Br Barry Coldrey

by Randall N. Baer

(Huntington House, 1989, 200pp, softcover, $25.65. Available from Freedom Publishing)

Randall N. Baer was formerly a respected leader in the New Age movement and author of several books promoting New Age themes such as The Crystal Connection: a Guidebook for Personal and Planetary Ascension and Windows of Light: Using Quartz Crystals as Tools for Self-Transformation. However, this expose gives a critical and revealing look into the dark side of the New Age movement.

Baer had been immersed deeply in many New Age practices; in fact, his entire personal and professional life revolved around its many and varied ideas. However, he discovered the hidden dangers in the movement as time passed and this book explores the seductive side of New Age as well as its destructive side.

The seductive side includes an optimistic yearning for a world transformed, an ecological concern for the fate of the earth and the ideals of the oneness of all mankind which could lead to a one world government and one world religion.

The dark side of New Age is the drift of many of its adherents towards drugs and 'channelling', the communication with evil and destructive spirits. Baer's expose powerfully explores these dark forces within New Age.

New Age thinking has penetrated areas of the Catholic Church and its seductive side can draw some Christians away from the truth embodied in the Old and New Testament Scriptures, Jesus Christ and His Church

The New Age movement is a general philosophical and religious approach to life and is shared by many cults and societies in the contemporary world. Much of its thinking emanates from Asian religions, especially Hinduism.

It is often said that most modern post-Christian people are suspicious of institutions and have drifted from the mainstream Christian Churches, Catholic or Protestant. However, the age-old hunger for meaning in life remains and draws many towards 'Mind, Body, Spirit' literature and New Age.

The popularity of New Age is obvious. If you attend any market in Australia you are likely to find stalls peddling New Age literature, alternative remedies and merchandise, such as crystals and pyramids, which are supposed to help one get in tune with the powers of the universe.

As Baer puts it, 'Celtic revival, eastern mysticism and massage exponents alike decorate their booths; É and most popular are psychic readings, including astrology, tarot cards and palm readings.'

Christians who dabble in New Age, even in its more superficial forms, need to realise that New Age represents a variety of beliefs with roots in Asian and pagan religious practice, that these beliefs add nothing to the teachings of Christ or His Church, and are for the most part incompatible with them.

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