The Secret - A Biblical Critic

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Rhonda Byrne, an Australian reality-TV producer, says that back in 2004, when her life was falling apart, her daughter introduced her to a copy of The Science of Getting Rich written in 1910 by Wallace D. Wattles.

        “Something inside of me had me turn the pages one by one, and I can still remember my tears hitting the pages as I was reading it,…It gave me a glimpse of The Secret. It was like a flame inside my heart. And with every day since, it’s just become a raging fire of wanting to share all of this with the world.”1

What was the “glimpse of The Secret” that would cause Oprah Winfrey to devote two full shows to The Secret, Larry King to do an entire hour long show and two of the teachers, featured in the book, to be invited as guests on the Ellen Degeneres’ daily TV show?

The Secret is a 198 page book written by Ms. Byrne, a best seller and a sensation that came out in November 2006, and a DVD by the same title.

As of this teaching, The Secret has been on the New York Times best seller list for 44 straight weeks and millions of copies of the DVD as well as the book have been sold.

So, what exactly is The Secret and what’s the big deal that even Newsweek says, “could be the fastest-selling book of its kind in the history of publishing.”2?

The official website of The Secret says, “This is The Secret to everything - the secret to unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth: everything you have ever wanted.”3

In a nutshell, The Secret is the “Law of Attraction.”

Simply stated, the law of attraction is “thoughts become things.”

The Secret teaches, “Your thoughts become things! Say this over to yourself and let it seep into your consciousness and your awareness. Your thoughts become things!”4

“Everything that’s coming into your life you are attracting into your life. And it’s attracted to you by virtue of the images you’re holding in your mind. It’s what you’re thinking. Whatever is going on in your mind you are attracting to you.”5

According to the author, this secret has been known for centuries by people such as William Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Ludwig van Beethoven, Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates, Plato, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and even Jesus.6

These men have known about the law of attraction and have passed it on to others in their literature, music, and paintings. It is the most powerful law in the universe akin to gravity.

Throughout history, certain groups have taught that “secret knowledge”
was needed and held the keys to salvation.

The Secret is no exception to the rule and teaches this exact same concept:

        “The leaders in the past who had The Secret wanted to keep the power and not share the power. They kept people ignorant of The Secret.”7

This is known as Gnosticism and it’s based on the Greek word gnosis which means "secret knowledge.”

Gnosticism is the belief that hidden and secret knowledge can be obtained only by the elite for salvation.

        “Gnostics claimed to have a secret knowledge which was the key to salvation”8

        “The Gnostic position asserts that over and above the simple Gospel…there is a secret, higher power reserved for the elite”9
The Secret is just another old rehash of the Gnostic teaching on “secret knowledge.”

According to the book, the law of attraction is so strong in our lives that it has been working all along even when we don’t realize it.

It even teaches that our current circumstances, our current positions in life, our current health and attitude are a result of this law of attraction.

The Secret teaches that, “Your life right now is a reflection of your past thoughts.”10

According to the book, we are “human transmission towers” and that our “thoughts are magnetic…As you think, those thoughts are sent out into the Universe, and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency. Everything sent out returns to the source. And that source is You.”11

This law ofattraction can bring you happiness, health, wealth, perfect homes, life partners, cars, houses, jobs, promotions, healing from chronic pain, depression, and disease. “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, The Secret can give you whatever you want.”12

From aChristian perspective, The Secret incorporates and inter-mingles New Age philosophies; name-it-and-claim-it theology that has its roots in the Mind Sciences and New Thought metaphysics, occultism and mysticism while wrapping itself in a pseudo science cloak of deception.

For example, at least seven quotes in The Secret come from two prominent Mind Science teachers, Robert Collier (1885–1950) and Charles Fillmore (1854–1948) and Ms. Byrne also acknowledges Jerry and Esther Hicks and the teachings of Abraham.

According to Hicks, Abraham is a collection of channeled nonphysical entities:

          Abraham has described themselves as “a group consciousness from the non-physical dimension…We are that which you are. You are the leading edge of that which we are. We are that which is at the heart of all religions.”13

          “Abraham is not a singular consciousness as you feel that you are in your singular bodies. Abraham is collective consciousness. There is a stream or river of consciousness. As one of you asks a question, there are many points of consciousness that are funneling through what feels to be one perspective (because there is, in this case, one human Esther [Hicks], who is interpreting or articulating it), so it appears singular to you. We are multidimensional and multi-faceted, and certainly multi-consciousness. ”14

These descriptions of Abraham bear an eerie resemblance of when Jesus healed a demon possessed man and asked the demon what its name was.

        Mark 5:9 says, “Then He asked him, "What is your name?" And he answered, saying, "My name is Legion; for we are many.” (emphasis added)

        The corresponding verse in Luke 8:30 says, “Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?" And he said, "Legion," because many demons had entered him.” (emphasis added)

The Secret’s law of attraction also falls in line with what is taught in Wicca since they use the same terminology and teach the same concepts:

         “Wicca teaches that thoughts are things; this is one of the basic principles of magick. We view that our thoughts have energy in our environment. Everything we think about sends energy out into the world which changes the world in some way. Most thoughts don’t have enough energy behind them to actually do much, but some will set a chain of events into motion which will lead to something magickal happening in one’s life.”15

It’s teachings like this that we, as Christians, need to defend against since there are literally millions of people out there buying into this concept.
Since, as we will see, The Secret uses the Bible and Jesus as references for its teachings, we need to be able to “give a rational defense” for the historic Christian faith.

The art and science of answering these and other questions that are in contention with historic orthodox Christianity is called Apologetics.

Apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia and means “to give a rational defense of the Christian faith.” 

Webster’s second edition defines apologetics as, “that branch of theology having to do with the defense and proofs of Christianity.”

Titus 1:9 exhorts as in the context of qualified elders to “hold fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”

1 Peter 3:15 says “…and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…”

With these verses in mind, what I’d like to talk to you about tonight, over the next hour or so, is The Secret. 

During this teaching, I’ll be using the acronym S. E. C. R. E. T. to help you better remember the false teachings of The Secret and better equip you to share what the Bible teaches.

1.   Self-Centered life
2.   Everything is God, But God
3.   Christ and His Teachings are Distorted
4.   Replaces Bible
5.   Ethical Relativism
6.   Thankfulness to God

The first letter in the acronym of S.E.C.R.E.T is S, The Secret creates a Self-Centered Life.

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