A popular view among new agers and freethinkers today is that truth is relative and there are many paths to salvation or, as they call it “enlightenment.” Along with these notions is their claim that all of us are divine by nature and thus, God. This Gnostic attitude is best portrayed by Shirley MacLaine several years ago in her book “Out On a Limb” and then in the TV special based on the same book. What this means is that no one has a corner on the truth, especially Christians who dogmatically proclaim that there is only one Gospel, one savior, and one path to salvation. While new agers say that everyone possesses their own aspect of the truth, they are essentially asking Christians to cease their rigid dogmaticism and embrace the syncreticism expressed by all open-minded people. Of course, this is tantamount to saying that the historic Christian message is no longer needed, as salvation of the soul is not dependant upon the atonement of Jesus Christ, but by recognizing one’s own divinity.
This metaphysical worldview view is not embraced by the three great monotheistic religions of the world. Indeed, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all reject it for obvious reasons. For one, these religions claim exclusive access to divine truth. That is, the truth-claims of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam rests on divine revelation: the one true God has revealed himself through the prophets and through the sacred scriptures. Of course, Judaism and Christianity part company with Islam for various reasons but primarily because of theological and historical differences. Nevertheless, Islam by its own admission, could never embrace religious syncreticism in any fashion. Secondly, monotheism by definition is the belief in one God, transcendent yet immanent, distinct from creation, yet personal and loving. New age ideology on the other hand, is essentially pantheistic or more accuractely, monistic- God is impersonal, all prevading, yet without duality or differentiation. That is, the “god” of new ageism is a force or energy, Cosmic Mind or Consciousness.
Christian’s do not and cannot accept this idea of God as he is personal and relational as revealed in Jesus Christ. (John 1:1,14). Thirdly, the whole point of the Gospel is that all humans are incapable of saving themselves apart from divine grace. While Christianity teaches that all men are created in the divine image, it has never taught that men are gods, a spark of the divine image, or God. On the contrary, Christianity teaches that all humans are fallen and in need of the savior, Jesus Christ. Without his atoning sacrifice on the cross for sin, no one can be reconciled to God (John 14: 6). All attempts therefore to save oneself by good deeds or by claiming one’s true divinity, will fail as the Bible states emphactically that there is only one true Gospel, one savior of mankind, and only one path to salvation – Jesus Christ, God’s only Son (John 3:3, 16; 14:6)! This message, this truth, is the very basis for the celebration of Christmas. For, without it, there is no true meaning of Christmas and no hope of eternal life!