Monday, April 07, 2008

Oprah, America's New Pastor?

Well, according to Scripture, I do not believe that pastors wear skirts (unless they are Scottish men, but then they are called kilts). However, on a very serious note, Oprah's newfound alliance with Eckhart Tolle and his book, A New Earth should show up on the radar screens of informed and concerned Christians across America. Though, I do not believe that our faith is seriously threatened by this or any other heresy, I do believe that many souls will be led astray because of this erroneous and pseudo-christian teaching. The scariest thing for me about Oprah is her ability to synchronize the teachigns of New Age with the teaching of Christ in her own mind.

Of course, in her own mind, is the only place where these two belief systems could ever be compatible. In her own words, Oprah was opened to the idea of New Age because she wanted to, open [her] mind to the absolute indescribable hugeness of that which we call God.

Oprah goes on to say that she took God out of the box. Of course, I never knew God was in a box, even in the Old Testament the Ark of the Covenant (which was a box) represented the throne of God, he was never contained inside of it. But, in her attempts to free a God that she thought to be imprisoned, Oprah says this:

I grew up in the Baptist Church where there were rules, belief systems, and doctrine.

Shockingly, she says this as though the doctrine of her church were some sort of punishment that kept her away from God and kept God inside of a box. It is terrifying to think that those who pay much attention to Oprah in this new phase of her life will come to believe that definitive teachings from the Christian church are man-made attempts to define God. Tolle himself puts it this way, Man made God in his own image.

Of course, the gaping hole in the belief system of Tolle and Oprah is that their version of god (intentional lower case g) is not defined by anything other than their own experience. Oprah recalls being offended because she heard a preacher say that God is jealous, that didn't feel right in my spirit because I beleive God is love.

And further...God is...God is a feeling experience, not a believing experience. If God, for you, is still about a belief, the its not truly God.

According to Tolle and Oprah, doctrine, rules, and belief systems have created a God in man's image (of course, Scripture says that God has created a man in his own image (Genesis 1:26)) and that is Christianity's greatest fault. However, the lack of doctrine in their teaching leaves the concept of God to be a completely arbitrary experience. God is whatever you want god to be.

Scripture presents a different view of God. The Bible shows us a God who is jealous (Exodus 20:5, 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24) , a God who is love (1 John 4:8-10), a God who created the world (Genesis 1:1), and a God who exists from eternity as the trinity (John 1:1). Of course, the Scriptures show us many other things about God, such as his wrath, grace, and mercy, but there is not room or time to list his many attributes. Primarily, the Bible shows us who God is according to God's own revelation of himself which finds its greatest revelation in the person of Jesus Christ.

A definition of God formulated anywhere other than the Bible is a man-made definition. To deny the truths of Scripture is to deny the revelation of God and to create a god who serves you. Oprah's god is not YHWH God of the the Old and New testaments. I do not know who or what she serves (though it is probably a demon, it is certainly evil because it drives people away from God), but rest assured, it is a god of her own creation and not the God of the Bible. I pray that she will soon see the err of her ways, but until that happens, I pray that the many who have been swayed by her teachings will experience salvation through Christ who is the only way to God (John 14:6).

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Anonymous said...

This is so true of our society today. I recently went into my local drugstore and was just talking with one of the employees about her day, just passing the time while waiting. She then began sharing that they had been swamped on the phone and otherwise with a product that Oprah had talked about on TV that week. As we talked about that and how one person could have so much control over what people buy, she said as I was leaving, "It's like she's (Oprah) their god!" That had a scary impact on me and how easily we allow ourselves as Christians to be swayed by 'personalities'. This reminded me that I need to be a witness in my life every day, be alert to what I let influence my relationship with Christ.

Kyle said...

Thank you for your clear and concise evaluation of the subjuect. It is very helpful to me to be able to biblically address this issue.