By Michal Ortner
Oprah has been criticized by many of the Christian faith for claiming that there are many other routes to Heaven and God other than Jesus Christ. From her own testimonies, it appears she has been shaping her own view of Christianity for a while.
She recalls that her pastor called God a jealous God and that she questioned this characteristic. “Why would God be jealous? What does that even mean?’ And I’m looking at the people in the church, and everybody’s up, shouting,” she shared in O Magazine.
“And I started wondering how many of these people—including myself—would be led to do whatever this preacher said. That’s when I started exploring taking God out of the box, out of the pew,” she explained.
Oprah has a series called “Oprah’s Lifeclass” where she mixes spiritual and New Age talk in an attempt to teach her worldwide viewers how to heal themselves and help them reach their highest self.
“I am not talking about religion. I am a Christian. That is my faith,” the TV personality said on “Oprah’s Lifeclass” 2012. “I’m not asking you to be a Christian. If you want to be one I can show you how. But it is not required. I have respect for all faiths. All faiths. But what I’m talking about is not faith or religion. I’m talking about spirituality.”
Meditation is a key component to Winfrey’s viewpoint of “spirituality.” To an auditorium full of participants, she said, “Close your eyes for a moment, will you please, and breathe with me. And if you will, put your thumb to your middle finger and gather your other fingers around, and let’s feel the vibration and pulse of your personal energy as you take three deep breaths with me.”
Another method in her “Spiritual Solutions” class is gratitude journaling. “Open your heart and quietly to yourself say the only prayer that’s ever needed: Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she said.
“You’re still here. You get another chance this day to do better and be better, another chance to become more of who you were created and what you’re created to fulfill. Thank you. Amen,” she affirmed as she finished her prayer.
Jennifer LeClaire, senior editor of Charisma News, believes Oprah has succumbed to the concepts surrounding New Ageism. Rather than lining up her methods with Scripture, she has taken ideas and feelings to guide what she calls “Christianity.” LeClaire feels that Oprah is not only misled, but she is misleading thousands of people through her books, blogs, and classes.
“Oprah claims to be a Christian and I will not judge her salvation, but clearly she’s wielding her great influence in a way that’s conflicting with Christian values and biblical teachings,” LeClaire wrote in a recent blog.
Oprah has linked up with prominent Christian teachers for her Lifeclass, including Bishop T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen.