Unpacking The Secret [Part One]

One of the struggles of ministering in a small[er] church is keeping up-to-date on religious fads. It's critical that pastors be knowledgeable of the latest thing coming down the turnpike. When I was at the ole' megachurch, it was easier because I always had people knocking on my door asking about the new trends. Now, I'm forced to be more deliberate, seeking out info on the internet. Twice last week, someone asked for my thoughts about The Secret. Having no idea what they were referring to, I had to do some independent research on the topic. The Friday before last Oprah devoted an entire show to The Secret. She did a follow-up show last Friday which I DVR'd and watched this week. Oprah claims that The Secret has been the driving force behind her worldview for the past twenty years. She believes that she knew The Secret but never heard to it systematized like it has been recently.

If for no other reason, then, we Christians should familiarize ourselves with The Secret. For better or worse, Oprah is the spiritual voice of our country. And she's quite the evangelist. People you know will start buying in to this, if they haven't already. So we all should do some background work on this. I'll do my best to break down what I've learned here on my blog over the next few posts. I don't claim to be an expert, I'll do my best to give a fair treatment of the subject.

So just what is The Secret? The Secret is actually the New Age principle of the Law of Attraction. This law states that "you get what you think about; your thoughts determine your destiny." Perhaps you've heard of the power of visualization- athletes that visualize themselves winning supposedly perform better during the actual competition. That's basically the Law of Attraction, but you're supposed to harness the powers of the universe in order to get what you want. So the thoughts that you send out into the universe is what you'll yield, ergo, just think good thoughts and good stuff will happen to you [and to the rest of the world].

An Australian named Rhonda Byrne developed the concept of The Secret, citing several modern day New Age teachers as possessing it. Byrne also claimed that many people over the course of history had knowledge of it even, in instances, unbeknownst to them. She claims that Winston Churchill, Plato, Isaac Newton, Martin Luther King Jr, and Henry Ford are just few people from throughout history that knew The Secret.

Byrne released both a book and a movie in 2006 entitled The Secret and the movement has been well received. In addition to Oprah, Larry King and Ellen DeGeneres featured it on their shows.

I'm thinking that this will be a big year for the Secret. With that in mind I'm going to try to post two more parts on this topic. In my next post, I'll point out some of the things mentioned in the movie that I found interesting. In the third part, I'll offer an overall critique.

Do yourself a favor and get familiar with The Secret.

The Secret homepage USA Today article The Oprah Show