Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Age-Old New Age Movement

On the broadcast we are constantly dealing with cults, the occult, aberrant Christian theologies, general biblical apologetics and Bible difficulties. One of the things that has really startled me as I read new books in Borders and Barnes and Noble and as you look at Amazon.com and you read the newspaper and you listen to Oprah, is that the world of the occult is now out of the closet. It's being glamorized as New Age but in reality it's genesis is as old age as the hiss of the serpent, "Your eyes will be opened. You will be like God, knowing good and evil." The objective of occultism, no matter how it's glorified, is self-deification through sorcery, spiritism and sooth-saying.

The very word "sorcery" is magic through which occultists seek to harness paranormal powers for private purposes. They use ritualistic formulas, spells, incantations, and they seek through them to harness what they perceive to be the natural and spiritual powers of the universe in order to satisfy their own desires. And, of course, if you go back to the Old Testament you'll see that God warned the ancient Israelites that these very practices would inevitably lead to the downfall of their culture. Likewise, He rebuked the ancient Babylonians for supposing that they could bypass the power of God, Yahweh, the God of Israel, through their many sorceries and potent spells.

Occultists also employ spiritualistic practices - mediumship - in order to contact non-physical entities, including the souls of the dead. These spirits, in their view, are capable of providing cosmic insights into this world and into the next world. That's why they employ Ouija boards and crystal balls and belongings of the dead to conjure up the departed. God's warning, however, against those who practice spiritism could not be more ominous or direct: "I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people."

One other point, and that is that occultists seek to access secret or hidden information about the future through soothsaying or through divination, and among the most common tools of the soothsayer are tarot cards, astrological charts, horoscopes and even tea leaves. But again, the Lord's command is emphatic and explicit: "Do not practice divination." Indeed, a tremendous insult to the power and the providence of the Almighty God that we serve is to seek guidance through the occult. Thus, when the Israelites were about to enter the land of promise the Lord warned them not to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. God said "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft or cast spells or who is a medium or a spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord."

Well, occultism is being packaged and repackaged and is ever more glamorous in our culture today and we need to be forewarned and forearmed through Scripture and know how to deal with this, and that's why we provide all kinds of resources through the ministry of the Christian Research Institute to deal not only with the kingdom of the cults, but the world of the occult as well.


Mark said...


You make some great points. Maybe you should do a radio broadcast on the new religion - Oprahism?

John Tucker said...

Scott Wilder, a local radio talk show host here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has one word for this: Oprah-anity.