Tag Archives: Jesus

Goodbye Oprah! — The Untold Story

This week, after a 25 year run, The Oprah Winfrey Show has finally come to an end.  CNN and other news networks wrote a glowing review of the positive contribution Oprah has made towards society.  Personal testimonies abounded of the difference Oprah made in their lives, and the inspiration she brought to them during troubled times.  Women everywhere cried.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

Why?  Because there is an untold story that many homes know all to well– but is never reported on.  It is the story that countless men could attest to.  It is the story of a man who, after working hard all day at the office, comes home to a wife whose mind and spirit has been poisoned by Oprah.  His wife now wonders what her husband has really being “doing” all day at the office.  Her children wonder at the new “philosophy” and “spirituality” mommy now embraces– it’s definitely not what they learned about in Sunday school.  And women everywhere are now empowered by a foolish and silly spirit that has taught them to love the superficial, and to not really care about that which is true.

What has been especially alarming is how much Oprah has been embraced and celebrated by born-again, Spirit-filled, Evangelical Christian women.  Oprah has become something of a prophet to them.  So much so that one sister in the Lord I know, when Oprah “gave God the glory” on her final broadcast, couldn’t help but stand on the roof-tops of Facebook, and proclaim on multiple pages how excited she was that this had happened.  You would have thought a religious revival had occurred, or that maybe Jesus had returned on May 21st after all.  Is it no wonder that Casting Crowns has had to sing, “What if the family turned to Jesus, instead of asking Oprah what to do?”

Honestly, the only way Oprah could have given God the glory on her final TV show was if she would’ve renounced the 25 years of pollution she has littered the air-waves with.  Oprah, the false prophet she is, has consistently promoted ideals and values that have regularly been exalted against the true knowledge of God.  These things have destroyed homes, led others into sin, and has caused the image of God in creation to be further corrupted.  And she did all of this in the name of making a buck off the souls of countless millions who loved to tune in day after day, week after week, and year after year.  Those who have loved her– even among God’s people –may not realize it, but they have loved Oprah and have enjoyed having their ears tickled by her, because ultimately, they have not loved God as they ought.  You cannot love Oprah and Jesus at the same time.

This is the untold story of Oprah Winfrey.  CNN may have not picked it up.  But somebody who has lived a little bit of life and spent some time talking to Jesus has.


Who Would Jesus Flip Off?

So, who would Jesus flip off?  WWJFO.  Doesn’t make for a great bracelet, does it? 

Of course, we know Jesus would do no such thing.  He’s Jesus, right? 

Yet strangely enough, there seems to be a disconnect between Jesus and some of those who say they are His disciples.  I have this strange sense that we as Christians feel we have this love, joy, and peace thing down.  That is, when things are going well.   But when our neighbors’ dog barks early on a Saturday morning, or somebody cuts us off in traffic, the love, joy, and peace that we claim to be so full of suddenly leaves us.  I think too often we are guilty of making love, joy, and peace these etherial and abstract concepts that we are only too happy to hear preached about.  Not too many people leave a church angry at a preacher for speaking much on these subjects.

But when the rubber hits the road and the theology of pulpit must be actually lived out,  love, joy, and peace are not such easy things to walk in.  Indeed, being a good Samaritan and abiding by the golden rule sound all nice, warm, and fuzzy.  But the niceness of such things is easily forgotten when we suddenly find ourselves tossed into the crucible.   I don’t like being cut off on the road anymore than the next guy.  But how I respond in those sudden moments will often serve as a revelation into the depths of my heart, and show how much the gospel message has made its way into my heart and my soul.  It is one thing to behave in a certain way when you have time to calculate your steps ahead of time.  It is another thing to see how you react to things that happen in a fraction of a second.

Be sure then, that if in that fraction of a second when you are awoken by your neighbors’ dog or suddenly cut off in traffic, that if an outburst of anger, obscenities, and wild hand gestures finds an outlet through you, then you still have a bit of a way to go in your spiritual development.  Jesus would never do these things.  And we as disciples who follow Him should never do these things either.

Refreshed by the Saints

…not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.  (Hebrews 10:25 NASB)

The last week or two at work has been very challenging on me personally and professionally.  I have to admit, the stresses put on me have left me drained, and I’ve hardly felt very spiritual, and to my own shame I admit, I’ve not been as spiritual as I should be.  I’ve fallen into the trap of allowing my circumstances to dictate my attitude and actions, instead of allowing my faith to dictate my circumstances.  In my attempt to gain control again over everything, I’ve felt this temptation to hunker down, tighten the hatch, and wait out the storm in my own little bomb shelter.

But then I am reminded by Hebrews that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.  The faith I have is not mine alone, but is a faith that belongs to the greater community of believers, locally and universally.  The Lord did not save me so that I could just have a one-on-one relationship with Him.  He saved me so that I could be part of a people– the communion of the saints.  He saved me so I could share my life and faith with others who are of the same life and faith, and that together, we could enjoy the fellowship of one-another in Him.

Last night I almost laid out of a a small-group I frequent in my Church.  I try to attend weekly.  But, after such a hard week at work, I thought I could just use some me-time when I get home.  That would probably be the best thing for me, right?  Such is often our rationale, but such a rationale is not of faith.  While there are times of special prolonged fasts where we as Christians might need to withdraw for a time of solitude, the regular diet of our faith is that we should be a people who frequently come together.

You see, my personal relationship with Jesus Christ is not enough to sustain me as a regular way of life.  Nor is it enough for you.  I need you, and you need me.  And together, we need the Jesus who lives inside of each one of us.  Last night my rationale almost caused me to skip gathering  together with the saints, especially since I was running late to our meeting.  But, with my heart I knew I needed to be with these precious saints.  And from the moment I arrived, late though I was, I instantly felt a divine injection of His grace into my life.

There is something so precious about gathering together with the saints.  I often find a great spirit of refreshing come over in me in such times, as I did last night.  And why is that?  Because these people in and of themselves are the best company in the world?  No.  Rather, it is the Spirit of Christ who dwells in them that brings a time of refreshing to my soul.  As I look into their eyes and hear their voices, I see the eyes of my Lord, and I hear His voice.  I need more of that.  I need to be with the Lord more and more.  And Biblically speaking, there is no greater way to be with the Lord and have a one-on-one relationship with Him than to spend time in the presence of the saints.  Neglect such fellowship, and you will neglect your relationship with the Lord.  Embrace such fellowship, and you will thrive in your relationship with the Lord.

Why Doctrine Matters

So it came about in the morning that, behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Was it not for Rachel that I served with you? Why then have you deceived me?”  (Genesis 29:25; NASB)

There are some people in Evangelical circles today who are so spiritual that they’ve declared, doctrine doesn’t really matter.  All that matters to them is having a personal relationship with Jesus.  Whether a doctrine is true or not doesn’t really matter to these brethren.  All that matters is knowing Jesus.  Such is the spirit of our age.

But if I could, I would just like to make a little observation from a story in the life of Jacob.  Jacob, if you recall, was madly in love with a girl named Rachel.  He agreed to serve Laban, Rachel’s father, for seven years, if only at the end of those seven years he could take Rachel to be his wife.  Well, seven years of service came and went, and Jacob took Rachel to be his wife.  But when Jacob woke up the next morning, he discovered the woman he was with was not the woman whom he had served Laban for.   Instead, it was another woman altogether, Leah.  Jacob had been married to the wrong woman.

What is one thing we can learn from this little story?  At the end of the day, the truth really does matter.  Indeed, if your personal relationship with the Lord is not grounded in the truth, like Jacob, one day when you wake up, you may discover that after all your years of service, that you were married to the wrong person altogether.

%d bloggers like this: