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What You Need to Know About New Age Beliefs

New Age spirituality says: God is either in all things or he is all things.

Christianity says: "For by him all things were created … all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Col. 1:16-17). We worship the Creator, not what he's created (Rom. 1:25).

Be wary of: Panentheism, which says "God is in the tree," or pantheism, which says "God is the tree," as opposed to theism (Christianity), which says "God created the tree and holds it together by his power."

New Age spirituality says: We're on a continual journey to "know all" by achieving cosmic consciousness (also referred to as Nirvana, "going clear," Christ-consciousness, individual divinity, or fulfilling the dharma).

Christianity says: Satan tempted Eve with knowledge he claimed would make her like God (Gen. 3:4-5), but we can never know as much as God (Isa. 55:8-9, Job 38). While the God of Christianity doesn't require us to numb our mind, he compels us to love him with all our heart and all our mind (Matt. 22:37).

Be wary of: Ideas or belief systems that promise you can become like God through acquiring knowledge. Ultimate spiritual truth can only be found through God's Word, the Bible, and in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the only "way and the truth and the life" (John 14:6).

New Age spirituality says: People work through their bad karma, or the overall effects of wrong actions, by being reincarnated, or physically reborn into a different body, until they achieve their divine destiny of becoming a god, or becoming one with the universe.

Christianity says: There's no second chance after this life: "Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Heb. 9:27). There's only one "divine destiny"—salvation—achieved only through Jesus Christ: "For there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12), and "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph. 2:8).

Be wary of: Any teaching that includes reincarnation or encourages works to reach a higher level of spirituality or to earn salvation.

New Age spirituality says: You can shape reality by the power of your thoughts, or by speaking something into existence.

Christianity says: "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. … Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that'" (James 4:13-15). "Whatever is true … think about such things" (Phil. 4:8).

Be wary of: Teachings that tell you you can project your thoughts or words into existence, rather than recognizing God is the source of all power to shape reality.

New Age spirituality says: One can separate consciousness from the body, or have an out-of-body experience in order to be connected with the "Universal Soul."

Christianity says: God didn't create our consciousness to be separate from our body. Rather, he created us to be conscious within our body (Gen. 2:7). Only through God's Holy Spirit dwelling in us can we be connected to the Creator (John 14:26).

Be wary of: Any teaching that includes leaving your body or allowing a "spirit guide" to enter it.

New Age spirituality says: The essential doctrines of the truth of life are within man.

Christianity says: "He who trusts in himself is a fool" (Prov. 28:26). The cause of the fall of man was our desire to become our own master, to determine for ourselves what's good and bad instead of relying on God's teachings found in the Bible, the only true source. Yoga and New Age teach the same lie Satan tempted Eve with in the Garden of Eden: "You will be as God" (Gen. 3:5), which was designed to keep her (and us) away from the one true God (John 17:3).

Be wary of: Basing your beliefs on what you sense is true, what you "hear" God saying in your mind, or any emotional experience without making sure your thought is in agreement with the Bible.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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