Summary: A Christian response to Oprah’s new on-line Class with Eckhart Tolle - every Monday night on Oprah.com. The classes started March 3, 2008 and last week two million attended the class. Which is leaving scorces of confused people in it wake.
“Oprah& Eckhart Tolle’s: New Earth”
Open with 8 minute video clip
[“Mega Church Of Oprah.” available at www.carringtonsteele.citymax.com/page/page/5776487.htm]
Oprah Winfrey is a one-woman entertainment empire and her influence extends around the world. The “Oprah Winfrey Show” has remained the number one talk show on US television for 21 seasons and is now seen in over 132 countries around the world. In addition to her TV show she has her own production company (Harpo), her own magazine, (O Magazine), and soon she will have her own network, in 2009 the Discovery Health Channel will become OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network). She reaches more people in a day than most preachers can even dream of reaching in a lifetime.
Oprah Winfrey is without a doubt one of the most popular and influential women in the world today (Barna says she has a 83% favorability rating among born-again believers). One of the things that has made her so popular is that she uses her fame and influence for the betterment of others. As one of the richest women in the world, she has given away billions of dollars to various charities. She has built an academy in South Africa for disadvantaged girls, began the Angel Network and Christmas kindness to name just a few of the things she has done.
Oprah has very commendably aimed the direction of her show to provide information and encourage people to evaluate and improve their lives.
But as was observed in a 2002 article in Christianity Today called "The Church of O," as odd as it may sound, Oprah has emerged as an influential spiritual leader. "Since 1994, when she abandoned traditional talk-show fare for more edifying content, and 1998, when she began ’Change Your Life TV’, Oprah’s most significant role has become that of spiritual leader. To her audience of more than 22 million mostly female viewers, she has become a postmodern priestess—an icon of church-free spirituality.” [LaTonya Taylor. “The Church of O.” Christianity Today. April 1, 2002]
And while we may admire Oprah as a communicator and a humanitarian we must reserve strong reservations about her as a theologian. Oprah name is actually the misspelling of the bible character Orpah, the daughter-in-law of Naomi, mentioned in Ruth 1:14.
Because while she is doing all of these good things Oprah has been drifting further and further out to the fringes of “New Age” belief and many her fans have faithfully followed her there. There doesn’t seem to be anything that Oprah will not believe except the truth. Through a succession of guest with eclectic religious ties, such as Gary Zuhav, Marianne Williamson, and Deepak Chopra, Oprah’s show presents all religions as equally valid paths to God.
Oprah retains membership in Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago (where Barack Obama is a member) and although hardly what I would consider a bulwark of conserve-ative theology the former pastor Jeremiah Wright has said of Oprah’s beliefs, “She has broken with the traditional faith, she now has this sort of God is everywhere, God is in me, I don’t need to go to church, I don’t need to be a part of a body of believers, I can mediate, I can do positive thinking’ spirituality. It’s a strange gospel. It has nothing to do with the church Jesus Christ founded!” [Ibid. “The Church of O.”]
Beginning in January she started a year long course on her XM Radio program taught by Marianne Williamson entitled “A Course in Miracles.” “A Course In Miracles” was written by a Jewish atheist psychologist named Helen Schucman. She claimed she received the material as channeled messages from an unknown entity in an audible voice. Does that really sound like the source you want to get your spiritual guidance from?
Last year her ongoing spiritual odyssey included a revelation called “The Secret” concocted by Rhonda Byrne. This supposed spiritual breakthrough was nothing more than repackaging and synthesis of existing “positive thinking” mumble jumbo. But many seem willing to believe whatever secret she has to share after all, who better than the richest woman in the world to tell us how to be a success in life.
Oprah’s latest spiritual guru is Eckhart Tolle, author of “A New Earth; Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.”
Both the book and the online course purport to be able to awaken you and our world to life’s grand purpose. Yet this is only old lies in new packaging. The oldest lies in the universe are: “your eyes will be opened,” “you shall be as gods,” and “you shall know the difference between good and evil.” (Gen 3:5)
But it is not enough for Oprah to simply embrace such beliefs herself she wants to convert her TV audience as well. Oprah has said, “Being able to share this material with you is a gift and a part of the fulfillment of my life’s purpose.” “It was an awakening for me that I want for you too.” [Oprah Winfrey Show. CBS Feb 22, 2008] As a result she has invited her TV audience to join her every Monday night on Oprah.com for a 10 week Web seminar. The classes started March 3, 2008 and last week two million attended the class.