Your spirituality may not be harmless
Hello readers, hope you’re well. It’s Monday, so it’s time for another of my posts from Medium.com.
Today’s post is something new that you haven’t seen on my blog yet. Today’s post is a book review. I really enjoy reading and hopefully you do as well. I read a lot of Christian books, and so I’ve created a series on Medium (and on my blog) called The Christian Book Corner.
Today’s review of The Second Coming of the New Age (affiliate link down below) is the first review in The Christian Book Corner. I hope the series will grow and provide a nice variety of reviews as time goes on. Enjoy!
There’s an intense interest in alternative spirituality in our culture today. From the Law of Attraction to Kundalini awakenings, from astral projection to spirit channeling, a diverse range of incredible ideas is making its way into the cultural mainstream. New Age is an umbrella term encompassing the whole of these diverse beliefs.
New Age ideas are fascinating. They attract people with promises of exciting supernatural experiences and ancient knowledge. They promise inner peace, and healing for issues that traditional religions aren’t talking about so much. And let’s face it, a big reason New Age appeals to people is because it isn’t traditional religion.
I myself fell down a rabbit hole of New Age beliefs for a time, before finding my way back to Christ. So I understand the appeal of New Age. The authors of The Second Coming of the New Age, Steven Bancarz and Josh Peck, were heavily involved in New Age for years and well-known in that realm. They understand New Age and its appeal better than most.
That makes them more qualified than the average Christian to write this book debunking New Age and its belief systems. They take on the topic from their experienced and knowledgeable insider perspectives, writing an important Christian rebuttal to New Age that is so very needed in today’s world.
New Age is everywhere. We’re going to encounter it, so we’d better be informed about it as Christians.
What’s in the Book
The Second Coming of the New Age wades through a great deal of the New Age ideas out there, debunking them one by one. The book debunks these ideas on logical grounds, biblical grounds, and scientific grounds (where appropriate).
The book is well-researched and cites a range of sources, including New Agers in their own words. When it comes to New Age, both of these authors know their stuff thanks to their former involvement with it.
I enjoyed the diversity of topics covered. In one chapter we read about practices like channeling and astral projection. In another we read about aliens, and how they could be connected with Genesis 6:1–4. The book moves nicely from topic to topic, staying interesting throughout.
One chapter shows how New Age practices have also infiltrated the church in ‘repackaged’ Christian versions. I was unfamiliar with the practices in this chapter, but maybe you’ll see something that’s in your church. If so, you might be surprised to learn where these practices came from, and the dangers of them.
New Age isn’t as harmless as people think. There’s more to our world than what we see, and those who are spiritual know engaging with the spirit world can be dangerous. We must always be careful about what we do spiritually and what we’re involved in. But that message is largely missing in New Age circles. What’s worse is the origin of many New Age practices aren’t known by New Agers.
My favorite chapter is one that overviews famous satanists like Aleister Crowley and Anton LaVey. It shows how their writings became many of the same ideas endorsed by New Age today — almost verbatim. I had no idea that as early as the 19th century, satanists were teaching about things like the pineal gland, third eye, astral projection, and more. I’d thought such concepts were new understandings of ancient knowledge . That misconception that was also encouraged by these early satanists.
This shows how important it is to know the history of your faith and what you believe. I thought these New Age ideas were completely disconnected from any modern religion. But in Second Coming the evidence — the history — of their roots in satanism was all laid out before me and undeniable.
Many others involved in New Age are also unaware of the satanic roots of the ideas they believe. That fact isn’t advertised, and sadly, most people will not look into the historical background of the ideas.
This is just one example of the surprising things a person can learn from this book. If you have friends involved in New Age, I recommend recommending this book to them. They might learn something they hadn’t known about the belief systems they subscribe to. That could get them thinking about their spiritual allegiances and what they should or shouldn’t take part in.
Though it could take years to grow, never underestimate the value of planting a seed of truth in someone!
Preserve the Truth of Christ!
The most important chapter looks at false theologies of Jesus Christ that are popular in New Age. These claims cherry-pick individual verses of Scripture out of context to wildly misrepresent who Jesus was and what He taught.
You may have heard of two of the more popular ones: The Ascended Masters and Christ consciousness.
The Ascended Masters are a group of spiritually-enlightened individuals who ascended a spiritual hierarchy system. This idea presents Jesus, Buddha, and other great teachers as being very enlightened people who are on the same level, one we can all aspire to. Second Coming shows how this idea originated with … you guessed it. Those early satanists.
The other idea is Christ consciousness. It’s the belief that since we’re all divine in nature, we can achieve Christ-hood and do what He did. We only need to wake up to that fact and spiritually enlighten ourselves. This idea was even endorsed by Oprah on her show once, spreading it to her massive audience.
But the lie of being able to attain godhood on our own through special knowledge is literally the oldest lie in the book. That’s the exact message of the lie Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden. Embracing such demonic lies has equally disastrous consequences in our own lives. It costs us our salvation!
It’s critical that we protect the truth of who Jesus Christ is. We must never relent in asserting the truth of Jesus and His message. Especially when this truth comes under ever-increasing attack from many angles, not all of which seem harmful at first glance. But it’s clear the world at large is out to attack Him, they have some problem with Who He is and His message. They seek to distort and alter His teachings.
That’s why I’m grateful for this chapter on false Christ theologies in Second Coming. There are far more than I knew of, and each is debunked here.
In Pigs in the Parlor, a classic book in the field of spiritual warfare, Frank Hammond reminds us of the warning against the doctrines of demons in 1 Timothy 4:1.
1 Tim. 4:1 warns of a great increase of doctrinal errors promoted by deceiving and seducing spirits in the last days. Such doctrines are designed to attack both the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ; […]
Frank Hammond, Pigs in the Parlor, Page 40 (emphasis mine)
Teaching that Christ is merely part of a group of equally enlightened teachers or that we can reach His level through spiritual enlightenment hits both of Hammond’s criteria!
The false Christ theologies of New Age are the doctrines of demons. Lies passed on by demons to lead believers astray in the final days.
We were warned these demonically-inspired teachings would surface. We have to challenge such ideas when we encounter them. To do that we must know and safeguard the truth of who Christ is and what He taught.
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. (1 Timothy 4:1, NLT)
Nothing’s perfect, so of course I have a few criticisms of Second Coming.
I have a minor gripe with the book itself, which is the number of typos. Normally I wouldn’t care about some typos, but it’s a problem throughout the book. I hate to sound petty, but there are so many to the point that it’s distracting. That’s the only reason I bring it up — I wouldn’t care otherwise! It makes the whole book look less professional, which is so unfortunate for a great book.
As for content, I really wanted to read the authors’ take on mind sciences such as the Law of Attraction (LOA). Steven Bancarz has a video about LOA on his YouTube channel if you go look for it. But I felt like it should have been in this book too since LOA seems to be a major part of New Age philosophy.
The authors debunked other New Age ideas so well throughout the book, presenting good sources and getting into the history of these thought systems. I wanted to read the same kind of well-researched takedown of LOA too. I especially wanted to read what they had to say about the history of it (because it’s not new). So that topic stands out as conspicuously absent.
Finally, I wanted to read more about the Kundalini spirit and its dangers. It’s only mentioned in the part where they discuss the Hindu roots of Yoga. Kundalini is another topic with tons of history behind it, but they barely glossed over it here. This left me with too many unanswered questions. I really wanted to know about Kundalini and the book left me very disappointed. I didn’t learn anything.
The Final Word
The Second Coming of the New Age is an excellent and well-researched Christian perspective on the popular New Age beliefs pervading our culture. It debunks New Age claims from different angles, and takes an honest look at the spiritual dangers inherent in practicing them.
The book is valuable because the roots of many popular New Age ideas have been intentionally obscured. Who knew that topics ranging from the Ascended Masters to the third eye were first taught by satanists? This book is a great resource because it explores the roots of the ideas to expose what’s been hidden. Many New Agers are unaware of the origins of the ideas they adhere to. Can’t blame them for that — they’ve been hidden for a reason.
This book isn’t written in a judgmental manner. It isn’t talking down to anyone. Both of the authors were involved in New Age in the past, so they’re sympathetic to New Agers and what attracts them to these beliefs. When we confront New Age ideas it’s not about winning arguments or proving others wrong. It’s about saving people from cleverly crafted, seductive systems of false beliefs that not only don’t provide true spiritual growth, but also hold grave dangers for their very souls. That’s the only goal.
That’s why I’m grateful for The Second Coming of the New Age, an excellent resource for lovingly confronting New Age and a great read overall.
The Second Coming of the New Age
By Steven Bancarz and Josh Peck. Defender Publishing, 2018
Buy The Second Coming of the New Age on Amazon (This is an affiliate link. I receive a small commission if you buy through this link.)
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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