Truth for Today

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Old Truths for a New Age (8)

Rev. Brian Garrard

Concluded from the previous issue. In this final article Mr Garrard applies the lessons to be learned from the New Age phenomenon, giving guidance to believers and exhorting us to stand firm.

First published in the Presbyterian Standard, Issue 27, July-September 2002.


THERE is probably no end to what can be written on the New Age movement. It needs also to be said that this series of articles has certainly not been offered as the last and authoritative word upon this vast and important subject. As the Apostle Paul could write more than once, "finally brethren," so a conclusion has to be drawn somewhere. What words of application can be made in the course of summing-up?

1. Remember that orthodox, biblical Christianity is under serious threat.

It always has been, but perhaps particularly so at the present time. For all its professed open-mindedness and lack of prejudice, the New Age's liberalism and patience will not extend to the earnest disciples of Christ. They are expected either to conform, or at the very least, to dilute the Gospel until it is more or less meaningless. Believers should settle it now in their hearts, that though the heavens fall, their duty is to "be not weary in well doing" (2 Thess. 3:13).

2. Do not be discouraged.

Every day will bring fresh assaults upon divine truth. This should be no surprise, for we live in a fallen world, one that "lieth in wickedness" (1 John 5:19) and whose inhabitants are blinded by Satan. Christians can easily become seriously disheartened. This is especially so in the light of the multitude of errors, heresies and heterodox statements uttered by church leaders. Believers must lift their eyes above this world and see our God. "The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself" (Psa. 93:1).

3. Be on guard.

New Age beliefs and practices come in all guises and places. Even churches are not immune. Test and try all things by the standard of God's Word (1 John 4:1). It is possible to become infected and to absorb strange ideas without realising it. The theological vagueness that characterises too many evangelical congregations ought to be shaken off. It is here that the old Creeds and Confessions of Faith can be of invaluable assistance. But they are not popular at the present time, for many see themselves as being 'constrained and confined' by such things. However, these 'subordinate standards' can help the churches understand the Word of God better and live closer to the Lord. It is to be regretted that a number seem to be turning their backs on the historic documents and following current trends. May it please God to smile upon us and bring us back to better things!

4. Stand in an evil day.

Believers must never give way to expediency or the general drift of the times. "Take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand" (Eph. 6:13). Even if the earth is removed, or the mountains shake and are carried into the sea (Psa. 46:2,3), Christians must still stand firm in Christ. Remember the martyrs! Recall the forefathers who went to prison, or were constantly on the run and hounded to early graves! Above all, keep in view our blessed Lord who gave all for his own and be willing to bear this "light affliction, which is but for a moment": greater glories await (2 Cor. 4:17).

5. Keep everything in proportion.

The New Age will become the Old Age one day, when Christ at his coming will dismantle the whole system. Christians must not fear, for the kingdom of Christ will prevail over all. Then shall come the promise of "new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousnsss" (2 Pet. 3:13). "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."