The Church of Oprah
by Tom Goodman
June 18, 2008
"It's the best summer school class you'll ever take!"
That's the banner on Oprah.com, promoting an online class with Oprah Winfrey discussing the new book A New Earth with author the author, Eckhart Tolle. A new semester began last Sunday night.
At Hillcrest this Sunday, June 22, we'll examine what they're learning.
The more research I do for this message, the more impressed I get with Oprah. She's generous, informative, and inspiring. One of her associates referred to Oprah as "a serial sharer," and she's shared her life with millions each
afternoon. Her childhood abuse, her favorite purchases, her struggles against weight gain, her charitable causes, and even her spiritual search have become topics for her shows.
But when it comes to her spiritual search, she has chosen the wrong guides to help her. Most recently she's been attracted to the esoteric lessons of Eckhart Tolle, a writer who presents New Age concepts in Christian language. Even the
title of his latest book -- "A New Earth" -- comes from a verse in the Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. When she picked his book for her popular "Oprah's Book Club" in January, she exclaimed, "I think this can change the
After her recommendation, sales of his book skyrocketed to 4 million in a matter of weeks. Then, when she announced that she and Tolle would join together to lead an online seminar through the book in March, half a million people from 139 countries tried to log on the first night, shutting down the server. Two million people experienced the first 10-week semester and, as I said, a new semester began last Sunday evening.
"There is the Church of Oprah now," her longtime friend said to Newsweek with a laugh. "She has her own following."
The Bible can help us evaluate the concepts that Tolle has introduced to Oprah and, through her influence, to millions of others. Our lesson on June 22 will help you develop discernment.
Join us this Sunday at 9:30am or 10:45am!
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