Marsha West
January 15, 2015
Be skeptical of Dr. Oz's remedies and Rick Warren's "plans"
By Marsha West

Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, author and host of a successful TV show, has involved himself in some, um, questionable cures for what ails you. According to a Fox News report, a recent study showed that "Half of Dr. Oz's health advice is bad." Die-hard Oz fans will more than likely ignore the study results and continue tuning into his TV show for advice from him and the panel of doctors that appear regularly, even knowing that Oz and the other doctors often recommend products straight out of Quacksville.

Our idols would never steer us wrong, would they? I mean, Oz wouldn't allow his fans to purchase remedies that have little basis in fact or that many in the scientific community agree are bogus. Test the "cures" and you will find that, in some cases, what they recommended is on par with the sort of thing you'll find in a witches brew – bat wings, spider legs and crow bones.

From the Fox News report:

The researchers found that about half of the suggestions offered by these shows either contradicted what other scientific studies had found or had no verifiable evidence at all to stand behind them, and that potential conflicts of interest were seldom mentioned.

The study looked at 40 random episodes from each show – instead of simply, as Belluz points out, "cherrypicking the worst offenders" – to get the fairest assessment. In general, each episode offered up about a dozen health recommendations, so the researchers were able to cull 479 health tidbits from Dr.

Oz's show and 445 from The Doctors. Most of the shows' suggestions involved dispensing general medical advice, followed by non-weight-loss dietary tips; the Doctors professionals tended to repeat the mantra of seeking out a health care provider.

But while the benefits of many of the claims were talked about in a general way, specific benefits and magnitude of those benefits, possible drawbacks, and costs were virtually ignored, the study found.

The researchers' conclusion? "Consumers should be skeptical," and we should ask ourselves "whether we should expect medical talk shows to provide more than entertainment." (Dr. Oz's "magic bean" recently lost the study that supported it.)
(Fox News' link. Emphasis added.)

Meet Mehmet

This is not the first time I've reported on Dr. Oz. In early 2011, I wrote a piece to alert the Church that SBC pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren had elicited the help of three doctors to write a plan (Warren is all about plans) to promote health and fitness for his church located in Lake Forest CA. What struck me was that all three doctors hold New Age/New Thought beliefs. Moreover, the trio is involved in what some deem questionable medical practices. One of the docs Warren asked to help with his endeavor to lose much needed weight and start his journey to better health was Dr. Mehmet Oz. The end result was The Daniel Plan.

I noted back in 2011 in my piece titled "Rick Warren Introduces the 'Devil Plan'" that:

Oprah Winfrey's "favorite doctor" is a Muslim and has been influenced by the mysticism of Sufi Muslims. Moreover, he is keen on the ideas of cultist mystic Emanuel Swedenborg:
    "As I came into contact with Swedenborg's many writing I began to understand Swedenborg's profound insights and how they applied directly to my life."

    Swedenborg believed he could pass between the life to come and the present. What is more he claimed he had conversations with spirits of the dearly departed as well as angelic beings:

    "[T]he spirit world was comprised of a number of concentric spheres, each with its own density and inhabitants. There is no such thing as hell or eternal punishment. Those spirits who find themselves in a hellish place after death can evolve toward a higher spiritual plane.

    "In spite of it being granted to him 'to be constantly and uninterruptedly in company with spirits and angels,' Swedenborg did issue a caution in regard to receiving counsel from just any spirit that might manifest with an alleged personal message. "When spirits begin to speak," he wrote in Miscellaneous Theological Works (1996), "care should be taken not to believe them, for nearly everything they say is made up by them....They love to feign. Whatever be the topic spoken of, they think they know it, and if man listens and believes, they insist, and in various ways deceive and seduce." (Source)

Dr. Oz is a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation:
    "When I meditate, I go to that place where truth lives. I can see what reality really is, and it is so much easier to form good relationships then."
Do a Google search on Dr. Oz and you'll find posts from people complaining that he's irresponsible because he promotes things which have no scientific evidence to support them. Until something is proven, doctors should not promote it as it could endanger lives. One example of an unscientific practice he promotes is Reiki, which New Agers believe to be a "guided Universal Life Force Energy." Dr. Oz's wife is a Reiki Master. "Reiki," he said, "is my favorite treatment that could change the future of medicine forever." He also pontificated:
    "I think [Reiki] may be ultimately the most important alternative medicine treatment of all. And we are embarking on this whole new vista of opportunities, it broadens dramatically the spectrum of where we might be able to go in our bodies, and this is the area of energy medicine."(Source)
It is rather curious that Rick Warren would team up with a man whose fame he owes in part to New Age High Priestess Oprah Winfrey. Dr. Oz's worldview more closely aligns to New Age Spirituality than to historic orthodox Christianity. (Source)

It is unlikely that those who are not Christians will recognize the danger in some of the beliefs held by Dr. Oz. However, the serious Christian should find his fondness for the world of the occult deeply troubling. Even though Paul makes it perfectly clear in 2 Corinthians 6:1 that believers must not be unevenly yoked with unbelievers, Pastor Warren wasn't the least bit concerned about partnering with a Sufi Muslim. Without question Muslims reject the God of the Bible, thus they're unbelievers. Yet he chose Dr. Oz and two other doctors, both of whom are steeped in Eastern mysticism, to collaborate on a "biblical" health and fitness plan. Sadly, because of Warren's foolhardiness many undiscerning Christians think there's no problem purchasing the products and participating in the pagan practices pushed on the public by the three mystics.

In November 2014, adoring fans learned that their beloved Mehmet admitted to a congressional committee that the "Magic" diet bean that he promoted had no scientific backing. The reason he gave for defrauding the public? "[H]e's in the business of hope "to get folks to ... rethink their future..." (Source)

People, especially evangelicals, need to rethink taking any sort of advice from this man. Likewise, folks should rethink taking advice from popular pastors who stray from preaching the true gospel of Christ from their pulpits and instead put all their energy into clever plans to make their congregations feel better, look better, and "be all that you can be."

Is it God's will for His people to live "Your Best Life Now"? A growing number of professing Christians like to think so. But nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who takes time to read/study the Bible will quickly learn that God's will for His people, as long as He allows us to remain here on Earth, is to...... suffer. (Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:15-19; Acts 14:22) This could mean mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. (Corinthians 4:8) But, "we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) And by the way, Christians are not meant to be alone in our suffering. The Lord's intention is for the church to provide a safe harbor for those who are suffering, a place where we can go and have our needs met, where we can find comfort, peace and rest for our souls.

I'll close with one of many warnings the Apostle Paul passed on to the early Church, a warning that the man who has taken on the task of shepherding Saddleback Church's sheep has failed to take seriously.

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Ephesians 5:11)

Recommended:

Rick Warren and Dr. Oz on Fame and Fitness – video

Rick Warren Publically Called To Repentance For Statements About Uniting With Catholics – Amy Spreeman

The Low Information Evangelical Part 1 Part 2 – By Marsha West

Links:

New Age/New Thought "Spirituality" – On Solid Rock Resources

The Occult – On Solid Rock Resources

© 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 founder and co-blogger at Berean Research, along with Amy Spreeman. For two decades Marsha was the owner and managing editor of Email Brigade website and EMB News Report, a bi-weekly report for conservative people of faith. In 2015 she took over as general editor of Christian Research Network (CRN).

Marsha is a regular contributor for several blogs including CRN, RenewAmerica, News With Views, and Web Commentary. Her articles have been translated into many languages and distributed worldwide.

Visit Marsha's blog, On Solid Rock Resources.

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