Is Manifestation (the Law of Attraction) A Sin?


Manifestation, or the Law of Attraction, is a philosophy whose purpose is to draw to oneself life-enhancing gifts like love, money, and success through a certain way of thinking. Many Christians are interested to know the worldview behind manifestation, if it aligns with the Bible, and whether it’s sinful or not.

Manifestation, or the Law of Attraction, is sinful according to the Bible, as it promotes false and dangerous teachings about God that contradict Scripture’s clear revelation. The philosophy’s teachings are idolatrous, prideful, and materialistic. Manifestation opposes Jesus Christ; it is an antichrist.

What is a sin? What if a sin doesn’t hurt anyone? Is the Law of Attraction based on science? What is New Thought? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Also see Is Smoking Marijuana A Sin? for more.

Bible sin
What if a sin doesn’t hurt anyone? See below

Why is the Law of Attraction a sin?

Popularized in the book The Secret by Rhonda Bryne, as well as a movie by the same name, manifestation is championed by people like Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and other advocates of New Age teachings. Celebrity endorsements help drive the popularity of the belief system, as famous followers do for Scientology.

What is a sin? According to the Bible, sin is failing to meet the standards of God’s moral law. Sin can include actions like stealing and murder; attitudes like envy and bitterness; words like lying and gossip; and motivations like unholy desires for possessions and selfish promotion.

What if a sin doesn’t hurt anyone? What makes an action, attitude, word, or motivation sinful is that it violates God’s clear instruction in the Bible. Even if manifestation doesn’t hurt anyone, it can be — and is — a sinful philosophy whose worldview and associated behaviors are depraved and wicked to God.

Also see Is Suicide A Sin? for more.

10 Reasons why manifestation is sinful

  • Manifestation rejects God’s holiness, which is sinful
  • Manifestation rejects God’s sovereignty, which is sinful
  • Manifestation rejects God’s love as its describes in the Bible, which in sinful
  • Manifestation rejects God’s son, Jesus Christ, his death for sin and his resurrection from the dead, which is sinful; it rejects the good news of the gospel; it is an antichrist
  • Manifestation rejects the teachings of Jesus Christ as they are recorded in the Gospels, which is sinful
  • Manifestation rejects the person, work, and ministry of the Holy Spirit, which is sinful
  • Manifestation rejects the teachings of Paul, John, Peter, James, and other Bible writers, which is sinful
  • Manifestation promotes the hopeless and empty values of the fallen world, which is sinful
  • Manifestation encourages living according to the sinful nature, which is sinful
  • Manifestation aligns the anti-God and anti-Christ motivations of the evil one, which is sinful

Is the Law of Attraction based on science? No. The conventional assessment of scientists is that manifestation is pseudo-science.

“Supporters of the Law of Attraction refer to scientific theories and use them as arguments in favor of it. However, it has no demonstratable scientific basis. A number of researchers have criticized the misuse of scientific concepts by its proponents.” [2]

For example, one false assertion made in The Secret that no reputable medical doctor would agree with is when Bryne writes, “Food cannot cause you to put on weight, unless you think it can.”

What about the people in the world that are truly in need? Bryne mostly sells her book to middle-class Westerns with messages like this: “You are the one who calls the law of attraction into action, and you do it through your thoughts.”

Many people in the world are hungry. Many others don’t have medicine to treat curable diseases. Millions of others suffer from war, natural disasters, and poverty. To suggest that their real need is to simply think better and more positively is heartless, shameful, and sinful.

But to Bryne, considering the world’s problems thought be expelled from people’s minds: “Instead of focusing on the world’s problems, give your attention and energy to trust, love, abundance, education and peace.”

Also see What Is the Sin of Sloth? for more.

bible praying
Does The Secret quote from the Bible? See below

Did Rhonda Bryne create manifestation?

Manifestation, or the Law of Attraction, isn’t new. Byrne’s book is based on the book The Science of Getting Rich published in 1910 by Wallace Wattles.

Some trace the philosophy to the mid-19th century and the mental healing movement associated with Phineas Quimby. Mark Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, credited Quimby with the development of her belief system.

The philosophy of Bryne, Quimby, and Wattles is conventionally called “New Thought.” Many philosophers and theologians categorize manifestation as a modern, materialistic, pop-culture version of New Thought that is particularly meant to appeal to rich Westerners.

“A philosophical point of view that emerged in the early 20th century that affirmed each individual’s duty to be loyal to the truth as that person perceives it. God is basically perceived as universal love, life, truth, and joy; as one experiences these, one knows God.” [3]

What are the four primary beliefs of New Thought?

  • God or Infinite Intelligence is omnipotent and omnipresent
  • Divinity dwells in each person; true human selfhood is divine
  • People’s mental states are carried forward into manifestion and become their experience in daily living
  • All disease are mental in origin; right thinking has a healing effect

Does manifestation base any of its teachings on the Bible? Advocates of the philosophy sometimes quote Bible verses, but they are out of context and fall drastically short of reflecting what Scripture actually teaches.

Referencing Scripture, but not reflecting what it’s saying accurately, is another way practitioners of manifestation distort truth for their own self-centered purposes.

Also see Are the Zodiac Signs Sinful? for more.

Jesus teachings
Did Jesus teach manifestation? See below

Does the Bible teach the Law of Attraction?

The Bible doesn’t teach the Law of Attraction. Quoting the Bible isn’t the same as responsibly reflecting its teachings.

Readers would be wise to remember that the devil, too, quoted Scripture when he tempted Jesus, but was rebuked because he used it in a sinful, self-centered manner (Matt. 4:1-11). Some advocates of manifestation quote verses like Matthew 21:22 and Mark 11:24 to support their ideas.

Does Matthew 21:22 teach manifestation?

Matthew 21:22 reads, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” (ESV). Manifestation isn’t equivalent to prayer as the Bible teaches and to suggest it is the same is sinful.

In the Gospel of Matthew, faith is described as belief and trust in Jesus of Nazareth (5:8, 7:7-11, 8:10, 8:13, 9:2, 9:22, 15:28, 17:20).

It’s not an equation for receiving possessions and wealth. Donald Hagner, who wrote one of the best Matthew commentaries based on aggregated reviews, writes,

“Jesus does not offer the disciples magical power to do whatever they please or to perform extraordinary feats for their own sake… All must relate to the purpose of God that is in process of being realized. ” [4]

Does Mark 11:24 teach manifestation?

Mark 11:24 reads, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (ESV). Like the verse above, Jesus isn’t giving his followers an equation for how to attract better cars than the ones they currently drive or how to increase the performance of their 401k.

Mark Strauss, who wrote one of the best Mark commentaries based on aggregated reviews, writes,

“This promise must not be understood as a promise that God will give us anything we want, whatever are our selfish desires. There are a number of qualifications to this promise.” [5]

Strauss writes that people must:

  • Ask according to God’s will (1 John 5:14)
  • Ask in Jesus’ name (John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23-24, 26), that is, in accord with the person and work of Christ
  • Ask from a position of obedience (1 John 3:21-22) and having forgiven others in the same way God has forgiven us (Mark 11:25)

Also see Is Jealousy Sinful? for more.

Also see:

Bible verses about thinking

References:
[1] Source
[2] Source
[3] Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, p. 214
[4] Matthew, Word Biblical Commentary, p. 606
[5] Mark, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, p. 501

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