How to Share the Gospel With a New Ager
The New Age is not new. Tenants of New Age doctrine have been a part of human history since Satan, in the form of a snake, deceived Adam and Eve in the garden with the promises of godhood. Although those in the New Age movement vary in their particular doctrines and practices (because it is not one centrally organized religion), they do share some common core beliefs.
Questions You Can Ask
- What’s your spiritual background?
- Have you ever had any supernatural or paranormal experiences happen to you?
- Why are you excited about New Age beliefs?
- Do you ever talk about your beliefs with others who see things the same way or do you feel pretty isolated when it comes to your religion?
- What do you think happens after we die?
- Who do you think Jesus was?
- Do you think there’s a difference between a “religion” and the “relationship” with God that Jesus talked about?
- What do you think of Jesus’ claim that He was God and the way back to God?
- Has anyone ever explained the gospel to you?
Areas You Can Admire
- Their desire to develop a spiritual view of life.
- Their desire for a better world.
- Their desire to be a good person.
- Their desire to think for herself.
What a New Ager Believes
About New Age Views:
According to experts on the new age, there are nine New Age core beliefs* that they hold to. These beliefs include:
1. Evolutionary optimism:
New Agers believe that the world is poised to explode into a New Age of enlightenment. They are convinced that this ‘new world order’ will be united under a one world government and initiated by a quantum leap in humanity’s spiritual evolution. They see the next step of evolution as people becoming ‘gods’.
Monism means ‘oneness’. New agers believe that we are all one with each other and the universe. We are all connected by the common cord of the cosmos.
New Agers do not believe in a personal God. They believe that the totality of all the ‘oneness’ in the cosmos can collectively be called ‘god’. Some call it ‘the force’. Others call it ‘consciousness’. But by any label, it is the deification of the universe and everything in it. That’s why the famous New Ager Shirley MacLaine boldly proclaimed, “I am God.” She believes that as part of this cosmic consciousness, she is god and so are you and me.
4. Transformation of Consciousness:
New Agers believe that the New Age must be experienced to be transformational. Through meditation, drugs, yoga, martial arts, or cosmic experiences, the goal of the New Ager is to become one with the universe. The goal is a state of mind that is at peace with oneself and at one with the universe.
5. Create your own reality:
In the New Age movement, morals are subjective. Since there is not an external objective standard of authority when it comes to behavior, you essentially are free to create your own moral reality. The New Age encourages its participants to experiment and experience their own morals on their journey toward oneness.
6. Unlimited human potential:
New Agers are convinced that all the power of the universe is available to every person. The more that we can know the god within us, the more we can unleash the cosmic force to achieve the unachievable (ESP, telepathy, out of body experiences, and psychokinesis [moving or manipulating objects with our minds] are all evidence of their belief in unlimited human potential).
7. Spirit Contact:
New Agers believe that there is an army of spirit guides, extraterrestrials, and entities who are seeking to communicate to humans through mediums or channelers. These channelers are humans who are in touch with the cosmic consciousness and are used by these spirit guides to communicate universal truth to others. Of course, this opens the spiritual door to extreme demonic influence.
8. Masters from Above:
New Agers believe that UFO’s and those who have had extraterrestrial encounters prove that there is not only life on other planets, but that these more evolved species have much to teach us. Think Sci-Fi channel on steroids!
9. Religious Syncretism:
Religious syncretism is a fancy term meaning that New Age spirituality is a rather eclectic grab bag of Eastern mysticism, Western occultism, neopaganism, and human psychology. Many New Agers claim to be “Christian,” although they define it completely differently from true Christianity. Most Americans today are New Age in at least some areas of their belief system. The whole concept of “it doesn’t matter what you believe, it only matters that you believe” flows from the New Age belief system.
A New Ager has no belief in God as the Bible reveals Him.
About the Trinity:
They do not believe in the Trinity and reject the concept of a personal, powerful God. Instead, they believe that all is ‘god’ and ‘god’ is all.
New Agers believe Jesus was an enlightened man. He was in touch with his cosmic consciousness and was able to tap into this universal power to heal others. They believe that he is only god in the same sense that we are also gods.
About the Bible:
A New Ager may say that the Bible is God’s Word in the same sense that the Koran and the Book of Mormon is God’s Word. They often warn strongly against taking the Bible literally and are convinced that it should be gleaned for cosmic truth mystically, not literally.
About the Afterlife:
They may have varying beliefs about the afterlife, but the majority of New Agers believe in some form of reincarnation.
A New Ager believes that salvation is found in becoming one with the universe. It is not through a personal, permanent relationship with the God of the universe through faith in Christ, but rather a melting of ourselves in the cosmic pot of mystic oneness.
What the Bible Teaches
God identified Himself as “I Am” (Exodus 20:2), meaning He is the self-existent (has no beginning or end) eternal Creator of the universe.
About the Trinity:
There is one God who is a real being, not just an energy force. This God is three Persons in one (Isaiah 45:5; Deuteronomy 6:4; James 2:19).
Jesus is fully God and fully man. He is not just a god. He is the God of the universe (John 1:1, 14, 18; 8:58; 10:30. Compare Titus 2:13 and Isaiah 45:21), and He is equal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
About the Bible:
The Bible alone is the word of God. It is without error. It cannot and should not be added to or subtracted from (2 Timothy 3:16-4:4; Revelation 22:18-20).
About the Afterlife:
Those who trust in Christ alone as their only hope of salvation spend will eternity in heaven; those who reject Christ spend an eternity in hell (John 5:24-30; Revelation 20:11-15).
Salvation is by faith in Christ on the basis of His death on the cross. Good works have nothing to do with being saved (John 3:16-17, 36; 6:29,47; Romans 4:1-5; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
Things to Remember
- When talking to your New Ager friend, remember that you are entering a huge spiritual battle, so put on the full armor of God and remember that the enemy is Satan, not your friend (Ephesians 6). Also, don’t stereotype this person and assume that every New Ager is the same…they definitely aren’t. They have widely varying beliefs so take some time and find out what this particular person thinks.
- After finding out what your friend thinks and believes, be sure and clearly define your terms. For example, when they speak of ‘Christ consciousness’, they are referring to a mystical state of ‘enlightenment’. In other words, they don’t mean that we should trust Christ for salvation—they mean we can become like Christ in our own enlightenment and make our own ‘salvation’.
- Finally, point out your common ground with your New Ager friend (common belief in the spiritual world, etc.) and focus on the claims of Christ as the only “way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
For Further Research
- Pick up a copy of Greg Stier’s book Dare 2 Share Field Guide
- Check out www.carm.org