Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Truth behind 'The Secret'

I just finished reading The Truth Behind The Secret, 'The Secret' being the book and DVD by that title about the (so-called) 'law of attraction'. Since I had a small rant in my booklet about the (so-called) 'law of attraction' I thought I'd post a bit of a follow-up here.

The book confirmed that the 'secret' book is based on some of the teachings of Abraham, a group of 'entities' (i.e. demonic spirits) channeled by Esther Hicks. I used to subscribe to their tape series and had several of their books, before I came to Christianity and repented and have thrown out all of the books. I may still have a few of the tapes, in a box somewhere. There's also some influence of the Religious- Mind Science / Unity teachings. Since the authors are much more knowledgeable in these areas, I was glad to see it also agreed with the conclusion in my booklet that they basically preach pantheism. (God is in all things, and/or is a 'universal energy' but isn't a personal God that can save you from their demonic deception.)

The biggest thing I've gotten out of it, now that I've been out of it for a few years and studied the Bible, is that their focus is on 'the deception of riches' -- which is essentially believing the devil's lie that riches are going to bring you happiness and security. I'll certainly admit that struggling financially isn't a lot of fun, but as Jesus said: 'For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?' (Mar 8:36 KJVA) and see also Matthew 16:26.

I wanted to share a couple of paragraphs from pages 44 and 45 of the book, it's discussing channeling in general.

Most interesting is Klimo's warning about evil spirits in connection with channeling. As a proponent and practitioner of channeling, Klimo is familiar with the traditional Christian perspective that fallen angels (demons) may be involved. Although Klimo does not completely agree with this perspective, he readily acknowledges that some channeling does involve evil beings bent on deception.
In his interview, he explained, "not every ancient spirit is wise or benevolent" -- some belong to "the dark brotherhood." Klimo repeatedly referred to these dark beings as spirits who are involved in some kind of invisible warfare against all that is good. While he believes these evil spirits are in the minority, he recognizes a significant potential danger when it comes to channeling, noting" [There are] even more dangerous sources ... nonhuman demons, evil spirits, forces of Satan or Lucifer and the 'Dark Brotherhood'. These entities await every opportunity to tempt and control human spirits. Historically, the negative presence of lower astral human spirits has been attributed to these demonic entities."
If we accept Klimo's explanation of channeling, then we have to acknowledge that deception is possible. There is a possibility of fraud and fakery, self-deception on the part of the channeler, a mental illness or psychological phenomenon, or even an evil, demonic spirit pretending to be a wise helper.

The book is certainly worth a look, it covers a good deal in 149 pages (before the end-notes). I read a copy from my local library, and it's also available here, or here.

Apparently there is also going to be a DVD documentary, there's a link on their website to view a preview clip.

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Saturday, October 6, 2007

What is God's will vs Christian Liberty ?

I wanted to share a very good article that I found on Brian Flynn's website (author of a book I recently finished titled: Running Against the Wind. It's very good and I plan to post something from it a bit later.)

However this article is about Christian Liberty -- as in what are we at liberty to choose in certain areas if it's not specifically mentioned in scripture; since scripture is His revealed will? This article is written by Bob Dewaay.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from the article, and it's helped clear up some of my thinking on the topic.
How do we find out God’s will in matters of Christian liberty? By making an informed choice and living out all the ramifications of that choice to God’s glory by His grace. God’s providential will is known after we make the choice ─ it is whatever we chose. If that choice does not transgress anything revealed in Scripture, then it cannot be a sinful choice unless we make it with evil motives. Examples of choices that the New Testament expressly says are within the realm of Christian liberty are things like marriage, food, circumcision, and holy days to be observed. Some choose a more rigorous and restricted approach to life (see Romans 14), and others less restrictive. What we are not free to do is judge others on matters that rightfully fall into the category of liberty. These are matters God has not dictated in Scripture.
and a few paragraphs later he adds this --
Paul was in prison when he wrote to the Philippians: “Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel” (Philippians 1:12). Paul was in prison because civil authorities put him there. Thus God’s providential will was revealed. There is no assurance that by learning to follow some secret “inner voice of God” we will be more pleasing to God and be more “in the center of His will.” This idea hinders true Christian liberty and leads to many sorrows.
Many think that God will feed them information about all their decisions and give them the “Midas touch.” This concept is false. God does not tell us which stocks are going up, which car will never break down, which house will go up in value, and other turn by turn directions that will lead us to bliss and success in this life. In God’s wisdom He has granted us freedom to make these decisions freely, and without recrimination for the results. It is not a sin to make decisions within the realm of Christian liberty that we regret later. As earthly parents, we will judiciously allow our children to do the same. It is a central part of our human freedom and dignity to make decisions and watch the consequences play out in life. It sounds good to have the “Midas touch” but if it existed it would be ruinous as it was in the fable.
I think that the idea of making the 'right decision' to be sure what we're doing is in God's will comes from the evil one. I've certainly tied myself into mental & emotional knots over it, and I think it's part of what sends people to psychics and the like. However, I do think that praying over a decision before you make it can probably keep you out of harm's way in some cases. The Holy Spirit does indeed communicate with us, but that doesn't mean He needs to put his 'stamp of approval' on every matter before you can do something. My current thinking, after reading this excellent article -- would be that praying over things / decisions is a good idea. Particularly if it's a big decision, like who to marry or where to live or go to church, and the like. If the Holy Spirit gives you guidance or words of knowledge (which don't always come immediately!), then go with that. Otherwise, make your best decision and move forward. For a really good book about the Holy Spirit, I like Chuck Smith's book 'Living Water'.