What About Oprah?
July 13, 2008
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What About Oprah?
Note: Kings minister in the marketplace. Unlike the church, the marketplace is melting pot of people we work with who have different beliefs and religions. We can’t just walk away from them because they don’t share our love for Jesus. We are their connection to Christ – witnesses of what we’ve experienced.
Oprah Winfrey has become a popular media and cultural icon in the US over the last decade. Sue watches her talk show occasionally and I’ve enjoyed it few times too… more than I expected (Cowboys don’t watch Oprah you know). I watched her Stanford commencement address on Utube. Surprisingly, her message had a few things in common with our conferences on Releasing Kings. Here’s why: She is a King and uses her prosperity to release others out of a genuine passion to bless the nations. She tries to connect with her God-given heart’s desire and she’s seen the resulting multiplication of her influence and prosperity.
Her Theology – Although Oprah claims to be a believing Christian, she gave a book to the Stanford graduates by Eckhart Tolle. I read A New Earth; Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose. It’s a mixture of Gnosticism, Zen Buddhism, New Age, and Christian Principles. God is demoted from a personal, relational creator and Lord to a cosmic force. Jesus was just another good teacher. There is no good or evil in the Zen tradition – enlightenment transcends moral standards… no heaven, no hell, no Satan. Anything goes! If you line up with the “presence” and surrender to whatever comes your way, you’ll get on the correct cosmic wavelength and your life will turn out fine. If Eckhart turns out to be wrong, it won’t really matter (to him) because he doesn’t believe in an afterlife anyway.
Now there was a time my teaching and prophetic instincts would have taken up arms against such heresy. I cannot defend Eckhart Tolle. His writings are a smorgasbord of unsubstantiated musings; He’s simply invented his own philosophic theology. I doubt that Oprah is a student of the details (that’s not her nature). However she certainly has promoted it – to the point that some call her the spiritual leader of the United States.
Note: Eckhart is a former college professor turned spiritual teacher that has never been married. As I’ve grown older, I “listen” more closely to people that have been married to the same spouse with at least four “functioning” children.
If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. Titus 1:6 KJV
Why She did it – The reason I’m not too excited about slandering Oprah is because I really believe that she will eventually return to a vibrant relationship with Jesus. My thesis is that some aspects of her beliefs are a genuine emphasis of the Holy Spirit in the earth today. Like a Cyrus, she is being used by God at some level in spite of her theological shortcomings. God is inviting people to find the bridge between their own heart’s desires and His plan to bless and redeem the nations. She’s connecting with her feelings and with people; she just left the personal aspect of relating to a communicating God out of the equation (a substantial “miss” to be sure).
Our theological tradition isn’t much better that Oprah’s new age dogma. Although we say we have a personal relationship with a savior, that often translates to a set of doctrinal beliefs that the Oprah’s of the world find distinctly “unrelational”. The perception from outside the church is that Christians know the “rules” and are willing to impose them on others but aren’t experiencing the power, the person of Jesus, the love, the leading, the healing, or the prosperity any more than non Christians. In the marketplace Christians have the reputation of being out of touch with their own heart’s desires; trying on the outside to live up to a religious standard and failing on the inside.
As Christians we understand sin and how to be forgiven through Jesus redemptive work on the cross but we are far less connected with the resurrection half of the gospel; the “experience” of an abundant life. Like it or not, Oprah is an example of someone connected to her heart’s desires and an abundant, generous lifestyle that can be used for ministering to people. She has the power to make others successful from a practical standpoint – and she does. The theme of her talk show is about helping people and making dreams come true. She “uses” TV to minister; to serve.
Someday soon Oprah will embrace the cross and the person of Jesus and the Church will embrace the practical ramifications of the resurrection portion of the gospel and give herself permission to pursue her heart’s desires.
The bottom line – I was surprised to find a great articulation in Tolle’s book of the cry in the heart’s of this generation (both Christian and non-Christian).
I don’t know exactly what it is, but I want some change in my life. I want expansion; I want to be doing something meaningful and, yes, I want prosperity and the freedom that comes with it. I want to do something significant, something that makes a difference in the world. But if you asked me what exactly I want, I would have to say that I don’t know. Can you help me find my life purpose?
That’s the heart of King longing to be released into his destiny… Finding his place in the plan of God and connecting with his own unique desires, passions and gifts to make a difference in the Kingdom. God put that longing in this generation. We have the “whole” and the “Holy” answer.
John & Sue (are dancing – Join us)
Harold is dancing too … with Linda
Opportunity! – I helped Jayston Tunnelle (a pastor from Liberia) write a business plan for a grocery store in Monrovia. We need someone with experience in retail / groceries to review it and we need an investor to make it a reality. The details of the business start-up and Jayston’s contact info are on the link.
You’re invited into the vision to release Kings; communicate the message, make the money, and do the mission.
1.The Message – Our first goal is to get the Releasing Kings message into the hands of the messengers that will carry it… do it, preach it, teach it, example it.
2.The Money – The second goal is to help Kings break out of poverty by networking them with practical opportunities to prosper. We want to introduce them to the right people, the right opportunity, and the right financial approach.
3.The Mission – Network Kings with opportunities to mix business and missions. Accomplish the great commission through the marketplace.
You can get your copy of Releasing Kings for Ministry in the Marketplace or Desire to Destiny at