New Thought – Talking with Members

By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©2004
Final thoughts on why “new thought” theology just doesn’t work in the real world.

New Thought
Talking with Members

We have attempted to show that New Thought promises much but delivers little. New Thought tells us that we are separate from God in thought and that consciousness is our re­deemer. We are to remind ourselves constantly that we are truly God and perfect, in spite of the fact that our experience constantly denies it. Where is the wisdom here? New Thought promises Godhood but remains stuck with humanity. While we could discuss various approaches one could take toward a New Thought believer, we have already listed some of these in the chapters dealing with the New Thought groups Unity School of Christianity, Religious Science and Chris­tian Science.

In summary, New Thought teachings place one in a fantasy world and for that reason alone they can not be trusted. Its teachings do not work because they deny reality. And they may promote pride, selfishness and hedonism. They cannot provide real life here on earth, nor will they provide real life in eternity, because that life comes only through faith in Jesus Christ. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Indeed, the very things people so hope for when they turn to New Thought (contentment, meaning, healing), if not denied them in this life, will certainly be denied them in the next. Such concerns need to be openly discussed.

If New Thought teachers are disrespectful of God’s Word, they are disrespectful of God (2 Sam. 12:9-10). A spiritual teacher who disrespects God should not be considered an authority on the Bible or spiritual matters. By contrasting biblical teachings and New Thought beliefs, the Christian may help members to see the logical consequences of their ideas and to understand how great the final cost will be. (See Scripture Contrasts chart.) As Jesus said, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul” (Matt. 16:26)?

Scripture Contrasts

New Thought: We affirm that the universe is the body of God.[1]

The Bible: They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. (Rom. 1:25)

New Thought: Jesus at no time set himself apart from his fellows in kind.[2]

The Bible: But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” (John 8:23-24)

New Thought: I now decree that God loves me, loves me no matter what I’ve done or not done, no matter how I’ve been behaving.[3]

The Bible: Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homo­sexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-10)

New Thought: Rather than praying for health the New Thought Christian prays for his con­scious awareness of the perfect health that is already his.[4]

The Bible: Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the Church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. (James 5:14)

New Thought: This truth [New Thought] is the savior of the world, for without it we are already lost, with it we can never be lost.[5]

The Bible: And we have seen and testify that the Father has but sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4:14)This man really is the Savior of the World. (John 4:42)

Notes

  1. New Thought, Summer 1979, p. 41.
  2. Ibid., Winter, 1980, p. 23.
  3. Ibid., Spring, 1978, p. 10.
  4. William A. Warch, The New Though Christian (Anaheim, CA: Christian Living Publishing, 1977), p. 40.
  5. Herman J. Aaftink, New Thought—A Way of Life (Calgary, Alberta, Canada: The Centre for Positive Living), p. 2

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