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Care for the environment ~ Climate change ~ Earth religion
What do these words all have in common?
And it’s almost here. This April 22, we will observe the 49th annual Earth Day, both in the United States and through an Earth Day network in 184 countries worldwide.
Originally founded in 1970 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin to highlight and promote environmental issues, the event has since become worldwide.
The day focuses on many educational and community service aspects, including tree planting, pollution cleanup, and education about wildlife and the earth. “To its credit, the day has brought some major change in policy such as the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.”[i]
But there is another, darker side of Earth Day though, as many widely celebrate it as a religious event, with invocations to the earth and celebrations of "oneness."
"Supposedly if people restore their ancient connections with the earth, the free flow of her mystical energies will produce a community of evolved spiritual beings who think alike and share all things."
—Berit Kjos,Under the Spell of Mother Earth[ii]
Such a widespread pagan religious movement is not unique to our times, but it is unique in the dynamic and rapid way many Eastern and Western philosophies are continually converging and mutating into strange new hybrids.
Cosmic Evolutionary Thought. One of these major hybrids is the marriage of science and occultism into mystical evolutionary thinking and the new physics(based on Eastern religion). This popular view sees humanity as on the verge of a new evolutionary step leading to planetary salvation through a global civilization based on a single consciousness integrating all earth systems.The earth is seen as a "living organism" that is developing a "global brain."Achieving this global unity is now the focus of many, whose efforts range from shaping education to encouraging worldwide mass meditation.
The search for meaning in both science and religion, the emptiness of purpose in materialism, and a desire for spiritual power all contribute to the popularity of this view. A flood of ideas and techniques now focuses upon this longed-for evolutionary leap of consciousness to personal godhood and the fulfillment of all desires. And Earth Day is the perfect rallying point.
Here are a few glimpses into other of these metamorphosing philosophies that coalesce around Earth Day.
Creation spirituality. After his expulsion from the Roman Catholic Dominican Order, Matthew Fox was ordained by the Episcopal Church in 1994. He “urges Christians to move beyond a theology based on sin and redemption toward a “creation spirituality” with nature as the primary revelation.”[iii],[iv]Fox founded the University of Creation Spirituality in California and is known for his “Techno Cosmic Masses.”
Eco-feminism/ feminist spirituality. Feminists love the idea of Mother Earth and of being goddesses themselves. Women's spirituality movements are exploding in North America, including within mainline Protestantism. What began in the 1960s as a women’s reform movement within established religions today is frequently linked with the rapidly emerging modern goddess or Gaia cult (more below).This approach to femininity generally resists Christian forms of earth stewardship and promotes the belief that non-Christian mystical experiences bring environmental awareness. The spiritual heart of the movementis a belief in women's divinity and spiritual and psychic powers.[v]
Gaia, the Earth Mother. One popular form of pagan earth worship came from well-known atmospheric scientist James Lovelock more than 20 years ago—the concept of Gaia. “The premise of Gaian theory is that the Earth itself is a superorganism both living and divine.”[vi]Now some influential scholars see it as a new scientific model for the biological and environmental sciences.[vii],[viii]
Native American spirituality. The rise of Native American spirituality and its spread, including throughout the Christian Church, is yet another example of the popularity of earth mysticism.[ix] The book Muddy Waters: An Insider’s View of North American Native Spirituality clearly contrasts the biblical view with the Native American view. The author, a Christian, is the daughter and granddaughter of medicine men.
The Bible’s View. The Bible though takes another, far less popular view about the problems with the earth.
The earth lies defiled
under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed the laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
Isaiah 24:5 (ESV)
Robert Sirico of the Action Institute summed it up well in 1994:
There is no Commandment against littering, but there is a very straightforward one about worshiping false Gods.[x]
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Our book, The Glittering Web, is a thriller based on the true story of our own rescue from New Age earth spirituality. It appropriately launches through Redemption Press on Monday, April 22, Earth Day.
...so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
—Ephesians 3:10–12 (ESV)
For more information about the book or this topic, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have taught and spoken at conferences, seminars, and churches, and on the radio, and are available for interviews. Richard has a M.A.R. in Christian history and a B.S. in biology. He has worked in psychiatric units for 26 years. Linda has a B.A. in psychology and master’s work and has owned Logos Word Designs, LLC since 1992 (www.logosword.com). See some of our articles here.
Redemption Press Author Page~ Facebook
Coming soon ~ our new website! www.theglitteringweb.com
What People are Saying
“Wow! An amazing book! Out of their own fiery experiences, the authors have emerged with a deep understanding of the battlefield that is fast growing fiercer in our postmodern times. A riveting story of two souls caught in a web of deception they can never hope to escape on their own.”
—Berit Kjos, author, How to Protect Your Child from the
New Age & Spiritual Deception(Lighthouse Trails Publishing)
and other works
* * *
“Richard and Linda, this is dynamite stuff! You have done an excellent job! Your story is a real page-turner… I can’t commend you enough—your writing was excellent; your powers of description were amazing; the characters were believable; the action was fast and creative; the plot was unpredictable; and you made your point concerning Christianity very well without preaching. I think you have an excellent chance for this book to be a winner!”
—Dean Halverson, author, Crystal Clear:
Understanding and Reaching New Agers(NavPress);
Editor,The Compact Guide to World Religions(Bethany House)
City Team Leader, International Students, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO
[ii]Kjos, Berit, Under the Spell of Mother Earth. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992, 146.
[v]Points 1 to 3 and this summary taken from article by Alison Lentini, Spiritual Counterfeits Project Journal on Gaia: A Religion of the Earth, Vol. 16:1, 1992, 21–22.
[vi]Sirico, R. “The False Gods of Earth Day.” https://acton.org/public-policy/environmental-stewardship/eco-spirit/false-gods-earth-day
[vii]Spiritual Counterfeits Project, P.O. Box 4308, Berkeley, CA 94704. SeeSCP Journal on Gaia: A Religion of the Earth, Vol. 16:1, 1991.
[ix]See Muddy Waters: An Insider’s View of North American Native Spirituality,Lighthouse Trails Publishing.