I Am Baker

Self Forgiveness and “The Secret”

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I want you and I to be crytsal clear about something.  I will always try and represent Biblical Truth.  (If I ever do not, or if I ever say something or write something that I contradictory to God’s Word, I pray, oh how I pray, that someone will call me on it and it can be fixed immediately.)  I always pray before I post something like this, but am still working on my discerning skills, so I may not always be saying the right thing in God’s perfect timing. 


My hindsight is much better at discerning God’s will then my present view.


That being said, please take a moment to read the follwing and let me know what you think.


I read an blog post this morning that formed a pit of saddness in my belly.  It talked about finding healing through Oprah and her “The Secret” TV show, and seeking self forgiveness. (and praying to patron saints and others folks, but I will adress that at a later date)


I found an article which I am posting below to address “The Secret” and the mass deception of this book.  But I also wanted to address forgiving yourself…something which is also a myth.


No where in the Bible does it say that we are to forgive ourselves.  We are called to accept God’s forgiveness of our sins, and always be willing to forgive others’ sins.







Psa 86:5 For You, Lord, [are] good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.







Mat 6:14

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.                         


 


And finally, from Beth Moore, “If we would receive, accept, and apply the forgivenenss of God, that would cover our need for forgive ourselves.”


I couldn’t agree more.

The “Secret” Deception


Sean McDowell http://seanmcdowell.org


Last Friday an 8th grade girl came into my classroom with a deep concern on her face. “Mr. McDowell” she said, “have you heard of The Secret?” She proceeded to tell me how she watched a DVD her friend loaned her and it was deeply rattling her faith. After watching the movie over the weekend I was well aware of why The Secret has become an international phenomenon, and sadly, why many Christians are being deceived by it.

The Secret is a number one bestseller in Australia, England, and Ireland, and is scheduled to be translated into 30 languages. There are now 5.3 million copies of the book in print in the United States and publisher Simon & Schuster reports that 150,000 copies are selling per week. The DVD version has sold at least 1.5 million copies (I had to pay $35 at Barnes & Nobles for one copy!).

So, what is The Secret? The book is based on “the law of attraction,” which is the idea that our thoughts determine reality. In other words, the universe will rearrange itself in response to our thoughts and feelings. And according to the author, the law of attraction works every time, like the law of gravity.

It is very revealing to consider why The Secret has been so successful. In fact, we can learn much about contemporary beliefs by understanding its lure. Consider the worldview(s) behind The Secret and how it contrasts with the Bible:

  • Gnosticism: Similar to the The Da Vinci Code phenomenon, The Secret promises hidden knowledge only available to a select few. The DVD begins with a riveting tale of how great minds (Einstein, Churchill, Emerson, etc.) knew a powerful secret that has remained hidden throughout history until now (Ironically enough, the author went on Good Morning America, 20/20, Oprah, and many other news stations to reveal the secret. If so many people know it now, is it still a secret?)
    • Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” The most important knowledge in the universe is not secret but has been known by all since creation. The problem is not lack of knowledge, but the wickedness of the human heart (Jeremiah 17:9).
  • Materialism: The promise of The Secret is that we can have whatever we want—money, power, a new car—simply by wanting it enough. “You can have, do, or be anything you want,” says one of the “gurus” on the DVD. The message is that material things bring happiness.
    • Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Biblically speaking, true happiness is found not in material good but in living a life in pursuit of the Kingdom of God.
  • Self-centeredness: The entire premise of The Secret is that YOU can have whatever YOU want, be whoever YOU want to be, and do whatever YOU want to do simply by believing it. The focus is on the desires of the individual rather than others. In Generation Me, Dr. Jennifer Twenge says “[This generation] believes, with a conviction that approaches boredom because it is so undisputed, that the individual comes first”1
    • Matthew 16:24 says, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” Following God involves a denial of my self interest for the sake of the kingdom.
  • Universalism: The author of The Secret is careful to incorporate multiple religious and philosophical perspectives into the presentation, without overtly disparaging any of them. The “experts” on the DVD quote Scripture and talk about generic religious principles such as gratitude, love, and courage. One of the “gurus” in the DVD claims, “Every tradition has told us there is something bigger than us.”
    • Acts 14:2: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
  • Entitlement: In the DVD Bob Proctor says, “Life can be absolutely phenomenal, and it should be, when you start using the Secret.” In other words, we are entitled to happiness, money, and success. We deserve it.
    • Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The only thing we are entitled to is death. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • Feel-goodism: In the DVD we are challenged to focus on positive feelings and to ignore negative ones. If we focus hard enough we can get rid of all pain, suffering, and negative experiences in this life. The key is to constantly feel good and to avoid pain.
    • James 1:2: “Consider it all joy my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” Suffering has redemptive value for believers as we are drawn more into the image of Christ. In fact, it is often through suffering that we most experience the power of God (Philippians 3:10).

Friends, it is difficult to imagine a message more contrary to the Bible than The Secret. There is nothing new in it but merely a repetition of the original lie—“You shall be like God.” The fact that so many Christians—and especially young people—have fallen for it is a reminder of the great task before us.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I pray, (I really do) that you will receive it well.  If not, I am open to hearing your views.  Please comment or email me.


God bless you and yours-


Amanda

Comments

  1. says

    Amen… The Secret is the latest and by far the worst example of a HIGHLY profitable trend where self-help gurus with fabricated new age titles and little relevant education, credentials or legitimate expertise brainwash us into believing that they know what is best for us, our marriages and our families.
    Often their only contribution to society is introducing some exotic sounding, new age philosophy. However, they often cleverly form an incestuous group of like-minded “experts” who cross-promote each other by swearing their success is due to following the beliefs of another member of their “cult!” All the while, they ply the airwaves jockeying for an ever-larger audience by appearing in the national media to garner third-party endorsements.
    The Self-Help Movement has become the Self-Destruct Movement by diminishing or destroying our critical thinking skills to choose and evolve on our own. We have given up the freedom to build healthy lives, marriages and families based on our unique history and life experience. Instead many victims, blinded to the value of their own life experiences, are attracted to the latest secret in self-help, in an attempt to find out what they should think, feel and how they should act… this is the definition of a cult.
    The solution is a return to our (common) senses! The best way out of this learned “self-helplessness” is to go cold turkey. Stop following ALL self-help gurus now. Begin, instead, to reclaim your natural, God-given ability to think for yourself. The common sense that was once readily available to all of us is still there free of charge and waiting to be applied to just about any challenge we might face in life… all you have to do is use it.
    Please, let’s all work together to stop the flock of “sheepeople” who blindly move from one UNPROVEN concept to the next, looking for the answers to life’s challenges that you already possess and that is the OBVIOUS!

  2. says

    Thanks for the post on this…I’ve heart of “The Secret,” but I always thought it sounded kind of fishy, and refrained from looking in to it. I’m glad I listened to my instincts!
    Thanks for putting this info out there! :)

  3. says

    You know what popped into my head after reading through this, is that someone who the world reveres and considers a leader of sorts we should be extremely wary to check what they say by the scripture! :-)
    It makes me doubly glad that we no longer have a TV in our house so we don’t have to filter through things, instead we can keep before us things that are Godly!

  4. says

    Thanks for your post on this. While I am aware of alot of the “self help” stuff that Oprah has been promoting, I have hear of “The Secret”. I appreciate your insights!
    Have a great weekend!

  5. Janie says

    Hmmm does not one of the 10 commandments say… Forgive others as we do ourself?? I have not read or seen “The Secret”. I get enough help from hearing the word of God at church. If you get fed at church you will not have to seek other stuff. lol Loving you, Janie

  6. Janie says

    I must be tired tonight! Not thinking too clearly! I am thinking of the Lord’s prayer. “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those that trespass against us.” Why would we not forgive ourselves? Do we beat ourselves up everyday? What good would grace be? Does He not tell us not to worry about yesterday… it is gone… and tomorrow is not here yet? We have enough to worry about today. I feel like forgiving ourselves at times is much harder than forgiving others. I was thinking of love others as we do ourselves! lol Well best get to bed! lol Loving you, Janie

  7. Janie says

    Wow! Read too fast and spoke too soon. No I can not forgive my sins… only God can forgive my sins. But I can also continue to carry the burden of my past sins, after I have asked God to forgive me of my sins. Hope you understand what I mean. lol Loving you, Janie

  8. ElizaBeth says

    I have two bits I’d like to add. The first in regards to Oprah; It is my opinion that she is a false prophet. God says for us to test the spirits so that we do not become deceived by them. We can do this by measuring what they say and do against God’s word. There was a time that I watched her shows regularly. I will not condemn those that do, but I would suggest you pray and earnestly seek God’s wisdom as to what He would have you do in this matter.
    And next order of business: Of course we cannot forgive ourselves, this only comes from God through Jesus’ blood. But if we repent, not just say I’m sorry, but turn from our wickedness to obey Him, and then we are no longer bound to the sin! This is freedom in Christ we have as believers. This is the forgiveness that the lost crave. This is the forgiveness God wants us to share with others. Guilt let us know we’ve been displeasing to God. It’s what leads us to repentance. The self loathing guilt is NOT from God but from Satan. If we are so wrapped up in what we did wrong instead of how we can serve God better, how can God use us for His purposes? Yet another tool he uses to prevent us from moving forward in our walk with Christ. This is not the same as being free from the fall out of our wrong word or deed. God’s forgiveness doesn’t free us from earthy consequences of sin, but from the eternal one, Hell. Just like if your child disobeys you and apologizes, he must still have a consequence for that disobedience or he will learn all he has to do is say, I’m sorry, and can go repeat the disobedience. And why not, all he has to do is say sorry and it all better, Right? That is some of the foolishness bound in the heart of a child. Sometimes it seeps from our heart as well. All we can do is ask forgiveness, and make the effort to do better next time.
    OK, that was MORE than two bits worth. BTW, next time you want to try a book barrow it from the public library- I’ve had too many of those $35 lessons myself. ;)

  9. Christy says

    You wrote things out perfectly. I stay away from Oprah. I believe she’s one of the false profits and is happily leading Satan in.

  10. Ana says

    What about people like me who don’t believe in the Christian God or the Bible? Am I then free to believe in the Secret because there is no text to counterpoint it?

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