While my wife and I were outside at a park celebrating her birthday, we noticed a group of women gathering under a gazebo. They started stretching. Then we noticed smoke rising above their heads. “That’s odd,” I thought. “I’m no nutrition expert, but smoking and stretching is probably not a good combination.” That is when we saw the women began to take turns waving a smoking wand around the outline of each other’s bodies. The smoke was caused by burning sage, and my wife and I stared curiously at what initially appeared to be a Pilates meetup quickly escalating into something much more mystical.
After waving their bodies around the smoky stick, each woman quickly passed the burning sage onto the next so that they could receive the treatment. Everyone anxiously awaited their turn in the ritual, and their body language transformed from anxious to calm, giving the impression that they were participating in some form of “release” and “cleansing.” After this burning sage escapade, the women moved on to misting each other with a mystery spray, likely another form of sage. Once everyone completed the ceremony, this Hogwarts-esque event ended in silent meditation. Amidst this unusual event, one thing was clear to me and my wife: humans are deeply spiritual beings. There is no telling what we will do to live out this core part of our identity.
Although there is no single agreed-upon text or creed (like the Bible) that defines and regulates New Age worship, this movement is characterized primarily by three things: the deification of humanity, relativism and the rejection of absolutes, and the promotion of religious pluralism/universalism. Expressions of New Agism may differ, but at its core we can identify these three ideologies that are against the truth found in God’s Word.
That being said, here are three ways that we can share the gospel with those entangled in empty New Age philosophy.
1. Center the Conversation in Truth, Particularly the Reality of Jesus Christ
Romans 1 tells us that mankind’s problem is not so much that we do not know the truth, but that we reject the truth in our unrighteousness. Because humanity loves their sin, we suppress the truth about the existence of God, the truth that He alone deserves worship, and the truth about our moral accountability to Him.
As human beings made by God to be both body and spirit, it is not wrong to desire the supernatural. It is not wrong to desire communion with the Divine. It is not wrong to desire prayer and meditation. It is not wrong to want to grow in our understanding of spirituality. It is not even wrong to desire cleansing and purification from the evil that we notice inside of our thoughts, motives, and actions. What is wrong is pursuing these things in falsehood, apart from truth. What makes New Agism most destructive is that it is spirituality divorced from reality.
New Agers rightly acknowledge that we are spiritual beings, that a deity exists, and that we need cleansing from the evil we know exists within us. But rather than seeking teaching that is grounded in reality, New Agers create their own spiritual “reality.” Rather than submitting themselves to self-attesting revelation from God, the Bible, New Agers are a spiritual guide unto themselves.
The problem is New Agers have no foundation for their beliefs other than thoughts and feelings brought about by spiritual experiences. They have no basis to defend their claims that man is divine, that there are no moral absolutes, and that all religions are different expressions of one spiritual reality. There is no unchanging truth underlying this religion, only malleable “personal truths” that drive this self-constructed spirituality.
On the other hand, Christianity is rooted in the historical reality of Jesus Christ, who claimed not to be a woke mystic but God Himself. He asserted to know the hearts of men and women. He spoke clearly about the sinful condition of humanity. He announced His purpose, not to enlighten mankind’s divine consciousness but to save them from divine wrath. He argued for exclusivism, that He alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one gains a right relationship with the Father except by Him.
And this Jesus is not a legend or a character in religious literature. He is a historic figure whose life, ministry, claims, and resurrection are unmistakably witnessed by thousands of manuscripts and billions of people who have been transformed over the last two-thousand years.
No matter how good that sage smells, New Agers must come face to face with the thunderous reality of Christ and His claims.
2. Hone Your Ability to Communicate the Gospel
After you begin engaging a New Ager with the realities of Jesus’ true existence and claims, it is time to center your conversation on Jesus’ passion and purpose: to seek and save the lost.
Shine the light of God’s Word to expose the darkness of their hearts. The Bible tells us that no one is good, not even one (Romans 3:10). Our hearts are desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Even our good works are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
Get used to conversing about God’s holiness and His total perfection. Because God is Holy and just, he hates the wicked and will not withhold justice. Our New Age friends need to understand the condition of their hearts and their actions. Human nature is sinful from conception, and this sin nature drives us to do terrible things: lie, slander, hate, lust, steal, covet, deceive. God sees our thoughts. God sees our motives. God sees our actions. Nothing escapes His sight, and we are headed for the day when we will give an account for all that we have done. What is His standard by which we are judged? Total perfection, which means we are all guilty and deserving of Hell. New Agers must be warned that the wrath of God abides over them and their false worship. God hates that New Agers deify themselves because it is against the truth that there is only one God. God hates that New Agers purify themselves with burning sage and mystic rituals because it is against the truth that mankind is only purified by the blood of Jesus. God hates that New Agers make spirituality relative because spirituality is to be had in worship and in truth.
That’s the bad news for our New Ager friends.
But don’t leave them there. Instead, get used to conversing about the Good News!
Jesus Christ who is fully God and fully man lived the life that we were called to live – one in total perfection with unbroken obedience to the Father. Everything Jesus did was righteous, right down to the very thoughts and motives. Everything Jesus did triumphed over temptation and the beckoning of evil. Everything Jesus did had the full pleasure of God. As God’s creation bearing His image, the life that Jesus lived was God’s intended design for us to live.
The significance of Jesus dying on the cross is that He bore the wrath of the Father that was stored up because of our wickedness. We had an uncountable amount of charges against us because of our sins, and Jesus took those charges upon Himself. We no longer have to pay for our sins because Christ has paid them for us on the cross.
Adding to the significance, Jesus not only took our sin upon Himself; He also clothes us in righteousness. This means that God declares us not only to be free; He declares us to be righteous. He views us as totally perfect, as if we lived the life that Jesus lived. This is called the great exchange: our sin on Christ. Christ’s righteousness on us.
If this sounds too good to be true, God raised Jesus from the dead in an unprecedented historic event that testifies of this sure promise: We can live in fellowship with God forever and escape the judgment to come because of what Jesus did!
In light of these Biblical truths, the Bible calls us to repent, to change our mind about the evil things we once did, and to find a new life that’s defined by the riches of Christ’s love and goodness. When we repent of our sins and place our trust in Christ as our only source of hope and salvation, the Bible tells us that God Himself takes residence in our beings by His Holy Spirit. From this moment on, the renewed man or woman enjoys eternal life – life in abundant satisfaction with their Creator.
In love and truth, take your New Age friend on a journey from the head to the heart by showing them that rituals cannot purify us, only the blood of Jesus can! Tell them that they don’t need revelation from within but revelation from above – steer them to the life-changing Words of Scripture. Testify to them that they are not God but that they were made to abide with God in deep communion. Don’t withhold one single part of this essential message: Jesus tasted death so that we could feast on everlasting life.
3. Share Gospel-Centered Testimonies from People Who Have Escaped the New Age Movement
An impactful way that you could solidify these concepts is by showing your New Age friend a testimony of a New Ager who has been transformed by Jesus. There are many testimonies out there, and one of my favorites is the testimony of Steven Bancarz, which was filmed by the ministry I serve, Anchored North.
Watch his testimony below, and share it to reach those entangled in New Age religion with the gospel!
Greg Sukert is the founder of Anchored North, an evangelistic ministry reaching millions with powerful stories of Christ's redemption. By God’s grace, Anchored North is making a cultural impact and has gained the attention of massive news sources such as Huffington Post, The Guardian, and Teen Vogue as well as Christian leaders such as Todd Friel, Ray Comfort, Matt Walsh, Eric Metaxas, and John MacArthur. For more, visit https://anchorednorth.org.