I recently received an e-mail from a reader that
questioned why I included Oprah Winfrey in my last article on the "New
Televangelist". I started to simply reply to him with my answer and
leave it there, but I believe God prompted me to expand my response into
another article for all to read.
Let me preface my response by saying that I am not Oprah bashing. I
watched Oprah faithfully daily for several years when her show first
came on. She seemed to be very sincere with her guest and her values
appeared to be somewhat traditional. She was very entertaining and her
topics, though at times sensational, were not spiritual in essence. I
liked her personality and honestly enjoyed her show, as a matter of fact
, I even learned some things as a result of her show. Unfortunately, as
the years went by, her show changed. The changes were small and
insignificant at first, but as she grew in popularity and influence, she
adopted what seemed to me to be almost a campaign. And that was when I
became very cautious in my viewing of her show. Now I seldom watch and
often change the channel for something more interesting.
Now, to continue in response to my e-mail question. As I'm sure everyone
knows, Oprah is an extremely powerful woman. She has the number one talk
show on television today. This means she is not only viewed by millions
daily, but she is also respected and listened to by millions daily. Her
show has received numerous Emmy awards, which is something that does not
go without notice.
Oprah has a voice that is heard! I recently heard a radio broadcaster
say that the literary world is suffering in the respect of many gifted
authors going unread because book lovers are reading exclusively only
books that have been recommended by Oprah's Book Club. Now you know,
when one woman can tell people what to read and they do it without
question, that's power! Her power has not only influenced the literary
world. You may remember the lawsuit, in the recent past, with the meat
industry. All she did was to voice her opinion in passing remarks of her
concern about "mad cow disease" and the safety of meat, and it rocked
the industry in such depth that it caused them to sue her for
defamation. She has such an incredible ability to capture her viewers
trust that they follow her lead instantly and loyally. It's a prime
example of the blind leading the blind ( Matt. 15:14 ).
When her show began to change from the typical rating boosting
sensationalistic topics to those of self -help and personal discovery,
the more she began to deal with topics of a spiritual nature. She talked
frequently about her new-found spirituality. She shared about her
discovery of "God", which she also refers to as her "higher power". She
has also said that God can be either male or female. She now has a daily
segment at the end of her show called "Finding Your Spirit". This
segment is purely humanistic. It focuses primarily on the good deeds of
people and the effect thy have in making the world a better place.
Oprahs new discovery is nothing more than new age philosophy being
marketed by one of the most accepted and powerful women in America. She
has a recurring guest on her show named Iyanla Vanzant. This woman
claims to be a spiritual counselor and a Yoruba priestess. She is so
flaky that, except for her poisonous ramblings, she's almost comical.
And because she has the endorsement of Oprah Winfrey, she has the ear of
the world. So consequently, her "flaky gospel" packaged so beautifully
in her books is being spread and believed by millions. Ms. Iyanla
Vanzant is not the only spiritual author she admires and promotes. Toni
Morrison, who authored several books recommended by Oprahs Book Club is
another author that she holds in high regard. In fact, Oprah spent 10
years and who knows how much money to bring one of Toni Morrison's books
to the wide screen. That movie was "Beloved," starring and produced by
Oprah and also starring Danny Glover. After all the money and years was
spent and the star power and hype, the movie opened as a box office
flop. I heard one movie critic comment after seeing it, "what the heck
was that?" Obviously, I didn't bother seeing it, but apparently it had
something to do with a dead child returning to visit her mother and all
kinds of other oddities. But the point in mentioning her movie is to
point out her perception of importance. Of all the worthwhile and
uplifting subjects that have been written about, she chose the book
"Beloved" to throw millions of dollars at to make into a movie. But when
you have a name and money, you can make things happens and such is so
with Oprah Winfrey.
It is because of her fame, popularity, influence, money, charisma, and
eloquent speech that I consider her foe rather than friend. I believe
most people still view her as "the girl next door that made it big," but
she's much more than that now. She has an award winning show that is
viewed by millions daily who hang on her every word and eagerly accept
her opinions as gospel truth. Her deception is not overt evil that is
easily recognized. She is being used by Satan and probably doesn't even
know it herself. I believe she sincerly thinks that her show is
performing a helpful service. Some of you readers may think the same
thing. You may argue that she is so likeable and easy to talk to. She is
kind, generous, and concerned for mankind. She's a promoter of goodwill
and a friend to everyone including homosexuals. She celebrates liberty
and the right for everyone to express their individuality and
uniqueness. How can all this be dangerous? Well consider this. The word
of God says that Satan transforms himself into an Angel of light.
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14
The Bible also warns us that in the last days many people will be deceived by a form of godliness that creeps into houses.
"Having a form of
godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead
captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers
lusts," 2 Timthoy 3:5-6.
It is not blatant evil that causes the masses to go into error. Any sane
person will avoid evil when it is in obvious view. It's what you don't
see that hurts you. Just like the harmful thorn that is often hidden
behind the splendid beauty of a rose.
I am not an Oprah basher. It is not my desire or agenda to get her show
off the air. This is simply my response to a question that I've been
asked. In fact, I pray for Oprah. I pray that in her search for God that
she will return to her Christian roots and rediscover the true God that
she was familiar with as a child. My only desire is to fulfill gods call
to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But along with sharing the Gospel
comes the task of exposing what is contrary to that Gospel.. The Bible
tells us the things that we should give our attention to.
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever
things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever
things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever
things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if
[there be] any praise, think on these things."
The talk shows I mentioned in my last article, and yes also Oprah, fall
into the category of things to avoid. We as Christians need to be very
careful to keep our Spirits pure. We cannot view everything that comes
across the television airways. In order to live victorious Christian
lives, we must be selective and led by the Spirit of God in all aspects
of our lives. I encourage you to pray daily and to allow Jesus to be the
Lord of your life and look to Him to guide you into paths of