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OPRAH SHIFTS TO THE DARK SIDE

 

By Marsha West

May 3, 2008

NewsWithViews.com

Notorious New Ager George Lucas's wildly popular Star Wars movies abound with occult themes. In Return of the Jedi, dissident Jedi warrior Anakin Skywalker fell to the dark side of the Force and became the evil Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader. Likewise, Oprah Winfrey has fully shifted to the dark side and is a full-fledged New Age spiritual leader and occultist. Make no mistake about it: as with Vader, Oprah is fully aware that she has made The Shift.

As I pointed out in my article, Emergent Church Spreading Spiritual Cancer:

"In 1987 she read the late Eric Butterworth's book 'Discover the Power Within You.' His book changed how Oprah looked at life and religion. She was convinced that Jesus didn't come to teach us about His divinity, as the Bible teaches, but to teach us about our divinity!…She recommended Butterworth's book to her audience and sales soon skyrocketed."[1]

In 1992 Oprah began her promotion of A Course in Miracles. She was so taken by the book's decidedly occult message that she bought a thousand copies and distributed them to her friends and others. The Course, as it is called, has undermined Christianity more than just about any other published work. Shockingly thousands of study groups have utilized the Course in churches around the globe.

Who wrote A Course In Miracles?

Dr. Helen Schucman, an atheist and psychologist, wrote the Course under the direction of an "inner voice" that purported to be Jesus. The Voice spoke to her one day and said, "This is a course in miracles. Please take notes." The inner dictation came mentally and clearly. Almost daily she listened to the voice and took shorthand dictation. At every new session she was able to continue exactly where she left off. She admitted that the strange phenomenon made her uncomfortable, yet she chose to continue the dictation for seven years. You will not be surprised to learn that Dr. Schucman dabbled in New Thought metaphysics and the occult.

What does the Course teach?

"The Course simultaneously indoctrinates its students in Eastern metaphysics and human potential psychicism, while it specifically insulates them against biblical revelation and true Christianity. In achieving this end, its manipulation of psychological and emotional states is impressive, it offers carefully thought-out spiritual exercises, one for every day of the year."

Marianne Williamson, prominent New Ager and senior pastor of Church of Today in Warren, Michigan, began teaching the Course on "Oprah and Friends" on XM Radio, January 1, 2008 and will cover 365 lessons. You might say it's a devotional for New Agers. Former New Ager and author Warren Smith provides the following examples of what you'll find in the lessons: "Lesson #29 asks you to go through your day affirming that 'God is in everything I see.' Lesson #61 tells each person to repeat the affirmation 'I am the light of the world.' Lesson #70 teaches the student to say and believe 'My salvation comes from me.'"[2]

Note the biblical language. In the Course terms that are uniquely biblical are given completely different thoughts and meanings. In Course usage, Holy Spirit, atonement, salvation, miracle, sin and forgiveness have undergone drastic changes of purpose. "Often, the new meanings are the opposite of their biblical usage. For example, atonement no longer refers to Jesus Christ's substitutionary death on the cross for sin. In biblical teaching, the Atonement is based on the fact that mans sinfulness separates him from God. Before man can be reconciled to God, there must be a divine judgment of sin. Christ sacrificed His own life on the cross He was judged in our place to accomplish this reconciliation. This is what Christians mean by the word atonement, or the atoning sacrifice of Christ (John 3:16, 18)."[3]

The Course has all but replaced Marilyn Ferguson's 1980 manifesto The Aquarian Conspiracy that opened the floodgates to "the great irrevocable shift" into public acceptance of esoteric occult Theosophy. In her influential bestseller Ferguson denies that any one religion has the truth: "All religions are attempts by the 'Spiritual Hierarchy' to help humanity in evolving to greater perfection, and that each religion therefore has a portion of the truth." Her writing impacted a number of people in high places. For example, while Al Gore was still a Senator he read The Aquarian Conspiracy and felt compelled to establish the Congressional Clearinghouse on the Future, an organization designed to alert policymakers in Washington to ideas and insights from the private sector. Until recently The Aquarian Conspiracy was considered the New Age Bible.

In 1997 Williamson co-founded the American Renaissance Alliance (ARA) in conjunction with the author of Conversations With God. He, like Williamson, is a frequent guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Neale Donald Walsch. ARA later became the Global Renaissance Alliance of New Age leaders. In 2005 it was changed again, this time to the Peace Alliance. Endorsements come from respected news anchor Walter Cronkite, a number of celebrities, and globalist organizations that include Global Family, Amnesty International, American Muslim Voices, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and several others. According to Warren Smith, "This Peace Alliance seeks to usher in an era of global peace founded on the principles of a New Age/New Spirituality that they are now referring to as a 'civil rights movement for the soul.' They all agree that the principles of this New Age/New Spirituality are clearly articulated in A Course in Miracles—which is fast becoming the New Age Bible."[4]

Marianne Williamson is only one among many of Oprah's guests who are outright occultists. Oprah's mass viewing audience has unwittingly (in some cases) received occult instruction from Marilyn Ferguson, Neale Donald Walsh, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, John Bradshaw, Jack Canfield, Shirley MacLaine, Yanla Vanzant, Gary Zukav, Jerry and Esther Hicks, John Edward, Rhonda Byrne, and Eckhart Tolle. (More on Tolle in a moment.) What do these people believe? For one thing, you can create your own reality. "The message is the same," says Russ Wise, "there is a power, an energy, a force within you that opens your understanding to your true self – your God-Self, your innate DDivinity. There is no individuality; we are one. We only believe we are separate, but in reality we are all a part of God's 'oneness.'" [5] May the Force be with you!

Wise continues:

"In her book that launched her popularity on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1992 she [Williamson] made this observation, 'If you go deeply enough into your mind, and deeply enough into mine, we have the same mind. The concept of a divine, or "Christ" mind, is the idea that, at our core, we are not just identical, but actually the same being. "There is only one begotten Son" doesn't mean that someone else was it, and we're not. It means we're all it. There's only one of us here.' Williamson then makes the analogy that we cannot separate ourselves from God no more than the wave can separate itself from the ocean."[6]

Former New Ager and author Ray Yungen laments, "This is the decision the world is now facing—is God a personal being or is God the Universe and all that it entails?"[7] In other words, is there a transcendent God who lives outside His creation, or are we all gods as New Agers believe?

Those who regularly watch Oprah's daytime show or listen to her XM radio broadcast or visits her website cannot help but know that many of her guests are purveyors of Eastern mysticism. In other words, many of Oprah's friends are occultists! Some of her guests are occultists. She recommends occult books. So guess what? That makes her an occultist! And she's priming the pump for her audience to follow in her footsteps!

Now then, the reason committed Christians find the Course so offensive is that it claims to be a revelation from Jesus Christ Himself. Moreover, it claims to be an "enhancement" to traditional Christianity yet its principles are inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture. How, pray tell, can it be compatible with the teaching of the Bible when its philosophy is merged with a belief system that is based on Hinduism?

I don't presume to know Oprah's heart; only God knows the heart. What we are left to judge her on is her words -- and her words convey that she is an occultist.

Need more proof? Who was instrumental in promoting the occult teaching of The Secret? Oprah. In February 2007 she aired a 2-part special to introduce her viewers to The Secret. What The Secret promises is that the world is on the brink of a new era, a paradigm shift that will open up to humanity "unleashed power, riches and creativity." If this sounds familiar, it is. It's a cleaver repackaging of what the Human Potential movement of the Sixties promised. Their message? Your life can be transformed! You can experience an exceptional quality of life filled with happiness, creativity, and fulfillment. "Wildly entertaining" transformation sage Tony Robbins has been selling this concept for decades. Robbins invites you to "unleash the power within you" at one of his seminars. Attendees will "discover how to identify what it is you really want, permanently break through any barriers that might be holding you back, dramatically increase your physical energy and mental clarity, and infuse passion into your daily life."[8] Wow. All in one weekend.

Go to the The Secret website and you will find The Secret Scrolls. Allegedly the scrolls contain "inspiring words to assist you in living in the magic of The Secret. Also within the scroll will be exciting information about upcoming Secret Events all over the world." And you'll be pleased to know that "The Secret Scrolls is a positive and uplifting gift we know will be a joy for you to receive." If you're looking to be transformed the website offers products and other special offers. It's an investment, sure. But you're worth it! Visitors are also directed to other websites, books and teachers who are masters of The Secret. Pass the Rolaids, please.

Let me break this down for you. The Secret is the so-called Law of Attraction (the principle that like attracts like). It's about attracting wealth, better health, and better relationships. In a word it's about happiness. Author Rhonda Byrne (who's happy now that she's made millions off gullible consumers) calls it "the most powerful law in the universe" and makes it seem as if the Law of Attraction is a scientific theory, which it is not. Byrne claims that we attract into our lives the things we want and what we attract is based solely on what we're thinking and feeling. So the "secret" she unveils is a repackaged version of the age-old Power of Positive Thinking. (Motivational speakers like Tony Robbins are selling the same snake oil.) So basically every good or bad thing that happens to us, we draw to ourselves, be it positive or negative.

You will also find this "spiritual law" in the postmodern Church. "Positive confession" is a doctrinal pillar of the Word of Faith movement. Positive confession stresses the inherent power of words and thoughts. "Each person predestines his own future by what he says verbally and by how well he uses spiritual laws. As such, it is as if we live in a mechanistic universe instead of a personal one." Some of the major promoters of this unbiblical teaching are Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Paul & Jan Crouch, Benny Hinn, Fred Price, Robert Tilton, Joyce Meyer, Marilyn Hickey and, last but not least, the smiling preacher Joel Osteen, who grins all the way to the bank. Listen to what the motivational speaker (oops) senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston Texas writes:

"The moment you speak something out, you give birth to it. This is a spiritual principle, and it works whether what you are saying is good or bad, positive or negative."

Who is he?

"I am the sum total of what I have been confessing through the years."

What does he say about finances?

"God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us."
He also chirped, "If we say it long enough eventually we're going to reap a harvest. We're going to get exactly what we're saying." Hoo-boy.

Those who embrace Word-Faith theology hold to the occult belief that "Words are a creative force!" "Words have power!" They believe your words can heal you or kill you. I am not making this up, folks. Prosperity preachers teach that, "Words have the power of influencing both the physical and the spiritual world. Hence believers spend much time
--binding Satan, demons and other spiritual entities.
--claiming health.
--claiming wealth."
[9]

Rhonda Byrne and Joel Osteen may have significant differences, but the one thing they agree on is that "You are the Master of the Universe, and the Genie is there to serve you." For Byrne the Genie is the Law of Attraction. For Osteen the Genie is God.

My reason for bringing up Word-Faith teaching is to show its similarities to the New Age movement. Actually, New Age movement is a tired old term. Devotees prefer "New Spirituality" or just plain "Spirituality." Another term is Cosmic Humanism. No matter how you couch it, it's Eastern mysticism.

New Agers outright reject the Jesus of the Bible and have adopted a Cosmic Christ. Who is this Christ? "In esoteric schools of thought, the Christ is considered to be a universal spirit or a cosmic force. The primary goal of this impersonal spirit or force is to guide the spiritual evolution of mankind."[10]

As I brought to light in my article on ECM, New Agers are not the only ones who believe there is a paradigm shift taking place. Some Christians believe it, too. As a consequence "everything must change."

"There is a growing movement afoot in the postmodern Church that does not abide in God's Word…The movement calls itself 'Emergent' or 'Emerging Church' (ECM) and it's emerging away from orthodox Christianity, spreading its spiritual cancer throughout the globe. ECM change agents have made inroads into evangelicalism, big time. What they preach is a counterfeit social gospel. They say they bring a 'message of peace.' Their hope is to make Christianity more palatable to the world. Sounds altruistic, doesn't it? But don't believe it! In order to accomplish their lofty goal, the shifters must first repackage the Church.

"So they're touring the country, promoting their social gospel and message of peace to the masses. Prominent ECM leader Brian McLaren is spearheading the 'Everything Must Change' tour. According to McLaren's website the planet is in Deep Shift…
A time of transition
rethinking
re-imagining
and re-envisioning.

"But really, it's all about re-shaping the true Gospel of Jesus Christ into a false gospel and re-imaging Jesus Christ into the New Age Cosmic Christ!"[11]

I wrote about Brian McLaren in the above mentioned article, but for those who haven't read it, he and other "Progressive Christian" leaders are attempting to steer Christendom away from historic orthodox Christianity into apostasy and in some cases outright heresy. ECM has introduced New Age ideas into the Church that parallel Oprah's New Spirituality. McLaren and Winfrey are New Age proselytizers. Oprah's platform is her TV show and radio broadcasts; McLaren's is his books and Deep Shift conferences. Both of them believe what they're doing is for the "good of the world." Listen to McLaren's own words:

"Deep Shift provides support as leaders make their own personal deep shift and guide their organizations through the transition and transformation necessary to ignite the loving energy of people to work for the good of the world. As guides, we provide coaching, consulting, and resources for people leading in deep shift — faith community and church leaders, nonprofit leaders, ethical business leaders and others."[12]

Note the New Age jargon: Transition…transformation…energy… shift… community.

You ask, "What does Word of Faith and Emergent Church have to do with Oprah?" Most likely you've heard of Eckhart Tolley and his blockbuster book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life Purpose. For the past few months Oprah has been promoting Tolle's "revolutionary message" to her TV audience and offers a class on XM Satellite Radio. So, Oprah now sponsors two occult classes: A Course in Miracles with Marianne Williamson and A New Earth with Eckhart Tolle.

Listen to what Warren Smith says about The Shift:

"In her first class with Eckhart Tolle, Oprah asked if people had experienced the 'shift' while reading Tolle's book, A New Earth. The question reminded me of Werner Erhard's New Age EST program in the 1970s that taught this same idea of shifting one's perception, and then similarly asking – 'Did you get IT?' Obviously, there is pressure to 'get IT' – to feel the shift: Oprah felt the shift – did you? Are you understanding this new [age] way of looking at yourself and the world? Or, are you being blocked by your mind and your ego from seeing this New Spirituality that can save our planet? Keep logging onto our classes. Keep reading Tolle's book – you'll 'get it.'"[13]

Now here's where it gets interesting. Dr. Dennis Cuddy, historian and political analyst, wrote a provocative article, Transformation By Crises and Synthesis, in which he pointed out the parallels in A New Earth and Brian McLaren's book Everything must change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope. Cuddy said:

"In Brian McLaren's 2007 book EVERYTHING MUST CHANGE: JESUS, GLOBAL CRISES AND A REVOLUTION OF HOPE (note the words 'change' and 'crises'), he also emphasizes the "common good" and refers to 'radical rethinking.' Robert Schuller on January 17-19, 2008 hosted a 'Rethink Conference' attended by President H.W. Bush and Kay Warren, wife of church-growth leader Rick Warren. According to the conference executive director Bill Dallas, they 'confronted outdated and preconceived ideas.'

"In McLaren's book, he states that for millions of young adults, 'the Christian religion appears to be a failed religion' because it has 'specialized in dealing with "spiritual" needs,' failing to address systemic injustice, poverty, ecological crisis and other societal and global dysfunctions. This sounds like the leftist Catholics' old 'Liberation Theology' claim. It also sounds similar to what co-founder of Global Education Associates Patricia Mische said at a November 9-11, 1984 symposium 'Toward A Global Society,' where she spoke on 'The Spiral of Spiritual/Social Transformation.' She pronounced: 'Traditional religion is failing to speak to problems in our society. The need for a New World Order is our greatest challenge and opportunity'. We see resistance to change—resistance to the New Age processes."

"McLaren in his book continued to explain that this failed Christian religion's threats of hell 'lose their effect when those making the threats seem a little defensive, deranged, out of touch, manic…..' Note that he's saying they are mentally ill! This is similar to New Ager Marilyn Ferguson in THE AQUARIAN CONSPIRACY: PERSONAL AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE 1980s (1980) saying that if people will get rid of "crippling belief systems," they can have a 'transformation of consciousness' and find 'sanity within.' More recently, it sounds like Eckhart Tolle's A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE (2005) —asserts that all of those expressing the certainty that 'I am right and you are wrong' are a 'dangerous thing in religions.' It reflects a 'collective mental illness.' Tolle characterizes 'sin' as simply 'missing the point' of human existence and suggests that 'Eastern wisdom teachings' allow us to 'let go of dogmas' and 'rigid belief systems.' He also relates that in THE HOLY BIBLE 'a new heaven' actually refers to 'the emergence of a transformed state of human consciousness.' Note again the terms 'mental illness' and 'transformed.'"[14]

Did you get that? Anyone who holds to absolute truth, as taught in the Holy Bible, "are a dangerous thing in religions" and "reflects a collective mental illness." Influential occultists are out to transform dimwitted Christians into the likeness of Satan!

Cuddy's article includes comments about church-growth leader Rick Warren who also "promotes a 'new spirituality' that emphasizes a concern about global poverty, etc."

Remember the good old days when Christians heard the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ preached from the pulpit instead of the postmodern watered-down version? You could tell the ministers that were literally called by God because they had a desire to preach the Word! Today believers are hearing feel-good messages, messages about how to be successful…how to be a good spouse…how to raise kids—how to live "Your Best Life Now"…plus a mish-mash of psychobabble. What is disgraceful is that many pastors are becoming Life Coaches instead of teachers of the Word. We're told, "Do your best and you'll get into heaven." This is so not true! In Mat. 7:14 Jesus said, "But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

Sadly, both Protestants and Catholics are receiving false teaching from those they trust to give them the truth, which is why apostasy is rampant in Christendom. Even Christian booksellers hock books by false-teachers and apostates. As for Christian music, it is rife with unbiblical lyrics. (Listen to Bran non How seinterview Christian music artist Steve Camp on the dubbing down of today's music pastors) The words believers sing during worship are not necessarily music to God's ears. It's a good idea to pay attention to lyrics that are directed to God!

I've said this numerous times, but it bears repeating: Followers of Jesus Christ MUST know what they believe and why they believe it. Paul warned, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers" (1 Tim 4:16). Followers of Jesus Christ who are not well versed in the scriptures are easily led astray. As a result, an untold number of "Christians" are tuning in to watch Op rah Winfrey spew outright occult propaganda!

Granted, Scripture twisting is nothing new. Even the Apostle Paul had to deal with false-teachers who were plunging the early Church into heresy. In Galatians 1:8 he gave this stern warning to God's people:

"But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!"

Then to make doubly sure the folks got his point, he repeated his decree:

"As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"

It would seem Paul meant business – and he was not worried about taking care of people's feelings! The Apostle Paul spoke for God. True followers of Jesus Christ had best heed his warning.

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One last comment. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Vader is rescued from the dark side. I believe there is hope for Oprah and many others who are living in darkness to be rescued from the dark side. But first they must, "Repent then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…" (Acts 3:19).

Footnotes:

1, Emergent Church Spreading Spiritual Cancer By Marsha West
2, "Oprah and Friends" To Teach Course on New Age Christ By Warren Smith
3, A Course in Miracles: “Christian” Glossed Hinduism For The Masses – Source: Christian Research Institute website
4, "Oprah and Friends" To Teach Course on New Age Christ By Warren Smith
5, Oprah Winfrey: The Oprahfication of America By Russ Wise
6, Ibid
7,For Many Shall Come in My Name” By Ray Yungen--Lighthouse Trails Publishing; page 131
8, TonyRobbins.com
9, Positive Confession: A Word-Faith Doctrine –Apologetics Index website
10, A Brief Dictionary of New Age Terminology – Logos Resource Pages website
11, Emergent Church Spreading Spiritual Cancer By Marsha West
12, Deep Shift website, “Everything Must Change” – Brian McLaren’s “Welcome” message
13, Oprah and Eckhart Do the New Age Shift By Warren Smith By Warren Smith
14, Transformation By Crises and Synthesis By Dr. Dennis Cuddy

Recommended Reading:

1, For Many Shall Come in My Name” By Ray Yungen
2,
Know What You Believe: A Practical Discussion of the Fundamentals of the Christian Faith By Paul E. Little

© 2008 Marsha West - All Rights Reserved

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Marsha West is the Founder and Editor of the E-Mail Brigade News Report, an online news report for conservative people of faith. Marsha is a freelance writer specializing in Christian worldview. She is a regular contributor to NewsWithViews.com, Alainsnewsletter.com, CapitolHillCoffeeHouse.com, plus her commentaries appear in MichNews.com and bibleteacher.org.

Marsha is also designer and webmaster of a Christian apologetics website, On Solid Rock Resources. She is currently writing a series of children's books for homeschoolers. Marsha and her husband reside in historic Jacksonville Oregon.

E-mail: EMbrigade@aol.com

 


 

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Those who regularly watch Oprah's daytime show or listen to her XM radio broadcast or visits her website cannot help but know that many of her guests are purveyors of Eastern mysticism.