The New Ager must keep a personal God out of his world. A personal God who sees and judges what man does is banned by those who want to live independent, autonomous (self-legislating) lives, free from the restrictions of a holy God. He is defined out of existence. When King David was confronted by Nathan with his sin, David's confession brought him back to reality: God sees and judges all things. There is no escape from the gaze of God: "Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight, so that Thou art justified when Thou dost speak, and blameless when Thou dost judge" (Psalm 51:4a).
Here David acknowledges the reality of that guilt and notes two very important factors. First he notes that the sin is ever before him. It hounds him and pursues him. He sees it wherever he goes. He cannot rid himself of the memory. Like Lady Macbeth, the spot is indelible. Second, he notes that he has done evil in the sight of God. Thus, David not only sees his sin but he realizes it has not escaped the notice of God. 17
15. Sutton, ThatYou May Prosper, chapter 1.
16. "God and Biblical Language," God's InerrantWord: An International Symposium on the Trustworthiness of Scripture, erf., John Warwick Montgomery (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Fellowship, 1974), p. 173.
17. R. C. Sproul, The Psychology of Atheism (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany Fellowship, 1974), pp. 128-29.
Most Americans will not give up God, or at least their view of God. So how do the New Agers allow for God and at the same time deny Him? How do they recruit millions of "God-fearing" Americans to the New Age world view? One way is to identify the creation and/or the creature with God. "Yes, there is a god. In fact, you are a god. You become the judge and the lawgiver. You, as a god, know what's best for you. In a sense you can have your god and deny Him too." Rudyard Kipling's quip that "East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet"18 is obsolete in the world of New Age, The impersonal god of the East has come West.
2. Divinization: Humanity, like all creation, is an extension of this divine oneness and shares its essential being. Thus, humanis divine.
New Agers believe in some form of "chain of being" or "continuity of being,"19 the idea that man and God are one essence, and
18. Kipling, "The Ballad of East and West."
19. The universe was conceived as a 'great chain of Being,' starting with the completely real being, the One, or God, or the Idea of the Good, whose very nature overflowed into lesser realms of being, such as the world of Ideas, human beings, animals, inanimate objects, down to matter, 'the last faint shadow of reality. . .
'In this theory, the aim of human existence was seen as an attempt to move up the ladder of existence, to become more real. To accomplish this, men were to direct their interests and attention to what was above them on the 'great chain of Being.' By philosophizing they could liberate themselves from the sense world, and become more and more part of the intelligible world. The more one could understand, the more one would become like what one understood. Ultimately, if successful, one would reach the culmination of the 'journey of the mind to God,' by a mystical union with the One. Thus the final end of seeking to understand the nature of reality would be to become absorbed by what is most real, and to lose all of one's individuality which merely represents lesser degrees of reality. Through philosophizing, through art, and through mystic experience of unity with the One, [an individual found] the path to human salvation, and of liberation from the lesser reality of sensory and material worlds." Avrum Stroll and Richard H. Popkin, Introduction to Philosophy (2nd ed.; New York: HoIt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972), pp. 100-101.
that in time, through an evolutionary process or reincarnation, man becomes divine. Writes Ray Sutton:
Life according to this system is a continuum. At the top is the purest form of deity. At the vety bottom is the least pure. They only differ in degree, not in kind. God is a part of creation. Man, who is somewhere in the middle of the continuum, is god in another "form." In other words, god is just a "super" man, and man is not aged . . . yet!20
This is an old pagan belief. Modem New Age humanism did not pull it out of thin air. It is the revival of the mythical Olympian gods of ancient Greece. Sutton continues: "Such gods were not truly divine in the Biblical sense. They were not distinct from the creation. They married, committed adultery with other gods, came down to earth and committed more adultery with people, and so on. They were just an extension of man."21 We also see this extension of divine oneness in the "familiar totem pole image, the organizing symbol of the American Indians, which is found in most religions of the world in some form or another."22
Again, those who espoused a "dominion theology" long before the positive confession movement began to pickup the language of visible victory have spoken against the idea of a "chain of being," "continuity of being," or a "little gods" theology. As was pointed out, the language of some of the positive confession preachers is at best sloppy. But on this "little gods" doctrine, no one can accuse Christian reconstructionists of being anything but forthright: they do not believe that man is a little god, that he can
21. Ibid. Mormonism is a modem revival of these pagan myths. Mormon doctrine teaches that man, with the proper striving, will one day become a god: "God was once as we are now, and is an exalted man. . . . Here then, is eternal life- to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to "God, the same as all Gods have done before you." Joseph Smith, Jr., King Folktt Discourse,pp. 8-Io. "As Man is, God was, As God is, Man may become." Ibid., p. 9, note by Lorenzo Smith. These Mormon references are from Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Handbook of Today's Religions (San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers, 1983), pp. 69-70.
22. Sutton, That You May Prosper, p. 36.
become a god, or that man is "an exact duplicate of God."Recon-structionists have taught over and over again that there is a fundamental Creator/creature distinction.
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