Edison’s invention of the incandescent light bulb changed everything. With a simple flip of a switch our world is illuminated. However as any of my former science students could tell you (or so I like to think), viewing even the brightest light through a spectrometer reveals dark bands – gaps indicating missing wavelengths along the visible light spectrum. Man-made ‘artificial’ light can’t hold a candle to the sun. Something is always lacking.
There seems to be no limit to how God will redeem the circumstances of my life to help me to know Him more fully. This time it was through a horrific tragedy involving a young woman who was a friend of my daughters. Despite her incredible beauty, outstanding athleticism, nearly completed degree, and a committed relationship with a loving young man, Katie decided she could no longer endure the oppressive mental illness that had plagued her for nearly ten of her twenty-five short years.
On New Year’s Eve day, in an incomprehensible moment of despair, juxtaposed against the backdrop of the picturesque Cabinet Mountain wilderness of northern Idaho, Katie parked her Subaru on a nearby train track and ended her own life. The news rocked our home town.
Still in shock, my youngest daughter and I attended her memorial service a few weeks ago. The service was officiated by a spiritual leader from the local New Age community, of which her family is a part. With all sincerity she spoke words carefully chosen to paint a consoling picture of a warm and inviting light, a sort of pulsating luminous aura of peace and tranquility. Then she passionately implored the attendees to imagine Katie approaching the core of this light as she “transitioned” from “one form of existence” into another and was gently engulfed in this warm glowing goodness to become part of the “light”.
…for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14
As I listened in utter amazement I envisioned a giant bug zapper, attracting insects desperately seeking light and having no clue they have been deceived until the fatal moment of impact. That memorial service was a poignant reminder that the deceiver is still about the business of disguising himself as an ‘angel of light’. No doubt these unwitting followers sincerely believe they are on a path of spiritual ‘enlightenment’, but there is only one true light.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you,
that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5
New Age spirituality (or Spiritual Humanism) is on the rise precisely because it appeals to man’s sin nature. This religion hijacks basic biblical concepts relating to the deity and supernatural characteristics of God, and attributes them to man. The fundamental deceptions includes the claim that man is divine and shares a ‘oneness’ with the universe (a.k.a. God) and is capable, through spiritual enlightenment and self-actualization (a.k.a. self-atonement) of achieving divinity and joining a sort of higher race of cosmic gods. Of course that lie was spun out ages ago:
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! …
For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; … I will be like the Most High.’ Isaiah 14:12-14
New Age teachings are comforting, appealing, and non-offensive —humans are inherently good, there is no sin, no true death, no hell to fear—blatant and dangerous lies. But like Eve before us we believe what we want to hear. We prefer lies that appeal to our desire for self-glorification, over Truth that requires submission to the almighty God of the universe.
“You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened,and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
Eve discovered, as will all who choose this path, that false light illuminates nothing, but is simply a degree of darkness masquerading as light.
Conversely, the Truth found in God’s word penetrates the darkness, and is utterly offensive. It informs us that not only do we commit sin; we are by our very nature sinners and objects of God’s wrath. That’s a different pill altogether now, isn’t it? Yet accepting God’s Truth is the first step toward genuine enlightenment and finding the one Way that leads to Life — faith in Jesus Christ.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
Only in accepting the truth of our sin nature can we understand the amazing gift of God’s invitation to come to Him through repentance and the choice to follow His Son Jesus.
The only bright spot in this tragedy is that Katie, though raised in New Age teaching, had an encounter with Truth and chose to accept Jesus Christ as her Savior. Because of that choice, and only by God’s grace, she is now and eternally in the presence of the true Light.
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it,
for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. Revelation 21:23