Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Oprah and Me

Harpo was one of the Marx brothers, right? Harpo is also the name of Oprah’s production company. Gotta be a connection.

I admit that I have never gotten it, meaning Oprah herself or her show or her celebrity. I will say that at one time I had hoped she would choose one of my books to feature on her book club. Not anymore. Not since she decided to become our new instructor in matters of the spirit, the guru/dean of a new on-air seminary featuring as faculty the current crop of Shirley MacLaine wannabes: Mariannne Williamson, for one, and Eckhart Tolle, the latest and greatest.

Oprah and Eckhart are all the rage on the internet, offering a “webinar” about how dumb—excuse me, unenlightened—the rest of us are who still cling to “belief.”. Quoth Oprah: If God for you is a “believing experience, it is not really God” because God is a “feeling experience.” Jesus came to show us Christ-consciousness, because we are all capable of being Christ. The “real” God is not restricted to any religious expression, nor is God a jealous God. Oprah dates her break with her own Christian roots to a sermon wherein the preacher described God as “a jealous God,” a perfectly biblical view, of course, meaning that God wants us for himself and does not want us worshiping other, lesser things—like, for instance, new age ideas for God (which are old age as they can be: early Christians called these same notions Gnosticism, meaning, God as an idea. Against them Christian have quoted John, “(God) became flesh…”)

Anyway, people are up in arms. There is a revolt going on, a “reject Oprah, boycott her magazine” kind of thing.

I just find myself wondering whether all the people who are mad at what Oprah is teaching right now are in a Bible study themselves, learning why this silliness she and Eckhart are spouting is neither new nor even very interesting. The Secret, The Prayer of Jabez, Your Best Life Now—all of these books espouse demonstrable idolatries, and yet even Christian people often do not recognize them as such because they have so little in the way of biblical foundation to serve as lens by which to see them for what they are. “Try the spirits to see if they are from God,” John counsels, but many can’t. No surprise then when the unsuspecting are trapped in Oprah’s “web.”

It is left to the Church continually and urgently to offer the faith once-delivered to the saints: the historical, particular, incarnation of “the real” Christ, crucified, dead and risen—alive among us and unbound by any lesser ideas of his redemptive purpose—that whoever believes in him might have eternal life.

1 comment:

Pastor John said...

YAYAYAY for you, Thomas, struggler with doubt though you admit to being, for stating it so clearly! Would that more had the nerve -- and the knowledge of the Truth -- to do so!

Keep (er, "share," I mean) the faith!