Sunday, April 6, 2008

A little clarification about the Oprah thing...

I think I may have confused some people by the Oprah video. I wanted to clarify my stand on this issue and why I feel strongly about it. I am sorry if you are tired of reading about this. Here is a reply to an email that I copied onto the blog...

I would love to be a little more specific on why I felt the need to post those posts about Oprah. I don't want to sound judgmental, but then again I am judging this in accordance with the Bible. First of all, I have no idea who made that video and would definitely agree that it is a little "over-the-top" dramatic in some parts. It was in a forwarded email. I just found the parts where Oprah and Tolle were talking very concerning as a Christian. I have not read the book. I only know what I have heard and seen from Oprah and Tolle. The meditation part did not freak me out because of the meditating... It is the teachings that they are getting ready to put into their minds after they clear them out. I'm certainly not a follower of whoever put that video together, but there were several undeniable clips of Oprah stating philosophy that is directly contradictory to the Bible, so I think it sheds a very objective light on where she is.
I am going to to try and be concise and specific about my concerns...

Because I have not read the entire book, here is the link to the Oprah – New Earth commercial:
(I will address the things listed on the commercial so I can be accurate about the points and goals of the book and not mispeak for what is contained in the book).
I don't disagree that everything in this commercial sounds good and I am sure there are a lot of good things in the book but let's compare some of it with what the Bible teaches.... The hard part about this is that the book mixes truth with error (error meaning that it goes against Scripture). That makes it very confusing because some parts are good- some parts are bad. They say anyone who challenges the teachings is just "negative energy".
For example, to “let go of ego,” is a wonderful goal, given that pride (ego) is one of the seven deadly sins of the Bible. But the problem is that New Earth teaches that the solutions to pride/ego and many other conditions of humankind are found within oneself. That notion is directly contrary to Scripture, which teaches that man is inherently sinful and that “only God is good.” Mark 10:18. I think Tolle recognizes our need for a Savior but is turning to Self instead of redemption through Christ. That will NOT work.
Here are the key statements from that commercial and the Scriptures that they are directly contrary to:
1. “Find the goodness already within you.” vs.
"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out." Romans 7:18
2. “If the shutters are closed, the sunlight cannot come in. You are that light.” vs.
“I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)
3. “Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.” vs.
“If the son therefore has made you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:32) " &
"...I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but through me." (John 14:6)
Those who are attracted to the New Earth seem to be: (1) honest, because they are willing to accept that their own egos have caused many of their problems, (2) seeking the betterment of themselves and, by extension, mankind. However, New Earth author Eckhart Tolle has specifically stated that he is not concerned about what happens in the afterlife. Jesus clearly teaches that each person has an eternal soul, that there is a heaven and a hell, and that “it is appointed unto men to die once, and after this comes the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27. We are eternal souls.
I know I will live for eternity in heaven with God because of my faith in Christ and His death on the cross. There is not one ounce of doubt about my eternal security because of my salvation and what the Bible teaches.
There are many other examples and Scriptures that could be used, but it appears that New Earth is a form of humanism that teaches principles (i.e., doctrines, which simply means “teachings”) directly contrary to the Bible. All false teachings contain a thread of the truth - there's some measure of good in all of them, but you and I, as Christians, know that these truths are also contained in the teachings of Christ. And we also know that Christianity is open to everyone, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.." , that God will never turn away anyone who comes to Him through Jesus. God doesn't keep anyone from getting to heaven. It is the opposite. He sent His Son to die in our place so that NO ONE would have to die because of their sins. Whether people respond to his invitation, is up to them. " He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9
Tolle does talk about sin in the book. He says that it is missing life's purpose. That is not the biblical definition of sin.(I found this quoted on another blog I saw and thought it was good... so I will just copy it in)
"...Yes, sin is the problem, but not in the way Tolle states. The falling short is not simply missing life’s purpose. It is missing the mark of God’s glory. It is falling short of the standard of righteousness written in the Law of God and seen in the life of Christ. It is what we have all done. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Falling short is what we do when we create idols, worship other gods, take God’s name in vain, refuse Him the worship He deserves, dishonor our parents, murder, cheat on our spouses, steal, lie and covet.
Since Tolle doesn’t understand the disease, he doesn’t give us the prescription we need for true healing. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus came, not to teach us how to have an awakening to a higher consciousness, but to give his life a ransom for sinners. All who believe in Him will be saved..."

My last thought on this is 1 John 4:1
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every Spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God."


Julie and Luke said...

Steph, How great is it that we have an immovable, inerrant, inspired word that allows us to test all these different ways of thinking against.

Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Our job is just to believe that HE is sufficient. He's the only Guru we need. He's not just New Age, he's infinitely past, present and future. And he's the "Biggest Giver" there is.


Anna said...

So I'm WAYYYY behind. I had no idea you had posted these blogs about Oprah. Let me just say that I have never been an Oprah fan. I have never understood her motivations. All the good she tries to achieve seems so outward that it bothers me. Matthew 6:4-5 says, "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Giving for pure publicity is far from Biblical. I watched the youtube link below, and it totally made me cringe. And your response just made my heebie-jeebies worse. She is such a huge influence over so many people, and has achieved almost a god-like status among many of her fans. Our nation is becoming such a sad and confused place.