The last couple of days, Dave, Bill & I have spent a significant amount of time talking about Oprah and the courses that she is teaching/endorsing. I have heard from so many of you, and am touched by the response to pray for her. Without question, I feel an obligation to call out this rubbish. One area that I was concerned about – however – was the response that bringing this to the airwaves would generate. I can safely speak for The Morning Cruise that we are not about bashing anyone or raging a war. As a matter of fact, we feel there is probably NOT a more ineffective way! It makes us cringe when we get painted with the same brush as a “street corner bullhorn guy”. That doesn’t work!! It thrills me to see that so many of our listening family feel the same way. Jesus spoke truth – without condemnation.
I received this email from a friend of mine, and it pretty much sums up my feelings/attitude towards the subject. The only thing I will add is to remember 1 Peter 3:15. It says:
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. -Jesus, in Matthew 5:18
My grandfather’s favorite spot was a rocking chair in the cozy living room of the home he and his sons built with their own hands. He earned that soft chair by spending hard, hard years in the coal mines, and driving tractor-trailers. Others would describe him as a tough old bird who was happy to fight at the drop of a hat. With me, he was always mischievous and uncharacteristically gentle. So far as I’m able to know, he never made a profession of faith in Christ, and I never once saw him darken the doors of a church for anything but a wedding or funeral.
Every Saturday night for as long as I can remember, I sat in that living room, unknowingly molded by the reactions he gave to the things I said. When something didn’t pass the “horse sense” test, he always said the same thing: “That’s just horse hockey.”
I was a dreamer in high school, naively convinced there were easy solutions to the world’s problems if we all “just tried a little harder”. “TJHH”, he would say. My sophomore year, I decided it was time to do more than just talk about my dreams, and so I joined a group called P.E.A.C.E.-People for Emotional Adjustment and Community Enlightenment. With a group of faculty members and other students, we attended an out-of-town conference just full of ideas for promoting peace and love in the midst of the Vietnam War era. The following Saturday night, sitting in the rocking chair next to my grandfather’s, watching one of our beloved John Wayne war movies, I started describing some of the things I’d “learned” at the conference.
“TJHH”, he muttered, trying hard to hear the movie over my jabbering. I didn’t get the message, and kept on talking. After awhile, he reached over and grabbed the arm of my rocker and stopped its swaying. Eye to eye just feet away, he stared at me, obviously angry. For a few moments he just sat there glaring, and I didn’t move. Then his face grew softer and he leaned back in his chair and sighed. “Randy”, he said as he started rocking his own chair, “we’ve all been young once. Nary a one of us hasn’t wished we could fix things, and nothing you’ve said is anything new.” (Long pause here.) “None of it works. It’s all just horse hockey.”
Then he leaned forward and named a chapter and verse from the Bible. It was a game we played, usually when he had friends over. I would recite the verse from memory and he would beam with pride that one of his grandkids was “going to be a preacher.” On this night, it was just us, and I quoted the verse from memory.
“That’s the place to find your answers,” he said. End of discussion.
With that, he turned his attention back to John Wayne, who happened to be leading a charge up another hill.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about those days when I was certain the world’s problems were easy to solve. I just knew if I willed it so, I could make it be that way. Like my father and grandfather, and your father and grandfather, I quickly discovered no amount of willing or wishing or working was going to easily fix what’s wrong with this world.
Many, many of you readers have written in alarm over Oprah’s new embrace of Marianne Williamson’s embrace of Helen Schucman’s obviously heretical book, A Course on Miracles. Several of you have already fitted Oprah for the Antichrist banner.
Let me be clear: There is nothing remotely acceptable to God about Ms. Schucman’s book. It contains statements contradictory to Scripture and inconsistent with truth, human or divine. There is also nothing remotely useful in Marianne Williamson’s commentaries on that book, which is indeed available on Oprah’s website and radio programs. In fact, there is great harm there, as it sweeps well-meaning seekers down a road that looks and smells like truth, but isn’t.
Oprah should know better, certainly. Given the influential role God has laid at her doorstep, one could even argue she has an added responsibility to be even more cautious about endorsing or enabling teaching that contradicts the Bible. But Oprah isn’t the Antichrist; and she’s not even anti-Christ. I suspect Oprah just doesn’t have someone close to her with the courage to say what my grandfather always said: “That’s just horse hockey.”
With the same spirit I had when I joined P.E.A.C.E., and a bigger heart than I’ve ever had, I think she just wishes she could find a way to fix things faster, bigger, smarter. A Course in Miracles certainly isn’t that fix.
The right response to Oprah is prayer and candor, not the vicious attacks I’ve seen passing out of the mouths and emails of Christians who are ordinarily gentle. We should pray for God to sit in a rocker next to Oprah and gently remind her that everything that contradicts the Bible is just HH.
Then we should pull out our own Bibles and do just what Scripture tells us to do: Arm ourselves with a keen knowledge of the Word so we can know the difference between truth and “horse hockey.”