My thoughts as I Read a Secular mystic text

“You attract what you think about most, and you become what you attract most.”

The Secret, written by Rhonda Byrne, has been around for more than a decade. I picked it up years back to see what all the commotion was bout.

Before you decide to bail because the topic is “woo”, please give me a chance. I’m not converting to some new approach. I’ve never been a proponent of New Age philosophy or mysticism, and I have no intention of beginning now. Useful Humans was founded upon the Christian faith, though I’m willing to seriously scrutinize that faith in pursuit of truths which those before us either missed or refused to accept. The purpose is to know the truth. It is the truth that shall set you free.

Picking up a book from the New Age section of Barnes & Noble was an unnerving experience for me. In the back of my mind was the voice of every concerned conservative Christian who’d warned me about magic, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and more.

What hidden mental traps might be waiting? And why would I risk getting caught up in some error that could derail me?

Good question!

I believe the church as a whole has adopted a conspiracy theory mindset that immediately tosses out all babies with all bathwater that isn’t canonized and holy.

We’ve done so because, whether we want to admit it or not, we don’t trust ourselves.

We don’t give ourselves permission to use our reason, critical thinking, and discernment to observe, study, and delineate truth from error.

Let’s examine some logical statements:

  • All people are human, regardless of whether they live today or centuries ago.
  • All humans are limited, fallible, and incapable of knowing everything.
  • Because of this, even the authors of our faith did not possess all knowledge or understanding.
  • Because of the Canonization of Scripture and subsequent traditions, people are afraid to consider that we could learn anything new and true outside of Scripture because of how that might threaten the strength of Scripture’s primacy.
  • Because of this, the Christian community has failed to lead the way in pursuing knowledge and understanding of God’s universe. That task has been left largely to the secular community, which has done the best it knows how.
  • The secular community can provide scientifically tested data which indicates the probability of certain truths.
  • Just because the scientific community can postulate certain truths (the what and where) does not mean that it can answer the ever valid and crucial questions of how or why (or even when).
  • Since Christian leaders aren’t willing or capable of answering my questions, I will seek the answers on my own.
  • Since Christian leaders often fear to consider the possibility that nuggets of truth can be discovered by non-Christians, and since these leaders do not themselves search diligently for certain answers, their assumptions cannot be automatically trusted.
  • Since non-Christians can discover or understand (on some level) universal principles such as gravity, inertia, and harvest, they have the capacity to discover or understand other such universal principles which the Christian community has yet to understand or acknowledge.
  • Since non-Christians will not often explain why a universal principle is true in a manner that instantly corroborates Scripture, I am responsible to sift the gold from the dross and accept only what either agrees with Scripture or might agree with Scripture upon further reflection and consideration.
  • Overt disagreements with Scripture must be discarded because I must have a solid starting point from which to work.
  • I challenge myself to find truths which support Scripture, explain/clarify certain mysteries in Scripture, and strengthen the body of Christ by filling in the holes which have riddled our faith over the years.

secular texts don’t replace biblical texts

    Having said that, it might seem that we have left the Bible behind and have chosen more “exciting” texts to focus upon. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are finding ourselves led to sources of truth that support Scripture and make Scripture make sense to us in ways that we never before imagined.

    For example, it’s not enough to read the verse: “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

    Uh…what? For years, when I realized that my mind was constantly consumed with unhealthy thoughts, I’d rethink that verse and find myself at an absolute loss. I couldn’t come up with a single really “good” thought. Which thoughts are pure? What thoughts are just? What kind of thoughts are lovely? What is a thought of good report? Seriously!

    I realized that I had not conditioned myself to know these things. I had spent my adult life fascinated with morbidity, death, dying, crime, suspense, intrigue, suspicion, slander, and on and on. I had become one of the “bent ones.” My thoughts were naturally bent towards selfish or less than holy issues.

    Historians tell us that everyone once believed that the sun, stars, and planets revolved around the earth. It is referred to as the geocentric view. The heliocentric view (sun-centered) was suggested by some and considered heresy by the leaders of the time. As in many instances throughout history, scientific discovery has not been welcomed by religious or even political leaders. Men do express their own opinions throughout Scripture, as is obvious by David’s crying out for the death and obliteration of his enemies and Solomon’s declaration that everything is utterly futile and meaningless. Not necessarily views we should adopt. Then there was Peter’s snubbing of Gentiles until set straight by Paul. You get the picture. We’re all human.

    It is the mature acceptance of these truths that enables us to allow something outside the realm of our comfort zone to challenge us and engage us. It is by setting and adhering to the tenets of our faith while simultaneously insisting on the pursuit of wisdom and understanding that we arrive at a rich and rewarding mode of existence.

    The pursuit continues. For me, it continues with the reading and examination of The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne. This book contains possibilities which absolutely excite me. On the surface, it appears to elaborate on biblical statements such as, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he,” and “He who seeks, finds; to him who knocks, the door is opened,” and “think on these things,” and perhaps most importantly,

    “The weapons of our warfare are not physical/earthly but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

    The weapons of a Christian involve strongholds, arguments, knowledge, thoughts, and obedience. In other words, we’re being told that the weapons involve our minds. The language is dated, so we miss the point. Our minds are the battlefield.

    So we each have a responsibility for cultivating our thoughts and reasons and knowledge and beliefs. And we will each be accountable for what we have done to develop and mature those talents.

    There’s so much more to be said about the facts of Nature and God’s create as learned by societies not adhering to Scripture. Every culture discovers truths and aspects of God’s Creation, and it benefits us to humbly recognize that fact as we pursue truth.

    If we are the Body and each of us is a crucial functioning part of that body, imagine what gifts, knowledge, and wisdom other tribes of humanity might possess who still need to know Jesus, yet have mastered their crafts and explored mysteries in their parts of the world.

    The earth is rich with mysteries to uncover.

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