Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Secret: Demon Possession

If you haven't heard about the cultural phenomenon that is The Secret simply walk into the nearest bookstore and get assaulted by the first display case. It will contain many copies of the book, unless of course it is sold out. The Secret is on the top of basically all the bestseller lists and has even been recommended by the great Oprah. Which of course means millions of fleeced housewives will run out and purchase this book in hopes of finding purpose and meaning in life.

What I originally thought was a great marketing ploy to make millions of dollars, which it has, now appears to be much more frightening. On Sunday the New York Times ran an article about the origins of the DVD, which the book was based off of, and the demon possessed woman behind much of this New Age cult.

Apparently the "original" version of the DVD was to star Esther Hicks being the, "most prominent interpreter of the law of attraction." However, after a falling out a second version was made in which she was cut out. One of the biggest rifts came when the original version lacked any face time for Hicks, instead the DVD just used the demon that possesses her to narrate much of the DVD.

Hicks it seems travels around with her husband putting on conferences for people to spend $195 a pop to have her "...summon otherworldy spirits she says speaks through her." These spirits, that use the name Abraham, then answers questions from the audience. Esther and her husband have also written a book, The Law of Attraction: The Basic Teachings of Abraham and constantly release CDs and DVDs dispelling the "wisdom" of Abraham.

It reminds me a lot of Acts 16, where Paul encountered a possessed slave girl, who made a lot of money for her masters through fortune-telling. This possessed slave girl follows Paul and his companions proclaiming, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation." After many days of annoying Paul, he gets fed up and casts out the demon in Jesus' name. This of course leads to a small uproar in which Paul and Silas are beaten and thrown in jail.

The questions is if you met Esther Hicks would Abraham proclaim that you were a "Servant of the Most High God?"

For those of you who find this all to fantastic and don't know that a spiritual realm truly does exist should be at the very least able to label this woman a lunatic. Multiple personalities are generally not seen as a positive, unless of course it is netting you millions of dollars.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Who's Right?

In the New York Times yesterday they had a very interesting piece on the "Christian Right" and their efforts to find a 2008 presidential candidate. Apparently there is a secret organization of influential conservative Christians who gather to talk and strategize about the evangelical influence on politics. Although it doesn't seem to be quite as secretive now.

I found several things very interesting about this whole thing. First was where it was held: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida which seems to be quite an exclusive and expensive hotel. With rooms ranging any where from $250 - $1800 a night, not to mention the cost just to get to the island.

Second, was how secretive this group is. They decline to talk about what was discussed and appear to want anonymity, yet the premise of the get together was to find some one that they all could support in their moral war on America.

Third, is the fact that they in large represent Christianity to most of America. This last one is what hurts the most. While they wage a moral war and look to establish a political kingdom here on Earth they seem to leave The King out of it. It is almost if they are the Zealots of today. Unfortunately issues of abortion, same sex marriage, and taxes are the most important to them, not God's glory. Don't think I am say those issues aren't important, but truly they pale in comparison to Jesus. As one of my friends explored in his blog: Obedience = Moralism? We need to come to Jesus not a moral code.

A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to preach at the local church I am apart of and hit on this point a bit. If you wish you can hear the message here or get our podcast through our rss feed:

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Dawkins Delusion
Some of you may have already seen this, but it is absolutely hilarious. I wish I was as witty as these guys.
Child Soldiers

I was able to read the book: A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier a week before it is due to be released. I guess it is one benefit of working for a giant corporation that is very much into social issues. I was again stirred on behalf of all the child soldiers and modern day slaves across the globe. I have had several unique opportunites over the past two years to hear first hand accounts of people in slavery all over the world.

One that I think about often was told to me by a woman named Faye McDonald. She spent several years in Nepal working with slave people, even partnering with a company in New Hampshire to buy entire slave families their freedom, eventually slavery in Nepal became illegal in 2000. That was about two years ago that I heard that story and it was the first time I had realized that slavery is still happening. Now it seems more and more awareness is being brought to these situations, but still much has to be done.

  • I would encourage everyone to check out my friends organization that is working with child soldiers in Uganda. Child Voice International

  • Also see this movie put out by Invisible Children

  • Finally read this book, it is a heart wrenching account of what it is like to be a child soldier