I have received so many e-mails from friends “warning” me about Oprah’s “New Age” religion. What has been alarming to me wasn’t Oprah’s Stand , but the fear from which my friend’s have reacted. I don’t watch Oprah because I don’t watch much T.V. but she seems like a modern secular evangelist. However, from what I can see, she differs from the Christian Television Evangelists because she brings elegance and savvy that is persuasive to our generation. So it doesn’t surprise me if she becomes the catalyst for a new “religious” or “political” movement. It isn’t like this is a new phenomenon, just a different time and medium.
After viewing the Youtube segment I linked in the last paragraph, that is being sent around about her comments on Christianity I thought to myself, “she means well and like all of us is searching, and for this I believe she will be blessed.” I am sure that will alienate my more zealous friends, but that is what occurs to me.
I am not afraid of her stand. It could cause people to be open to searching, which makes an opening for the relational reality of Jesus to be made known in an even more relevant way. Kind of like Paul’s Mars Hill. At the very least it causes me to think about my stand and how I can love as Jesus loves me. My sense is to be more curious about her points of view and to better understand what drives her and those who are moved by her message. In that journey, I believe the God of Jesus will change everybody involved.
T. S. Elliot said “Oh my soul, be prepared to meet Him who knows how to ask questions.”
Cultural Christianity tends to get so stuck in contending with “statements” about who God is, thus missing the opportunity to question our perceptions of what people mean or intend and be curious about who they are and what they are facing, in the way we would want somebody to do with us, especially when they are questioning what we so passionately, even self-righteously believe.
I say, if our peace is disturbed by what is being said, the more we are willing to question what it is we are fearing the more effective we will be in questioning others as they develop certitudes that are as likely to be as survival driven as our own.
“Great peace have they who love thy law and nothing, by any means shall offend them!” Psalm 119:165