I just came by this article by Vincent McCann of spotlight ministries and thought I would post it here so more people could read it.
Many have realised that science does not hold all of the answers to life, the universe, and everything, and so some are turning to the spiritual for more meaningful answers. Sadly though, many are looking in the wrong places and stumbling blindly into New Age philosophies. Christians, therefore, have both a responsibility and an opportunity to share their faith with those who are actually searching for spiritual wisdom and point them to Jesus Christ. Below are some brief tips and suggestions to help Christians share Christ with their New Age friends.
- Because of the great diversity of beliefs in the New Age, don’t automatically assume that you know what the person believes. The best thing to do is simply ask them what they believe about a given subject. What may be true to one New Ager, may not be true for another!
- Earn the right to be heard. Sadly, there are many Christians who are simply ill equipped to dialogue with New Ager’s. If a Christian says something which is not true of the New Age movement, the New Ager will tend to reject much of what is then said to them because they will have lost some respect for that Christian. If you are going to talk to those in the New Age movement – do your homework! Research what they believe. If you say something that they feel you have misunderstood them on, but it is actually accurate, be prepared to back it up with quotes from New Age leaders and authorities.
- Stress the uniqueness of Christ. Most New Ager’s will admit to Christ being an ‘enlightened one’ of some description, but will deny His unique status as the only begotten Son of God and the only way of salvation.
- Stress that humanity has a sin nature (Rom. 3:23). Most New Ager’s don’t think about the issue of sin at all because they feel that all they need to overcome problems is deeper meditation and to eventually realise one’s own divinity. Show them they are sinners in need of a Saviour coming from the ‘outside’, not man having the potential to save himself by releasing something hidden within himself.
- Don’t ‘preach at them or talk down to them. Instead, make a statement in the form of a question. For example, instead of saying something like: “You New Ager’s believe in channeling demons”, instead say something like “Am I right in assuming that the New Age Movement believes in channeling spirits to give messages? How can we be sure that these spirits are really who they claim to be? Are you aware of what the Bible says about evil deceiving spirits?” Jesus Himself asked many questions to force people to think. Follow the example of Paul when he went preached at Athens in Acts Ch. 17. Even though he was “provoked within him as he was beholding the city full of idols” (v. 16), he did not go storming in and calling them a bunch of idol worshippers, or of the Devil etc., rather, he said: “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects” He goes on to say that among their items of worship he saw a statue which said “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD” and used this as an opportunity to tell them about the God they can know. Modern New Ager’s are just like these ancient men of Athens. Verse 21 says: “Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new).” Indeed, those who frequent modern New Age fairs are exactly like the people of Athens in the first century. Like the apostle Paul, Christians can also take advantage of the spiritual hunger in the hearts of people, commend them for seeking spiritual things, but then point them to Jesus.
I will close this article with the following story which I thought was inspiring: I recently heard an interesting (and useful) story about a Christian who had a burden from the Lord to reach those in the New Age Movement, but did not really know where to begin. Each year one of the largest New Age events was held in his area. Praying for wisdom, this man went along and walked past the many stalls looking at the many curios gurus, books, and artifacts. Eventually, he asked a man who he thought the most spiritual person was who ever existed. The man replied with the name of some guru. After listening to the man the Christian said: “Now that you have told me about the most spiritual person you have known, can I tell you about the most spiritual Person I have met?” He then, of course, goes on to speak about the Lord Jesus Christ. Since those days, this Christian man has continued to go each year to this New Age event and take others along with him. Eventually, they even got their own stall and were able to distribute carefully designed Christian literature to reach New Age believers.