By Brannon S. Howse
January 1, 2008 launched a banner year for promoters of the New Spirituality. The ubiquitous TV mouthpiece for the New Age we mentioned earlier used her XM Satellite radio program "Oprah & Friends" to host a year-long series of teachings from A Course in Miracles by Oprah and her featured guru, Marianne Williamson. Oprah and Marianne covered all 365 lessons from this seminal work of Helen Schucman.
Schucman began writing A Course in Miracles in 1965 while associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University in New York. Her book was based in large measure on her experiences channeling “a New Age Jesus” whom she believed would teach mankind how to live in these difficult times. Her Jesus gave her a “new gospel,” and she dictated the contents of the course over a seven year period. Schucman took shorthand as the voice spoke and then read the messages to William Thetford, a colleague at Columbia University, who typed the daily notes from Schucman. As in the case of Alice Bailey, I contend that Schucman was hearing from a demon (or demons) as she transcribed what he told her to write. The book was released for sale in 1976. Her 600 plus page transcription of these teachings is described by some as the "Bible" of the New Age Movement.
Some telling quotes from the book and workbook include:
- "God is in everything I see."
- A "slain Christ has no meaning."
- "The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself."
- "Jesus is a man, who is like all other men."
- "The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation."
- "There is no sin; it has no consequence."
- "Sin is defined as 'lack of Love.'"
- "...sin is not real."
- "There is no difference between your will and God's."
- “Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross’.”
- "My salvation comes from me."
Kenneth Wapnick assisted Schucman in editing A Course in Miracles and believed Jesus was "a symbol of God's love and not the historical Jesus of Nazareth".
Oprah's Non-Doctrine Doctrine
Using the talk on her talk show to hammer her congregation of millions with the messages of New Spirituality, Oprah has variously preached that:
- one of the mistakes human beings make is believing there is only one way to live;
- there are many paths to what you call God;
- there are millions and millions of ways to God; there could not possibly be just one;
- God is a feeling experience, not a believing experience;
- if God for you is still about a belief, then it is not truly God;
- God is in all things.
And in case anyone missed the message on TV, Oprah recently ratcheted up the level of instruction by teaching an online course with best-selling New Age author Eckhart Tolle. An estimated 2 million people joined Winfrey and Tolle for their virtual course in New Spirituality. In Tolle's book A New Earth (a primary resource for the online class), he quotes the Bible exhaustively, yet in such a new fashion that Oprah extols his thinking this way: “I love this quote that Eckhart has. This is one of my favorite quotes in chapter one where he says, ‘Man made God in his own image’.”
She probably feels this way because she's done such a good job of making up her own image of God—starting when she was about 27 years old. That's when, as she tells the story, she rejected the doctrine of her Baptist church because she didn't like it when her pastor claimed God is a jealous God. The notion of Divine jealously offended her, and "that's when the search for something more than doctrine started to stir within me."
Rightly Dividing Oprah's Truth
I believe Oprah's rejection of Biblical doctrine has led to her acceptance of the doctrines of demons as 1 Timothy 4:1 says will occur in the last days: "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons."
The rejection of Biblical doctrine is the reason for the current great apostasy or falling away from traditionally held Biblical truths. Journalists Richard Cimino and Don Lattin explain in their 1988 book, Shopping for Faith, that for many people "religious experience is replacing religious doctrine."
Oprah's rejection of religious doctrine—and her encouragement of others to do the same—has fostered a penchant for the lies of New Spirituality. A popular saying among those who call for a liberal, ecumenical, one -world church is that "doctrine divides, but the spirit unites." And they're right, of course. The truth of Biblical doctrine does divide. It distinguishes true converts from false ones. A preference for un-doctrine also unites the unsaved in the spirit of anti-Christ.
Nevertheless, Oprah continues to sweep people into her congregation of New Spirituality through ever more pervasive means. Helen Schucman’s teachings found in Oprah Winfrey the greatest promoter any thinker could hope for. The resulting stakes are high. Make no mistake: Biblical Christianity and New Spirituality will both lead people to God. In a sense, millions of ways do lead there. It's just that only one leads to God as Savior. All the others lead to Him as righteous Judge.
Copyright 2009 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.