Is it ok for followers of Jesus to practice aspects of new age spiritualism?
New Age Spiritualism
- Typical wheel house items are reincarnation, astrology, psychics and the presence of spiritual energy
- Sits on a bedrock foundation of Buddhism, Mysticism, The Occult, Hinduism
- It acts a way to help people connect with the supernatural through natural means as traditional religious beliefs don’t offer that. It’s believed to be more tangible in a physical sense.
- In 2018 the Pew Research reported that 1/3 of church goers believed in some form of New Age Spiritualism
- 6 out of 10 people hold on to some new age belief
- In Sanksrit the ancient word for Yoga literally means union
- The highest form is called the raja and has the ultimate aim of spiritual purification and self understanding leading to samadhi or union with the divine.
- The union speaks to what’s called the Atman (individual soul consisting of love, light and energy) becoming united with the Brahman (divine or world soul; the greater soul of love light and energy).
- In the West, Hatha Yoga is practiced.
- When you practice hatha Yoga, which is based on poses (worshipful postures), those poses focus on Hindu deities.
- People wonder if you can practice Yoga without giving credence to the religious observance of the Hindu belief system. Most Hindus would say no while in the West we assume yes.
- The physical aspects of Yoga (Meditation) are tightly coupled to the theistic system of Yoga.
- For the Christian, the goal is for us to become one in Christ Jesus by way of the Spirit due to the gift of salvation given by the Father. It is to reconcile us back to God.
- Yoga like many other new age practices have a goal of reconciling the individual soul back to a divine spirit or nature.
The danger of drifting
- In the OT the children of Israel would often slide into idolatry as they would become exposed to other cultures.
3 So all the people took off the gold rings that were on their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took the gold from them, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it into an image of a calf. Then they said, “Israel, these are your gods, who brought you up from the land of Egypt! ”
- The practice of polytheism was something they borrowed from the Egyptians.
Jeremiah 19:4-5 (Sacrificing Children; Canaanites)
because they have abandoned me and made this a foreign place. They have burned incense in it to other gods that they, their ancestors, and the kings of Judah have never known. They have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. 5 They have built high places to Baal on which to burn their children in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, something I have never commanded or mentioned; I never entertained the thought.
Leviticus 10:1-3 (Nadab and Abihu & offer strange fire)
Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu each took his own firepan, put fire in it, placed incense on it, and presented unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them to do. 2 Then fire came from the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has spoken:I will demonstrate my holiness to those who are near me, and I will reveal my glory before all the people.
Hosea 4:12 (Spiritual Consulting & divination)
2 My people consult their wooden idols, and their divining rods inform them. For a spirit of promiscuity leads them astray; they act promiscuously in disobedience to their God.
- While our intention may not be to worship another deity, that doesn’t mean we’re not observing practices that are intended for worship of other deities.
Worship in Spirit and Truth
24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth.
- We are called to worship God with our full being. Every aspect of our being needs to be dedicated to the worship of God and every aspect of our being should be full-filled by the Spirit of God. New Age Spiritualism runs counter to this very idea as it causes us to consult or rely upon things outside of the Spirit of God.
- Remember Paul who reminded us what we are facing in this world is not war built on physical constructs but one that is Spiritual.
2 Corinthians 10:2-6
2 I beg you that when I am present I will not need to be bold with the confidence by which I plan to challenge certain people who think we are living according to the flesh. 3 For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, 4 since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments 5 and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. 6 And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
- We need to think more critically as to what problem we’re attempting to solve and why do we feel practices borrowed from other religious beliefs are more sufficient than our own.
Jesus Christ Alone
- The human heart craves relationship with the creator but our creator has commanded the way to Him. Repentance and faith in Jesus and Jesus alone.