The Secret and Christianity: Can They Be Reconciled?

Why Some People Bristle at The Secret

The Secret has great appeal with the masses. It is totally empowering. It essentially tells you that you can do or have anything you want. “You are limitless.”  So why do some of us still not feel completely won over by The Secret?

It’s not because we are lazy and don’t want to do the “work” to gain the things we want. (Ask, Believe,Receive) It’s not for lack of “faith” in the concept either. I think the whole reason people buy The Secret book and DVD in droves is because so many of us are believers looking for something to believe in.

The reason we can’t buy into The Secret 100 per cent is because it tells us that Everything that happens in our lives is a result of our thinking attracting those things into our lives. And Everything includes the horrible things that happen to people, such as murder, rape, disease, random crime, genocide, famine and so on. The Secret, as it is written, assigns responsibility to the victims of these dread occurrences.

meditationFrequency of Thought

According to The Secret, these unfortunate things happen to these people because they are on that particular “frequency of thought.” I think most of us have a hard time swallowing that .How could little children be on the frequency of thought to get cancer? How could the masses of people in Darfur be on the frequency of thought to be slaughtered and raped, especially the children?  

What does Christianity Teach Us?

All human suffering is related to original sin. But God continually reaches out to us to strengthen our relationship with him. And the greatest example is Jesus’s suffering on the cross. Our suffering shapes our spiritual character. It is very difficult to understand why this happens when we  experience suffering. And many ask why does God let people suffer. The answer is because he gives all people free will, the potential for suffering exists. But God loves us so much that he suffered for us. We are not alone in our suffering. 

For a superb in-depth explanation of this I recommend The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity by Lee Strobel. In chapter 1, “Objection #1: Since Evil and Suffering Exist, a Loving God Cannot” he documents his interview with Peter John Kreeft, Ph.D., “the un-philosopher.” Peter Kreeft presents a moving and compelling explanation that reconciles suffering and the existence of a loving God.

The Difference Between The Secret and Christianity Crucifixion

The Secret tells us that all suffering is attracted to us by our thoughts. Christianity says that suffering is a result of God giving us Free Will. That means that some of our suffering comes from our own free will, but not all. Some of our suffering comes from other people exercising their free will. And some of our suffering comes from natural disasters, some would say from God. Perhaps. This type of suffering that we can’t understand is explained well by Kreeft in The Case For Faith. He uses an analogy to help us understand the big “Why!” of suffering.  

Why Do We Have to Suffer?

Peter Kreeft explains it this way. Assume that we are a bear who has gotten stuck in a trap. God is the hunter who, out of sympathy, wants to free the bear (us). In order to free the bear from the trap, the Hunter must press the bear’s foot deeper into the trap in order to release the tension in the spring. The bear, not being a human, doesn’t understand why this creature, the Hunter, is causing him more pain. The bear (us) assumes that the Hunter (God) is cruel and wants to hurt him. Because the bear is not human, he can’t understand that the Hunter is actually trying to help him in the long run. Our suffering is like that. We can’t see the finish line yet. Our suffering is temporary, although it may feel otherwise. This is where faith comes in. Faith is not easy. I highly recommend  The Case for Faith: if you are searching for answers. Jesus_Resurrection-01

Similarities Between The Secret and Christianity

The Secret tells us the Law of Attraction will bring into our lives anything we focus on in our thoughts. The simplified formula is “Ask, Believe, Receive.” In the Bible Matthew 21:22 tells us “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Also Luke 11:9 “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” And John 16:23 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

The Secret says to ask “the universe” and Christianity tells us to ask in God’s name. Isn’t God and the Universe the same? I think so. It’s just a matter of semantics. If people who have been turned off by religion find their way to spirituality through a word other than “God” won’t they benefit just the same. I believe they will.

The Bottom Line

I believe the law of attraction can bring both good and bad into our lives, but I don’t believe that all bad or all good that we experience is 100% from our own thoughts. I believe that God is involved, sometimes with suffering and sometimes with gifts of grace.  I don’t think it is helpful for victims to bear misguided guilt along with their suffering. I think it is more productive to understand that there is a reason for the suffering we have. That reason will be revealed to us over time as we look for the answer.

If you’ve found yourself having a tough time buying into The Secret whole heartedly, that’s OK.  The Secret still has a lot to offer. It is a powerful reminder for Christians and non-Christians to ask, to believe, and to receive the goodness they are seeking. Maybe you find The Secret focuses on material goals too heavily. That’s OK too. Just use The Secret in the way that feels right with your beliefs and morals.

Universally, I think we should all seek Love, Peace and Joy. We should seek and give Love with friends and family. We should seek and create Peace in our relationships. And we should seek and experience Joy in the beautiful life that we have.  We should believe that we are worthy of these things and we should open our hearts to receive them.

Thank you for reading. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. And if you liked this article, there is a link below to easily email it to a friend.

Resources:

 The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel

 The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

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