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-New Age Religions: More Harm than Good?

by Dr. D ~ January 23rd, 2008

Research into the effects of ‘New Age’ religions found that the non-traditional beliefs were linked with higher rates of anxiety, depression, and anti-social behavior. Researchers believe that the real problem probably lays with the approach. The ‘New Age’ religious emphasis is on the individual rather than being part of a community of believers. As Dr. Rosemary Aird put it:

“Traditional religion tends to promote the idea of social responsibility and thinking of others’ interests, whereas the new-age movement pushes the idea that we can transform the world by changing ourselves.

“The downside is that people are very much on their own and not part of a community, which may lead to a kind of isolation.”

She also observed that there was a tendency to except a mixture of sources with little stability or continuity:

“People who are into the new-age spirituality tend to shop around and will often borrow from all sorts of old beliefs, like Wicca, witchcraft or Native American religions.

“It’s a whole mish-mash and changes all the time, where they’ll do something for a while before doing something else.”

“If there’s no sense of any kind of tradition, it means you’re kind of cast adrift and means there’s no fundamental basic thing to hang on to.”

Response: It is hard to imagine a society dominated by ‘New Age’ religion.  New-age beliefs promote the idea of self-transformation, self-fulfillment and self-enlightenment, but seem to sow confusion and instability in the process. If anything, selfishness dominates and is an unlikely basis for building a worthwhile community, society, or culture.

I have heard so many people lately claim: “I’m not a religious person but I’m spiritual”. It usually means something different for everyone who says it. Except for sure they have rejected any kind of organized traditional religion and have replaced it with what ever sounds good at the present as long as it doesn’t cost anything in time or money.

I always wonder what people like that say when they face their Maker at the end?  Maybe: “I didn’t like your Church, it was too restrictive and full of hypocrites.  Your Son Jesus was OK except he was so ‘exclusive’ and demanding! Anyway, I may not have been ‘religious’ but I was ‘Spiritual’?”            *Top

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