Trust and Obey – There is no Other Way

While some people are worried about Obama being the Antichrist, others have found the true deceiver:


Yep. She poses as a sweet, passionate, successful, charitable woman. But behind all those tear-jerking smiles lies a devil of a woman, biding her time until she can steal all our souls away.
In case you haven’t heard, I’m referring to the Oprah incident when she “denies Christ.”

Go to Google, type in “Oprah denies Christ” and a YouTube video on the subject will automatically pop up. Watch it. It’s interesting.
Oprah apparently had some New Age guest on her show, talking about – what else? – spirituality. Sometime during the after-show discussion comes a question from an audience member who demands to know, “What about Jesus?!” (I’ll get into why later.)
After some slightly heated discussion, Oprah says (rather unwisely, I’ll admit), “Jesus can’t possibly be the only Way!”

Oh! Oh, no! The Truth is revealed: Oprah is not a kindly doer of good at all, but clearly a bitter, demonic woman who has abandoned her Baptist background to pursue a more, shall we say, worldly path.

Before we get into the meat & potatoes of this post, let’s take a moment to review some of the more illuminating comments concerning Oprah’s blasphemy (grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are unchanged):

~This is probably the nicest one, so I’ll post it first: I won’t belittle or demean you or make fun of you Oprah, but I will pray that you in someway see the light, before it’s too late, and come to know that Jesus is your savior.
~Oprah is a moron. Can anyone tell me how this woman became as successful as she is???? It’s beyond me.
~In response to the above comment: She sold out, and the Devil doesn’t resist her. She doesn’t have to struggle.
~The OPRAH show…. Black Liberation Theology prep school. Whites only.
~She can (blank) off.
~(God) does not say only people that heard of me get to the Father. He does not say anything about those people. Oprah should read C.S.Lewis mere Christianity
~This is by far the most amusing: Obama is Oprah’s God.

All right, that’s enough of that. Now that we’ve covered the negative responses (I won’t bother with the positive ones; they were few and far between), let’s talk about what Oprah actually said, and let’s try to keep it in context, please.

To start with: an audience member, a woman, says that she believes there is a God, and also a power of darkness (Satan, if you will). The audience claps. Oprah asks the woman if you can choose to follow one or the other – “Absolutely,” says the woman. More applause.
After a few more seconds of talking, Oprah brings up a certain book. She says this: “One of the mistakes human beings make is that there is only one way to live…there are millions of ways to be a human being.”
The woman speaks up again, but I have no idea what she was trying to say, because Oprah interrupts with this – “There couldn’t possibly be one way!”
Is she talking about more than one way to follow God, or is she talking about being a human being? Both, I believe. But don’t start fretting quite yet.

Another woman starts arguing with an obnoxiously rude tone of voice, complete with aggravating hand gestures. She states, “There IS only one way!” and talk about people “buying into the lie” and accusing Oprah of intellectualizing the issue. I guess you could say she had a “righteous anger,” akin to Jesus when he wreaked havoc in the Temple, but personally, I felt she was just obnoxious.

This is Oprah’s rebuttal:

Oprah: Do you think, do you think that if you are somewhere on the planet…if you are somewhere on the planet and you never hear the name of Jesus, you never hear the name of Jesus, but yet you live with a loving heart, you lived as Jesus would have had you to live, you lived for the same purpose that Jesus came to the planet – to teach us all – but you are in some remote part of the earth, and you never hear the name of Jesus, you cannot get to heaven, you think? Does God care about your heart, or does God care about if you call his son Jesus?
Woman (stammering):
Well, Jesus cannot come back until that gospel is preached in the four corners of this earth. So, if you don’t figure it out… (trails off)
Oprah: Okay. Okay, I cannot get into a religious argument with you.
Woman: It’s not religion, Oprah!

And the clip cuts off.

Here’s how I see it. Oprah said a really stupid thing. She cut off an audience member and said, “There can’t possibly be only one way!” She insinuated that anyone who disagreed with her was an idiot.
You almost can’t blame the other woman in the audience for becoming upset. But she ultimately made herself look like a fool. In my mind, Oprah brings up a valid point, a question that no theologian can comfortably answer. What about those people who never hear Jesus’ name? If they live a basically moral life, if they look at the trees and the sunset and believe that some heavenly being created it all, if they do their best to be good…what kind of a God would punish that person?
Posed with that question, the woman goes off on a completely different subject. If you believe the Bible, Jesus won’t come back until the gospel reaches every place on earth (so there’s a good chance Jesus ain’t coming back, but that’s another topic for another day). But what does that have to do with all the people right now who don’t have the benefit of missionaries preaching the Word to them? Do those people just chill in limbo until Jesus comes back? Do they go to heaven? Do they go to hell? Or what about the people before Jesus? Where are they? And the people who lived during Jesus’ life?
I like to think that there is a chance for those people to go to heaven. I can’t prove it; nobody can. Oprah can’t. That woman in the audience can’t disprove it, though, that’s for sure.

Let’s face it: Oprah made a mistake. She should not have belittled anyone’s religious feelings – she has the right to, certainly, but at the very least it’s a bad PR move, and she’s had enough of those lately. But once the topic was open, she made some valid points that people are ignoring. Oprah didn’t say Buddhists go to heaven, or Muslims, or Satanists, or Taoists. The specific example she brought up didn’t concern other religions – it concerned what you believe in your heart.

On a different, yet similar note, one of my favorite bands is the Newsboys. They’ve got this excellent, catchy song called “Step up to the Microphone.” I love it. I play it in the shower and sing along. But part of the chorus never fails to upset me.
I said, hey man, there’s only one way. One God, one body, one faith alone, if you don’t know, then you need to be told.
Essentially saying, “Have you not heard? TOUGH LUCK.”

To find a similar discussion of this problematic question, I would advise you to read C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, particularly The Last Battle, which is the final book in the series. [Minor spoiler] There is a situation in the book in which a man who essentially followed Satan his entire life goes to heaven at the end. He’s confused as to why, since he finally realizes he’s been following the wrong deity. Aslan explains that a good deed cannot truly be done in the name of Tash (the Devil). And a bad deed cannot truly be done in the name of Aslan (God). [End spoiler]
I like that philosophy. It’s sweet and merciful, like I believe God is.

So if you’re going to rant and rave against Oprah, rant and rave against C.S. Lewis, too. Or at the very least, rant and rave against her for the Sarah Palin controversy, not for something she never, ever said.

Published in: on September 10, 2008 at 9:08 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That’s one thing I always argue about with mainstream Christians who truly believe that good people who aren’t Christians are going to hell. Mormons don’t believe that. They believe everyone gets a chance to hear about the truth, in this life or the next. No one is consigned to Hell for their circumstances. That’s a pretty unfair thing to assume about an otherwise merciful God.

  2. That’s pretty interesting; I never knew that about Mormons. I also like that idea. Personally, I believe that while there is a hell, God gives people another chance – and another – and another – to go to heaven.
    I know all about the story of rich man and Lazarus, I know about the hardening of Pharoah’s heart, I know about all of that; still, I believe what I choose to believe.

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