Monday, September 10, 2007

'Tis No Secret

Not long ago, there was a big buzz about the book & film The Secret. I received emails on it that made me uneasy – frankly, even queasy. Christians were buying into the philosophy – using it to boost their belief in their biz opportunities and potential prosperity.

The Secret encourages a sort of New Age humanism, power-positive thinking, mind over matter, speaking into existence what is not etc. It’s a differently packaged form of “name it & claim it”. And it’s deceptive.

This book, like some others I’ve heard folks recommend for biz building, speaks of the “power of attraction”. If you’re positive, you’ll attract success etc. If you’re successful you’ll attract success etc. My question is: In whose eyes? What is successful to man is not necessarily successful to God. Or in eternity.

One highly successful person was Mother Teresa—in spite of her doubts. (Hey, who doesn’t have doubts at times? And if you’re caught up in a religious system, you likely have greater doubts). Most of Teresa’s time was spent with poor people. She attracted them. She also attracted people who wanted to help them, or who wanted to know Jesus. And although she was often in the company of rich, influential people, that was not where she was most at ease—and they were neither the source of, nor the inspiration for, her success. She hung with the poor and needy. They, and God, breathed success into her ministry.

While I realize that business is not ministry but rather it’s a means to make money, I think we must be as honest in business as in ministry. As Christians, we should present our goods with integrity. Promoting a belief system whereby you can speak yourself into becoming rich doesn’t cut it for me.

If we’re Christians, then let’s shine Christ’s light before hailing a philosophy that either contradicts biblical values or imitates them in a deceptive way (as does The Secret). Let’s think things through biblically and prayerfully before gullibly riding the current wave of forwarded emails.

The Secret is about “me” and my embetterment. The Gospel is about Jesus, and helping others. We help them not so they’d then help us; we help them just to help them, so they’ll have better lives. That’s what’s so beautiful about helping the poor and, as Jesus said, about inviting them into our homes. They cannot give back in lucrative terms.

My prayer is that we learn to discern. There’s a lot of stuff out there that sounds good, upbeat, positive…But is it biblical? There’re a lot of wounded Christians out there from unbalanced movements (either too legalistic or with a really warped sense of grace). Some have thrown out everything they ever learned of God—throwing out the baby with the bathwater just because they have a hard time finding the baby in the dirty water. (Granted, it does take a little bit of groping around in the murk, but that’s where the Word truly is a light. It helps us find the baby in the dirty bathwater). May God help us not to throw away the baby—the truth—and not to lose all Christian bearings and discernment becoming wishy-washy, gullible Christians who will now swallow every sugar-coated philosophy…

I say, “Time to wake up”. All of us. I don’t want to sleep the sleep of dullness and be lulled into lululand by lies. I want to wake up to the Master’s voice, to the sweet sound of our Shepherd calling and directing us (Isa.30:15). He will not remove our Teacher if we’ll hang on in there (Isa.30:20). So let’s hang on in there. Hang with Him. Hang with the poor. Cling to the Bible. Forget The Secret. Let’s read the Bible.

Here’s a good website to learn more about The Secret:

Janey L. DeMeo©September 2007

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