In a review of the book, The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, Joan Z. Shore wrote:
We do not have time to read philosophy, to engage in esoteric discussions, or to formulate theories. Even psychotherapy is too long and too costly an undertaking. We want the ready-made, the microwaved, the heat-and-serve, the wash-and-wear; we do not want to be bothered with serious study and careful analysis. We want answers at a discount, nicely packaged and ready to go.
And that's what The Secret is all about. Oprah Winfrey and her audiences ate it up. The mail in response was off the charts. The book jumped to Number One on the New York Times bestseller list, and the DVD is selling like heavenly hotcakes.
After the Old Testament and the New Testament, The Secret is the Ultimate Testament. It is The Gospel According to Rhonda Byrne (the author, an ingenuous Australian woman) and her peppy band of disciples. It promises not salvation but, better yet, wealth and success and happiness and love. Maybe health, too, if that's your problem. Just stop thinking you're a jerk and a failure, and begin to see yourself as infinitely powerful and talented and gorgeous and wise. Then everything wonderful and enriching and gorgeous and wise will come to you.
So, The Secret is better than the Old Testament and better than the New Testament; it is the “Ultimate Testament.” And the reason it is the Ultimate Testament is because this Ultimate Testament does not promise salvation but it promises something better: wealth, success, and happiness.
That’s it, folks: wealth, success, and happiness is the trinity of a new religious movement that is spreading throughout the world. People are more interested in worshiping the trinity of the present age than they are in seeking the truths of God revealed in Christ.
One classical example is the Reverend Creflo A. Dollar (his name says it all), a Georgia preacher with an international ministry known as the Changing Your World television ministry. Reverend Dollar preaches a message of change that includes health, spirit, and finances. As an article in The New York Times shows what the almighty Dollar has accomplished:
Mr. Dollar, whose Rolls-Royces, private jets, million-dollar Atlanta home and $2.5 million Manhattan apartment, furnish proof to his followers of the validity of his teachings, is a leading apostle of what is known as the “prosperity gospel.”
So, I ask again: Was Jesus rich or poor?
Claude F. Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Creflo Dollar, Jesus, Prosperity Gospel, The Secret, Ultimate Testament