O my Oprah...I normally don't get into heavy theological issues here, but I have some serious issues with the latest news I read in today's USA Today about Oprah's latest venture. I will also break my rules about TRYING to be brief every day.
Oprah and Eckhart Tolle have teamed up to present a free live web cast on "spiritual growth" based on Eckhart's latest book: A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. 700,000 have already signed up. Wow. God's book to find your purpose thankfully is still a best seller...but such old news to most. We always seem to make something old new again to take people down some dangerous, desolate paths.
Their Premise: "Winfrey calls the book, 'a wake-up call for the entire planet, one reader at a time. It helps us to distance ourselves from our egos, which, of course, we all have, and to open ourselves to a higher self, which he calls consciousness. It helps us to stop creating our own suffering and obsessing over the past and what the future might be, and to put ourselves in the now.'" "...Eckhart's philosophy includes Buddhist, Christianity and Islamic influences...he is not offering a religion or set of beliefs, but appeals to people of different faiths or no faith at all." Another one of his books propagates the belief that "Your happiness ultimately arises not from the circumstances of your life but the conditioning of your mind." (USA TODAY...03.03.08)
Her previous rantings about the book, The Secret, were no better for those who are followers of Christ. Too bad the book didn't stay a secret.
My Premise: Syncretism, Universalistic, New Age teachings. THEY ARE DANGEROUS.
Basically, we are asked to set "ourselves" aside and not focus on our own thoughts, fears, emotions and to focus instead on a positive self that we find deep seeded through all the layers of our self. The problem is that when we empty ourselves of whatever is holding us back to make room for something else, whatever comes and fills that empty space is the danger (or the joy and peace for a Christ-follower).
As Christ-followers, we fill ourselves with the Spirit and the Word of God. Hearers of this new age message will fill themselves with...themselves. A self-empowering system that ultimately will cause our ego's to rise even more if we are filled back with our own spirits. What is the "higher self" referring to? A better me supposedly, when emptied of me. Huh?
There is also the potential danger of filling the emptiness with things found on the dark side as the evil one comes disguised as an "angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14) I believe this is one of his attacks of propaganda to distract people from the truth. It looks harmless and might even sound "Christian" or whatever other religious preference one might adhere too. They are wolves in sheep's clothing. (not my words.)
We are called to be filled with Christ and no other thing. Yes, we can believe in ourselves. Yes we can forget the past and press on to the future...after all, Paul wrote that message already in Philippians 3:12-14. But this new age propaganda is dangerous and must be exposed.
We are to have faith in Him, and when we have faith in Him..."I can do everything through HIM who gives ME strength.." Philippians 4:13
That's powerful, self-help, empowered, living your best life now teaching. And it didn't come from man.
The church has been battling this for centuries...it just keeps coming in new forms that look more and more appealing and more and more "Christian." We constantly search outside of Scripture to new things instead of bringing ourselves to the full OBEDIENCE of God's Word. May we be faithful in our study and passion of His Word and not the thoughts of any person, not even the Big O, who has the biggest pulpit in the world.
Christ is the self-awareness we are to have. Christ and His Word is the self-confidence we can have. This is why we can forget the past, live in the moment and press on to the future.
What future do they present?A better life. Then you still die.
And eternity is a long time to pay the price for bad teaching that has never left the church. It just keeps getting REGURGED.
Let's share the real wisdom and truth that will never change, and please help defeat the teachings that are dangerous and contrary to God's Word. As Christians we must be salt and light and also preserve the truth, even when it is not popular.
blessings and peace.
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