New Age Christianity; Comparing Religions

I was at the post office yesterday with Horizons when a customer asked me What is this magazine?  Is it Christian?”  I don’t always know quite how to answer that.  I know when I hear that question, that someone thinks I need to be set straight.  So my hesitation in answering usually has more to do with how much of that do I feel like getting into at the moment *smile*  I consider myself a Christian, absolutely.  The next question always is “Do you consider Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?”  The short answer is “sure.”  However, I also feel I know a Greater Reality.  But one that includes his reality.  His reality does not include my reality.  Mine includes his.

And I’m not just talking from a standpoint of having studied comparative religions, and seen the same religious script, deity, doctrine, sacrifice, messiah play out in every culture under different names.   I’ve seen there are many interpretations even within the same cultures, and it can be divisive.  But that if you look, you’ll find the similarities: one ultimate diety; conduct yourself morally; life after death and rewards; one mother, one origin; a messiah or a sacrifice; the end of days.  Do I believe the stories?  Absolutely.  Although I think they represent a very limited perception of the greater reality.

“Is Horizons a new age magazine?”  I have to say it is, although I’m not a fan of the term.  “Oh, not that stuff! he said, good naturedly.  So I always ask, “Tell me what is it about new age that you don’t believe in or have a problem with, and I’ll bet you I don’t believe in it either.”  That usually stops the conversation and btw I never get an answer to that question.

My experience is that there is Something much greater up there and out there.  I used to think this Someone had a long beard and white hair and we called him God.  Then I experienced Him as all of nature around me and the sky above me and the earth beneath my feet, and I came to realize I would find Him everywhere I looked for Him.  And that He and Him are just pronouns I am accustomed to using and anything else sounds burdensome.  I think the Godhead is genderless and formless, and I don’t feel the need to label and describe in detail or try to convince anyone else to believe as I do.

I think “new age” has to do with taking responsibility for how you perceive life and how you react to it.  When I think of the new age, I think of the movement away from an impersonal, aloof and insecure society, away from social drunkenness on television, alcohol, drugs, and toward a more spiritual and compassionate lifestyle, where people seek to encourage and assist their fellowman, where we realize that we are all connected, that as individuals we are powerful, and that as a group we are powerful.

A new age approach includes being aware that change only occurs when a change of consciousness takes place.  A new age approach includes knowing there are a variety of tools and tricks we can employ to inspire us to change our consciousness relative to any particular subject.

A new age approach includes self-reflection and considering that on some level you have attracted into your life all that you’ve experienced up to now.

A new age approach includes considering that no matter what our past hurts or transgressions, we can begin right now to change our world, and our life. We don’t have to be perfect before we can begin to help others.

A new age approach includes considering that there is a Higher Power that hears and answers prayers, and that our prayers for others help them, and that we participate in creating the reality we experience.

A new age approach might consider arguing about beliefs as an evolutonary step up from arguing about labels 🙂

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