Worldviews in western civilization are becoming increasingly syncretised with alternative spiritualities. Various ideas and concepts from some eastern religions and philosophies have become popularised and intertwined. I frequently have conversations with people that believe in reincarnation and energy as opposed to relating to a personal God that is just and that we are accountable to. Increasing numbers of people are describing themselves as spiritual rather than subscribing to a faith. A pick and mix approach are considered another alternative to the open minded.
Many of these beliefs are purely experience based and subjective and fail to explain how truth intersects with history. When some are asked about where we came from, what we are doing and where we are going, some affirm that their focus is centred on the here and now as if the former and latter are merely an afterthought.
Spiritual shopping reveals a need
This desire for spiritual consumerism evidences a desperate need to relate to our Creator. At times some practitioners prey on the gullibility of many who want to experience something and who are willing to pay dearly for it. This can take the form of certain therapies, techniques, products, books and seminars. Ironically materialism has become a gateway for purchasing counterfeit answers to the greatest questions. Pragmatism asks, “Does it work?” and the experience seeker says, “If it feels good, do it!” They are often willing to try something regardless of how outlandish it might be; to feel better momentarily, or to find something that works for them.
Pantheistic philosophies frequently draw others from various religious backgrounds who are spiritually seeking. Some folk today become involved in the occult in a way reminiscent to Israel’s continual struggle with idolatry throughout the Old Testament. Similarly, others lack an awareness and discernment regarding yoga, emptying the mind in meditation and techniques and practises that have been repackaged with a different label. For many other religions, an eclectic blend of spirituality presents a welcome diversion and a free for all.
Spiritual conversation reveals contradictions
When asked for an opinion about Yeshua (Jesus); classic responses used to entail a good man, a prophet or the Son of God. Often contemporary spiritual seekers believe Jesus to be an ascended Master on the level of leaders from other major world faiths. When pressed on claims to exclusivity from John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 some will consider that to be true at that time and attempt to hold that in tension with other completely contradictory worldviews. There are apparently the same truths being presented though different Gods are revered and different ways to aspiring to please that God.
Questions to consider
- How can you determine truth if there are no absolutes?
- If more people are becoming increasingly enlightened, then why is the world such a mess?
- If karma is inevitable then why bother to help others?
- What guarantee do you have of where you are going in the next life?
- What would the implications be if you were to die once and then be judged?
- If we are all God, then why do we behave so badly to each other?
- What would convince you that the Bible is true, and that Jesus is the only way?
What do these questions reveal? These questions uncover that there is something fundamentally flawed with the human heart and the solution doesn’t simply revolve around loving ourselves more and becoming enlightened. Surely what is really important is not how much one knows or how good one attempts to be, but who you know, trust in and follow.
Solution is in the Saviour
Yeshua had a unique birth, life, death, resurrection and message. He never sinned. Only He can forgive sins. We must turn from our sins rather than pretending that we are inherently good. We cannot save ourselves or build a tower to babel or heaven. Only Jesus can give assurance of everlasting life since He died for our sins and rose again, and His resurrection is the guarantee of our resurrection. His message of grace is unique compared to myriads of work-based salvation hopes, that offer no assurance.
Syncretised worldviews are neither novel nor new but are based on concepts that have been around for millennia now. In the light of eternity the New Age it is a fleeting movement and fails to provide lasting peace and reconciliation with our Maker. The Lord Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. He is the same yesterday, today and forever and His dominion is an everlasting dominion. Blessed are those who put their trust in Him.