New Age Monitor ~ September, 1988 ~ Constance E. Cumbey
Post-Gold Lake Events
October 26, 1987
Boulder Episcopalian Church, Boulder, Colorado
Part II- Conclusion
Since the “Christians” who were there aren’t talking about Gold Lake [“Bridging for Christ”] and some of the New Agers have freely boasted about the event, we thought we would transcribe, for your benefit, David Spangler’s immediate post-Gold Lake talk remarks at the local Episcopalian church in Boulder, Colorado…
Short excerpt from eleven pages of New Age Spangler-speak with New Ager Michael Lindfield who was with Spangler at “Bridging for Christ.”
[Spangler responding to a question from the audience…]
In one sense, the New Age is an invitation to explore what we might otherwise not explore. For one example, one of the challenges in current Christian theology –– certainly not for the entire church, but for–uh–large segments of it is the challenge of other religions. Now, it would be easy just to dismiss all other religions as false. But the deepest [?] spiritual thinkers [?] of our time are not doing that [the prophesied apostasy of Thessalonians II, Chapter 2—cec] Even today, you know, in meeting with people who are leaders of the evangelical and pentecostal community, it was quite evident they were saying, “You know, the Spirit of Christ is in the world.” It is in all people. That is in scripture and as a consequence of people who have never encountered Christianity can still encounter Christ. And a number of these evangelicals came up with examples of this in their travels around the world, and pointed to scriptural passages to substantiate this. I thought this was very interesting [so do we!—cec]. Because while every one of them said, “We adhere totally to certain biblical precepts,” they were also saying that there is this greater spirit at work in all humanity and in the world. So, what I ‘m saying is that there’s an encounter going on between all the great faith traditions. Out of that encounter could come a deeper sense of what is our common spirituality. In some ways the people who are in the New Age give themselves a freedom to explore that. Now that exploration can go in directions that get pretty wild and strange, and may miss the point, but it can also be one of those areas where–uh–new insights that might not have the freedom to come through the institution can arise that the institution can benefit from.
One of the men who was at this meeting [referring to Spiritual Counterfeit’s Art Lindsley] is the author––or the contributor to books that are very critical of the New Age –– from a biblical standpoint. And he’s part of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project at Berkeley which monitors everything which is not Christian under certain definitions of Christianity. But this Spiritual Counterfeits Project has just published a new book to which he was a contributor called the New Age Rage and the first part of the book deals with all the contributions the New Age can make to Christianity which Christians should look at. And then goes on (laughing) to point out all the things that the New Age is about that Christians should be wary of. But there was a recognition that there are things happening in this whole general area of the New Age that represent explorations and insights that the Church needs to take account of if it is to fulfill its––its scriptural destiny.
Part of the act of reconciliation is the willingness to let others be what they are. And to recognize there’s often a timing involved in––in how we approach our edges. When I––if I want to have reconciliation…as I know you know is not the same as resolving a competition or a conflict––really. It’s not about winning and losing. It’s about arriving at a new state in which both are benefited. Reconciliation does not always mean agreement like today we –– the New Age folk and the evangelical folk definitely came to the point of saying things about which we do not agree, we can still meet in a Spirit of Christ [anti? - cec] and know that there are things (chuckling) about which we do not agree… If I can speak to a person’s fears and be…not try to be that which brings the fears even more to the surface [in other words be sneaky about it! – cec]. If I can acknowledge the fears in saying, “I want to hear your concerns and hear your fears,” then that may help. Just the act of being heard may help initiate that process of reconciliation [no doubt with stress on the “initiate”– cec]. And if it doesn’t, I may simply need to say I am in a spirit of reconciliation with you. That is my reality relative to you [shades of Ramtha! – cec]. You may not yet feel that and I am reconciled to you, so to speak, not feeling that. Because you may still need to move with that –– with that edge. Are there other places that we can meet? And perhaps plant seeds together that reconciliation could come –– not out of the issue, but from its flanks.
Michael Lindfield speaking [New Ager who was at Gold Lake with Spangler]
…And I claim my right to freely explore my relationship with God and with Christ. And if that makes me a New Ager, I will proudly wear that label, if that makes me a fundamental Christian, I will proudly wear that label. Whatever it is that allows me to freely explore my relationship with God–– my own essential Christhood –– I will gladly take that on. But if the label is limiting to me, I usually rip them off. And what we found our during this time together, as David said, is that when you get through the label…you reach a point of unity. And one of the most interesting things that came out was hearing the talk between and among the people in the evangelical movement who said “Look. You think we’ve got problems between the New Age and the traditional Christian movement. You should see the 550 different churches and congregations we’ve got in Washington, D.C. that can’t even speak with each other –– who don’t even agree on an interpretation of scripture…
What I think we learned this weekend was that all the laws and all the attempts that we have at living the life really stem from an inability to express one thing which is love. We have all these laws because we are unable to obey or move with the first commandment or the first law of love which is “Love thyself, love thy neighbor, love God.”–– and I would add the New Age phrase in there: “Love thy ecosystem”–– or “Love thy biosphere.” Or “Love thy bio-region.” Because I think the other statement is incomplete. And so that’s what I received. I received the feeling of warmth which translates into the word “wholeness” and a sense of “I am one in the Spirit.” I’ve sung that song so many times and been so bored with it at so-called New Age gatherings…
One more thing. It was interesting because the traditional Christians –– the evangelicals and the fundamentalists that were there said: “We have a doctrine. We have a theology which is our yardstick. If somebody comes by and channels something or if somebody says, “God has spoken to me.” Our yardsticks, our objective truth is the gospel, the scripture. What do you have in the New Age Movement? Where is your scripture? Where’s your doctrine? Where’s your credo? Where’s your equivalent of canon law? And we said, “We don’t have one. There are many books and many writings purporting to express, “This is the New Age.” But in essence what I feel we are searching for is the word made flesh in the truest sense –– not just the word made paper. And when I reflected on this, I thought, “Okay, what is our theology?” And I said, “I don’t think we who move together and recognize ourselves as being part of a new movement would ever sit down and write a creed. Maybe what we will write is the Law of the Sea. The Law of the Ozone Layer the Law of Right Relationship. [Compare Lindfield here to the Daniel prophecies: “He shall think to change times and laws.” Daniel 7: 25–– cec], The Law of Right Harmony and Education. It may be that our creed will be as concrete as guidelines. For right livelihood, for right living. Because if it just remains on that level –– on a statement of faith and is not acted upon, it is empty…I believe that what I’m experiencing now is an incredible on rush of what I call the Will of God in my life. And that Will is activating me. And it’s saying “everything you hold dearly, everything you believe in –– if you hold it too long , it will stagnate.”
Spiritual Counterfeits Project