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A Christian Response to Oprah's Deadly Advice

I feel compelled as an ambassador of Christ to offer this precious soul something she was denied by Winfrey: the truth.

Oprah appeared on Good Morning America yesterday ostensibly to chat about her new Disney movie “A Wrinkle in Time.” But as everything seems to do with Oprah Winfrey these days, her appearance quickly morphed into an opportunity for the new age spiritualist to evangelize others to her syncretistic humanism.

During a portion of the interview set aside for audience questions, a well-spoken and polite young lady asked Oprah,

“What is some advice you would give girls who look like me (the young lady was black) who want to make a change or be the change in the world?”

To her great credit, the media titan disarmed the loaded “girls who look like me” qualifier and said her advice to young women is the same regardless of how they look. It was a small nod to real reconciliation and societal healing from our deepening racial divides, and it was quite appropriate.

Unfortunately she kept going and unleashed this brutal nugget straight from the bowels of Hell:

“The highest honor on earth that you will ever have is the honor of being yourself…People think your job is to get up and go and raise money and take care of your family and stuff. That’s an obligation you have, but your only true job as a human being is to discover why you came, why you are here.

And every one of us has an internal guidance, a GPS, an intuition, a heart print, a heart song that speaks to us. And your only job is to be able to listen and discern when it’s speaking versus your head and your personality speaking.

And if you follow that, you will be led to the highest good for you, always. That’s why all the voices of the world mean nothing if your voice is in alignment with all the voices of the world.”

This is the Whitney Houston advice: “learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” It remains one of the saddest depictions of the folly behind such thought that all the self-love in the world couldn’t keep Houston’s life from collapsing in suicidal tragedy.

And while I highly doubt that this young lady who heard Oprah’s nationally televised, raucously applauded advice to follow her heart to the “highest good” is likely to ever read it, I feel compelled as an ambassador of Christ to offer this precious soul something she was denied by Winfrey: the truth.

And the truth is that, “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Son of God Himself tells us that, “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:19).

If we truly listen to our hearts we will notice something similar about all its prompting, all its advice, all its urging: it all focuses on serving me. Our hearts are fatally selfish, perverting every good thing with the poison of lust. When followed and pursued, it will lead us down a path of self-indulgence that ends in misery, grief, and despair. There is no more unreliable GPS for our lives than that which is calibrated completely to our own selfish desires and cravings. Yet that is our heart, luring us towards a way that seems right but that ends in death (Proverbs 14:12).

Oprah speaks of the need to find why we are here as human beings. She’s not wrong in that; it’s just that she has not yet found it. We are all here to serve the Kingdom of God, created to worship Him and adore Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). We can’t do that when we are leaning on our own understanding. Instead we must trust in God with all our hearts, acknowledging Him in all our ways (Proverbs 3:5-6), thus making His will our internal GPS, calibrating our sense of purpose and meaning solely on the unchanging truth of His sovereign goodness.

The truth is, Oprah’s advice was merely a frighteningly well articulated restatement of the serpent’s lie in the Garden of Eden – the false promise that we can be gods of our own private universes. We’ve tried that, it hasn’t worked, and regardless of whether or not Oprah approves, there is a better way. And that better way tells us not to trust our hearts to save us, but instead to trust in God to save us from our hearts.

big gaping hole "MY" life, not hers. So, I value her happiness above my desires, It will take years off my life, but that is just a price I will pay for her.

That is why I am here, for my wife and son.

Unfortunately this is exactly what people want to hear - "For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts;" 2 Timothy 4:3

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good example!

Blind and could not see. Self blinds us. To Oprah, self is the only reality, the only uniqueness, no room for God. The world is but a stage for Self and those who do not share that stage are less than real. As the sands run through the hour glass, she hums "I did it my way." I wish I could tell her how life changes when you do it "His way."

DKEast: There are many way to commit suicide. One way is to knowingly take your own life via ropes, guns, or jumping off a cliff. There are also ways that people slowly commit suicide, i.e. smoking, doing drugs, etc. People who do drugs, smoke, or drink excessively are committing suicide at a slower rate than those who do it in a hurrry so to speak but the end result is the same. Talk to a person who smokes and what do they call cigarettes? Cancer sticks. Who would knowingly cut their lives short by continuing to smoke cigarettes? I don't mean those who smoke an occassional cigarette, but those who smoke three or four or more packs a day, or eat until they have gained so much weight they can barely get around, or drinks or does drugs excessively . Yes, the faster way to committ suicide is taking a rope or a gun, but the result is the same in the end. The main differences are how fast the person dies and are they taking someone else along with them because of what we call a habit rather than what it really is. I know becaue my spouse died way too young.

So its somehow wrong for Oprah to "evangelize others to her syncretistic humanism" , even if she's directly asked, but its okay for you to shill for your religion? Isn't that a double-standard?

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It is wrong because the advice she gave is incorrect. That's not "shilling," just telling the truth.

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@Rufus67 : In your opinion. Oprah would no doubt say you are the one who is wrong. And claiming you can do something because you are "right" and the other is "wrong" is literally a double-standard. And it is "shilling". He's advocating for his religion. Something he chastised Oprah for doing.

You're probably correct in her reaction and she would be wrong to have it. There are absolute truths out there (whether you like to admit/agree with it or not). The author stated a premise, backed it up, and I agree with him. That's not "shilling," it's stating a position and supporting it.

The difference between his point and Oprah's is that his is based in an actual religion whereas hers is just bad advice.

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Man, Oprah was given the a wide open door to reply: by serving others. Instead, she said, serve yourself :(

Great reply, concise, direct... and exactly NOT what people today want to hear.

Your attitude of service is a testament to your character in how you handle the situation. We are commanded to love our wives as Christ loved the Church, so much that he gave his own life for it. It is the opposite of what Oprah advocates. Our highest honor is to serve God and then serve others. From John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." Your attitude doesn't mean that it is not wrong for your wife to withhold sex for long periods of time (unless there is some legitimate reason she cannot) (I Cor 7:2-5). We should both have the service attitude to each other, serving each others needs. A happy marriage is one that works both ways. We are commanded to hold up our end, which is all that we can do, but God's design is for a two way street, each serving the other.

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I don't think the point was that it is wrong for Oprah to "evangelize", but that the advice that she gave is wrong. It should be painfully obvious to most people with all the anecdotal evidence that we have in our personal lives and the personal lives of those around us that a life spent in pursuit of one's own self interest (i.e. follow your heart) is a recipe for disaster for most people. Whether you are religious or not, a life spent in service to others is a happier life. It just so happens that Christianity emphasizes this as the 2nd highest calling behind loving God.

I would agree with you if Peter was claiming that Oprah had not right to express her view. However, he is just presenting a counter argument to her claim based on the world view of Christianity. The irony of Oprah's claim is that it is circular in reasoning. Oprah is telling the girl to follow her heart and yet Oprah is appealing to her own heart as evidence of the truth of her claim. Even if you don't agree with Peter, at least he is appealing to something outside of himself as evidence, namely the teachings of Jesus.

@Rufus67 : Merely because you agree with Mr. Heck doesn't excuse a double-standard. As for "absolute truths" Mr. Heck cited verses from the Bible which in and of itself has no more authority than Oprah. One could make the argument that the tenets exposed are "better" than Oprahs but even that would be a subjective argument. What you can't do is assume your religion is correct and therefore you have a right to express it but Oprah doesn't. Because somehow I don't think you'd like it if I or someone implied it was wrong for you to express your beliefs when asked about them.

@bllck100 : Mr. Heck didn't literally claim Oprah shouldn't be allowed on air no, but he was quite clear it was somehow wrong that she had a differing opinion on morality. That she "lied", since he claimed to be speaking the "truth", calling her advice "deadly". Oddly enough he blew a gasket when the late Billy Graham was called "damaging" but doesn't seem to mind insulting others. Further Mr. Heck doesn't present an argument. He simply assumes he is right based on his own belief.

While I think "follow your heart" is cliched, empty platitude it at least recognizes the importance of the individual. I find that preferable to the slightly creepy "your only importance is to join" vibe I get from Mr. Hecks posts. And no I don't think "a life spent in service to others" is a happier life. Pretty much the opposite. More of a follower of Ayn Rand when it comes to glorious "self-interest". Without which our civilization could never have advanced beyond our primitive origin.

The crux of this post is that of purpose. If our purpose is to ourselves, regardless of the benefits to society such that Ayn Rand espoused, the effects can be and usually are catastrophic to ourselves. We eventually find that the benefits become hollow and pointless. If our purpose is to something higher (to me, my God) then we usually see better results personally and societally. Should you lead a life devoted to oneself and eventually die a happy man/woman with wealth and no regrets than good for you. You would be the minority by a large margin. I cannot imagine being on my deathbed and regretting serving others.

@Jack Krevin...you wrote " As for "absolute truths" Mr. Heck cited verses from the Bible which in and of itself has no more authority than Oprah." Wow! It appears that you have not found the truth yet either. May the Holy Spirit work in your life to introduce you to Jesus. Your life will be changed positively forever!

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