There are only two possible explanations for the existence of the universe and mankind: chance or design. America’s educational system aggressively promotes the former view, while excluding the latter. Explicitly or by clever implication, this outrageous lie bombards us everywhere. As a consequence, the public at large takes for granted, as scientific fact, that the universe is a spontaneously self-generated, evolving, closed system that happened by chance, and is thus purposeless and amoral. Destructive as this falsehood has been, science poses a far more subtle danger which has deceived multitudes of Christians.
Many of this century’s greatest physicists have issued grave warnings against mixing science and religion. Einstein said, “…scientific theory has nothing to do with religion.” Schroedinger declared, “[Science] knows nothing of…good or bad, God and eternity.” Yet the church has imagined that an alliance with science would bring to Christianity greater prestige and acceptability. Christian psychology is one example of this unholy partnership. There are others equally deadly. Beware! Einstein was right. Science and God don’t mix!
Science is today’s secular religion, the new paganism. At its altars the world worships human achievement and anticipates the day when its high priests will have unlocked every secret of the universe and harnessed its unlimited power, conquered space and all disease, and will have achieved virtual immortality for man and enthroned him as master of the universe. This ancient lie of the Serpent to Eve, kept alive in pagan religions and the occult, now, having donned the mask of modern science, is ripening to reap God’s wrath. Only this self-deifying dream explains the continued suicidal practice of free sex in spite of AIDS education programs. Such reckless folly reflects the vain hope––and in some quarters the demand––that science will somehow (and soon) find a cure for even that dread scourge.
Science is legitimate when it examines the universe and acknowledges God’s existence on the basis of observable intelligent design. But when it proudly denies the Creator, it leads to the very worship of creation that Paul, in Romans 1:18-32, declares to be the endemic error that darkens the minds of all mankind. The ecological movement has its ecotheology. Georgetown University professor Victor Ferkiss approvingly says it “starts with the premise that the Universe is God.” Carl Sagan, the high priest of cosmos worship, declares, “If we must worship a power greater than ourselves, does it not make sense to revere the sun and stars?” No! It takes little insight to see the similarity between a native bowing before a stick or stone which he credits with some occult power, a witch worshiping “Mother Nature,” and a university professor crediting mystic evolutionary forces with producing the human brain.
We endorse scientific investigation of the physical world. The problem comes when science claims that matter is all there is and that everything, including human consciousness and morality, can be explained in scientific terms. That boast pushes God out of His universe; and man, no longer in God’s image, becomes a stimulus-response conglomeration of protein molecules evolving to “godhood.” Such was the atheistic medical model of Freud upon which psychology, in an attempt to establish a “science of human behaviour,” was founded. The consequences have been devastating to the church.
It is so obvious that human behaviour can’t be scientifically explained, yet the lie persists. C. S. Lewis wrote, “If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind. …” That simple logic destroys Darwinism. If man is the chance product of impersonal evolutionary forces, then so are his thoughts—including the theory of evolution.
To escape the embarrassing contradictions, most psychologists traded Freud’s medical model for the newer humanistic and transpersonal psychologies. The latter pretend to deal with soul and spirit and are thus far more seductive and deadly. Many evangelicals imagine that psychology, now that it wears a “spiritual” mask, is compatible with Christianity. One of the premiere inner healers, Rita Bennett, writes, “I was born again of the Spirit….But my ‘soul’ part is another matter. The Greek for ‘soul’ is psyche. My soul is my psychological nature….” Try to find that in the Bible!
Echoing Freud, Bennett refers to “a vast area called the unconscious” that Christians “are not able to reach directly” but which governs our behaviour. “Everything that happened to you, even from the time you were a tiny baby, is recorded in your memory,” says Bennett, and is “subconsciously” affecting you in ways you can’t understand. The only hope for change is through the sacred rituals of psychology, the new religious science of the soul. Bennett and other inner healers sanctify psychology’s pagan rituals with Christian terminology and by visualizing Jesus present in the process––an occult technique for inducing contact with spirit guides, who are only too happy to pose as “Jesus” or “Mary.”
Christian psychologists naively accept the perverse extension of materialistic science into the realm of soul and spirit. They have brought into the church the twin lies of “mental illness” and the Bible’s lack of insight into these new maladies. Most evangelicals now believe that this new science of mind, rather than Scripture, can explain why we act as we do and how we can change. To explain wrong behavior, however, as “mental illness” caused by past traumas turns sin, for which one is morally accountable to God, into a “sickness” beyond one’s control. Instead of saving sinful souls through Christ alone, Christian psychology pretends to cure sick minds with therapy. Spiritual problems now have scientific diagnoses and cures unknown to biblical prophets and apostles.
The similarity to Christian Science is obvious. Its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, determined to unite science with religion, called Jesus a scientist who knew the laws of mind that govern the universe. There is no sin, sickness, pain, death. We create these illusions with negative thoughts and can cure ourselves with a new, scientific faith––positive thinking. Like Unity’s founders, Myrtle and Charles Fillmore, Ernest Holmes patterned his similar cult, The Church of Religious Science, on the same delusion: “Science of Mind teaches that Man controls the course of his life…by mental processes which function according to a Universal Law…that we are creating our own day-to-day experiences…[by] our thoughts.” Behold, the creature has become Creator, as Paul warned in Romans 1!
The god of Unity/Religious/Christian Science is an impersonal Universal Mind or “higher power”—one with the cosmos and subject to universal laws which man, too, can master. This god exists to give man what he wants and holds no one morally accountable. All is a matter of positive or negative thoughts, which activate this god-energy according to universal laws. One need only act scientifically. The connection to the positive/possibility thinking of Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller, and to the positive confession* of Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland, et al., is again undeniable. (*By confession they mean to speak forth.)
Crediting Fillmore and Holmes with making him a “positive thinker,” Peale says, “through prayer you…make use of the great factor within yourself, the deep subconscious mind…[which Jesus called] the kingdom of God within you….Positive thinking is just another term for faith.” His thesis is obviously false; many atheists are positive thinkers, but Jesus said faith must be in God (Mk 11:22). Peale, a 33rd degree Mason who found “eternal peace in a Shinto shrine,” denies the necessity of both the virgin birth and the new birth. He writes, “Your unconscious mind… [has a] power that turns wishes into realities when the wishes are strong enough.” It was Peale who pioneered the merger of theology and psychology which became Christian” psychology.
Let me repeat: God needs no help from science. Mixing science and religion turns God into an impersonal energy source to be tapped by scientifically applying universal laws. Peale writes, “Just as there exist scientific techniques for the release of atomic energy, so are there scientific procedures for the release of spiritual energy….God is energy.” That is occultism––the worship of creation (natural forces) instead of the Creator. When the witch doctor slits a rooster’s throat, sprinkles the blood in a certain pattern and mumbles a formula, the spirits must do their part. Occultism operates by the laws of cause and effect.
Peale’s most famous protegé is Robert Schuller, who says Christ died to sanctify our self-esteem. He calls Peale “the man who has impacted and influenced my thinking and my theology and my life more than any other living person….” Schuller preaches what he unashamedly calls a “man-centered theology” (again the creature is preeminent). He perverts “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” to mean “Believe in the God who believes in you!”—though the Bible warns, “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man” (Jer 17:5). He says it’s destructive of the gospel to call anyone a sinner, and declares, “You don’t know what power you have within you!…You can make the world into anything you choose.” Here is Religious Science in pseudo-evangelical dress.
Occultists were the world’s first and only scientists for thousands of years. To work their sorcery through the “laws of manifestation,” occultists have always used three scientific techniques: positive thinking, positive speaking and visualizing. All three are now accepted and used in the evangelical church. No one has promoted these occult techniques as successfully as Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor of the world’s largest church, in Seoul, Korea.
Of positive speaking (confession), Cho declares, “You create the presence of Jesus with your mouth….He is bound by your lips and by your words….” As for visualization, the most powerful occult technique, Cho writes, “Through visualization and dreaming, you can incubate your future and hatch the results.” In the foreword to Cho’s best-known book, The Fourth Dimension, Schuller writes of visualization, “Don’t try to understand it. Just start to enjoy it! It’s true. It works. I tried it. Thank you—Paul Yonggi Cho—for allowing the Holy Spirit to give this message to us and to the world.”
Cho says God revealed to him that “spirit is the fourth dimension.” Contained within it is a creative force. Cho says God created the universe by visualizing it––and that anyone, occultist or Christian, Satan or God, can create in the same manner through applying “the laws of the fourth dimension.” Yes, one need not be a Christian to tap the energy in the atom––and so it is with the “spiritual energy” of religious science.
In full agreement, Kenneth Hagin says God revealed to him that even the ungodly can get miracles by developing “the law of faith.” Charles Capps says God told him that positive confession “is a scientific application of the wisdom of God to the psychological makeup of man….These principles of faith are based on spiritual laws. They work for whosoever will apply these laws.” The common denominator for all such teachers is the heart of religious science: a spiritual force which anyone can activate by scientific application of the laws governing it.
The same occultic partnership with science is found in Pat Robertson’s Secret Kingdom. It functions under eight laws “as valid for our lives as the laws of thermodynamics or the law of gravity”—laws that even God obeys. The seventh is “The Law of Miracles.” Robertson echoes Cho, who says that miracles must always conform to the “Law of the Fourth Dimension.” Here is, in fact, a denial of miracles, which don’t exist in religious science.
By very definition, miracles are not governed by laws. They override all laws. The classic argument of the atheist is that a miracle is simply a natural occurrence for which science hasn’t yet found an explanation. While we believe in miracles, we must agree that if science can state the laws which govern a situation, then the event is not a miracle at all. What a tragedy that popular teachers, though they speak continually of “miracles,” are promoting Christianized sorcery! Even sadder is the fact that many evangelicals have fallen for a similar lie without knowing it.
For many Christians, prayer is a religious technique for getting what they want. They imagine that if they can just believe that what they are praying for will happen, it will happen. Is this really faith? No. If we can make something happen by believing it will happen, then we don’t need God. We’ve become gods who create with our minds. “You are a little god,” declare Copeland and Benny Hinn on TBN. “I am a little god!” exults Paul Crouch on international television, and he condemns to hell the “heresy hunters” who say such teachings aren’t biblical. God help us!
Hagin writes, “Have faith in your faith.” For these men, faith is a force that operates according to “the laws of faith.” They have substituted the laws of science for the grace of God, who alone can be the object of faith. Biblical faith is believing that God will do what we pray for. That changes everything! No one can have that faith unless he knows that what he is praying for is God’s will. We cannot cause miracles, nor can we cause our prayers to be answered. That’s sorcery. There is no ritual, formula, prayer, demand or technique that man can use to bring about a miracle. Miracles and answers to prayer are the gracious gift of the Creator.
God’s grace stands in stark contrast to the laws of Religious Science. Grace instead of law––what a difference! Miracles are by God’s grace alone. And the greatest miracle is the new birth, whereby a sinner is recreated a saint. Even evangelism has been influenced by methodology. Many imagine there is some technique of packaging or presentation that will cause the lost to receive Christ. No! Let us take care to preach the simple, biblical gospel, not with man’s wisdom, which destroys the Cross (1 Cor 1:17), but in the power of His Holy Spirit. We dare not attempt to arouse the unsaved with psychological or salesmanship techniques, such as are often employed in emotionally charged revivals and crusades.
The Holy Spirit must convince and convict with God’s truth. There is no procedure or ritual which can cause a sinner to pass from death to life. The new birth is a miracle of God’s grace which only He can accomplish. Unlike the scientific application of laws to release spiritual energy, we must approach the God of the Bible as unworthy sinners trusting His grace and mercy. We must humbly confess that there are no formulas that we can think, speak or visualize that will require Him to respond to us.
Then how do we know whether, or how, God will respond? We can rely upon God’s promises because of His integrity and love––not because He is bound by scientific laws. However, as the old poem goes, “God has not promised skies always blue, flower-strewn pathways all our life through….” God’s Word does not promise unfailing health, immunity from persecution for His sake or from the cruelties and inequities of this earthly life. He has something far better in mind––an eternal reward for those whom He has “strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Col 1:11) and who, out of love for Him, “[love] not their lives unto death” (Rv 12:11).