Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 1st June 1997
From the Pastor: Some Contemporary Buzzwords II: New Age
For much of this century the Church has had to contend with secular humanism,
that movement which has maintained that man is essentially good (!), and needs
no help or intervention from any higher power (i.e. God). "Science" for humanism
has been arbitrating discipline.|
"New Age" has both flowed from and reacted against this humanistic climate: man
is seen as indeed sufficient for himself, but insists that there is also a
spiritual dimension to man, which humanism never admitted, but must be catered
for. However, this has not meant a return to anything Christian. Far from it!
Instead, it asserts that man, the universe, and God are essentially one. Thus it
is pantheistic: man is God, and the universe is God - all have a common
"planetary consciousness". New Age is also heavily involved with the occult, and
Hindu philosophy. Hence we hear much about witchcraft, astrology, necromancy;
then also reincarnation, mantras, Nirvana and the like from New Age circles.
While the Christian response to New Age philosophy is along many lines, two
texts stand out in reply to this new paganism: "For I am God and not man, the
Holy One in your midst", (Hosea 11:9). "And as it is appointed for men to die
once, and after this comes judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the
sins of many", (Hebrews 9:27-8).