Friday, February 20, 2009

What is New Age?

I've been asked this a number of times before and I've had a difficult time explaining it because it is difficult to pin New Age down. I'm going to defer to this website:

The website says:
The New Age Movement is difficult to define because "there is no hierarchy, dogma, doctrine, collection plate, or membership." It is a collection, an assortment of different theologies with the common threads of toleration and divergence weaving through its tapestry of "universal truth."

The New Age movement has many sub-divisions, but it is generally a collection of Eastern-influenced metaphysical thought systems, a conglomeration of theologies, hopes, and expectations held together with an eclectic teaching of salvation, of "correct thinking," and "correct knowledge." It is a theology of "feel-goodism," "universal tolerance," and "moral relativism."

I think that summarizes it well, although it doesn't really nail down a definition either. I'm going to have to peruse this website more. And I'll try to find some sort of idea of how the New Agers define themselves too.

Right now, I'm leaning towards a definition that includes a "thirst for knowledge of the hidden universe." But it's not based upon scientific principles, like those who study quantum physics or astronomy. It's based upon metaphysics. I'll return here with more later.

1 comment:

Timothy J. Bortner said...

Hey SA,

This is Timothy J. Bortner from over at CARM; how’s it going?

I thought I’d see what your blogspot was like, so here I am. It’s very nice and that looks like a real nice little family you got there too. But, I have a question, what in the world happened to all your hair? Heh-heh, only kidding, I shave my head bald now for the little bit I had left wasn’t worth the trouble anymore, heh-heh.

I’m married with children and one step-daughter. My son is 21 and doesn’t live home here anymore but he lives right up the street. His mother my ex-wife, unfortunately committed suicide back in the summer of 2001. I have a daughter, but another “unfortunately” here, she is a heroin addict and right now as I write this she is out on a “binge” somewhere and has been since Thursday. It is really troubling, she has 4 little girl’s ages 3-10 and she just takes off like that and leaves her husband with them. Please keep her in your (and anyone else who might read this for that matter) prayers, her name is Faith. Thank you.

Anyway, I saw your thing about the “New-Age-Movement”, or NAM as it is commonly known also. I studied the NAM for years and your concise statement about it basically being a search for metaphysical knowledge about sums it up.

But, with that said, like you said, it is very hard to put it into a box and define it simply because it takes on so many aspects of the metaphysical, which often even contradict.

Here’s the thing, what today has been dubbed “The New Age Movement” is not really new at all for what it really is here is “Gnosticism” for the most part.

I don’t know what you know of Gnosticism but it comes from the Greek word “gnosis”, which means “knowledge”. The Idea of this “gnosis” is that salvation is obtained through this esoteric-knowledge. As it relates to the Church, it is opposed to Biblical salvation by grace through faith although they would say that one can be saved through faith but those who are so saved are looked at as “second-class Christians”, so to speak.

Just for the record, if you’ve ever watched those shows about Jesus like on the History Channel or the Discovery Channel, most of those people doing the teaching, narrating, etc., they are Gnostic. The like of Elaine Pagels, Timothy Freke, John Dominic Crossan, Karen King, etc., all Gnostics.

I remember one time some years ago I was watching one of those shows and there was this beautiful music playing softly in the background. As I listened, it began to sound familiar to me and then it hit me. What they where playing in the background were songs by a woman named “Loreena McKennit”, she is a pagan of the old Celtic druidic type nature religion (you can Google her to see what I’m talking about). Man I thought, isn’t that something, here you have these Gnostics presenting a false-christ to the world and they’re even having you serenaded by a pagan witch while their doing. Amazing eh?

Nevertheless, from what I have learned by now of Gnosticism I am prepared to argue that every false-religion since Eden is either some form of out and out Gnosticism or at the very least has something of Gnosticism in it. Even “psychology” has some roots in Gnosticism.

Where did it originate? It entered the earth-time-space-realm (going “Star-Trek” on ya here, heh-heh) back in Eden with the fall of Adam but it already existed in the spiritual realm, so to speak, with the fall of Lucifer who is the personification of all that is false against the Lord. What Adam did was basically to open up the door for it/Lucifer to enter here and set up this, i.e. his world-system.

Nevertheless, remember, it was knowledge/gnosis of “the tree of the knowledge/gnosis of good and evil” that entered in through Adam’s disobedience to God, and every false-religion is somehow, in someway the by-product of that disobedience which opened up a “Pandora’s box”, so to speak.

This “Edenic-gnosis” is what Satan’s world-system is, and it is vast. Unfortunately most Christians have no idea of the immensity of the power of the being, known as Satan, Lucifer, that old dragon, The serpent, Devil, Beelzebub, etc. And here, sadly, we have men running around conducting “deliverance-seminars”, tapping people on their heads with their Bibles and what not. Satan loves these kinds of circus acts for they are his “red-herrings” drug across his path to lead the masses away from truly detecting him, not to mention that it makes Christians look like a bunch of fools that are ridiculed by the world. Oh yes, he is a clever foe, but God be thanked that He who is in us is greater than he that is in the world.

One common thread that is prevalent through Gnosticism is it’s exalted anthropology, which says that man is God, can become a god, is a part of God, etc. This is as true today as it ever was for Eastern-mysticism has these concepts big time which covers approx. 1/3 of humanity at present between Hinduism, Buddhism and their offshoots. And of course this is the same rebellion that caused the fall of Lucifer who said in his heart “I will be like the most High” to become Satan, the adversary.

A good example of this as it relates to the cults is Mormonism, which has the saying “As man is god once was and as god is man may become”. Mormonism is a very esoteric false-religion, along the lines of the “Masonic system” with all it’s secret rituals, rites etc.

Now, with that said, where did this exalted anthropological view come from? Right, back in Eden with the Serpent’s lie to Eve of “and ye shall be as gods [or God], knowing good and evil”.

There is a great deal to this. The same can be said of NAM/Gnosticism as it relates to our Jesus Christ of the Bible. They say that all men have the “Christ-spirit” but it just needs to be awakened within us through their proper gnosis of course.

Google the word “Docetism” and there you will find how this antichrist view opposed the early church too. Things from 1st John 4 for example refer to it and defend against this “docetic” view of Christ. Docetism comes from the Greek word “dokeo”, which by definition means “to seem” or “to appear as”. In other words they claim that Jesus Christ only “seemed to” or “appeared to” have a corporeal body, etc. Like I said, Google “Docetism” and there you will find a ton of info if you’re interested.

I’ve spent a lot of years reading Gnostic material from on-line sources and also many books I have in my personal library here at home. The reason I was lead in this direction was once I really started to going after Calvinism I realized that Calvinism is a gnosticized form of Christianity that “Augustine of Hippo (354-430ad)” was used of Satan to afflict “Christendom” with although the real affliction didn’t take hold till some 1100 years after Augustine when Calvin picjed up his so-called “doctrine’s of grace”, which are anything but.

Actually, in the past 10 years or so I have written like 9 books so far on such things as well as other things. The last book I wrote is well over a 1/4million words and the first volume is basically a brief history of the roots of Calvinism via Augustine and Gnosticism, of which Gnosticism Augustine was one of the Manichean sort for some 9 years or so before his supposed conversion by being water-baptized by Ambrose of Milan on Easter back in 386-7.

Of course, at this point anyway, none of my works are published for if you write against Calvinism you can’t find a so-called Christian publisher who will touch that sort of work. Even the ones, few they are to my knowledge, who would agree with what I’ve written will not touch it because they don’t want to rock, what I have dubbed, “the ecumenical-ark” that so many are adrift on at this point is history.

Well, anyway, I hope this helps a little to give you a better understanding of the “NAM/Gnosticism”. If you have any questions about this please feel free to ask and I will do my best to help you out.

A Christian,
Timothy J. Bortner