Topic category: Other/General
New Age Pandemic in the Church
Profanity, pornography, filthy programs on TV and on movie screens are occurrences we live with on a daily basis. Most of us find it vulgar and offensive. Our children are watching. We want Hollywood to stop polluting our culture.
On the other hand, the New Age movement (NAM) with its Eastern-influenced moral relativistic metaphysical thought systems is a more subtle corrupting force than the “in your face” garbage we’re exposed to by the Hollywood eletes. One of the more popular practices Newagers promote is astrology. Many Christians are now “into” this occult art. Supposed followers of Jesus Christ can tell you everything there is to know about the sign of Taurus, but not a thing about Paul from Tarsus. They’d rather read a book on horoscopes than a book of the Bible.
New Age “spirituality” is corrupting Christians, most of whom have no clue that they’re partaking in sorcery. Astrology, “Christian yoga,” meditation to achieve an altered state of consciousness, calling on angels, and even some of the martial arts, falls under the category of sorcery. Such practices attract a large number of Christians, like moths to a flame.
Is it any wonder we’ve got a New Age pandemic in the Church?
You’d have to be visually impaired not to notice all the ads promoting astrology. Go online and Google “horoscope” and in minutes you’ll have a “personalized reading” by a “famous astrologer.” Horoscope.com claims that it’s “The web's most trusted and known source of astrology, daily horoscopes, love astrology, chinese astrology, zodiac signs, compatibility…” You get the picture.
Astrology’s being promoted via email, on computer screens, television sets, newspapers, magazines; even BlackBerry users are blasted daily with daily horoscopes. From a Christian perspective much of what the NAM espouses is evil. (I’ll explain why in a moment.)
Astrology was birthed in Babylon in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. Most false systems of religion had their roots in the land of pagans that worshipped a plethora of phony gods. Astrology was all the rage with the Babylonians, especially amongst the priests who studied the “godlike science” of astrology.
In the Old Testament astrology is mocked. Speaking for the Lord, Jeremiah said this, “Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them” (Jer. 10:2).
There are several traditions of astrology. The traditions used by most modern astrologers are Jyotisha (Indian), Chinese, and Western. There are so many traditions and beliefs that I couldn’t begin to cite them all. Many esoteric (mystic) movements have links to astrology. Numerology, tarot cards, palmistry and Kabbala are a few that are well known. The current trend in the West is “psychological astrology.”
Recently I wrote a piece, “Christian Yoga? C’mon!” A Christian yoga teacher wrote to me and protested, “I teach yoga and none of my students have become Buddhists or Hindu’s.” For some, exposure to yoga, astrology, fantasy games, séances and other seemingly innocent practices may lead to greater involvement in a very dangerous world. My Christian sister has no way of knowing what the future holds for those students who were introduced to yoga through her teaching.
To avoid getting involved in the myriad of inherent dangers our society offers, you must listen to God! In Deuteronomy 18:9-13 He says,
”When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God.”
More from God in Leviticus, 19:26
26 “ ‘Do not practice divination or sorcery.’”
28 ” ‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD your God.’”
31 “ ‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.’”
Moving on to 2 Chronicles 33:6
“He sacrificed his sons in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.”
Now to the New Testament, Acts 7:42-43
“But God turned away and gave them over to the worship of the heavenly bodies. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: " 'Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the desert, O house of Israel? You have lifted up the shrine of Molech and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.” Did you notice that God did not say, “Please?” He said, “Do not.” In other words, No! The Lord was provoked to anger over it. When God is angry, “the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath” (Jer. 10:10).
Well, now, is what some charlatan tells you your future is going to be so important that you’re willing to get God angry witht you? Is consulting an astrologer so important that you’d take the chance that God will turn away from you?
Scripture tells us that only pagans practiced astrology. No self-respecting Jew would dare involve him or herself in something God opposed for fear of being struck dead. And yes, God has been known to strike people dead on the spot for their blatant defiance. Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Spirit and wham! God zapped them both.
Some argue that the Magi referred to in Matthew’s gospel were astrologers. Not according to Ray Boland, President of Probe Ministries: “The use of astrology is clearly outside the worldview of Matthew as he penned his gospel. It seems woefully inconsistent for the Lord to use astrology to herald the incarnation and birth of His Son into the world.”
The Rev. Phil Greetham offers this observation on the Magi,
“Some Bible translators such as the New English Bible or its new version, the Revised English Bible, translate 'Magi' as 'astrologer'. Is this a good translation? I don't believe that it is. It gives the modern reader a totally false picture of what the Magi did. Modern Astrologers choose to adopt a system of prediction, regardless of our present knowledge of science. The Magi, on the other hand, were interested in all verifiable knowledge. Of course they did not have sufficient understanding of the universe to realise fully the links between one event and another. Therefore they saw nothing wrong in bringing together, science, poetry, art and religion to explain and to understand the universe and what was happening in it. To them observing nature - including charting the stars, noting the movements of other objects and making predictions based on the chart, were all one and the same. Today we have a better understanding. Today we would say that observing the night's sky was astronomy because it was recording observation which could be used to support (or not support) theories to explain what was happening. We would also say that making horoscopes from those observations was astrology because it was responding to a system of handed down 'laws'. In other words astronomy uses observation to refine ideas, astrology uses observation to respond to fixed ideas. To the Magi, however, the idea that the positions of stars and planets have special meaning was not a fixed idea but one in which they were actively working on. In future centuries, with more scientific information, Magi had to decide whether to continue the search for knowledge and become scientists or to continue to respond blindly to handed down teachings and become astrologers. Therefore our Magi are neither astronomers nor astrologers in the modern sense. Scientific understanding had not progressed sufficiently for them to know the difference between the two. They were 'searchers of wisdom'. If you must have a translation for 'Magi', I think that 'Wise Men' is as good as any.” 
So why do millions of people hand over their lives to fortunetellers, even knowing that astrology is bogus and not supported by the scientific community? Moreover, why are self-professed Christians immersing themselves in occultism? One “Christian” website offers a forum for the “magickal and mystical Christian”:
“Here you will find Christians who study esoteric sciences such as mysticism, Christo-paganism, witchcraft, astrology, occultism, tarot, Western Mystery, Kabbalah, alchemy, divination and shamanism. The forum is a friendly place designed by a Christian mage for magickal Christians. We welcome anyone who wishes to join but please remember this is a pro-magick Christian haven. Negativity has no place here.” 
This is not orthodox Christianity, folks. It’s nothing more than Satan masquerading as an angel of light. Hello! The Bible says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” It does not say, “Occultism is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
Many will argue that astrology can be scientifically proven. It can’t. But that’s irrelevant. God’s Word, the Bible, clearly teaches that Christians are to have no part in stargazing or any other occult practice. No horoscopes, Ouiji board games, palm reading, séances or psychics. Tarot cards are prohibited, so is casting Ruins, conjuring magic potions and charms and any other form of witchcraft. Avoid the esoteric Christian movement (mystical branches of Christianity that study the “inner teachings” of early Christianity); stay away from anyone that advocates spiritual astrology, divination, blessings, and, finally, those who appeal to angels for intervention.
Keep your guard up! Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re going to escape all the temptations that besiege you, because you’re not going to. Don’t get me wrong. If you’re a child of God, Satan can do you no harm (unless God allows it for reasons we mere humans are not privy to). Still, he will do his level best to keep you tangled up in his web of deception. Sounds grim, doesn’t it? All the same, it’s true. Satan’s one mean machine, so Christians must be armed to the teeth and prepared to battle the “Prince of Darkness.” There’s only one way to protect against the darts and arrows the enemy fires at you. Put on the full armor of God!
For anyone involved in an occult practice, in obedience to the truth, and to honor God, you must give it up now. Repent of your sins. Ask for forgiveness. God will forgive you because He loves you.
Berean Research (Owner, Editor)
 Were the Magi Astrologers? By Rev. Phil Greethamhttp://www.btinternet.com/~prgreetham/Wisemen/wmsoc4.html
 Occult Christianity websitehttp://www.esotericchristian.com/
Biography - Marsha West
Marsha West is a religious and political-based writer. Until recently Marsha was owner and managing editor of the Email Brigade website and the EMB News Report for over 20 years. She is currently co-owner and editor of Berean Research and general editor of the Christian Research Network. Marsha’s articles have been published widely, both online and in print. Her articles appear on Berean Research, Christian Research Network, News With Views, RenewAmerica and Web Commentary. Visit her resource website: http://onsolidrockresources.com