O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled. Psa 79:1
But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. 1 Cor 10:20
Ernest Holmes founded the Church of Religious Science, also known as the Science of the Mind, upon “Supreme Secret” that the “Masters of Wisdom” revealed to Napoleon Hill (Author: Think And Grow Rich). It is closely related to the Positive Thinking of Norman Vincent Peale and the Possibility Thinking of Robert Schuller. In 1958 Holmes prophesied, “We have launched a Movement which in the next 100 years, will be the great new religious impulsion of modern times… (destined) to envelop the world…” Here is how Holmes explained this “Supreme Secret”.
“Science of Mind teaches that the originating, supreme, creative Power of the Universe, the Source of all substance, the Life in all living things, is a cosmic Reality Principle which is present throughout the Universe and in everyone of us.
Science of Mind teaches that Man controls the course of his life… by mental processes which function according to a Universal Law…that we are all creating our own day-to-day experiences…by the form and procession of our thoughts.
Man, by thinking, can bring into his experience whatsoever he desires…”
This most basic idea of ancient sorcery has taken firm hold in our modern world. This is the foundation of what Mr David Oyedepo, Mr Poju Oyemade, Mr Paul Enenche, Mr Benny Hinn, Mr Chris Oyakhilome, Mr Kenneth Copeland, Joshua Talena, Creflo Dollar, Joseph Prince, Myles Monroe, Benson Idahosa, Joyce Meyer, William Kumuyi and everyone preaching Word of Faith and prosperity doctrines teach. It is a doctrine of undisguised rebellion against God and hatred for His Son. It is sourced directly from the Serpent of Genesis 3. It is the cornerstone of the human potential movement (PMA) and the essential ingredient in Success/motivation/PMA seminars. It has also become the major link between sorcery and Christianity. Though expressed in slightly different phrases, it is the common language of all those who have, wittingly or unwittingly, replaced faith in God with a self-serving faith in some mysterious Force that can be used by our minds to get what we want. Norman Vincent Peale was, of course, one of the most successful evangelists of the power of the mind.
He explained it like this:
“…Your unconscious mind…(has a) power that turns wishes into realities when the wishes are strong enough”.
Robert Schuller’s Possibility Thinking is the same product as Peale’s Positive Thinking marketed under a different brand name. Schuller declares: “ Now – Believe and you will Achieve”. Paul Meyer, the President of Success Motivation Institute, expresses it this way:
“Vividly imagine, sincerely believe, ardently desire, enthusiastically act and it must inevitably come to pass”.
Paul Yongi Cho declares: “Through visualization and dreaming you can incubate your future and hatch the results.” Such teaching has confused sincere Christians into imagining that ‘faith’ is a force that makes things happen because they believe. Thus faith is not placed in God but it is a power directed at God which forces Him to do for us what we have believed He will do.
When Jesus said on several occasions, “Your faith has saved (healed) you, He did not mean that there is some magic power triggered by believing, but that faith had opened the door for Him to heal them. If a person is healed merely because he believes he will be healed, then the power is in his mind and God is merely a placebo to activate his belief. If everything works according to the “laws of success”(such as taught by Mike Murdock and David Oyedepo) then God is irrelevant and grace is obsolete. All one needs to do is to exercise Hill’s “power of belief”. (The false teacher) Robert Schuller sums it up:
“You don’t know what power you have within you!…You make the world into anything you choose. Yes, you can make your world into whatever you want it to be.”
Such ideas are accepted in the world as sound PMA principles and are becoming increasingly popular within the church. It is plain sorcery.
Many sincere Christians have been influenced by the sorcerer’s gospel to imagine that faith has some power in itself. Once again, to them faith is not placed in God but it is a power directed at God which forces Him to do what we have believed He will do. At the very least, this makes God subject to alleged “laws” that we can activate by “faith”; at worst it eliminates God from the process altogether, putting everything in our hands and thus turning us into gods who can make anything happen by our “power of belief”.
If everything works according to such “laws” then God is no longer sovereign and there is no place for grace. All one needs to do is exercise this “power of belief”. That is the basic idea behind sorcery. That is what Kenneth Hagin in his book, Have Faith In Your Faith, teaches. That is what is taught to everyone who attends Rhema, his pastors’ school. That is the cancer being infused into Christian groups, churches and fellowships throughout the world, disguised as Christianity.
In contrast, Jesus said, “Have faith in God” (mark 11:22). Faith must have an object.
If we can make God or some cosmic Force do our bidding by the thoughts we think or words we speak, then we have achieved the sorcerer’s goal: We have become masters of our own fate and can make anything happen that we want to happen simply by believing that it will happen. The power is in our belief and God Himself must do what we believe He will do because whatever we believe must come to pass.
Rampant among ‘Christians’ today, this seductive idea is exactly what these “Masters” (demons) taught Hill and exactly what he came to believe and teach – that he could become a “Master”, too.
“Know your own mind – live your own life. You can make your life what you want it to be…self-confident faith in yourself is an indispensable ingredient for good living…
A healthy ego makes you more receptive to the influences which guide you from a region beyond the power of our five senses to know…Unseen, silent forces influence us constantly…there are unseen watchers…
I can find faith which vastly enlarges my powers…always I know I am the master of my fate, I am the Captain of my soul”.
That was the attractive bait on the hook, and it led Napoleon Hill ever deeper into sorcery. He rejected the God of the Bible and the Christian faith his father crudely tried to force into him when he was a boy, and instead opted for an impersonal Force or Universal Mind, which he called ‘God’.
This is a mixture of truth and error that Christian leaders are bringing into the church. Douglass and Rody make it very clear they are not “endorsing the idea that a person ought to substitute positiveness for trusting in God”. Having said that, there is a sense of being on safe ground and, it is easy to fail to see the real danger. Substitution is not the big problem since almost everyone would easily recognize and reject such obvious error. Confusion is the problem. Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone, for example, talk about ‘God’ in their books but their ‘God’ is a metaphysical “Divine Power” that can be tapped into through mind-power techniques. Hill and Stone don’t substitute PMA for faith, but promote an even more dangerous idea: that PMA and faith are one and the same, that believing in the power of the mind is somehow the same as believing in God; that the human mind is some kind of magic talisman that wields a metaphysical force with infinite potential because somehow it is part of what they call Infinite Intelligence. This is Hinduism and New Age beliefs displacing basic Christianity both in the world and inside the church. This is what Paul Yongi cho, the founder of the so-called world largest church in Seoul, South Korea teaches.
We owe the late Dave Hunt and T A McMahon for much of the materials in this post. Their 1985 book, “Seduction of Christianity”,( http://www.banner.org.uk/media/books/Seduction%20of%20Christianity%20by%20Dave%20Hunt.pdf) is freely available on the internet. I advise you click on the link, call it up and read it.