Updated: Nov 29, 2022
“The purpose of prayer is not to speak things into existence but to conform our will to God’s.”
- Got Questions
New Age practices have slipped into the church and, oftentimes, it is church leaders who are promulgating these practices and ideas.
What are typical New Age beliefs and how do they differ from what Scripture teaches?
According to Crosswalk, the typical New Ager believes the following:
God is in everything (pantheism)
All things are one (monism)
Man is God
Mind creates reality
One’s own experience validates the truth
Compare the fourth bullet point - Mind creates reality - to the following quote attributed to a prominent Nigerian pastor:
“Everyday, speak out the reality of God’s promise and its existence in your life as a present reality...”
The idea of “speaking things into existence” and “manifestation” is from the New Age, not Christianity. Christians cannot speak things into existence; only God can. Romans 4:17 says “...God in whom he [Abraham] believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.” Got Questions rightly explains that it is God who has the ability to create ex nihilo:
“Many prosperity teachers latch onto the phrase “calls into being things that were not” and try to use it as biblical evidence that we can do the same thing. They misread the passage, however. Paul is clearly talking about God, not man, calling things into existence. Speaking things into existence is God’s domain.”
- Got Questions
Christians are to pray. Philippians 4:6 says:
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Scratching itching ears
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
2 Timothy 4:3-4
Let’s revisit the five New Age bullet points above. The third bullet point says - Man Is God.
Who does not want to be God? Who does not want to feel immovable, immortal, and invincible? However, this is not what the Bible teaches. Yet, there are so many pastors who preach this idea - among them are Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar - that man is god (“little g”, they add) and so it is very possible for us to create ex nihilo.
Because people like the idea of being God and feeling as though they are powerful, as 2 Timothy 4 says, they do not want to endure sound teaching but because of itching ears they have gone after teachers that suit their own passions (bullet point 5 - One’s own experience validates the truth) and have turned away from the truth and have wandered off into myths.
The article below by Got Questions? excellently deals with “itching ears”:
A lot of the time today, Christianity is about the Christian - how well they are doing financially, emotionally, mentally, relationally (finding a spouse is a big deal for many Christians!), in their career etc. Christianity today is too often not about God or about Christ who bought the Christian with his precious blood. The White Horse Inn Podcast aptly tagged this kind of religion as: moralistic, therapeutic, deism.
We must be careful that we are practicing Biblical Christianity and not New Age Christianity.