As I entered the crowded room I noticed the lights were turned off and that an altar stood in the front of the class. The glow of four white candles enhanced the image of the goddess, Diana, in the center of the altar. Around the image lay several offerings to the goddess.
The workshop speaker rose and began to address the audience. I will never forget her opening statement; she said, "I'm a radical feminist, a lesbian, and a practicing witch." As she told her story I began to see that many in the room were sympathetic to her. She spoke of growing up in a Christian home and going to church each Sunday. Her statements were matter‑of‑fact as she related her growing discouragement with mainline Christianity and her new awakening to the potential within her.
The idea of the unfolding of "The Self" to reach our full potential, and the associated idea of discovering our "True Self" lies as the foundation stones to what has become known as the New Age Movement. This emphasis on self and the process of self‑discovery can be found in Theosophy, paganism, witchcraft, and Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.
The New Age Movement has become an umbrella term for the rise of the occult in our day. Within occult circles the Movement is perhaps better known as the Aquarian Age, the Human Potential Movement, the Third Force, the Holistic Health Movement, or simply Cosmic Humanism.
The New Age is loosely defined as a transformative process between the age just past and the age that is to come; the age to come is commonly known as the Aquarian Age. Astrologically, the current age of Pisces will phase out of existence and the dawning of the New Age of Aquarius will take its place as we reach the year 2000.
According to occult thought, the Piscean Age has as its foundation the male‑centered Judeo‑Christian worldview. The Aquarian Age is an attempt to bring balance back into the evolutionary process by introducing female energies through a new world order. Adherents of this new age order believe that all man's problems are a direct result of his Judeo‑Christian heritage. Therefore, a shift in thinking must occur to bring about the change from a masculine influence with its emphasis on rationalism and logic to a more compassionate, tender, and tolerant order based on intuition and subjectivism.
The earlier reference to goddess worship through Dianic witchcraft is one example of how this transformation is taking place. Androgyny ‑ the blurring of male‑female distinctions, is another facet of change that is beginning to challenge the traditional understanding of who men and women are. The return of goddess‑worship is undergoing a revival along with radical feminism.
Man ‑ The Measure of All Things
Those who have accepted the New Age agenda believe that mankind is the solution to his own problem ‑ that one needs no authority beyond himself. As the Secular Humanists have taught for decades, "man is the measure of all things."
Secular Humanists do not believe in life after death and certainly do not believe in the supernatural. Therefore, God does not represent a viable option for man; if he is in need of salvation, he will have to save himself.
Mankind is discovering in the latter years of this century that Secular Humanism is not the answer many had hoped for ‑- it is not an adequate solution to man's problem. According to the Judeo‑Christian worldview, man's problem has been seen as separation from God. Secular Humanists view man as an inhibited creature who needs the restraints of the Judeo‑Christian moral code removed so he can fully express himself in every area of life.
The New-ager sees man's problem as being one of separation, not from a personal God, but from one another and the knowledge of who he is - god.
Secular Humanism has so invaded every area of our culture, including the Christian church through its liberalism, that the church in general is looked upon as an out‑dated option ‑- a bankrupt alternative. In the 1980s many in our society began to believe that not only was the church a seemingly dead option for them, but also that Secular Humanism, in fact, held no hope for them either.
Secular Humanism Gives Rise to a New Age
The emergence of the New Age Movement rests on the seeming decay of Christianity and the despair of Secular Humanism. Man is created in God's image and must experience a degree of spirituality. People are looking for spiritual vitality in an unprecedented manner, so much so, in fact, that our society is undergoing a spiritual upheaval. The New Age Movement is positioned to meet that need. It offers one a spiritual solution to one's dilemma and in the midst of meeting the need, of rediscovering one's lost spirituality, the individual discovers their divinity.
Our society is primed for a movement which will still affirm humanity as the measure of all things and that will revitalize his spiritual yearnings.
In essence, the New Age Movement is a move toward man's evolutionary future where he sees himself as an autonomous god who is answerable to no one beyond himself. All authority lies within the individual and is not to be found outside the Self.
The New Age Movement is becoming known as a spiritual, social, and political movement to "transform individuals" and society through alignment with mystical occult knowledge,in the hope of bringing about a utopia of harmony and peace.
New Age Ideas Infiltrate The Church
The Christian church is increasingly becoming a point of infiltration by New Age proponents. The liberal nature of many churches opens the door for experimentation with less than orthodox teaching. The teachings of the Unity School of Christianity are perhaps the most widely accepted in those churches that align themselves with New Age ideas. Silent Unity is practiced by a growing number of individuals as they remain in the churches of their choice and disseminate their occultic beliefs. These individuals continue to be a vital part of their respective church families: teaching Sunday school classes and working with the youth rather than leaving the church and fully embracing their newly found faith.
When the Church rejects the truth of Scripture it will soon arrive at the point of believing anything. The non‑biblical approach to faith that centers on spiritual experiences, leaves an open door to another gospel and another spiritual identity.
This is precisely where many churches are today. It is imperative that Christians, as individuals and corporately, set a biblical standard before the world and each other. Without such a standard the church is set adrift in an ocean of paganism.
One large United Methodist Church in the Dallas area recently offered a course entitled "The Spiritual Journey." This course was written by Fr. Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk. The Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver says that Keating's "ability to blend the insights of modern psychology and Eastern mysticism with the traditional wisdom of the Desert Fathers is an immensely valuable contribution to . . . Catholic Spirituality."
Keating's method of Centering Prayer is patterned after Zen meditation. The individual is encouraged to select a "sacred word" to enable him to remain focused on the divine. This "sacred word" becomes the vehicle that allows one to transcend the mind by blanking out all thought and therefore "directing (one's) attention to God's presence at the center of our being."
This form of meditation, focusing on the self by way of altering our consciousness, is more closely aligned with New Age mystical practices than it is with biblical Christianity (Josh. 1:8, Psalms 1:2, 119).
The Luciferic Initiation
This revival of paganism, believed to be an evolutionary step forward in man's spirituality, represents a new threat for this generation. Peter Caddy in an interview with Science of Mind magazine stated that "for centuries people with spiritual discernment have known that America would be instrumental in midwifing the New Age."
Caddy sees Christianity as a one‑sided emphasis on deity. He believes this one‑sided view of God cannot remain as a primary factor shaping man's understanding of God. He states, "as our God‑concept becomes more androgynous, we'll relate to the source of life as both God and Goddess. In the New Age, God the Father, with His emphasis on law and reason, will celebrate a 'mystical marriage' with God the Mother, with Her emphasis on love, compassion, and intuition."
In order for this New Age to come into manifestation there must first be a cycle of purification where mankind goes through a series of initiations. The first initiation is humankinds recognition that all of humanity is divine. New Age philosopher David Spangler, in his book Reflections on the Christ, says that "any person who helps to re‑focus human thinking and acting, who helps to educate man in the realities of his divine nature is fulfilling the New Age work, whether he uses Christian, Buddhist, scientific, agnostic or esoteric terms." In other words, any teaching that claims humanities divinity is based in New Age occultism. The ultimate initiation that each world citizen is to take is known as the Luciferic Initiation, in which all humanity acknowledges their allegiance to the new world system.
Spangler continues by saying that "the only way that evil is going to be dealt with as a race, the only way the thought‑forms of the past are going to be cleansed, is for us to begin to affirm creativity, responsibility, with perspective, the divinity that lives within us, to identify with it." It is believed that there are many initiations one goes through and that one may undergo several initiations in previous lifetimes.
The Initiator of this planet is the head of the evolutionary process upon the earth. Through the initiation process humanity comes to realize that there is not only no need to fear evil but likewise there is no need to fear judgment. Judgment is considered to be unnecessary.
These initiations are to bring together a growing number of people who will form a critical mass. The forming of this critical mass, which was a function of the Harmonic Convergence of 1987, is a prior condition before humanity can experience the New Age in all its fullness.
Many in our society have accepted this New Age gospel. Genesis 3 indicates that man will be deceived by three lies of Satan. The first lie is that he will know all things. Man will have all knowledge and wisdom at his disposal. The second lie is that man will surely not die, but that he will be reincarnated again and again. The third lie, and the most dangerous, is that he will become "as" or "like" God. Matthew 24:20 and following indicates that the Christian, the very elect of God, can be deceived by the signs and wonders accompanying the New Age Messiah.
As God's people we cannot let our guard down. For Satan is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour with his insidious gospel. The Church must stand with its Sword drawn, that it might discern the teachings in this day. Otherwise, it will truly accept the lies of the Evil One as truth.
Salvation for a New Age
Characteristics of salvation according to proponents of the New Age.
* It is the unfolding of one's consciousness to the point where the true self, the
divine nature, is realized. As a flower unfolds petal by petal, so too does
spiritual evolution unfold, revealing the deeper realms of God-consciousness.
*It is the gaining of enlightenment. It is a state of consciousness where the person's
separation from other humans is transcended and unity is achieved.
* It is absorption of the one into the all. Individuals loose their distinctive
personality and become one with their own impersonal energy called God.
[Christianity teaches that humans are finite beings who only become whole, in the
biblical sense, when they receive God's spirit. Therefore, true spirituality results
from an act; it is not simply a part of human nature.]