If individuals have missed the recent YouTube video portraying Oprah discussing her ideas of the New Age religion you can view it here. There are some interesting points that she makes that ought to be discussed in more detail that contradict Christianity, and one ought to remember to address these points respectfully.
(Oprah: 1:00) "One of the mistakes that human beings make is that there is only one way to live, and that we don't accept that there are diverse ways of being in the world and there are millions of ways to be a human being and many paths to what you call God. That her path might be something else and when she gets there she might call it the light."
There is truth to the initial portion of Oprah's statement. Christians today do indeed struggle with acceptance of other's viewpoints, but it does not necessarily imply that their viewpoint is incorrect. Two different issues are at hand here, how does one balance what they believe to be true with the reality that it implies others do not hold that same truth? It is doubtful that Oprah doesn't believe what she is discussing is truth as well, and if someone approached her new age religious perspective with the idea that there was only one way to heaven then she would undoubtedly struggle to accept their viewpoint just as Christians struggle with the same issues when someone else approaches them with 'another way' to God.
Oprah is trying to be open-minded with her new age perspective about all religions and opening all paths but in doing so at the same time she cannot be open minded to those who hold the belief that there are not multiple paths to God. One cannot have their cake and eat it too, if she embraces the idea that there are multiple paths then she must argue those who believe there are not are incorrect, and the minute she does as such she is no longer open-minded of all viewpoints. For if the God she suggests exist, then that God would undoubtedly punish those who defy the reality that he designed within his plan multiple paths that lead to himself. Those who hold the only one way viewpoint, therefore, will not be looked upon as favorable to the God she suggests exists.
(Oprah: 1:12)"But her loving and her kindness and her generosity if it brings her to the same point that it brings you it doesn't matter if she called it God along the way or not."
It would be interested to know exactly what is meant by bringing individuals to 'the same point'. There is, however, a firm difference between doing the will of God and doing ones own will. Oprah's new age illustration is that the path to salvation and acceptance with God is through 'good works' and in being kind, generous and virtuous they will find favor with God when they stand before him.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. " (John 3:16)
"I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can get to the father except through me." (John 14:6)
There are some definite contradictions in the Biblical context in regards to the ideas Oprah is suggesting. While at the same time attesting to the belief in Christianity she wishes to embrace other religions as being another way to God. There is, however, a dilemma, as the Bible illustrates that salvation is not a result of good works, but good works are an inevitable result of salvation. In other words, belief in Christ comes first to obtain salvation, and through that salvation and communion with Christ the individual can find God's purpose in their lives and live their life through God's will - these are the good works that follow belief in Christ.
Good works, in this respect, are an after-effect of salvation, and they are only 'good works' if they fall under the banner of God's purpose in the individual's life. It is not implied in the Bible that good works lead to God, it is that Jesus Christ leads to God, and the result of believing in him is 'good works', which are defined as God's will instead of our own will. We can't, however, do God's will without a relationship with him through his son Jesus Christ.
(Kelly: 2:52) "[The recommended reading by Oprah] really opened my eyes to new way of thinking, a new form of spirituality that doesn't always align with the teachings of Christianity, so my question is to you Oprah, how do you reconcile these spiritual teachings with your Christian beliefs."
This is an excellent question towards her new age perspective, it positions Oprah to defend the contradiction even I addressed above, it asks how Oprah can be a Christian while at the same time believing in something contradictory to Christian beliefs.
(Oprah: 3:10) "I reconcile them because I was able to open my mind about the absolute indescribable hugeness of that which we call God. I took God out of the box because I grew up in a baptist church where there were rules and belief systems and doctrines. I happen to be sitting in church in my late twenties... this great minister was preaching about how great God was and how omniscient and omnipresent and God is everything and then he said the Lord thy God is a jealous God and I was caught up in the rapture of that moment until he said jealous and something struck me... I was thinking God is all, God is omnipresent and God is also jealous? God is jealous of me? Something about that didn't feel right in my spirit because I believe that God is love and God is in all things so that's when the search for something more than doctrine started to stir within me. I love this quote... "Man made God in his own image: eternal, infinite and unnameable was reduced to a mental idol that you had to believe in and worship as my God or our God."
Oprah really didn't address the question, she actually dodged it. This might not have been intentional, many people probably realize that when asked a question on the spot it is not always easy to come up with a great answer to the question, I will, for her sake give her the benefit of the doubt.
There are some issues here though, primarily when she discusses the conflict in her spirit when she found God to be a jealous God. It is primarily important to note that within context this means that God is jealous of things we make into being God - or man made idols, he was not discussing when man worships "another omnipotent being". Jealousy, as the modern man interprets it in in a negative context - and Oprah may have been interpreting it in this way. For example, jealousy is often associated with insecurity. In the Biblical context, however, the jealousy that God holds is his intolerance of unfaithfulness or rivalry. When God says he is a jealous God he is stating he is intolerant of the unfaithful and of those who embrace their man made Gods. He must be, because as the only God and as the supreme judge he must judge based upon the truth that he is the only God. It would be unjust of him to let us worship man-made God's when there are those who worship the one true God.
Addressing the quote that she loved: "Man made God in his own image: eternal, infinite and unnameable was reduced to a mental idol that you had to believe in and worship as my God or our God."
Man has made and often makes Gods in their own image, but every time God is transformed into an idol, whether it be blindly worshiping without a relationship or ritualistic beliefs it contradicts the Biblical idea that Christ wanted man to seek after truth.
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7)
Nowhere in the Bible does it suggest that individuals blindly follow the faith, nor does it encourage imbecility. In fact, Christ demands the complete opposite, he wants us to know God, to understand him, it was part of his purpose in becoming man so that he could communicate the beauty of God to mankind. This is quite possibly one of the most beautifully unique aspects of the Christian faith, in that it is encouraged by its creator to incessantly question it and put it into practice and the truths should hold no matter the circumstances, they may not always be clearly evident, but time often shows the truth as it is.
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