Sweeping our world are new forms of religion that seek to modify the original Law from God, resulting in a distorted version of Christianity that is a “feel good” gospel riddled with demonic doctrines and loop holes around the parts of Jesus’ Command that society does not enjoy following.
You may see these deemed as new religions, or new, better forms of Christianity, sometimes spoken of as the “New Age” or "New Era" - but it is nothing new, and merely a mash up of Eastern Mysticism, Gnosticism, and Jewish concepts, presented as a brand new religion. Worse yet - there are Churches coming up that preach these ideologies. Rather than single them out in this writing and risk slander, it is more important that we are wary of them when we come across them.
The general term, “New Age”, covers a range of religious beliefs and uses all or some of them to create new religions, mashed together to elicit thoughts of “new thinking, new method, better way.”
However, there is nothing new about them, and their core motivation to usurp God can be traced back to the dawn of man, specifically when the devil tempted Eve to do this very thing in the Garden, and also in the Old Testament we read of many times different civilizations worshiped other gods and were punished for it.
Remember what God did to Egypt (Isaiah 19)?
Or Babylon and their false gods (Isaiah 46)?
This urge to rebel against God has been going on since the dawn of man, and alternative Christianity that deviates from the Word of God is none other than the same old devil influencing man with the same old tricks, just with a different dress on.
Fast forward to the 2nd Century, and we have the dawn of Gnosticism - a prominent heretical movement of the 2nd-century. Gnostic doctrine taught that the world was created and ruled by a lesser divine being, and that Christ was an emissary of the remote supreme divine being, possessing esoteric knowledge of whom enabled the redemption of the human spirit.
Gnostics worshiped two (or more) gods. Various Gnostic groups emphasized personal spiritual knowledge over orthodox teachings, traditions, or the authority of the church. The origins of Gnosticism are still disputed today. Most Christian groups define Gnosticism as a heresy of Christianity, and the origin is closely related to Jewish sectarian milieus and based around early Christian sects.
The practice of cherry picking and then creating a new religion out of what they like best formed the foundation for further alternative Christianity that we see today. Gnosticism's origins also have roots in Neoplatonism and Buddhism, due to their similar beliefs and theology, but ultimately the origins are largely unknown.
As Christianity developed, so did Gnosticism, with both Christian and Gnostic Christian groups often existing in the same places. According to James M. Robinson, an American scholar who retired as Professor Emeritus of Religion at Claremont Graduate University, specializing in New Testament Studies and Nag Hammadi Studies, no Gnostic texts clearly pre-date Christianity, and "pre-Christian Gnosticism as such is hardly attested in a way to settle the debate once and for all."
The Nag Hammadi library, a collection of early Christian and Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945, contained Hermetic teachings that can be argued go back to the Old Egyptian Kingdom (c. 2686-2181 B.C.). If Gnosticism had no prior existence to Christianity, then it was merely a copycat and deformation of sound doctrine.
This continues on today in our day and age with alternative Christianity sweeping the world, often with the guise of a “dawn of a new era” feeling. They generally draw their theology and concepts from these religions, practices and beliefs, and mash them up together to create something new and inspiring:
These religions offer a collection of beliefs aimed at bringing one personal enlightenment, often sans-Jesus. You may come across them and hear them speak of the goal of “raising the consciousness” of one’s self, to a “higher level” or “higher frequency”, and you may often see these terms used when certain subjects are discussed among their followers. This means that they ultimately believe it is possible to elevate our spiritual state of existence to a significant level of self-divinity, teaching that we don’t become divine, but that we already are divine.
They take this as far as to teach that we are, at our inner core, ultimately God; we are the spark of the Creator suffering from memory loss of this information, and through the practices they teach based on the one’s listed above, you too can remember and achieve this status of self-divination. They completely take the need of a Lord and Savior in Jesus, the Son of God, out of the equation.
You don’t have to look far to find their worldview goals either. Even taking the simple action of searching online and finding home websites to these alternative religions will lead you to their goals, which is to initiate world peace by uniting every religion under one universal belief, one universal god, one universal wisdom of all beliefs connected, to bring about an “Age of Enlightenment”.
If you can’t already tell, this is completely against the Word of God. If God wanted it this way, Jesus would have taught it this way. He would have taught a doctrine that was a mash up of all of these philosophies listed above, but He didn’t, and all of these teachings listed above already existed before Jesus came as well. Don’t you think He would have included them if they were of God and the correct path to salvation? But He didn’t - Jesus actually rebuked them! Herein is the issue with this uprising of “New Era” alternative Christianity - you will notice that they cherry pick from a vast array of religions and beliefs, including the Christianity that Jesus taught, accepting a ton of wide ranging beliefs that often contradict one another, yet reject very little, leading to their followers being able to basically believe whatever they want, as long as it “feels good” to them and they “feel spiritually awakened”.
This is a dangerous game, and completely against the Word of God, and you cannot create a new, sound doctrine, and claim it so, and say it is of God when it didn’t come from God or Jesus nor was it taught by Them. This lack of common doctrine is another warning sign you will come across, and should be very obvious to followers of Jesus when we come across them.
As you may come across new, alternative Christian religions, this fact sticks out like a sore thumb - Christianity has the Bible, the most historically recounted ancient manuscript in world history, yet they generally can’t produce a sound book of doctrines besides things listed on their websites or pamphlets from their group, or short books written by random authors. I’ve read doctrine books from Hindu religions, such as Atharvaveda (the fourth book of the Veda, the texts that constitute the oldest of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism), as well as Pagan theology books (no such “Pagan bible” exists), and what stands out most to me is what happens when you pick up another one by a different author or from a different area of the world - they differ and contrast one another in opinions, ideologies, beliefs and overall doctrine.
For example, if you begin studying Samkhya or Mimamsa Hindu Philosophy, you will see that they reject the idea of a personal God and Creator, yet don’t totally reject the general Hindu belief in Brahman, the name they give for what they believe is the eternal origin and foundation for all existence.
Further study into Hindu philosophy brings us to the realization that the concept of God in Hinduism varies throughout different traditions, with no actual core set of beliefs recounted to reference.
Hinduism spans a wide range of beliefs such as henotheism, monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, atheism and nontheism - all different views on God.
The same cannot be said of Christianity, though alternative Christianity is trying really hard to make it possible by creating new religions from mixing Christianity with whatever else they feel like belongs.
Christianity has one Law, one Book, and one Lord and Savior, and what is written doesn’t change across different parts of the world, despite if it was recounted by followers or rejecters of Jesus.
The “New Era” religions are trying to muddy this up, but you can’t erase thousands upon thousands of historical recounts, with more being discovered as time passes, so they attempt to create alternative religions that deviate from the original Truth taught by God.
You may see some of these teachers of the New Age claim to be "spirit guides" or have some unfound grand knowledge unknown by the rest of the world, often wrapped around conspiracy theories as well. And what's even worse is now there are some that have decided to label themselves as Christians and use a part of the Word here and there to attempt to solidify their beliefs. One such example is the celebrity-backed "Christ Consciousness".
Christ Consciousness - one of the newest "religions" sweeping the nation that proposes the idea that we are equal to Jesus and can obtain His status, and that His true mission was to come to earth and show us (not to die for our sins) how to be just like Him, powers and all, through practicing meditation and a belief in reincarnation, until we achieve His level of ascension (when He ascended to Heaven to be with God).
It teaches that we are all Christ - we just have to learn how to achieve this level of life through self awakening. Christ Consciousness is nothing new, however, and is merely another attempt at a mash up of Eastern religions presented as brand-new ideology and method to achieving salvation, with less Jesus and less of His Commands involved.
I chose to zero in on Christ Consciousness because it is one of many that have popped up in the past, and no doubt another form will come up in the future once it ultimately fails, but they all present similar ideologies based around a self-centered spiritual aspect that removes Jesus from the equation, and puts you on His throne instead.
As crazy as this sounds - it is backed and being spread by powerful people in the world, including celebrities and popular public figures such as Oprah Winfrey, (which, as of this writing, I have not seen anything that indicates she has changed her outlook, and she was still practicing and preaching this on her Super Soul Sunday Seminars, along with multiple books she wrote on the matter, including her book titled, “Oprah’s Jesus: The Rise of Spirituality Without Religion”, which sold millions of copies worldwide) and Jim Carrey, and popular authors such as Deepak Chopra, Danielle van Dijk, Norman Paulsen, and Paramahansa Yogananda.
Jim was recently in an interview with E! in November of 2017, in which he was speaking of Christ Consciousness and was recorded having strange behavior and remarks such as, ”…I believe we’re a field of energy dancing for itself. And I don’t care…..There is no me….I wonder what would happen if I decided to just be Jesus.” He also discusses other parts of Christianity in this interview, in which some of it sounds correct, until he gets to the point of talking about himself not existing, that there is no “us” or soul, and then something about using his acting skills to pretend to be Jesus and see what would happen.
As you will see as we continue on in this chapter, this is likely a result of going deep into Christ Consciousness, and I don’t what other things Jim has going on in his life, but this is purely for example and analogy purposes and the references to him stop here.
Deepak Chopra is an Indian-American author and alternative-medicine advocate, and also a prominent figure in the New Age movement; his books and videos have made him one of the best-known and wealthiest figures in alternative medicine. His religious works are primarily based around the ideology of Christ Consciousness and his books have sold millions and videos viewed by millions.
Danielle van Dijk, MA, is a teacher of literature, philosophy, and ethics at the Steiner Waldorf school in Zeist, Holland, for more than thirty years. During this time she has studied deep into Christian Esoteric teachings and Anthroposophy, and written many books on the subject of Christ Consciousness.
Norman Paulsen, who founded the Sunburst community in the late 1960s, was a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the 1946 spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi. Their teachings were described as a mixture of mysticism, Christianity, and the practice of Kriya Yoga, and has written multiple books on Christ Consciousness since as early as 1984. Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian monk, yogi and guru who introduced millions to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his organization, Self-Realization Fellowship / Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. He died March 7th, 1952, and spent his last 32 years in America.
You might be thinking, “Wait a minute, you’re just cherry picking a few celebrities and authors and picking on them to make a point.” Well, for starters, these are just a few of many that you can find if you research the subject, and I am not writing a “who’s who list” on Christ Consciousness teachers.
It is more fruitful that we are wary of this teaching when we come across it, so please take heed, I am not knocking Oprah, Jim, or Deepak, or the other offers specifically and this is where their mentions end, and it is ultimately unfruitful to do so, as we can never know for sure at the time of you reading this or even myself writing this if they have changed their views on the matter (though some may have also passed away by the time you read this as well), or gotten saved and came back fully to original Christianity as Jesus taught it - but it is to draw a point that someone of their stature and standing that impacts millions of peoples lives every day, for large spans of time, and have fans galore are preaching this and subjecting them to an alternative form of Christianity that deviates from what Jesus taught and takes Him off of His throne, rendering Him as merely our equal.
This is dangerous and easily sways people’s mind and faith if not strong. In contrast, there have also been many teachers of Christ Consciousness and self-gratifying ideologies who realized the error in their ways and found Jesus again, and began teaching of the dangers therein of following that path of alternative Christianity that deviates from the Word:
Doreen Virtue was an Angel Therapy charlatan (yes you read that correctly: Angel Therapy). As of 2017, Virtue has converted to Christianity and renounced her previous New Age activities. She has had her name removed from various New Age products and publications, including apps and tarot decks. She also wrote a great book titled Deceived No More: How Jesus Led Me Out of the New Age and Into His Word.
Steven Bancarz, a former New Age blogger of www.thespiritscience.net and www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com, turned Christian after an encounter with the presence of Jesus, is also a great example of someone realizing the dangers of Christ Consciousness and teachings of alternative, self-based Christianity. He had millions of followers on this new age site, and told them all the truth of the matter and that he was wrong about everything, for better or worse, and that Jesus is the only way to God.
Again, there are many, many more, and these are just a few examples to get the wheels turning as we progress through this subject. As many as have come away from these alternative forms of Christianity, many still teach it.
Jesus explicitly warned us about others coming in His name falsely, preaching false gospels, and also of the dangers of idolatry:
2 Corinthians 11:4 (ESV): I am afraid, however, that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may be led astray from your simple and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims a Jesus other than the One we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the One you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it way too easily. I consider myself in no way inferior to those “super-apostles.”…
We can see both of these at play here - someone who may idolize these public figures can be easily swayed in their faith when they see them believing something, backed by fame and fortune, so you might believe, “It MUST be true!”, or you might imagine yourself living their life or wanting their life so you will do exactly as they do, and blindly fall into a trap of another person claiming they are Jesus or that their method of finding God and Christ is the correct path, not the Bible, as Christ Consciousness preaches vehemently.
Conspiracy Theories & Conclusion
I've written full articles on Conspiracy Theories in the past and they are available here on the site, but as a refresher, it is wise to always remember to stay grounded in the Word of God.
If something doesn't make sense, causes confusion, and doesn't line up with the Word, yet the group or proclamator of this information claims to be of God, then something is wrong and someone is telling a lie, and I know God does not lie.
I'm sure that you have no doubt seen the famous QAnon over the years, especially recently, or the "Q-Shaman" that helped storm the Capitol who turned out to have many neo-Pagan roots and might even just be a character claiming glory with no real connection to anything. Without going too deep into this, personally I am not so sure that "Q" in general is rooted in reality, and very little, if anything, this conspiracy group has ever posted has ever come true. Quite the contrary, in fact. They have gotten many Christians to do crazy things claiming it to be in the name of God that simply doesn't line up with the Word. Relationships have been ruined. Marriages have ended. Friendships broken. Jobs lost. Property destroyed. Lives lost. All in the name of QAnon.
However, this is just one conspiracy in a long line of many, and one group in a long line of many. 2020 also, unfortunately, brought many false proclamations from big religious leaders. Some said Trump would win the presidency in a landslide, even guranteed their congregation on it. Some said we'd be in war right now with "mass arrests" being made and troops lining the streets and no one allowed outside. Others even recommended we get rid of all of our money and buy gold or another form of currency. Even more said that COVID would just go away very fast and people will stop dieing from it, which is only JUST now starting thanks to mass vaccination being available.
One day it will all make more sense, I'm sure, even if that day isn't until the 2nd Coming. There is too much that we just are not privy to without holding a high ranking position within the walls that run our country. And to think, this is just the USA. There is a whole world out there and other countries that we might never be knowledgeable about. But, for now, my best advice to you is to continue to read your Bible, pray, and live life according to Jesus' command. Try not to get wrapped up in conspiracy theories or politics too much. Try to view things as a whole and stay rooted in the Word instead.
No matter how much we research things we see on the news and such, we will never know every last detail as outsiders to the situation. It is also equally difficult to view things as a whole in the world logistically. Spending nearly 14 years in management in my career, I've grown to understand the nightmare that overall logistics can cause - no matter what type of product or good you are producing and getting to people, there will always be shortfalls to manage in regards to supply and demand, and when we are talking about a country, the fine details expand to unimaginable categories that even the best and brightest might not consider. Most common media will have you believe that racism, guns, and COVID-19 are the "Big 3" problems in America, but that is just the tip of a long list of things that you'd get sick worrying about if not for God in our lives.
One thing we can do is stay rooted in the Word. We know it to be Truth, and what is written shall surely come to pass. Stand up for what is correct, love and help one another, and let God rule your life.