NewsFri Mar 7, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST
The World’s “Most Dangerous” Spiritual Guru: Oprah Begins 10-Week Online New Age Class
By John Jalsevac
March 7, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - This past Monday Oprah Winfrey, considered by many to be the world’s most influential woman, began a ten-week long online course on the best-selling book, "A New Earth," by New Age guru, Eckhart Tolle. "A New Earth" has already sold some 3.5 million copies worldwide, thanks largely to the publicity given to it by Oprah. According to Oprah, 500,000 people from across the world signed on to the first segment of the online course, to spend an hour and a half listening to Ekhart and Oprah talking about chapter 1 of the book, and taking calls from participants.
In recent years Oprah has been inviting an increasing number of representatives of new age spirituality onto her talk shows, including figures such as Marianne Williamson, Barbara DeAngelis, LaVar Burton, Richard Carlson, Betty Eadie, and many others. Oprah has strongly endorsed many of their works, and has included some of them in her "Book Club" list.
Since the beginning of this year Oprah has offered daily classes on her XM radio station on the book "A Course in Miracles.""A Course in Miracles" (or ACIM for short) was written by another major player in the New Age movement, Helen Schucman, who claims that the book was dictated to her by an interior voice, which she identifies with Jesus Christ. In that course, the listener is taught that there is no sin, is told not to make the "mistake" of "clinging to the old rugged cross," and that the name of "Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol."
Oprah, who is a self-labeled "Christian", was recently named the "most dangerous woman in the world" by Bill Keller, considered by some to be the world’s leading Internet evangelist. He accused Oprah of peddling the equivalent of "spiritual crack." Keller has been warning the subscribers of his Daily Devotional for years about Oprah and how she uses her TV program to promote every New Age philosophy in the world, including the wildly popular book and DVD last year, "The Secret," which teaches readers or viewers that simply by desiring them strongly enough, one may obtain wealth, health and happiness.
However, rarely has Oprah shown more enthusiasm for a New Age guru than for the so-called Eckhart Tolle, who takes his first name from the well-known 13th century Catholic Rhineland mystic, Meister Eckhart. Tolle is the author of several books including "The Power of Now," and, most recently, "A New Earth."
Much like many other New Age systems, Eckhart’s "spirituality" is a vague, ethereal blend of spiritual theories and ideas, gleaned from all of the world’s major religions. Eckhart promises the attainment of "inner peace" and a higher state of consciousness by utilizing methods of meditation that plunge one into the "now." He also says that mankind is in a moment of crisis, in which the race must either achieve the next stage in its evolution by attaining "higher consciousness", or destroy itself and the planet.
The title of his newest book, "A New Earth," is taken from Chapter 21 from the Book of Revelations, in which the Biblical visionary says that he "saw a new heaven and a new earth." Throughout his newest book Eckhart sprinkles quotations from Scripture, and he frequently speaks about Christ and Scripture in his talks.
The core of Eckhart’s teaching is a religious relativism, in which he eschews all rigid doctrine or exclusive claims to truth as dangerous and manifestations of "egoic consciousness." "The moment you say ‘only my belief’ or ‘our belief’ is true, and you deny other people’s beliefs, then you’ve adopted an ideology," Eckhart told the participants in Monday’s online class. "And then religion becomes a closed door."
Eckhart explains away conscience and feelings of guilt as but the consequence of years of conditioning. He told one caller, who confessed that she still feels guilt when she decides against going to church on Sunday, that she must recognize that "the voice" which tells her to go to church is simply the result of social conditioning.
One caller into the show told Oprah that she was a Catholic, and was having trouble seeing how Eckhart’s teachings could be reconciled with her Catholicism. Oprah responded that the caller must simply realize that Christianity is but one of many ways to achieve the "higher consciousness," and that the belief that one must follow a set of doctrines is a consequence of "egoic consciousness." While Christianity is a valid way to achieve high states of spirituality, it must not be considered a unique way, or a "correct way".
"Jesus," said Oprah, "came to show us Christ-consciousness…Jesus came to show us the way of the heart…Jesus came to say, ‘Look I’m going to live in the body, in the human body and I’m going to show you how it’s done.’ These are some principles and some laws that you can use to live by to know that way"
She concluded, "I don’t believe that Jesus came to start Christianity."
"What Jesus said is much deeper than what you, how the church interprets it. There’s a depth to it. And it reflects your own depth when you read it. So there’s no conflict between this teaching, which is purely spiritual, and any religion."
Oprah also indicated that there are many names that one might give to that which she calls "God", including "energy," "consciousness" and "life."
Oprah also contrasted what she called the "old" spirituality vs. the "new" spirituality, as espoused by Eckhart. "The old way is the hierarchy has the authority. Church authorities tell you how to worship in church and how to behave outside of church. The new spirituality is that you are your own best authority as you work to know and love yourself, you discover how to live a more spiritual life."
Despite Oprah and Eckhart’s reduction of Christianity to but one "way" amongst many other equally legitimate ways to God, and their calling Christ a "revolutionary" who has been misunderstood by the Church, and who simply came to manifest "Christ-consciousness", a quick search through the internet reveals that many Christians are following Oprah in attempting to fuse together the teachings of Eckhart, and the doctrines of the historical Christian church.
One writer on the message board on Oprah’s website wrote a message with the subject line, "Scared I’m replacing my religion, which I love." "I just started the book" she wrote, "and I love the idea of the book but I guess the question I keep repeating in my head is will this be replacing my religion? How do the two work together. Can someone please help ease my mind that I’m not turning on the lord."
Many of the respondents to the questioner confessed that they too had similar misgivings about the book, but "upon reflection", realized that Tolle draws from numerous Christian sources, and that he and Oprah were giving them a "deeper understanding" of their faith.
However, Keller, and a number of other Christian pastors have begun to actively warn Christians that Oprah and Eckhart’s teachings are by no means compatible with Christianity. "Oprah is now trying to be the spiritual guru to this nation," said Keller in an appearance on Fox. "Sadly, she is being used as a tool of Satan to lead millions of souls to hell with her false teachings."
Another pastor, James A. Smith Sr., writing in the Florida Baptist Witness, criticized Oprah’s "spirituality" for its emphasis on the power of the individual to define truth and reality, and to totally control one’s own life. "What this fails to acknowledge is that man dos not define reality; man does not determine what truth is," wrote Smith. "The source of truth for our decisions and power is the one true God of all reality and He has communicated plenary propositional truths to us in the Bible and remarkably, uniquely in His incarnation in Jesus Christ.
"Oprah, as with other New Agers, is not in pursuit and in communion with God."
WorldNetDaily columnist Chuck Norris, wrote about Oprah and The New Earth, "The reason Tolle’s psychology and spirituality is marketed so easy is that it is an eclectic mix of conventional and unconventional wisdom, and Western and Eastern beliefs, presented in a tolerant, non-threatening, and non-sectarian way. In other words, it’s ‘Religion Light,’ in which one can be spiritual with ‘little down and no credit.’"
Norris recommended that his readers simply sit down and read a Bible, rather than"A New Earth." "One could easily save the purchase price of ‘A New Earth’ and subsequently avoid misleading remarks by reading a Bible, which gives a much more thorough and accurate picture of life’s purpose and methods for overcoming its obstacles," said Norris.
See YouTube video of Fox interview with Bill Keller
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Oprah Winfrey Endorses Homosexuality Again With Upcoming Show
Oprah Promotes Homosexual Agenda Again Referring to Lesbians as "Married"
OPRAH WINFREY SUPPORT FOR ABORTION AND HOMOSEXUALITY
Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.
I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:
Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.
Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.
After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.
The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.
So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.
When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.
Target boycott climbs to over 1 million
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms.
The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.
“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans. Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy. Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable. And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”
Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.”
The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.
“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says.
The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children.
“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked.
There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins
CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.
Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.
At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.
“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”
The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.
“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.
“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”
“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”
Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.
But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.
The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.
Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.
“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”
Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:
The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.