New Zealand - Challenge News, July 1990

Visiting Speaker Warns Of Deception

Outreach Leader Sees Danger In New-Ageism

The New Age movement is not a fad it's the greatest challenge to Christianity since Gnosticism in the third century.

So says Stanton Herpick, who is in New Zealand this month speaking on the New Age philosophies.

And he says it is growing by staggering proportions, with up to 60 million people involved in the movement in the United States.

Mr. Herpick says New Age philosophies are visible at all levels of society from large corporations to health and fitness techniques.

"It's really centered on the enthronement of man as a God unto himself."

He says the New Age cults maintain that man is intrinsically good and that God is in man, and men can become "self realized as a god."

One of the aims of the movement is to bring forth a new world order, including a one-world church, says Mr. Herpick, the founder and president of World Christian Outreach, an evangelism and support movement based in California.

Although the New Age movement has such a wide effect, he says it's not a single organization, but a wide range of philosophies influenced by a common spirit, which is one of deception.

But he says the movement is loosely organized, and one sign of this was a full-page advertisement which appeared in newspapers in 20 major cities around the world in April 1982 announcing the new age (of Aquarius) and the coming of Maitreiya, the master of this new age.

New age philosophies do not appear as estab-lished in New Zealand, says Mr. Herpick, but he has seen examples like the Sri Chinmoy movement here and the "getting back to mother earth" meetings in Australia.

But he adds he is not in New Zealand to instill fear but to warn the Church, and point out the theological deception of the movement, which eliminates the cross.

New Age beliefs can be seen in big business, in some of the motivation courses which centre on the influence of self, when God's plan for us is to be dependent on him, he says.

Holistic health, based on Eastern mysticism, and fads like self-energizing, crystal energy, light and color therapy and flotation tanks are all examples of New Age philosophies, he says.

But Mr. Herpick is also confident the movement will not succeed because he says it is based on a lie. It cannot deliver on its promises and it is not of God.

"These people are going to realize that they are not going to get satisfaction from their beliefs."

He says Christians should witness to New Age followers by telling them what Jesus has done in their lives, and how he truly satisfies their hearts.

"So Christians should be properly centered on the main points of their faith - the shed blood of Jesus Christ."

At the same time, he says, New Age believers can be challenged on what their source of authority is - as Christians can point to the Bible.