People are hurting. Life is empty for many. Consequently, a time of spiritual thirst. Even Christians are looking around to satisfy this thirst. There is a demand, so there is a supply. In line with this, new spiritual movements have soared. Christians must be able to distinguish what is Christian and what is not.
'New Age' is one of these movements. Why did 'New Age' emerge as one of these spiritual movements that adversely affected Christianity? It is fundamentally different from Christianity in two ways. So begins an article in the Peace Weekly by an educator on the life of the laity.
First, New Age does not accept Jesus as Savior. They admit that Jesus is one of many saints and manifestations in human history, but do not recognize him as a Savior, Messiah. In this respect, 'New Age' is fundamentally different from Christianity. Second, they refer to God as the universe's enormous energy. It is also fundamentally different in not confessing God as the only God and Creator.
Many lay people familiar with 'New Age' see much in common with Christianity. In many cases, this happens without realizing it since 'New Age' is deeply rooted in all areas of politics, economy, society, culture and the arts. The problem with the 'New Age' is that it naturally entertains us and moves us away from God. Believing in God as an absolute deminishes and is confused about Christ as Savior. And it is becoming more and more meaningless to go to church and live in community since we can live well without going to church.
Another emerging spiritual movement that acts as a barrier to living as a layman in the world is 'Ki' (氣). As a mental exercise, not a big problem. However, the phenomenon of 'religiousizing' '기' has been around for a long time. Already we have the makings of a number of pseudo religions. If you go deeper beyond the mental movement, you end up with a religion and faith.
Also values are a barrier. Values can change and vary from time to time. Modern times seem to have the absence of values, an age of confusion. What is important is money and health, the things of the world. We live in a world influenced by humanist ideas. As a result, the value of human beings, the value of human nature, and the value of God in reality are being pushed out. The words we use say that humans are more important than money, but in many cases the opposite is done. Nevertheless, there is hope because humanity does know that human beings are more important than money. Human beings cannot lose this value. Because there is God in us.
God and man are one. God is in us and we are with God. Jesus is in God and God is in Jesus. Thus, no matter how circumstances change and times change, the dignity of human beings with God can never be compromised.
The laity live with others in the world, but they should not live just like others. Jesus said, "If you do not become like a child, you will never enter the kingdom" (Matthew 18: 3). So what are some of the characteristics of children? There is a lot that he can list like innocence, but what he pays the most attention is asking questions. Children always ask their parents questions. "Mom what is this?" "Mom can I eat this?" "Mom can I go to my friend's house?" "Mom what should I do?"
But when we do something, we rarely ask God. It's my judgment my thinking we follow. As a result, we stumble often. We are so busy. I want to do this, and do that. And not satisfied with anything just busy. We must stop living such a busy life.
The laity adapt to and live in the world with others but they also need to know that the standards and values of the world are not absolute. Lay Christians are those who, even in the world, must learn and practice Christ's ideals and values.