NEW AGE AND THE CHURCH
March 27, 2011

 

   New Age- A large, loosely structured network of individuals and organizations bound together by common values (based on mysticism and monism- “all is one”) and common goals and vision (a coming “new age” of peace and mass enlightenment, the 'Age of Aquarius').

   Mysticism- An attempt to commune with God 'experientially' and to find spiritual understanding through means other than the Bible. Mysticism consists of practices including the occult, spells, sorcery, witchcraft, soothsaying, spiritists calling up the dead, etc.

 

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER

 

   CP, also known as Centering Prayer, is a detachment from all thought processes in the mind. It is a time of non-thinking, a time to let go of all thoughts whether good or bad so that only pure awareness exists without concentration on anything except the one word or phrase that you are using to empty your mind of everything. When 'centering', we practice leaving human thought and reason behind and attend only to the spiritual. CP goes far beyond “ordinary consciousness” into a state of “pure consciousness” in which the “false self” is left behind in order to find the “true self” within while attaining “unity-consciousness” with God.

   The state of mind being attempted is much like a trance state through meditation much like techniques used for self-hypnosis. The basic belief for all this mind altering business is that 'the mind is actually a barrier to spiritual enlightenment'. The favorite method that is used to help reach this state of mind is called Mantra. This method is derived from eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, TM, etc. It is using a suggested word or phrase and repeating it slowly over and over in the mind with the idea that each time the word is used it replaces a thought or word that is clouding the mind.

   The ultimate goal of CP is to reach the state of totally emptying the mind of all conscious thoughts and entering into a non-verbal experiential union with God in the center of one's being.

   CP is taught to be a type of praying that “has nothing to do with words and petitions of what is commonly known as prayer”, CP is 'beyond words'. In CP, silence is the language of God. 

 

THE LABYRINTH

 

   The Labyrinth is a circle with a twisting path that winds its way to the center and is used for prayer and meditation. The Labyrinth is said to be a tool for personal, psychological and spiritual growth.

   Used by pagan religions for centuries before the coming of Christ, the labyrinth was “Christianized” by the Roman Catholic Church as part of its desperate search for spirituality apart from the Bible.

   Native Americans called the labyrinth the Medicine Wheel; the Celts called it the Never Ending Circle; in mystical Judaism it was called the Kabala.  

   The most famous labyrinth was built into the floor of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in France in the 13th century. It has been duplicated in the Riverside in New York, N.Y. And in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Cal. (Episcopal).

   Laura Artress of The World Wide Labyrinth Project is quoted as saying, “the goal is to facilitate the transformation of the Human Spirit”. Notice the capitalization of Human Spirit, thus testifying to the New Age belief system that man finds divinity within himself. Miss Artress gives credit for her love of the labyrinth to a Jean Houston's Mystery School, a New Age Organization. Artress says: “ I can teach everything I want to teach through the labyrinth: meditation (CP), finding our soul assignments, spiritual practices, psycho-spiritual healing, etc. It has the exact cosmic rhythms embedded within it. I sense the design was created by great masters of Spirit.”

  

 

   BIBLE RESPONSE TO NEW AGE

 

   John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

   I John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

   I Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which mans wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth: comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

   Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. 

   Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.

   Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

   Matthew 7:15-16 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistle?

   Luke 8:30 And Jesus asked him , saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

   John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

   I Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocricy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

   Deuteronomy 18:10-12 There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer- ( a person that tells the future by communicating with someone who is dead), For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

   II Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight):

   Ephesians 6:12, 16 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

… Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

    II Corinthians 11:14-15 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.