A Christian’s Response

06Apr08

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” -Ghandi

I have heard this quote before and I completely agree with it. We as Christians are often the #1 reason, Jesus is ignored or even worse…hated.

Oprah has been getting some criticism lately from Christians. I disagree with her idea of Christianity, but I also know that she is not the anti christ that many claim her to be. She is one person. She only has as much power as we choose to give her.

I would encourage all of us as Christians to think before we forward. You all know those little emails you get regarding the next greatest threat to Christianity…or at least the well being of our “Christian” lifestyles. Before you join the “hate” bandwagon, take a moment and think about how your actions and response will represent Christ.

Today I read a series of posts that I really appreciated. You may agree or disagree with them, but that is not the point, nor my hope here. My hope would be for you to take a couple minutes and read through this series and see how we as Christians can think before we speak. John @ Vertizontal has taken a moment to appropriately discuss the issue at hand. Take a second and read through. If you appreciate what John has said, get involved in the discussion there and thank him. If you are in disagreement with what John has said, come on back here and let’s talk it through on my blog. Please give him that respect.

The Crucifixion of Oprah Part one

The Crucifixion of Oprah Part deux

The Crucifixion of Oprah Part tres

The Crucifixion of Oprah Part – la fin

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33 Responses to “A Christian’s Response”

  1. 1 Darla

    I did my own homework, and I am praying for Oprah for a number of reasons, she is a public figure who people look up to and do what she says, I do believe she is duped by a false teaching. Eckhart scares me when I do my homework on him, not because he is a scary person, but his theology is strategically twisted, and in his own comments of his book he said that the purpose of the book is mind reversal (isn’t that brain washing?) Oprah enabled a thousand people to read the book, she endorsed the book…I am not on a band wagon of any kind. But I have tried to warn my sisters and brothers that the enemy is subtle, and he is much more interested in believers rethinking and doubting the Word, we are more of tool for him to use than the non believer. Just my thoughts, so many christian women are watching and reading everything that is endorsed by Oprah, honestly I wish they read their bible as much, and trusted in the Lord more. I am not attacking oprah, I am not attacking Echart, but I will bring it to the attention of my sisters in Christ to be real, stay close to the Lord and by all means ask HIM not Oprah or anyone else.

  2. Hey Darla, I would consider this pos t”preaching to the choir” when it comes to you. I completely agree with you. And you are one to teach awareness to this properly. I see so many Christians jump on a band wagon and they don’t even know the facts on what they are fighting. I think John de a nice job of laying things out.

  3. 3 Darla

    😆 John did a nice job, and obviously did his homework, I did look at all of them.

  4. I think the thing that bothers me the most about all of this is the fact that people are treating this like it is a new problem. Christ followers have a responsibility to know their Bible and react and act the way Christ did in these situations.

    2 Peter 2:1-3 says, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift desturction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be maligned and in their greed they will exploit you with false words, their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”
    This is not new…

    Deuteronomy 3:1-5 describes Moses instructions on how to deal with them, as they were running rampant in Israel in his time as well.

    Warnings against false prophets/teachers were given in Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Zachariah…to name afew in the OT and Jesus Himself in the NT as we are told they will come “in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” Hard to detect, but they come and mislead with foolish visions, dreams, and divinations…we, Christ followers, have the responsibility to understand scripture so that we can identify them.

    “No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation”…which is what is going on, “for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoken from God” Peter says this….

    Paul warned the Ephesian elders as well, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock….I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.”

    Sorry to take up so much, but I get irritated when people are so ready to jump and crucify, when the reponsibility is plainly on the follower of Christ to recognise and know what to do. Get into His word…

  5. Deb, right on. You take up as much space as you want. I think you nailed the perspective we need to have as Christians. It is not about proving Oprah wrong, it is about declaring God’s truth for all to see. This may mean pointing out the wrong, but it is not about Oprah, it is about the truth.

    I have always loved how people are trained to notice counterfeit money. they don’t study the counterfeit’s they study the real thing. So, when the counterfeit comes along, it is obvious to them. They know the truth and study the truth. I love that. Christians could benefit from this kind of living. Know the real thing and when the false on comes along, it is clear.

  6. Thanks B, excellent correlation with the money. Oprah has been building her following for many, many years…she has always denied Christ as the Way and the Truth…now that her following has reached millions because of this “new revelation” people are shocked.

    And, does the her following size really mean that much..yes it’s huge, but God is not surprised. i think He is more surprised that it has reached this magnitude without intervention from His followers before now.

    I think we need to be just as aware of the false techings in the few as in the multitude. That’s how all of this began.

  7. I agree Deb. We have to do our part. Responsibility!

  8. We get Oprah here – sadly.

    I say sadly not because of who she is and what she does but because while we Aussies are watching Oprah (and David Letterman and Jerry Springer and Dr Phil and Ellen and – you get the idea) we are not watching any Australian commenters or audiences or listening to the voice of Australians and what we as a nation think – we’re being brainwashed into what YOU think – way ‘over there’! – That saddens me greatly. (But not enough to stop blogging with a predominantly American ‘Audience’ 😉 )

    I have listened to what Eckhart Toller has to say and his story is quite a remarkable one.

    He actually did exactly what Jesus did at the start (whether he continues to today is ‘debatable’). He gave up his earthly life – completely walked away from it – and started life ‘Anew’ from nothing.
    He even as far as practicable walked away from all his old ‘beliefs’ and saw the world through new eyes and thought processes.

    He tried to die to his old self and commenced living a new one as God (hopefully?) led him.

    I am not saying he got everything right or follows truth perfectly – i’m saying he did more than most of us and had more to lose than most of us at the time to walk in the Path of Jesus.

    I think many Christians today seem to feel about him much the same way that many Jews seemed to feel about Jesus 2000 years ago.

    That he blasphemes the word of God and preaches heresy.

    He may indeed do that – i am not saying he could not be a false prophet and do not intend following him or reading his book(s). I do believe that many of us get it so very wrong when we believe what we believe when we read Scripture and try putting it into ‘practice’ in our own lives.

    I believe we can still do that even while we are, in fact, doing ‘right’. (doing but not Living right)

    Without the Law there would be no sin – clearly as sin is all around us (or so it appears!) we have need of the Law – Jesus came to free us from it – we so don’t get how he does that yet!

    We so don’t understand even half of ‘ourselves’ and how we ‘work’.

    Without that basic understanding we lay ourselves open to any greater will and understanding – be it good or evil…. or merely indifferent.

    love <B

  9. Hey Love. One thing clear in scriptures is to let God renew our mind. It is wonderful to seek and desire a knowledge, but it is pointless if it is not God doing the teaching. Your last paragraph speaks perfectly to what I am talking about. Whatever we lay ourselves open to becomes a part of ourselves. If God is to be the one that renews, we are to lay ourselves open to nothing but His truth. Like we’ve talked about before, there is so much bias in our understanding of scripture and God, but I believe that if someone like Eckhart Toller is to lay everything down and seek, and their focus is not on seeking God, but just on seeking, they will inevitably be filled with false teaching and untruth.

    “We so don’t understand even half of ‘ourselves’ and how we ‘work’.”

    Which is why it is so crucial to stay rooted in God’s Word. Not just being taught it (Bias abounds), But to be taught and to study it ourselves and let God speak to us through it. I know God will be faithful to reveal and renew. Like Deb said…our responsibility.

  10. Thanks B for the validation and Direction (to follow Jesus – which is what i prefer to think of as ‘The Word’ (of God) while Scripture to me is more like a dictionary that provides a correct ‘definition’ but lacks the Spirit, mostly because it is ‘removed’ from me (as a living being) – through translation and being a ‘dead’ unchanging work (of Truth)).

    Re-reading that, the ‘wrong’ interpretation might be seen by some who read it – Scripture might well have been written by those IN the Spirit – i was not denying that – but it is now not a living work – ‘In Progress’ – as i hope i am being. 😉

    In the same way i can use a dictionary to write and spell correctly (or so i hope) The dictionary is not what inspires me to write – that comes from The Spirit directly (or from my own ego, or hopefully from my desire to make Truth known)

    Did that make sense? 🙂

    Follow Him – over our understanding of Scripture!

    (the catch is, for most of us, our ONLY understanding of Him (that we feel able to fully and truly rely upon) comes from Scripture – Catch 22!)

    love <B

  11. I will have to wait until returning home to watch the videos. I have seen a video clip before where Oprah talks about her difficulties with “a jealous God.” So I’ve raised my eyebrows and agreed that she is off-target on that element of scripture. Once thing that you mention in your comment B:

    but I believe that if someone like Eckhart Toller is to lay everything down and seek, and their focus is not on seeking God, but just on seeking, they will inevitably be filled with false teaching and untruth.

    I see our “seeking” always starting out here — just seeking for the unknown. Until we find Christ finding us we are still seeking the unknown and more often that not, finding lesser gods along the way. If Toller is a Christian and he is seeking the unknown, then I am right there with you. If however, he is still seeking “something” then it is not surprising to find he is off the narrow road.
    A Christian, I’ve learned, must always, always test what he is hearing, reading, and seeing. Whether its TV, blogosphere, movies, books, “Christian music”, music, or sermons from the pulpit… because what we are watching is always someone else’s interpretation.

  12. Brent,
    Good stuff….. I got a FWD the other day re: McDonalds, and how they have made a big deal of their new, corporate support for the Gay and Lesbian agenda. In my heart, I thought “well, I’ll give my business to Burger King” and Immediately, I thought about blogging it …

    Then, I stopped for a moment … all I could think about was that quote in “UnChristian” that we (Christians) seem to known more about what we are AGAINST instead of what we are FOR.

    It’s quite a dilemma … how can we be “active” in educating people about sinful practices and encouraging people to choose to support righteousness, but not coming across as “judgmental” and worse, “hypocritical”. Tough call.

    And obviously, the issue never made it to my blog, or my “outbox”.
    Fred

  13. 13 TheNorEaster

    Does anybody have any idea just how dumb a boycott of Heinz ketchup sounds…?

    It’s enough to make ya old.

    I got enough problems with worrying about all the legalism of those Modern Pharisees posing as Christians.

  14. Ric, your right. The seeker usually begins with a blank slate as Love pointed out regarding Toller. I would hope that our witness is strong enough, that one day, those starting on this journey will b interested in knowing the Christian faith, because of the Christians they have known.

    Hey Fred, That statement form unChristian has been in my mind for a long time. It is even more prevelant right now during the poilitcal season. You asked a question that I think deserves a good response.

    “how can we be “active” in educating people about sinful practices and encouraging people to choose to support righteousness, but not coming across as “judgmental” and worse, “hypocritical”. Tough call.”

    I think I am going to do a part 2 on this and talk just to that. It is not enough for me to say we respond wrong and then not give some sort of direction. I will definitely bring this up. Great thought…thanks!

    NorEaster, I am with you. I am tired of focusing on the wrong…I want to be wholeheartedly looking to Him.

  15. Hey Love, “(the catch is, for most of us, our ONLY understanding of Him (that we feel able to fully and truly rely upon) comes from Scripture – Catch 22!)”

    I know you are probably speaking to the bias…or theological stances that can be taught here. Many of which may be totally self motivated and unbiblical. But I stand on scriptures as God’s truth, so I am confident in my study of them, that God through His spirit, will allow me to see properly.

  16. Couple things:

    1. I don’t ever get these emails you speak of in this post – guess I don’t hang out with “those kinds of people”…

    2. In response to Scripture that has been cited here about looking out for false prophets, I’ve got several thoughts. First, where in Scripture does it say to kill the false prophet vs. simply beware/avoid? Secondly, (and I’m honestly trying to think of the exception) I can’t think of a single instance when we’ve killed the right guy…I mean, we usually end up killing the REAL prophets, while the false prophets carry on with their message. The corollary I see here is that if “christian/religious” people have it out for say, Oprah, those of us who take following God seriously should take a serious and long look at what she is saying/representing (e.g. she may not be the false prophet we think she may be).

    3. Actions speak louder than words…how many thousands of people’s lives have you impacted in a positive way this week? (like Oprah does…)

    4. If you want to boycott something, try the U.S. Gov’t; or Wal-Mart; or any American company that has shipped jobs “offshore”; heck, just try going for a week without consuming something that was made in China (by SLAVES).

    Brent, I appreciate you bringing this subject to light, and I think we’re of one accord in terms of being so quick to pass judegement, but geesh – haven’t we got better stuff to do? That’s the message that should be resounding from your blog.

    IMO.

  17. Looking forward to Pt. 2

  18. I’m not out to crucify anyone, I am trying to be very careful in how and what I say so as not to put that thought forward.
    I’m not angry with her or what she is doing. I think for me, my heart breaks for her. And for the many millions of people who are being duped. My heart and prayer is that they would have their eyes opened to the truth.
    Really I guess, it isn’t any different than any other religion that speaks to millions upon millions leading them away from God. It makes me more aware of just what we as followers of Christ are asked to do which is to shine His Truth. How can I do that more, better? The sense of urgency I feel to do so.

  19. I just watched the video.

    It’s an infomercial for a book. This is concerned Christianity – it’s marketing.

    Oh, and it’s not just “other religions” leading people away from God – don’t forget to include the religion of Christianity in that company. This absolutely should make us as followers of His Truth sit up and sense the urgency of being lights in the world of darkness.

  20. B4 – That is true that the religion of Christianity needs to be included. It always pains me to say that, bbut it is what it is. Thank you for the reminder and clarification.

  21. Funny how things work. I posted the following quote on my blog today after listening to a Rob Bell podcast called “I Do Not Know” concerning wrestling with questions and doubt. Feels pretty appropriate to the conversation.

    People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic.

    —Tim Keller, The Reason for God

  22. Bad, I am glad you put Christians into that mix, that is the reason I wrote this post! And regarding the video, you are exactly right…and proves even more how blind Christians will allow themselves to be just to join in the bashing.

    Theressa, you are right that their eyes need to be opened. As Deb was saying earlier, we have to be faithful to showing them the truth through the example of our own lives, so that they can know it.

    Mudpuppy, Great Quote!

  23. My dear, dear fellow christian friend:
    We all know when our lord,LESUS’ANSWER to the temptations of the Satan was___IT’S WRITTEN___THREE WORDS THAT’S ALL!!!!!!!
    JESUS CHRIST,our LORD SAID,___ ” WHRER YOUR TREASURES IS WHERE YOUR HEART IS “!!!!!!!
    My dear,dear,dear fellow christian friend,here,please, allow me to REPEAT THIS SAME WEAPON OF OUR LORD JESUS’S___ “IT’S WRITTEN”!!!!!!!! THIS IS THE ALMIGHTY GOD has taught me to use to over come each hard challenge that comes alone through many years of following HIM!!!!!!!
    BUT, there, is this absolute-crucial-solid-ground-of GOD that you must stand on ____ THAT IS___FAITH!!!!!!____YOU MUST STAND ON THE GOD’S GIVEN-GROUND OF “THE FAITH” in order to be able to overcome !!!!!!!!
    **FAITH TO THE WORD OF GOD** ___is not new,as we christians all know___IT WAS USED BY OUR LORD, JESUS AS THE ULTIMATE WEAPON THAT OVERCOMED THE SATAN !!!!!!!
    But here, we must know clearly about the true,true meaning of**THIS FAITH OF GOD in GOD’S WAY** right?
    IN GOD’S meaning is that you are___ FAITHFULL TO THE WORD OF GOD___ **IN SPIRIT**____NOT IN FLESH !!!!!!! Please, allow me to repeat it again here for the sake of our christians’winning over our opponents for THE GLOY OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD !!!!!!!
    GLORY BE TO THE ALMIGHTY GOD !!!!!!!

    By nagaharu hayashi/thak you very much for your precious time, my dear fellow christian!!!
    My dear,dear friend,won’t you come to our (JESUS CHRIST,and me)weblog site, at,
    http://marchingonchristians.blogspot.com/ ,and read our posts over there,and you shall find the great,great,great message of GOD to you, and to every faithfull christian.OK?

  24. Nagaharu, thanks for stopping by and adding you thoughts.

    You are right, it is about God’s Word and faithfulness to Him and His truth.

    Thanks for your energy and passion!

  25. I left a post on John’s blog which I have just copied below, though it seems weird to duplicate it here. But that may be easier for everyone.

    “I appreciate your post here, but you make me a bit nervous. I agree that we as Christians are very quick to jump on a soap box of HATE versus LOVE the person that we may disagree with. We are told by Jesus to LOVE the person and to accept them. But we are also told to cut off any part of our life that is leading us to sin…and sin is real…make no mistake there. Jesus did NOT die on the cross and take away sin (which it seemed you may be implying in your post). Sin is very present and real. I know, I do it every day. He died on the cross and took away THE PUNISHMENT OF SIN. Throughout the Bible something innocent had to die as punishment for sin (note this is not unique to Christianity…though I digress). The punishment of sin is death, and Jesus took that punishment for anyone that will accept that he did so. If you deny it, you deny the gift of no punishment, too.

    “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    His perfection was pure innocence and He died to take away the punishment for our sin (that is so humbling). Accepting Him and recognizing that we are no longer bound by our sin is a freeing thing. But sin exists, it is dangerous, and we must be on guard against it. Alluding to any stance that sin may not exist is something every Christian should be vehemently denying. As a quick side there is also still punishment to sin…it’s call Hell. And it is as real a place as Heaven, regardless of where either of them actually physically are located. And seriously…who cares where it is…it is interesting thing to discuss and a stupid thing to divide on.

    As a quick note, I would like to say that God is a jealous God. But he is not jealous of us as I’m sure you agree with based on your post. God is jealous of any others claiming to be Him. But he is not jealous of them in character but in “claim”. Even the Bible says there are other gods humanity worships. But he is The Original and is jealous of any usurper who claims to be so.

    Jer 23:30-32 (NIV) “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Yes,.. I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,.. They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.”

    Wouldn’t you be jealous and pissed if someone claimed to be you, said a bunch of things that you did not like, and then had a bunch of people follow them and what they said with all of the followers believing that person was you? It’s the worst kind of identity theft. I believe the jealousy of God is one of the many things that is poorly understood by Christians and non-Christians alike.

    As in all things your blog is a medium to communicate truth…or untruth. I agree with you that all these things whether said by Oprah or your pastor should challenge us to study the Bible. This past Sunday my pastor preached a WONDERFUL sermon on apostasy, and promptly challenged us to be Bareans. The Church in Barea was commended for studying the Bible to find truth in what they were being told, versus just believing it because a person of authority said it. There are many false teachers out there with a HUGE following.

    I believe that if you open the Bible to study what Oprah and a Class in Miracles is teaching you will find false doctrine slapping you in the face.

    I perceive you personally are not advocating Oprah teaching these things, but it does not look like you are condemning her teaching either. Note that I’m not saying condemning “her”. You and I should love her and everyone that watches her, but we as Christians should most absolutely be challenging and openly saying that what she is teaching is flat wrong.

    Oprah has proven to be smart, witty, kind, generous, and admired by many. For these reasons she will be followed by many. As Christians both of us should be openly saying she is wrong and what she is having taught through her media empire is wrong. Denying either the true humanity or true deity of Jesus Christ is denying Jesus Christ. And he is the ONLY way to Heaven.

    Mat 24:25 (Phi) “False christs and false prophets are going to appear and produce great signs and wonders to mislead, if it were possible, even God’s own people. Listen, I am warning you.”

    Be on your guard and give no credit to the teachings of these people. Do love them, but give no credit to their teachings.”

  26. Hard to argue with that! 🙂

    Definition of a False Prophet: One who desperately wants you to listen what he/she thinks God wants you to know over what you think God wants you to know!

    Maybe we would all be better off if we stopped being slack and adopting what someone else tells us God means and find out for ourselves??

    Or is that too heretical?

    Or just too much like hard work for most?

    TV is soooo ‘tempting’ sometimes. 😉

    love <B

  27. Hey Kevin, thanks for the response and the time you put into it.

    I tend to agree with the things you are saying. You and I might have a different approach to our response in some of the issues we are discussing, but I believe we have the same concerns.

    I would say this though. I am not sure why you think I may agree with Oprah on this situation. there are things that Oprah has done that are wonderful humanitarian efforts. But, I completely disagree with what her ideas of what God and Christianity are.

    Also this post wasn’t really about agreeing or disagreeing with her, but more of our response when these issue arise. I appreciate your thoughts.

    If you get a chance, read through part 2, it might give you a little more insight into the discussion.

    Hey Love, I think there are some very valid times where someone can teach us and encourage us in God’s Word. But, every time something is taught or claimed to be truth, we need to take some time and to read and test it to scripture. I will trust God and His Spirit working within me first, but if it conflicts with His written Word, I will know it is not from Him, but maybe instead my own pride leading me away from Him.

    I believe, even in our attempt to not be swayed by false teachers or misguided leaders, we can in turn be swayed by our own intentions and pride.

  28. I am so glad to hear you say that B! 🙂

    Not because i want you to be ‘swayed’ – but because i want ALL to know how insidious is the thing(s) inside of us that lead us into error – even (or perhaps especially?) when we believe we are being/doing ‘right’.

    Jim Jones (Jonestown Massacre) Believed unto Death he was doing God’s work – SO did David Koresh (Waco).

    WE like Jesus need to be led by the Spirit.

    The problem i have with checking it against Scripture can best be illustrated by reading my post and comments to ‘By Way of Explanation’ (part 1 and 2)

    Sometimes, depending where you read and what you are looking for in Scripture you get what looks like contradictory ‘validation’.

    (Be angry – Cease from anger)

    One (now righteously) angry dude.

    <B

  29. I’m hear you Love.

    I think you’ve said something that is key!

    “Sometimes, depending where you read and what you are looking for in Scripture you get what looks like contradictory ‘validation’.”

    I think this is important. we often look to scripture to prove a point. I think that is inappropriate. we shouldn’t look to scripture to prove right or wrong, we should look to scripture as if it were a results “key”. The checks and balance is there, we only need to place “our” truths up next to it and see if they align.

  30. You keep making sense like this and i might just have to join your ‘Church’ 🙂 – 10,000 miles – that is SOME ‘outreach’ 😉

    <B

  31. “HE” does make sense…

    😉

  32. Amen. (nice reminder – was getting ‘caried away’ a little! 🙂 )

    <B


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