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Religious Expert: Mass Media Promotes New-Age Spirituality

A noted Christian religious expert is the latest to confirm something careful watchers of the media have known for years: The American media is peddling New Age spirituality to its viewers as a substitute for traditional religion.

On January 24, the Christian Post reported that Ravi Zacharias, the founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and a noted Christian apologist, warned that the mass media is trying to push New Age ideas on the general population in his book "Why Jesus? Rediscovering His Truth In an Age of Mass Marketed Spirituality."

In his book, Zacharias writes: "Mystics, spiritual masters all are in the lineup to give the viewer the feeling that she who has become all but deified in their eyes can now make each viewer just like them." Zacharias specifically cited Oprah and Deepak Chopra as examples of influential media figures peddling New Age nonsense to a large audience.

It is difficult to disagree with Zacharias' assessment. For both the figures he cites and other media outlets have supported New Age spirituality, and at the same time have discounted traditional religious belief.

Oprah has been heavily involved in the New Age movement - so much so that Washington Post blogger Amarnath Amarsingam called her in May 2011 the "High Priestess of the New Age" In a January 2011 interview with Piers Morgan, Winfrey declared herself to be a spiritual leader: "I am the messenger to deliver the message of redemption, of hope, of forgiveness, of gratitude, of evolving people to the best of themselves." In her Book Club in 2008, she promoted Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" whose promotional blurb states: "Tolle describes in detail how our current ego-based state of consciousness operates. Then gently, and in very practical terms, he leads us into this new consciousness. We will come to experience who we truly are-which is something infinitely greater than anything we currently think we are-and learn to live and breathe freely."

New Age spirituality guru Deepak Chopra has been even more avid in his promotion of New Age ideals. His book The Third Jesus is "about the consciousness of Jesus which was in touch with the source of all creation. If you can aspire to be at one with that consciousness, then you too can be in touch with the source of all creation. He has denied traditional Christian teachings, having been cited by major media outlets such as ABC denying the existence of Satan. YouTube promoted his channel, The Chopra Well, in late 2011.

Mainstream reporters have not been shy about de-emphasizing traditional religion, while promoting a nebulous concept of "spirituality." In 2008, CBS's Katie Couric celebrated what she saw as a combination of American spirituality and lack of religious belief: "This survey seems to have a lot of good news. People think prayer and faith is very important in their lives and they don't think it's their way or the highway when it comes to salvation." In November 2009, CBS's Martha Teichner touted a poll claiming that Americans were increasingly abandoning organized religion for spirituality.

The mass media has taken upon itself the task of transforming religious belief into a pile of feel-good mush - when they aren't actively seeking to destroy religion altogether. And testimony from religious experts like Zacharias confirms that assessment.

Comments

#1 Zacharias ROCKS!

One of my favorite Christian apologists and a great man of God.

Thanks NB for posting.

___________________

"...claiming that Americans were increasingly abandoning organized religion for spirituality."

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron..." 1 Timothy 4:1-2

"If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner." — Malcolm Muggeridge

#2 Ditto.

He, Sproul and Plantinga are an education in apologetics.

#3 Amen

Amen!

#4 Others

Others that go into this category are Rick Warren and Rob Bell. These are people that use rhetoric to twist Scripture just enough to change the meaning.

#5 Agreed

Agreed 100%.

If you're not getting flak, you're not over the target.

#6 Thank you for posting this, Paul...

...because I have long thought the same thing about the mass media idols, and now I have some sources to track down and do some more reading through.

It absolutely flabbergasts me that so many on the Left in this country frothingly despise Christianity of all varities as well as Judaism, but will heap praises upon Islam and other Eastern religions, or tout something like spiritualism as the "true path." The only explanation I have ever thought of regarding the popularity of spiritualism amongst certain sectors of this country is extreme self-aggrandization; if you believe the universe begins and ends with you, then its not much a stretch to essentially believe yourself to be a god.

#7 The MSM and New Agers have

The MSM and New Agers have invested huge amounts of time and energy for many years in their ABC (Anything But Christianity) quest. We all remember the annual Time and Newsweek Christmas season magazine covers: "Did Jesus Really Exist?", etc etc etc. They want mainstream Christianity out of the picture and are continually attempting to deconstruct its main premises. And, as we know, there's lots of money to be made by mocking Christianity (books, comedy routines, television appearances). . They just plain love making Christians look like fools, miscreants and clowns. The sort of thing little Billy Maher enjoys doing on a daily basis.

The hard left hates Christianity because it challenges them at a level that makes them very uncomfortable. And they don't like that at all.

"This is not your mother's Democratic Party"--Andrew Breitbart, CPAC, February 2012

#8 The left also

hates Christianity because it has something bigger than themselves or government: God. And the God of Judaism and Christianity requires accountability for one's sins. THAT they simply cannot abide.

If you're not getting flak, you're not over the target.

#9 Two things: -First

Two things:
-First Amendment
-Caveat emptor
The media promote what the media considers important . Most media people are liberal and have rejected Christian theology; however, most still retain the Christian paradigm in their worldview and so continue to think in "spiritual" terms, to feel "called upon" to make a difference in the world, to "spread the gospel" etc. They believe what they are preaching - no conspiracy to destroy Christianity is in operation except as a secondary consideration.
The fact that so much of the public buys into this "denatured Christianity" offered up by the popular press is not to be blamed on Oprah Winfrey but on the weak-mindedness of her fans.
Until we learn to be guided by what we think we will continue to be led by what we feel; until we have become wise enough to doubt we will continue to be foolish enough to believe.

#10 Oldest lie in the Book:

"You shall be like gods."

"Unfortunately, some people use belief-based facts rather than fact-based beliefs." -Par for the Course on Wed, 04/18/2012 - 5:38pm

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