Oprah Winfrey, one of the most powerful, wealthy, and influential women in the world, added fuel to the racial divide in America this week while promoting her new film, The Butler. Winfrey suggested that just because people are not using the n-word doesn’t mean they’re not racist. Also weighing in on the recent Martin/Zimmerman verdict, Oprah stated:
“But to me it’s ridiculous to look at that case and not think that race was involved.”
It is not, however, her views on race that concern me as much as her views and criticisms about the Bible. Oprah has been more influential than some of America’s pastors and religious leaders. Too many people today follow their pop-culture icons. Oprah has launched book sales and resuscitated careers for many authors and gurus while giving proponents of higher spirituality a platform, particularly those who promote a New Age philosophy.
In his book, For Many Shall Come in My Name, Ray Yungen describes the term “New Age” as based on astrology. Some believe there are cosmic cycles in which the Earth passes through a time period when it falls “under the influence of a certain sign of the zodiac.” This is a belief system stating that everything exists and revolves around energy containing tiny particles: atoms, molecules, protons, etc.
“All is energy. That energy, they believe, is God, and therefore, all is God. They believe that since we are all part of this ‘God-energy’, then we,too, are God. God is not seen as a Being that dwells in heaven, but as the universe itself.”
Many New Age proponents strive for a “Christ consciousness” or a “higher consciousness” in an effort to become more aware of these spiritual realms; the most direct way to achieve this is through meditation, “a primary source of spiritual direction of the New Age person.”
There are great resources available on the occult practices and history. It is so important to immerse ourselves into the Word of God and study to show ourselves approved by Him. We must be discerning about things such as: contemplative prayer, “centering prayer” and mantras, the law of attraction, witchcraft and Harry Potter, the Kabbala, spiritual formation, Labyrinth walking, and Wicca.
Teachings promoted by well-known celebrities are dangerous because people tend to believe and follow those they idolize.
“How can there be only one way to heaven or to God?” – Oprah Winfrey
You may have heard about A Course in Miracles, written by well-known New Age representative Helen Schucman, who claims the book came directly from her inner voice. In the course, the listener is taught there is no sin, they are told not to make the “mistake” of “clinging to the old rugged cross,” and that the name of “Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol.”
Oprah has done many good things to help people, but does that mean we should trust her theology and religious beliefs? I’m not judging her heart because we are all wicked without the atonement of Jesus Christ. [Some] Christian pastors have warned about the teachings promoted by Oprah. A Course in Miracles teaches that God is in everyone and everything and that “the oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity, and your limitless power.” Wow.
Maybe you’re an Oprah fan and have always defended her, or maybe you had no idea what she believes. In an interview with Oprah, New Age author and mystic Eckhart Tolle criticized Christianity and also took live calls from viewers. Tolle stated:
“The moment you say ‘only me belief’ or ‘our belief’ is true, and you deny other people’s beliefs, then you’ve adopted an ideology… and then religion becomes a closed door.”
Oprah told the caller to simply realize Christianity is but one of many ways to achieve the higher consciousness, and the belief that one must follow a set of doctrines is a consequence of “ego consciousness.” [Always the opportunist, she should talk about ego?]
She holds that while Christianity is a valid way to achieve high states of spirituality, it must not be considered a unique way, or a “correct way.” Oprah believes God is all love, and she does not subscribe to the teaching that He is also a holy, jealous, just, and vengeful God. She told her audience:
“The new spirituality is that you are your own best authority as you work to know and love yourself, you discover how to live a more spiritual life.”
Sadly, millions of spiritual seekers have been led astray; and due to Oprah’s popularity, people have opened themselves up to all kinds of practices, religions, and teachings contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ and biblical Christianity.
We need to pray for her and for those who may blindly hang on her every word, or the words of any secular celebrity. Oprah is not the enemy – she is deceived – but she obviously believes she has the answers regarding God, spirituality, and eternity. People need to be warned; countless unsuspecting souls following her and those like her are being led away from the One true God and down a path of destruction.
Photo credit: Alan Light (Creative Commons)