We are living in an age of the “new spirituality”. We see more than ever, people asking about meaning and purpose, feeling there must be more. But even though there has been a revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit, there has been a counterfeit revival of New Age spirituality. Oprah Winfrey called it “religion without spirituality.” Some of this is a reaction to worldviews that have become common in recent times.
Sadly, many people are reacting against the legalism and rigidity of religious traditions, even those from Christian denominations. In a popular cartoon, one person commented on a youth going to a Christian camp. His remark was, “O he’s going there so he can learn to be more judgmental.”
At the same time, there is a reaction to rationalism that became prevalent in what has been called the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason. Early in the Enlightenment era, many viewed “reason” as a useful tool but subordinate to the revealed truth of Christianity, which is supernatural. Gradually reason became god and revelation was subject to reason. As a result, the miracles of Scripture were rejected and the traditional beliefs of God were rationalized. Faith began to be looked upon as unintellectual and we became a more secular, materialistic society.
Just as religion left people feeling empty, rationalism and materialism also fell short of answering people’s longing for truth and purpose. With the rejection of God, Satan has brought crafty substitutes in forms of New Age spirituality. We should not be surprised, as Jesus warned us again and again of false prophets. In 2 Timothy 4:3-5 (NIV), Paul tells us, For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations.
New Age spirituality is a smorgasbord of incoherent, variant beliefs that have no grounding in a historical record such as the resurrection of Jesus. They are really nice feeling ideas that push aside moral responsibility, eternal judgement, and a righteous judge to whom we are accountable. Instead of God, people put themselves in the position of rule-maker and scorekeeper. Truth gets to be what you want it to be because Satan’s original lie has become the preferred truth, “You shall be as god.”
The foundation of New Age beliefs is that “all” is god; god is the universe and we are our own god. There is no personal God outside our control. Since you are god, whatever you want is therefore good. This leads us in a “mad” search, rushing blindly on dead end trails that leave us where we started - with just ourselves. There’s lots of “smoke and mirrors”, but no life, no eternal hope, no redemption- that we thought we didn’t need in the first place, and there is no lasting change. Once we’ve uncovered all the so-called goodness that is within us, we ultimately find that the goodness within us is not better than the emptiness and darkness all around us.
The occultic spirit world of demons and principalities has sought to fill the void by providing a plethora of counterfeit spiritual experiences and manipulative and emotional powers. People are indeed having visitations and all kinds of manifestations of the spiritual world. Satan loves to masquerade as an “angel of light”. Remember his expertise is deception. Just as a hallucinogenic drug gives us the sense of power and invincibility, New Age religion gives a false sense of peace and security, that is aimed at hypnotizing us to wander aimlessly towards eternal destruction.
Satan loves to flatter us with a form of truth that gives false hope and seduces us into partnership with the same demon spirits that have destroyed pagan cultures from the beginning of time. These same demons suppress and then ultimately torment souls in the pit of Hell where they will spend eternity.
It is critical that we reach out to a world slipping down the slippery slope of deception.
Here are some things we can do.
Let us acknowledge all the ways religion and even Christian’s hypocrisy over the years has contributed to this blindness. We have had “a form of religion that denied the power, reality, and relationship of Father God, that Jesus meant for His church to model.” We have condemned the world but have failed to come with the power, grace, and compassion to demonstrate how Jesus died to save the world.
We need to powerfully communicate to the world how Jesus offers so perfectly and completely what they are really searching for. It is not a cosmic nothingness but a personal relationship with “Papa” God that affirms, heals, restores and gives certainty of purpose and hope. It is salvation and deliverance from the darkness of sin, from hurt, and addictions through the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is the power that frees us to live unselfishly-compassionately with honor and integrity toward others, the way all of us know we were meant to live.
It is knowing the Holy Spirit is personally guiding us, revealing the mysteries of life, filling us with power to rise above evil and truly live supernatural lives of wonder. It is the indescribable experience of actualizing perfect love, peace, and joy that can’t be taken away. It is the Holy Spirit preparing us to meet our Creator, a righteous judge who will completely remove evil someday. He will then, because of our justification through Christ, bring us to an eternal life that has nothing to do with meaningless cycles of reincarnation, but is an eternity of being able to rule as heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus Christ. So, it will forever be in the world to come!