As Apprising Ministries monitors the Net and social media one of the trends I’m seeing is postmodernism’s effects slithering more deeply into the professing Christian community. Combined with the sappy sentimentality spread by practice of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism people are now deciding issues by their feelings.
My point being, it simply doesn’t matter one iota how we may feel about a given subject; it’s truth or falsehood is based upon factuality, not feelings. A case in point right now is Oprah Winfrey. Once again people are becoming convinced that the media mogul is a Christian. As a matter of fact, Winfrey even makes that claim herself.
The clip below is from Spiritual Lives – Oprahs Lifeclass a few weeks ago on April 24th 2012. At 0:26 you’ll hear Winfrey say, “I am a Christian; that is my faith,” and also says that she can show us how to be one:
You can also see Winfrey’s tolerant statement, “I respect for all faiths” was a real crowd pleaser. Of course we respect people of other faiths but with such as those as Oprah Winfrey those religions are actually irrelevant because, in their warped and toxic perceptions, the New Spirituality they espouse transcends these faiths.
What’s imperative in this tolerant time in which we live is to make people define their terms. If we hope to understand Winfrey’s claim we simply can’t let her go off-roading mentally into the mud of the postmodern Wonderland of Humpty Dumpty language where the meanings of words descend into its muck and mire.
So now, from her own—pardon the pun—words we’ll let Winfrey testify as to what she means by Christian. When we do you’ll clearly see she’s not a Christian despite her claim to the contrary. The following clips come from A New Earth Online Class which Winfrey did with Eckhart Tolle, a leading guru of the New Spirituality.
This was Winfrey’s first stab at webcasting while the two promoted the mythology in Tolle’s book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (ANE). Following is Winfrey’s “Christian” testimony from her own lips; and keep in mind this is taken directly from the transcript of the online class, produced by Winfrey herself.
I want you to know that I purposely left the commercials in this opening clip to give you a better idea just how dangerous Oprah Winfrey really is. As you’ll see, she literally reaches, and impacts, millions of people around the entire world with her deadly spirituality; and with some heavyweight sponsors as well.
What we want to note in this first clip is that Winfrey calls Living Spiritual Teacher Eckhart Tolle’s ANE “one of the most important books of our time.” This is clearly an endorsement of Tolle’s spiritual mythology:
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): A worldwide Web event.
ANNOUNCER: Brought to you by Chevy; technologies that go from gas-friendly to gas-free. Sponsored in part by Post-it Flags; find out what matter—fast. Sponsored in part by Skype; bringing people closer with video calling.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Welcome to our very first live worldwide interactive event. We are here tonight breaking new ground. Nothing like this has ever been attempted before. Right now, you all are online with me from every corner on our planet. Places like Albania, Bolivia, Cambodia, Ecuador, Finland, Hong Kong, China, India, Zimbabwe, Australia, Canada, the UK and the rest of Europe. Along with, of course, all 50 states here in our United States of America. Over 139 countries are represented in our class tonight. Welcome to you all.
So I want to get started. This is the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but I am most proud of the fact that all of you have joined us in this global community to talk about what I believe is one of the most important subjects and presented by one of the most important books of our time, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.”
I don’t think there’s anything more important than awakening and also knowing what your purpose is. And for the next 10 weeks, author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle and I will be here in our virtual classroom here on Oprah.com every Monday, 8 p.m. Be on time for class—8 p.m. Central. (source, emphasis mine)
Here’s what Dr. Gary Gilley tells us about Tolle’s ANE in his review:
A New Earth is little more than the standard New Age (New Spirituality) fare which would be highly familiar to those having knowledge of this doctrine. What makes A New Earth unique is its adoption and promotion by Oprah Winfrey who has become perhaps the biggest cheerleader for New Age spirituality in modern times. Because of Oprah’s endorsement, millions of Eckhart Tolle’s books have been sold and New Age ideas have spread to a whole new segment of Western society…
Tolle believes that all things are one (monism) (pp. 4, 26, 106) with the universe. This Eastern pantheistic teaching ultimately leads to all things being God. We are not surprised when he tells us that, “we are light” (p. 28), we are “I Am” (pp. 57, 60, 64, 79), “you are the Truth” (p. 71), we have a “common divinity” (p. 74), “I am life…I and life are one…I Am” (p. 128), we are God, or Being (p. 220), etc. (source)
Obviously, this is not Christian theology and no genuine Christian would think ANE’s a most important book; we’d reject it as blasphemy. This next clip comes as Winfrey is praising an earlier book by Tolle called The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, which she says was a “book [that] was a life-changing book for me.”
Shifting back to Tolle’s ANE Winfrey then asks the guru, “How did this come to be? How did this come through you—to you?” Tolle tells her it was essentially what is known as automatic writing where the spiritual writer claims the work comes through them from another source:
Well, it comes out of the space of stillness, and that’s where all creative endeavor is born. So it’s getting in touch with the stillness within, where there’s no mental noise, and out of that stillness, when the time is right, sometimes an impulse comes. Something—a feeling, a strong sense that something wants to be born into this world…
I had the same strong sense before writing The Power of Now. That was 13 years ago…and suddenly this came. I bought a notepad, and suddenly the strong stream came through, and I wrote, “What is Enlightenment?” The beginning of The Power of Now. The moment I wrote that, I knew this is the book that wants to be born. So rather than me wanting to write a book, there was a book that wanted to be written. (source)
Winfrey wonders if Tolle thought it was “like Michelangelo” who said “the angel’s in the marble and he just cuts away the marble.” Tolle then replies:
ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE): Yes. So and I find—I’ll come back to that in a second—for most people that is the approach to “What is my purpose?” To look at what the greater purpose is, “What does the greater purpose want from me? What does life or God want from me?” Rather than, “What do I want from life?” So that’s the starting point. I know that sometimes in New Age you have the question, “Well, what do you want?”
It’s fine to ask that question, but a more powerful question is, “What does life want from me? How do I fit into the—what is the totality? What is my place within the whole?” So this is how it started, as knowing that this is what life wants from me. The book wants to be born. And the same thing happened later with the New Earth, again, a similar sense of “Oh, there’s another book that wants to come.” I didn’t know why because everybody told me, “Well, you’ve said it all in The Power of Now, why write another book?”
And I, intellectually, I couldn’t have answered, “Why am I writing another book?” And it happened.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): And it happened. Were you asking life, universal energy? I don’t know. What do you call that? As a word do you—I call it “God.” What do you, what word do you use for that?
ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE): Consciousness…
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Were you asking consciousness, were you saying, “What do you want from me?”
ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE): Yes. (source)
Again, this impersonal, unknowable, ”consciousness” is a repudiation of the Christian position concerning the nature of the one true and living God of the Bible Who is Personal and known through Jesus Christ. If Oprah Winfrey was a Christian she would just not be endorsing and promoting this New Spirituality of Eckhart Tolle.
This next clip comes as Winfrey then opens the discussion to her online web class. It also gives you another peek at how Winfrey is now shipwrecking people’s faith:
KELLY (ILLINOIS): Well, my question is regarding religion and spirituality.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Big one.
KELLY (ILLINOIS): I had a Catholic upbringing, I married a Catholic, and we’re raising our children this way. In reading books such as Tolle’s, I’ve really, it’s really opened my eyes up to a 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 have you reconciled these spiritual teachings with your Christian beliefs?
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Oh, the question’s to me. I was resting knowing it was going to about—I’ve reconciled it 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 the Baptist church and there were, you know, rules and, you know, belief systems in doctrine.
And I happened to be sitting in church in my late 20s, and I was going to this church where you had to get there at 8 in the morning or you couldn’t get a seat. And a very charismatic minister, and everybody was just, you know, into the sermon. And this great minister was preaching about how great God was and how omniscient and omnipresent, and God is everything.
And then he said, “And the lord thy God is a jealous God.” And I was, you know, caught up in the rapture of that moment until he said “jealous.” And something struck me. And I was like, I think about 27 or 28. I was thinking, “God is all, God is omnipresent, God is—and God’s also jealous? God is jealous of me?”
And something about that didn’t feel right in my spirit because I believe that God is love and that God is in all things. And so that’s when the search for something more than doctrine started to stir within me. And I love this quote that Eckhart has, this is one of my favorite quotes in Chapter 1, where he says, “Man made ‘God’ in his own image. The eternal, the infinite, and unnamable was reduced to a mental idol that you had to believe in and worship as ‘my god’ or ‘our god.’”
Now I think that’s very eloquently put by Eckhart Tolle in Chapter 1. But that is exactly what I was feeling when I was, you know, sitting in church that Sunday listening to the preacher. And you know, it’s been a journey to get to the place where I understand, as I said on the preshow here, that what I believe is that Jesus came to show us Christ consciousness.That Jesus came to show us the way of the heart and that what Jesus was saying that to show us the higher consciousness that we’re all talking about here. Jesus came to say, “Look I’m going to live in the body, in the human body and I’m going to show you how it’s done.” These are some principles and some laws that you can use to live by to know that way. And when I started to recognize that, that Jesus didn’t come in my belief, even as a Christian, I don’t believe that Jesus came to start Christianity… (source)
This is classic New Age mythology aka the New Spirituality and actually couldn’t be further from a Christian testimony. Jesus didn’t come to show us some laws “to know that way.” No, Jesus is the way to the Father; and He didn’t come “to show us Christ consciousness because the Bible tells us God the Son is the Christ.
In this last clip Oprah Winfrey asks Eckhart Tolle “how do you advise people to reconcile this with their religious beliefs?” After his rather confused and conflicting foray into the doublespeak of the New Spirituality, finally, as she continues on with her answer to the caller she leaves no doubt that Oprah Winfrey is not a Christian:
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): And how do you advise people to reconcile this with their religious beliefs?
ECKHART TOLLE (AUTHOR A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE): Well, religion can be an open doorway into spirituality, and religion can be a closed door. It prevents you from going deeper. So that I love reading the New Testament, and I also read the Old Testament. Sometimes there’s some incredible jewels in there. And when I went through this inner transformation, and for the first time accidentally I picked up a copy of the New Testament at my mother’s place.
And I started reading, and I immediately recognized the deep truths that is there, and I realized the truth that is deeper, that is expressed in what Jesus said, is much deeper than what you, how the church interprets it. There’s a depth to it. And it reflects your own depth when you read it. So there’s no conflict between this teaching, which is purely spiritual, and any religion.
Because if you go deep enough in your religion, then you all get to the same place. It’s a question of going deeper, so there’s no conflict here. The important thing is that religion doesn’t become an ideology—so, “I believe this.” And the moment you say “only my belief” or “our belief” is true, and you deny other people’s beliefs, then you’ve adopted an ideology. And then religion becomes a closed door. But, potentially, religion can also be an open door.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Well, let me share this with you too, Kelly. There’s another book by a woman named Elizabeth Lesser, it’s called The Seeker’s Guide, where she talks about the new spirituality versus the old. So I just wanted to—this is on page 51 and 52 of Elizabeth Lesser’s book called The Seeker’s Guide.
And she talks about old spirituality versus the new spirituality, and she says the old was—the old way is—the hierarchy has the authority. Church authorities tell you how to worship in church and how to behave outside of church. The new spirituality is that you are your own best authority as you work to know and love yourself, you discover how to live a more spiritual life.
The old is, “God and the path to worship him have already been defined, and all you need to do is follow the directions.” The new is being able to listen within for your own definition of spirituality, your deeper longings are under search. And the old says exact here what Eckhart was saying. That there’s only one path. It’s the right way and all other ways are wrong. And the spirituality says that many paths lead to spiritual freedom and peace.
You have a rich array of gems from which to draw illumination. The world’s religious traditional, mythology, psychology, healing methods, scientific wisdom, your own experience and that you can begin to string a necklace all your own. Then she lists, you know, other old and new. And so it’s really a question of what you were saying to us earlier that this material strikes a chord within you.
Something in you opens up and wants, you know, feels alive and is awakened to that. And yet there is the ideology that says what to you? What is the conflict for you?
KELLY (ILLINOIS): Just thoughts on the afterlife, things like that. You know, you—in a lot of books such as Tolle’s, we get teachings from Buddhism or Hinduism, and those thoughts don’t go along with, you know, what I was raised to believe as a Christian. So that’s been the biggest thing that I’ve struggled with, I think, so…
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): Well, I am a Christian who believes that there are certainly many more paths to God other than Christianity.
KELLY (ILLINOIS): Right.
OPRAH WINFREY (HOST): I’m a free-thinking Christian who believes that, who believes in my way, but I don’t believe that it’s the only way, with 6 billion people here on the planet. (source)