The 'church of Oprah' – What is it? Is Eckhart Tolle's 'A New Earth' consistent with biblical Christianity?
Oprah's influence on our culture and her interest in Eckhart Tolle's book A New Earth have caused some to call her the leader of her own cult.
Oprah Winfrey's show peaked at an astounding 10 million daily viewers. Much of her show promotes things that are good. More recently, however, her spiritual beliefs—which are not biblical—have become a more central part of the show. Oprah believes there are many, many ways to reach or connect with "what some call God." She promoted Tolle's book on her Book Club, on her website, and in partnership with him on a weekly webcast. In the Spring of 2017 she produced a 10-part television show on Tolle and the book.
Because of Oprah's influence and following by some who believe her to have some sort of special wisdom, some critics say she has built a following akin to a cult. Though her following is sometimes referred to as the "church of Oprah" there is no such organization or denomination. Oprah does not acknowledge the Bible as God's special revelation nor Jesus Christ as the sole avenue to the Father (John 14:6). She does purportedly offer ways for her listeners and viewers to live a life of purpose, peace, self-worth, and spiritual freedom.
Tolle, a New Age author and speaker, promotes personal divinity. Though he sometimes quotes the Bible and refers to biblical principles, his view of Christianity is skewed, warped, heretical, and sometimes even blasphemous.
In the first chapter of A New Earth, he misquotes Jesus, supports millions of years of evolution, supports flowers and crystals as manifestations of the Universal Consciousness, and lumps Jesus in with Buddha and others as special people. He supports Buddhism as truth, alongside Christianity, and writes of his support also of Gnosticism—an early heretical view of Jesus. He dismisses original sin as a forgetting of our connection with the Source, and describes heaven as an "inner realm of consciousness."
The core of Tolle's spiritual teaching is that each person can train themselves for salvation—heaven is simply a state of consciousness achieved through one's own power and Jesus is nothing more than a spiritual master who taught people to look within themselves for spiritual release. This is akin to Satan's original lie: "you will be like God" (Genesis 3:5).
This mashup of spiritual salad Tolle has concocted simply is not biblical and Oprah's full-fledged support of his ideas is a mistake. The only thing their teaching offers is deception.
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