Is “The Law of Attraction” Biblical?
How would you like to just “think” a thing and thereby cause it to happen? Perhaps you’ve heard of the New Age teaching, “The Law of Attraction.” Adherents of the teaching believe that thoughts are made of “pure energy,” energy which attracts other similar energies. Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Larry King, Jim Carrey, and other luminaries are among its followers.
The idea has its roots in the early 1800s “New Thought,” movement based on the teachings of Phineas Cumby who practiced hypnotism and believed the mind had power to heal. By the early 1900s, the “New Thought Alliance” emerged holding that realities can be created simply by the power of one’s mind.
“The Law of Attraction” took on renewed prominence after publication of the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne in 2006, followed by the movie by the same name in 2007. These taught that “everything one wants or needs can be satisfied by believing in an outcome, repeatedly thinking about it, and maintaining positive emotional states to ‘attract’ the desired outcome.”
Scripture does teach that “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24), and that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1). But these speak of a belief and a faith in the One Living True God, not in the power of one’s own mind.
The Bible recognizes essentially only two “Laws” – the “Law of Sin and Death,” demonstrated by man’s inability to live righteously before God by keeping the written “Law of Moses” and the “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2).
Scripture consistently teaches that left to ourselves mankind has no inherent power to better our human situation — i.e. the fact that sin has separated us from our God. Only by divine intervention is restoration and the “power” to live rightly possible: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13) writes Paul.
The Bible speaks nothing of the popular notion of “pure energy” or any other kind of “energies” imagined to flow through the universe, act causatively, or have attractive force. The biblical gospel states clearly that Christ alone is the active creative source and force of all things and that He alone holds all things together.
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:16-17).
There is no mystical “energy.” Christ alone holds all things together. The Holy Spirit is the only Agent, and the Will of God the Father, not one’s own will, is the final determiner.
The desire for God-like control of one’s own destiny is not at all new. In fact, it harks back to mankind’s very first temptation, “‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.‘” (Gen. 3:4-5).
Even before that, this was the sinful heart cry of Lucifer: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” (Isa. 14:14), and it remains today the desire of prideful, rebellious flesh.
The Christian knows — or is at least learning — that God must be all: 100 percent. Anything less will not do, not 80, not 95, not 99, but 100 percent. God is in charge. He is Lord and I am not. In Christ, walking by faith, presenting to Him our requests, “…no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:9). We must bow, and we do bow each moment, if not to Christ, then to idol… money… possession… status… or self.
The “Law of Attraction” is no law at all, and we do well to heed James’ caution: “Don’t be deceived… Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” (Jas. 1:16-17). He alone is the source of all good things.
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