How do you know if what you believe is really true? I remember when I first became a Christian, my brother thought I was involved in a cult. (It’s been nearly 30-years now, so I think he realizes his sister is OK.) Nonetheless, there are strange beliefs out there. How do you know when one is false? Let’s take a look at the “Law of Attraction” to help answer this question.

A friend of mine contacted me recently with concern that her sister is involved in a cult. She mentioned something about the Law of Attraction, and sent me a link to this lady who holds conferences on this movement. As a strong Christian woman, my friend wasn’t sure how to approach her sister, but she wants to “speak the truth in love.” (Eph. 4:15.)

Here is what I would say: ALL TRUTH COMES FROM GOD… but here’s the kicker — Jesus Christ said that He was the way, the TRUTH, and the life. (John 14:6.) So, Jesus is the complete truth.

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Don’t just take one slice of truth!

To illustrate this point, I am going to use a pie to represent the whole truth metaphorically. What I’ve seen is that many people get one small ‘slice of the pie’ of truth, but they don’t see the whole pie. These people then take their pie slice and can build a whole movement based on a mere piece of the truth, instead of the whole truth as found in Jesus Christ. The problem is that there is enough truth in some of these beliefs to convince many people that they have the ‘whole pie’ of truth. That is a lie. Good lies are deceptive because they contain a slice of Biblical truth* mixed in with a lot of humanism (secular thought). The Law of Attraction is such a movement.

Esther Hicks

A woman named Esther Hicks has been conducting workshops and writing books on this subject. What the Law of Attraction states, according to Hicks, is that we are to “bring our vibrations into one with the moment… That we all have access to a non-physical stream of consciousness, and can create our own reality.”[1] Hicks takes this idea even farther, calling it the “Abraham-Hicks” technique. She suggests we create our own realty by translating thoughts from a group of non-physical entities called Abraham (unrelated to the Biblical Abraham). Hicks describes this Abraham as the “infinite intelligence” that she taps into. Esther said that this is “the purest form of love I’ve ever experienced.”

No one should ever simply believe something without asking reasonable questions. So, ask what exactly does she mean by “Abraham”? On what does Hicks base her beliefs? It sounds as if she bases everything on a personal, subjective experience. Is this reliable?

Hicks’ teachings are based on subjective experiences. That is the key — subjective experiences cannot be verified, since they are internal and personal. Hicks’ claims are not verifiable. Followers of Abraham-Hicks must simply take her word for it. There is no concrete evidence backing up her teachings.

In contrast, Christianity can be verified. It is not based on one person’s experience, but it is based on hundreds of eye-witness accounts (1 Cor. 15:6). These people saw Jesus in a new, resurrected body after he was crucified. Not only did hundreds of people see the Risen Christ alive again, but many wrote about it in historical biographies. Some ended up paying with their lives to proclaim this truth to the Roman empire! Those martyrs did not die in vain. Within a few hundred years, the entire Roman empire was converted to Christianity. Now all of this is verifiable, since it didn’t happen from a subjective, personal, internal experience. It happened because it was an historical event that many people saw with their own two eyes!

Again, Hicks’ teachings are subjective, personal experiences. She describes these experiences of the Law of Attraction by stating that one’s thoughts are like a magnet—what you think, you will attract. Hmm…That sounds familiar in some way. Could this idea be borrowed from a Biblical concept? It sounds like the Biblical truth that teaches “you reap what you sow” (Gal. 6:7), meaning you live with the results of your actions, and those actions first begin in the thought life.

You have the whole world in your hands? Ummm…. I don’t think so!

The Abraham-Hicks technique is similar to the positive thinking movement, which is another concept that the Law of Attraction borrows from. This movement was started by an occultist named William Walker Atkinson in the early 1900s. Atkinson borrowed his ideas from principles taught in the “New Thought” system. This system is not so “new” after all. The techniques taught in New Thought are what some refer to mental science, which is based in ancient Asian meditation practices designed to bring about good karma (cause and effect).

The concept that the Law of Attraction is ultimately based upon is Karma. Christians don’t believe in Karma, which is the sum of a person’s actions in this life, and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences (a.k.a. reincarnation). Instead, symbolism used in the Bible is one of farming: sowing and reaping. If you plant seeds that are good, you will grow good things, and vice-a-versa. Specifically, the Bible is referring to sowing seeds of the Spirit, which are eternal principles of Divine government set in place by God. These things include fruits of the spirit, which Paul discusses in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Christians also don’t believe in reincarnation—this life is all you get, and then you will stand before God to account for your life. There are no ‘do-overs’, as clearly stated in Heb. 9:27: “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

When we don’t live by the Spirit, we’re living by the flesh, or the self-focused (sinful) nature. This self-focus centers primarily on individual pleasure and personal happiness. This is what the Law of Attraction feeds on: the self. Hicks explains that your thought life creates reality in the physical realm. She encourages participants to focus on positive thoughts, wellness, and success. Who doesn’t want those things? But if those things are an end unto themselves, then the Law of Attraction is, ultimately, a selfish belief system. Christianity, in contrast, teaches a Christ-centered focus, and that means being otherly-minded, serving humanity for the benefit of all.

The Abraham-Hicks technique has a small piece of the truth pie, but where did she cut that slice of truth from? The apostle Paul spoke about one’s mental state about two-thousand years ago: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Phil. 4:8.) This concept of ‘how you think’ does have truth in it.

Instead of following some guru who basically borrows slices of the truth from the Bible, why not follow Truth Himself in the person of Jesus Christ? He said this, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38.)

Remember that a cult is something that cannot be verified because it is based on subjective experience or a spurious belief. It’s often led by a single person, or guru, who shares these experiences without evidence to back it up.

People SAW the Risen Lord!

* There is a good reason to trust that the teachings of the Bible are divinely inspired. How can I make such a bold claim? First, there is ample evidence showing that the New Testament documents are the most historically-attested ancient documents that we have. This means that they are genuine. Recall that all we know about history comes from written accounts. So, knowing that the New Testament is historically verified by not only the embarrassingly-large amount of manuscript evidence, but through archaeology and other, non-biblical sources[2], we can trust its sayings to be true. Its sayings contain the very words of Jesus Christ. His words, read over the centuries, have changed millions of people’s lives for the better! The New Testament shows that Jesus regularly quoted from the Old Testament, too, affirming its inspiration. Other religions simply don’t have this kind of evidence. The best evidence of all is the Resurrection! All these other gurus are either dead (or will die), but none of them have risen in a new, resurrected body like Jesus! This is why Christians are so adamant about sharing the truth – Jesus is alive, and He is the ‘whole pie’ — the Truth and God incarnate.

 

 

[1] YouTube video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmRep5MXsB0

[2] Jewish historians wrote about Christ, as well as Roman historians.