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Oprah says God behind success of show
Oprah Winfrey, seen in this file photo, told her audience in her final show that God had led her life, even when she didn't realize it.
May 25th, 2011
07:13 PM ET

Oprah says God behind success of show

By Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN) - Oprah Winfrey closed her sentimental final show with the words, "I won’t say goodbye, I’ll just say until we meet again."

Then, after a subtle pause, she added, "To God be the glory.”

With her work done, she walked through the audience and left the set of her talk show. During the show's 25-year run, she interviewed more than 30,000 people and won more than 40 Emmys. The credits rolled as she walked the hallways of the Harpo complex, saying goodbye to her staff.

She has been one of the most influential people in America, if not the world. Commentators looked at the power she held over her audience, and some people even likened her viewers to members of a cult.

Winfrey professed her faith and her belief in God, but over the course of the show, some observers saw her more as a spiritual person than a Christian.

In her last show, Winfrey took several minutes to speak to her belief that God - and her staff - were behind the show's success.

"People often ask me what is the secret to the success of the show," she said. "How have we lasted 25 years. I non-jokingly say, my team - and Jesus."

It was a remark that drew applause from the studio audience but also may make Christian commentators take notice.

Kathryn Lofton, who has watched more than 2,500 episodes of the show, said she had recorded the finale and would watch it later tonight. But her friends were texting her about the episode.

Lofton, a professor of U.S. religious history at Yale University and the author of "Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon," was intrigued that Winfrey had mentioned Jesus, since she had used his name sparingly on air.

"Early on (in her career) she was more comfortable in saying that but over time began to use this more universal language of 'spirit,'" said Lofton, who wrote about Oprah's final show for CNN's Belief Blog.

Lofton says Winfrey wants to be viewed as someone who "translates and understands herself as a Christian woman" but reflects a modern attitude about religion and religious institutions.

And that has angered a few folks.

In 2008, Winfrey endorsed the book "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose," helping it sell more than 3.5 million copies after the talk-show host selected it for her book club. Winfrey and the book's author, Eckhart Tolle, took part in a webinar in which she angered some Christians by saying that Jesus didn't come to die on the cross.

"It really was about him coming to show us how to do it, how to be, to show us the Christ-consciousness that he had and that that consciousness abides with all of us," she told the audience.

One viewer even asked the question on the Oprah.com message boards: Is Oprah a Christian?

Pistis07 wrote: "I was surprised because I had always thought she was a Christian but after flicking through her website and watching clips of more shows where she seems to be promoting a type of New Age religion and books from 'New Age spiritualists,' I really doubt that she is a Christian in the way Jesus explained and most Christians understand. Or perhaps she's just confused about the nature of God."

It was an issue her critics seized on. They said she wasn't promoting the God of the Bible but instead was indoctrinating her audience into a New Age spiritualism.

Authors Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett say as much in their book, "'O' God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah's Spirituality." Sterrett told Crosswalk.com in October 2009 that Winfrey "reflects the common American practice of choosing whatever beliefs seem most attractive and leaving the rest."

Her message in the final years of her show was that the truth of life was within the individual, several commentators have said.

"Christians aren't people who have gotten in touch with their inner selves, but those who actually have Christ living inside of them through the Holy Spirit," McDowell told Crosswalk.

What Winfrey tried to get across is her belief that there wasn't just one right way to be connected to God, Lofton argues.

"The only right way is the way that she herself articulates and embodies, which is multiplicity," she said. "You can be many things. There are many paths to God, she says. It's that multiplicity which very much marks contemporary religious life."

Winfrey wanted to make sure that everyone knew she wasn't being ambiguous about her faith. In her final show, she spoke of how God has always been there, a voice whispering. And that her faith, while it might seem different than the one taught in religious institutions, was at its roots the same: It all centers on one thing.

"Nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me," she said. "For all of you who get riled up when I mention God and you want to know which God I'm talking about, I'm talking about the same one you're talking about. I'm talking about the Alpha and the Omega. The omniscient. The omnipresent. The ultimate consciousness. The source, the force, the all of everything there is. The one and only, G-O-D. That's the one I'm talkin' about."

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • God • Jesus • TV

soundoff (675 Responses)
  1. delrose

    If you take a critical look at this woman I think most will find someone who was able to touch millions of people through unbiased dialogue. She was able to bring guests to her show that ran the gammit of diversity and controversy and do it in such a way that, you the viewer, heard and saw situations never addressed before. Oprah was able to do this with class and respected the opionions of the people she interviewed. That is a very hard task to remain neutral when you disagree. Also must add that the "Book Club" was a tremendous success...I will certainly miss that

    May 26, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • No

      She recieved $$$$ from the publishers and authors of her books, those cars and gifts she gave away were tax write offs...if Sally Jesse Raphael or Springer suddenly became billionaires, they would probably look classy too...but they are not. She is materialistic and self absorbed. She is thanking Jesus for her success, and it is disgusting...she should thank her inflated ego and the compaanies that advertise during her time slot, because people like YOU buy into her 'feel good' 'buy this' BS.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • asdelrose

      Just saying...I am a reader of books and through her ability to bring certain authors to the forefront I was able to experience hours of wonderful stories (non-fiction & fiction). I don't give a damn about what kickbacks were received and who she passed them on to...I certainly didn't receive any, but I did receive notable literature. Don't knock everything she was able to do....some of it was actually brillant

      May 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • No

      Thereis no doubt in my mind that she has done good. And I think it is wonderful that your were able to gain something positive from her program.But, she did it in a way that was less than admirable. This is my personal opion, but I do not think these acts of kindness were selfless.The fact that she made it a point to proclaim to the world that she was so benevolent and giving made her contributions seem less about the charity and those recieving the aide, and more about her. She names everything O, or oprah, cashing in on her good name instead of giving her programs and magazines a chance for success on their own merit. I suggest you find a local book club, a group of people you enjoy, somewhere you can discover great literature, without contributing to someone's vast amounts of wealth. But it is a difference on how you and I view the world, some people can listen to a song of an artist and care less about what kind of person they are, I on the other hand, can not appreciate a song if I do not respect the artist.

      May 26, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • asdelrose

      No...you are correct and I agree that the "O" has brought her millions (I should say billions) to her coffers. But here's the thing...I never watched the show, yet I was an advocate of her book club. She did not author these books, she just propelled them onto our reading lists. Most celebraties are way over rated and viewed by the general public as icons...very shallow view as far as I am concerned. I don't need a book club...the Wall Street Journal keeps me informed. I think the point I was trying to make is that reading is so important to keep you, I and our youth informed. She was a proponent of this and for that I tip my hat.

      May 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  2. YBP

    Jesus, a first century Jew, wouldn't have touched Oprah, a black woman, with a ten-foot pole, for fear of becoming ritually unclean. Look into it.

    May 26, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • R2R

      Please read John 4 (and anything else in the Gospels), and you'll find that you're mistaken.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Troy

      Actually, Jesus didn't do the "normal" of his day. Black, White, Jew or Gentile. He spoke truth to whom ever.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • person who has read the New Testament

      I've looked into it and scripture shows that Jesus was okay with touching people who were unclean. He didnt have "fear" of the religious leaders and their ceremonies. He broke social barriers and norms by talking to Samaritans,being touched by an unclean woman, touching lepers, healing on the Sabbath, and even telling Peter to eat "unclean" animals in Acts. So if we are talking about the same Jesus then I think you are mistaken.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • For crying out loud...

      Ummm.... what? Even most secularists would probably disagree with you there. In fact, that's one of the things Jesus was most famous for, and one of the things which Pi$$ed off the religious establishment so much.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  3. Phatman

    It appears many feel there is no universal truth, but truth is "in the eye of the beholder". I used to think truth was a matter of perception, and perception was reality. (To each his own). I was wrong, and so are those who feel that way. Some of you argue there can be no God, since there is so much misery in the world (death, disease, children eating out of garbage cans). Or, if there is a God, in the face of all that he must not be a just and loving God. That is like saying there are no teachers in the world, since there are so many ignorant and uneducated people. The teacher would argue that is an unfair assumption. A teacher can not be held responsible for those who do not come for learning, or those who come but do not listen. I think that is God's argument as well.

    May 26, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • BigHairyScot

      If there is a God, his way of thinking and acting are so far beyond human intellect and comprehension it would be silly as a human to even attempt to speak for him. So humans really need to stop attributing every great thing that happens, or all the sh%$ty things that happen to this all powerful being.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  4. alex

    She is a Billionaire. Doesn't sound like she spent too much on the 'poor' and lowly if she is still a billionaire. Relative to everyone else's income I dont' her generosity is that great. She just tells us when she gives. And all those cars and gifts given out on her show were paid for by the advertisers not HER. Its easy to spend some else's money.

    May 26, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • mk2

      Alex, I wish she would have donated money to you so that you could have some grammar lessons before posting.I am also certain that she has donated more than you have so if you want to donate a billion dollars , do what she did and just do it and stop talking garbage.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • IAmRight

      @alex: give

      May 26, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • debbie

      Do you see how you got sucked in by it all? Now you look like a jealous fool. I'm not her biggest fan, but I do know that she gives millions to charities to help all people. She came from poor, she knows what she needs to do and she does it. You have a lot of other grounds to challenge her on, but this one isn't going to fly. Pick another one.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Jenn

      She doesn't have to tell the world every time she helps someone out, she gives more then any person in Hollywood. Yes she has billions and has done many amazing things in the world to help those in need with her billions but it doesn't always make headline news. Yes advertiser gave those things for her to give to others but don't you realize without such an amazing women behind a show like that those people never would have received the gifts they did. Those big companies gave those gifts because of the women Oprah is, to be affiliated with such an amazing women, role model. You don't seam to understand how any of this works and feeling as though she didn't give much of herself to the world shows me you don't understand Oprah nor what she represents. Sucks you had to write such a comment about a women who will forever be remembered by the world as someone who changed the lives of millions.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  5. Reggie White

    I love Oprah! Be blessed, my sister!

    May 26, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  6. kindasorta

    And now, Stedman, how did he figure into Oprah's "religion." Another gift from God? Or another example of how she followed the religion of Oprah, with its four or five commandments?

    May 26, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • debbie

      Just so that I understand, are you saying that a Christian woman cannot have a boyfriend?? She's not a Catholic nun. Why are there so many fools on this page?

      May 26, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  7. JC

    I like the good that she has done. I really thought her last show was terrible. All about me and preaching about how to live. Easy for a billionaire!

    May 26, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • debbie

      That's all that her 25 years of shows have been about – ALL of them. I don't understand why so many people felt that they had to hang on her every word. She's just really not all that.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  8. Joe Fattal

    Jesus has nothing to do with her of being filthy rich.

    May 26, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  9. Doug DeLong

    In today's world with instantaneous media and powers that struggle to dominate the airwaves and our minds that are not always positive or life-affirming; Oprah Winfrey and her show were a breath of fresh air. Nothing made Jesus angrier than the hypocrisy and endless arguments over minor doctrinal issues engaged in by the Scribes and Pharisees of his day. To those who want to blemish and harm Ms. Winfrey's career by calling into question here faith in Christ I say that perhaps you should go back and re read the book that you worship and find the spirit of the law versus the letter of the law. In closing, Christ had an easy way for all of us to determine if something was good and right and that was to see what sort of fruit that which we were examining actually bore. Did Ms. Winfrey bear the fruit of bringing people together and enhancing life and our relations with one another? Yes and for me that's pretty good fruit. Thank you Oprah for your hard work and dedication to improving the status of humanity.

    May 26, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Steve

      I can see how the scribes and pharisees would have been confused by "the details" since the bible is so hyprocrital. After all God commanded someone to be put to death for simply picking up sticks on the sabbath...probably to build a fire to keep his family warm and yet jesus says "the sabbath was meant for man not man fort he sabbath". Father believed in the letter of the law..not the spirt. Also "the law" according to Jesus in Matthew was stated to be in existence until ALL things were complete and yet later on it is void as irrelevant, how shifty god is.

      Also, the ultimate good, from Jesus' perspective, was worship of him, everything else is secondary and would result in eternal torment..nice eh? Sure do a few good acts, heal a blind individual (not blindness unfortunately) and cast out some demons but if you don't listen to my message oh I am coming back with vengeance! Fact is people such as Oprah, like many in this world, want to eliminate the awful aspects of christianity while still retaining the good parts. They want the legitimacy of ancient tradition without the barbarism's of that same time period. Fact is, people want to understandably reject Fundamentalism while retaining the best aspects of tradition within which they have an emotional investment. Ultimately it is a rationalization that does not fit, you cannot embrace the good parts while discounting the bad parts. Ultimately Oprah was a net good and in many ways is a representation of the general public at large when it comes to religion. Anti-fundamentalist, yet spiritual with a retention of the best parts of the bible.

      May 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  10. Brad

    Yet she endorses New Age babble like "The Secret".

    AND she talked on her show about being in control of your own life and only you can do it..all the while talking about an omnipotent god. Like most believers her belief system is a hodgepodge of "whatever works for me" without a regard for internal consistency!

    I personally am glad to see her finally go off the air. she has been infecting people with psycho babble and new age stuff for too long. Time for her masses to think for themselves!

    May 26, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  11. PraiseTheLard

    Her success is easily explained by H.L. Mencken's observation: No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

    That's not unrelated to the apparent "success" of the religious groups that abound...

    May 26, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Leroy MM

      Your life must suck.

      Racist.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  12. matt

    If people want to believe in God, good for them. If people don't want to believe in God, good for them. On either side of the issue, people do things to help themselves, wether that be in becoming an Atheist or a Religious person. What right, do we as individuals, have to critisize what the next persons belief system is? If it works for them that they find solace and understanding in religion, or that they find logic and peace in Atheism...so be it. I would personally add that spirituality is defined by the individual, whatever that may be, its not etched in stone.

    May 26, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Canada

      Well Put! I completely agree!!!

      May 26, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Jared

      You're correct in that we shouldn't shout each other down. The only problem is that your idea of "live and let live" is short-sighted regarding the Christian world-view.

      I know you and others reading this may be quick to reply, "Who says you (Christians) are right?" but that's not my point. If Christianity *is* true, then there is a consequence to rejecting it. It's not about being right or wrong and not stepping on toes. I and all sincere Christians simply wish to show others how to avoid an eternity apart from God and the terrible reality that comes with it.

      Consider this: all religions can be wrong, but they cannot all be right. Jesus said that he was the only way to God. He's either right or wrong. That completely contradicts all "many paths to God" ideas. Either Jesus is wrong, or he's the Son of God and we had all better take heed.

      As for Oprah, no one can know the truth of her relationship with God. What I find alarming is that some of the things she teaches stands in stark contrast to the Bible. I find this concerning because her popularity and status could lead many people astray.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  13. Adrian

    It always seems to amaze me that the subject of God or religion can conjure up so many different "OPINIONS"...because in the end your beliefs are just that "your beliefs".

    May 26, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  14. Daniel

    Funny how you can see in parts of the world kids eating out of garbage dumps but big stars and football players say it's jesus who helped them make lots of cash or win the big game......just another example why it makes more sense to be an atheist!

    May 26, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Chris P

      Your argument makes no sense.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Leroy MM

      Daniel-

      I stubbed my toe this morning. This proves that aliens do exist.

      Racist.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • John

      Chris – yes, the argument does make sense.

      These billionaires credit Jesus for their success.

      Why would a god care about Oprah getting rich, while ignores the pleas of desperate, innocent starving children? It makes no sense. A god would NOT do that. Hence, it's more sensical to not believe in a god. Duh...

      May 26, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Mick

      Chris P – I believe he's asking why God helped Oprah become rich and famous, while ignoring people who have nothing to eat. Atheists don't have to lose sleep wondering about these kinds of questions.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @Mick: Actually, some of us atheists did lose sleep over it for a brief time until we drew the only sensible conclusion.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Jared

      Let's look at the argument here... the *rich* are giving credit to God, not the other way around. God did not say, "I made sure [insert person here] made lots of money."

      While there's nothing wrong with giving credit to God (it's a great thing to do), it is wrong to use bad logic to make a point. Because a rich person gave credit to God, God doesn't exist? What?

      May 26, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  15. Heartfelt

    Questioning one's faith is a waste of time because no man knows the heart but GOD. We as humans can judge what is somewhat in the heart by what is spoken but no one really know for sure what other think or feel. Also I see that there are many on here that are of great faith and I'm not talking about the believers. At the end of your time on this earth do Not worry about being burnt worry about being seperated from the creater for all of eternity. We all have a destiny that we change because GOD loves us and lets us have a free will. We are NOT robots.

    May 26, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  16. Mattski

    That's a strange God that will orchestrate a success story like Oprah's while billions of His children live every day starving or at war. She must be special...

    May 26, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Darren

      Another celebrity that believes in a man in the sky. She's no better than Tim Cruise. BEAM ME UP JESUS!

      Hopefully God tells her to fork out some of those billiions to help people that aren't so blessed.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Carolyn

      A diamond is just a rock – its humans who put value into things.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • maggie

      God has nothing to do with human greed.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  17. B

    Typical. People care more about labels and classifications than they do about the fact that this is a woman who touched and helped people, and actually DID "god's" work for 25 years..... but that doesn't seem to matter.... Christians are pathetic. Stop talking about how good of Christians you are, and actually practice what you preach! Actions speak louder than words! Or is that just too difficult and inconvenient?...

    May 26, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • debbie

      You've got too many issues – go take a nap.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  18. HamsterDancer

    No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what HE means.
    George Bernard Shaw

    One of the tragedies of religion is that people not only want someone to believe in their religion but that they want you to believe in THEIR interpretation of that religion. Many Christians celebrate Xmas with a tree and Santa Claus but right down the street another family considers all of that pagan influences and THEY are true Christians for not having any of that.
    Oprah was just expressing the spiritual beliefs that have given her strength. That's all. If they are not yours, then don't worry about. Believe or don't believe whatever makes your worldview happy.

    May 26, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • debbie

      Bravo! Great post.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  19. Visionary

    Most people accept that Oprah is a good person, but that is not the same thing as being a Christian. The word Christian means "like Christ". Jesus Christ said that He is "the Way the Truth and the Life, no man (or woman) comes to the Father (Heaven) except through Me". The gospel that Oprah preaches sounds nice, but it is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Buddism, Hinduism and many other Eastern Religions sound nice, but they contradict the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    If you believe the Bible, you must believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and that He came to die for the sins of all mankind. Jesus Christ even rebuked Peter (who Catholics regard as the first pope) for say that Jesus will not die on the cross. That was his primary mission. So how can you be a Christian if you do not believe in the primary mission that Jesus Christ came for?

    May 26, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Mae Mae

      Absolutely true statement! My prayer is Oprah will be touched by the True hand of God and that He will send truthful representatives of Himself to her. We must all remember as Christians, somebody showed us the way to Christ also. Oprah, has a very large heart and has done wonderful things for many people. God knows her and her love for people. We should be praying for her to know the truth of who He is for her sake and the tremendous witness she could be for HIM.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • R2R

      Amen to what Visionary and Mae Mae said.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • Faith

      When Jesus said I am the way, He was a practicing Jew. The religion of Christianity and the Christian Bible didn't exist yet. He is the way, religion is not.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Darren

      You are basing your entire spiritual beleif system in a book written by man thaousands of years ago when people still thought the world was flat. Please tell me how this makes sense? And please don't give me that faith BS, i would like an intelligent response.

      Thanks.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Steve

      So being good does not get you into heaven right? You could be Gandhi and still you will end up being tortured in hell for eternity...oh feel the love. So adam and eve sin and we suffer collective judgement. The flood= collective judgement, Soddom and Gommorrah = same. Caananites = same. First born of Egypt = same. All this collaterol damage of babies suffering or being exterminated is justice? Additionally, Jesus was sent on a suicide mission to atone for our sins? What if he failed? We would all be lost and cast into hell = collective judgement again. Also, the evidence for jesus is very slight, nobody had written anything about him during his lifetime..the gospels were written at least 4 decades later through oral tradition. Seems to be more of a construct built upon an actual person who thought he was the messiah. It is amazing that we based much of western civilization on something so meagre and yet everything starts small doesn't it. Although I am not a Buddhist I would have to say that he was a better role model than Jesus as there are never statements of retribution which reek of desperation to get others to believe. We use love and extreme fear rather than just love.

      May 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Jumper

      Amen. Please pray that she comes to know the true Gospel – which is "A loving and just creator, Jehovah, looked down upon His creation, sinful man, and sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to endure the divine wrath of sin for all mankind and show His power in the Resurrection by conquering death, so that whoever trusts in Him will have eternal life.

      May 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  20. faithplusnothing

    You can mention God and Jesus without actually believing what they teach, even thought they are the same person. Jesus is God in human form. She denied them every time she paraded these people on her show that were clearly going against what scripure teaches and saying that what they were and did was normal.

    May 26, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • maggie

      Jesus is not God the father. He is the son. He himself never claimed to be God. Jesus is subjective to God he said so himself. If Jesus the son is the same as Yahweh the father then the entire theme of the bible is a lie. Christianity is a lie.
      Jesus came to earth and became a man to offer his body as a ranson to buy back what Adam had lost. Jesus was dead for three days, in those three days who was responsible for the universe? Can you be dead and still power to govern? Not according to the bible, Ecclesiastes 9:5 states: “The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.” Is it possible that the dead have feelings? Verse 6 answers: “Their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they have no portion anymore to time indefinite in anything that has to be done under the sun.” Note, too, that verse 10 of that same chapter states that “there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol, the place to which you are going.” The Hebrew word “Sheol” used here means “mankind’s common grave.” Interestingly, the Greek equivalent of this word, “Hades,” is used in the Scriptures to indicate where Jesus Christ went for a time after he died.—Acts 2:31.
      Then if Jesus "the god" was still in charge while he was dead then he was not really dead which means that there was no ranson.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • R2R

      I cannot speak of Oprah's personal relationship with the Lord, but I agree whole-heartedly with you. Believing in Christ is not just about doing good deeds. The Word does say that faith without works is dead, so there are a lot of Christians who need to stop theologizing and actually get up and do some work. However, we are saved by grace through faith, and s you need to at least start out with FAITH. Oprah has not led me to believe that she truly believes in the divinity of Christ, or the absolute truth of the Scriptures. It's one thing to study different beliefs (which I personally do), but it's another thing to promote them. Either Jesus is the Way or He's not. If you say He's not, then don't call yourself a Christian.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • CC

      Maggie: You're on the right track but missing a few things. Check this website out: http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/jesusgd2.htm Also check out the book of Revelations. This is not Jesus talking "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." And this is Jesus talking when He says I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End in Chapter 22. Jesus was fully man and FULLY God.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Darren

      @ maggie: What about the part where the world was created in about a week? What about the part where mankind came from Adam and Eve with the talking snake? What about Noah (a 900 year old man) and how he hearded a pair of every animal onto a giant boat he made with his bare hands? No mention of dinosaurs? No mention of prehistoric man? Is there ANY explanation of something factual that man hadn't yet discovered yet? I can show you my arguments, point to them and touch them right now, right in front of you today. What can you point to besides an old book?

      May 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Steve

      Maggie. I would agree that reading the synoptic gospels one would think the trinity is false, but as soon as you get to John then doubt arises based on John 1:1 where the "word was god" and "I and the father are one". Now I am not saying you are wrong, I am saying the bible is, as usual, sows confusion, hence that is why we have so many sects. In terms of Jesus being dead for 3 days and "who is running the universe", I find that a bit silly. If God rests on the 7th day then who was running the universe then?

      In terms of hell, sheol and hades It is true that the ancient Israelite's did not believe in hell, that it simply is "the grave" as per your Ecclesiastes quotes. But the Christian's changed that as seen with the constant references to "knashing of the teeth" or the example in Luke, I think, of Lazarus and the Rich Man where the latter was in hell needing relief of his burning. If God can dispose of the law then why not change here too? Bottom line is nobody knows the true intend of the authors, hence interpretation. Are the days of creation literal days (there is an evening and a morning) or "periods of time". Truth is nobody knows but to many christians our soul's depend on it. Your theology reflects a JW stance, if so my sympathies. Your guys were the kings of the imminent end in the 20th century. I guess Harold Camping realized its good marketing to keep people in fear of the cleanse the earth campaign, almost 7 billion have to be exterminated to usher in paradise. The narrow road indeed..from more than one perspective.

      May 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.