Author: Paul A. Bartz
The story is told of a man who wanted to go to Los Angeles. He really wanted to go. So he boarded a plane at the airport to go to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the plane he boarded was going to New York. It didn’t matter how much he wanted to go to Los Angeles; it didn’t matter how sincere he was in his desire – he was going to end up in New York because he didn’t bother to check with those who set the rules about the consequences of boarding the plane he boarded.
As silly as it seems, a lot of people treat religion in this same manner. They say that it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere, without ever checking with the God Who has explained things to us to see where a particular set of sincerely-held views leads. The man in our story could catch the next plane from New York to Los Angeles, but the wrong belief, no matter how sincerely held, has permanent consequences. It is because the wrong faith, sincerely held, leads to eternal damnation, according to God, that we, as children of a loving God, must stand firm on this point before others – real love cannot stand silently by while someone sincerely accepts a faith which can only end in eternal destruction.
Polls show that about 94% of all Americans admit to a belief in some sort of God. But when questions become more specific, it appears that only about 14% to 18% believe that they have fellowship with God because of the forgiveness of sins that is theirs through Christ’s atonement for them. We run into the real-people end of this every day. Most people believe that there is some virtue in believing that there is a God – but very few have a daily walk with Him through their living faith in their Savior. Is there any virtue in simply believing that there is a God?
James 2:19 says, “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe and shudder.” Acceptance of the fact that there is a real God is so basic that Scripture states that only the fool rejects such an idea (Psalm 14:1). To get an idea of the Scriptural use of the word “fool,” note that in the New Testament the word most often translated into “fool” is the very word from which we get our English word “moron.” Scripture indicates very clearly that failure to see that there must be a God is a mental impairment.
Scripture also teaches about those who deny the very clear knowledge that there is a God. Romans 1:16-32 offers one of the most detailed explanations of how the denial of God takes over a person, and how it controls all of his thinking, ultimately resulting in very serious changes in the ability to reason intelligently.
So while some may deny that there is a God because they really do have a mental impairment (note, however, that even many of the mentally-retarded have a strong, Gospel-oriented faith), the rest who deny that there is a God have created their own mental impairment.
This is why Scripture takes the position that there is no virtue in accepting the obvious – there is a God. The idea that there is no God is simply so outrageous as to be beyond anything reasonable.
Which brings us back to those who think that belief in God, or at least something spiritual, is some sort of virtue. Very often they are ignorant of what God teaches about Himself in Scripture, but sometimes they have simply rejected Scripture as an accurate revelation of the God they think exists. It is these who are most often ready to accept a mixture of religions – and they are especially ripe for picking by the New Age proponents. Those church members who may know that their children are receiving New Age teaching in their public schools, and think that these spiritual values are better than none at all, are in this category as well.
So the seemingly innocent error of accepting that there is some sort of God or spiritual values, without taking the revelation of Scripture seriously, is a commonly-traveled, sincerely-held path to eternal damnation. 1 Corinthians 10:20 warns that such religious attention is the (often unwitting) worship of devils. It should be no surprise, then, when we learn that many New Age educators talk about “spirit guides” who lead the student to new insights. We already know exactly what those spiritual forces are. Nor should we be surprised if these “guides” end up teaching things which appear, at face value, to be good, since Scripture has also warned us about this also (2 Corinthians 11:14).
The real test is to compare New Age teachings about man and God with what the Bible teaches about the nature of man, his need for a Savior, sin and the grace of God in Jesus Christ. When this comparison is made, you will find that New Age teaching offers a worldview that is exactly the opposite at every point to what we find in the Bible. But since the starting point of Scripture is creation, while the origin-point of New Age is evolution, this is exactly what we would expect. New Age thinking, which is clearly demonic and clearly contrary to Scripture, helps us make the religious aspects of evolution very clear!
1985 Bible Science Newsletter.
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