The Christian Post reports:
Oprah Winfrey, appearing in New York City during the Monday broadcast of her "Lifeclass," professed to being a Christian twice during her introduction, which one publication took as evidence of her confession in Christ. The Black Christian News Network suggested that Winfrey was a "secret follower" of Jesus and those critical of Winfrey's confession were akin to Pharisees. (Source)The opinion piece generated by Black Christian News Network (BCNN) reads as follows:
Well, she has made it clear to her millions of fans. Here is the profession of faith that Oprah made last night, April 23, 2012, at her lifeclass in New York City before the entire world for the glory of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is what she said:
"I am not talking about religion. I am a Christian. That is my faith. I'm not asking you to be a Christian. If you wanna be one, I can show you how. But it is not required. I have respect for all faiths...""...My favorite Bible verse, because I am a Christian, is Acts 17:28. It says, 'In God I live, and move, and have my being.'Now we know that some people are going to doubt Oprah's profession of faith in Christ and some are going to say negative things about this because she has different people of different faiths on her show and so forth. But before you Pharisees say all of that, please understand that OWN is not a Christian network. It is a network for all people. OWN is Oprah's business, and we as Christians know what that is like when you're doing business in a secular world. So Oprah's business side is going to be different, but it does not take anything away from her faith in Christ.
(Source)Unfortunately, BCNN is a bit confused. The issue is not regarding the fact that OWN is a secular business and that Winfrey keeps it separate from her supposed faith in Christ. The reason that many so-called "Pharisees" will "doubt Oprah's profession of faith in Christ" is because she has yet to give any indication that she actually believes in the Jesus of the Bible. Throughout her entire career, Oprah Winfrey has not merely interviewed leaders, authors and influential people with differing faiths or religions. No, she has actually promoted their aberrant teachings and has thus proven that her own version of "christianity" is a bizarre amalgamation of Eastern mysticism and New Age thought with a thin veneer of a few vague Christian-sounding terms tossed in for good measure.
The Christian Post article continues:
Winfrey, during "Oprah's Lifeclass: The Tour" broadcast from New York City's Radio City Music Hall, greeted the audience in the packed auditorium and informed them that the lifeclass theme would be "Spiritual Solutions" as taught by New Age figure Deepak Chopra.
She added, "My definition [of spirituality] is living your life with an open heart, through love... allowing yourself to align with the values of tolerance, acceptance, of harmony, of cooperation and reverence for life. "There is a force energy consciousness divine thread, I believe, that connects spiritually to all of us, to something greater than ourselves."
(Source, emphasis added)With the emboldened statement above, Winfrey already has invalidated her claim to being a Christian. There is no biblical grounds for the idea of a "force energy consciousness divine thread" that connects all of us to one another and ultimately connects us to God. This is New Age spirituality, and it is not compatible with biblical Christianity.
CP continues transcribing Oprah's comments:
She also commented on what has made her successful, and shared a favorite Bible passage.
"My favorite Bible verse – because I am Christian – is Acts..something... it says [in Acts 17:28] 'in God I live and move and have my being.' And you want to know why I'm so successful? Because I knew that at four-years-old," Winfrey told her audience.
(Source)There is a slight irony in the fact that, in this particular verse, Paul is actually quoting the Cretan poet Epimenides. In preaching about this passage, John MacArthur stated:
He's simply saying that natural revelation is so obvious that your own poets can see it though they attached it to the wrong god.
That's a powerful point. That's powerful substantiation. Paul has been trying to say, "God is revealed in nature. You can see God in nature. You can know He's Creator, Giver, Sustainer, Controller. And look, your own poets recognize there must be a God Who does all of this. Even though they don't know who it is. And so they are living proof, Epimedides and Aradus. That much revelation is inherent in all men and that God is obvious even to the pagan. Boy, what a powerful point. And right from their own Greek poets. Paul was a master at making the most of the situation. And so it's a powerful illustration then of God's universal revelation that He is Creator, Sustainer and the God of providence, and even their poets can see it.
Now, he takes it a step further. Because, you see, some, like those poets, just stopped there. They said, "Hey, God is." There is. And they said, "God is Creator. God is Sustainer or Ruler. God is Giver." And all along the line "God is Providence." Oh, yes, God is. Sure, Epimenides knew that. They didn't know which god, but they knew there was a god, and they knew that god was this. But that's where they stopped.
Paul says you've got to go further than that. You've got to go further than that. You've got to go past God is and Who God is and you've got to come up with What God is saying. And they never did. You know, there are a lot of people like that. They believe God is. And they believe God is Creator, God is Sustainer. Like those Greek poets. But they don't know God. And so they worship a non-God. It's sad to see somebody come that far, isn't it. You know, that's true of the pagans. You go to some countries and you see them worshipping false gods at totum poles. You know, they believe God is, they believe God is Creator, Sustainer and all that, but they just have the wrong God.
(Source)When this passage is read in its full context, then, one can see that one of the points that the Apostle Paul was trying to emphasize was that all men, by means of natural revelation, are aware of the existence of a God. What Paul definitively was not saying, was that acknowledging the existence of a god would bring earthly success. The Apostle is also not claiming that each man possesses a "divine thread" or god-consciousness, as Oprah Winfrey has implied in her statements.