By Brannon S. Howse
Although David Barton spoke for our Worldview Weekend conferences for many years, I stopped inviting him after he helped organize Glenn Beck’s 8-28 rally in August 2010. Subsequently, I also discovered that David has participated in spiritual enterprises with members of the New Apostolic Reformation, even appearing on a DVD that promotes the Law of Attraction. The same DVD praises the New Age book and DVD The Secret.
I bring this up as an example of how Christians should respond to aberrant teachers. Worldview Weekend discontinued carrying Barton’s radio program on our website, offering his books and DVDs, and featuring him at our conferences. And it was a very hard thing to do. David Barton had been a close friend for many years, but my ultimate commitment must be to the Word of God. It is really difficult to see people you have admired taking part in activities that are clearly a violation of biblical theology and doctrine.
In March 2008, a Christian talk-show host called to tell me that David Barton was appearing on a DVD called The Source of the Secret that described how Christians could benefit from the Law of Attraction. That “Law” is one being widely promoted by New Agers on The Oprah Winfrey Show. I immediately called David and explained to him that Oprah was promoting the “Law of Attraction” and that perhaps he did not know this to be a blatantly New Age concept. David explained that he believes Oprah’s teaching is unbiblical but that what he and the other presenters were talking about on the DVD is the biblical manner in which Christians could benefit from the Law. I explained my biblically-based objections and implored David to remove himself from this documentary before it was released. But three years later, I found out that, in May 2010, the documentary had aired on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). It overtly promotes a so-called “Christian” version of the Law of Attraction.
David Barton's April 4, 2011 radio program description noted, "Culture can be divided into 7 Pillars of influence, Family, Religion, Education, Media, Entertainment, Business, and Government."
These are exactly the same pillars of C. Peter Wanger's New Apostolic Reformation "Seven Mountain Mandate." In a May 31st, 2007 letter, C. Peter Wagner wrote:
[quote] In my view it is not possible to get an operational handle on how to initiate corporate action toward social transformation without taking into account the seven mountains or what I like to call "molders of culture." The seven are religion, family, business, arts & entertainment, government, education, and media. [end quote]
Barton appears to have identified himself with the dominion theology crowd by promoting what he called the seven pillars on his radio program.
I am sad to see my friend of many years go in the theological direction he is now headed. Another syndicated Christian talk show host, Ingrid Schlueter, also told me she had warned him in an email exchange at about the same time of my first warning to David. Our pleas were to no avail, and Barton appeared in the documentary that featured a line-up of Word of Faith, name-it-and-claim-it teachers including the now-deceased Oral Roberts and an orthodox Jew who talked about how the Law of Attraction works. Apparently, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was not required to make the Law bring you what you desire.
The Source of the Secret DVD seems contradictory. It praises the Law of Attraction, praises The Secret, and then it warns about potential dangers before praising both The Secret and the Law of Attraction again.
Author and pastor Kerry Shook also appears on the DVD with David Barton and claims:
[quote] I have talked to a lot of people who said The Secret has forever changed my life, and I agree that it has. Because they’re putting biblical principles into their life whether they realize it or not, it is going to change their life. Now I want them to take a step further and give credit to the source, and the source is Jesus Christ. [end quote]
How can these people say The Secret is a good thing when it is clearly false teaching? How can people appearing in The Source of the Secret say you need to look behind the source of the false teaching to Jesus Christ or to God? What Jesus or God are they talking about? It is certainly not the Jesus or God of the Bible. Only a false teacher would say the source behind The Secret is the God of the Bible.
The DVD alleges that the concept of The Secret is positive but that people need to meet the “God” behind the Law of Attraction. Does this not reveal just how far the Church and its leaders in America have sunk?
In 1 Kings 18:20-21, Elijah declares to the Children of Israel, who mingled worship of God with pagan spirituality, that they must choose to whom they will pledge their allegiance. Elijah asked the Israelites, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”
In 1985, Dave Hunt warned that such New Age teachings as the Law of Attraction would soon become mainstream in evangelicalism:
[quote] Today’s church is being swept by a revival of New Thought, now called Positive Thinking, Possibility Thinking, Positive Confession, Positive Mental Attitude, and Inner Healing. We are very concerned that this time New Thought, which represents inside the church what New Age is in the secular world, will not be forced out, but will remain within the evangelical church to contribute to the growing confusion and seduction. One of the most basic New Thought techniques is visualization, which is now firmly entrenched within the church. Even after it was forced out of mainstream Christianity early in this century, New Thought survived on the fringes of the church in extreme Pentecostalism. [quote]
This “extreme Pentecostalism” is no longer considered extreme but openly embraced by the New Religious Right and Neo-evangelicals. Thus, the New Age philosophies and practices of the NAR and WOF are also embraced whether the New Religious Right and Neo-evangelicals are willing to admit it or not.
Bob Harrison, “America’s Increase Activist,” appears on The Source of the Secret DVD and proclaims:
[quote] Knowing that millions of copies of The Secret book and video have been sold, and people have listened to it and read, I feel it is a positive thing because it can introduce them to the Law of Attraction, one of the principles that cause them to have greater success. But the danger is it’s not going to take them far enough unless they learn the Source. [end quote]
How can it be a positive thing that people are reading false teaching? The danger is that people who meet the source of The Secret will be meeting demons. First Timothy 4:1 warns: “Now the spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”
The DVD never mentions the Gospel. No one in the DVD—not the producer or anyone he interviews—ever explains the way to meet this God they claim is the source behind the secret. The message is simply that the source of the secret is God and that the original book and DVD did not go far enough.
Shad Wehrli, life coach and co-creator of The Source of The Secret, says:
[quote] The source to “The Secret” is God and a relationship with Him. He is the source for everything. And that’s when I saw the initial “Secret.” I saw that it was incomplete because it talked about the universe but not The One who created the universe, talked about creation, but not the Creator. And so, I saw that it was absolutely incomplete. The source is God. I mean, after all, the Law of Attraction sounds good, but how can you have a Law without a Lawgiver? [end quote]
The Source of the Secret features several Word of Faith false teachers, and there is very little difference between Oprah Winfrey’s New Age Law of Attraction and the Word of Faith Law of Attraction.
To help you grasp the scope of this problem, here is a listing of some of the other individuals and their statements that appeared on The Source of the Secret:
● Ron McIntosh, Executive Director Victory Bible Institute—“What I love about The Secret is The Law of Attraction. It is an automatic law. It works whether you believe it or not. You are applying the Law of Attraction by manifesting your dominant thoughts, whether you realize it or not.”
● John Bevere, best-selling author and international speaker—“The Law of Attraction and all the laws described in The Secret work, because they are laws that have already been established by God.”
● Ed Gungor, NY Times best-selling author and speaker—“You can be an agnostic, you can be an atheist, you can be a whatever, a pagan, and you can learn the laws of sowing and reaping as well as the Law of Attraction. And you can bring good into the world. And God designed it that way.”
● Alex Loyd N.D., Ph.D., founder of “The Healing Codes”—Rhonda Byrne [author of The Secret book] filmed me to be part of The Secret, but I was left on the editing floor. And I believe it was because I talked in that interview so much about how the Law of Attraction, yes, is real. But the thing that determines whether the Law of Attraction is going to work in your life or not is the condition of your heart.”
● Kerry Shook, pastor and author of One Month To Live—“At the end of the day after you close The Secret book, are you going to follow just principles, the Law of Attraction and the Secret? Or, are you going to follow the Real Secret, Jesus Christ?”
The DVD narrator concludes by saying:
[quote] The discovery of the Law of Attraction is just the beginning. The journey can and must go deeper. Be inspired to continue your own journey as you search for and discover the Source behind these laws. For when you seek, you will find. And, through this journey, come face-to-face with a loving God, the true Source of Life, Love, and all the good you have ever known. [end quote]
Unfortunately, the Law of Attraction is extremely attractive to some dynamic leaders who do an all-too-good of a job attracting others to themselves.
Copyright 2012 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.