Unmasking the Secret
Exposing Errors of the Secular Prosperity Gospel
New International Version (NIV)
4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.
5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
What is money but a necessary tool to buy the things that make life a little more comfortable? After all our economy is not based on the barter system, we can only receive food, shelter and clothing through monetary means.
Can reciting or believing specific affirmations make us more financially prosperous? Possibly, if these affirmations are coupled with hard work and financial savvy, we might be rich in houses, land, cars, techno gadgets and various other trappings of modern life but in the process we might become increasingly spiritually bereft. An abundance of money does give one a kind of freedom. All desire freedom from material want and lack something that is central in all societies, but too much concentration on the acquisition of money can be the ball and chain the binds us in servitude to the “Almighty Dollar”.
James Arthur Ray is the perfect example of how the Bible based Law of Attraction can be taken to the extreme and beyond. Mr. Ray is a false prophet who has turned what God meant for good into a systematic formula based on greed.
For people like him everything in the world can be reduced to a series of numbers, values or phrases. But I don’t just blame Mr. Ray after all he was not in this by himself. His followers chose to worship him and his phony techniques to their ultimate detriment resulting in some cases in the loss of life. Mutual motivations propel both the followers and his congregation. Mr. Ray’s flock like him are seduced with the promise of wealth, peace, unlimited prosperity in a series of gibberish culled from various philosophies which only transfer money from their pockets to his.
Just like certain phony preachers crowding the airwaves of The Word Network and TBN these self-help gurus take time honored principles from the Bible and Native American traditions, mix them all into a New Agey hodgepodge mumbo jumbo designed to suck in the needy and the greedy. Truly these preening posing coxcombs embody every one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Like the ill fated protagonist Gustav von Aschenbach from the novella A Death in Venice written by Thomas Mann both the gurus and their followers march to their demise along a pathway which only leads to destruction.
Much like the “Prosperity Preachers and the Prosperity Gospel” those who don’t manifest immediate peace, insight, revelation or prosperity often endure from feelings of worthlessness. But that’s okay. Just give the Prophet or Guru another $500 to $2000 and we can go on another Vision Quest and try it again until you get it right. These seers or mystics prey on peoples’ weaknesses by bringing them to their breaking point.
There are many wonderful programs that assist people in terms of setting goals and meeting with like minded people on plans and strategies that will help the individual accomplish their goals. But none of those programs should involve blind obedience to a program or an individual.
Today’s Self-Help Gurus are only the latest incarnation of brainwashing cults intent on manipulating minds and emotions of searchers or those seeking to fill a void in their lives. These men and women just cobble together a philosophy that on the surface appears to be sound since it’s supposedly based on ancient wisdom, but in reality is has more holes than Swiss cheese. A workman is worthy or his hire, however he/she is also accountable to his flock and ultimately to God.
All faiths have sought to explain, prevent or relieve suffering but as human beings we know suffering is part of the human experience. We cannot avoid some suffering but on the other hand there is no need for us to going chasing after it either.
The Law of Attraction, by now we’ve all heard about this Biblical and Universal Law to some extent. As a man thinks so is he, Life and Death are in the Power of the Tongue, confessions, profession, affirmations, speak life, etc… You get the gist of the message. Yes to some extent your thoughts and words do create your world but simply speaking or thinking right thoughts is not a barrier to the issues of life. In fact Jesus said that we would have trials and tribulations in this life but He would be with us always. So the measure of a Blessed Life is not a big house, fine car or lots of money in the bank. How many rich people do we hear about daily who are unhappy, on drugs, alcohol, been married ten times or who just give up and commit suicide? So does money or the worldly version of success bring happiness or joy? No. Of course extreme poverty or serious illness is not a happy experience either but life is cyclical. We’re supposed to have ups and downs.
Beware any pastor, minister, or self help guru who makes promises that if we just follow their specialized guaranteed Twelve Steps to Success we will all be singing and dancing like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. The only people whose wealth is increasing are those false prophets whether they’re wearing a clerical collar or a designer suit.
The hidden unspoken message behind their declarations are that people who don’t experience success, i.e. folks who get sick, lose their job, home, fall on hard times or die did not have enough faith or didn’t follow the so-called steps for the “right results”.
Redefine success. Your own personal success. Little did I realize that I was successful when I lost my good high paying job five years ago; when I found myself in the E.R. of Roosevelt Hospital, November 7, 2008 due to extreme high blood pressure; when I lost my vision in my left eye for over a year until surgery partially restored my sight January 2010, when I nearly died from an addiction to prescription medications, when I found myself penniless and unable to pay my rent or other bills I was still successful. When I hit rock bottom that’s when I lost all my pride and was forced to ask for help. When I prayed to God and asked him to send me help, my prayers were answered. I’m still not where I want to be in life but I’m on my way there. Why? Because I’m right where God wants me to be in life.
New International Version (NIV)
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
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Thank you and God Bless.