The New Age movement
Spiritual emptiness is a symptom of our modern age, an age dictated by the egalitarian ethic of socialism, the eschatology of humanism, and the greed of capitalism. Amid this gloom we look for hope. Some find meaning in the faith of their forebears, while others find spiritual fulfillment in the New Age Movement. Rev. Gordon Miller summarized the beliefs of the movement this way.
1. We are in a universe without a personal God. There may be an impersonal energy in the universe - but no Creator God. There is therefore no difference between God, a person, a rock, or a carrot.
2. The human race never had a fall. We are gods in disguise - capable of infinite development. Our objective in life is to bring out our god-potential. We are God!
3. There is no direct link between the events of Jesus' life and our future happiness. His birth, death and resurrection have no special meaning for us.
4. Salvation is just a matter of self-improvement. This is done by mind improvement, astrology, etc.
5. We are living at the dawn of a New Age, an age where humanism, brotherhood and the occult come into their own.
These beliefs are expressed by New Age advocates in religious language, at times similar to that of the Christian faith. This sometimes makes it difficult to detect the differences. The most observable aspect of New Age adherents is their emphasis upon meditation, astrology, holistic medicine, health foods, exercise, stress management, self-improvement... We can't help but ask ourselves, why is it that a person seeking meaning, seeking true spirituality, would fail to search for that meaning in a person like Jesus?
Maybe the answer lies in the movement's focus on nature as a whole system. This fits well with the way modern mankind sees the world. People are into caring, intimacy, and sensitivity today, and New Age ideals seem to fit well with these concerns. Of course, read any of the gospels and we are quickly reminded that Jesus profoundly addressed all these issues. Maybe the Christian church, with its many failures in recent times, is hiding the real Jesus from view. Whatever the problem may be, Jesus still gives this invitation to our broken world; "come unto me, all who are weary and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."