The New Thought movement began in the 19th century. It is based on Phineas Quimby's belief that physical troubles originate in the mind. Quimby was a self-professed healer who also followed the hypnotist, Mesmer. He thought that if the mind would focus on right thinking, what Quimby called the "Truth," then the body would be cured.
The New Thought Movement – What is it?
The founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, was one of Quimby's patients. Some of his beliefs can be found in her theology. Quimby also came up with the law of attraction—the belief that thought can create reality. For example, if a person thinks she can be talented, then she will become talented.
One of the foundational beliefs of the New Thought movement is that a human can become divine. This is akin to Satan's lie to Adam and Eve that through the knowledge of good and evil, they could be like God (Genesis 3:5).
The Bible teaches that humans need God's intervention to become more like Him. The New Thought movement believes humans can create their own destiny by "positive thinking" or declaration. We cannot think reality into existence. Also, sickness and death are the result of the fall (Genesis 2:17; 3:17–19; Romans 5:12; 8:19–22). Our world is decaying. No one can escape this curse; we are all susceptible to diseases, hormonal malfunctions, genetic mutations, deformities, injuries, and death because we are all part of the created order. Certainly God is able to heal our physical problems in this lifetime if He chooses. But much more than that, He has provided a means of redemption through Jesus Christ (Psalm 16:5–11; Romans 5:2; Colossians 1:27). In Him we have forgiveness of sin, newness of life, and the promise of eternity in heaven. Rather than try to think ourselves into a pleasant reality, we are transformed through Christ, attempt to live our lives for His glory, and will one day be brought into perfection (Romans 12:1–2; 2 Corinthians 5:17–21; 1 John 3:2).
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