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."
About this blog
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.
Can anyone tell if Oprah is a Christian? Not by her show. You would only be able to tell if she gave you her testimony of how she became a Christian, if she is. She also may have been saved recently. Jesus said, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. hethathathanear.com
Uh, your Jesus man never wrote anything down that he allegedly said. Someone, not named Matthew, Mark, Luke or even John were authors of the gospels. Someone some 70 years or so after the alleged events wrote them and they weren't even eye-witnesses to the alleged events. This is about like my elderly neighbor trying to remember something someone told him when he was 5 that happened to them when they were 5.
@ Sybaris.... Common sense will take you far in this world. Yet the irony in your response is that you yourself were not present when these individuals were writing our Bible and so are just basing your answer on the lectures from others that you find inspiring.
No, I'm basing it on the testimonies of devout biblical scholars that practice your faith. Just because it sounds scary and causes you doubt doesn't mean the information is unreliable.
God could not/would not stop the Holocaust, but he's got time on his schedule to make sure O's show is a success?
Now why would you compare the holocaust with oprah? Faith is what drives most of us through life. We give credit to our religion for all of our decisions and accomplishments in life and when things don't go our way, then we also credit our maker. But questioning why GOD would allow such a tragedy allows me to understand that you are disconnected from the teachings from the Bible. Allow yourself to use common sense and refrain from questioning GOD actions.
Do you pray? Do you believe in the healing powers of your god? Do you pray that people are relieved of illness and disease? Sure you do. All REAL Chrisitans do (love that, REAL Christians).
Here's an experiement. Get on your prayer chain. Contact 100's, no 1000's or even 10's of thousands of REAL Christians and pray that your god regenrates the limb or even a digit of an amputee. I garuntee you it won't happen. But isn't it funny how your fellow REAL christians attribute the success of Oprah or even the "cure" of someones microscopic illness to the power of their god?
What Almighty Caveat can you use to explain it?
@ Sybaris.........It is tru what you say about praying to "my" GOD. But i ask, "how does that affect you?" I don't come to your home and try to feed you my taste of faith. It is irresponsible and ignorant for you to try to make me believe or try to understand your hatred and confusion towards someone's religion. So are you telling me that everytime you accomplish something in life you credit yourself and only yourself? Remove yourself from the box which you call "life".
Bad Jesus. I knew it! why oprah? why could nt you spread some of that success and wealth. children are dying from famine, and some people work all day and night and don't get to take care of their children. and you favor Oprah. How unjust!
Regarding John 10:30 I and the father are One. A man and his wife are one according also to the bible. does that mean they are one person or two? Think about this, a father and son work together to create an empire. the son works along side his father all his life and learned everything from his father and know almost every thing about his father and the business. Then one day the father sent im on important business regarding the empire. While he was conveying the theme of that empire to people although they like what they have heard but they said to the son i would like see your father instead. If the son said if you have seen me you have also seen the father. would they people think because of that statement the son and the father are the same person or they would have concluded that it is because the son has the authority to make certain decision on behalf of the father. And what ever the said promised or said the father will honor. I believe Jesus and his father are two different spirit scripture because that is what the bible says. The bible is very simple once you understand it and everything falls in to place. But only the author of the bible can grant that priviledge.
"she spoke of how God has always been there, a voice whispering" Do not self medicate with faith see a doctor if you hear voices of any kind. A Psychiatrist (MD/PhD) is needed when one hears voices. It is what is best for your overall psychological well being.
Well now...isn't that special! Now I know where this "god" has been all this time as countless children suffer throughout the world being r@ped by priests and starving by the millions with bloated bellies in the dirt. If he's not awarding a touchdown or goal he's making sure TV hosts get rich.
"Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" Amos 3:3. Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life no one come to the Father except through me" John 14;6. Oprah says that Jesus is not the only way...hmmm. Who's lying? "Let God be true and every man a liar..." Romans 3:4. Are they in agreement? Yet Oprah says "God had led her life, even when she didn't realize it."
I am trying to live by what the WORD says and not man.' If ' Oprah agrees with abortion is'nt that between her and God! Where's the love compassion and understanding? Millions of souls don't know satan is the god of this world. May God bless and keep them. What has this to do with the subject? As each year went by, Oprah walked more and more in love. John 13: 34 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. Exodus 20: 13 Thou shalt not kill.
It is truly a sad moment for me to see all the negative religious postings found on this page. After we have lived through the violence that some religious believers are capable of doing to proclaim their religion. Does it really matter whether or not Oprah is christian. allow her to believe what she wants. I for one have my own religious beliefs and restrain myself from going out in public trying to convert others. To each it's own.
She should be thanking all the idiots who watch the gossip show
Where is the "like" button for your posting?.......lol
Since you stated that we need to cross reference scriptures I will do so to prove that Jesus Christ and Jehovah are one and the same person.
Jehovah's Witnesses' New World version of the Bible clearly shows that Jehovah is the Savior, and beside him there is no Savior. The New Testament, of course, says that Jesus is the Savior, and that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.
Note the following scriptures, all from the New World Translation by your Jehovah's Witness scholars:
"I am Jehovah AND BESIDE ME THERE IS NO SAVIOR."
". . . Is it not I, Jehovah, besides whom there is no other God, a righteous God and a SAVIOR? THERE BEING NONE EXCEPTING ME."
"But I am Jehovah your God from the land of Egypt, and there was no God except me that you used to know: AND THERE WAS NO SAVIOR BUT I."
Notice some from the New Testament to show that Jesus and Jehovah ARE BOTH THE ONE AND SAME PERSON- -THE SAVIOR OF MANKIND.
"Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that in THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST THE NAZARENE WHOM you impaled but whom God raised from the dead, by this one does this man stand here sound in front of you. This is the stone that was treated by your builders as of no account that has become the head of the corner. FURTHERMORE, THERE IS NO SALVATION IN ANYONE ELSE FOR THERE IS NOT ANOTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN THAT HAS BEEN GIVEN AMONG MEN WHICH WE MUST GET SAVED."
"The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew, hanging him upon a stake; God exalted this one as Chief Agent AND SAVIOR to his right hand."
"She will give birth to a son and you must call his name Jesus FOR HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS."
"Because there was born to you today A SAVIOR WHO IS CHRIST THE LORD."
". . . God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus."
I John 4 :11,-15:
"In addition we ourselves have beheld and are bearing witness that the Father has sent forth his SON AS A SAVIOR OF THE WORLD. Whoever makes the confession that JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD, God remains in union with such one and he in union with God."
You see from these scriptures that Jesus of Nazareth is the Savior, who is Christ the Lord. But your same Bible also says that Jehovah is Savior and beside him there is no Savior. So now we have these two statements:
1– Christ is the only one by whose name we are saved. He is Savior.
2– Jehovah is the Savior and beside him there is no other Savior.
Also there are many scriptures that state that both are the Redeemer as well.
Are you kidding me right now?? You're comparing the BIBLE (thousands of years old and scientifically proven) to a book from a "religion" that was make up by some guy 140 years ago?? So all those times they said Jehovah in the ACTUAL bible, they were talking about this guy that won't celebrate birthdays 2,000 years later and not the other way around (crazy guy steals name from bible). Is this what you're saying?
What does John 1:1 say in the New World Translation? King James Version says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
If you say both Jehovah and Jesus are both saviors, I am in total accord with you. Jehovah was the one that provided the ransom for us and Jesus had excepted to come down as a human and died for us to buy back what adam had lost. And your point is. the bible says we need to see if what we are being taught make sense. Trinity does not make sense, hell fire does not make sense. What kind of God that would create such a beautiful home for his creatures and they failed he sent his only begotten son to die for them inorder for them to have life and the same God turns around and creates
a burning furnace so he can burn his lovely creation for eternity. think about this, what possibly can any human ever did that what was so bad while he or she was living on this planet to deserve such a punishment? the punishment does not fit the crime. and we all know that God is justice. Only us human would think of a terrible thing like this.
You people are the ones that are turning people away from God by teaching nonsenses and evil things. Who would want to serve a God like the one that Christiandoms are preaching about? Not me so does a lot of people? Please teach what they bible says, and if you do not understand pray for help and for the holy spirit. god gives plenty.
Just answer this very simple question:
If there is no other Savior besides Jehovah (Isaiah 43:11), why does the New Testament teach that Christ is the only Savior?
With all due respect please don't talk around the question.
Oprah credits God for the success of her show. OK, let's accept such. Now, how does Oprah explain the fact that China is currently much more successful than America yet 98% of the Chinese do not believe in God? Indeed, the success of non-monotheistic China has allowed China to virtually own America, including Oprah. Why doesn't Christian America denounce the Chinese for their Godless faith? Oh, that's right, because Godless, yet fiscally responsible, China would cease buying the debt of an irresponsible Christian nation!
The Chinese are getting rich because greedy businesses gave American jobs away to them nothing to do w/religion. Thought you would have gotten that.
But agree w/Suzanne-if Oprah really believes Jesus should be given credit for her success, over those many years she lost a great opportunity to truly translate that belief to her audience, and help them find that truth for themselves, by keeping it secret. And, it makes me wonder what exactly kept her from doing just that.
Attention: T's Grl
Thank you for your scholarship. So, those greedy American businesses, are they Christians? If not, why does God permit such in America? If they are, how do you explain their preference for Chinese atheist over Christians?
Oh Great. Now all can blame Jesus if they are unemployed, criminal or victims. Why would jesus favor Oprah and bestow on her all that success and let children die with poverty, hunger and abuse. Bad jesus, very bad.
"For such people are false teachers, deceitful workers, masquerading as servants of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light . It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness." – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
"For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ, you will not have fellowship with God. But if you continue in the teaching of Christ, you will have fellowship with both the Father and the Son." – 2 John 9
"God will send great deception upon them, and they will believe all these lies." – 2 Thessalonians 2:11
Another mindless sheep has learned how to cut and paste.
Colin – is that all you have is insults? You demonstrate your own point.
I think Colin has a point. Having someone preach to you on a Sunday from a book which has no empirical evidence completely makes your religion infallible and definitely THE only correct way. I'm a chemistry graduate student at a state school and I have students who can quote the bible yet can't tell me what NaCl stands for. Go google that religious fools.
Vik – its Sodium Chloride (salt) without googling; there are other intelligent people in the world besides yourselves; I finished engineering school and post-graduate Nuclear Engineering 20 years ago now. You seem to overestimate yourself or underestimate some others.
Heath- I could care less about you. My point is that people put religion before specific education which I don't understand. Obviously I overestimated your intelligence if you thought I was specifically addressing you. Also could you tell me the best synthesis method for obtaining a low PDI for Polystyrene? Oh right that wasn't my point. Go back to retirement and let a new generation make a difference.
Heath and Vic...you're both fools. You can tell someone how blah blah blah makes blah blah blah but you cant tell someone how to get to HEAVEN
Heath: Note person who posted above.
Vik- Can't argue with you there. I'd love to have a more civil and intellectual discussion with you; this forum is only good for quips.
Heath- I will apologize for offending you if i did. However my family has spent most of our lives having people telling us we are sinners and condemned to burn in hell for not being Christians unprovokingly (we believe to each their own). I'm sick of seeing my parents and siblings treated unfairly. The hate and intolerance that I see from Christians even today has helped me in losing my desire to contribute back to society here in America.
Vic...its nice that you apologized to your new friend Heath...afterall, GOD impressed that upon your heart and you listened to HIM!!
I never saw the Ophra show, but it was clear to me that she was greatly influenced by Jesus. She understands compassion, love, etc. Even having a friendship with Tom Cruise was an act of peace. I am born again baptizes in Malibu CA in 2007, and I get her. Surely ordinary people are going to judge her by their own distorted perception of biblical knowledge, but at the end of the day, she knew how much people she would influence by keeping the name of Jesus out of the picture. That to me, was the most brilliant part of her success. God bless her.
sounds like Oprah is recanting on her death bed after all the luciferian teachers and teachings that she has brought through her show..basicall she sold out to the devil for her fortune and fame, now she wants the most high to forgive her.
Isn't that what Jesus came to the world for? Or are you afraid of the truth?
and all the people who believe who are not wealthy, famous and accomplished? oh, that's right; he's too busy helping oprah succeed.
exactly. beautifully said
I always thought she was a simpleton and it don't get anymore simpler than jesus .
I always thought she was a simpleton and it don't get anymore simpler than jesus .
Simpler as in "special needs". lol
I have to say that I am pretty disappointed in Oprah. If she truly believes Jesus was at the heart of her astounding success all these years, why did she NEVER present Him that way until the very last day. She wouldn't have had to talk about religion at all, but she did decide to, and whenever she did, it was never about Jesus. In fact, she openly denied that He was the only way, even though He Himself claimed to be "the only way." So, apparently Oprah believes in a God responsible for her success but who also happens to be a liar. I'll say it again. Very disappointing.
What have you done for others in your life compared to Oprah? Shoved religion down other people's throats? This is the garbage that makes all the higher degree educated want to leave this selfish country.
Very well said Suzanne! 🙂
Amen, amen, amen! She openly denied him in her show and even went so far as to state that Jesus was not the only way to Heaven, and that she was the reason for her success and her health. Kind of strange for her to suddenly have a change of heart towards Christ.
BTW, Vlk, I am one of the higher educated you speak of.
Vik...when does your plane leave?
Soon. But you gotta keep paying for my education, food, clothing etc by filling your gas tank every day. It's taking your money like your church does every sunday that makes me sleep well at night.
I lost all my respect for Oprah. Jesus and God?
I thought she would be more intelligent than that.
You are ignorant.
Why are people so quick to judge, especially those who call themselves Christians? It is not your job to judge and if you read and understood the Bible you would know that. I normally do not comment on aspects of religious because it's such a heated debate. However, who are you or anybody to judge what Oprah believes in her heart to be true, you are not in her heart, and her personal relationsip with God is just that, her relationship. For those who do not believe in God, to each it's own and your right, however, don't discount other beliefs because that's not what you chose to believe. Don't blast Oprah or anyone who has faith in God and believe in His power! Everyone feels they have a right to condemn a person who does not believe what they do, or don't have the same ideology as themselves. Quite ineteresting how that works. People's priorities are all wrong. Instead of bashing one's belief in God, worry about what is happening in this world and if you're making a difference. Have you done something nice for a complete stranger in the past year let alone a day? Probably not! You can say what you want about Oprah, but she has done more for humanity than any other person with money in my lifetime and does so with an unselfish heart and does not look for anything in return other than, being the best you, you can be
It is Christians responsibility to judge if someone is teaching the true message of Christ; this is addressed multiple places in the Bible ... "Don't you know that someday we Christians are going to judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can't you decide these little things among yourselves? Don't you realize that we Christians will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disagreements here on earth." – 1 Corinthians 6:2-3
I'm agnostic and I'll judge, http://imgur.com/onbyq.
@DaJSUDiva.......well certainly noone is "bashing" what she believes...maybe some, but not I...i noticed in your response(which i read in its entirety) that you used the phrase.."if you read and understood the Bible", now i do both of those things, & im assuming you also meditate on God's word day & night as God instructed us to do in Psalms 1:2.....now i would also like to encourage you to read 1 John 4:1 that says..."Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be of God, because many false prophets are gone out in the world"...now that means that we are CLEARLY intructed to "test the spirits/what people say/how people live/what people do, to see if their lives line up with God's word. It is not being "Judgemental", for God has no respecter of persons. We are ALL unworhty of his Love but he Died on a cross for the remission of our sins...The Bible ALSO says in 1 Timothy 2:5 that "there is ONE God, and one mediator between God & men, the man Jesus Christ".....2 Timothy 3:5 speaks about "having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away"...now i wish only to share the truth on this matter, i wish not to offend, for i am currently a student of the law but "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6.....So if you are diligently reading ALL that i am posting thus far, you will see that there is ONLY 1 way to the Kingdom of God/heaven & that is Jesus..the Bible also says that if a man be overtaken in a fault, we which are spiritual should restore him....
Ms. Diva, in my conclusion, there are MANY religions out there, but there is ONLY 1 God & 1 way to enter Heaven, & as a fellow Brother in Christ it is my JOB to win those which are lost because through Love & Compassion i will draw thee.So i will leave you with one LAST nugget of truth...Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times(last days), some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, & doctrines of devils.We should neither give heed to fables & endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than Godly edifying which is in faith:so do
However, man is not God, and a true Christian will be able to stand with God. I'm speaking of those who call themselves Christian and turn around in the same breath and judge in this land we call Earth! Trust me, I was born and raised in the church my whole life and was in Sunday school many a Sunday..not proclaiming to be an expert, I'm just observing the judgement being cast down. When God does he will have the selected few to be with Him on that day, not all will be chosen