Friday, February 29, 2008

More On Twisted Calvinism & Election As Karma

My husband and I both suffer from chronic pain and both have had suffered the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of many of our varied experiences in life. It was highly recommended for both of us to seek help with hypnosis as an alternative to medication, especially for myself because I am allergic to NSAIDs and Aspirin, producing life threatening asthma. Both of us were unwilling to submit to much of this without more knowledge of the workings of hypnosis, so I trained as a hypnotherapist, specifically for pain management, but also to learn to self-soothe again which becomes problematic in those with PTSD. I was blessed to be permitted to certify without submitting to "regression therapy" and enjoyed the opportunity to declare my Christian views to my classmates, though I don't know how well they understood them. It was definitely a clash of worldviews!

Among the topics discussed, this whole concept of the "law of attraction" came up, something I believe to be a primitive ego defense and a simplistic way of ascribing meaning to events under a worldview oriented towards Eastern mysticism, though many blend this with their Christianity without any conflicts. Basically, this religious belief maintains that on a metaphysical level, we resonate frequencies through our thoughts, and we will attract those things which correspond to the frequency we resonate. Reminded of Napoleon Hill's book, if we think rich, we will become rich. I took a great deal of flack and walked very gingerly through this topic during my hypnosis training, as positive thinking is paramount in hypnosis. My views about the nature of what I believe is naive magical thinking were quite unpopular.

So I was intrigued when I found this posting on Amazon refering to "The Secret" as it relates to some of the opinions that I have regarding the warping of Calvinism into a type of karma. (Though I will probably eventually post more on the book, you can read a Christian critique of the belief system here on PAGE 14 in the Midwest Christian Outreach Journal.) I am also reminded of the "vision casting" that is spoken of in both the emergent church and in patriarchy groups like "Vision Forum." As best as I can ascertain, this practice that is taught by Doug Phillips actually derives from pagan practice, extending far beyond the Scriptures that make reference the perishing of those who have no vision. Visions are also referenced in Scripture but in reference to the prophetic minstries of the prophets, something that I don't believe that Vison Forum supports as an active gift of the Spirit or charismata that still functions today. (Or do they?) Vision casting rings in my ears much like "spell casting," and it disturbs me because this is not spoken about in Scripture. The groups that talk of "vision casting" like Vision Forum do not offer much more explanation than this, but they do refer to the practice. I can only find references to this in pagan literature, and those like Doug Phillips who use the term do not speak of the origins of the practice.

In any event, here is the comment on an Amazon discussion board, also drawing some of the parallels that I have between this warped view of election and the concept of karma, producing the same outcomes:

Initial post: Sep 7, 2007 2:48 PM PDT
truthseeker says:

This whole secret business is not a secret and it isn't new. It reminds me of Calvinism and other religious notions like karma making one born into a lower caste of even the idea of original sin. If it is true that we attract everything that comes to us, then not only did six million jews attract the holocaust to themselves but hundreds of millions of native americans--north and south, africans, asians, and polynesians sent an attraction out to europe and attracted white caucasians to come to their countries to rape them, give them diseases, kill them, steal their land and in some cases cause their whole tribe to die, every last member. Manifest Destiny---Hmmmm...God must of wanted for us to have all this, no? So the secret means even the little babies were attracting that carnage to themselves. For what end? Spiritual growth? A spiritual shift! YES! YES! That is what God wanted! For all those millions of heathens to die and give us their land and wealth. They chose it!

The Secret is primarily a way for people (many of them white) to not have compassion, to feel smug and justified in their lives, because then they don't have to help anyone else. Why bother? If that person chose that experience, don't rob them of it and the lesson they "chose to learn" by feeding or clothing them or by helping them in any damn way. They chose it. The end. I actually heard new age women having a discussion once about why a woman they knew chose to be raped. They were serious. No compassion there. They could have been holding her, supporting her, loving her, but instead they chose to wonder why she chose to be raped. Shame on anyone who falls for this old age darkness. Now, don't get me wrong. I choose to love, to shine brightly, to attract good to myself but I know that someone else could overpower me and harm me and then I choose how to react to that. It has happened to me and I have chosen to confront those who harmed me and then to forgive, move on, and love myself. It does not mean I chose that crap to happen. It means I chose how to react and deal with it in a way that was best for me and others. This secret may make you feel okay about being self-absorbed but it isn't going to heal the world.

Amen! According to the Apostle Paul and the Word of God, the only thing that will heal the world is the preaching of Christ and Him crucified!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:
for it is the power of God unto salvation
to every one that believeth;
to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.