Finding New Age Doctrine in the Bible
Because of the presupposition of the various New Age groups, the Bible is used as an authoritative source only when it appears to agree with the New Age philosophy. Despite the fact that neither the concepts of Karma, Reincarnation, Communication with the Dead nor Man being God are set forth in the Bible as Christian ideas, the New Age groups wrench passages from their context, twist the meanings of these verses and endeavor to prove that the Bible does, in fact, teach these doctrines.
The following examples are from four different New Age organizations. Each uses a different biblical passage to attempt to lend credibility to their unscriptural interpretation.
Karen Howard, who writes for Intuitive Explorations states, "Western belief in karma is a combination of many beliefs, due in part to the melting-pot nature of our society. To use the most familiar text, THE BIBLE, the following quotes are offered for your consideration:
"`The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forever more,' (Psalm 121:8) Going out or coming in from where?
"`Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap,' (Gal. 6:7)" (Vol. 2, No. 10, April 1989, p. 9).
Following Howard's article the editor of the magazine interjects, "...my favorite Bible passage which I believe could speak of Karma (is) `try to get reconciled with your accuser promptly, while you are going on the road with him; for your accuser might surrender you to the judge, and the judge would commit you to the jailer, and you would be cast into prison. Truly I say to you that you would never come out thence until you had paid the last cent.' (Matthew 5:25-26).
"Might (just might) this be suggesting we should try to right our wrongs and correct our errors in this lifetime (while going on the road with) in order to prevent karmic debt/repayment?" (Ibid).
From a Christian perspective, the notion of sinful man ever being able to correct his errors enough to pay the debt is to deny the necessity of a savior. If man were capable of such a feat, there would have been no need for Jesus to pay the price on the cross.
In the magazine produced by Benjamin Creme, proclaimer of the Lord Maitreya, comes the discussion on this subject.
"Generally speaking people are unaware that there are definite references in the New Testament that unequivocally imply reincarnation. In fact many ask why... there is so little mention of it in the Bible.
"One obvious answer is that the reality of reincarnation, at least in the New Testament, was simply taken for granted...," (Share International, Special Information Issue 1986, p. 19, Tara Center).
Jeanine Miller, author of the article continues with, "The first sign of a `taking for granted' of the doctrine is found in Matthew, 11:13-14; 16:13. Jesus is asking his disciples: `Whom do men say that I, the son of man, am?'....
"That Jesus is actually asking the question shows he is aware of the doctrine and considers it valid," (Ibid).
Not only is this passage cited as proof of reincarnation, but so also is the passage concerning John the Baptist.
"So Elias, according to Jesus himself, came back to earth in the personality of John the Baptist," (Ibid).
From a Christian perspective, the context of the passages demonstrate that Jesus was not speaking of reincarnation, but rather revealing His identity as the Messiah to His disciples. While other "men" said Jesus was one of the prophets, it was Peter who was commended for his confession that Jesus was the "Son of God."
In fact, the Bible categorically denies reincarnation when it states, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement," (Hebrews 9:27).
Communication With the Dead
In an interview, George Anderson, author of the book We Don't Die, set forth several interesting twists on the scripture. Anderson is called a "passive receiver" or medium with the ability to receive "...communications from the other side," (Body Mind and Spirit, June 1989, p. 46).
A portion of the interview is as follows:
"Spirit: We were taught in Catholic school, though, that we should stay away from mediums because they were in league with the devil or at the very least, devilish spirits.
"Anderson: If people really want to believe that, I'm not going to change their minds. A lot of fundamentalist Christians cite the Book of Deuteronomy, where it states that it's wrong to consult with the dead.
"Well, I'm not consulting with the dead, I'm not asking them to advise me; I'm thinking for myself.
"This experience (of a reading) is the fulfillment of the beatitude: `Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.'
"I don't raise, conjure, summon or invoke the dead. I discern them," (Ibid, p. 47).
From a Christian perspective, the Beatitude cited is not referring to being comforted via an occult medium, but rather by the goodness and mercies of God. Also, with reference to communication with the dead, on this point the Bible is very clear.
"There shall not be found among you... an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer," (Deut. 18:10-11).
Nowhere does the passage say it is acceptable to "discern", but inappropriate to "conjure, invoke, etc."
Men Are God
One of the most unique interpretations of a Biblical passage has to be that of Leonard Orr's view on Exodus 20:3. This is the first of the Ten Commandments which states, "Thou shall have no other gods before me."
Orr explains, "First you have to define thou. Thou is you. Then you have to define me. Me is you also. God is Thou and me (otherwise there is more than one God). Me is the God in everyone. God is the me in everyone.
"The me of you is the same as the me of me. The me of you and the me of me are one and the same -- which is God. This Commandment says I am God or You are God.
"Since it is you who is God, then you have to create God. Man created God in his own image," (Rebirthing In The New Age, p. 211).
From a Christian perspective very little needs to be said concerning Orr's interpretation. Every Christian knows with out a lengthy discourse that Man is not God. Also, despite all the Realization and Visualization, Man will never be God.
The New Age Movement, in its myriad of forms, continues its deception by citing biblical passages, but with radically different interpretations for those verses.
As with any cult, beware of the interpretation given by those in the New Age to any verse of the Bible.