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New Age-mike Shreve

New Age-mike Shreve

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Published by: Francis Lobo on Nov 29, 2011
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What is meant by the term, "TheNew Age Movement?"
http://www.thetruelight.net/booksections/articles/newage.htmBy Mike Shreve The New Age Movement is a term that covers a lot of territory spiritually. It can reach allthe way to the left and embrace the dark side of the occult like Wicca, witchcraft and evenSatanism. It can reach all the way to the right and embrace things like success seminarsand positive thinking teachings that do not even deal with a basic concept of God, yetincorporate certain 'New Age' principles. It is generally a movement within our society andworld based on a man-centered (humanistic) approach to the revelation of who we are andwhat our destiny is.Basically, the term "New Age" originally stemmed from a belief in an astrological agecalled "The Aquarian Age." According to certain astrological teachings, we are presentlymoving from the Piscean Age (an age of knowledge and scientific advance) into theAquarian Age (an age of spiritual enlightenment and harmony on the planet). Most 'NewAgers' subscribe in some way to the idea that we are in transition spiritually into a new eraduring which drastic spiritual changes will take place on our planet. This will culminate in ahigher spiritual atmosphere for the inhabitants of this world.Within this context, it could be said that Christians believe in a 'New Age' -- for mostChristians believe in the coming 'Kingdom Age' in which Christ will reign on this planet for athousand years of peace, harmony and heaven-on-earth conditions. However, this comingnew era within a biblical interpretation is much different than the one described by 'NewAgers', so the biblical phrase "Kingdom Age" and the modern term "New Age" actuallyrefer to two different concepts that are actually opposed to one another in many essentialareas of interpretation.
Twelve Basic Beliefs That Normally Unify All "New Agers"
 Though there is great diversity among 'New Agers' on various issues, they tend to agree onthe following twelve things:
Fascination with the Supernatural
— This is always associated with "the New AgeMovement" and often with no defining boundaries as to which experiences are correct orincorrect. Supernatural experiences provided through various worldviews are all embracedsyncretistically and fused together into one belief system. Many practices are aimed atexploring the supernatural realm and experiencing various superhuman powers or statesof consciousness.
— the belief that all religions are different and equally valid paths to ultimatereality and no one worldview can fully unveil the truth. All religions are one.
An Impersonal God
— Most New Agers agree that Ultimate Reality in an impersonalcosmic energy: a non-thinking, non-hearing, non-seeing, non-speaking, non-emotional,
non-volitional, non-responsive life-force from which all personal beings originate and intowhich all personal beings will ultimately be absorbed.
— the belief that the universe is an emanation of God and that, therefore, allthings have a divine essence. In absolute pantheism God does not exist apart from thenatural cosmos.
All is God
— the belief that all things are of one essential substance, giving rise tostatements like, "I am the universe. I am one with all things." There is no room for adualistic view of God transcending creation, and being apart from creation, in this mindset.
All is One
The Divinity of Man
— those who subscribe to this philosophy deify man, teaching thatall men have a divine essence, giving rise to affirmations like, "I am God. You are God. Weare all God." The problem with this point of view is simple: in ascribing divinity to man, thenext step is necessarily ascribing evil, darkness and sinfulness to God. All things, includingthe evil rampant in this world, are an emanation of God.
The Power To Personally And Subjectively
Create Reality
— Most New Agers tend tobelieve that reality is subjective not objective, that any person can create his or her ownreality by the embracing of certain beliefs, or by making certain affirmations, declarationsor confessions. This gives rise to statements such as, "You can have your truth. I can havemy truth. And we can both be right simultaneously" (even if the viewpoints appear tocontradict each other).
A Weak View Of Satan And Sin
— Usually New Agers either have no belief in Satan or aweak view of the Devil. Some negate the existence of this being, equating Satan withmerely the negative attitudes that dominate the world system. 'Demons' are merelyunbeneficial or negative attitudes that tend to dominate the hearts of men and carry themaway from the truth. Some groups differentiate between Satan and Lucifer, lifting the latterto the level of a divine being, even a 'god' (the 'Light bearer'). Lucifer is the one who bringswisdom and enlightenment. Man's problem is not sin; it is ignorance--ignorance of his owndivine essence. Man does not need to repent, as one accountable TO God; he needs to beenlightened, as one who IS God.]
— Most New Agers avidly seek after an 'enlightened' state of mind andhave many terms for it (Samadhi, Nirvana, Christ-consciousness, God-consciousness, etc.).Many means are used to accomplish this: chanting, meditation, yoga disciplines, etc. Thereis a difference between the Christian experience of being 'born again' and the experienceof enlightenment. The born again believer comes into a relationship with God (through thewashing away of sin by the blood of Jesus). The 'enlightened' person comes to a realizationthat he IS God.
Evolutionary Optimism
— Most New Agers accept the coming of a 'New Age': a time of greater spirituality and harmony on this planet, a time when many of the problems facingthe human race will be resolved.
The Coming Of A Messiah
— Though great differences of opinion exist concerning theexact nature of this person, most New Agers await a Messiah-like figure who will be thepivot heralding and fully bringing into manifestation this 'New Age' in all of its facets. NewAgers tend to assert that the Messiah of Judaism, the Christ of Christianity, the FifthBuddha of Buddhism, the Imam Mahdi of Islam, Saoshyant of Zoroastrianism and Kalkin of Hinduism are all to be fulfilled in one individual. However, the legends and traditionsconcerning these hoped-for individuals are so diverse (except for Judaism and Christianity),they cannot logically be merged into agreement.
A Global Family Outlook 
— Because of their monistic, pantheistic and syncretisticdoctrinal basis, most New Agers are all-inclusive in their belief system, not exclusive. All-inclusive means 'including all people, all cultures, and all religions into one unified whole.' Though love for others is usually the motivation for choosing such a perspective, it makes'choosing' a correct worldview unnecessary. Those who do have an exclusive view of truth are labeled unenlightened anduncooperative with this next scheduled 'paradigm shift' in society (the Aquarian Age). Though some aspects of this 'one world' mindset are good (genuine compassion forunderprivileged members of the human race), in many ways it will pave the road towardthings that are not good — a one world religion, a one world banking system, a one worldpolice system and a one world political system that will eventually become tools in thehands of the Anti-Christ to impose his deceptive control of the planet. Though the above twelve points are very simplistic, basically, the embracing of thesebeliefs signifies someone who can be labeled an adherent to "the New Age Movement".
Was Jesus just one of manyavatars or was he the onlyincarnation of God?
 The definition of an Avatar is an incarnation of God, or a god, into a fleshly form, usually human. In Hinduismit normally refers to an incarnation of Vishnu. However, it has also come to include the reincarnation of anyenlightened soul who has achieved final and absolute oneness with the Oversoul. Though delivered from allnegative karma and released from the cycle of rebirths, the Avatar instead chooses to return to earth againfor the duration of a human life. His purpose is to counteract evil and bring about change for good. We willinspect what the Bahá’í faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism and others have to say about thissubject.
— This faith does not accept the idea of Avatars, but they do believe in "Manifestations of God." Thisconcept differs from the Hindu belief in Avatars in one main respect. Bahá’ís believe that these advanced andexalted individuals are infallible and "protected from sin." They are "theophanies: mirrors who reflect God’sglory and reveal his attributes"… they are the "means of approach to God," being his "messengers":"bringers of divine revelation." However, they "are not incarnations of God; they do not embody the divineessence."
 There is no definitive list of recognized "Manifestations of God" available. However, Bahá’í authoritative textsdo appear to verify fourteen: Adam, Noah, Salih, Hud, the Sabaean Manifestation (whose name is lost),Abraham, Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, Mohammed, the Bab and Bahá’u’lláh. The Bab, whosename means "the gate," was, in essence, the 'initiator' of the Bahá’í religion, for he announced that he wasthe forerunner of the 'Promised One' (the Messiah). After he was killed, one of the Bab’s followers, MírzáHusayn-Alí, claimed to be this Messiah (or Mahdi) who was to come. He assumed the name Bahá’u’lláh,meaning "the glory of God."Buddhism—Buddha originally denied being a god. However, some of his followers eventually deified him. Though he preached a non-theistic worldview (it has been described as 'atheistic monism') different branchesof Buddhism include in their belief system worshipful devotion to numerous Buddhas (enlightened ones whohave attained Nirvana) and bodhisattvas (saints or semi-divine beings who have renounced Nirvana andBuddhahood in order to help others achieve salvation). Both of these are considered worthy of worship andare somewhat similar to the Hindu concept of avatars.
— There are four main sects within Hinduism. Surprisingly, each sect has a different opinionconcerning this important issue:(1) Vaishnavism (devotees of Vishnu) insists that only Vishnu can incarnate.(2) Saivism (worshippers of Shiva) asserts that God does not incarnate on earth.

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