By Mike Wade
Published April 3, 2008
With the retreat of Christianity from society in the first half of this century, America became more and more pagan.
Many people today, unfortunately, are choosing a deceptive form of hedonism known as the New Age Movement, and they often justify the choice with a new theology.
According to Martin Gross, we live in “the most anxious, emotionally insecure and analyzed population in the history of man.” We are “the citizens of the contemporary Psychological Society.” A society “in which, as never before, man is preoccupied with self.“1
At the turn of the century theology was the queen of the sciences. But when relativism took hold of our educational institutions in the 1920s, psychology became the New Theology. Man placed self at the center of human concern.
The Apostle Paul opened the first chapter of Romans with a concise explanation of all this: “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man … Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” (Romans 1:22-25).
In crowning his new queen, man has declared the answers of life to reside within himself. Over the decades, the prophets of psychology have instructed us to “look within ourselves,” and an introverted, empty, bankrupt society has resulted. To paraphrase the prophet Habakkuk, the fig tree is not blossoming, there is no fruit on our nation’s vines, the yield of the olive tree has failed, the fields have produced no food, the flocks have been cut off from the fold, and there are no cattle in the stalls.
There is a spiritual famine in the land, because man does not have the answers within him as the false prophets have claimed. Throughout the land they are calling out for help. They need a new way of living and are starving for spiritual nourishment. The New Consciousness, as it is called – New Age doctrine in sheep’s clothing – is answering that cry. It offers a new way of living, thinking and being. It makes the same claim of finding the answers within, but now reaches to the mystical for its power source. Psychology was a queen. Now she’s a goddess.
Are We Being “Psyched Out?”
Beginning with Freud, psychology evolved over the last 100 years and gradually gained acceptance as a legitimate science. It is not within the scope of this article to chronicle every increase within the movement. But suffice it to say that Freud, Maslow, Skinner, et. al., have brought the area of study a long way. Today psychology has reached the brink of hard-core idolatry. It is called transpersonal psychology.
Transpersonal psychology is an entirely new school of psychology struggling, just as Freud did, to emerge as the dominant path to understanding human behavior. It legitimizes New Age mysticism to our intellectual culture. It isn’t on everyone’s lips yet, but it will be. The first issue of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology listed its characteristics as unitive consciousness, peak experiences, mystical experience, self-actualization, oneness, cosmic awareness, and transcendental phenomena.2
This new trend in psychology includes a number of spiritual ideas, most of them pantheistic (all is God, all is one), and “encourages Eastern forms of meditation, yoga, and various methods of consciousness expansion. In its synthesis of the humanistic position with spiritual disciplines, the movement offers both the credibility of Western thought and the exotic allurement of the East. Although it incorporates the ideas of Western sages, it also embraces the occult.“3
Because the self becomes the center of human concern, all perceptions of reality change under transpersonal psychology. Self-actualization to the mystic becomes an end in itself. Any effects it may have on others become completely irrelevant since there are no absolutes.
One observer explained it this way: “Because personal experience equals reality, one changes reality by focusing on the self.“4 (The Bible tells us to change ourselves by focusing on reality). According to Douglas Groothuis, “Reality itself is lost when the universe is reduced to a ‘multiverse’ of independently existing bubbles of subjective meaning. Believing in impossible things doesn’t ipso facto make them possible.“5
This introverted, ambivalent, endless preoccupation with the self reduces all events, people and things to the subservient. Rather than giving out of oneself to be blessed, as the Bible instructs, New Age psychology focuses on man’s problems as the only thing that matters, and creates and endless cycle of pain and emptiness: “Because I am mine own authority, I will find mine own fulfillment. But in my vanity, I am empty. Because I am empty I must find mine own fulfillment.”
The havoc this has wrought on our culture has been devastating. Abortion is the most popularly cited carnage, but it’s really just one piece of a disgusting meat pie. An aborted fetus is nothing more than a foretaste of the things to come should our culture continue its present course. Killing people because they are too old, killing people because they are too young, and even the killing of fetuses and adults for their organs are all practiced today – legally.6
Natural man, when separated from a higher power to whom he is accountable, quickly becomes Almighty Man. “The old-time secular humanism said ‘There is no Deity. Long live humanity.’ The new transpersonal or cosmic humanist says, “There is no Deity but Humanity.’“7
Which brings us to the question man has wrestled with since God created him: Who is really in charge? Consider the following quotes, and ask yourself which is the more credible:
“God is dead” – Nietzsche
“Nietzsche is dead” – God
1 Martin Gross, The Psychological Society (New York: Simon and Schuster), 1978, p. 3.
2 Douglas R. Groothuis, Unmasking the New Age (InterVarsity Press), 1986, p. 80. (I am indebted to Chapter 4 of this book for much of the structure of this essay. I highly recommend it for further reading.)
3 Ibid, p. 81.
4 Francis Adeney, “The Flowering of the Human Potential Movement,” Spiritual Counterfeits Journal Vol. 5, No. 1, Winter 1981, p. 13, quoted in Groothuis.
5 Groothuis, p. 82.
6 Paul deParrie and Mary Pride, Unholy Sacrifices of the New Age (Crossway Books), 1988, p. 64.
7 Groothuis, p. 81.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Occult and New Age
Your comments are welcome!
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the free Study Guide!
Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)