A NHNE Special Article:
Dutch Evangelists Meet Sedona New Agers
Friday, February 28, 1997
(From News Brief 50)
By David Sunfellow
© Copyright 1997 By NewHeavenNewEarth
Published By NewHeavenNewEarth / firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dutch Evangelists Meet Sedona New Agers
By David Sunfellow
Imagine, for a moment, you are Dutch. You are an evangelical Christian. And you have come to Sedona, Arizona to find out more about the New Age/planetary transformation movement.
Scanning the Sedona horizon, the first thing that strikes you is the stunning beauty of Sedona's red rocks. Surrounding you on all sides, Sedona's natural beauty takes your breath away. Then you notice that Sedona is a tourist town, full of art galleries, touring trolly cars, jeep tours, hot air balloons, and tourist traps. You also notice that Sedona is a wealthy community, full of beautiful homes, highly-educated, art-loving people, and stores, signs and street lights that all seek to blend into Sedona's otherworldly landscape.
"So this is Sedona," you think, "a small, educated, artistic, touristy town of 9,000 people, nestled amid majestic red rocks."
But wait. What's that walking down the road? You see one person, half-naked, wearing a meager pair of buckskins, and another sporting tie-died clothes, dreadlocks, crystal necklaces, a guitar and backpack, and yet another dressed in white, swami-like clothes with strange Hindu-like designs permanently tattoed on his forehead. You see hippy-style VW vans parked along side BMWs in front of an astonishing number of New Age Stores. "How can there be so many New Age Shops in such a small town?" you think. Then you go inside a couple of the stores. You are surprised at the vast number of books, tapes, videos, posters, T-shirts, crystals, gems, stones, bumper stickers, tarot decks, flower essences, candles, incense, pyramids, Native American dream catchers, statues of Jesus, Mary, Buddha, Krishna and various goddesses. More stunning still are the bulletin boards, which are full of advertisements for virtually every far out, alternative-minded thing you've ever heard of: the latest message from the Ashtar Command is posted amid advertisements about vision quests, massages, yoga, ear coning, aura photos, aura cleansing, past life regressions, psychic readings, room rentals, workshops, seminars, UFO tours and conferences, spiritual real estate agents, perfect masters from India and elsewhere, local messiahs and prophets, Tibetan chanting, Japanese drumming, African dancing, Native American ruins, medicine wheels and ceremonies.
Everyone it seems -- the clerk at your hotel, the cashier at the grocery store, the tour guide dressed like a cowboy that is packing a foot long hunting knife and real six shooter, the grandmother eating an ice cream cone with her granddaughter -- seems to be involved in, or at least keenly aware of, New Age ideas and practices.
As a Christian, a follower of Christ, the whole scene seems shallow and superficial. You are tempted to think you are seeing an ocean of lost souls floundering amid a dizzying array of wayward paths. And perhaps they are. But then you find out that there is another layer to the New Age/planetary transformation scene in Sedona -- and elsewhere. Behind the scenes, less public and noticeable, you discover that there is a thriving network of serious seekers who have been on the spiritual path for many, many years. No longer wearing buckskins and tattooing their foreheads with strange symbols, these seekers are running the local health food stores and healing centers. They are creating eco-villages, sustainable cultures, and living in various kinds of spiritual communities. They are working hard on their relationships, seeking to love, forgive, accept, understand and deeply connect with one another. They are talking about dreams, visions, miracles, and awakenings. They are exploring radically new ways of thinking and acting. They are building networks that will allow them to exchange information and stay in constant communication with others of like-mind all over the planet. They are anxious to learn from one another, and other cultures, and are constantly seeking to integrate the best of what they encounter into their own lives. They believe they are part of a new way of life that is destined to transform the entire planet.
And, perhaps most surprising of all, many of these seekers are devout followers of Jesus. Even though they don't go to church or believe the Bible is infallible, somehow they've come to feel that Jesus is the leader of their movement. Jesus is not their Lord, though. He is their brother. And they don't look to him to save them. Rather, they look to Jesus to help them save themselves and become as well rounded, fully conscious and glorious as he is.
What is an evangelically-minded Dutch person to think?
While Otto de Bruijne and his Dutch film crew were in Sedona, they were exposed to all kinds of "New Agers." They listened to UFO guides sincerely discuss imminent pole shifts and mass UFO landings and beam ups. They learned about Sedona's famous energy vortexes. They filmed New Age stores, floated over the majestic red rocks of Sedona and went out on late night UFO hunts, searching the skies of Sedona for alien space crafts. They heard about locals who were storing food and guns in anticipation of a world-wide ecological, geological, political and social collapse, and other locals who believed their founder was a Messiah and their community was the beginning of the New World Order. They heard how Jesus was the central figure in some New Age movements and nothing more than an average ascended master, or intergallactic space commander in others. How will they sort it all out? What kind of final impressions will they share with their viewers all over Dutch-speaking Europe? We'll find out in June when their four-part television show begins to air...
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