Sweeping our world are new forms of religion that seek to modify the original Law from God, resulting in a distorted version of Christianity that is a “feel good” gospel riddled with demonic doctrines and loop holes around the parts of Jesus’ Command that society does not enjoy following.
You may see these deemed as new religions, or new, better forms of Christianity, sometimes spoken of as the “New Age” or "New Era" - but it is nothing new, and merely a mash up of Eastern Mysticism, Gnosticism, and Jewish concepts, presented as a brand new religion. Worse yet - there are Churches coming up that preach these ideologies. Rather than single them out in this writing and risk slander, it is more important that we are wary of them when we come across them.
The general term, “New Age”, covers a range of religious beliefs and uses all or some of them to create new religions, mashed together to elicit thoughts of “new thinking, new method, better way.”
However, there is nothing new about them, and their core motivation to usurp God can be traced back to the dawn of man, specifically when the devil tempted Eve to do this very thing in the Garden, and also in the Old Testament we read of many times different civilizations worshiped other gods and were punished for it.
Remember what God did to Egypt (Isaiah 19)?
Or Babylon and their false gods (Isaiah 46)?
This urge to rebel against God has been going on since the dawn of man, and alternative Christianity that deviates from the Word of God is none other than the same old devil influencing man with the same old tricks, just with a different dress on.
Fast forward to the 2nd Century, and we have the dawn of Gnosticism - a prominent heretical movement of the 2nd-century. Gnostic doctrine taught that the world was created and ruled by a lesser divine being, and that Christ was an emissary of the remote supreme divine being, possessing esoteric knowledge of whom enabled the redemption of the human spirit.
Gnostics worshiped two (or more) gods. Various Gnostic groups emphasized personal spiritual knowledge over orthodox teachings, traditions, or the authority of the church. The origins of Gnosticism are still disputed today. Most Christian groups define Gnosticism as a heresy of Christianity, and the origin is closely related to Jewish sectarian milieus and based around early Christian sects.
The practice of cherry picking and then creating a new religion out of what they like best formed the foundation for further alternative Christianity that we see today. Gnosticism's origins also have roots in Neoplatonism and Buddhism, due to their similar beliefs and theology, but ultimately the origins are largely unknown.
As Christianity developed, so did Gnosticism, with both Christian and Gnostic Christian groups often existing in the same places. According to James M. Robinson, an American scholar who retired as Professor Emeritus of Religion at Claremont Graduate University, specializing in New Testament Studies and Nag Hammadi Studies, no Gnostic texts clearly pre-date Christianity, and "pre-Christian Gnosticism as such is hardly attested in a way to settle the debate once and for all."
The Nag Hammadi library, a collection of early Christian and Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945, contained Hermetic teachings that can be argued go back to the Old Egyptian Kingdom (c. 2686-2181 B.C.). If Gnosticism had no prior existence to Christianity, then it was merely a copycat and deformation of sound doctrine.
This continues on today in our day and age with alternative Christianity sweeping the world, often with the guise of a “dawn of a new era” feeling. They generally draw their theology and concepts from these religions, practices and beliefs, and mash them up together to create something new and inspiring:
These religions offer a collection of beliefs aimed at bringing one personal enlightenment, often sans-Jesus. You may come across them and hear them speak of the goal of “raising the consciousness” of one’s self, to a “higher level” or “higher frequency”, and you may often see these terms used when certain subjects are discussed among their followers. This means that they ultimately believe it is possible to elevate our spiritual state of existence to a significant level of self-divinity, teaching that we don’t become divine, but that we already are divine.
They take this as far as to teach that we are, at our inner core, ultimately God; we are the spark of the Creator suffering from memory loss of this information, and through the practices they teach based on the one’s listed above, you too can remember and achieve this status of self-divination. They completely take the need of a Lord and Savior in Jesus, the Son of God, out of the equation.
You don’t have to look far to find their worldview goals either. Even taking the simple action of searching online and finding home websites to these alternative religions will lead you to their goals, which is to initiate world peace by uniting every religion under one universal belief, one universal god, one universal wisdom of all beliefs connected, to bring about an “Age of Enlightenment”.
If you can’t already tell, this is completely against the Word of God. If God wanted it this way, Jesus would have taught it this way. He would have taught a doctrine that was a mash up of all of these philosophies listed above, but He didn’t, and all of these teachings listed above already existed before Jesus came as well. Don’t you think He would have included them if they were of God and the correct path to salvation? But He didn’t - Jesus actually rebuked them! Herein is the issue with this uprising of “New Era” alternative Christianity - you will notice that they cherry pick from a vast array of religions and beliefs, including the Christianity that Jesus taught, accepting a ton of wide ranging beliefs that often contradict one another, yet reject very little, leading to their followers being able to basically believe whatever they want, as long as it “feels good” to them and they “feel spiritually awakened”.
This is a dangerous game, and completely against the Word of God, and you cannot create a new, sound doctrine, and claim it so, and say it is of God when it didn’t come from God or Jesus nor was it taught by Them. This lack of common doctrine is another warning sign you will come across, and should be very obvious to followers of Jesus when we come across them.
As you may come across new, alternative Christian religions, this fact sticks out like a sore thumb - Christianity has the Bible, the most historically recounted ancient manuscript in world history, yet they generally can’t produce a sound book of doctrines besides things listed on their websites or pamphlets from their group, or short books written by random authors. I’ve read doctrine books from Hindu religions, such as Atharvaveda (the fourth book of the Veda, the texts that constitute the oldest of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism), as well as Pagan theology books (no such “Pagan bible” exists), and what stands out most to me is what happens when you pick up another one by a different author or from a different area of the world - they differ and contrast one another in opinions, ideologies, beliefs and overall doctrine.
For example, if you begin studying Samkhya or Mimamsa Hindu Philosophy, you will see that they reject the idea of a personal God and Creator, yet don’t totally reject the general Hindu belief in Brahman, the name they give for what they believe is the eternal origin and foundation for all existence.
Further study into Hindu philosophy brings us to the realization that the concept of God in Hinduism varies throughout different traditions, with no actual core set of beliefs recounted to reference.
Hinduism spans a wide range of beliefs such as henotheism, monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, atheism and nontheism - all different views on God.
The same cannot be said of Christianity, though alternative Christianity is trying really hard to make it possible by creating new religions from mixing Christianity with whatever else they feel like belongs.
Christianity has one Law, one Book, and one Lord and Savior, and what is written doesn’t change across different parts of the world, despite if it was recounted by followers or rejecters of Jesus.
The “New Era” religions are trying to muddy this up, but you can’t erase thousands upon thousands of historical recounts, with more being discovered as time passes, so they attempt to create alternative religions that deviate from the original Truth taught by God.
You may see some of these teachers of the New Age claim to be "spirit guides" or have some unfound grand knowledge unknown by the rest of the world, often wrapped around conspiracy theories as well. And what's even worse is now there are some that have decided to label themselves as Christians and use a part of the Word here and there to attempt to solidify their beliefs. One such example is the celebrity-backed "Christ Consciousness".