By Nathan Jones
What are some of the basic characteristics of the New Age Movement?
Dr. David Reagan and I were delighted to have as our guest on Christ in Prophecy Warren Smith, the author of the book The Light That Was Dark. This fascinating book tells Warren's touching story of how, in his search for a Savior, he got sidetracked into the occultic darkness of the New Age Movement. From his many years of experience under that influence, Warren now has dedicated his life to warning Christians about the dangers of the New Age and help us recognize how we can avoid these satanic influences from creeping into our churches.
Dr. Reagan: Warren, tell us, what are some of the basic characteristics of the New Age Movement?
Warren Smith: In 2 Corinthians 11, the Apostle Paul talks about the simplicity in Christ. There is a simplicity in deception as well. So, it's really important that people don't get confused.
There are so many different aspects of the deception of the New Age, what is now being called the New Spirituality, and even the New Worldview. New World Religion was the phrase used for a while, but a New Worldview is easier for people to remember.
Christians are being guided into this New Worldview thinking they will help the world come to peace. But, remember that in Daniel 8 we are told that the Antichrist is going to have a wonderful deception. He literally will destroy "wonderfully," for by peace he shall destroy many.
All these deceptive end times teachings are heading up to where the world is going to be told to get in line, and "atonement" will be a word that will be used. But, those of us who were in the New Age understand that it is "at-one-ment", not atonement, so much as "at-one-ment." In other words, the New Age teaches that we are all one because God is in everyone and everything. And, when we recognize our oneness, we can all come together and help achieve world peace. Some Christian leaders are even buying into this by having materials that bring this oneness and this god-in-everything teaching into the Church.
Dr. Reagan: Let's dwell a little bit longer here on the fundamental characteristics of the Movement. You boiled it all down to that the fundamental teaching of the New Age is God that He is in everything and is in us. That's what Shirley MacLaine was doing when she stood on the seashore and yelled, "I am god, I am god, I am god!"
Warren Smith: She was the one who put that teaching forward back in 1987 on television. She may have become the butt of late night jokes, like in David Letterman's jokes, but she's the one primarily responsible for outing that teaching and getting the conversation going. That's the big word these days — conversation. "Let's have a conversation," which really means, "Let's see what we can do to compromise. Let's get it all on the table and see what we can come up with." That's the idea that we can all move forward.
The year Shirley MacLaine started off teaching that we are all gods, that was in 1987, and that was the same year that Marilyn Ferguson the author of The Aquarian Conspiracy was on the Oprah Winfrey Show, on an episode entitled "The New Age Movement." Back in 1980, Marilyn Ferguson wrote her book The Aquarian Conspiracy and in that book she said that basically we have a great idea, a great heretical idea, of God within and God is in everything. She said basically, "We are not going to be able to pull this off right away, but over time if it is widely publicized we will be able to have our way." I mean, it was an outrageous thing to claim!
Actually, a lot of New Age leaders today are very upset that Ferguson used the word "conspiracy" in the title of her book, because it actually plays into the reality that there truly is a conspiracy, and the conspiracy is to get this great heretical idea that God indwells His creation and that God is in everyone and everything. She was trying to be cute.
Likewise, The Shack was a very popular book, not only in the Christian world, but it was actually at the top of the New Age bestseller list as well.
Nathan Jones: Almost every church was preaching from it and every Christian bookstore was carrying The Shack.
Warren Smith: People will claim, "Well, but Jesus is in there." But, what a lot of people don't understand is that from what I think was on page 112, the Jesus of The Shack said, "God who is the ground of all being dwells in and around and through all things." Then, if you look carefully at the book when the word "Creation" is brought up, a capital "C" is used. Those of us from the New Age know that when you see creation with a capital "C", it means that God indwells His creation.
Dr. Reagan: That is very different from what the Bible teaches. God is not indwelling His creation, right?
Warren Smith: No. Psalm 39:5 tells us, "Verily, every man at his best state is altogether vanity." Or, in John 2:24-25, Jesus said referring to Jesus, "He did not commit himself to men because he knew what was in men." Now, why would that be said if God is in man? Why wouldn't He be emphasizing that? Instead, Jesus was actually saying to the effect, "Watch out! Men amongst themselves can be very dangerous." That is what Jesus was teaching. So, no, God is not within each person.
In the second segment of our interview with Warren Smith on how New Age teachings have infiltrated the Church, he'll tell us who some of the deceptive teachers are who are involved in the movement.