Christian Research Newsletter

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1. What's New in the Headlines
2. New Opportunities for CRI Abroad

by Ron Rhodes

articles from the Headline News and International columns of the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 7: Number 1, 1994.

The Editor of the Christian Research Newsletter is Ron Rhodes.

Norman Vincent Peale, the Popular Preacher of Positive Thinking, Died at Age 95 on December 24, 1993.

Peale passed away during his sleep on Christmas Eve at his farm in Pawling, New York, 60 miles north of New York City. His death was attributed to the effects of a stroke he suffered two weeks previously.

As reported in the December 26, 1993 Orange County Register, Peale wrote more than 46 books. His 1952 book The Power of Positive Thinking was the nation's top-selling nonfiction bestseller for two years, and has sold nearly 20 million copies in 41 languages.

Peale's "positive thinking" doctrine has been criticized through the years because of its close affinities to the (cultic) New Thought movement founded by Phineas P. Quimby in the 1800s.

New Ager Deepak Chopra Has Become the Executive Director of the Institute for Human Potential and Mind-Body Medicine at the Prestigious Sharp Medical Center in San Diego, California.

The January/February 1994 New Age Journal reports that this new institute will utilize "ayurvedic medicine" in treating people. This form of New Age holistic medicine is the heart of Chopra's best-selling books, which now collectively total over two million in print.

The article notes that Chopra is very far outside the medical mainstream. "He describes the body as something akin to a computer network infused with a soul: 'The fact is we have a thinking body,' he says. 'Our cells are constantly eavesdropping on our minds.'" In ayurvedic medicine, "health comes when the forces of the body and mind are in balance, and restoring balance begins with a knowledge of the patient's mind-body type." (Different mind-body types require different treatments, we are told.)

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that literally means "the science of life." The article notes, "Ayurveda is a multifaceted approach to health that relies on meditation, herbal remedies, pulse diagnosis, panchakarma purification techniques (which use massage, healing oils, and enemas), and special diets keyed to body type and personality. Treatments may include aromatherapy, stimulation of marmas, or sensitive points on the skin, even music therapy. Yoga is recommended for strength and flexibility, as are specific kinds of exercises that vary depending on the time of year and the patient's constitution."

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine shows there is a very high interest in alternative forms of medicine. "A research team headed by Harvard Medical School instructor David Eisenberg, M.D., calculated that Americans in 1990 had spent a staggering $10.3 billion out of pocket on alternative healing techniques -- comparable to the estimated $12.8 billion they paid out of pocket for hospitalization."

American Indians Speak Out Against New Agers Who Are "Exploiting" Sacred Indian Rituals.

In an article entitled "Spiritual Seekers Borrow Indians' Ways" in the December 27, 1993 New York Times, we read: "In an ancient rite of American Indians, wisps of smoke rose from burning herbs in prayer to Mother Earth and Father Sky, as the pipe-carrier intoned solemnly, 'Creator, we come to you in a sacred manner.'" There were "Indian chants, a song about the return of the bison, and some reverent words offered for 'the red nation.'" All that was missing was an Indian.

The individuals taking part in this ritual, the Times reports, were "adherents of the growing New Age movement, which emulates Indian ways in a spiritual quest....But many Indian tribes and organizations, far from being flattered by the imitators, have denounced the movement as cultural robbery."

John Lavelle, a Santee Sioux who is the director of the center for Support and Protection of Indian Religions and Indigenous Traditions, is quoted in the article as saying, "This is the final phase of genocide....First whites took the land and all that was physical. Now they're going after what is intangible."

Not all Indians have been so critical of New Agers. Ed McGaa, author of Mother Earth Spirituality (Harper Collins, 1990), said "most of the New Age adherents were sincere, tolerant people who simply wished to find spiritual nourishment." McGaa urged, "If we want the white man to change, we must teach him....If we don't share our medicine, we'll lose it. We're all brothers." Some Indians have responded to McGaa by saying he is a disgrace to his tribe.

New Opportunities for CRI Abroad

The kingdom of the cults has no borders. As the need for solid discernment resources grows around the world, so do opportunities for the Christian Research Institute, which is actively extending its outreach in Western Europe, Eurasia, and Africa.

All of these outreaches need your prayers! Please ask that God would prosper them, using each to unify and strengthen the body of Christ for the extension of His glorious kingdom.

End of document, CRN0073A.TXT (original CRI file name), "What's New in the Headlines" and "New Opportunities for CRI Abroad" release A, July 31, 1994 R. Poll, CRI

A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help in the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.

Copyright 1994 by the Christian Research Institute.

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