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Topic: COMMENTARIES by S. Michael Craven

The "Oprahfication" of Eastern Mysticism

March 3, 2008
S. Michael Craven
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Given the fact that we are beings created in the image of God, we have an intrinsic spiritual nature. In other words, we are spiritual and as such we have a natural inclination to satisfy or fill this essential aspect of our being. As Christ followers, we have been made to know that this need is finally and fully met through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that follows the reconciliation of our souls to God through faith in the atoning work of Christ Jesus.

However, as orthodox Christianity continues to ebb in the Western world there follows a spiritual vacuum and as it has been observed, nature abhors a vacuum. At present this spiritual void appears to have found its latest alternative to Jesus Christ in the convoluted and ambiguous world of New Age religion.

While the term “New Age spirituality” may conjure up images of incense, crystals, and Shirley MacLaine—or associations with flower haired hippies—this “new” spiritual movement, which is anything but new, has acquired a most powerful and influential advocate: Oprah Winfrey.

Recently Oprah announced that, beginning March 3rd, she will be offering a free 10-week interactive webinar based on the book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by best-selling author Eckhart Tolle. Tolle, who is described as “a contemporary spiritual teacher who is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition … conveys a simple yet profound message with the timeless and uncomplicated clarity of the ancient spiritual masters: There is a way out of suffering and into peace.” In describing the thesis of his latest book, Tolle writes: “An essential aspect of this awakening consists in transcending our ego-based state of consciousness. This is a prerequisite not only for personal happiness but also for the ending of violent conflict endemic on our planet.” In other words, it is the alteration of our “consciousness” that is key to the salvation of men, not Jesus Christ and our shared problem is incorrect perceptions, not sin.

For anyone familiar with the world’s religions this, along with most of what passes for “New Age” spirituality is nothing more than ancient Eastern mysticism wrapped in modern Western attire. Tolle, who experienced “a profound inner transformation” which “radically changed the course of his life” at the age of twenty-nine” became an active participant in A Course in Miracles in the years following. Published in 1975, A Course in Miracles is a spiritual self-study course representing primarily the thought system of monism, which is the idea that all is one (i.e. the Star Wars concept of “The Force”).  Ironically, Oprah has been offering this course for free on her website since January 1, 2008.

Here are some sample excerpts from A Course in Miracles, which reveal teachings derived from Buddhism and other monistic or pantheistic philosophies:

Extend your perception beyond what your senses register. (Lesson 1)

That body does not mean anything….One thing is like another. (Lesson 1)

Everything you see is the result of your thoughts. There is no exception to this fact….salvation requires that you also recognize that every thought you have brings either peace or war; either love or fear. To trust in the force that moves the universe is faith. Faith isn’t blind, it’s visionary. Faith is believing that the universe is on our side and that the universe knows what it’s doing. (Lesson 16)

Now compare these statements to the words of Buddha:

This whole world of delusion is nothing but a shadow caused by the mind…. There is no world … outside the mind … To Buddha every definitive thing is illusion…. Things have no reality in themselves but are like heat haze. (The Teaching of the Buddha, pp. 86, 100, 104, 108)

Buddhism, in particular teaches that no supreme and personal God exists but that the universe is animated by an impersonal life force, which connects all things and that one can, through spiritual enlightenment, rise above the “illusion of reality” and enter nirvana—a condition in which one is absorbed into the greater essence or whole.

In New Age, like the ancient Eastern religions, the goal is that you, through instruction, either from spiritual masters or even spiritual entities must achieve “enlightenment” (i.e. understanding that all is one) and thus rise above the human condition by means of an altered consciousness (mediation, mantras, trances, etc.) to actually see that distinction itself is an illusion and if all is one and God is part of the all then you are in effect God. By understanding this principle you will become part of the divine and thus gain unlimited power.

These are the very same principles put forth in both A Course in Miracles and Tolle’s book, A New Earth. The most troubling aspect is that A Course in Miracles employs many references to “God,” the “Holy Spirit,” and even the “Son of God.” In addition, there are statements such as “surrender all outcomes to God” and “allow the Holy Spirit to do what He does best….” Of course the instruction goes on to emphasize “the power of your own thinking” which enables you to create the outcome that “serve[s] your own best interests” in your hands, which according to the course is “your only goal in any situation.” The “god” presented here is a monistic, impersonal god who “is everywhere and is in everything” including inanimate objects. According to the course, “God is not outside of you but rather in your mind.” The blending of Christian terminology with New Age paganism endorsed by Oprah will likely deceive many less mature Christians.

I can appreciate the success of Oprah Winfrey; she seems like a kind and sincere woman. Her achievements are indeed impressive given what she has overcome and I believe she truly wants to help people and make the world a better place. However, these materials are nothing but spiritualized self-help and repackaged paganism that serve to deceive and divert people from the One True God and the salvation that comes only through Jesus Christ.

© 2008 by S. Michael Craven

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Responses
Response from : Steve Ehrenzeller  

March 3, 2008 9:00 AM
 

Thanks Michael,

I can't remember who said it but I've often heard a quote that goes something like this: "In the beginning God made man in His image and man has been on a quest to return the favor ever since."

In every age we (mankind) devise fresh ways to shape God into a form that is acceptable to our sin nature. They all end up in the same basic place at their logical end.....we end up in the place of God.

Continue to expose the deception for what it is.

Steve Ehrenzeller


 
Response from : John H. Armstrong  

March 3, 2008 9:10 AM
 

You have stated the problem very clearly and without making Oprah into a "bad" person. She is sincere, so it seems to all, but she is not remotely close to orthodox Christianity. This is precisely why so many find her so appealing in our present religious context. She offers spiritual meaning without "religion." By religion I refer to the "external" trappings and forms of any organized community of faith with a real belief system. This is what more and more Americans want, a faith without any religion at all. And this faith is rarely, if ever, Christian. Consider Deepak Choprah's new book on Jesus and you will see the same thing being promoted very widely.

http://www.johnharmstrong.com

 
Response from : Faye Colella  

March 3, 2008 9:26 AM
 

Orpha is a very influential person. We must pray for her salvation. We must also be wise in the Lord, and not swayed by false doctrine. Read the Word daily. Thank you.


 
Response from : John  

March 3, 2008 10:27 AM
 

Right on with this analysis! I've been observing and teaching about Oprah's not-so-subtle promotion of new age spirituality for a number of years. The fact that she has such sway over large numbers of people (look at what happened to Tolle's book after her selection of it for her book-of-the-month club) is my concern. While I agree that she seems to be a very caring person, let alone all the great work she's done, I still think we should be vigilant in helping people sort through these teachings ("hollow and deceptive philosophy", according to Scripture) and not lose sight of the cross of Christ. I'll be joining in the webinar and hopefully finding time to blog some comments and observations. Blessings on your great work there!

http://www.coramdeovita.wordpress

 
Response from : Sonya  

March 3, 2008 10:51 AM
 

I am familiar with both of these teachings and also very familiar with Christianity, as I am a born again believer. Oprah is a powerful lady who has become beguiled with the prince of this world system.

But, once someone has experienced the life changing force of Jesus in one's life, all false doctrines scream false, if the believer stays intent on seeking God's Truth,and not his own.

The key here is for the Christians to study The Truth, the Bible, not the Counterfeit man-made religions that all share the same focus - that we are good enough on our own to reach a god state eventually. It is Babel reissued again and again all through history.

Only Jesus offers eternal life, only He is no longer in his tomb, only He can pay the price of our sins.

I weep for my friends who are caught up in this "spiritualism" as it is beguiling, it is a lie, and it is an insidious evil that is winning many from the Truth. When many find they have been mislead, they will be forever in agony at what they have lost to this lie.

My prayer is for a revival, for Christians to speak truth, and for ears to hear....

http://www.ChristianNewsNet.blogspot.com

 
Response from : jd lever  

March 3, 2008 11:31 AM
 

Outstanding article..........I will be saving this in my archives for future reference. Thanks a lot !


 
Response from : Crista Owens  

March 3, 2008 1:03 PM
 

Thank you! I'm glad to finally hear what New Earth is really about. Many people are going to be deceived by this, and you have given me words to use to explain what it truly is.


 
Response from : Joelle Chilcott  

March 3, 2008 1:09 PM
 

Thank you for this excellent article. It is about time we take a stand and speak out against all this new age garbage that has been filtering it's way into not only into the secular world, but more seriously into our churches.

The desire for an extra-biblical experience opens up the mind to the demonic realm, also known as the paranormal realm in which the evil one, cursed be he, can possess the mind and fool it into thinking it is of the light. Remember, Paul warned us of this in his second letter to the Corinthians in chapter 11.


We have also been told that a time will come when man will not put up with sound doctrine and instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather round them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ear away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Tim 4) Sounds pretty much like what this article is talking about.

Be on guard, for the evil one is seeking to devour you. The end time is near and the evil one knows that his time is coming to an end as well... remember he knows scripture too....


 
Response from : Lisa Forrest  

March 3, 2008 1:17 PM
 

Have you read A Course In Miracles? Truth is true no matter how you or anyone else opposes it. God is not complex and fragmented, He is simple, pure and wholly loving. Every person entering this world has the Light of Christ (Holy Spirit) in their mind. No one could have life apart from God. If only an elite group were allowed to enter into relationship with the Creator of All Life, what kind of faith could you really put in Him. The Truth is in your mind, the ego is also in your mind. They represent two completely opposite thought systems, thus the Paradox of the Kingdom of Heaven. God does not promote fear and separation amongst His Creations, the ego, or devil has created this theology. The man of earth (ego) and the man of Heaven (Holy Self) are both in our awareness, they are not reconcilable, one is upside down thinking one knows the Laws of God. Love never opposes and truth doesn't attack error, Jesus showed the best defense is no defence. Only error or sin requires defenses to uphold its appearance of truth, but the foundation is not sure and leads only to conflict. Innocense sees no evil and has no fear, that is the Gift of God offered and kept eternally safe for each person entering the world. No matter what the expression, Truth will be found by the seekers and failure to learn the True meaning of Salvation will not result in damnation and hell, everyone will eventually lay down the sword of judgement and accept Salvation. Fear, judgement and concern with the passing as if it is eternal is called listening to the wrong voice.


 
Response from : Michelle Bunn  

March 3, 2008 5:02 PM
 

Thank you so much for your insight. I have been trying to figure out what this book is all about without buying it. Oprah is very vague. In one of her after shows she said that you needed to be the type of Christian that didn't believe that your way was the only way. I thought that spoke volumes but I wanted more information. I am sure it will come up in many discussions with people and I wanted to be prepared to give an answer. Thank you again for your insight.


 
Response from : Ronald Newcomb  

March 3, 2008 5:04 PM
 

Michael’s article points to particularly troubling aspects of our society: First, it shows that we actually rejected rational thought when we accept naturalism (only things we can detect with our senses or measure in some way exist). We must reject rational thought because the idea self destructs (Philosophical ideas like naturalism are not physical things, so if it is true that only physical things exist, the idea doesn’t exist, the idea self distructs). And this irrationality continues to plague modern science in many ways. Second, it shows that, since man is more than just physical, there is a need for a spiritual connection. Unfortunately, nearly 200 years ago in this country that need, met correctly only by a relationship with the Christian God, started down a mystical path whose origins are Buddhist and Hindu.
The first wave of this mysticism was the Transcendentalism movement. Starting as the Unitarian movement, then boosted by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller. To understand the emptiness these ideas lease, picture, after the watery death of Fuller, Thoreau walked up and down the shoreline searching for her body, the only thing they understood of personhood. He was one of her lovers, and the connection was merely physical as far as they understood. But physical things need to be absent or destroyed in order to be gone from your life. A human merely needs to die. This seems to have escaped Thoreau.
Fuller and Emerson used the popular press to spread their views.
In the 1960’s we switched to celebrities when the Beatles went to India to visit a Guru, a Hindu teacher. This wave swept over my generation and resulted in the New Age movement. We began to see a complete break from rationality, that contradictory ideas could be true because we want them to be so, that meaning is found in thoughtless ideas and hidden understanding (mysticism). What is false can also be true, and what is true can also be false at the same time and in the same manner. So, if a person says that a mysticism is true, they are also postulating it is false at the same time. How can I say that? There are only a few choices for swallowing the idea that self contradictory ideas are both true: 1) “True” and “false” have no meaning at all. 2) All things that are true are also false at the same time and in the same manner. 3) Every person determines what is true and false. But this is the same as 1) above, if something is true to you and false to me, then we have no basis for any kind of rational communication, there is no meaning, words are meaningless, and our mind is simply blank. What you have undoubtedly missed is that this is in fact the claim of Hinduism, and the goal of Buddhism, to go to a Nirvana where you loose all thought and identity. They simply attempt to get there by emptying the mind while here to prevent a recurrence of life on earth (Hinduism).
The church had much to do with encouraging all of this as the church had swallowed Kierkegaard is dichotomy, that is, that religions thought was somehow disconnected from scientific thought. If this were so, there would be no hope of finding meaning in life nor intellectual fulfillment in science or a unified knowledge base, but only in an irrational “leap of faith.” Yes, this is the origin of that idea, and it is false. “False” of course, means un-true, and you ought not believe something that is not true.
The Christian God does not ask you to believe without reason, or without reasons to believe. He rationally approaches us and speaks to us in meaningful ways, that is in prepositional forms. He asks us to reason with him and then explains his position, he shows evidences. In Hinduism, it is mindless and irrational ideas about “reality” all deal with unreal things.
So the New Age movement, started by name in the 1970’s, influenced a young girl by the name of Oprah who now has the economics and media attention to drive this forward as never before, following the Beatles, using celebrity power. Don’t misunderstand me; she is a wonderfully gifted, talented, and well meaning person who just happens to be wholly misled in the area of belief and religion. She is also completely wrong.
Spiritual death comes from being separated from a loving God who created us to have a relationship with him, and choose to restore that relationship by having the second member of the trinity die as just payment for what we did. When we acquire that forgiveness, we become spiritually alive again and that life has a particular quality the previous spiritual life did not, it is eternal, that is, never ending. At the Christian funerals I have attended, and there have been a fair number, there is an anticipation of meeting the person again. Contrast this with Thoreau’s loss of his friend and lover Margret Fuller where there was a total loss that left a huge void in him that had no hope of being filled.
This is the difference between eastern religions and Christianity. One produces a deep hopelessness when it is most needed, the other a sincere hope based on a rational consideration of the circumstances. One is false, the other, true.

http://www.sci.sdsu.edu/icats/

 
Response from : Don  

March 3, 2008 9:06 PM
 

As a recovering born again Christian, I find it so funny that all the fundamental Christians are so up in arms about Eckhart Tolle.

I was in the evangelical born again church for over 20 years before I woke up and found out that the current church teachings of Jesus are wrong. And as you know, millions, not thousands, but millions of former "born again" Christians are leaving the church and finding real truth in, yes. Tolle, and i A course in Miracles. I didn't give up my faith- I found it! I got tired of the church telling me that a real Christian votes for Bush. A real Christian hates gays even though Jesus never said anything about them in the bible. A real Christian supports killing the "bad" guys, a real Christian hears sermons about the evils of rock music, yet never hears about the evils of country music. A real Christian believes that the bible is the inherent word of God, yet eats at Red Lobster after church- feasting on the abomination of Shrimp. I could go on for the next hour, but you get the idea. If you really pray about it, which I did, you realize that what the church is teaching today is hand me down catholic dogma, with a bit of fine tuned calvinist dotrine. Oh yeah, that guy. The guy that said god has predestined everything, yet we have free will, lol. And lastly, when a person like myself trys to bring these things up with brainwashed dogmatic Christians, we are called names. I bet you haven't even read Tolle, but if you had like I have, you would get that there is a lot of Zen in his writings. SO WUT. Truth is Truth. Truth doesn't come in a little box. I believe in a BIG GOD! Yes, Jesus was GOD!~ But raising my hand in church doesn't mean that I really know him. If that was the case, the church wouldn't be so full of lost people that think they know the truth, when they would kick Jesus in the face if he came back today. Check out my web site, fundys.com, where I delve into the INSANE world of 21st century belief in Jesus. Am I saved? Depends who you ask. I only know that when I got honest with myself, I realized that the church is playing a game that was not real. What I found in Tolle and ACIM CHANGED MY LIFE FOR THE BETTER. That is my testimony. I am so glad I don't believe in the God of America anymore. And I'm no longer fearful that If I "reject the infinite love of Jesus" he will burn me in hell. nice try. I worship an awesome God, as Rich Mullins would say. And that awesome God has nothing to do with the Jesus of America. And I am not alone. Tolle has sold over 4 million books at last count. Peace out.

http://fundys.com

 
Response from : john  

March 3, 2008 9:52 PM
 

Excellent piece on Oprah. I have a list for mysticism, all faiths; and one for wester mysticism, spirituality, monasticism, conetmplation at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/monasterion or the first group at /realized

John ( a monk)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/monasterion

 
Response from : Robann Heidig  

March 3, 2008 10:02 PM
 

I completely agree with your article.
Oprah has the power of communication in her court. And she uses this power to influence people of all walks of life. I read another article, written by Chuck Norris, in which he states that Oprah's Webinar will take place during Lent through Easter. God help us all to worship The Creator, instead of the creation.


 
Response from : john cleaver  

March 3, 2008 10:31 PM
 

you missed. The alteration of our “consciousness” is precisely what Jesus taught. read the new testament, and the words of the savior. Love your enemy, that is a fairly profound alteration of consciousness. Jesus brought the good news of the higher life, possible only through an alteration of consciousness. You have rejected Jesus' message, while parading his image in your rejection of living in a consciousness altered to conform to love.


 
Response from : kmacginn  

March 4, 2008 9:12 AM
 

Thank you for this blog entry! I just finished writing a similar commentary: "Oprah: Spirituality and Theophobia" I would appreciate your looking and commenting on it.

http://hummersandcigarettes.blogspot.com

http://hummersandcigarettes.blogspot.com

 
Response from : Kela  

March 4, 2008 9:22 AM
 

Thank you Michael for the enlightening us. It definately shows that the war for our faith is long from being over.


 
Response from : Beth  

March 4, 2008 10:05 AM
 

I respect and agree with your views. I think it is a scary thing when one person, such as Oprah Winfrey, can have such an influence over so many people. We need to pray that God will touch those who are already believers to go and continue to spread His true Word here in the United States and around the world.


 
Response from : Jennifer  

March 4, 2008 10:16 AM
 

I was unable to participate in last night's discussion, but have read the first chapter of the book. I am a Christ-follower. I feel the author has some merit in that though it is enough to believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus, accepting him as Lord, to live in heaven here on earth you must do more. The eternal truths that Jesus offers have to be accepted into the very depths of one's being. As a Christian, that is my interpretation (thus far) of Oprah's newly-found religion. Perhaps I will feel different as I proceed. I think it is most important to pray for those that are participating, but don't understand that Jesus can provide heaven on earth, here and now, elimating war, strife, etc. There are also plenty of "Christians" out there that don't get it. They are missing out. Hopefully, if they can stay grounded in the love of Jesus Christ, yet through this book, understand that there is so much more than the future He promises, they too will experience heaven on earth and make our world a better place for all. This may be a first step for many to examine their spirituality, which will ultimately, I believe, lead them to Jesus Christ. Perhaps this book will make their hunger grow and help them make their way to their true heavenly Father.


 
Response from : Joyce Foster  

March 4, 2008 10:38 AM
 

I totally agree and I also believe that Oprah Winfrey truly wants to help people and has done so many good things. Unfortunately, she has been deceived by the enemy and has believed his lies. But, it is so scary that someone of her status, she is so influential, that she is offering, backing up something that I believe to be from the enemy. The enemy is so good at deceiving us and it is so important that we know the true Word of God. That Jesus Christ our Lord, died on the cross so that all our sins would be forgiven. That we are responsible for our choices that we make. That we can do nothing without God in our lives. The only true Word of God is in the Holy Bible. I am praying for Oprah and all the people that will be doing this program.


 
Response from : Tammy Caito  

March 4, 2008 11:01 AM
 

THANK YOU! I've been looking for any voice of reason regarding this book. I was taken in by the spiritual "engine" of Oprah and bought this book, and I threw it away by the time I got to the 4th chapter. It was so contrary to what I know of the bible, but her message boards are full of people who are being very deceived. I emailed Christianity Today to get some perspective on this book but no one answered. This article was confirmation to me from God that I'd done the right thing! Thank you, thank you, thank you!


 
Response from : Candice  

March 4, 2008 11:55 AM
 

I am so glad to see that Christians are responding to what is happening. After I recieved this email, a fire within me was ignited and now I know that God wants me to become more educated in what it truley means to be a Christian and have Jesus Christ as my Saviour so that I am able to see the truth through very decieving lies such as "The New Earth" and "Miracles". God is about to move a lot of people!


 
Response from : Donna Rosario  

March 4, 2008 4:02 PM
 

I have been a little of wary of some things that Oprah has been supporting and giving time to on her television show for a couple of years. But when I heard her say that she had signed up 300,000 for this "A New Earth" course I had to fall to my knees and pray! For at least the past five years I have been struggling in my church and my small groups as so many adult seekers and young Christians refuse to accept that Jesus Christ is the only way to our Father. One of them has already called me to say that she is going to read the book and do this course because "we all know Oprah is such a good Christian so it must be good." What a shame that Oprah is using her fame and power to espouse this "pig in a new suit".


 
Response from : V.  

March 4, 2008 10:45 PM
 

Thanks for some insight on this book. The Lord used it to open my eyes and realize I need to pray for some co-workers reading this, that they will not be deceived. Thanks for standing for the Word of God and that salvation is only through accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour. God bless you!


 
Response from : Robert  

March 5, 2008 1:21 AM
 

I have read this book and watched the first class. I thought it was innocent enough until Oprah said that she was a Christian, but she believe that there was many ways to God. A Catholic sister asked about the references to the eastern religion in the book and how it conflicted with here beliefs. Oprah and Mr. Tolle just down played her feeling and concerns. There are some good thing in the book, but a young Christian should not read this book. It is Christianity and new age mix. Jesus is the way the truth and the life and no one can see the Father except by Him.


 
Response from : j Baker  

March 5, 2008 3:47 AM
 

AMEN!! I fear for a friend of mine which is completly involved in this. It's funny how Oprah is always searching for something to make her happy and fill the void. I pray that Jesus reveals himself to her in a mighty way.


 
Response from : Cami  

March 5, 2008 7:50 AM
 

Thank you! For years I have been cringing at this; Oprah's influence, as just one human being. And yet people follow her and whatever she endorses--and it leads them to anything but God worship; rather, Oprah worship or Eastern Mysticism disguised, as this article shares in truth. It needs to be said, exposed, for the sake of those who aren't predisposed to think of this matter for themselves!

http://lindenville.com

 
Response from : Pam Calhoun  

March 5, 2008 11:24 AM
 

It makes me sad that so many believers are so closed minded. It also saddens me that so many people searching for truth will read this book before knowing who Jesus is. I praise God for leading me to read this book, because I honestly do believe He did. He knew I had questions that weren't being answered in the teachings of traditional christianity. It's a shame that Tolle and Oprah and many others will believe these teachings to be the ultimate truth when Jesus truly is the only way truth and life, the only way to the Father. But it's also a shame that knowing that to be true more christians can't open themselves up to realize that Jesus tried to tell us these very things; take every thought captive, don't worry about tomorrow or think about yesterday, love your enemies, etc. The church has really struggled with how to actually live out these teachings, Tolle gave me some tools that I feel will make it more possible for me to live out things I believe are truth but wasn't being taught by the church or figuring out on my own how to put into practice.

No, I'm not jumping ship and saying "New Age come quickly." I still believe that every word, jot and tittle of the bible are true... and I believe the world is going in the exact direction it is purposed to at exactly the speed God determined. If He truly is God and in control of all things at all times (which He is, if you didn't know that) then this is all part of His plan to bring us to Revelation.


 
Response from : Tracy  

March 5, 2008 12:23 PM
 

Thank you for this article. Last week, when I heard about the course being offered on Oprah's website, my heart grieved. I believe we need to be in prayer for her, that she will deceive no one, and that she will come face-to-face with Jesus, and admit that she is being deceived, and seduced, by the enemy. Thank you for bringing this to light.

http://www.tracyruckman.com

 
Response from : Pastor Carlton Small  

March 5, 2008 1:07 PM
 

I want to commend you on your article and I appreciate the level of awareness to your readers. Ms Winfrey is misguided in her efforts to convey information to her audience. I pray that she will become enlighten to the reality of the word of God. And hope that she can one day enjoy a personal relationship with Christ that will impact her life and bring her into spiritual fulfillment, therefore becoming an instrument in the hand of GOD used to truly impact the lives of others for the glory of GOD.


 
Response from : Kevin  

March 5, 2008 1:14 PM
 

The West seems to have a tendency to grant credibility to stupidity. This will no doubt damage her credibility on anything else she promotes. Really unfortunate.


 
Response from : Ava  

March 5, 2008 1:23 PM
 

Thank you for writing this article. God always show us the way. Last week was the first time I heard of this course Oprah is co-hosting and was quite curious. Apparently I wasn't curious enough, through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to register for the 10-week course. Thank you again for this article, illuminating the underlying theme of this course.


 
Response from : Pam  

March 5, 2008 1:26 PM
 

I could not disagree with you more.
I am sixty years of age and have been a Christian all of my life. I have a BA in religion and have studied the Eastern religions, visited Calcutta for many months while a volunteer at Mother Teresa's Mission and met and respected many wonderful Hindus who are still friends, one of my best friends is a Terevadian Buddhist Monk from Cambodia. The understanding I have gained through these experiences and these people have only strengthened and enriched my love for< and belief in< Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Who are we to believe that we know the "all knowing" God and how he manifests himself now, or in the past?
Love your neighbor as yourself, that includes those of differing cultures and beliefs, and love God with all of your heart, soul, and might. I might add, and trust God to manifest within each human being as he sees fit, after all, we were ALL created in His image, each one of us, the Hindus, the Buddhists, and the Christians.
The spirit within me honors and loves the spirit within each human being.


 
Response from : LaTonya  

March 5, 2008 1:41 PM
 

I was wondering if anyone would ever have the courage to speak out on what I have been saying for years about Oprah. I too appreciate all the accomplishments that she has achieved, but it seems to me that the more she accomplishes the more "new age" she becomes. The only time I have ever heard her mention Jesus, was when she was mixing a drink and stated that if you drank too much, you would be calling Jesus all night. As believers we have to speak the truth, the absolute truth ( not relative truth) regardless of the consquences. Thank you for having the courage to write what I have been saying for years. May God continue to richly bless and keep you is my prayer.


 
Response from : Karen  

March 5, 2008 1:53 PM
 

I want to thank you for this article. I praise God for discernment and the Holy Spirit that leads us into all truth. I was immediately aware that something wasn't right with Oprah's latest venture. It didn't feel right and I wanted to shout it to every Christian to beware of this erroneous teaching. I didn't know how to get that message out, but God always has a ram in the bush. I will share this article with everyone I know and pray that they receive the message. God bless you.


 
Response from : Marcia Jones  

March 5, 2008 3:50 PM
 

For years now (since Oprah's on air universal "prayer" with Marianne Williamson, I have thought and even stated to a few people that Oprah was going to be very sad on Judgement Day when she had to take responsibility for leading millions of souls away from Jesus. It made me sad then and it makes me sadder now. Many more have been lost since she started leading sheep astray. What a reckoning to come.


 
Response from : Mick  

March 5, 2008 3:55 PM
 

Sin separated man from God and continues to separate us. If you are in sin you are separated and will remain so until you repent.

No amount of mindless waffling mysticism will cleanse a soul. Jesus said to repent or perish. God has shown unspeakable love in dying for us ... our response must be as He asks ... humble repentance. He wants us to love Him as He loves us and our acknowledgement of sin is the only starting point.

http://www.ChristianIssues.biz

 
Response from : Debbie Gibbons  

March 5, 2008 4:04 PM
 

You are right on! Keep spreading the word!


 
Response from : Dr. Charlie Price  

March 5, 2008 4:15 PM
 

Man likes to say he is the one, there is no other. That is the reason God created man "last" so he could not say "he is the creator". Oprah should read and understand the word of God before she writes what is and is not the way.
Thank You
Dr. Charlie Price


 
Response from : Norma Sultz  

March 5, 2008 4:18 PM
 

Thanks SO MUCH for giving specifics and words to share with our many friends for Truth to prevail. We just had turned Oprah t.v. off, but we need to do more to make others aware. Thanks again!


 
Response from : darlene paddy  

March 5, 2008 4:31 PM
 

thank you for info. we all need to be informed of what is happening.


 
Response from : Bishop Lester Williams  

March 5, 2008 5:05 PM
 

I coould not have said it better. When people have no covering, they subject themsleves to be duped by this type of teaching. If you or I said it, we would labeled as moronic. But when you attach this type of thinking to a financial empire likened unto Babylon, it takes on a whole different spectrum. Money still controls the way we think and how we do what we do. I, too, beleive that she genuinely wants to help. But who is her leader or pastor. She has none because she is self-sufficient which is in contradiction to the all sufficient Christ portrayed in Colossians. I pray for her and the people who are swayed by her influence.


 
Response from : Rachel  

March 5, 2008 7:13 PM
 

Hi, I'm very glad to have got this e-mail today. I actually got the book and logged onto the class on Monday night but it was an unsuccessful attempt because the internet got flooded with too many people. I'm just curious about this topic. It did spark my interest to do the class. I guess I'm now more confused about it! I want to learn more and have a good understanding of all aspects of life basically. I thought this would be a good learning "tool". Don't get me wrong, I believe in reading the Bible and think that's the best "tool" we have. I just need confirmation that I should or shouldn't read this book and do the class. Thank You


 
Response from : Terri  

March 5, 2008 7:49 PM
 

I see people grasping for something to believe in not someone to believe in. All of us have been searching for something or should I say some one all of our lives. Even after we become a Christian we still or should be thristing for more knowledge, understanding, truth, and always striving for perfection even though we all fall short. The moment that we think that we know it all and understand it all then we stop living. When I encounter people searching for the truth I give them a Bible because it is the best travel gudie I have ever read that leads you to the truth. Most people leave these kind of events waiting for the next best thing to come along. Forunately for me the best thing found me. God the Father calls me one of His own and I have truly found a place where I feel like I belong. For me that was the first part of my journey, now I can continue on with the rest of my journey. Each day is a new day and a surpise awaits for me every day and that feels great to me.


 
Response from : Kay Wilkinson  

March 5, 2008 8:47 PM
 

I pray my God(JESUS CHRIST) removes the scales of darkness from her eyes and heart to see the true light from heaven above.She has never read the Bible(INSPIRED WORD OF GOD WRITTEN BY men moved upon by the HOLY GHOST) and apparently doesnot want too or plan too. God have mercy upon her soul for being deceived and deceiving so many others. God is still in control,regardless. God Bless for the warning. I haven been a ONE GOD APOSTOLIC CHRISTIAN FOR OVER TWENTY FIVE YEARS and I am WELL PLEASED with my FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST MY GOD.


 
Response from : John Mills  

March 6, 2008 7:09 AM
 

You are dead on. The Teaching Company has an audio course on Buddhism that I have been listening to for a week. It is amazing how the concept of reincarnation and samsarra are glorified in the West when they are actually recognized by Buddha practitioners as a depressing endless search for meaning in the East.


 
Response from : stephen peele  

March 6, 2008 9:09 AM
 

Amen!


 
Response from : Pat  

March 6, 2008 9:30 AM
 

I was glad to read this article. Unfortunately, I bought this book and read the first few pages. It struck me as nonsense, I thought it might be New Age, but didn't know for sure as I'm only vaguely familiar with what makes something New Age. I wish there was a review service on books other than what is on the book jacket that would really give inofrmation about the content and whether it is Biblically sound.

Thanks for the article and that book is in the trash!


 
Response from : carol farinacci  

March 6, 2008 11:23 AM
 

I agree in what you are saying. Oprah is a wonderful person and seems very kind and considerate, however she is mis informoed. We must pray for her.... And we must pray for all those people that are not mature in the Lord, that they will see the lies and deception that are coming forth from the information that is on the internet. God Bless You...


 
Response from : Tina Ausley  

March 6, 2008 12:48 PM
 

I know people who study the Course of Miracle. Now I see why they are so confused. I watch as the skip along and the fall. It is painful to see good-care indivuals live under such deception.
yours in Christ
Tina


 
Response from : nelda dobbs  

March 6, 2008 1:24 PM
 

AMEN!!!!!!!!!


 
Response from : Mary C. Frederick  

March 6, 2008 2:12 PM
 

Thank you Michael for this article. We need folks like you to decode some of the words within New Age jargon as you did here. The most damaging of all New Age teachings is the statement, "If all is one and God is part of the all then you are in effect God." Locally some are saying, "then I am in effect God."

I want to vomit every time I hear or read this statement.

Blessings on you and yours,

Mary

http://www.circularprayer.com

 
Response from : Misty  

March 6, 2008 2:54 PM
 

Isn't this very close to scientology? I find it scary that we are letting Hollywood become our spiritual compass.


 
Response from : Deborah Gerdts  

March 7, 2008 12:07 AM
 

Thank you for explaining what this book was about. I had browsed through it at a bookstore and didn't buy it thankfully. Your article cleared up a lot of questions I had!!


 
Response from : Bob  

March 7, 2008 9:29 AM
 

In the name of Jesus, I write this comment.

I used to be a seeker of such spiritual teachings, until I discovered how the deceiver robs us of God's Glory by immolating Him, by stealing the Glory to the very end; and gives us the illusion of having lived. The living merely live, they miss prophetic Born Again Experience Jesus has for us. We are so busy in our lives, down in the middle of the playing field consumed in the self awareness message. This is when the enemy is at rest, very pleased at the lie we are living.

Jesus said unless a man be born again and become as a little child, in the sight of Father God, ye can not enter the kingdom of heaven. I am the Truth and the Light and all other ways are but a thief. Do all things with the Father in mind. God wants us to Love Him with all our heart and secondly love our neighbor as we love Him.

When Jesus went out into the wilderness for forty days the enemy tempted Him with everything the Father created. I can not stress this point enough; the enemy is a liar and a thief. The only true life is a NEW life in God the Father. That can only be accomplished by having a loving relationship with Christ.

To be humbled is to publicly acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Jesus gave His life for the sins of all mankind so we could have a new life in Him. Jesus' Way is easy and He wants us to repent of our sins (ego), and cast all our burdens on Him at the Cross of Calvary; anything less is putting another wound in His nail scared hands, to stab Him again in His side, to flog Him yet another time, and to spit in His Glorious Face.

Go for the Goal; making Jesus as Lord of our life and see what happens, the enemy will rear up his ugly face. He will try to prevent us from entering the goal, upper room of God; the Glory God Father has in store for us all. The veil was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died for my sins and yours. His action is LOVE at the purest sense. His action is LOVE at the purest sense. God is Love; and God has unconditional Love for everybody!

Please hear what I say, the time is NOW, to have a honoring relationship with the Father God, by getting to personally know His Son, Jesus Christ.

In Love, RBH

http://www.savingbob.com

 
Response from : Monica  

March 9, 2008 11:45 AM
 

As soon as I saw the ads for Oprah's upcoming web tutorial, little red flags went up. I was so glad to see your article addressing this issue. Due to her popularity and the way she mixes in Christian wording, her new religion could confuse many people. I have no doubt that she believes what she is doing is a good thing. She has used her money as she sees fit in order to help other people. Her new religion makes her feel better about herself, and now, she believes her new religion needs to be shared with many people. But Oprah, as powerful as she is, is not the Savior of the world. Maybe for her, the line has become a little blurred. Truth, not power, is what she and all of us should be searching for. Your article did a good job conveying this message.


 
Response from : Aubrey L. Duncan  

March 9, 2008 3:29 PM
 

Great article. It is very important that Christians realize that true Christianity is unique and does need to be blended with any other belief system. What Oprah's initiative entail, perhaps quite oblivious to her, is the amalgamation of various pagan customs supposedly for the betterment of mankind. As a Christian one cannot be part of this. Jesus Christ, and He only, is the Savior of the world and the answer to all of humanity's problems.
What are your thoughts on the Pope's visit to the U.S. in April/ We are living in some interesting times.
Aubrey Duncan

http://www.adventtruth.org

 
Response from : Patty Jarman  

March 9, 2008 8:16 PM
 

I am a believer in God's Son Jesus Christ and my sins are covered by His blood. This breaks my heart because of the influence and power Oprah has in this world. The many that will be lead down the wrong road because of satan. The Holy Scriptures says in 2 Corth."god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving" I have enjoyed so many of her shows on TV. lost one watcher Patty


 
Response from : D Moran  

March 10, 2008 12:01 PM
 

Although Tolle certainly does have a pantheistic view, I actually found my way BACK to the church and to God by reading both of his books "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth...". His ideas helped me realize what a mess my mind had become and how it was running away with me. He quotes Jesus many times in the books and as he did so, as a 'Westerner' I took out my Bible and began to read the word of God myself again. God can turn anything to good and I believe that reading these books (and subsequently my Bible) literally saved my soul. Each of us have to find our own way to the truth (Jesus). I believe Tolle's work can OPEN doors for God to work in people's lives too. As with anything we absorb through sight or sound in today's society, we must test everything and hold onto the good.


 
Response from : Marilyn  

March 10, 2008 1:50 PM
 

I went to Amazon.com to check into the book and was able to take a "sneak peek." What I read was at first interesting, but I became almost overwhelmed with the very strong sense that this was not of God, but of evil trickery. I actually became nauseous and immediately began praying for Oprah and all her "followers."
May the ONE and TRUE God open their eyes and fill everyone with His Holy Spirit through Christ -- starting with Oprah. If satan can use her position of fame and power, how much MORE can our LORD bless her and enlarge her territory!!
And to all of you who bought the book and see what I saw, don't throw it away. Return it to the store! Satan's power is being built upon the sales of this book, but he can be brought down and the Truth lifted up by the number of returns. And, if the book store or online source won't take these returns, then with your heartfelt prayers, send them to Oprah!
In the meantime, we as Christians must fall to our knees and continue to pray unceasingly for these and all searching souls. This is indeed a revival opportunity. Praise God!


 
Response from : Tim  

March 10, 2008 4:38 PM
 

Is it okay to critizise the Oprah? She has going totally to the dark side. She doesn't even give anything in the big give. Corporations do. All Oprah thinks about is the bottom line.

http://www.freewebs.com/sofiakat/

 
Response from : Robert Williams  

March 10, 2008 4:51 PM
 

I love oparah and what she has acomplished in her life. She has seems to have mixed Jesus with something else which so many of us have done in our christian walk. I ask that we pray for her and ask the Lord to show her clearly the error of her ways. God's word will not come back void,it will acomplish what it is sent out to do. Robert W.


 
Response from : Jessie B. Myrie  

March 10, 2008 8:36 PM
 

A-A-A-men!!!

I did see a snippet on the Oprah show recently after the first cyber-class and it was a Christian woman commenting on the book/class and she was sooo excited. So, yes, I do agree with you, Michael, that this book and this "Oprahfication" is nothing more than the enemy trying his best to deceive all those who are not rooted and grounded in the word of God. Be careful people of God! These are the last days and the Bible says, "be not deceived; God is not mocked" in Galatians 6:7. No matter what happens in Christiandom, true Bible-believing Christians know that salvation is Jesus Christ being crucified, died, buried and resurrected. Let us not waver - let us not compromise - but, let us stand on God's word and not give in to people simply because of their great influences and their notariety. A new earth...Ha...the only new earth there's going to be is the one John was talking about in the book of Revelation 21 and it surely isn't here and now.


 
Response from : Esther  

March 10, 2008 10:43 PM
 

Why don't you mention that a person didn't even write "A Course in Miracles"? It was done through the "channeling of an evil spirit. It's more than just repackaged paganism. It is SATANIC to the core!!

Esther


 
Response from : Ridiculous  

March 15, 2008 9:27 AM
 

You Christians are a silly lot. If you guys spent a fraction of the time actually following the teachings of Jesus (an anti-authoritarian pacifist) you might be able to lead by example. But as it stands now when you rail against all that you find "evil" and "unholy" you only deepen the divide between you and the rest of the world. This isn't the gospel, far from it -- Jesus wasn't a divider. You all point the finger at others without realizing that in doing so three fingers point back at you.

The irony of all this is that practitioners of Buddhism and other "eastern mysticism" religions have lifestyles that much more resemble what Jesus had in mind than any Christian I've ever met. Let's be honest, if we were to actually crack open our Bibles and adhere closely to the Word of God our communities would look more like the Amish.

Stop casting stones and spend more time worrying about yourselves.


 
Response from : stacey  

March 17, 2008 11:18 PM
 

i can not believe that oprah is doing this... what is she thinking. there is a God. ONE GOD. and he is not just in my mind.... oprah i hope that you understand the burden that you are about to bear. God told us in the very last few verses in the Bible not to change anything or to add things to the word. she is taking the christian faith and turning it into rubbish. oprah is in way over her head. i pray that NO ONE listens to what she has to say, or even worse, believes what she is saying. i pray that the lord has mercy on her for what she is about to do to this country, we have enough problems without this crap!!!!! Oprah you used to be a role model for people, but now you are a nobody to me. just a lost sinner that has turned your back on the ONE AND ONLY GOD... people don't believe now but the Bible says that one day every knee will bow and every mouth will confess that he is the one true god. and that jesus is god in the flesh. Oprah is in for a treat come that day! as a christian myself, i felt bad for her a frist, but now it's really hard when she is in a way mocking the Bible by using it's terms. that is awful and God sees this. and he will not forget it. i hope that america is paying attention and stands up for the truth. that is our job as believers. there is a lot that i do not know about what oprah is doing with this, but i intend to find out more.
stacey


 
Response from : beth  

April 5, 2008 8:46 PM
 

Did any of you even read Tolle's book? You obviously don't know what it is about. Why are you "so called Christians" so closed minded?


 

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