Beware! The New Age Movement Is More Than Self-Indulgent Silliness
July-August 2000By Lee Penn
Lee Penn, a health-care information systems consultant in San Francisco, is a member of Our Lady of Fatima Byzantine Church, a parish of the Russian Catholic Church (one of 21 Byzantine Catholic Churches in communion with the Holy See).
In recent years the New Age movement has come out of the closet in the Church and in the world. The New Age movement is made up of those who follow a potpourri of beliefs and practices that fall outside the boundaries of traditional Christianity. Its manifestations are protean. Some Catholic nuns walk on labyrinths to contact the Divine Feminine. Increasing numbers of health insurance companies have heeded consumers demands to cover offbeat treatments, ranging from Ayurvedic herbal medicine to therapeutic touch in which a healers hands manipulate energy fields but never touch the patients body. Hillary Clinton has contacted the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt under the guidance of Jean Houston a New York-based avatar who runs a Mystery School, and who inspired the current fad of walking on labyrinths. Millions of Americans with more money than commonsense are buying into this trendy, feel-good style of spirituality; they have helped to keep Neale Donald Walschs Conversations with God on the best-seller lists since 1997. These are the people who proudly say, Im spiritual, but not religious.
Many Christians view the New Age movement as merely self-indulgent silliness. Unfortunately, theres far more to the movement than astrology, crystals, weird workshops, and psychobabble. New Age spiritual leaders have a firmly entrenched anti-Christian worldview, and many of them harbor a special hatred for the Catholic Church. Many believe that the Fall was really mans ascent into knowledge, assisted by Lucifer whom they hail as the bringer of light and wisdom. Many expect an imminent, apocalyptic transformation that will lead humanity into the New Age. By acts of men or by an act of spirit, earth will be cleansed of those who refuse to evolve. In the New Age, there will be world government; the economy will be remade to promote sharing. Traditional morality and traditional families will disappear. Orthodox religions especially Christianity and Judaism are considered separative and obsolete; in the New Age, they too will vanish.
For the last 125 years, New Age leaders worldwide have followed the false light of Theosophy; they now whisper into the itching ears of the powerful politicians, media moguls, UN officials, foundation grant-makers, and Anglican bishops. As the West moves into a post-Christian era, the influence of the New Age movement grows.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky blended Eastern religion with Western occultism, establishing the Theosophical movement in 1875 in New York City. Theosophy has influenced occult, spiritualist, New Thought, and New Age movements around the world ever since. For Blavatsky, the LORD is not God; mankind is. She says, Man is truly the manifested deity in both its aspects good and evil. Since mankind is god, it follows that mankind will become freed from its false gods, and find itself finally SELF-REDEEMED. Or rather, some of mankind is god-informed and capable of self-redemption namely, the Aryan and other civilized nations. Others, such human specimens as the Bushmen, the Veddhas of Ceylon, and some African tribes are lower human creatures, inferior races that are now happily dying out. Verily mankind is of one blood, but not of the same essence.1
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