New Age movement
Emptiness is the symptom of our age. No values, no integrity and no spirituality. The secular city has adopted the egalitarian ethic of socialism, the eschatology of humanism, and the greed of capitalism. In this emptiness we rush forward our doom. We are right to be fearful of our age.
Amid this gloom many in the West are looking for hope. Many will seek meaning in the faith of their forebears. For that move, we are very well placed, as long as we are willing to preserve that faith. Others have sought the "quick fix". So today a new spirituality has come to the fore. It is known commonly as 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 people 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 people 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 the church?
Part of the answer lies in the movement's concern for nature as a whole system. This fits well with the way modern mankind sees the world. The movement is very concerned with the environment and the plight of the poor and the oppressed. Human caring, intimacy, sensitivity, is very important. The Christian church doesn't seem interested in these things today. Our coldness can often turn the lost aside as they search for the living God.