I recently received an e-mail regarding a new program that Oprah and her friends are advocating via her XM radio show. The program is called "A Course in Miracles." Apparently, the material for this course was delivered via an "inner voice" to a female professor several decades ago. It was published in the seventies, but only now is gaining a worldwide popularity. Some have claimed it to be the "new age Bible," though I'm not quite sure what that means.
I will first say that I like Oprah. I like her because I believe she is a woman who feels a compulsion to do good, to change others' lives, and to make wise choices. I am not, as I wrote in an e-mail earlier, one to "throw out the sinner with the sin" - or, at least I hope not to be. Therefore, what I write in the next few paragraphs is not an indictment against Oprah or any of her colleagues. I will say, however, that I believe her to be sorely - and, for the moment, treacherously - misguided.
In the Old Testament, God chooses a woman named Esther to be a part of the king's harem. She's Hebrew; the king, in turn, is not. Esther is beautiful - a characteristic that, obviously, was God-given. Her beauty is such that she is highly favored - and given the crown. Shortly after becoming queen, it is brought to Esther's attention that someone close to the king has planned a mass extermination of the Jews. Leaning on the godly wisdom of her uncle, Mordecai, Esther chooses to do something that could very well have elicited her death: she reports the possible annihilation to her husband and ends up saving her people. Of course, as Mordecai explains to her, this is no act of her own but rather, an act of Almighty God, who appoints leaders and those in positions of power to accomplish great things, to make differences, and to bring Him glory. "Esther," Mordecai essentially tells her, "you have perhaps been named queen for such a time as this."
Oprah is a woman, like most of the readers on this blog, who is trying to understand a God who loves her. But she is not walking toward truth. To be sure, she's seeking something. I am not that different from her. But my filter is guarded by the truths of Scripture. What "A Course in Miracles" teaches is derived, not from Scriptural truth, but from what I would wager is the exact opposite. As Paul wrote, we do not "struggle... against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:!2). Let there be no doubt that the teachings in this "Course in Miracles" are Satanic. I do not mean to dramatize. It is not in my nature to overreact to things of a spiritual matter. But I stand firm in my belief that anything that does not point us to a Christ who is resurrected, and upon whom alone we can depend for salvation, is a work of the enemy.
I am so flustered, my fingers so hurried as I type, my heart pounding in my chest, that I find it hard to ignore the compulsion I feel. perhaps out of the love I have for my Lord, my Savior, my Rock, my Love, my Truest Friend, to consider writing on the Nicene Creed. It seems to me that, if God has allowed Oprah a position of authority, a voice of influence, it is because we - women - are under attack. Open your eyes! This is not a time for dillydallying. Oprah's realm of influence is primarily female. Perhaps we live in an era where women are a threat like they never were before. Or. perhaps we live in an era where they are easier targets, unsure of their security in Christ. Who could doubt it? But, whether either is true, we know that, if we are under attack, we must plant our feet firmly in the truth. We must choose a veritable call to arms. This isn't about persecution or boycott. Not self-help, not religion, not church, not Bible-beating. It's about Jesus. Let us all cry out, "Give me Jesus!" and be done. It was finished, two thousand years ago. Let us not add or subtract from that one, great, critical Work.
I encourage you to visit Oprah's website. Search for the XM radio schedule and, consequently, the "Course in Miracles." It is being taught by an attractive young woman named Marianne Williamson. She looks delightful. Oh, how my heart is hurting for the women who are already under the sway of something so deceptive! And how my blood boils thinking of those whom Satan is plotting, even now, to lure into its grip.
I am led to share with you the words of the Nicene Creed - http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/nicene.htm - because it strikes me that many, many women who claim to be Christians will somehow feel a comfort or a sense of homecoming when hearing Wiliamson's interpretation of these teachings. I pray that, as women in all different places of life, with burdens and heartaches totally unique and particularly gut-wrenching, God will, in His providence and mercy, give you a check in your Spirit - in effect, the wooing of the Holy Spirit, or the very Spirit of Christ - to know that these teachings are deceptive. In sharing this information with others, take heart in remembering that God ordained the king of Persia, Cyrus - who certainly did not know Yahweh - to accomplish His purposes (2 Chronicles 36). It is not beneath nor beyond our creative God to use unbelievers.
Do not be afraid. Though we, too, have been called "for such a time as this," we have also been called to great joy, great compassion and great hope because of this Man, Jesus. He has promised that He is able to keep us from stumbling - and also, that Satan Himself is a "stumbling block, [who does] not have in mind the things of God, but the things of man" (Matthew 16:23). Let us rest - and proclaim truth! - in knowing that, though we will have troubles - and sorrows, and heartaches, and insecurities, and calamities and tragedies - in this world, we can hope! For He has overcome the world.