“The Secret” to Blame for Economic Collapse, Some Analysts Say

Cincinnati, OH — Some analysts believe they have now discovered the reason for the near-collapse of the global economy– The Secret. The Secret is a film and book by Rhonda Byrne which teaches that there is a universal law called “the Law of Attraction.” The Law of Attraction posits that everything you think or focus on will be brought to you by the universe. For instance, if you think “checks in the mail,” the Universe will automatically bring you checks in the mail. The premise behind this is that human individuals create their own Universes with their thoughts and actions. This is where experts think things took a turn.

“I don’t know how your own little private universe works, but in the real universe we have a free market. We can’t have just any shmuck who’s attended a Law of Attraction seminar getting checks in the mail without putting in the work. Capitalism doesn’t function that way. Someone’s gotta pay for those checks,” says economist Richard Burrage. “When Rhonda Byrne started telling everyone that the Universe would give them anything they wanted, people started buying up houses and cars they couldn’t afford. For awhile everyone lived richly, but then disaster struck because the universe doesn’t understand how a free market works. You can’t just give and give and not expect bad consequences.”

Defenders of the Secret have proposed other theories for the collapse. Says Secret Practitioner Lucifer Moonunit, “the Universe is very temperamental. It will bring you whatever you want, but you have to be careful not to use words like ‘don’t’ or ‘not’ because the Universe doesn’t understand those words. If you go around saying, ‘I DON’T want to be late for work’ or ‘I hope I’m NOT pregnant,’ then the Universe will do everything in its power to get you to work an hour late and with child, even if that means creating a traffic jam and causing an immaculate conception. In this case, there were probably just too many people going around saying, ‘I sure hope the economy doesn’t collapse…’ So if the economy is broken, it’s our fault. We should have been more positive.”

This view has been supported by holocaust survivor and Secret supporter, Yaakov Singer: “When bad things happen to us, we are always the ones to blame. If we aren’t emitting positive vibes into the universe, we’re going to bring a lot of trouble on ourselves. Why are we trying to send peacekeeping troops into Darfur instead of just dropping off The Secret DVDs or The Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks? We need to stop blaming genocidal tyrants and selfish corporations for doing ‘evil’ to us. There is no such thing as evil. It’s all about whose desire and will is strongest. We just need to be more strong-willed.”

Organic House VS. Institutional Church Models

First of all, some quick definitions–
Organic House Church– by this I am referring to the type of model that Frank Viola supports in his books, most popularly Pagan Christianity. This is church in the home with no pastor or appointed elders. There is also usually no “game plan” for worship, so everyone is able to share and encourage each other. This would usually be a smaller community of believers.

Institutional Church– Traditional Protestant model for worship. A pastor normally leads the service and preaches a sermon. There is usually a schedule followed such as– Opening song, prayer, announcements, offering, praise and worship, sermon, prayer, end. This can range from a smaller to larger community of believers.

I have spent some time in both models, though more in the institutional church (in numerous denominations). My house church experience is, thus far, limited to one. So my impressions of this system are based upon the one I have attended, as well as my exposure to books, essays, and audio by Frank Viola, Jim Wallace, and other organic church proponents. Here are my thoughts thus far.

Strengths and weaknesses of the Institutional model– One positive aspect the Institutional Church has is its visibility. Because it is visible, people who are outside can know where the gospel will be preached if they are interested in knowing Christ. Also, as it is strongly organized, it has the capacity for strong programs for Christians as well as the ability to evangelize and share the love of Christ to the world (either through evangelistic endeavors, programs for the poor, etc.). The Institutional Church also has strong leadership features. This, in my mind, can be both good and bad. On the bad side, too much authority limits the potential for freedom in church meetings and can be dangerous if the authority figure is a bad one. This is why, as far as I can read from Scripture, the early church leadership was made up of more than one elder instead of just one pastor. When authority works well, you know that there are people who can keep organization, deal with schisms, encourage proper doctrine, and deal with church discipline.

Strengths and Weakness of the Organic House Model– 1 Corinthians 14:26 tells us, “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.” The OHC model is the best one available to provide this experience. Instead of having a pastor dominate the service, everyone has the ability to share and discuss with one another. Instead of the pastor being the mouth and every other person in the church being the ears, every person can play his/her part in the body of Christ. Secondly, the only verse in Scripture I’m aware of where church attendance is commanded is in Hebrews 10:24-25 and it tells us, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” The OHC model once again provides opportunities to encourage one another DURING THE MEETING. The Institutional Model falls short here. However, because the OHC model often reacts so strongly against authority, it (in my opinion) ignores rightly instituted Biblical authority. Just because a person or group of people are given a certain amount of responsibility or a certain role, that does not mean they are better or more important than those who have a different responsibility. This is true in the relationship between a husband and a wife, just as it is true in the relationship between church leaders and others who are in the church. Because 1 Timothy 3 refers to an elder as he who is appointed to a position, able to teach, able to be a good leader at home, and godly in his behavior, we have to look at the role of an elder as a figure in the church who is appointed and looked up to as a leader, not simply a nice, smart person whom we all respect (as Viola seems to indicate in his book “Pagan Christianity”).

These are some of my thoughts on this subject, though not all of them. I would like to hear from those involved in both models as to what they think about these differences and if one model seems better to them. I would personally like to see both models learn from each other. I think the institutional model needs to stop being so afraid of change and the organic house model needs to stop simply REACTING to things in the Institutional Church and carefully consider some of the potential benefits it might have.

Making Jesus the Center.