The New Age and Global Education

Ideas are important. They affect our behavior, our philosophy of life, and ultimately our world view. One such set of ideas being promoted in educational circles is so-called Global Education. The objective of this paper is to expose the hidden agenda of Global Education and show conclusively the links between Global Education, the New Age religion, and evolutionism.

Proponents of Global Education often disguise it by using a variety of other names: multicultural education, international curriculum development, international studies, cultural awareness, futurism, Project 2000, Welcome to Planet Earth, and World Core Curriculum.[1] Dick Sutphen, a leading New Age thinker, summarizes the New Age doctrines as: (1) the external world and consciousness are one and the same; (2) we are all part of God, so we are God, (3) life is for evolutionary purposes; (4) awareness of one's true self within leads to mastery of one's own reality.[2]

Sutphen also emphasizes that once the occult and New Age terminologies are removed, these ideas become acceptable to the general public. These ideas also include Eastern Mysticism and contact with spirit and psychic guides.[3]

In Jeremy Rifkin's book, Algeny, we read:

Evolution is no longer viewed as a mindless affair, quite the opposite . . . . . . one eventually winds up with the idea of the universe as a mind that oversees, orchestrates, and gives order and structure to all things. We no longer feel ourselves to be guests in someone else's home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of preexisting cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules. We establish the parameters of reality. We create the world. And because we do, we no longer feel beholden to outside forces. We no longer have to justify our behavior, for we are the architects of the universe. We are responsible for nothing outside ourselves, for we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.[4]

Rifkin quite lucidly ties New Age doctrines to the concept of Global Education. Since it is man's creation, we should use global political and economic education to help others attain this idea of spiritual global consciousness.

In order to accomplish this implementation of Global Education into our public-school system, proponents advocate the following basic principles: (1) everyone should become involved with people of other cultures; (2) from earliest childhood, global studies should be involved in all areas of study; (3) economic interdependence among all peoples and nations should be stressed; and (4) the changing role of individual "nations" (including the U.S.) should be emphasized, highlighting the increasing importance of international organizations.

On the surface, some of these may appear acceptable, but beneath lies a program of "cultural evolution" designed to swallow up national and personal distinctives while substituting imprecise definitions of ethics. This is the type of thinking which could produce a climate ripe for a charismatic one-world leader, whom the Bible calls the Anti-Christ.

By undermining cultural, religious, national, and economic distinctives, the stage is being set for the alternative of a synthetic, unified system. For example, Global Education proponents are calling for a world religion under the authority of a one-world government. This new world religion is envisioned as a synthesis of Christian ethics and Eastern Mysticism, in which the task of re-ordering our traditional values and institutions is given over to our public schools.[5]

Some educators and leading scientists call for a paradigm shift in which events are viewed holistically and in which scientific laws, constructs, and views of how the human mind thinks and functions are redefined.

Two scientists who are calling for such a paradigm shift are marine biologist James Lovelock and microbiologist Lynn Margulis. Both strongly advocate the so-called Gaia Hypothesis (Gaia was the Greek goddess of the earth—"Mother Earth," so to speak). This mystical Gaia Hypothesis assumes that the earth is actually a living entity and humanity is a vital part of its life system. It has spawned, in Lovelock's mind, a new science which he calls geophysiology. This system has caught on in some geological circles and has significantly impacted the entire scientific community. For example, the American Geophysical Union devoted its 1988 biennial Chapman Conference to a debate and discussion of Lovelock's Gaian theory.[6]

There are many world leaders who appear to have jumped aboard the Gaian express. They are said to include Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and United Nations Secretary General Perez de Cuellar.[7]

In addition, there are several influential groups which support the ideas of Global Education: the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Education Association, the National School Boards Association, the National Association of Elementary School Board Principals, the American Association of School Administrators, and the national Parent-Teacher Association.[8]

The theme of the Gaia Hypothesis, as expressed by one of its concerned opponents, involves the following vision of the New Age, which its advocates believe can be achieved through Global Education:

It is possible for the earth and humanity to leave behind their ills and move into the utopian situation. That utopia will supersede the present world of environmental and wartime crises and will usher in an era of life in oneness with nature and a community at peace with its neighbors. In this New Age there will be one universal religion expressed through many local religions, and there will be an allegiance to the planet and the human race that will supersede loyalties to the more limited groupings of clan, nation, race, or region.[9]

This type of thinking clearly rules out the God of creation who spoke the world into existence by His own power. Thus New Age teaching and the new modern science of geophysiology are incompatible with the Bible. This is because of the evolutionary, humanist, and Eastern Mysticism roots of the New Age and Global Education Movements. These false philosophies are nothing more than Satan's "Old Lie" (the idea that man is equal to God). This lie is incapable of leading a person to a comprehension of the God of the Bible as the Creator and Sustainer of life, and is thus a philosophy which is itself devoid of life.

In summary, the key elements of global education, embedded in the New Age and Global Education philosophies and currently found in our public-school systems, include the following:

  1. A cultural relativism (no moral absolutes);
  2. A de-emphasis of western culture in our public school texts and related curricular materials with a clearly intentional avoidance of Christian themes related to our Creator and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
  3. Curricular materials which support the idea of down-playing nationalism and pushing "one worldism;"
  4. Curricular materials (especially teachers' guides) which promote guided imagery and visualization;
  5. Curricular materials which state that their chief goal is to reduce the spirit of patriotism;
  1. An emphasis on teaching children the concept of "entering" and meditation. [10]

Once we have recognized the New Age philosophy and Global Education as being grounded in a pantheistic world view which calls upon "the God within us all," it becomes easier to understand the holistic nature of the New Age social vision.

The basic assumption underlying the New Age movement is evolutionism, with its accompanying transformation of individuals and society, now supposedly ready to move into a New Age of peace, harmony, and international cooperation. While educators discuss cultural evolution as acting in concert with natural selection for the improvement of Homo sapiens, New Agers reveal the place of cultural evolution within the holistic framework that sees the entire universe as the ultimate whole system.

The Biblical position, on the other hand, affirms Jesus Christ as King of Kings and the only one who can usher in a perfect society. The Biblical world view precludes the acceptance of any teaching, in or out of school, which embraces concepts of one worldism, occultism, and gods other than the one true Creator God. Therefore, the Christian community must be prepared to look beyond the semantic facade and examine the true agenda of Global Education. We must recognize that Global Education concepts represent a world view which excludes Biblical Christianity.

At the same time, as we call New Agers, Global Educators, and geophysiologists to accountability for their world view we must, in all fairness, observe two positive contributions. First, some of the elements of Global Education are needed and laudable. These groups have brought to our attention the shrinking size of our planet in regard to the relationships and responsibilities of our schools to mankind. Secondly, we can choose responsibly from the elements of the current Global Educational programs those ideas which fit a Christian world view. Nevertheless, we must view Global Education, the New Age, and related philosophies from a Biblical world view, along with the threat which these false views present. The possibility of our children embracing false Gods and ideas is real, and we must combat this in every reasonable way.

Bibliography and Notes

[1] Eakman. B. K. Educating for the New World Order. Portland: Halycon House, 1991.
[2] Buehrer, Eric. The New Age Masquerade: The Hidden Agenda in Your Child's Classroom. Brentwood: Wolgemuth and Hyatt, 1990.
[3] "Global Education and World Religion," New Age Education Report #5. Costa Mesa, CA: Citizens for Excellence in Education, 1990.
[4] Rifkin, Jeremy. Algeny. New York: Viking Press, 1983.
[5] Citizens for Excellence in Education, loc. cit.
[6] Joseph, Lawrence E. Gaia: The Growth of an Idea. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990.
[7] Muller, Robert. New Genesis: Shaping a Global Spirituality. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1982.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Cunningham, Gregory L, Globalism in the Schools: Independence Issue Paper. Golden, CO: Independence Institute, 1986, p. 3.
[10] Buehrer, op. cit.

Note: I would like to thank Mr. James Bjornstad for his help in preparing this paper. He is a recognized authority on cults and the occult and is currently a professor of Religious Education at The King's College in Briarcliff Manor, New York. I also wish to extend thanks to Jan Barnett and Monte Wyss for helping with the library research. Jan and Monte are graduate students at ICR.

* At time of publication, Dr. Deckard was Assistant Professor of Education at The Kings College (Briarcliff Manor, New York)

Cite this article: Deckard, S. 1992. The New Age and Global Education. Acts & Facts. 21 (10).


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