Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 071 Alarming New Age
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #071 – Alarming New Age
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
I’ve seen many changes in the world in my lifetime. One of the most alarming trends for me is the indoctrination of ideology contrary to God’s truths.
Although a great majority of people profess to be Christians, some don’t realize that the term “Christian,” means, “little Christ.” In fact, the term supposedly originated with pagans in Antioch because they could very clearly see a difference in the lifestyles of those following and emulating Jesus.
Without the full understanding that to be called a Christian, one must have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior because of the work He did on the cross to redeem us from sin, and that afterward we live with the faithful duty to seek Him and allow Him to transform our life to reflect His, many continue to live in ignorance or rebellion. Sadly, sometimes even after some have professed Jesus as Savior, their life remains unchanged visibly and without proper discipleship, they are deceived by the culture and fleshly desires of self.
Romans 5:6-8 says, “For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Some may profess to be a Christian simply because they believe there is a God, not because they have experienced the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit at work within them.
That is a sad and scary statement.
Simply believing there is a God or attending church does not make a person a follower of Christ.
Ephesians 4:18 says, “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”
Despite the fact that many people claim and believe themselves to be Christians, a growing number of people also claim no religion and instead follow a “new age movement” that began spreading wider in the 70’s and 80’s, and seems to be growing a somewhat larger following now.
Even people who profess to be followers of Jesus practice some form of new age fundamentals, many without realizing it.
It may be argued that if “religion” can be defined as something a person believes in and follows devotedly, the new age movement can be explained as a type of religion. Honestly, following your flesh could be defined in the same way, which is essentially what this movement does. It could be argued that the foundation of what this belief system focuses on is self-awareness, heightening personal feelings and pride, and believing themselves able to attain equality with God.
Unfortunately, a person can purposely choose to follow this sort of lifestyle or easily follow it without intending to, by not purposely choosing to make each moment count for Christ.
The truth is that there are only two religions: follow Christ or self.
Just as we read in Genesis 3:4-5, “The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The lies of the new age movement remind me of the beginning in Genesis with twisted deception and the prideful sin of humanity.
God’s word teaches us that feelings cannot be trusted. No matter what we think or how we feel, truth can only be found when we seek and follow God’s truths. Our omnipotent God is the compass on which we should process and discern good and evil, right or wrong, no matter what our pride or emotions cause us to feel.
Self-love and self-actualization have become pedestals to idolatry in our culture.
New age ideology is penetrating the minds of Christians and non-believers, as well as educational institutions and churches. Although the idea of loving yourself and reaching your full potential can be made to sound harmless, worthy, and needed, we must remember that the Bible teaches that every single person has inherent value because we were planned for and made in the image of God. Our Heavenly Father is also very clear that without Him, and His holiness, we are completely sinful. We only have the ability to love because He first loved us. The Creator of love instills and completes perfect love that casts out fear in us. Once we follow Him through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are fully able to find our true potential as the One who planned, made, and completes us is free to work through our submission.
How has the church of all places, the ground that should be holy and alive for those who follow Jesus, been deceived into subtly proclaiming belief in or practicing concepts from the new age movement that clearly offend and go against what God has chosen for us? In fact, God has clearly instructed and warned us to stay far from it. Belief in psychics, reincarnation, astrology, and communication with the deceased are just a bit of what has subtly been twisted into what is becoming part of everyday routines for many, even some of whom claim to follow the Lord.
A life of devotion for Christ is one that seeks Him first, dies to self - moment by moment, and follows Him, even when the cost of obedience is high. Personal transformation through Christ is completely different that the personal transformation of one who seeks to follow self and heightened personal enlightenment. Claiming our personal glory over what Jesus has sacrificed for us happens in subtle ways daily, even when we already feel we love Jesus with a whole heart.
Carefully sift what the world offers through the filter of God’s guidelines and guardrails.
New age mysticism is evil and demonic at the core. Surprisingly, there are many who fall victim to subtle branches of the following: meditation, reincarnation, astrology, psychics, and the belief that spiritual energy can reside in rivers, trees, or mountains.
Any practice can become warped; we must carefully and biblically discern what occupies our time.
Anyone who believes that people, who were created by God, have the ability to make their own choice about who or what God is or how we can worship Him, as the new age movement believes, is wrong. Do not be deceived. God gives us the opportunity to choose whether to believe in Him, but if we make the choice to follow Him through Jesus, the Bible, (God’s authoritative and holy word) makes everything clear. We are not equal to God; we are not even close.
As Jesus said in Luke 23:34a, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
But we should know. We need to know. We have to pay attention.
Those who follow and practice beliefs taught by the new age movement believe in a holistic form of divinity that penetrates the universe and creatures. This way of thinking strengthens their thought that a supreme spiritual self may be obtained, forming a type of self-religion, and explores the belief that there partially divine, non-human forms, such as angels that may be communicated with through channeling. Although, they reject traditional forms of religion, they admit to accepting “spirituality.” Main ideals of this professed spirituality seem to be what they believe to be “better,” ideals of emerging humanity, and include trends, or belief systems which include social change, the occult, which focuses on channeling and contact with spirits, (and we know God clearly instructs us to stay away from this), and a middle ground that desires a sort of individual development focusing on both.
What I have touched on are very limited explanations into this belief system. I do not wish to linger explaining because we know that the Bible clearly instructs us to stay away from these practices. As with many topics, it is a slippery slope when we stray from the word and expectations of the Lord. Communicating with spirits and pushing self-reliance and spiritual awakenings apart from God leads to confusion, corruption, and chaos in our lives.
Psalm 119: 133 says, “Direct my footsteps according to Your word; let no sin rule over me.”
John 8:12 says, “Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”
While many who do not know Jesus think that following Christ is restrictive or that God wouldn’t authorize only one way to Him, His word proves that our Heavenly Father loves us enough to provide one clear path to Him. Contrary to the opinion that life under the direction and authority of Jesus is demanding or strict, Christ offers freedom and realizations far deeper and greater than anything we can find by ourselves or in this temporary home.
Mark 13:22-23 says, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.”
Anything that leads to practices or habits that are rooted in religions or ceremonies that heighten self-glorification and strip God from His rightful place have no place in the life of a follower of Christ.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted over the earth.”
Remember that you do not have to be a follower of the new age movement to be deceived by practices that lead away from God. There are several, but I will list a couple of them here. Please carefully research these that I mention for yourself and prayerfully make your own decision about what you will allow in your life. I am not an expert and I have myself and my own family to protect and watch over, but I love Jesus and I care about the listeners God has sent to this podcast. I want to boldly walk where I feel He is calling. I would be remiss if I did not mention these in this episode as I believe the roots of these seemingly innocent practices are very dangerous.
Over the years, transcendental meditation has been allowed in some public schools. Those educational institutions use this practice with students who need extra help calming down at school. Did you know that transcendental meditation was introduced to the western world as a scientific way to reduce stress and find peace within self? That should alert and caution us. Anything that seeks to perform an act within us that relies on self over God should prick our attention.
Although this form of meditation is said to provide medicinal benefits and is supposedly used as a way to relax, the fundamentals of Hinduism are rooted in its approach. Instead of attaining a consciousness of God, and seeking and believing on Him to perform a work within us, transcendental meditation calls for a person to cleanse and empty their mind to obtain a state of consciousness called unity. As a person follows this practice, they see that a ceremony is performed that worships Hindu deities and offers sacrifices to them. After this ceremony, the person involved receives a personal mantra to meditate upon that is supposed to be used as a weapon to ward of reasoning, thinking, and conceptualization. The mantra is actually a group of sounds to be repeated over and over to draw the mind to a specific level of essentialism and as it is uttered, the mantra is supposed to invoke spirits from the spirit world. There is much more information about this topic, but followers of Christ should stay very far away from anything that has these evil roots and practices that so clearly go against what God instructs.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things.”
God never calls us to completely clear our mind to think of ways to elevate our own consciousness and self-awareness. In fact, God calls us to fill our mind with Him and to meditate on His truths.
Joshua 1:8 says, “This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in all you do.”
Psalm 10:4 says, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his schemes there is no God.”
Leviticus 19:31 says, “You must not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out, or you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.”
We do not need to chant mantras to be used as weapons. We have the truth and instructions of God to protect us.
Ephesians 6:10-17 says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness arrayed, and with your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
I know this next one will be a sensitive topic to many. Even yoga, which is practiced by many who love God, is said to be united with eastern metaphysics. In a very basic definition, this means that there is no separation between the physical world and the unseen. However, although many people innocently begin yoga as a way to relieve stress and muscle aches, every subtle action in yoga was created to be a prayer to the Hindu gods. Each tiny movement is a gentle symbol designed to speak to spirits and reach a state of union with God. In practical words, when a person practices yoga, they are unknowingly participating in a Hindu ritual.
I understand that many people find relief and mobility through the practice of yoga. As I stated earlier, I am not an expert, but I have heard enough about it that I urge you to research for yourself and see what you find or what alternatives are available for you, if you desire to find them.
As I close this podcast, remember that new age practices believe that personal transformation will take place after a human being recognizes his oneness with all things. New age beliefs teach people how to find their own values. They do not look to scripture or even parents, (if a student is studying the new age beliefs), because they practice the belief that there are no absolute truths or values (which is back to the moral relativity we discussed a few podcast episodes ago). People are free to discover and create their own values within themselves. Humans are also free to create their own reality through mindfulness practices that are even taught in seminars, public schools, in children’s programs, and at churches and in trainings for corporations. New agers believe that the Bible is to be read by looking for secret spiritual meanings and they twist scripture to suit their beliefs that God is all and all is God, and He certainly is not divine, but humans can be.
It is certainly evident that as followers of Christ, we must be on guard to protect our heart, mind, and families against the new age philosophies and practices infiltrating our communities, institutions, corporations, and churches.
2 Timothy 3:1-4 says, “But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”
Be aware of the ungodliness in this world coming in various forms and beliefs. Take everything back to the grid of God’s truths, based on His word. Know His word so clearly so that you recognize the untruths of this world. Much is clothed in subtle deceptiveness that we must carefully seek to uncover and expose for others to see. I will touch on a few more popular teachings and practices that fall into this category in future episodes.
1 Corinthians 3:10-11 says, “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds. For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Heavenly Father, our precious, holy God. You alone are omnipotent and righteous. We need You much more than we realize. Please cause the scales to fall from our eyes and enable us to have Your sight. Give us Your ears to hear what the Spirit says so that we may not stray or be led into anything that is against You. Father, we need You. We know that we are easily deceived and fall victim to our flesh and the world. We need Your careful instruction and guidance to safeguard us. May we be mindful of Your word because we read and treasure it in our heart, hold it in our mind, and speak it from lips that please You. Cover and protect us with Your feathers. Shelter us with Your wings. May Your faithful promises be our armor and protection as we choose to follow and obey You. In Your precious name we pray, Amen.
Thank you for listening to this podcast. Please visit terrihitt.com to access podcast episodes housed in one convenient location, read blog posts, transcripts, and access additional resources designed to mature your walk with Jesus through an eternal perspective and encourage you to raise or influence children to choose Christ over culture. I pray this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.