Most assume those who embrace New Age beliefs like mysticism and spiritualism and those who call themselves evangelicals would disagree more than agree. This is especially true in matters of theological truths. However, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll, which yielded surprising and somewhat disturbing results, these two groups might have more in common now than ever before.
The survey was given to both non-Christians and Christians, and yielded some pretty telling results:
- 18% claimed to believe in astrology.
- 19% claimed to believe in reincarnation.
- 33% claimed to believe in psychics.
- 24% claimed to believe that spiritual energy could be housed within physical objects or things.
- An astounding 47% of evangelicals claimed to believe at least one in four of typical New Age beliefs.
Of the self-proclaimed evangelicals who claimed to embrace at least some New Age beliefs, 70% were Catholics, 67% were average or mainstream Christians and 72% were from historically black tradition Protestants.
The survey also polled agnostics and atheists. Of those surveyed, only 22% of atheists and 56% of agnostics embraced at least one of four primary New Age beliefs: astrology, reincarnation, psychics, and the idea that physical objects hold spiritual energy.
Among the general population, 55% of men and 69% of women claimed to believe in at least one aspect of New Ageism.
Claire Gecewicz, who is a Pew Research Center research analyst, explained the demographic breakdown.
“Just as women are more likely than men to identify with a religion and to engage in a number of religious practices, women also are more likely to hold New Age beliefs,” she said. “Across all four measures—belief in psychics, reincarnation, astrology and that spiritual energy can be found in objects—larger shares of women than men subscribe to these beliefs.”
These findings by the Pew Research Center show a general acceptance and embrace of many elements of New Ageism, and should be disturbing for true believers. There is no room in evangelical Christianity to embrace such mysticism, and doing so can only serve to weaken a believer’s walk with Christ.
The following looks at several New Age ideas and how they are addressed in the Bible:
New Age Says: God is all things and in all things. Therefore, objects can have a spiritual nature.
The Bible Says: Colossians 1:16-17 “For by Him all things were created…” Romans 1:25 “We worship the Creator, not what He’s created.”
New Age Says: The use of psychics and astrology can take a person to a higher plane of enlightenment and thought.
The Bible Says: It is wrong to attempt to “be like God.” Eve was tempted to enter a higher form of enlightenment by eating the forbidden fruit and it got her and Adam kicked out of the garden, Genesis 3:4-5. The only true life and knowledge is to have a personal relationship with God. John 14:6 says for He (God) is “the way and the truth and the life.”
New Age Says: Reincarnation gives a person another chance to do better, to correct mistakes and to rectify bad karma.
The Bible Says: Hebrews 9:27 says “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” This is crystal clear. There are no second chances at life. Life is everlasting through Christ.
Believers who embrace Christ as their savior should possess enough understanding of the Bible and theology to see the danger in New Age enlightenment beliefs. The only way for believers to know whether or not they are trending too close to mysticism is to study and embrace the Bible and Christ’s teachings within every aspect of their lives.
~ 1776 Christian