Marsha West
March 3, 2007
Oprah's counterfeit Christianity
By Marsha West

Well, here I go again writing about Oprah. I'm only doing it because of the overwhelming response I received from a previous article, Oprah Peddling Snake Oil. [1] In my article I stated the "inconvenient truth" about Oprah. She is not a Christian, although she says she is. My comment elicited a host of angry emails from liberals criticizing me for "judging Oprah."

Shall I be politically correct, or speak the truth?

A liberal Christian's fear of offending someone is what keeps them from speaking up about anything they deem controversial. Their favorite excuse is, "Who are we to judge?" While squeamish Christians went about their business, determined not to make judgments about anything or anyone for fear of being called "judgmental," truth was compromised.

This is not an ah-ha moment, people. Anyone can see that liberals and New Agers have hijacked the Church. There are forces at work to redefine Christianity. How are they doing it? By changing Christian theology to fit whatever the culture is. Oprah Winfrey "is in the process of deconstructing Christianity and reframing it into a New Age perspective." [2]

And the Queen of Daytime TV is a force to be reckoned with.

During a promotion for the occultic film The Secret (I'll explain in a minute) Oprah told the audience that she was a Christian as a child and that she is still a Christian. [3] Oprah is a savvy individual, but she is obviously deceived. Oprah Winfrey is no more a Christian than Rush Limbaugh is a liberal.

So why would Oprah make this statement? Is there an ulterior motive? An article by Watchman Fellowship, The Gospel According to Oprah, sheds light on her mission:

    "I want people to see things on our show that makes them think differently about their lives...To be a light for people. To make a difference...to open their minds and see things differently...how to get in touch with the spiritual part of their life." Unfortunately, the "light" Oprah offers is the "angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14), and "opening their minds," in this case means their brains fall out-they become empty headed (Romans 1:21-25)." [4]

Millions of people tune in to watch Oprah during the week. Her audience is mostly women who look to her for advice and direction in their lives, which she willing passes on through her guests and book recommendations. A multitude of women view Oprah as a role model. They literally hang on her every word. When she speaks, her audience listens. Whatever product she pushes, they purchase. She is so popular that fans have prodded her to run for President. So when Oprah announces that she's a Christian, many who share her worldview say to themselves, "Well then, I'm a Christian, too!"

I'm not over reacting at all. Liberals like Oprah have fooled millions of people into thinking they're Christians.

Before I go any further, let's look at the evidence to see whether or not Oprah, or anyone who believes what she does about Jesus Christ, is A) An authentic Christian or B) A New Age "Christian."

For those who are not familiar with the New Age Movement (NAM) here's the condensed version. At the very heart of NAM is mysticism. New Agers embrace a variety of occultic beliefs. NAM blends pantheistic (God in all) philosophies with Christian terminology. A good example of this is A Course in Miracles. The Course uses traditional Christian terminology but is decidedly non traditional. In other words, the Course uses Christian terms and changes the intended meaning.

The New Age movement has two major tenets: Evolutionary Godhood and Global Unity. For the purpose of this article I'll stick to Evolutionary Godhood.

Evolutionary Godhood can be best described as the evolution of body and spirit. The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry explains it this way,

    "Man is developing and will soon leap forward into new spiritual horizons. Many New Age practices are designed to push one ahead into that horizon. Some of them are astral projection which is training your soul to leave your body and travel around; contacting spirits so they may speak through you or guide you; using crystals to purify your body's and mind's energy systems; visualization where you use mental imagery to imagine yourself as an animal, in the presence of a divine being, or being healed of sickness, etc." [5]

Other beliefs and practices include reincarnation, astrology, the magic arts, psychic healing, and the divinity of self or "Christ Consciousness," which has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus, as Jesus is separated from what they dub "the Christ." For New Agers "the Christ" is divine and regarded as a cosmic, impersonal being. Listen to what Biblical Discernment Ministries says,

    "A major idea in New Age thinking is that of the "Christ Consciousness." In other words, Christ is an office rather than an individual, such as Jesus, whom Christians know to be THE CHRIST. This idea of "Christ Consciousness" asserts that Jesus was not the only Christ, but that He equipped Himself to receive the "Christ Consciousness" (i.e., He was a great "spiritual master" who attained Christ Consciousness), as supposedly also did Buddha, Krishna, and Mohammed. [This is an old occult Gnostic teaching which stems from the ancient Babylonian mystery religions. New Agers also reinvent the historical Jesus by claiming that he spent 18 years in India (during His "silent years") absorbing Hinduism and the teachings of Buddha.] New Agers believe that Jesus received the Christ Consciousness at His baptism, and that it left Him at His crucifixion." [6]

Anyone who has this view of Jesus Christ is not a Christian. A mouse in the cookie jar should not be mistaken for a cookie.

My beef with Oprah is not that she espouses New Age beliefs and invites a steady stream of New Age notables such as Marianne Williamson, Kevin Reyerson, Maya Angelou, Jack Canfield and psychic medium James Van Praagh on her show. What I take issue with is Oprah telling millions of viewers that she's a Christian!

Oprah believes there are many paths to God. On one of her shows, "Oprah positively alluded to the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, stating in summary, '..that one of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe that there is only one way. Actually, there are many diverse paths leading to what you call God.'" (Watch Oprah on video. See footnote #7) This flies in the face of historic orthodox Christianity's teaching that there is only one path to God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said unequivocally, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

In my article, "Oprah Peddling Snake Oil" [8] I tackled Oprah's promotion of The Secret. Two shows were devoted to the book in February. Briefly, The Secret is a feature length movie that espouses New Age principles. Australian-born Rhonda Byrne is the person behind the documentary. The Secret is rooted in the so-called Law of Attraction, which allegedly governs the universe. The Law of Attraction means that every good or bad thing that happens to us, we draw to ourselves, be it positive or negative.

    "Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny." Anonymous

In her article "Self-help gone nutty," L.A. Times columnist Karin Klein makes this observation about The Secret, "The scheme lays out a 'law of attraction' a strange misreading of quantum physics that asserts that the universe grants your wishes because you are the 'most powerful transmission tower in the world.'" [9]

The Law of Attraction is nothing more than a theory that says humans are a magnet that attracts either negative or positive energy. This is bogus "science" which has no basis in fact.

To illustrate just how ludicrous this "science" really is, go to the link I've provided below [10] and listen to motivational speaker Bob Proctor, one of the teachers of The Secret, explain the Laws of Attraction and the Laws of Vibration. During the message, Proctor explains what The Secret does: "We help you get your mind in harmony with The Law of Attraction." Proctor and other motivational speakers teach their students that the Law of Attraction and the Law of Vibration govern our being. There are no accidents; we attract everything that comes into our lives. They say it's up to each us to dictate what we want to come into our life. Proctor explains that because we are spirit, not physical, we have the ability to dictate the vibration that our mind and body will be in. He claims, "The vibration we're in will dictate the energy we attract to us." The vibration decrees that we live in an ocean of motion and that we can move into either a positive or negative motion. Proctor urges us to "Start to understand the Law of Vibration. See how the Law of Attraction and the Law of Vibration are really in truth the same law. You can only attract to you the things that vibrate in harmony with you." What it all boils down to is positive vibration and negative vibration. The word-faith teachers call it "positive confession." But that's another article.

Karin Klein brings up this disturbing point, "Nothing happens to people that isn't brought to them by their own persistent thoughts, and the book strongly implies that this includes those killed in the Holocaust and the World Trade Center. Under this philosophy, why bother contributing to Oxfam or worrying about Darfur? What a guilt-reliever." [11]

Oprah admitted during her program that the message of The Secret is the message she has been trying to convey for over 20 years.

I received an email from Cindi in Georgia, who wrote, "When I ran across Oprah's show the other day...I knew that something strange was up, but couldn't put my finger on it. When I Googled "The Secret" I got a whole bunch of sites. One of them was very interesting. It was titled "What's the Secret?" and the only thing written underneath that was "privacy policy" in green. When I tapped on that particular entry it took me straight to a page that introduced me to a Rosicrucian site! That made it all make sense! I have visited the "homeplace" of the Rosicrucian's in San Jose, California. I spent some time in their library and it is chock full of "the wisdom of the ages." Everything from Jack Canfield's books, versions of the Bible, meditation material for public schools to the embalming literature they hold in such high esteem.

Still think Oprah's an authentic Christian?

Here's something most of Oprah's followers haven't heard, but Oprah is fully aware of. Rhonda Byrne was heavily influenced by Jerry and Esther Hicks, a married couple who channel a group of spirit guides (non-physical entities, a.k.a demons) who call themselves "Abraham." Participate in one of the Hicks' workshops and you will learn that "You are here in this body because you chose to be here." The Hicks had better be careful what they're teaching people. Jesus Christ, who with His mighty power, spoke the universe into existence, says, "For whoever exalts himself with be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted" (Matthew 23:12).

The gaggle of spirits has also passed this gem onto (or into) the Hicks: "The basis of your life is Freedom; the purpose of your life is Joy." Wrong. The purpose of our life is to live for God. Christians find their joy in Him. "Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy" (1 Peter 1:8).

The deceitful spirits have also passed on this message to their willing accomplices: "You can not die; you are Everlasting Life." This statement is actually true. We've all been created with an eternal soul and "you cannot die." Either you will inherit the kingdom of heaven or you will spend eternity in hell. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (For further info on the teachings of "Abraham" see footnote #12)

Gary Zukav is Oprah's Senior Spiritual Advisor. Kate Maver wrote an eye-opening article, Oprah Winfrey and Her Self-Help Saviors: Making the New Age Normal. Maver describes Gary Zukav this way,

    "Despite his popularity among Winfrey's fans, Gary Zukav is among the least clear thinkers of our time. In 1989, he wrote a rambling quasireligious book, based loosely on a combination of Hinduism and Western values, called The Seat of the Soul. Winfrey found it a few years later, read it, and since then, Gary Zukav has become Senior Spiritual Advisor to Winfrey's audience in the Change Your Life phenomenon. ... Zukav's main message is that we're here on this earth to learn lessons, and we'll be back again and again until we get it right. He softens the concept of karma by suggesting that people agree to their next life of suffering out of love, so they can learn the lessons they need to learn, or, better yet, to teach somebody else a lesson by their example. Somehow, this makes the karmic experiences of child abuse or mass starvation seem a little kinder and gentler more sanitized for the benefit of middle-class American sensibilities." [13]

The message in Zukav's book is, "Dwell in the company of your nonphysical Teachers and guides." Are they just nonphysical teachers as he claims, or are they something more sinister? How would a mere mortal like Zukav know if the spirits he channels are good or evil? The Bible warns that Satan comes to us as an angel of light. Ironically, Jesus drove spirits out of people. Zukav invites them in!

Oprah, Larry King and other celebrities are promoting The Secret DVD and the tie-in book to their audiences and it's selling like hot cakes. Already millions of people have been taken in by Byrne's New Age philosophy it espouses and are dabbling in dangerous occult practices. But "All is not well with the devotees in Winfrey's rose-colored world of the New Age," says Kate Maver. "People fail to change. They frustrate themselves attempting to maintain the constant joy and happiness that is so sought after in the New Age universe. They're told it is completely their own fault they cannot achieve this state of bliss; but they should be gentle with themselves, since the emotion of frustration has such low 'vibrational energy.' Obviously, they have more to learn. Why not buy another book?"

Exactly. The Secret is just another book! In fact, Byrne's book is a rehash of Esther and Jerry Hicks' book, Ask and it is Given. Going back to 1957, motivational speaker extraordinaire, Earl Nightingale, made a record called The Greatest Secret. Nightingale's "secret" is the same secret as Rhonda Byrne's so-called "secret." But don't tell anyone, it's a secret.

I've said it before, and at the risk of receiving 400 hate emails, I'll say it again. Oprah Winfrey is not an authentic Christian; she's a New Age "Christian." I did not intend to demean Oprah, only to make it crystal clear that she is not a true follower of Jesus Christ. Would a Christian say, "You are responsible for your life-the power of God is within you, above you and through you. You control your life." Could someone who deliberately lives a life that is inconsistent with the Word of God and embraces a worldview that is abhorrent to God, be a true follower of Jesus Christ?

The Apostle Paul was an authentic Christian. He knew it, too. Paul wrote many letters to the churches explaining what a follower of Jesus Christ must believe in, and how Christians should behave. The number of believers in the early church who were getting sucked into heretical teaching deeply troubled Paul. Sure, he was given a tough job to do, and in doing it he suffered many hardships. But God had called Paul to keep the Church in line and he kept at it until his head was separated from his body by a Roman executioner's sword. Should modern Christians do less for Christ?

Paul wrote this warning to the Galatians, "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!" (Galatians 1:8). Pastor Bob De Waay reminds us that, "It is safe to assume that an angel from heaven would be a nice person with good motives. But a false gospel is damning and still must be rejected. There are many "nice people" with damnable false teachings. We are not to judge the motives or the relative degree of righteousness of other believers. But we must judge what is taught, whether it is in accordance with the true gospel and what has been written in Scripture."

NOTES:

[1]  Oprah Peddling Snake Oil By Marsha West Published on News With Views Website http://newswithviews.com/West/marsha35.htm





[6]  New Age Movement: New Age of Old Occult Published on Bibleical Discernment Ministries Website www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/newage.htm


[8]  Oprah Peddling Snake Oil" By Marsha West Published on News With Views Website http://newswithviews.com/West/marsha35.htm






Helpful Links:

The Secret Website: http://thesecret.tv/behind-the-secret-making-of.html

Oprah on Jesus: Is Jesus the Only Way to God?: http://www.watchman.org/oprah.htm

A Course In Miracles A Biblical Evaluation By Russ Wise
http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/thcourse.html

Books:

A Time of Departing By Ray Yungen http://www.lighthousetrails.com/atimeofdeparting.htm

Reinventing Jesus by Warren Smith
http://www.reinventingjesuschrist.com/

Angels Among Us: Separating Truth From Fiction By Ron Rhodes
http://ronrhodes.org/angels_among_us.htm

© Marsha West

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Marsha West

Marsha West is a religious/political writer and owner of EmailBrigade.com. She is also the founder and editor of the Email Brigade News Report, a biweekly news resource for people of faith that is chock-full of critical news and information. Marsha is dedicated to restoring a more common sense approach to our nation's governance by encouraging people to thoroughly understand the issues that impact American lives... (more)

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