Some people have just way too much power. Oprah Winfrey is one of them. When Oprah speaks, people listen. The problem is who is listening.
I’m talking about Christians here. Who is listening is who is giving her the power; and the more who listen, the more power she’s given and the more liberty she takes. In fact, Beliefnet.com (an ecumenical website) did an informal survey that found that, out of its 6,600 respondents, a whopping 33% said Oprah Winfrey had “a more profound impact” on their spiritual lives than their pastors and priests. From a biblical perspective, that’s unacceptable.
It doesn’t matter that Oprah said “I am a Christian” or that the Black Christian News Network (BCNN) has defended her claim. The “faith” Oprah professes to believe in is not the faith of Jesus Christ as set forth in God’s Word, the Bible. Hers is a New Age “gospel” that has wormed its way into homes via the television and gained control first over gullible women (see 2 Timothy 3:6-7) and now everyone who doesn’t know their Bible.
It’s one thing to be successful, rich and influential in the secular world. But when that power draws in Christians, now I’m upset. Oprah has infiltrated the Christian Church, and we continue to let her do it.
You see, after decades of first winning over housewives and then building a formidable, billion-dollar, multifaceted media empire, in recent years Oprah has expanded into a real spiritual leader who has been able to make the likes of T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen — mega-stars with mega Christian followings — actually tip-toe around the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And the more they tip-toe, the more she gives them a platform.
At the same time they’re tip-toeing, and while Oprah’s influence over Christians grows every day, you have the likes of the Preachers of L.A. and their baffoonery undermining the Gospel in a different way. That’s a topic for another whole blog article, but it’s enough to say for now that there is a war raging against biblical Christianity on several different but simultaneous fronts, made possible in huge part by gullible Christians in love with Oprah.
How can I be so sure that’s what’s happening? Well, I’m not the only one who sees it. Read this 2011 Huffington Post article, “How Oprah Became America’s Pastor.” Yes, you read that right: Oprah has been called “America’s pastor”! This article explains when and how Opray Winfrey has arrived to the point of being considered a spiritual leader and not just a media mogul.
I won’t duplicate what you can read for yourself in that article, but I will say that stumbling upon it in the course of my research only served to confirm what is already easy to observe about Oprah’s infiltration into the Christian Church.
Think about it. The only possible reason why Oprah would give T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen or any other professing Christian a platform in the first place is because of their watered-down “gospel.” When the true Gospel is preached, it brings conviction for sin, with either of two results: angry rejection or a soul like the 3,000 who, after being cut to the heart by Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-39), said, Brothers, what shall we do? and then became born-again. If Oprah’s buddies Jakes and Osteen were preaching the true Gospel of salvation from hell, Oprah would either stop giving them a platform (like she did to that young lady on her show years prior who was professing Jesus as the only way), or start using more of her platform to spread the Good News herself. If the true Gospel were being preached to Oprah Winfrey, then she would either reject them or reject her New Age beliefs. At least by now.
Instead, she has done neither and in fact has in effect morphed the two messages together. Oprah readily aligns herself with Jakes and Osteen because, apparently, she is comfortable with their message. And sadly, so must they be with hers. I can’t help but believe they must think they can win her over to Christ. But what’s happened instead is that their compromising has weakened their message into something that’s no longer a match against her power and influence. A message that’s about God’s love to save one’s life more than one’s soul. A message that is so contrary to Holy Scripture yet so compatible with Oprah’s own pre-conceived spiritual worldview. In other words, their messages overlap enough to make for a mutually comfortable partnership. And I believe they overlapped long before Oprah’s “Life Class,” “Next Chapter” or “Super Soul Sunday” were ever first conceived.
All Oprah had to do in 2012 was say, “I am a Christian.” Apparently, that was enough for Jakes and Osteen to partner with her, for BCNN to defend her, and for Christians to blindly empower her. Because when she speaks, people listen, no questions asked. It’s Oprah, after all.
I told you I was upset. Aren’t you? There is so much evidence even on Oprah’s own platforms that what she defines as “a Christian” is worlds apart from — not what Jakes and Osteen present, but what the Bible clearly says. Her so-called “christianity” is really a New Age distortion that says God is an impersonal “force” that (not Who) is “in” all things, and our goal as spiritual beings is to tap into the “god” in each of us.
Furthermore, even more than she endorses Jakes and Osteen, Oprah endorses New Age authors such as Deepak Chopra, Eckert Tolle, Marianne Williamson and The Secret‘s Rhonda Byrne. They all teach heretical and occultic principles that put people at the center of their own universe where there is no sin, no doctrine, no heaven or hell, Jesus didn’t come to die on the cross, man made God in his image and not the other way around, and you yourself have divine power to create your own reality here on earth. What Osteen might call “Your Best Life Now” as evidenced by what Jakes would call your own “Instinct.”
This cannot be over-stated. If Oprah were truly a born-again, blood-bought, new creature in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit would not allow her to be comfortable partnering with Deepak Chopra for their “21 Days of Meditation” program. Chopra is globally famous as a New Age guru who, at best, preaches a different “Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4; Galatians 1:8-9; 1 Timothy 6:3-4). At worst, his teachings are occultic because they encourage practices such as the Law of Attraction, which is popular in witchcraft.
To be fair, maybe as a babe in Christ (if she truly is in Christ at all), Oprah just doesn’t know better yet. Perhaps she’s excused, then. But then what’s Jakes’ and Osteen’s excuse? They are supposedly Bible experts, right? Have they not read those same three passages — 2 Corinthians 11:3-4; Galatians 1:8-9; 1 Timothy 6:3-4 — along with 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:11; and 2 John 1:10-11, just to name a few warnings they could have shared with Oprah? At least by now?
I literally gasped out loud recently when, while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I came upon the post of a precious sister in The Lord about how she was enjoying following Oprah’s and Chopra’s “21 Days of Meditation” program. My friend qualified her participation by saying in effect that she was using Jesus Christ as her focus for the daily meditation exercises.
Unfortunately, that does not make it okay. That’s like putting a square peg in a round hole. If you force it, something has to give or break, and somebody’s going to get hurt. Christianity and the occult are polar opposites, and so much so that you can’t morph the two together in hopes that everybody will just get along.
So, I immediately prayed about how to handle my friend’s post (see Why I’m Reluctant) and felt compelled not to just let it be. Of course, I had a choice to either make a public comment or send her a private message. I chose to comment publicly for the sake of her many Facebook friends and followers who might accept it because she accepts it. I kept it simple and just said that her post almost brought me to tears (it really did), and then I put “Ephesians 5:11.” I didn’t quote the verse but just gave its address.
Within minutes, my comment had been deleted. That’s okay because, if nothing else, at least my precious sister saw it and hopefully already knew or looked up Ephesians 5:11, which says: Have nothing to do with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather expose them. And maybe she didn’t bother looking it up, in which case I’m still at peace because all I can do is present it. It’s up to you what you do or don’t do with it.
Maybe she just doesn’t know better either. People can genuinely just not know.
And that’s why I’m writing this article.
If you don’t know that, biblically speaking, it is wrong for Christians to affirm Oprah Winfrey as a spiritual leader even if Jakes and Osteen mistakenly have; and if you don’t know that Oprah adheres to New Age beliefs; and if you don’t know that New Age doctrine is anti-biblical and heretical; and if you don’t know that Jakes and Osteen have a compromised, watered-down, let’s-not-ruffle-Oprah’s-feathers kind of message that condones rather than exposes her and Chopra’s false teachings, consider yourself now informed.
To really help you see the danger of following Oprah Winfrey as a spiritual leader or why it’s wrong for Jakes, Osteen, you or me to compromise our faith for the sake of showing social tolerance, if you’re really serious, please look at the below Scriptures and consider them in their proper contexts on your own. It’s up to you now what you will do with God’s Word about Oprah Winfrey. Choose this day whom you will serve: those who follow and empower Oprah, or those who follow and serve the one true and living God, Jesus Christ?
John 14:6 — Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
2 Corinthians 6:14-15 — Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 — But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
Galatians 1:6-9 — I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
Ephesians 5:8-12 — For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
2 Peter 2:1-3 — But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
2 John 1:7-11 — I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.
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