I saw a video (see below) about Oprah Winfrey’s religion, which is nothing more than a mix of pluralism and panentheism. She’s even recruited Rob Bell to help her cause and is promoting her system of beliefs to millions online. The video is a warning to Christians and a call to pray. I certainly agree that Christians should pray but is Christianity in trouble because of Oprah Winfrey?
Should Christians be worried? Maybe. Or, maybe not.
- On a side note, maybe we should be worried more about the people who are propagating a false gospel under the guise of Christianity. But, that’s a different discussion for a different day.
This video and the entire discussion of how quickly American culture is turning into a pluralistic, everyone is right, every path leads to the same place mindset gives me good reason to pause and take a fresh look at the nature of the Gospel. Why did God give us this good news? Where does it work? For what culture was the Gospel made?
You may be saying, “that video is old. I watched it a long time ago. Why are you talking about it now?” Well, according how we process information these days the video is ancient from all the way back in 2009. Since it was published, as I mentioned above, Rob Bell has joined Oprah’s cause and her web presence and audience has only grown. But, that actually helps me illustrate a very important truth.
The Gospel was made for this!
Let me remind you of the cultural environment to which the Gospel was first delivered. It was as pluralistic and confused as a culture could be. There was a different god on every corner and a culture that thought knowledge and enlightenment was the key to all. This culture was also, at times, very hostile to the message of the cross. It was seen by many as a “stumbling block” and “folly,” (1 Cor 1:23)
If you are a Christian with just a little knowledge of Bible history, here’s something of which I don’t need convince you: the Gospel not only worked, but flourished, in this very culture. So much so that the early couriers of this truth were known as “men who have turned the world upside down.” (Acts 17:6)
So, should I worry about what Oprah, Rob Bell and others are peddling? I think it needs to be confronted, but, the religion she is peddling is a path that leads to nowhere. And every person who searches for truth down that path will ultimately be left wanting, just like the people who heard the Gospel at the beginning of its history and were made new and alive through Christ. Worried? No.
The Gospel was made for this!
Will it be easy for the church to reach people in this culture with the Good News of Jesus? Was it easy in the early church? No. However, those of us who have a love for God and a passion for others will reach. Why? Because the Gospel was made for this and, in the last 2,000 years, it has flourished in cultures just like this one. Never forget that.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)