While I was in Ecuador I read the most recent book that Oprah Winfrey has been recommending with amazing aplomb. The book is called “The Secret” and is written by Rhonda Byrne. It is currently the number one selling book in America. The DVD movie is also the best seller in the country. Obviously, Oprah has influence.
“The Secret” is one of the most dangerous, insidious pieces of worthless trash I have ever read. Now, let me tell you what I really think . . .
“The Secret” is simply the “Power of Positive Thinking” on steroids.
Here are some quotes:
So we are the creators, not only of our own destiny, but ultimately we are the creators of Universal destiny. We are the creators of the universe. (p. 160)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) This seems slightly contradictory unless Rhonda and Oprah believe they are God. Ummm, I suppose they might actually believe that.
You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing itself as You. You are a cosmic being. You are all power. You are all wisdom. You are all intelligence. You are perfection. You are magnificence. You are the creator, and you are creating the creation of You on this planet. (p. 164)
Okay, I guess we know the answer to the God question.
There is no blackboard in the sky on which God has written your purpose, your mission in life. There’s no blackboard in the sky that says “Neal Donald Walsch. Handsome guy who lived in the first part of the twenty-first century, who . . .” And then there’s a blank. And all I have to do to really understand what I’m doing here, why I’m here, is to find that blackboard and find out what God really has in mind for me. But the blackboard doesn’t exist.
So your purpose is what you say it is. Your mission is the mission you give yourself. Your life will be what you create it as, and no one will stand in judgment of it, now or ever. (P. 177)
“For Jesus will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds.” (Matthew 16:27) Uh-oh. Wouldn’t want to be Rhonda or Oprah. Not all that thrilled about being me!
When I really understood that my primary aim was to feel and experience joy, then I began to do only those things which brought me joy. I have a saying: “If it ain’t fun, don’t do it!” (P. 178)
Yeah, don’t take care of your aging parents! Don’t change your baby’s diapers at 2 AM! Don’t work at your marriage! Don’t cheer for the Cleveland Browns! On second thought, I LIKE this book.
The earth turns on its orbit for You. The oceans ebb and flow for You. The birds sing for You. The sun rises and it sets for You. The stars come out for You. Every beautiful thing you see, every wondrous thing you experience, is all there, for You. Take a look around. None of it can exist, without You. No matter who you thought you were, now you know the Truth of Who You Really Are. You are the master of the Universe. (P. 183)
And all this time I believed my mom. She told me that the world didn’t revolve around me.
And now you know the dirty little secret.
HHHmmmm Sounds like maybe we should send Oprah and Rhonda a copy of the Bible…
Funny how unoriginal this book is. I’d say it dates back to, well, hmmm, to at least the Garden of Eden. Wow, all the way back to the book of Genesis. I think the serpent said it this way, “You will be like God.” So, Oprah, this is the oldest trick in the book.
But let’s also remember that recently she featured James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces, which turned out to be a big lie. Well, she’s done it again!
I freaked out initially when I began to read this post because as part of RiverTree’s Leading Edge class, the first book I was given to read was titled “The Secret.”
NOT the one by Rhonda Byrne – the one by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller – WHEW!
Here’s a funny (or maybe not so funny) follow up to my last post. I recommended “The Secret” to a number of people where I work – including every member of the management teamin the organization I work for. I suggested that they consider rolling it out to all managers and team leads as well (there are many in my organization).
I came to find out that they are acting on the recommendation and are evaluating the book. Except, there’s been one small mistake. Though I did specify Blanchard as the author in my reccomendation, the book they picked up to evaluate was Byrne’s.
Oops – nice witnessing on my part. I’ve got a problem to fix in a hurry!
Hmmmmmm…sounds like you should calm down a little bit. Its just a book…people are given the choice by God to choose and do as they please based on the power of free will. You Christians should learn to be a little less judgemental and a little more forgiving. It will make your message more soluable and less abrasive. I believe that is the problem of modern Christianity and religion in full form. You judge then judge some more and try to mandate morality with political tactics and influence. Everyone in this country has the right to believe in whatever they choose to believe. It just seems funny that the Christians who preach the fundamentals of acceptance and forgiveness are the first to vocalize the most anger against anything that threatens their beliefs.
It strikes me that the previous post (by Anonymous about Christians being so judgmental) was quite judgmental.
have not read the book, but based on comments in this blog I think I get the idea. Problem with the premise of me being the center of the universe is what about my neighbor? what if our universes collide or conflict … who is right? two cars reach an intersection, if someone does not submit right of way, well you have a mess on your hands. Greg thanks for some clear and reasonable answers to comments from this book.
I understand that it may leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths, since we’re living in a society that’s placed tremendous value on “accpetance” but I for one believe that there are some universal absolute truths that are undeniable, and foundational. For example- if I don’t wholeheartedly believe that God created the universe and that Oprah, Rhonda,and others who buy their philosophy didn’t – why would I believe any of the rest of the Bible?
Does that mean I have contempt for those that believe otherwise? Nope. Instead, I’ll pray for them.
I’m glad that the “you Christians” poster came to the site. This person must at least be seeking or curious. I’llpray that they will be open to learning about the heart of the Christians who post here.
I’d like to invite you to come to one of our services at RiverTree this weekend. If you live in the area, come and see what we are all about. We’d love to have you as a guest. I would also like to pray for you and your family.
To the person who was looking to improve their workplace, I’d recommend the “Zapp! The Lightening of Empowerment” series.
They are very well written and are made for management and individual employee alike. I got them for our office years ago and we had little discussion groups after reading, amazing. Really got things going.
As for Byerne’s book “The Secret”, I got it as a gift for my birthday recently. It started out sort of tame then quickly turned to silly. I haven’t finished it yet, not sure I will. I was very sad to hear the guy from the Chicken Soup Books be a part of this. I forget his name, my memory is terrible.
He went on and on about personal wealth. I kept waiting for any of them to mention using any of this new found “power” for the good of others. Not one. It also failed to mention action as part of the equation. Seems an important concept to fail to clearly convey.
Positive visualization techniques are indeed difficult to master. But, they are only a tool or stepping stone used to facilitate action. This book sadly misses the point, I think deliberately. Because it easier. It something many people want to hear, or want to believe, even if the BS alarm is going off in their heads.
In the end the book is a clever scam, intended to be consumed by millions to make a profit. Not a new idea at all.
As the “You Christians” poster I’ll say thank you for the hopeful prayers and offers of a welcoming congregation, Its my hope that all Christians make the same offer rather than animosity. To clarify, my only point to be made in my post was that in a world of war, terrorism, and political corruption, if Rhonda Byrne’s book provides a sense of hope for just one person, even one who has not found Christ does that make it “…the most dangerous, insidious pieces of worthless trash…” one might read? Perhaps, opinions are the embodiment of subjectivity, however what if the same piece of trash turns a life around or saves a person with no one left to hear a testimony, OR…is the link in the chain that brings a person to Christ? Is it still that awful? My point is just because its not Christian, doesn’t make it bad…(within reason, …I’m not advocating absolute unpunishible free will or do I favor cult like religions) Just keep an open mind…The Garden of Eden places the age of the world at about 6000 years…Does that mean Carbon dating that shows dinosaurs did actually roam the Earth the most worthless piece of science on the planet? I think not…and to address the issue of curiousity ( which may draw discussion for another day) I came to your site to verify my intuition that the bare feet under sheets billboard on Fulton Rd was very well a Rivertree attention tactic for a seminar and thought it was a little over the top. Particulaly when my kid asked “Daddy, what do those feet mean” To which I offered the truth, but was a little unprepared at the moment considering the size of said billboard. I mean, there is no “Rivertree” subtext on it at all so I thought the tactic was a little malicious…but then again thats my opinion. —sorry didn’t mean to write a book…ha-ha…
“You Christians” poster, you are right, we need to have an open mind. I can surely say I have… at times… closed my mind to things I disagree with. I’m glad at least we’ve had a chance to think and dialogue about this. I also hope that your disagreement with this blog posting won’t close your mind to Chritianity. Most things people get upset with are most often religous ideas not those reflected by Christ. And even though many people reading this site are Christ followers, we still…
are learning how to handle things the way He would. Although, Jesus always spoke strongly about false ideas and false gods. But he never hated the person behind them. He loved them, enough to give his all. I hope you will keep an open mind in a world full of strong opinions.
Thanks for writing in and starting this dicussion, and I hope you get a chance to read this post.
“you Christians” poster,
I think we’re going to continue to disagree, whic in itself isn’t bad. I believe that if the book “gives hope” to someone in telling them that they are their own God and that God didn’t create the world and that not everything in the Bible is true, that the hope it offers, at best,is limited to this lifetime, which in the Grand scheme barely blips on the eternal radar. In that context – yes – it’s incredibly dangerous.
We really do welcome you to our church. The billboard was meant to get attention and we knew we could take some heat over it. I believe the good will outweigh the bad. I pray that many people who are confused about what God intended sex to be will come and learn that God gave us that gift and wants us to enjoy it (while not abusing and perverting it).
By the way, we’ve got to stop calling you the “you Christians poster” – I started that and didn’t realize until I re-read my own post that it could come across negatively. I’d like to refer to you as “Friend” from here on out.
PS – I really meant it when I said I’d pray for you – I did this morning and will again tonight. Thanks for coming here and engaging in dialogue.
I overlooked the “link in the chain” piece of your last post. In my opinion, there is some merit to that thought, but still, I’m more concerned about the misinformation. If, in your theoretical situation that it actually does somehow move someone toward Christ rather than away – I can’t argue that it would be a good thing. For me it’s just difficult to see how it would.