by Joseph Parker
Last year Condoleezza Rice wrote an article in Times Magazine honoring Oprah Winfrey. The article begins,
I believe influence is the union of power and purpose. As a TV star, magazine founder, businesswoman and celebrity, Oprah Winfrey certainly has power. But most important, she has purpose—an abiding commitment to the principles of goodness and generosity that transcend any one individual. I have sat with Oprah in interviews and in my home. I have felt her warmth, and I am always moved by her deep love for others. She makes you want to invite her into your life—and she invites you into hers.
Click here to read the rest of the article if you have not yet done so.
In addition to many periodicals I read, I receive Chuck Colson’s daily BreakPoint newsletter.
I wonder what the very generous, often giving, ever so popular Oprah Winfrey would say about a very powerful article Chuck Colson wrote earlier this week, entitled, The Drought.
My understanding of Oprah is that she considers herself “spiritual,” and therefore draws a large following as a result (among other reasons).
And technically, she is not wrong; being all humans were created by God and in His image…therefore making everyone “spiritual.”
But what makes us different, as Christians, from other people who claim to be “spiritual”, and why is that important?
Would Oprah see a difference between herself and a Christian? Why or why not?
As Christians who are also desiring to walk through life with the widow the orphan and the poor, how are we different?
Even the Non-believer does this!
As Christians we must critically think through not just WHAT we are doing, but WHY we are doing it…what is behind our motives?
My favorite part of Colson’s article says,
Now, I hesitate to say that God has said this or that, for fear of being presumptuous—or maybe even being dismissed as a crank. But I cannot get the thought out of my head. Sunday’s newspaper and our assigned Bible study, I suppose, could have been a coincidence, but I do not think so. I think God is speaking to the Church—notice I did not say America—today.
So what is He saying? That we have been disregarding His Word. That we have been going to church to make ourselves feel good and have our ears tickled. That therapy has replaced truth. There is more than a drought; there is a famine of reading and living by the Word of God.
I think God is telling His people to repent, to get serious about what we believe, to hunger for the Word of God, to seek holy living, and to ask God’s forgiveness…
… Everybody is worried today about climate change. Well, the first step in fixing it is to get on our knees.
What would Oprah, being “Spiritual,” say about that?
For someone that has “an abiding commitment to the principles of goodness and generosity that transcend any one individual” as Ms. Rice puts it, I would think her first response would be, “Repent? For what?”
Would the “inclusive” “loving” “generous” Oprah Winfrey (accepting of virtually any and all ways of getting to God/heaven) agree with Christian’s views?
What should we, as Christians, say? Rather…how should we respond to Colson’s challenge?
Would Oprah read this and understand this is not a politically based statement, or a general call for ALL Americans to repent or change?
This is a challenge to God’s church…to God’s chosen people to repent of their sins and cry out to Him for mercy for our arrogance, laziness and complacency.
If we truly believe in the living LORD God Almighty, and desire to see and make change we must not do as the world does…by taking immediate action…for a follower of Jesus, The Christ, action comes second…maybe third.
I am not saying activism is not important…it is…but as Christians, as the Church, we MUST begin with repenting our sins (see Nehemiah 1 and Daniel 9), and devoting quality time to seeking our God in prayer on behalf of our people if we want to see and make change happen.