Norman Vincent Peale may not be a familiar name to many in the church but he is called by some as one of the greatest spiritual leaders of our time. This being true, one must wonder what spirituality they are speaking of.
He was called one of the best known Protestant ministers. Peale was the pastor the Marble Collegiate Church, a Reformed Church in America congregation in New York City, from the year 1932 to 1984. At the time of his retirement, the church had 5,000 members, and tourists lined up around the block to hear Peale preach. Peale’s weekly radio program, “The Art of Living,” was broadcast on NBC for 54 years. His sermons were mailed to 750,000 people a month. His Guidepost Magazine continues its popularity today having a circulation of more than 4.5 million, the largest for any religious publication.
Occult Means Hidden A little leaven leavens the whole lump. Galatians 5:9
Norman Vincent Peale a man who made up his mind.
By Let Us Reason
Norman Vincent Peale was a 33-degree Mason. Who wrote a letter addressed The Supreme Council 33, 1975 the then current Sovereign Grand Commander of Scottish Rite Masonry offering praise for his morals and dogma. In the book offered from transactions, there is listed 10,000 famous freemasons (by Robert Denslow)
He was a member of the Woodbridge Lodge in Brooklyn, grand chaplain of the grand lodge in NY, life member of the crescent shrine temple in Trenton N.J. and past imperial grand chaplain of the shrine. Peale wrote in the Masonic Magazine, stating, “Men of different religions meet in fellowship and brotherhood under the fatherhood of God.”Peale's spirituality is not Christian but New Thought and are embraced among evangelicals who have not… Click To Tweet
If anyone does not know what Masonry teaches it is anti-Christ to the max. When one reaches the highest degrees they find that the God of the bible is the devil and Lucifer the light bearer is the real God. They also believe that good works will give them entrance to Gods kingdom they call the heavenly lodge.
Robert Schuller attributes Peale to having the greatest influence on his life as he was a disciple and mentor of his. Schuller calls Peale “the man who has impacted and influenced my thinking and my theology and my life more than any other living person …. “. (“The Plus Factor,” published excerpts from a Peale talk on Schuller’s “Hour of Power,’ copyrighted 1985 by Robert Schuller, p. 3.) It was Peale’s positive thinking that gave birth to Schuller’s ever popular secular possibility thinking. Schuller turned Peale’s, positive mind control into “Possibility Thinking,” “Possibility thinking makes miracles happen…. The greatest power in the world is the power of possibility thinking” (Schuller, Your Church, p. 85.)
Peale’s spirituality is not Christian but New Thought and are embraced among evangelicals who have not discerned its origin. Peale’s message was the power of the mind…. Your unconscious mind… [has a] power that turns wishes into realities when the wishes are strong enough.'(Norman V. Peale Positive Imaging p.77)
In his Power of Positive Thinking we immediately find written believe in yourself, have faith in your abilities (p.1).
Peale’s has acknowledged that his theology of positive thinking came Ernest Holmes, founder of New Age/Occultic Church of Religious Science (Ernest Holmes, The First Religious Scientist, James Reid, p. 14). The phrase “Positive Thinking” came originally from Charles Fillmore, but it was Peale who made it a cultural icon. (of course, Robert Schuller used it as well)
The Power of Positive Thinking is New Age Thought
Peale’s view of the universe as God as an “energy,” and of “prayer” as the scientific technique for releasing God-energy according to definite “laws.”
He believed, “There is a powerful and mysterious force in human nature… a kind of mental engineering … a powerful new-old idea…. The concept is a form of mental activity called imaging …. It consists of vividly picturing, in your conscious mind, a desired goal or objective, and holding that image until it sinks into your unconscious mind, where it releases great untapped energies ….When the imaging concept is applied steadily and systematically, it solves problems, strengthens personalities, improves health, and greatly enhances the chances for success in any kind of endeavor. the ideas of imaging has been around for a long time and it has been implicit in all the speaking and writing I have done in the past (Norman V. Peale Introduction Positive Imaging p.1 )
Peale’s spirituality was a blend of Christian Science and mind science teachings with a dash of Christian terminology: The world you live in is mental and not physical. Change your thought and you change everything. (Braden, Spirits, p. 387.) Your unconscious mind … [has a] power that turns wishes into realities when the wishes are strong enough. (Norman Vincent Peale, Positive Imaging p. 77, 1982)
A New Spirituality & Mind Sciences Felt Needs
Peale related that at one time he almost resigned from his pastorate as his teachings came under heavy criticism from fellow clergymen. His father, a Methodist minister, came to the rescue and persuaded him to continue saying, “You have evolved a new Christian emphasis out of a composite of Science of Mind, metaphysics, Christian Science, medical and psychological practice, Baptist Evangelism, Methodist witnessing, and solid Dutch Reformed Calvinism.”(Spirits in Rebellion, p.391).While his dad recognized what an eclectic mishmash he had he failed to recognize how this was a departure from the Christian faith.
In his book Power of Positive Thinking, the teaching and theme is “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities!” (p. 1) The Bible states to have faith in God, abide in Christ because apart from him we can do nothing (Jn.17). Peale’s teaches the opposite, that we can do all things through “our mind,” Not Christ. This is what the human potential movement (part of the new age counterfeit) teaches. It also has ties with the positive confession movement in the church.
In the book the Power of Positive Thinking, the advertisement reads “There is a deep tendency in human nature ultimately to become precisely what you visualize yourself as being. If you see yourself as tense and nervous and frustrated, if that is your image of yourself, that assuredly is what you will be. If you see yourself as inferior in any way, and you hold that image in your conscious mind, it will presently by the process of intellectual osmosis sink into the unconscious, and you will be what you visualize.”
“If on the contrary, you see yourself as organized, controlled, studious, a thinker, a worker, believing in your talent and ability and yourself, over a period of time, that is what you will become. Thoughts are things; look down on them rather than up Tune into the infinite – tap into your powerful internal resources Draw unlimited energy for your body and mind.”
There are enough people in the mental hospitals that think of themselves as Napoleon or superman, does this mean they actually are. How many people walk around in a fantasy thinking they are something they are not.
“Who is God? Some theological being? He is so much greater than theology. God is vitality. God is life. God is energy. As you breathe God in, as you visualize His energy, you will be reenergized!” (No More Stress or Tension, Plus: The Magazine of Positive Thinking, pp. 22-23, May, l986)
Norman Vincent Peale’s understanding of God was “God is energy- breathe God in- visualize His energy. How many in the faith movement have you heard the same philosophy echoed?
It was from mans mind that Peale found that was in control of his universe. Prayer power is a manifestation of energy. Just as there exist scientific techniques for the release of atomic energy, so are there scientific procedures for the release of spiritual energy through the mechanism of prayer… New and fresh spiritual techniques are being constantly discovered … experiment with prayer power.’ (Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking, pp. 52-53, 1983.)
“Prayer … is a procedure by which spiritual power flows from God … releases forces and energies.. . and brings many other astounding results. As in any skill or science, one must learn step by step the formula for opening the circuit and receiving this power, Any method through which you can stimulate the power of God to flow into your mind is legitimate … [any] scientific use of prayer …” ( Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking New Condensed Edition (Center for Positive Thinking, 1987), p. 17). He actually taught “Positive thinking is just another term for faith.”
Peale, whose beliefs had more heresies and occult practices than the truth had not only a great influence on the world and church, has been praised by evangelical leaders. Even evangelist Billy Graham commended his books and magazines are read by millions of evangelical Christians! Ignored for his heresies and left unexposed he has had a tremendous influence on the Church through his numerous disciples
In 1984 Norman Vincent Peale was interviewed on the Phil Donahue program, said, “It’s not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine …I’ve been to Shinto shrines, and God is everywhere:” Shocked by this, Phil Donahue responded, “But you’re a Christian minister; you’re supposed to tell me that Christ is the way and the truth and the life, aren’t you?” Peale replied, “Christ is one of the ways. God is everywhere.” (Christian News, May 12, 1997, 11.) Would anyone who holds to Christ being there Lord deny him in such a blatant manner? This is beyond question a horrible statement that rejects Christ’s Lordship. Donahue was shocked and rightly so, but the church was not. He received no backlash or correction for this.Peale was a universalist, believing that everyone is going to heaven as long as they believe in god, any god. That is not a Christian position.
Norman Vincent Peale Occult Connections
Peale, was very much involved in the occult as he claimed to have been in touch with discarnates on several occasions. One encounter, Peale wrote: “I was seated on the platform of a large auditorium …. Some ten thousand persons . . . were singing hymns …. Then I “saw” him, my father who had died long before at age eighty-five. He came striding down the aisle . . . about forty years old …. I was spellbound… [by] what I was “seeing.” The huge auditorium faded away. I was only with him. Getting closer, he smiled that great smile of his. He raised his arm in the old-time gesture …. I arose from the chair, advanced to the edge of the platform., reaching for him. Then he was gone, leaving me shaken, somewhat embarrassed by my actions, but happy at the same time ….
The bishop [on the platform] . . . when I told him of the incident… said, “Why shouldn’t we believe your father was here? He would like a meeting like this, wouldn’t he?” (Cited in Occult Invasion, Norman Vincent Peale, ‘When Loved Ones Leave Us,’ in Plus, The Magazine of Positive Thinking, pp. 6-8, March, 1985.)
Peale’s occult influence stretched out to others as he wrote on the inside cover of Bernie Siegel’s book, Love, Medicine, and Miracles, Peale writes, “In these pages is found a precious secret, that of health and well-being”
Siegel explains how he got his message and insights through guided meditation and an inner spirit guide (pp.18-20).
Siegel also promotes many new age teachings and practices like meditation, hypnosis, and guided visualization, Yoga and Kundalini (pp. 147-152).
Peale endorsed the book The Jesus Letters by Jane Palzere and Anna Brown. “What a wonderful gift to all of us from you is your book. You will bless many by this truly inspired book.” This was a book communicated through a process known as automatic writing by a spirit who called himself Jesus.
In The Magic Power of Your Mind by Natter Germain, Peale is cited 4 times in agreement with the books stated purpose: “[It] shows how you can harness ESP, hypnotism, telepathy, clairvoyance and auto- suggestion to achieve health, wealth
It becomes increasingly obvious that Peale’s acceptance inside the Church was not a beneficial one. Peale’s legacy is still with us and for what it’s worth it is embraced more than exposed. We can trace the Church’s condition to the walls systematically chipped away by peoples teaching like these.
In 1993 Peale died on Christmas Eve. He certainly did not visualize this, nor think and see himself dead. But death came to him like anyone else. All his positive thinking was over in a moment and he was faced with an eternal reality that unfortunately, no positive thinking could change.
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