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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.


 The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel

 The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

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20 Responses to The Secret and Christianity: Can They Be Reconciled?

  1. James April 11, 2007 at 2:17 pm #

    Great post!
    I think you have it right. My only contention is that I do not think God and the Universe are the same. God is above the universe and it follows his laws.
    He is not a part of the plank scale as we are (from a movie related to the Secret) he is outside it.

  2. agentsully April 11, 2007 at 6:12 pm #

    Thanks James. To which movie are you referring? I’d love to check it out. Always trying to learn more! Thanks!

  3. Pete Aldin April 16, 2007 at 6:03 pm #

    Very very rational and compassionate post. I think you’ve nailed it. As a Christian I also see God’s hand in some of my personal suffering as a means for growing me (which I guess is similar to the bear in a bear trap analogy), just as a coach puts the athlete through tough trials, the drill sergeant hits the marine recruit in the head yelling at him to keep his head down (so when he finally goes into battle he doesn’t get it blown off!), etc.

  4. agentsully April 17, 2007 at 12:20 am #

    Thanks Pete. I tried to write a post that would be helpful to others. As I write, I’m working on answering my own questions. Life is not easy but it is great!

    I look forward to reading your Great Circle site. Looks like some good stuff there. Best wishes.

    PS:I spent a little time in Sydney about 15 years ago. Wonderful country. Wish you guys were closer.

  5. Psychic advice May 9, 2007 at 8:05 am #

    Very nice and comprehensive post. Knowing The Secret quite well I have found a lot of impersonators quote directly from it giving the illusion they have some superior power or insight. For the person who does not know The Secret they are left in awe by these people. I am pleased it has gained in popularity as people are more aware of life coaching techniques that psychics and of course The Secret depict and practice. Nothing wrong with that. It just has to be genuine thats all and not copied.

  6. Susan April 6, 2008 at 2:20 pm #

    This has been very helpful. I have been watching the DVD and see many truths in it. Some of the pain in my life, I can see how I brought it on throught negative thinking and inviting the situation. Truly.

    But as a lifelong Christian, I find it a bit off target. The Universe…I prefer to go directly to the CREATOR of the Universe…the great I AM! But much of what I hear…I want to go to the Bible and find the quote. Truth is truth. I sometimes find I can discern Truth from things that aren’t CHristian per se. I think it is important for Christians to take these worldly “helps” for what they are worth. See how they measure up against Biblical teaching. Take in what is helpful or true and line it up with what Christ had to say.

  7. Josh April 24, 2008 at 5:19 am #

    Thanks for laying out the differences and similarities so clearly. You are a good teacher, so it was easy to follow what you said. I would agree with James’ comment above. I think it’s remarkable how this gift from our Heavenly Father enables us to achieve greater heights than we ever could alone.

  8. agentsully April 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm #

    @Josh – I am humbled by your compliment. Thank you.

  9. Michael Caulfield December 9, 2008 at 4:04 pm #

    As a Christian, I want to recognize and praise the above comments. We must acknowledge that a force of evil is always working against us — Satan. Belief in this power is neither foolish, superstitious nor outdated, although the “new age” theorists would love to convince you otherwise. Satan’s primary weapon against believers is telling the truth — with a twist. Yes, the laws of attraction and right-thinking can positively impact one’s life, but there is only way one to God (happiness) — and that is through his Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, Christians must take all knowledge and understanding and relate it to their Christian foundation. The alternative is to fall victim to the same belief that ensnared Satan himself, that we can be our own God.

  10. Josh December 17, 2008 at 9:51 pm #

    Well said, Michael. Do you mind me asking what Christian denomination you belong to?

  11. Michael Caulfield December 29, 2008 at 10:48 pm #

    Presbyterian (although I lean more toward EPC, I happen to be a member of a conservative Presbyterian USA church (even though it has been split by the liberal left).

  12. Jenni January 30, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    Susan, Thank you for your comment: “Truth is truth. I sometimes find I can discern Truth from things that aren’t CHristian per se. I think it is important for Christians to take these worldly “helps” for what they are worth.”

    I’ve been finding so many instances of Truth in everything around me lately that supports the Biblical fact that “everything serves the Lord”. His “mysterious ways” seem to find me and give His love message where I would least suspect it. God has the power to work through even those who don’t believe He exists at all. I’m constantly amazed at how many ways He reaches out to touch our lives. I only recently discovered the teachings of the “laws of attraction” and was immediately reminded of the Golden Rule. I started to believe in the secret as a simplified and modern version of “Do unto Others” until I inspected it more deeply and in prayer. I can now see the contrasts as well as the similarities. I believe if we can extract the truths and not implement the untruths, though it won’t be an easy journey, we can find the joy we seek because God is eager to give to us.

  13. Chris March 7, 2009 at 9:29 am #

    The law of attraction teaches positive outlook in our life.It has a good effect on our mind if we try to focus on good things…its just what you like to attract on your mind..will happen.So you rather attract good results then..

  14. Chuck Berkman December 13, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    Wonderful and rational post…thank you! I have also enjoyed the comments printed here.
    I discovered “The Secret” some 5 weeks ago at a sales meeting at work. I’ve been addicted to the dvd version during my “windshield” time…lots of driving. It has spurred me on to some additional research to help me “square” it with my Christianity.
    I too now see God more readily in all that is around me. After all, no one claims to understand God well, except what we read in His Word. I have no problem with interchanging “God” and “Universe”.
    The “presence within” from “The Secret” also does not conflict with my understanding of the Christian Trinity. I believe that God is within me, as long as I have Faith in Him. It is still His presence, His power, and His Grace. I must only ACCEPT Him.
    As far as horific deaths and natural disasters…I too do not buy in to the premise that these victims were thinking like thoughts prior to, which then attracted the disaster upon them.
    Giving: I have long been taught that in order to keep something, I have to give it away. Yes…this implies a “flow” that “The Secret” espouses. In Christian circles, we too are encouraged to give. Now, “The Secret” tells me to give from my abundance and that God likes a cheerful giver…not sacrifice which hurts a little. Major denominations do not agree on the “issue” of tithng…some claiming that Jesus’s 1st coming made the 10% stipulation obsolete. For now, I am a cheerful giver.
    One thing strikingly common between “The Secret” and Christianity is that of grattitude. As for me, I have a God to be grateful to for all that I have.
    Thanks for this wonderful post.

    • agentsully December 15, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

      @Chuck – thanks! I really appreciate your supportive and positive comments! Wishing you all the best!

  15. Michael Caulfield December 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm #

    It’s really important for Christians to understand that although God is within us, He is actually a separate entity. Genesis 1:26 clearly states “Let us make man in our image.” God is speaking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There are three that have the attributes of Deity, possess the Divine Nature. They agree as one in purpose and action, but they are three distinct beings who play different roles in the Divine work of creation and salvation. Jesus himself said on the cross, “My God, why has thou foresaken me?” Many New Age philosophies try to recruit Christians into the “God is in everything” Hindu mentality. God is separate from his creation, even as he dwells within — just as our parents are a part of us.

    • agentsully December 31, 2009 at 6:09 pm #

      @Michael – Thank you for your insightful and helpful comment!

  16. Chuck Berkman January 4, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Thanks to both of you Michael and Sully! I really do feel like a kid growing up all over again…questioning and trying to figure out what the truth is…life is more exciting for me these days indeed!
    Michael, you are quite right…The Universerse is God’s creation…His handiwork…not to be confused with Himself. My Christian Triune God is the Creator…and He has given me the LOA. I do not understand the LOA any better than electricity or physics or gravity or sending a man to the moon…but I accept them as truths. The LOA is but 1 expression of God among an infinite number of expressions He manifests in His own perfect time and way. Thanks to you both again!

  17. Ivan November 13, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Lots of people are having a hard time gettings this: God is the creatot of the universe, but is also part of it. God os both above it, but also part of it. It is one of those divine mysteries.

    If the Secret works, it is because it is one of the laws of he universe. Speaking of Satan, IF this is his deed at all, (but couldn’t Satan only simulate, not create?) then we could say that his goal is to lead people astray in the following way: you will get things you want in this life, but you will forget about eternal life and finally about your connection to a living God.

    • AgentSully November 14, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

      Ivan – thanks for sharing your insights!

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