Guideposts Magazine

"Christian" or New Age?

-  In 1945, Norman Vincent Peale and his wife started Guideposts magazine; its circulation now tops 5 million, the largest of any religious magazine. In the "Welcome to Guideposts!: Guideposts Subscriber Service Directory" (2/92), we are told that Guideposts contains every month "true stories and step-by-step articles that point the way to a richer and fuller life." And "if you want extra help for spiritual growth ... you can find it in inspirational books available from Guideposts by favorite authors like James Dobson [religious humanist/behavioristic psychologist], Marjorie Holmes ["Biblical" romantic novelist], and Norman Vincent Peale [New Ager and founder/publisher of Guideposts]!" (See below for a description of an article typical of one that Guideposts would consider as pointing the reader to "a richer and fuller life.")

Besides the regular monthly Guideposts magazine, the organization offers a prayer request phone line (10,000 calls yearly); a special edition of Guideposts for the visually impaired (350,000 circulation); free issues of Guideposts to non-profit organizations (250,000 circulation); a daily inspirational message phone line available in 27 metropolitan areas; a daily devotional booklet called Daily Guideposts; and Guideposts for Kids, a bimonthly publication featuring stories, puzzles, trivia, and comics.

-  In "About Your Subscription to Guideposts" (1/96), we are again told that Guideposts' purpose is "to inspire you toward richer, fuller lives." New subscribers were also sent Guideposts' Fall/Holiday book catalog. Among the numerous psychologically-oriented offerings were Carder, Cloud, Townsend's, et al. best-selling book on so-called repressed memories, Secrets of Your Family Tree: Forgiving Our Parents, Forgiving Ourselves (p. 7); Norman Vincent Peale's New Age prayer book, Prayer Can Change Your Life (p. 9); and Minirth, Meier, and Hemfelt's codependency manual, Love Is A Choice: Recovery for Codependent Relationships (p. 18).

-  Norman Vincent Peale is perhaps the most widely read author of "positive thinking" and of the role of the "subconscious/unconscious" mind. By the time Peale wrote The Positive Power of Jesus Christ in 1980, he had already influenced millions through 24 books, Guideposts magazine, and Plus: The Magazine of Positive Thinking. One does not have to look far to discover the true source of Peale's theology. Peale once wrote the foreword to a psychic's book. He has also endorsed The Jesus Letters, written by two Connecticut women who claim to have made contact with a communicating entity self-identified as Jesus of Nazareth. Peale said of this occultic automatic writing: "It little matters if these writings come from Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus of Jane [co-author Jane Palzere], they are all the same consciousness and that consciousness is God. I am a part of God, and Jane [is] part of that same God." (See the notes on the now deceased Norman Vincent Peale.)

-  Some people think that Guideposts magazine has only harmless, innocuous stories that make you feel good. That this is not the case can be illustrated by the December 1988 issue of Guideposts. This issue contained an article that not only explained visualization as a technique for healing (when, in actuality, it is an occult practice that can lead to demonic contact), but also offered a different gospel as an answer for the question as to whether there can be assurance of going to heaven.

In the story "The Promise," the writer shares that she uses "positive mental imagery to help clients find healing." Of one patient we read, "Gloria and I experimented with various meditations and visualizations that would help her envision God's love and healing being released into her life. Inviting a healing image into the mind can have a powerful effect on the body and Gloria and I kept searching for the one just right for her." By using a "wing-horse meditation," Gloria would "travel to the imaginative garden to meet the reality of Christ's presence" who gives her "living water." As the story continues, Gloria's condition worsens, but she assures the writer that "When I die, I'm going to be your best guardian angel, Nikki. I'll still be around; you'll see."

Gloria does die, but the crux of the story is the struggle of the writer, trying to find assurance of heaven and life after death. That assurance comes the morning following Gloria's death. Nikki has an experience of being visited by "my friend Gloria" and then finds out that her son was visited as well. The writer concludes her story with the statement, "I still marvel at the glimpse of another reality which God granted Colin and me that Christmas. I only know I found the assurance I had longed for all my life -- that death is merely a portal into another dimension, a heavenly dimension which brims with beauty and life and the radiant presence of Christ." (Reported in the CIB Bulletin.)

-  Guideposts has for years published through Guideposts magazine and various book offerings speculative stories about miracle-working angels. This has now been formalized with a new magazine, Angels on Earth. Guideposts promos this bimonthly magazine as follows:

"Come and meet angels on earth sense their mysterious presence feel their benevolent influences experience the brilliant light of their angelic glory. Our newest family member ANGELS ON EARTH magazine presents stories of angels and angelic people on earth in a profoundly mysterious way; yet, radiates faith-affirming hope. Let us bring you the stories of the miracles they perform, and the lives they touch. Welcome their presence into your own life today." ("About Your Subscription to Guideposts" brochure, 1/96.)

-  With new subscriptions to Guideposts, subscribers are sent an 11-page booklet titled, "Guideposts Magazine Presents Norman Vincent Peale: Expect a Miracle -- Make Miracles Happen" (1974 by Guideposts Associates, Inc., sent with new subscription, 2/92 & 1/96). The following quotes are a clear indication of the New Age/occultism still being passed-off by Guideposts and its supporters: (Underlined emphases below are added.)

Guideposts is a monthly magazine of true inspirational stories, telling how men and women of all religious faiths are overcoming the everyday problems of modern living and finding new happiness in their personal and business lives through the power of their beliefs.

-  the miracle principle ... learn its secret and how to put it into practice. ... Expect a miracle -- make miracles happen.

-  Always think of the best. Never think of the worst. And if the worst invades your consciousness, think of it in terms of how to make it the best. What you think habitually will tend to happen. ... What we send out mentally and spiritually will return to us. We become what we are in our thoughts.

-  Read the dictionary and you will find that a miracle is defined as some great and wonderful quality that can be brought to pass.

-  The great people of the world are miracle makers.

-  62nd Psalm: "Wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him." Expect great things from God and you will receive great things from God. This is the basic principle known as the miracle principle.

How then, can one go about expecting miracles and causing miracles to happen? The No. 1 thing is to have a tremendous faith, a deep faith, a faith that is so positively strong that it rises above doubt. ... if you train yourself to have faith in depth, it will release an astonishing power in your life to produce miracles.

-  Get your faith strengthened and you will see miracles happening. Indeed you will experience miracles.

-  There is another factor necessary in expecting miracles. You must get off the wrongness beam and on to the rightness beam. We cannot expect miracles or wonderful things to happen when we ourselves are wrong -- when we are acting wrong, thinking wrong and when we are motivated by a wrong psychology.

-  So when you become right within yourself, you will find yourself turning on miracles. ... You Can If You Think You Can.

-  Isn't it wonderful that in one flashing moment of self-realization you can see yourself! I see that I've been my own worst enemy. I've been thinking wrong. I've been acting wrong. Therefore, everything has been going wrong. But now I see organized. Boy, with the help of the Lord, isn't life going to be great for me!"

experience proved again that when a person really gets aboard spiritual power and moves away from his weak, defeated self, things -- wonderful things -- really begin to happen. ... a radiant, tremendous, victorious spirit -- a creator of miracles.

-  that same wonderful thing can happen to anybody else who really will try for it. ... When Almighty God created you, He built into you the miracle principle. The question is, have you encouraged this miracle principle to emerge in action, to make you the great person you have the potential to be?

The human being is far greater than he thinks he is.

-  If this capacity to expand is built into a cow and into a hen, do you mean to tell me it isn't built into you also? Not to lay an egg -- I don't say that -- but to produce out of yourself wonderful things. Almighty God has crowded miracles into you. Why not let them come fourth, and live?

-  Those two devout parents believed in the perfectibility of human nature. They believed that a child is a child of God. They taught their children that if they followed God they could be what they wanted to be.

-  The Bible is full of miracles. ... Expect a miracle -- make miracles happen by believing in God, by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, by believing in your country and by believing in yourself. Always remember you are packed full of potential miracles put there by One who knows you better than anyone -- the good God, the Creator who made you.

Biblical Discernment Ministries - Revised 3/96