Christianity vs New Age seems to be a hot topic. Actually, it's more of an interest in New Age spirituality that is capturing the imaginations of a lot of people, as the "old school" Christianity fades into the background.
For the record, I love talking to people that belong to (is that the correct way to say it?) New Age spirituality. I had the pleasure of visiting Byron Bay in Australia. Byron is a multi-cultural, freedom loving place that is home to people from all walks of life, because everyone is accepted there.
I could almost feel the spirituality of the place as soon as I entered. If I didn't know it was spiritual then all I had to do was walk into one of the many shops. Finding books, charms, crystals and more all representing some sort of spiritual journey that everyone is on.
Definition of New Age
If you do a quick google search on New Age, here's what you will find:
"The New Age is a term applied to a range of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices that developed in Western nations during the 1970s. Precise scholarly definitions of the movement differ in their emphasis, largely as a result of its highly eclectic structure."
What is Truth?
As I talked to people, I found out exactly this definition, because I couldn't really define New Age. Everyone just accepted the fact that I was on a spiritual journey. Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jewish, Muslim or anything else was pretty much the same thing and dubbed "spirituality". I had some of the best conversations about "spiritual" things that I have ever had!
The people in Byron had a real understanding of the invisible spiritual world and a lot of times it seemed that they knew a lot more than I did! Which led me to ask some questions.
And the questions are: What is Truth? Do you KNOW Truth, as in the person of Truth, not just the idea of it? Also, if I believe in a spiritual world, then why do other people seem to know more than I do? Especially if I claim that I know the truth about it?
Standing on Biblical Theology doesn't rule out exploring the unseen realm
I am currently reading a book called "Quantum Glory" by Phil Mason. Phil used to be (in his words), "committed to the New Age teachings". That is, until he encountered Christ and became a Christian. He argues in this book that Christians should be using science (more specifically, Quantum Physics) for the glory of God and to prove that there is a Creator. Phil goes on to say:
"My life calling has been to build a bridge of dialogue into the New Age community and to equip followers of Christ with the skills to intelligently engage New Age seekers in order to bring them into an encounter with the glory of the risen Christ. I teach on the relationship between quantum physics and biblical theology.."
It's in this place where I want to end. That a dialogue between a "spiritual" person and any Christian should be taking place, Christians should not be scared of spiritual things. The reason is because Christians KNOW the One that created the spiritual world.
What if we started to explore the spiritual things (shall I say dimension?) from a foundation of Scripture? Never swaying from truth and never allowing ourselves to get away from what we believe. But instead, asking God to guide us into the invisible world the He created.
Please know that this is just food for thought. I always think it's good to expand our knowledge and explore things that we wouldn't normally explore. I believe as Christians, we shouldn't be scared of "other thought", but we should actually influence that thought. One way we can be an influence is by seeking understanding from the One that created it.
My challenge to the reader and myself: Start asking the Lord to expand your thinking. Ask Him for understanding in a world that can't be seen.
Jason LaLone is on staff at YWAM Brisbane. He is passionate about discipleship, taking Jesus's command to make disciples of all nations as a practical reality that he can live on a daily basis. He loves lasagna, cats and used to dislike Monday's, making him most like Garfield.
Jason LaLone's previous articles might be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jason-lalone.html