain. It was well pleasing for our Lord to call HIS child to the Eternal Home, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no tears, no sickness and no death. He went to be with the LORD around 10:30 PM Bahrain Time today (Friday 23rd 2015). Let us uphold the grieving family members to the Throne of Grace. May the Lord bestow upon them heavenly Grace, Peace and strength and console them with the word of God.
 
 
 
APOLOGETICS & CULTS

NEW AGE MOVEMENT

Jacob Thomas, Pathanamthitta

 

 

We hear these statements very frequently, "there is no difference whether, Christian, Muslim, or Hindu, because all believe in one God." On other occasions we hear similar statements, "look, I am not interested in worshipping God in a temple or church, I just want to live as a good person." Some times the accusation is against Christians, "You believe in bunch of doctrines, but what is necessary is love for other human being.”

 

As a wise admonition at least some time we hear, "You just do it, if you feel that is right, don't think about the consequences." On many occasions they keep aside Gospel with this statement, "I don't bother about these spiritual realities, these are all for the livelihood of certain people."

 

These are some of the pictures that show the convictions of people in our society. But we should know that they are highly influenced by the New Age Movement. Unlike other cults, the New Age Movement has no founder, no center, no organization, no absolutes and no statement of beliefs.

 

MAN’S WISDOM X GOD’S REVELATION

 

1. What is the New Age Movement?

New Age Movement is a spiritual, social and political movement based on mysticism and monism, trying to transform individuals and society through mystical enlightenment and yoga. This movement looks forward the "New Age" of Aquarius which will be the time of harmony and progress. It is peculiar because it has no organization, no headquarters, no founder, no absolutes, no statement of beliefs. It is a meta-network composed of self reliant and autonomous participants, individuals and organizations. Each group differ on each of their belief and practices but the common trade mark of the New Agers is that they emphasis on monism and human potentials. It can surely allure people who have no interest in religious creeds, who are fed up by the mechanism of modern world and are strong supporters of the potentials of man. Because it touches almost all the areas of life, youngsters may easily adopt this as the way of life. The non-religious approach is more subtle and dangerous. The main reason for the success and advancement of this movement is that it promises to give an alternative to the Judo-Christians religion.

 

2. How did the New Age Movement spread in the Western World?

To trace the history and find out how these ideas were imported to the West, we have to go back to Madame Blavatsky and her colleague Mrs. Annie Beasant, who in 1875 brought spiritism and Hindu philosophy to the West. The lecture of Swami Vivekananda in the first World Parliament of Religions introduced the Vedantic thoughts to the West in 1893, According to reports he made a “deep impression”. He travelled throughout the United States lecturing on Vedantic teaching. He established numerous centers for the study of philosophic Hinduism. In the 1960s and 70s many of the Rishis and Gurus migrated to the west bringing their Eastern religious thoughts and practices with them. Some of them are Maharishi Mahesh Yogi(TM), Yogi Bhajan (Kundalini Yoga),Swami Muktananda(Divine Light Mission). J. Gordon Melton explains about these Swamies and Gurus movement to the West, "Many of these teachers came not to work within the new Asian-American communities but to spread their teaching among westerners. The last days of the 1960s saw the launching of a major missionary thrust by the Eastern religions toward the West."

 

3. What are the basic Teachings New Age Movement?

A. GOD

1. Impersonal: All the New Agers think of an impersonal God, which means that, God is not person or a being. A person has some characteristics like thinking, feelings, will and so on but New Agers speak of God only as a principle. This is derived from the Hindu thought, God is impersonal, infinite consciousness and force. This idea of God is linked with the thought that “God is all that really is.” This is a pantheistic idea that God is in all the living and non living things. According to this teaching one cannot or should not search for God outside for he is also the part of God. Then why people don’t realize this? New Agers say that is because he is the victim of a false sense of separate identity which blinds him to his essential unity with God, and this is the cause of all his problems.

 

The pantheistic teachings of NAM are rejected by Scripture. God is a personal, transcendent Creator, fundamentally distinct from creation. The Bible teaches the eternal infinite God created a finite universe from nothing (Gen. 1:1; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 33:9; 148:5; Heb.11:3 Gen. 2:7; Deut. 4:39; Ps. 11:4; 103:19; John 4:24; Acts 7:48-50; 14:15-17; 17:24-2526) and that it is both real and good (Gen.1:31). God is not one with the universe (Is. 45:18,22). He is separate and over it.

 

2. Monism: The term monism comes from Greek mono, meaning "single or one." Ancient sages of Hinduism were the proponents of this thought. It really means that there is only one unitary organic whole and no independent parts. There is absolutely no dualism. Any concept of separation is only illusion, maya. This is not to be confused with pantheism, which speaks that all-god. Monism simply declares that there "God all there is." Nevertheless new agers are not hesitating to accept both ideas. It is well known that Hinduism is willing to embrace both monism and pantheism. One other identical belief with the new agers is that an individual soul Atman is the part of God Brahman. The knowledge one should have is that he or she is the part of that Brahman.

 

One should not confuse with the teaching of New Age Movement that God is one (Monism) with the teaching of The Bible that God is one. NAM says that God is the principle running through both creator and creation alike; one should not look for God outside. What one should do is that he has to remove the illusion that he is a separate identity apart from God. Or in other words a new ager cannot view God separate and above him. It is in this context a new ager speaks that God is one.

 

When a Christian says that God is one he means that objectively God who is separate from him and far above him. A Christian can think of God only as the source from which the whole universe and even he himself originated. While NAM base their teachings on ancient religions, human philosophy and fanciful imagination of man, Christian can depend on Word of God, the perfect revelation from God. The clarity and confidence of Biblical revelation is that this is done by that Almighty God Himself. A New Ager can never face the challenges of issues of life confidently because his god is “every where” but in reality “no where.” But for a Christian, he does not need to do the “guess work” but can throw himself upon the unchanging God who is a present help for all his problems and that makes difference. Front-line leaders of NAM may use philosophical and rhetorical language to present their ideas on God. A Christian never has to be overtaken by their approach. Just notice how the Bible is clear on the subject, by looking at creation. Psalmist says, The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handy work Psalm 19:1 and looking at the creator another Psalmist says, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God Psalm 90:2. The teaching of a New Ager that God is one is just opposite to Biblical teaching that God is one.

 

B. Jesus Christ was only Spiritual Master

For a New Ager to accept Jesus as God in the general sense in not at all difficult for he believes that man also is the part of God. But what is difficult for him is the Christian belief about the objective deity of Christ. New Age Movement tries to redefine Christ’s person. For them Jesus is a man who realized that he is God. They speak of Jesus as a spiritual master who attained the “Christ Consciousness.” There are other people who attained this position like Buddha, Krishna and Mohammed. This idea NAM takes from old Gnostic heresy which stems from Babylonian religions. As in the case of modern liberal theologians and atheists, New Agers also reinvent the historical Jesus by claiming that he spent 18 years in India (during his "silent years") absorbing Hinduism and teachings of Buddha. The main reason for this kind of fanciful explanation is that they cannot accept Jesus as the one and only incarnation of God. New Agers believe that Jesus received the Christ Consciousness at His baptism, and that it left Him at His crucifixion.

 

The Bible teaches that Christ is unique in nature as the only incarnation of God and Savior of the world (John 3:16, 18; Philippians 2:1-8; I John 2:2). The miracles of Jesus were the evidence that he is what he claimed to be. Christ revealed God in an absolute sense. Jesus cannot be compared with Buddha or Krishna because they never ever claimed to be God. Jesus never taught that man has deity in him. The Word of teaches that Christ will come again visibly and personally (Matthew 24:29-38; Acts 1: 11). The Bible rejects the NAM teaching that Christ was merely an enlightened master or spirit guide.

 

C. Man is God

New age movement does not believe in the reality of a personal God as such. On the other hand they firmly hold on to the idea that man is in his real nature is god. Their whole system makes it so easy for them to do that.

 

Although created in God's image, humanity is not an extension of God and does not share God's being. Humanity is not God. (Isa. 45:18; 55:8-9; 46:9; Jer. 17:5-10; Rev. 4:11)

The Bible is clear on this point, it does not say that man is God but shows that he is highest among the creation of God. Man is created in the image and likeness of God. He is created to rule all other creation of God. Man is accountable to God according to the Bible. God designed a great future for man. All these truths concerning man is contrary to NAM ideas.

                                                             To be continued.......

 

 
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