The theme of my book is about the perils of the “positive thinking” movement – how it overtly and subtly influenced Christianity – ultimately weakening our everyday lives of faith. My emphasis was primarily on the subtle. The overt, such as the development of the prosperity gospel, I only briefly touched upon. But my point is that I have 2 interesting links to share:
** In February, CNN had this article about Pastor Eddie Long who died of cancer and his ministry fell apart: The Bishop Eddie Long I knew, 3 revelations from a megachurch pastor’s messy legacy. The article addresses, in part, how the prosperity gospel fails when it comes to dealing with adversity. Excerpt:
“But there was something undeniably sad about Long not being able to level with those at New Birth who’d stuck by him when everyone else had fled. I suspect some of that inability comes from the prosperity theology he preached, which is pervasive in contemporary churches. I’ve heard scholars call it a heretical belief that distorted the life of Jesus. I think it fails on another level: It doesn’t equip people to deal with loss. If you preach that wealth and health are a sign of God’s favor, what do you do when you begin to lose both, as Long did?”
Read the article for more thoughtful commentary.
** This article was brought to my attention by @tulipgrrl on twitter. Please don’t think it will only interest mom’s who have given birth to a infant with health problems. I am neither! The article is: SuperBabies Don’t Cry. This mom went above and beyond to make sure she would give birth to a healthy baby, yet the baby was born with a rare syndrome. This is what caught my eye:
“Decades before Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret was published and purchased by 19 million people, my parents subscribed to the philosophy that thoughts make things. Whatever you want, you can get by thinking positively. If you aren’t getting what you want, you aren’t being a good enough steward of your mind…My parents’ belief in the mind-body connection sometimes meant that they unintentionally blamed me when I caught colds and flus.”
Read the article for more commentary on how “thought power” leads to disturbing, damaging, erroneous conclusions.
As I note in the first chapter on my book:
New Thought philosophies were a failure at explaining tragedies in life, often viewing them as an illusion, and their explanations were contradictory. If your positive thoughts should have prevented tragedy, how can you explain very real calamity in spite of it? This can be a downright cruel philosophy as it makes adversity the fault of the victim. [New Thought is the original movement that gave birth to positive thinking, prosperity gospel, optimistic motivational philosophy, and the like.]
Here is a 1-minute video about my book: Positively Powerless, How a Forgotten Movement Undermined Christianity. See 26 reviews on amazon.