Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sunday Devotions: A New Oprah - Christians Beware!

In the next couple of weeks, our church will be studying a book that has been highly recommended by Oprah Winfrey. It’s called “A New Earth” and is written by Eckhart Tolle. He writes about a new evolutionary spiritual transformation that he believes will take place this century amongst enlightened people. He draws from the teachings of Christ and Buddha, as well as the theories of Carl Jung. It’s a typical new age type of book, but his hope is that it becomes sacred scripture in the years to come.

Podcast version here

I’ve read the first chapter and already I’ve come across several areas where Tolle’s teaching misinterprets Christ. He relies upon his own feelings about Jesus as a great teacher and messenger to make his points. He does not proclaim Christ as the Son of God or Lord of all creation. Tolle also avoids calling our mistakes sinful; instead he declares them to be a form of madness which, in effect, does two things: it takes away personal accountability and it discards the need for Jesus to die for our sins.

John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

The book troubles me and I am sincerely sorry that Oprah has become involved and infatuated with this false teaching. It is countering Christ’s message and duping many women into believing the old heresy that salvation comes from within us.

I will be leading a ten week discussion about the book to show people where it dangerously digresses from Christian teaching, in order to help them avoid the pitfall of accepting popular superficial spirituality, as opposed to the deep meaning of Christ’s Gospel.

The discussions will take place at the church on Monday nights beginning May 5 and on Sunday mornings on May 11. I’ll also be starting a new online study class during the week of May 5 -11, so if you would like to be included, please send me an email at pastor@erinpresbyterian.org. Put “A New Earth” in the subject line of your email.

Some people may wonder why I am tackling this. It’s because in every generation, we have to defend our faith from misconceptions, mistaken beliefs, and misleading spiritual teachers. It’s properly called Apologetics, and has been in existence ever since the New Testament was written down.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are our Holy Teacher and Sacred Guide. You are the Prophet and Messenger of the Gospel. But You are also much more than these – You are the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, and the Only One with the words of eternal life. Keep us focused on Your ways and keep us away from false teachers and superficial celebrities, whose teachings are not Your own. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

3 comments:

Andrew Whaley said...

An interesting study might be to read A New Earth alongside Osteen's Live Your Best Life Now which is supposedly a "Christian" text. Make sure to look into the origins on "New Thought Philosophy" when looking into background for this (which includes the likes of Mary Baker Eddy).

Doug Hagler said...

Yeah, I'm not so sure there's much about Osteen that's actually Christian in a meaningful sense.

And you have to admit - A New Earth sounds like a big step up from The Secret, one of Oprah's previous crazes.

Stushie said...

I got into trouble with a parishioner recently for criticising Osteen from the pulpit. She's still upset with me, but that's what we have to do as pastors - help the flock see the wolves.

Thanks for reading and commenting on the post.