About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Seduction Of “The Secret”
the sake of being informed, my wife and I watched a video explaining the
message of “the Secret”, something Oprah has promoted of late. The
Secret isn’t really a secret anymore since it’s been nicely packaged
into a movement with books, videos and weekend conferences.
message of the video first grabs your attention by appealing to your
selfish nature. There’s
nothing wrong with improving your lot in life, but excessive selfishness
that the Secret seems to preach is
not Christian. Contentment
and godliness is great gain according to the Bible. (1 Timothy 6:6)
Secret’s message claims that it can make you rich.
I’ve heard this before in the “Prosperity Movement” within
the church. This group
teaches that “you are important, so God is obligated to give all you
ask Him for”. I don’t
think God is obligated to give us anything, especially after giving us
Jesus. The apostle Peter
didn’t expect God to make him rich.
He was penniless. (Acts 3:6)
Paul spent lots of his post conversion days either in prison or
in chains. He actually left
great wealth to follow
Jesus. (Philippians 3:4 - 11)
video explains the “law of attraction”, something it claims is based
on quantum physics. It works
this way. Your thoughts
produce a certain frequency or wave length, much like sound or
electromagnetic waves. These
thought waves leave your mind and travel throughout the universe until
they are attracted to other similar waves.
These waves join forces and return to you with the reality of
your original thought. So
think hard about a new car, and it will appear in your driveway. This
also works in reverse. Think
negatively and you might end up in a car accident.
of what the Secret teaches sounds like the Biblical concept of “what
you sow you reap”, but don’t be fooled. It’s
not. False thinking always
has its roots in truth, that’s why it’s so deceptive.
The Biblical teaching of sowing and reaping concerns reaping the
results of your hard work.
If you buy that new car with hard earned money, there’s nothing
wrong with that, but this isn’t what the Secret teaches.
watching the video for a while I thought it’s message sounded much
like positive thinking that Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller, and
others have taught. I
thought, “this is positive thinking repackaged”.
It’s pure humanism. Humanism
states that man is the centre of all things, not God. Positive
thinking taken to its logical conclusion leads to believing that man is
the centre of all things. The
Bible teaches that God is the centre of all things, not man.
next idea on the video states that we can’t control every thought that
passes through our heads, but we can control our feelings.
Thoughts and feelings work hand in hand, which they do.
The Secret teaches us to “visualize” our wants in order to
change our negative feelings into positive energy.
As a result of visualizing, one man became a millionaire, another
man got his dream home, and another man landed several hot dates a week.
At this point I thought, “this is more than positive thinking
and humanism. This is
narcistic and hedonistic”. “Narcism”
is the “excessive love of self”. “Hedonism”
is the “pursuit of pleasure”. The
Bible calls this sin. Christians
are to serve Jesus and those He has placed us with, not themselves.
is important to the Secret. It
sure was important for the man with the hot dates.
also taught by “Hyper Faith Christians”. They teach visualization as
a means of expressing faith in Jesus.
Similar to the Secret, Hyper-faith people visualize in order to
get from God what they want.
pastor took visualization one step farther by saying that we can
“speak what we want into existence”, as God did at creation.
This is exactly the Secret’s message.
He quoted Romans 4:17 to prove his point.
Paul said, “God calls things that are not as though they
were”. The pastor
explained it this way. Take
a banana. Call the banana an
apple long enough and at some point you can speak the banana into being
an apple. This is what the
Secret teaches as well. This
pastor understood Paul to say that God visualizes things to be something
they’re not. Because of this, God speaks what He’s visualized, and
what He speaks comes into existence.
According to the pastor, we can do the same.
There’s a problem here. Paul
wasn’t sayings this. The
context clearly shows that God was only calling one thing that wasn’t
as though it was, and that was the Gentiles.
Jews had always been God’s people, but God was now calling
Gentiles His people too. People
who weren’t His people, now are. That’s
all Paul was saying. To make
more of this statement than that is putting words in Paul’s mouth.
Christians claim that “we can do anything and everything” because
Paul said he could do all things through Christ. (Philippians 4:13)
That’s the Secret’s message too, except for the part about
Jesus. Don’t be deceived. Paul
and the Secret are not in agreement.
Paul isn’t saying he can do anything imaginable because Jesus
will help him. In context
he’s saying he can “endure anything that comes his way because Jesus
will help him endure”. The
Secret teaches that if you are enduring anything, it’s your negative
mentality that has created the situation you’re enduring.
Just visualize the positive and the negative situation will
you noticed that God told Paul he would endure great suffering because
of his association with Jesus? (Acts 9:16)
That’s interesting. God
speaks negatively at times. Paul
knew how to endure suffering, and he told others to think like him. (2
Timothy 2:4) The Secret
would view Paul’s encouragement as being negative energy.
also tells us to think about good things. (Philippians 4:8 - 9)
The Secret teaches the same but for different reasons.
It teaches that your positive thoughts will return lots of nice
things. Paul encourages us
to think about good things for our peace of mind, and pleasant
disposition. He didn’t
have material gain in mind.
message of the Secret as seen in the video was progressive in nature.
That’s good marketing. A
marketer of a product starts with the easy to understand stuff which you
can easily agree with. In
this case, positive thinking is agreed upon by most. A
number of steps follow and since you’ve agreed with the previous step,
you’re likely to agree with each subsequent step.
Then comes the punch line, the big concept.
You have no other logical choice than to agree with that because
you’ve agreed with everything else along the way.
That might be good marketing, but it’s deceptive.
Secret’s final point was big. It
states that we are all spiritual beings, living in a spiritual universe.
Therefore we need to be in touch with our spirit and the
spiritual world around us. Once
again, there’s an element of truth here. It’s
in this spiritual world where they say the law of attraction works.
cap their last point off, the message of the Secret claims
that we are more than simple spiritual beings. Both
we as individuals, and the “corporate we” are in fact god.
That really got my spirit in knots. The ultimate message of the
Secret is that there is no god but us.
At this point I no
longer viewed the Secret as being simply humanistic, narcistic, or
hedonistic. I viewed it as demonic.
According to the Biblical account, God created all things
separate and distinct from Himself. (Genesis 1:26) Christians
aren’t Pantheists. Pantheists believe that God is His creation, and
His creation is God. The
Secret is repackaged Pantheism.
reminded me of how satan tempted Eve when he told her that she and Adam
could be like God if they’d do as he said. Wow, that beats a new car,
a new house, and all the hot women pounding on your bedroom door.
What else could one want? The
ultimate point to the Secret’s message is that we are god, and
therefore have the ability to speak into existence anything we want.
short, the Secret is a religion. It’s demonic and plays on our selfish
nature. It’s also
seductive. When the video
was over my wife asked me to go to the store to buy some butterscotch
ice-cream. Because of my bad
eye sight I can’t read the names on ice-cream cartons very well.
So I told my wife that I might not be able to get the flavour she
wanted. Immediately after my
negative confession this thought bombarded my brain.
It said, “your negative confession won’t attract any positive
results at the store”. As
I walked to the store this thought persisted in harassing me as if it
was chasing me down the street. I
did get the butterscotch ice-cream with help from the clerk despite this
harassing thought. My point
is this. After watching the
video, the Secret’s message haunted me for a while.
This is the nature of the Secret.
It’s seductive and persuasive. If you’re an unlearned
Christian, you might be deceived, but don’t be. Instead, guard your
heart and mind with all diligence. (Proverbs
closing I quote from 1 Timothy 4:1. It reads, “the Spirit clearly says
that in the later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving
spirits and things taught by demons .”