The Power Of Negative Thinking
(Apologies to Mr. Peale)
God has promised salvation and reason for hope, only to those who OBEY Him (Hebrews 5:9). To these, Christian thinking can be positive. The scriptures are so full of expressions of hope and positive mental bent, that we could fill this page with them. But they are only promised to those who OBEY God.
To those who obey not, Christianity offers powerful NEGATIVE THINKING for their diet! Christ will return, "with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus; who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his might." (II Thess. 1:7-9).
Norman Vincent Peale and company, have offered Jesus as a dynamo, not a Savior. Men are told how to relax, not how to repent! His words are offered as a bromide, not the spiritual bread of life. A recent release is a book by a preacher on how to lose weight, with the help of God! God is referred to as the "man upstairs" rather than "Our Heavenly Father."
There are two tragic shortcomings of this concept of religion. First, it is a product of the times, in that these best selling books are popular only in a society riding the crest of economic boom, and easy living. What for instance does this "positive thinking" do for the freezing peasant. This "think good thoughts and everything will be all right" sort of psychology does not mix too well with the peasant's sweat and lack of hope for its only appeal is to a good life in THIS life --something which does not exist for the 2/3 of the earth's unfed peoples. Nor does this watered down form or religion mix well with the pitiful cries of the hungry babies around the world, tormented by hunger pangs from birth till death, while we Americans, led in a great ( ?) "religious awakening( ?)" by such psychologists who will soothe our hearts and tickle our ears, burn up millions of dollars annually on purely selfish pleasures.
Christ came, NOT ONLY TO COMFORT THE AFFLICTED, BUT TO AFFLICT THOSE IN COMFORT! Comfortable Americans don't like to be afflicted, thus they spend more time with the spineless theology of a psychology book (under the guise of roligion) rather than with the word of God itself!!!!! God's book is a sword to afflict those "at ease in Zion."
Again we point out, there is no more victorious and positive life than that lived by the Christian who has obeyed God's word, and who studies it every, day. But it also points out that Christians are a peculiar people (I Peter 2:9). Jesus said, "Beware when all men speak good of you!"
True Christianity is not centered about this world: business success, social prowess, and popularity. It offers iriore than peace of mind. It offers a Savior, bleeding and sorrowful. It shows us how sinful we are - and, offers salvation from that sinful condition. It offers hope for a land where man's inhumanities to man are gone.
Be sure the peace you have from positive thinking is not someone pulling the wool over your eyes and blinding you to your lost condition and your need of a Savior. God is not a Santa Claus who suddenly forgets all of the bad things we did all year, and says, in the day of judgment, "just forget them." Some will be told, "Depart from me, I never knew you.), (Matt. 7) because they have not read his word and OBEYED it.
Truth Magazine II:5, pp. 1