I’m sure you’ve seen this book. The Secret, that is. It’s been lovingly posted on numerous blogs, proudly displayed at airport bookstores, passed on from one person to the next with the assurance of prosperity and universal blessings. I had heard about it a few years ago, sent home with a video from my chiropractor and another copy from a friend. I never picked up the book, however, until last April, during a trip I took with my husband.
I have to admit that when I picked it up off the shelf, I knew something was not right but brushed it off with an innocent appeal: I was just going to see what all the hype was about. Surely, I would not take anything at face value. And then, I dove in head first.
If you are not familiar with The Secret, the underlying phenomenon is stemmed in the law of attraction, stating that you can “attract” anything you desire simply by emitting positive vibes and pictures of your wish. The “universe” will then honor your wish by providing whatever it is that you desire. The premise continues with a warning not to focus on the negative of things, such as “not getting sick” as the “universe” will only pick up on the “sick” part, and you will attract illness. Sprinkled throughout the text in order to support these principles, are the writings of various philosophers, celebrities, church representatives, and even Biblical scriptures. The book claims that all of the great people over the ages knew about this great “secret” that is now being shared with you.
At first read, I have to admit I was intrigued by this so-called “new” knowledge. Who wouldn’t want to believe that the “universe” was just waiting to provide them with wonderful riches and blessings? I was so intrigued that I went to the nearest bookstore to search for the subsequent printings advertised on the jacket that included a journal and the “secret” to finances. I had a difficult time finding the book, and after searching the bookstore up and down, I finally found it in the “New Age” section. New Age? What was “New Age” all about?
As I read the titles to the top, left and right of The Secret books, I saw books on the occult, spiritism, hypnosis, astrology, etc. It sent a shiver down my spine. I knew those books were rooted in Satanism and the occult. What I didn’t understand was why The Secret was placed there.
As tempted as I was to pick up the other copies, I left the bookstore empty handed. I just couldn’t find it in me to continue my learning of this philosophy now that I knew where the teachings were rooted. I prayed for clarity and understanding and stuffed my copy of The Secret under my clothes at the very bottom of my suitcase.
The next few days, weeks and months brought forth a series of new revelations. At first, I have to admit, I was a vigilant overseer of my mind, doing my best to send out positive signals and frequencies that would bring money and ease into my life. Shortly after, however, I began to fear my mind, worrying every time I thought of something negative, something that could bring harm to my family or me. It was a constant battle, one that I waged with more prayer and a step of faith away from the philosophy. The more I reflected on it all, the more I understood how deceptive this book was in shifting the focus away from God.
For one who believes in the Bible and Christianity, it is clearly contrary to Biblical teachings. For one who looks beyond the surface, it is easy to see why its roots are founded in “New Age” teachings of the occult. Here is what I discovered:
1. The Secret says: The Universe is like a genie. All you have to do is visualize what you want, and “your wish is its command.” Whether its money, health, a spouse, etc., all you have to do is focus on your wishes, and you will bring them into existence.
The Bible says: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”-Proverbs 16:9. To use your mind to “create” a new reality for yourself is contrary to this teaching. Only God can create and bring something into existence. To believe that the universe exists to serve you and your wishes takes the focus away from God as you become the center of your own universe. You then attempt to be “like God,” taking full of control of all that is “attracted” to you, ultimately living a life of materialism, even more contrary to the Lord’s message of meekness and humbleness.
Trying to be like God in this way is the highest form of idolatry and violates The First Commandment that we should first and foremost honor our God above all other gods. (Exodus 20) When we dig deeper and look at why Satan was kicked out of heaven, it was for this very violation. He was proud and wanted to be like God. “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:12-15) It is this very principle that guides the foundational teachings of The Secret.
2. The Secret says: If you think negative thoughts, you will attract negative experiences to you, such as was the case in the Holocaust. It claims that all of the people victimized by the tragedy of the Holocaust sent out negative signals that wreaked havoc on them and their families. It refutes the existence of evil and focuses solely on the frequencies being emitted. It then references “God” as just a term that some may use interchangeably with “the universe.”
The Bible says: Satan seeks to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10) It sheds light on the spirit realm, specifically the powers of darkness. In Ephesians 6:12, it reads, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
To say that “the universe” or God (as mentioned above) brings negative experiences upon us solely through the power of our minds refutes the existence of evil and those that practice evil, and this is a horrible lie. Satan and those who practice evil absolutely exist. All we have to do is turn on the news to see who is responsible for all of the catastrophes and tragedies. Unfortunately, when we believe such principles as those taught in The Secret, we begin to forget who our enemy is and soon begin to blame God for all that is wrong. We then forget to put on the full “armor of God” so that we may stand when the day of evil comes. (Ephesians 6:17
3. The Secret says: If you think upon something, even in the negative form, you will attract whatever it is you are thinking about. For example, if you are involved in anti-drug campaigns, the universe will only pick up on the “drug” part, and you will actually attract more drugs into your community. To believe The Secret would mean that you cannot think about helping the hungry or those in poverty, or you will spread these even more.
The Bible says: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Proverbs 31:8) To do this would mean that we would have to be aware of the negative in order to bring “light” to those who most need it. The Secret is a clever way to oppress people and keep them from standing up for what is right and just. It brings fear to the activist and keeps him submissive to the Satanic agenda.
If we replace the term “God” for “the universe” as The Secret says we should, then this would imply that our heavenly Father does not know what we need and is only clued into the negative forms of our prayers. This is also a blatant lie as the Bible clearly states that God knows exactly what we need before we even ask Him. (Matthew 6:8) It further explains, “ Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”–Matthew 7:9-11. The God of the Bible is not deterred by the negative forms of our prayers and asks that we call on His perfect will for our lives so that we may be blessed in Him.
4. The Secret says: Even the Bible proves that the secret is true! It uses Biblical references to support its theories in order to deceive Christians into thinking that it is sound and pure in its message.
The Bible says: We must be aware of false prophets and a period of darkness in the last days when people will involve themselves in the occult. It warns us to not have anything to do with these false teachings and stand firm in the faith. (Matthew 24: 10-11)
The Bible also clearly states to put our faith in Him, not in ourselves. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
The secret about The Secret is that it is a blatant form of deception, luring the unquestioning mind into the practices of the occult, and ultimately an existence of selfishness and idolatry. The Bible warns that many “Exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised.” (Romans 1:25) As Christians, we must know our enemy and understand that “New Age” is just a euphemism for Satanism or the occult. We must guard our hearts, minds, and souls from these lies and stand firm in the Word, seeking the Truth in all that we do.
The Good Lord does say that we should, in fact, think positively, but we trust in Him to meet all of our needs when we live according to His will. When we seek the Truth, we shall truly find it. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) It is this Truth that will surely set us free. (John 8:32) That is the Gospel of the Bible, the Good News of our Savior. Thankfully, it surely is no secret.
Linking Up at Missional Women