NEW AGE or NEW CREATION?
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the concepts of New Age versus Christianity. It would be a simple thing if Christianity were clearly presented by all of its members, but there are a lot of fuzzy arguments that exist within the Christian community itself. There is a lot of truth in New Age that has been adopted from Christian thought, and that makes it even more confusing to people hearing the debate.
WHAT ARE THE CRITICAL ISSUES?
There seem to be two critical issues in the conflict. The first is the Cross itself. In a system of thought where gnosis, or knowledge is the primary concern, the Cross does not make sense to the human intellect, "for the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God." (I Cor 1:18)
The second crucial issue is rooted in the Cross. It is the New Creation in Jesus Christ . It is the transition from the kingdom of self into the Kingdom of God. It is the relinquishment of control and initiative from the human soul to the Spirit of God.
The Christian faith is not about fixing up the Old. It is about an entirely new creation. Jesus Christ is the first born of God's New Creation. If anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation.
The New Age contention is that we can learn our way into the New Age where there will be perfection. The Christian response is that we can only be recreated by God's grace as we pass through death into resurrection with Jesus Christ.
The Cross was the essential element in history that opened the way into the Kingdom of God by transforming death from an enemy that bound humanity in despair, into a doorway into the Kingdom. It is more than a means of our being excused for our faults. It is the establishment of the judgment of God, whereby we will be made whole.
As we pass through death into resurrection, the ego within us who has committed the sins is crucified with Christ and the new purified creation is raised up. God does not judge us with simple commendation or condemnation, but with a purging that brings us to the perfection that He had in mind when He called us by name.
The great difference between New Age and Christian thought is the reception of that perfection. Freedom does not issue from the soul's effort to learn and know the secrets of the Old Creation. It issues from the grace of God that brings us into the New Creation in which we know not simply the universe, but we know the Creator Himself.
We are made His children by adoption and grace in His Only begotten Son. We live out the life that He prepared for us before the foundation of the world. As the Risen Lord is made incarnate in our flesh by Holy Spirit's presence, we literally become His presence in our bodies for ourselves and for those to whom we are sent in His Name.
We do not look to return to the innocence of Eden before the Fall. We look to the hope of a new life in the Kingdom as the children of God.
THE SOURCES OF WISDOM
The Christian Faith has traditionally claimed that the wisdom of God is to be known through revelation of that wisdom in Jesus Christ who is the Wisdom of God. It is not something that is figured out or discovered by human effort. It is something that is received when we are open to the Spirit of God.
Carl Jung in his autobiography speaks of the origin of psychology. It does not come to us out of Christianity, but out of Gnosticism, through Alchemy. It is grounded in human, not divine wisdom. While it might be Old Creation wisdom at it highest, it is none the less New Age and not New Creation revelation.
When Jesus speaks to Peter after his Confession at Caesarea Philippi, He says, "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father who is in heaven." (Mt 16:17) Indeed it would seem from the Temptations of Jesus that the underlying theme is to seek to do God's will in the world's way - turning stone to bread (without God's Word), certification by public demonstration of power in jumping from the pinnacle of the temple, using the power of government (law) to bring in the Kingdom.
All of these Old Creation means of dealing with the salvation of the world were temptations to Jesus, and are to us today if we are in touch with God through His Holy Spirit who reveals God's way. We must decide in every crisis to use the wisdom of the world or to be led by Holy Spirit as Jesus was. Power over the world does not reveal the power to transform the world through God's creative love. The Cross must stand between us and the world.
The world's ways are not acceptable to God because they do not accomplish His will of New Creation. They cannot do what we need to move out of our bondage to the finitude of time/space into the eternal presence of God. That requires more than knowledge and effort. It requires the creative love of our Father that He has given us in Jesus Christ.
TRUTH IS REVEALED IN JESUS
It is not enough for us to toss everything that is said by New Age proponents into the garbage. Some of what they say is true. God has created us in a holistic way. We cannot separate our spirit, soul, mind, and body. We are a living being not an assembly of parts.
The difference is that the creation cannot define its own wholeness. Only the Creator can do that. That is why we seek to test the spirits and follow only Holy Spirit, not just any spirit guide that speaks to us.
There are ways to treat dis ease that the world has discovered by medical research or some other means that are helpful. They are simply not capable of bringing us to the wholeness God has designed for us.
Using some of the methods New Age uses is not always a straying from the Christian path. We do not reject wisdom simply because it is claimed by New Age. All wisdom is of God, but we must be sure to hold fast to the hand of Abba revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.
The end we seek is not some state in which we can control our peace of mind. It is the entrance into a Kingdom where God is in control of all things, and peace is the nature of the environment. It is the incarnation of Jesus Christ in our flesh, that we might be His presence in the world for which He died.
The Cross is an essential for those of us who are not able to regenerate ourselves. No amount of knowledge will suffice to fill that gap. When we have passed through the Cross, we become His, and life in both creations becomes ours until we live completely into the New.
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