The Mind*Body*Spirit Festival held in Sydney, Australia, is billed by its organizers as “the largest and most highly attended event of its kind in the world.” The festival, now held twice a year, attracts hundreds of exhibitors and over 60,000 visitors. Many of the visitors are seeking New Age teachings — but some of them will find Christianity instead, thanks to a Christian outreach aimed at New Age teachings.
“Australia is becoming very spiritual, but it is not embracing Christianity,” said Philip Johnson, founder of the new Christian ministry New Age Mission. “If anyone thinks New Age is a passing fad, the evidence shows this is not so. The swing towards postmodern, New Age, neo-pagan and Buddhist style spiritualities in Australia is much stronger than overseas. Whether we like it or not, New Age is here to stay and the Church cannot ignore what this all signifies.”
Since 1991 Philip Johnson and the Rev. Ross Clifford, president of the New South Wales Council of Churches, have coordinated the Community of Hope booth at the festival. Earlier this year New Age Mission was established to help Christians reach New Agers with the Gospel nation wide. A recently released training video, “New Age Mission,” has sold out across the country as is their book Sacred Quest (Albatross).
“Australians have never had a spirituality they could call their own and the Church has largely been on the fringe of society,” Johnson explained. “I believe that this massive swing into New Age says a lot to the Church about our togetherness and relevance.
He concluded, “There has been a vast spiritual vacuum here which the Church has not effectively touched. The vacuum is now being filled up by New Age spirituality. The Body of Christ must address the issues raised by New Age and continue to pursue ministries which touch the whole person in their everyday affairs. We need the prayers and support of Christians to keep up our outreach.”
— E.P. News