On the one hand we have Shirley MacLaine – famous Hollywood actress and “high queen” of the New Age movement that has developed into Postmodernism. On the other hand, we have Lauren.

Today we are overjoyed to be baptising Lauren. She is standing before “God and all mankind” to make a whole bunch of declarations: that she has chosen to follow Jesus; that she has committed her life to living for Him; that she is trusting totally in Him to forgive her sins and, by His Grace, grant her a permanent, eternal, home in Heaven. And she is therefore publicly declaring that Jesus is the way – the only way – to Heaven and everlasting life.

But Shirley MacLaine (and all those like her) declare that Lauren is wrong. We live, it is said, in a “Postmodernist Age” – spirituality is on the rise, particularly amongst the young who, it appears, are increasingly rejecting a purely materialistic lifestyle based on a belief that this life is all that there is and that it is therefore better to “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die”.

Shirley MacLaine would support Postmodernism which seems to be largely built upon New Age Philosophy – a belief that you can have you own, totally individualistic experience of God and that all paths lead to heaven. You can believe one thing, I can believe another, and if it’s good for you and doesn’t hurt me then that is all OK and therefore there is no “One Way” to God – your way is as relevant as my way because there is no absolute truth out there.

Shirley MacLaine would believe in “relative truth” – that is, a truth that is dependent on what you believe and the particular circumstances surrounding your life at that time; and that as such, that your “truth” might well be different from someone else’s. So, I might believe that you can gain eternal life through good living, while you might believe that you gain eternal life through following a philosophy like Buddhism. And, in postmodernism that is OK – and I would be wrong to declare to you that my way is right and your way is wrong. In the same way, I might believe generally that theft is wrong, but if I am poor then it is right. Philosophers have pointed out that the consequences of “relativism” means that each one of us will have our own reality of truth – which is therefore different from everyone else’s reality of truth. This leads to isolationism and the breakdown of communication between one another as each of us lives in our own world.

“Relative truth” is not only “PC” but is increasingly enshrined in law – and means that clearly crazy things are accepted – such as the Norwegian woman who believes she is a cat – and society demands that she is received as this; such as the British research scientist in pyschology who is totally healthy but identifies as a paraplegic and has to be accepted as being so! These things are clearly ridiculous – but Shirley MacLaine would support that this is right and proper.

You know this idea of “relative truth” is not a new thing – it is actually as old as the Bible itself. When Jesus was arrested and then brought before Pilate he was asked if He was indeed a king. Jesus and Pilate then have a famous dialogue:

37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. (John 18: 37-38)

You see, Pilate was the representative of the Roman Empire – and this political system decided what the truth was in every situation. The truth was what the State said the truth was – and you’d better believe it! So maybe we have Biblical confirmation for postmodernism…

This, I am afraid, nice as it sounds, is in sharp conflict with what the Christian faith propounds.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14: 6)

Lauren believes that there is only One Way to Heaven – and that is through following Jesus Christ.

Lauren believes that there is only one Truth and that is found in the Living Word (Jesus) and in the written word (the Bible) – that if Jesus says that “this is right and this is wrong” then the matter is eternally settled.

Lauren believes that there is only one source of (eternal) life – and that this comes through the Grace of God when we believe and declare that Jesus died instead of us, to save us from our sins and that He rose again from the dead – the “first fruits” of all of us who die in the faith.

You know, Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes 1 verse 9 concludes that:

                “There is nothing new under the sun”.

Postmodernist and New Age ideas just are not new! Back in the time of Jesus the cry was that of syncretism – Roman gods were equated with Greek gods and Celtic gods with classical gods. People said that Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, kind-of seemed the same as the Roman goddess Diana – and so the Ephesians worshipped them as one-and-the-same. This is no different than people today believing that YHWH and Allah and Buddha and Krishna are all the same deity just with different names.

NO! We do not believe this! Let’s look one more time at our key text:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14: 6)

In the Greek this is written:

“ego eimi HO hodos [way] kai HO aletheia [truth] kai HO zoe [life]”

That little word HO which I have highlighted in bold and capitals is the key word here. It means THE – as in “the only one” as in “there is no other”.

A Postmodernist, like Shirley MacLaine, tries in vain to prove that all the worlds so-called “gods” are the same or equally valid as a way to eternal life. Jesus states the opposite – that He is the only way to eternal life. And it is on this belief that Lauren takes her stand and that we take our stand.

Why do I, therefore, believe that Shirley MacLaine and her belief in New Age and Postmodernism is wrong and that Lauren and her belief in Christianity is right?

  • Because the Bible tells me so…but maybe it is unacceptable to you for me to use this as evidence – as I am biased towards the Bible.
  • But because LOGIC says it is wrong! For New Age and Postmodernism to “work” it has to be based on “relativism” – on the belief that if something is good for you, right for you and doesn’t hurt anyone else, then your “right”, your “way” and your “truth” are equally valid with the person who believes the total opposite (eg you say “I am a cat”; I say “you are a human” the two are irreconcilable opposites). And “relativism” has to be based on the belief that there are no “absolutes” – that there is no absolute “right and wrong”, no absolute “truth” and no absolute “way to eternal life”. The problem is that this is a logical conundrum. It is impossible to state that “I am absolutely certain that there are no absolutes” – this is a self-contradictory statement

Lauren is making her public declaration today that she is certain, ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN, that Jesus is the ONLY way, the ONLY truth, the ONLY life. On this she is making her public stand. What about you?


The term “New Age” comes from the astrological belief that the age of a star sign is about 2000 years and so that around the year 2000 we moved from the “age of Pisces” into the “age of Aquarius” (a move immortalised in the cult musical “Hair” in the hit song “Aquarius”.

In this belief (for so it is) Pisces (the fish) symbolised the masculine age of reason, materialism and science; whereas Aquarius (symbolised – significantly – by the rainbow) symbolises the feminine age of spirituality and world harmony.

We live in an age where the Enlightenment – or Modern – worldview is collapsing around us and that we are now in a Post Modern world – one which rejects rationalism and rejects absolute truth. It is therefore an age of religious pluralism. Our society has now been called a “pick-and-mix culture”. It has been seen as a mixture of Eastern mysticism and occult practices with a Western materialistic flavour.

John Stott described the beliefs of New Age in three pithy sayings:

  • All is God: this is “pantheism” – the belief that God is in everything – an impersonal energy or “god-force” that runs through everything – trees, animals, rocks, people; a belief that all is divine – so “mother earth” is to be worshipped and crystals and stars have power and influence. As Shirley Maclaine, the famous Hollywood actress put it: “Everyone is God – Everyone”. We worship ourselves – and therefore we put ourselves first. Books are on “self-help”, “self-confidence”, self-improvement”, “self-esteem” and “self-love”. All this, of course, is directly against the truth as explained in the Bible where we are told there is only one God and that we are called to serve Him and others before ourselves.
  • All is one: this is “monism” or “syncretism” which aims to show that all religions are of equal validity and that all lead to God. “Sin” becomes a “bad” word – there is no “right” or “wrong” and so, as long as you do not hurt others, “if it feels good, do it”. All that holds us back is ignorance – not sin – and so reincarnation as a way of increasing enlightenment has replaced the concept of “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement” (Hebrews 9: 27).
  • All is well: an optimism that we are all improving as we make evolutionary progress towards some kind of utopia; a belief in a “new world order” that will bring heaven about on earth.

Where New Age and Postmodernism fails is that:

  • It does not reveal God as our personal, loving Father with whom we can have an intimate relationship and to whom we can talk and from whom we receive all things.
  • It does not get near the truth about God the Son – Jesus. It makes Jesus just another good man and wise teacher. It misses the glorious truth that He is God with us, the Prince of Peace, the Messiah, our Saviour and our Lord.
  • It does not get near the truth about God the Holy Spirit – New Agers and Postmodernists are constantly seeking for spiritual power and spiritual experiences through Mindfulness and TM and Astral Travel and Astrology…but they are never satisfied and always looking for the next spiritual “fix”. We are seeing, in these last days, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit which brings peace and power, and at the same time Satan’s counterfeit – occult power – a power which never satisfies and never brings peace.

What is needed now is a “double repentance”: for those who have been involved in New Age and Postmodernism to repent and turn back to God; and for the church that has failed to provide Christianity as relevant to a searching society to repent and restore the church to the place of hope and purpose that it was always meant to be.