A Theological Analysis of the New Age Movement



Going Out on a Limb

One of the most widely read popular accounts of the “transformed” life is that of Shirley MacLaine in her documentary, Out on a Limb.  This book brings the transformation process down to a level understood by the average modern person in the West.  The superstar explicitly details her trek from a Baptist childhood through the old, outmoded ways of living into the higher consciousness of Eastern Mysticism—including conversations with “spiritual entities”.

In the undiscerning and largely apostate “Christian” U.S.A. not many voices are heard protesting Shirley’s excursion into the occultic centers of the New Age.  Shirley has been deceived and her book serves as an excellent example of the reality of the sin of Genesis 3 in contemporary times and under the banner of enlightened New Age thought.

Indeed, Has God Said?

It all began when the serpent planted a suspicion in the mind of Eve, “. . .Has God indeed said?”  God’s word was subjected to questioning concerning its reliability.  Shirley reports her path away from trust in the reliability of God and His Word as she records the following conversation with her spiritual guide:

“So, are you religious, Kevin?”  I asked.  He choked involuntarily on his tea.  “Are you kidding?  What church would have me?  I’m treading on their territory.  I say folks have God inside them.  The church says it has God inside of it.  There’s a phrase in the Bible which states that one should never countenance spiritual entities other than God.  Most Christians go by that.  But then the Bible says nothing about reincarnation either and it’s quite well known that the Council of Nicea voted to strike the teaching of reincarnation from the Bible.”

“How do you know that?”  I asked.

“Well, most serious metaphysical students of the Bible know that the Council of Nicea altered many of the interpretations of the Bible.  The man Jesus studied for eighteen years in India before he returned to Jerusalem.  He was studying the teaching of Buddha and became an adept yogi himself.  He obviously had complete control over his body and understood that the body was only the house for a soul.”[1]

Miss MacLaine has been told by an affectionate and loving person of keen mind that the Bible has been changed—that God’s Word is unreliable—and she has accepted this lie as did Eve in the Garden.

You Surely Shall Not Die!

The next step into higher consciousness, as conceived by Lucifer and executed through the serpent is the false promise that “You surely shall not die.”  Eve evidently liked this idea and accepted the serpent’s lie instead of God’s truth.  Shirley MacLaine likes this idea also, and describes it as her conversation continues, this time with John, another manifestation of her “familiar spirit”:

Frankly, all this talk of “God” was embarrassing me.  “Okay,” I said, “but what do you call God?”

 “God or the God Force, of which all things are a part,” said John, “is the Divine Energy that created the universe and holds it together harmoniously.”

“You would describe what’s going on here as harmonious?”

“In the ultimate scheme of life, yes, it is harmonious in the sense that matters are balancing out.  But you must understand the process of each soul’s progress and re-embodiment and purification to understand the harmony.”

“Wait a minute,” I said.  “Isn’t the Bible supposed to be the Word of God?”

“Yes, in the main it is.  Although much of what exists in your Bible today has been reinterpreted.”

“Reinterpreted by whom?”

“By various persons through time and through various languages.  Ultimately, by the Church.  It is to the advantage of the Church to protect the people from the real truth.”

 “The real truth being what?”

“The real truth being the process of each soul’s progression through the ages.  The real

truth being each soul’s responsibility for its own behavior in the realization of its own divinity.”

“You mean reincarnation?”

“That is correct.  That is the word you use to term it.  That is the carrying out of Cosmic Justice toward an ultimate harmony.”

“Well, would the Church deny us that truth?”

“Yes, because such a truth would make the power and authority of the Church unnecessary.”[2]|

Shirley could not be more clear—she believes that she will never die—her soul will eternally reincarnate.  As the book and her pursuit of religious answers progresses her attitude becomes more anti-God, anti-Bible and anti-Christianity.  The Bible and Christianity have been perpetuating lies; instead, she now knows that salvation rests in the justice of karma and reincarnation, and in the knowledge of the Ageless Wisdom.

The first lie, “Indeed, has God said?” and the second lie, “You surely shall not die,” are preceded in MacLaine’s account by the third lie, “Your eyes will be opened.”

Your Eyes Will Be Opened

Shirley relays a conversation with her trusted friend, Cat, to show the path into the ancient mysteries.  She explains, with Cat speaking:

“Would you like to have a great spiritual channeling in English?  I know a very well-respected trance medium here in California.  He’s busy channeling all the time but he’s coming. . .to channel. . .here at The Ashram.  Maybe he could work in a session with you.”

“Oh, really?” I said, marveling once again at how Cat was a catalyst in my life.

“Have you had a session with him?”

 “Oh, Shirley,” she said, seeming to spread her arms and her radiant energy all over the mountain tops.  “Yes!  And you will love his light, and you will love the spiritual entities that speak through him!”

Cat always talked in exclamation points and had such a sunny nature I couldn’t imagine her not loving anyone, disembodied or otherwise.

“Sure,” I said, getting into the spirit of the thing as it were, “that would be fun.  What do you think would happen?”

“Oh,” she said, “several entities come through as a rule, and its just as though they’re right in the room with you.”

“And what do I do?”

“Just ask anything you want.  They can tell you about your past lives, or help with physical diagnosis and pain, or with diets that are good for your vibrations—anything you want. . .”[3]

Such mystics as Blavatsky, Besant, Bailey, Creme, Spangler and U.N. Consultant Keyes have all tapped into the “Ageless Wisdom” of the ascended masters (demons) and have written enthusiastically about it.  And academy-award winner Shirley MacLaine is no different.  The lies of Genesis 3 are very attractive and seductive:  Satan says, “I’ll give you anything you want.”  He tried all of this on Messiah Jesus and he failed (Like 4:1-13).  He tried his lies on Shirley MacLaine and she accepted the lies and learned of “past lives” and ancient wisdom.  The lies are reaping fruit from writers to psychics to university professors to international politicians to a symbol of the “good-life,” Shirley MacLaine.

Ye Shall Be As Gods

There is a fourth lie that has proven its attractiveness to humankind through the centuries.  This lie promises divinity to man.  The serpent said “. . .ye shall be as gods. . . .” (Gen. 3:5 KJV).  It must have been the clinching argument, for immediately after this lie Eve took and ate.  Centuries later Shirley did in like manner.  Actress MacLaine writes about man being divinity and a co-creator with God and even relates this last “fact” to the Garden of Eden.  Shirley explains this in her conversation with John as she writes (John speaking):

“. . .you were incarnate several times during the five-hundred-thousand-year period of the most highly evolved civilization ever known to man.  It was what the Bible symbolized as the Garden of Eden.  I would like you now to understand one very important concept.  The level of achievement in any civilization is judged by its spiritual evolvement.  Technological advancement is important and attractive, but if it detains, detracts, or deters spiritual understanding, it bears the seeds of its own destruction.  You are bearing witness to such a simple truth in your present civilization on Earth today.  Your spiritual understanding is lagging at great lengths behind your technological knowledge and as a result, you are  witnessing progressive insanity, depression, confusion of purpose, and total human inequality and despair.”

“So where is the hope for us then?  I mean, if we’re going backward instead of forward, why are we living?”

“A good and important question,” said John, which brings us to the subject of karma yet again, and ,ales it necessary for you to grasp your basic identity and the understanding of the power of your free will to understand your divinity and partnership with God.”

“Excuse me,” I said, “but can I ask where religion fits into all this, please?”

“There is much that I am saying that your worldly religions would take exception to.  Your religions teach religion—not spirituality.  Religion has exploited man for the most part.  Your world religions are on the right track basically, but they do not teach that every individual is fundamentally the creator and controller of his own destiny.  They teach that God assumes such a role.  What I am endeavoring to explain is that each  individual is a co-creator with God.  This does not sit well with your churches and religions because they prefer to have control over mankind; . . .”[4]

Shirley MacLaine is indeed Out on a Limb and more and more of mankind is crawling out on a limb.  Acceptance of the same lies leads one to the same limb.

Shirley rejected the very Word of her creator by categorizing it as unreliable (“has God indeed said?”).  Without the God of the Bible to trust in Shirley developed the fear of death and chose to accept reincarnation (“you shall not die”) instead of God’s promised resurrection.  Now that Shirley believes she has lived before and will live forever she must gain the ancient wisdom of her spiritual heritage (past lives), so she finds a medium to aid her in contacting “spiritual entities” (ascended masters, masters of the universe, spirit guides).  As an eternal, spiritual soul Shirley has a right to know (“your eyes shall be opened”).  Once Shirley gains access to the “spiritual entities” (demons) she has taken the quantum leap into “higher consciousness” and is convinced that she is a god (“ye shall be as gods”).

The fourfold lie of Genesis 3 is relevant in the last quarter of the twentieth century.

[1] Shirley MacLaine, Out on a Limb, p. 181.

[2] Ibid., p. 204.

[3] Ibid., p. 176.

[4] Ibid., p. 198.



  Top      Conclusion and Bibliography