The Sacred Cow
Okay, I’m going for it.
I just read in Luke 6, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you … ” I realize I’m fairly new to the MomBlog and may very unintentionally alienate some of you. But I want to make you aware of something that startled me and brings me to prayer — a rather sacred cow that I’d rather not touch, but was glad someone made me aware of.
Oprah has a particular pull for mothers. She’s remarkably compassionate, engaging, intriguing, and personable, uses her influence and cash in ways we could all learn from, has to work at her weight to look that good like a lot of us do … she’s an everywoman. Her power over the economy alone through women is amazing: she endorses a book, she boycotts meat, and the market changes overnight. She’s wonderfully effective at capturing our hearts and minds, easing one of those last long afternoon hours before your husband walks in the door.
This year, however, has launched a new era in her influence. If you’re a fan, you’re aware of Oprah’s new spiritual campaign — you can check out the link on her site. It’s a year-long “educational program for retraining the mind that is spiritual, rather than religious, in its perspective … It is not a religion, but rather a psychological mind-training based on universal spiritual themes.” But please be aware, friends. Among these “universal truths”:
- Lesson 61 teaches, “I [that’s me] am the light of the world.”
- Lesson 70 instructs the student to repeat, “My salvation comes from me.”
- Lesson 259 proclaims, “Let me remember that there is no sin.”
As the c explains,
“Remember only this; you need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them, and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter, or decrease their efficacy.”
Oprah’s own description from her talk show:
“I really do believe I was born to be a vehicle for this information to come to all of you. If you want to be a part of it, if you want to find out who you really are, join the largest interactive classroom in the world. It’s free, because I want to begin to transform the world one reader at a time.”
A you can imagine, with Oprah at the helm, this course has attracted astoundingly over a million in enrollment. I do believe that she sees herself as doing the world great good — and through many of her other efforts, she has!
But we’re cautioned in 1 John 4:1–3,
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.
I’ll interject here: If we don’t acknowledge sin or the absolute necessity of the cross for our salvation, we’re not acknowledging Jesus.
The Apostle John goes on later, though:
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
And if you want to really know what God thinks about spirituality that eliminates Christ, check out Paul’s hard-hitting words in Galatians 1:3–10.
Please know I’m not singling out Oprah to rap on her. She has indeed used her fame and her opportunities to accomplish amazing acts of kindness and justice in ways we could all learn from, myself included. (God praises these kinds of acts throughout Scripture — see Isaiah 58 and Matthew 23:23 for starters). Oprah’s show is moving, and it’s famous for a number of very good reasons. But when she leads people to believing that they are the way, the truth, and the life, it’s here that I must fervently disagree and caution others.
Please pray for Oprah and her following: for her to see the true light, and for her listeners to be protected from such dangerous teachings of eternal consequences. The Apostle Paul speaks of these kinds of teachers in his 2 Timothy 3:6–7:
“They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.”
Your prayers can avail much!
And as one last sidenote — talk it through with your children, as appropriate. Help them learn discernment, to become “approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Equip them for a time you may not see.
(If you need a more detailed response to Oprah’s Course in Miracles and more specifically its source, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth — now in Oprah’s Book Club — I’ve heard that July will bring Richard Abane’s A New Earth, An Old Deception [Baker Publishing Group], geared to address these concerns.)