The following is a sample chapter from Should You RUN From Jesus
on Amazon (click here)
(Note, this page is modified from the book chapter so
as to make it a stand-alone web article.)
SPOTTING NEW AGE TEACHING
getting any deeper into Jesus Always we should take a few moments to
learn some of the characteristics of New Age teaching. Knowing these
characteristics will help you identify books, videos, and other materials
that contain New Age teaching.
What Is New Age?
In his book A Time Of Departing, Ray Yungen defines New
The Age of Aquarius, supposedly the Golden Age, when man becomes
aware of his power and divinity. Ray Yungen, A Time of
Departing, 2006, page 204
This sounds like a fad from the 60s that has come and gone. But
dont be deceived. New Age spirituality is bigger than ever, and
it is everywhere. Ray Yungen writes:
Christian Yoga, spiritual disciplines, spiritual formation, the
silence, sacred space, and contemplative prayerdo any of these
sound familiar? If you havent heard of them yet, chances are
its just a matter of time before these terms start showing up
in your church. Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, 2006,
Author and speaker Warren Smith was deeply immersed in the New Age
Movement. At the height of his involvement with New Age:
the Lord intervened. He exposed the darkness that was actually
behind the deceptive peace, love, and light
of our New Age/New Gospel teachings. By the time it was all over,
it was clear to us that all of our New Age beliefs had been founded
on half-truths and lies. - Warren
Smith, blog post
In his book False Christ Coming, Does Anybody Care?
Warren describes the Jesus of the New Age Movement::
The New Age Gospel teaches that when humanity collectively accepts
and experiences itself as being part of Christ and a part of God,
we will not only save ourselves, we will save our world
new revelation often accompanied by direct personal spiritual
experience, people are taught that because they are a part of God,
they are actually at-one with God and all creation.
Warren Smith, False Christ Coming, Does Anybody Care?, 2011,
Pages 13 & 14
Age teaching and spirituality is growing in our churches, it is
moving into our schools. I regularly receive flyers from organizations
that train teachers in how to use New Age techniques. They dont
mention the phrase New Age, but they offer training in New
Age p;rtactices such as Yoga & Mindfulness for Kids
(from an organization known as PESI), and Calming The Overactive
Brain (offered by the Institute For Brain Potential).
So what does this have to do with Jesus Always? Ive
reproduced the front of a brochure from PESI to the right.
The word Yoga means unity. Yoga is a practice that is at
the core of Hinduism (New Age). It is the way to achieve unity with
the Hindu Gods. Notice how Yoga is described in this flyer as being:
a wonderful introduction to present-moment awareness and introduction
to present-moment awareness and mindfulness. This describes the
New Age spirituality that we'll see in Jesus Always. Key New Age practices
to look for include:
Present-moment awareness: this means to not think about the
past, nor worry about the future, but to focus on the present.
Mindfulness: focusing on being calm in the present moment,
and accepting your feelings and whatever you are experiencing.
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.
- Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Oneness with god: this is commonly manifested in what is called
Practicing the Presence (of god). Practicing the Presence, or sometimes
it is just referred to as the Presence (with a capital P)
involves sitting quietly, often whispering a simple word or phrase
to help you empty your mind and experience the presence of god. As
you calm and empty your mind, the god who is within you (oneness with
god) may be experienced.
The Silence: this refers to emptying your mind of all thoughts;
to suspend thought through word repetition or breath focusinward
mental silence. Tilden Edwards called this the bridge to far
Repetition / Breath Focus: these are two of the most common
practices used to help empty your mind. Repetition refers to repeating
a single word or phrase. This might be the name of Jesus
or a phrase such as I love you Jesus. Throughout Jesus
Always you will encounter exhortions to pray short prayers such
as these. Breath focus means to slow and control your breathing,
often by saying one word or phrase as you inhale, and another as you
Look for these practices, or variations of them, in Jesus Always.
Youll find them throughout the book. None of these are biblical.
None of these are in scripture. We never see Jesus, nor any of the apostles
nor in fact anyone in scripture practicing any of these techniques.
they work? Yes they do. You can do these things and feel very spiritual,
and feel very close to god. You can do these things and feel good
calm and relaxed. But they are not biblical. So why do they work?
Remember what scripture says, the true battle is not happening in a
realm you can see. We are in a spiritual battle.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the
rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness,
against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
You are in a battle against spiritual forces of darkness, and they
will do whatever it takes to draw you away from the true Jesus Christ
such as making you feel good when using practices that open you to demonic
influence. Demons have the ability to calm you, to give you peace, and
make you feel spiritual and close to god. Using the practices
described in this chapter opens people to demonic spiritual forces,
Do you remember what scripture says happened to the man who was
cleaned out and left empty? He was in the condition New Age practices
strive to achieve
Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through
waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says,
I will return to my house from which I came; and when
it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it
goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than
itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that
man becomes worse than the first.Matthew 12:43-45
What should he have done after the unclean spirit left? Filled
himself with scripture. We are to fill ourselves with Gods word,
leaving no room for demons, or even fleshly thoughts.
What should you do when you encounter someone teaching the practices
identified in this chapter? Or when you encounter a book or DVD
promoting these practices? Run! New Age practices are very dangerous.
Dont get anywhere near them. Dont let them into your life.
Tightly shut and lock the door to your mind and feelings, and turn to
the true Jesus in scripture.