(We are continuing our look into New Ageism)
Etta D. Jackson asserts that in the New Age there will be a fusion of man’s differentiated spiritual aspirations into a New World Religion. She also foresees a fusion of intellectual and philosophical thought between people of all stations in life that will result in a spirit of inclusiveness and mutual cooperation. Ultimately though, in New Age theology, while the unified consciousness is constructed in a fashion that allows for a synchronization of differing belief systems; it is man’s belief and awareness of his own godhood that is the key to transforming the world. And, according to New Age adherents, it was Jesus himself who has shown the way as an example of a self-actualized man who had reached his full potential.
The New Age theologian postulates that The Son of God . . . is not Jesus, but our combined Christ consciousness. Jesus is one of a select company, having achieved Christ consciousness. And, every person is encouraged to acquire this same level of consciousness. To the New Ager, Jesus and “Christ” are separate. The “Christ” is the perfect god concept- that awareness of the divinity within. The theology espoused by the New Ager looks at Jesus as one who possessed this “Christ-consciousness” as much as and probably more than any one who has ever lived. Jesus, to the New Ager, is just another one like Buddha or Krishna who comes along to reveal to mankind the divine potential resident within us all. Many within the New Age movement insist that throughout the world today a “Christ-consciousness” is rising at an ever increasing rate, slowly moving mankind towards the “Omega Point” in which the messiah within us all will give birth to a glorious new future. (Perhaps, in today’s culture where the redefinition of terms is standard practice, the Christian should bear in mind that to many New Agers, this emerging “Christ-consciousness” is the eschatological “second-coming” the Bible speaks of.)
As Jesus is no more than an example of a man who ultimately realized his own divinity, and as there is no other being to which man is accountable other than himself, one can see how concepts such as substitutionary atonement, sin and salvation hold little to no relevance within New Age theology. To the New Ager, “evil does not exist but the belief that in its existence produces negative results; we now see that similarly, sin and guilt do not exist but that it is belief in their existence which produces negativity, especially because it legitimates and induces fear. As Shirley MacLaine puts it: ‘we are not victims of the world we see. We are victims of the way we see the world. In truth, there are no victims.’ It is only by our judgmental attitudes, towards others and towards ourselves, and by psychological projection of sin and guilt upon others and ourselves, that we keep perpetuating the circle of fear. In a way, it is our ingrained belief in original sin that we needlessly increase suffering in the world and create “negative” Karma.”
Indeed, the New Ager would be more apt to define sin as that which keeps one from recognizing his own divinity. In New Age theology, it could be said that it is this “pseudo sin consciousness,” that which stifles the attainment of the “Christ-consciousness,” that is the only sin of which man could be found guilty. And even then, it is ultimately not an issue of sin and guilt, but rather unrealized potential. And it is from this failure to reach his divine potential that man must be saved. “New Age salvation implies the full realization of the principles of self-spirituality and holism; the full realization of one’s inner spiritual potential and progress towards greater and greater wholeness. Whereas in Christian cosmology salvation takes place only after death, salvation in New Age philosophy is thought of in terms of spiritual evolution, a process that may take place in one’s own life but may continue after death…”
It is clear that the divinity of man is the capstone of New Age theology. “Karma takes precedence over the atonement of Jesus Christ. Sins are cultural and relative instead of offenses toward a holy God. Hell is not a place of eternal punishment but a state of mind or negative thought.” By contrast, Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ was not just an example of a self-actualized man who had reached his full potential, but rather God himself clothed in flesh, crucified, dead, and resurrected-literally. The bible makes it clear that sin and hell are more than just unrealized potential or imagined cerebral apparitions. It should be obvious to any sincere student of scripture that the first major tenet of New Age theology is in no way compatible with biblical Christianity.
To be continued…
1. Etta D. Jackson, The Role of Consciousness in Governance, (Bloomington, IN-Author House, 2009), 41, 42.
2. “New Age Theology,” All About Worldview. http://www.allaboutworldview.org/new-age-theology.htm, (accessed October 21, 2011).
3. John P. Newport, The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview: Conflict and Dialogue, (Grand rapids, Michigan- Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998), 12.
4. Wouter J. Hanegraff, New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought, (U.S.A. – State University of New York Press, 1998), 295.
5. Stef Aupers and Dick Houtman, Religions of Modernity: Relocating the Sacred to the Self and the Digital, (Leiden, Netherlands- Brill Hotei Publishing, 2010), 166.
6. Walter Martin, Jill Martin Rische, and Kevin Rische, The Kingdom of the Occult, (Nashville, Tennessee- Thomas Nelson, 2008), 191.