"the Secret" - Christianity Or New Age?



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  • "the Secret" - Christianity Or New Age?

    PART 1 of 2

    By Lynn Stuter
    February 20, 2007

    A “phenomenon” is sweeping America; according to the purveyors, everyone should have it—it’s The Secret.

    “The Secret is a feature length, historic and factually based account of an age old secret, said to be 4,000 years in the making, and known to a fortunate few, as told by some of the greatest leaders of our time. The Secret reveals this great knowledge to the world—The Secret to wealth, health, love, happiness, relationships. . .The Secret to life itself.”

    The secret of the universe revealed at last! Shouldn’t we all rush to the call! Aren’t we all just thrilled?

    The above is from the press kit issued for The Secret. In the background of that press kit is a circular logo. Around the edge of that logo are the words “as above so below”—as in heaven so on earth. This is a New Age precept that defies true biblical teaching, for heaven is nothing like the world around us. As God warned His wayward people long ago,

    “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) The idea of heaven on earth defies the Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; that Christ died on the cross for the sins of man; that “whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting (eternal) life” (John 3:15).

    When the mortal perishes—the body—the soul of they who believe in Him will live in eternity with God. At the same time, Jesus said,
    “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

    And God said to believers, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-28) New Agers believe there is no eternity, there is only the here and now; heaven on earth; as above so below.

    On Friday, February 16, 2007, two of the promoters of The Secret appeared for the second time on the Oprah show. For the discerning, what spewed from the mouths of these two men, Michael Beckwith and James Ray, was New Age. One lady, identifying herself as a Christian, spoke about her unease with the seeming focus of The Secret. She was quickly shot down by Beckwith and Ray and by Oprah Winfrey, claiming that she, too, was a Christian. After all, if Oprah Winfrey is a Christian and supports The Secret, isn’t that endorsement enough for all Christians?

    “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

    Let us be reminded that Oprah Winfrey had Marianne Williamson, New Age leader and guru, on her show back in 1992; that it was Winfrey’s endorsement of Williamson that skyrocketed Williamson to fame along with her book expounding the virtues of the New Age “Bible”: A Course in Miracles. (Source: reinventingjesuschrist.com) Williamson now appears on Oprah and Friends XM Satellite Radio as a “friend and contributor.” Within seconds of the lady proclaiming her unease with the focus of The Secret, Michael Beckwith announced to all that “God is within.”

    This is another New Age precept—God dwells within us, man is divine, self-divination. This again defies the true biblical teaching of The
    Trinity and of God as the ultimate Higher Authority. If God dwells within, there is no sin, there is no evil, for we are God and God is us; whatever we choose to do is just okay for we are God even if it violates the Ten Commandments set down by God and presented by Moses; what we do is preordained in that we are God—we have no self-determination; there is no Higher Authority, we are the only authority. It is easy to see why this precept is false teaching. God does not dwell within any mortal being alive on this earth today. The absence of self-determination is a clear indication of the false teachings of New Age gurus like Michael Beckwith and James Ray.

    The New Age precept that God is within is self-divination. God spoke to Moses, and Moses to the children of Israel, saying, “You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying.” (Leviticus 19:26)

    Then came the “affirmations”—statements of positive attributes, repeated often enough, will come true: believe and receive, my will be done. If I want a red Lamborghini, and I believe it will come to me, I will receive it. This is not what the Bible teaches; the Bible teaches that it is God’s will that shall be done.

    “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done?” (Matthew 6:9-13, commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer) God does not say to us, “wish for what material things you want, it shall be yours at your askance of Me,” God says to us, “I am the ultimate Authority, My will be done.”

    And above all else, what became very apparent, as the show moved along, was the true focus of The Secret: money, the more the merrier, and the more money in the pockets of the promoters, the better. Go back and read the
    press kit trailer quoted above. What is the first thing revealed by The Secret? “The Secret to wealth?” If you go on the website of The Secret, there you will see, front and center, “The Secret The Science of Getting Rich.” The promoters of The Secret are not nearly as interested in doing good as they are in increasing their net worth.

    Is wealth the measure of our obedience to God? Of course not. Is wealth the measure of whether we will be with God in eternity? Of course not. Is wealth the measure of grace? Of course not.

    “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 3:15)

    “Lay not up for yourselves treasurers upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasurers in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. —No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:19-21, 6:24)

    Also evident in the press kit trailer is the promotion of The Secret by Jack Canfield, New Age guru of long standing; disciple of the likes of theosophist Alice Bailey; promoter of confluent education—of placing children in altered states of consciousness known to many as guided fantasy/guided visualization for the purpose of meeting spirit guides.

    As Warren Smith and Brian Flynn—both former New Agers, one a former “medium”—have confirmed, spirit guides are not of God; they are of Satan; they are demons. Coincidentally, or maybe not, on Thursday, February 15, 2007, the Oprah show had John Edward, psychic medium, as a guest. On the Oprah.com website was posted a survey asking participants:

    1. Do you believe in the supernatural?
    2. Do you believe that sixth-sense abilities are real?
    3. Do you believe human spirits can survive after death?
    4. Do you believe it is possible for psychic mediums to see, hear and talk to the dead?
    5. After watching this episode of the The Oprah Winfrey Show, did your opinions on this subject matter change?
    6. If you have ever visited a psychic medium to try to communicate with a dead relative, was it a successful experience?
    I answered “yes” to questions 1 and 2; and “no” to questions 3 through
    5; I didn’t answer question 6 as I don’t consort with psychic mediums. I hit “submit” and the results of survey came up, preceded by “—You might be featured in an upcoming show!” WOW! I might be on the Oprah show, coming into the presence of her eminence, the queen of television! How exciting!

    Under the results of question number 4 was a link asking the participant to tell us why you believe or why you do not believe it possible for psychic mediums to see, hear and talk to the dead. I responded, stating that psychic mediums were not communicating with the dead, they were communicating with demons whose sole purpose it is to lead people away from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I suggested Brian Flynn as a future guest on the Oprah show.

    “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31)

    You just can’t imagine how disappointed I was to receive a response from the Oprah show as follows:

    “Thank you for your e-mail! Your message is important to us. Unfortunately, due to the volume of e-mail messages we receive every day, we cannot guarantee that you'll receive a personal response. Feel free to check out our Frequently Asked Questions for additional help. [Read]”

    What, you mean no offer to appear on the Oprah show? How devastating! Think maybe that had anything to do with the fact that I exposed John Edward as someone who communicates with demons? And imagine my surprise when, during her interview with John Edward, when John Edward made the mistake of referring to his “guides,” Oprah Winfrey did not ask him to explain but moved the interview right along!
    Miguel Hayworth - Taking Christ to the Streets in the UK

  • #2
    Loved your post. I had an uneasy feeling to The Secret when it was presented to me to watch. I enjoyed your take on it. I see that it is part 1 of 2. I would be interested in reading part 2. Thank you.


    • #3
      “The Secret” Is the Teaching Truth, Error or Both?

      Published in the Christian Chronicle - By S. E. Ray - 02/18/07

      People around the world have been talking about a movie and book so powerful that it can change the course of your life. The Secret was created by Australian Rhonda Byrne, and she says that if you follow its philosophy, you can create the life you want—whether that means getting out of debt, finding a more fulfilling job or even falling in love. A greater awareness has arisen since the February 8th, 2007 Oprah Winfrey broadcast and follow-up on the 16th. Ophrah, who is steeped in New Age Spirituality and has 49 million viewers, is a supporting advocate along with Larry King and Ellen DeGeneres.

      Rhonda defines The Secret as the law of attraction, which is the principle that "like attracts like." Rhonda calls it "the most powerful law in the universe," and says it is working all the time. "What we do is we attract into our lives the things we want, and that is based on what we're thinking and feeling," Rhonda says. The principle explains that we create our own circumstances by the choices we make in life. And the choices we make are fueled by our thoughts—which means our thoughts are the most powerful things we have here on earth.

      To help teach her discovery, Rhonda created the DVD The Secret, which features self-proclaimed experts including the Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith founder of the Agape Spiritual Center in Los Angeles, James Arthur Ray a personal wealth coach, Lisa Nichols who is a teenager motivator and Jack Canfield creator or Chicken Soup for the Soul series. The Secret is a movie about our emotions and energies affecting others and how we can change our surroundings and world by controlling them.

      The law of attraction is a real principle that everything that happens to you—good or bad—you attract to yourself. "All of that affects how we feel, and the feelings actually send out a wave into the universe, and anything that's vibrating in a similar level gets attracted into our life," Jack says. Jack says that everything in the world is made up of energy, which is controlled by thoughts and feelings. According to Jack, thoughts can travel long distances, so you are sending out signals to many people without even knowing it, and these signals attract like energy to you.

      Michael says that spiritual growth does not mean religion but our "real identity." "The love, the peace, the joy, the wisdom, the harmony—these are all qualities of the spirit that it's seeking to express through us," Michael says. "And so as we become more awake, more aware of that, our life is filled with that kind of vibration, that kind of feeling tone. To grow spiritually is to actually become more aware of who you really are." The book clearly promotes a Western Esotericism (Hermeticism), a magical/occult doctrine sourced from the Ancient Mystical Order of the Rosicrucian’s. Similar to Freemasons, Scientologists, Cabalistic, Theosophical, Illuminist and similar occult organizations.

      The philosophy behind this material earnestly promotes a New Age Spirituality and can easily lead people astray from factual reality into fantasy and delusion. It's already being reported in the LA Times that therapists are saying regarding the teaching such as The Secret "...they're starting to see clients who are headed for real trouble, immersing themselves in a dream world in which good things just come." There is a difference between thinking positively and believing your thoughts completely control your universe. In the movie, speaker James Arthur Ray, describes God with the same words he uses for energy. He says "You are extensions of source energy... You are god force; you are that which you call God." "You have god potential and power." The pantheistic teaching promotes a materialistic and superficial angle which is essential introduction to the esoteric self-knowledge as taught by the heretical Gnostics of long ago.

      How does The Secret work? Just name it and claim it! Ask for what you want, believe it, and you’ll receive it. For the pessimist who is resigned that nothing will ever change, then nothing will. Metaphysicians believe that we all create our own circumstances, so when we are guided and empowered by our Higher Self, we can consciously co-create with it. Professor Robert Thompson of Syracuse University calls it “at best, silliness” and “good old-American snake oil salesmanship.” The ultimate self-seeking philosophy the world constantly looks for.

      Essentially, The Secret is how to focus on the whole universe with you as the center, only in a way to generate positive outcome. Certainly some of what is taught is fully applicable and viable. However it is set against the backdrop of "Man is ruler of his destiny" which is directly in conflict with Christ's message that "Man is a fallen soul in need of redemption." The philosophy is applicable within limits, but only on the earthly plane, not at all effective to remedy the inner canker caused by our fallen nature. The material applies a temporary band aid over the human condition stroked with inner confirmations to make the decay smell good.

      In the book, the author of Conversations with God, Neale Donald Walsch states "There is no blackboard in the sky on which God has written your purpose, your mission in life...your purpose is what you say it is. Your mission is the mission you give yourself. Your life will be what you create it as, and no will stand in judgment of it, now or ever." What shall we say then, the Jews were concentrating on persecution, therefore they were rounded up for incineration? That the 8 year old who was raped by the 50 year old male was focusing on the opportunity? The fetuses that are killed by sexual selection in India were wanting eliminated? Did the African nation will themselves into the slave trade? Did the diabetic bring into reality their life-long disability?

      Like all pseudo-spiritual teachings, The Secret is a mixture of half-truths and easily discernable error. It contributes to the ongoing legacy of opportunistic New Ager’s who steal the mystical teachings of various religions and appropriate them to suit the materialistic mentality of the 21st century Westerner. As always, instead of teaching humanity how to “comprehend” the sources of their desires and suffering - through prayer, meditation, or honest introspection - the contributors to this philosophy simply teach us how to further enslave ourselves to these sources. Like a drug, these pseudo-truths do have its payoff, but in the end, the deception will enslave the deceived.

      Rhonda was mentored by metaphysical occultists Jerry and Esther Hicks. She especially thanked Ester’s help who since 1985, channels a group of disembodied spirit guides called ‘Abraham.’ Rhonda doesn't reveal anything that has never been said before, she simply repackages the book "Law of Attraction" into modified rhetoric to grant it an appeal to a world quickly departing from faith in Christ to the Gnostic "divine spark" of God within, “therefore I am god” philosophy. First there was the film "What the Bleep Do We Know" and its mystical pseudo-science and now this philosophical relic plagiarizing teachings from the past 6 millenniums.

      The Secret is pure metaphysics and is the total manifestation of the unholy that easily ensnares the vulnerable. Jesus said "I tell you the truth, I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved... I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:7-10 . It is through his holy life and sacrifice, not through self-seeking metaphysical positive thinking that the world system holds in esteem. First Timothy 4:1 foretells that “in the latter times,” that is, the time near the return of our Lord, “some will depart from the faith.” This is supported by other verses such as Luke 18:8: Jesus asked, “...when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Paul, in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, declares under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that a “falling away” from the faith will characterize the Last Days. The rest of the verse, however, indicates a condition that is unique to our present day. Those who profess to be Christians will give “heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

      Important Note: The majority of the material found in this book has been plagiarized word for word from the program "The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence" by Dr. Robert Anthony published 1986. His presentation is much more sound and does not promote new age mystical delusions.
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