THE ‘O’ CHRISTMAS TREE

Some of you know I am not a huge fan of Oprah.  Oh, I recognize that she is an immensely gifted television personality as well as the highest paid and most powerful woman in the world.  If she decides to mention your book or your product on air she can make you an instant millionaire.  She virtually invented Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil and arguably even Barrack Obama.  And God help you if you ever criticize her publicly.  I unwisely made mention of this fact in one of my sermons saying something like, “Oprah is one sacred cow you don’t dare touch.”  Apparently a bunch of my viewers thought it was a cruel reference to her weight.  Imagine anyone thinking I would be that insensitive?  Purely unintentional I am sure.

Millions, mostly women, tune in everyday to see what her and her gang are up to.  She will often have interesting guests and fascinating human interest stories. She doles out practical down home advice that often makes sense and she genuinely seems to care about her viewers.  So what’s not to like?  Well for starters, for someone so influential it is distressing that she lives unapologetically out of wedlock with her long time companion Stedman.  I consider it a terrible example for someone who is clearly a role model for millions.  However my biggest beef with Oprah is her spirituality.  In many ways she is the postmodern priestess of church-free spirituality.  Though she claims to be a Christian (I believe to appeal to her middle America core) there is really nothing Christian about her belief system.  She is deeply entrenched in New Age philosophy.  Oprah sponsored a Course in Miracles by New Age author Marianne Williamson on her satellite radio program and then a 10 week webcast with New Age author Eckhart Tolle who wrote a book entitled: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.  Both books are chocked full of dangerous and unbiblical teachings that essentially declare that God can be whatever you want he/she/it to be.

Here is Oprah’s explanation of what Christ came to earth to do; “Jesus, came to show us Christ-consciousness…Jesus came to show us the way of the heart…Jesus came to say, ‘Look I’m going to live in the body, in the human body and I’m going to show you how it’s done.’ These are some principles and some laws that you can use to live by to know that way.  I don’t believe that Jesus came to start Christianity.  What Jesus said is much deeper than what you… how the church interprets it. There’s a depth to it. And it reflects your own depth when you read it (A New Earth).  So there’s no conflict between this teaching, which is purely spiritual, and any religion.” Understand this; she does not believe that Christ came to die for our sins or that there really is any such thing as sin.  She also believes that there are many many different ways to get to God… which of course is defined as an ‘inner consciousness’ not as a Creator.

The other week I came into the house after work and there on the TV was Oprah’s big Christmas give away show ‘My Favorite Things’.  I had heard about the fact that every Christmas she gives each member of her studio audience 10′s of $1000 worth of gifts but I had never seen it.  Honestly, I was dumbstruck.  As she pulled out watches and jewelry and purses and shoes and cameras and finally a 2012 VW beetle the crowd went into an absolute pathological froth.  Notwithstanding her generosity, which I understand is all donated by her advertisers, I felt it brought out the very worst in these people.  It was a giant gob-fest of greed and consumerism that left me sad and dismayed.  It was everything that is ‘wrong’ with modern Christmas.   If you missed it, have a look here and decide for yourself.

Oprah ends the program by saying “It is all about hope, believing something magical can happen when you least expect it.  Happy holidays everybody.”  No mention of Christmas and no mention of Christ.  This is not a jealousy rant because I can’t afford to outdo her and give away Hummers on my show.  I am concerned with how easy it is to miss the point. Oprah’s give away show is really just a reflection of modern Christmas.  It holds up to our culture one of those carnival fun house mirrors that makes everything look out of proportion.  Most of our Christmases look something like Oprah’s… just on a much smaller scale.

Oh, I am a big believer in giving during Christmas.  We give our kids smallish gifts, mostly practical but also something fun in the mix.  More importantly we should be looking for meaningful gifts to give away during Christmas.  Gifts of true value…  love, friendship, kindness, goodness.  I have a friend who takes his family to the homeless shelter Christmas day to feed the poor.  I need to wrap this blog up here as I am heading down to the Red Cross to give blood in half an hour.  The greatest gift of all, of course, is not the one we give, but the one we receive.  For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whoever would believe on Him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).   Remember… Jesus is the reason for the season and wise men still seek him today.  From our house to yours, Merry Christmas everyone.

This entry was posted in Pastor Mark's Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

Comment RSS

57 Responses to THE ‘O’ CHRISTMAS TREE

  1. Karen L says:

    Yay Pastor Mark! I am so happy that I am not the only person who “sees” Oprah’s heart for what it truly is! I think that I have only watched a handful of her broadcasts because of the musical guests. I can hardly wait for her show to be over, but the problem with that is what nonsense is going to be put on in its place?

    Merry Christmas!

    • Jim says:

      Why all the fixation with Oprah? By giving her all this press, we are actually giving her some credibility. First of all Dec 25th is not the time of Jesus birth..not even close..the Bible indicates it is probably in late September, October at the latest..The date “christians” go all googie-eyed over is actually a day of pagan origins from ancient Babylon. Check out Jeremiah 10 to see what God thinks of this behaviour..so the early roman church adopted it the keep the pagan worshippers happy, but as they did changing God’s commanded worship date to the day of the sun …sunday the first day off the week, from the seventh day of the week. So there is no where Dec 25 is mentiolned or commanded in the Bible…we are to celebrate His death, not His birth..it was by His death that we have salvation. As Jesus said in Mark 7.8..you follow the traditions of man and abandon the Commandments of God..come on all so called “christians” get off the fence, either follow the world, or follow Jesus..you cannot do both..God bless us all!

  2. Christie Braun says:

    Oprah serves as a guide for me. Whatever she says, does, advises, suggests, endorses, reccommmends etc et al, I must, of sound mind, do the opposite.

    Her network, for example, is called Own.

    Sorry to be cliche, but that ‘says it all’.

  3. Betty says:

    I am not a fan of Operah, and it is really sad, to hear, that there are so many people following her,with her life without Jesus in the center.
    I watched a movie this week, based on a true story, called, The Christmas Box and this couple with one child, moves to a new state and into an older ladies house, to keep her company,while she is sick, then one day this older lady asked, Richard, “What is the first Christmas gift?” He thinks about it and finds the answer a few days later, just before she dies.

    “Mery Christmas” everyone!

  4. Jusuf Adibrata says:

    Most of the time I pass the Oprah channel and nothing to do between ‘like’ or dislike’.
    I found the problem with ‘human being = men or women’ after reaching the top of the pyramid is forgetting how they have got there.
    Merry Christmas to you pastor Mark.

  5. Patricia says:

    Mery Christmas to you too. I mean Merry Christmas to you too.

    Oprah bashing and man bashing run into the same realm for me as Gossip. It just gives me mixed feelings. I was always taught if I cannot say something nice about someone then do not say it at all. I guess I would not make a very good preacher in some regards. If you can talk like that about Oprah, what about the newbie to religion that is sitting in the pew that needs gentle correction, but has just heard that. What about the person that thinks they know it all and turns on the newby because if the preacher can talk about someone as big as Oprah, why can’t I do it with someone that is right here and not as famous in my eyes?

    We all fall short to the glory of God. Some of us in our early walk truly do believe we are Christians. It is from what we were taught and have experienced that this comes to birth.

    Oprah has a devote following and could influence millions. That is why I chose to pray for her. I noticed that she is going to have the couple from Its a New Day for a new show she is having soon. I feel this is a great breakthrough. Baby steps is what faith is. As she grows she will learn. And then the strongholds will let go and she will see the true strength in being a believer. Pray for her growth and forgive her like Christ for her trangressions for we all fall short of God, even someone that is famous like Oprah.

  6. sandra says:

    I have this friend who used to watch Oprah all the time and she just ranted and raved how wonderful she was and how great her show is. My friend is an awesome Christian girl and when I told her what Oprah was all about she was flabbergasted.Knowing the truth can sure set you free.

  7. Janet says:

    Bravo to Patricia. Thank you for your maturity and well balanced approached to this blog post. It is because of blog posts like this that many look at Christianity and say “no thanks”. Would Jesus write such a post?

  8. Mark Hughes says:

    Or… maybe they will now watch Oprah and say, “No thanks”.

  9. m says:

    @Janet

    “Would Jesus write such a post?”

    Jesus was not afraid to expose wrong teachings, and to do so bluntly. Read Jesus’ description of the Pharisees in Matthew 12.

  10. James says:

    I couldn’t help but think of Jim Jones and Jonestown after watching the video. Oprah is where she is because she has an understanding of the wants of people.(You will notice I did not say needs) How many would gladly sit at a table with her and drink the fated cup of kool-aid? Wondering if Jesus would write such a post…can’t say for sure but what I see in the scriptures is a man who was not bullied into being politicly correct. He addressed the issues by the names they were best known by.

  11. Lisa says:

    Good morning, and Merry Christmas!
    I read through this yesterday, but never got a chance to reply. Glad I waited…
    I agree with both Patricia and Mark. We do need to be careful how we open others eyes, and the words we choose, however, the truth needs to be told and sometimes more bluntly that others.
    If you watch old excerpts from Oprah shows (on youtube), she has said several times she claims to be a Christian, and I believe in her own eyes she is, but she lives it Hollywood style. She is not grounded, and there is where the worry is when she ‘leads’ so many. She seems to stray to the following of any feel good author that comes on, and she needs to question more than follow. She does need prayer-desperately!
    In one episode, she says there has to be more than one way to God, when a lady from the audience very boldly corrects her and says “Jesus says ‘No man cometh unto the Father except by me’, “and Oprah goes on to say that’s impossible. She needs to read her Bible more, and ‘spiritual leader’ books less.
    I pray we can all hold onto the truth and not be deceived.

  12. Jackie says:

    Pastor Mark,
    You are completely 100% right about Oprah.
    I used to have one of the books she promoted (years ago). When I became a true Christian I burned it in my burning barrel….(I used to live in the country).
    That’s why people love and respect you, because you say it like it is!
    Gob Bless You!

  13. Jackie says:

    God Bless You!

  14. Con says:

    AMEN Patricia! I am with you! We should be praying for her not pointing out what she is doing wrong or seems to be – judging I think you call it.
    @ M – for me it is not about “being afraid to expose wrong teachings, and to do so bluntly” we need to pray, pray, pray!

  15. Rotimi Ojo says:

    I smile when I see Christians turning ONLY to prayers when actually they are meant to SPEAK (ACT). Please don’t get me wrong, I am not against praying for Ophra, or whoever, but Jesus (and others in the scripture) did not only pray against the evils in their days, they acted.

    I wonder if racial discrimination would have ended if Martin Luther King Jr, a clergyman, only prayed and did not act. For many Christians, if we want to be honest, the reason we resort to praying and never acting is the fear of openly going against the tide. We don’t want to be seen as opposing what the ‘majority’ feels good about.

    We ‘close our eyes in prayers’ when the answer is right in front of us. We pray that God should put the food into our mouth and feed us when He has given us hands to eat.

    This may sound sarcastic, I am not against genuine prayers but I detest using ‘prayer’ as an excuse for our lethargy.

    Thanks

  16. Victoria says:

    A comment to Rotimi:

    We as Christians are responsible for each of ourselves,and of each of our children.
    To educate them, and choose our Christian leaders.
    Not to use “fear”(ACT) to influence our peoples.
    The path to God is a narrow one, and deep in your subconscious, you will know if you are on it.
    If anyone else is?
    That is up to them-
    Legally, we can only PRAY they will join us.

  17. Donna House says:

    I always knew there was something phony about her ,i have only ever watched 1 show of hers.Just could not stomach watching her,always thought something was not right .I agree 100%with you Mark

  18. Con says:

    Rotimi – I don’t believe that ONLY praying and not reacting nor about fear of going against anybody was what was said! I certainly don’t use prayer as an excuse for lethargy! Personally, I haven’t had the chance to speak with Oprah yet……..

  19. Jeff says:

    I don’t think Oprah is the only celebrity that claims to be a Christian but doesn’t fully understand what believing and following Jesus really means. I don’t think any of us will ever have a chance to explain the gospel to her, face to face…and I also don’t think anyone should ever pray “against” anyone else. Seems to me there’s a scripture that says we should pray “for” our enemies (or even people we don’t like or agree with) and that would be like heaping burning coals on their heads.

    But…flash back to the Grey Cup post-game interview with Montreal QB Anthony Calvillo. The first words out of his mouth were praise and thanksgiving to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! And, if you happened to watch the CMA Country Christmas special…all but a couple of songs on the 1-1/2 hour show were CHRIST-mas songs! Like the carol says, “God is not dead, nor does He sleep…the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men.”

    Slight change of topic for you…I did this on Pastor Mark’s blog last Christmas…and I have to do it again this year. I am a born and raised Saskatchewan-ian…and I am very proud of our Premier, Brad Wall. He was voted the second most popular Premier in Canada (only behind Danny Williams) and continues to impress me both professionally and personally. Check out this link to Mr. Wall’s Christmas message on his website. http://www.bradwall.ca. No guessing about his beliefs!!! Good for you Brad!

    While you’re surfing…try Googling or U-tubing any other Premier’s Christmas messages…couldn’t find one from Manitoba and Alberta’s was pretty lame!!! I did watch our Prime Minister’s message…at least he mentioned Jesus! (I think that’s twice this year…the other being when the wacko preacher in the U.S. was going to burn the Koran).

    Pastor Mark…keep up the good work! May God’s blessings continue on you, your family and Church of the Rock. Look forward to seeing you Derek and the boys in Regina again in the fall.

  20. Victoria says:

    I found some interesting info about New Years Eve.I enjoyed learning these few tidbits-I pray for all of you to have a prosperous and happy new year!!!

    History of New Year’s

    2000 years ago and then some, it is believed that Ancient Babylonians began their New Year with the first New Moon after the Spring Equinox.
    A logical time to celebrate, spring brings with it new growth and has always been symbolic of hope and the promise of things to come.
    The Babylonians feasted for eleven days, each day with its own festive theme. Fast forward to Julius Caesar who, during a visit to Egypt around 150 BC, found the calendar of his dreams.
    The Romans tried to follow the same cycle as set by the Egyptians with the New Year beginning in spring.
    But scholars and emperors continued to finagle with the calendar until it fell out of synchronization with the sun.
    The Roman senate, in an attempt to get everything back on track, named January 1 as the first day of the year, and eventually it was entitled the Julian Calendar.
    Still the calendar was constantly being revised and manipulated by various people, until 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII established the Gregorian Calendar.
    This calendar set the dates in stone and offered a clear distinction of the four seasons. The Gregorian Calendar is what most of the Western world uses.

    New Year’s Eve Trivia

    As you wait for the clock to strike midnight, create your own version of trivial pursuit with questions about the history and celebration of New Year’s Eve.

    Q: The New Year has not always been celebrated on January 1. When did the original celebration take place?
    A: Starting around the year 2000 B.C., the Babylonians observed the beginning of spring as the start of a new year.

    Q: Who established January 1 as the start of a New Year?
    A: Julius Caesar, who did so when he created the Juliun calendar

    Q: What does the traditional New Year’s song, Auld Lang Syne, mean?
    A: Auld Lang Syne, written by Robert Burns in the 1700s, is Scottish for “old long ago.”

    Q: Who established the tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions?
    A: The Babylonians, whose most common resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.

    Q: What is the most popular New Year’s resolution in the United States today?
    A: To lose weight

    Q: Which city hosts the first major New Year’s Eve celebration each year?
    A: Sydney, Australia

    Q: What year did the first New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square?
    A: 1907

    Q: Since its inaugural descent in 1907, the New Year’s Eve Ball has dropped every year except two. Which two years did the ball not drop?
    A: 1942 and 1943, due to wartime restrictions in New York City

    Q. How many New Year’s Eve balls have dropped in Times Square?
    A. 8 – 1907; 1920; 1955; 1980; 1988; 1995; 2000; 2008

  21. Jill says:

    I’m with Patricia!!! I was interested in attending your church, so I looked online for your service times and this caught my eye. I am no longer interested in your church. The judgement of someone who has brought joy and hope into the lives of more people than your narrow-mindedness will ever scratch the surface of, reminds me why I stopped going to church as a child. I will look elsewhere for a loving and encouraging place of worship.

  22. Harry says:

    I agree with Jill on this issue. There is alot of greater than though finger pointing going on. I too stumbled upon this site in hopes of attending. But, Wheres the Love? Isn’t the greatest commandment of all Is to love God with all your soul and your neighbor as yourself. What kind of doctrine is this church promoting? It doesn’t seem scriptural? I am going to have to keep looking.

  23. anonymous says:

    @ Patricia
    @ Janet
    @ Con
    @ Jill
    @ Harry

    I am proud of Pastor Mark for continuing to expose Opera… Not exactly hard to do as she has all but admitted she is the Anti-Christ on national television… The “Church of Opera” was estimated at over 3,000,000 cult followers its first year (go ahead and google or youtube it), today they are unable to even estimate the damage she has done… Pray for her… Absolutely! Pray for those she has deceived even more!

    For all you New Aged seeker types who just wanna hear you are your own God, well… you’re NOT… Come to Church of the Rock or Pick up a Bible and actually READ IT! You’ll be straightened out in no time. Darkness (even Opera) does NOT overcome Light, but rather Light SHINES in the Darkness… So let your Light, the Light of Christ within you, So shine before men Pastor Mark. The only way to expose the Lie that is this World, is to PROCLAIM the TRUTH, and the TRUTH alone WILL set the masses FREE!

  24. anonymous says:

    One more thing… Opera is NOT a Christian, she walked away from Christianity in her late 20’s and never looked back…

    Before anyone starts arguing with me, watch the video at this link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW4LLwkgmqA

    She is a powerful cult leader that buys your soul for whatever price she can get it… jewellery, a new car, or the minutes/hours/days of your life spent entranced by her seemingly helpful and generous deeds.

    Nothing but LIES!

  25. Victoria says:

    I am convinced that Oprah has indeed sold her soul for her successes.

    And I have to agree that we NEVER see her give money to support any churches- struggling or otherwise.

    A woman with that much money SHOULD be helping people on a larger scale-not just her hand-picked audience.

    I would like to see her support the African AMERICANS more, as her support seems to be focused mostly out of the country to encourage and educate women of Africa.

    What about her own country!

    She is as powerful as president Obama and has not shown us the true spirit of giving..only random acts of kindness.
    (Acts-in my opinion it is all an act-for t.v)

    This woman has saved every penny to take over the radio waves and take over television,by buying her own network.
    Don’t you think that is a bit controlling and greedy?

    We need to get closer to our enemies and find out what she has in store for us and be ready to defend our faith as it might be so subtly attacked in this manner.

    Pastor Mark is right about Oprah(which by the way…”anonymous”, you spelled incorrectly several times.
    If you are going to represent……at least do your homework!
    People will tend to take you more seriously.

    Don’t lose sleep over this Pastor Mark,I know what your talking about and I heed your warning-but like I said…I keep my enemies close,I’ll still watch her shows and so should you.

    • Patricia says:

      Judge not least yee be what?

      I hope you find a Church Jill. You are one of God’s people. But I do know what you mean. It is hard to become part of a cliche when we do not follow their views. God loves us all. I pray that God opens all our eyes and humbles us all to him.

      Let the peace of God surround you and protect you in these time. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin.

      We need to take the log out of our eye before we judge another. And a lot of people have pretty huge logs. Even ones that go to Church and are carnal Christians. It takes a lot of work to become a spiritual Christian. I do not have all the answers to all the questions or sins of this world. But I am always working on loving all like Jesus and following his teachings. But I even fall short to the glory of God, so I therefore do not judge Oprah, instead I pray to the one who has the power to change her and guide her life.

  26. Jill says:

    In response to “anonymous” who posted Jan 3 at 2:18 am,
    I DO read my bible daily just as my mother my father and my grandparents before me. I am currently working through Proverbs. I gain so much wisdom and understanding through it, also from prayer and acknowledging God with gratitude and humility in EVERY aspect of my life. Oprah chose to share some of her favorite things with a handpicked audience of selfless and generous people who have given back to their families communities and the world. I try to do this in my life on a much smaller scale and if my circumstances one day allow hopefully I will be able to do the same as Oprah, maybe even more, God-willing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Patricia says:

      Judge not least yee be what?
      I hope you find a Church Jill. You are one of God’s people. But I do know what you mean. It is hard to become part of a cliche when we do not follow their views. God loves us all. I pray that God opens all our eyes and humbles us all to him.
      Let the peace of God surround you and protect you in these time. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin.
      We need to take the log out of our eye before we judge another. And a lot of people have pretty huge logs. Even ones that go to Church and are carnal Christians. It takes a lot of work to become a spiritual Christian. I do not have all the answers to all the questions or sins of this world. But I am always working on loving all like Jesus and following his teachings. But I even fall short to the glory of God, so I therefore do not judge Oprah, instead I pray to the one who has the power to change her and guide her life.

  27. Rotimi Ojo says:

    The last time I checked 2 Tim 4:2-4, this is what it read and I see it being fulfilled right in our very eyes in this generation!

    ‘Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.
    For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.’

    My generation detests hearing the truth
    My generation prefers preachers that say what they want to hear
    My generation feels comfortable compromising darkness with light…

    There’s yet a remnant of the people, who choose to openly go against the ungodly tides, who will speak the Word of Truth even when it is not the popular opinion, who will NEVER compromise darkness with Light, who will correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience.

    Thanks!

  28. Mark Hughes says:

    Like I said in my original post; touch Oprah and face the wrath of the masses. People who are in the public eye, including Oprah or myself, have entered a social contract where they have agreed to be critiqued by others. It goes with the territory. My goal on this blog is to provoke an intelligent discussion that hopefully will get people thinking about what they hear on a daily basis and not just swallow everything that comes out of Oprah’s or Dr Phil’s or anybody else’s mouth.

    Those who are looking for a church that will never say a judgmental word about anybody will have to find one that uses Dr Suess instead of the bible and has a happy face on the steeple instead of a cross. As mentioned by others one of the purposes of the bible is to expose truth and error. There is really nothing more spiritually dangerous than blinding following well-meaning personalities that may even inadvertently be in error. Oprah has put countless millions at eternal risk by promoting new age doctrines. It would be irresponsible NOT to mention that fact.
    The bible does not say ‘Judge not’ but, ‘Judge not lest you be judged’. It is a caveat that if you judge, you will be judged back. Exactly what happens when I even mention Oprah’s name. Jesus, John the baptist, Paul, Peter… all judged. They were judged back, most to the point of execution. Ouch! …the cost of trying to hold up the standard of God’s truth.

    BTW, I have been travelling abroad with my family over the holidays and will likely not get another topic going until next week. We start our ‘Blast from the Past’ Canadian tour this week so I kinda have my hands full. Till then, Happy New Year!

  29. Jeff says:

    Please don’t get me wrong…I am NOT defending Oprah…but why single her out? Because she has her own TV show and now her own TV Network?

    How much other “junk” is on TV with false beliefs and misled celeb’s. Do you watch Tom Cruise movies? John Travolta movies? How about their wives…Katie Holmes & Kelly Preston? They are all Scientologists promoting their false belief system and denying Christ!

    Why are we not attacking the Dali Lamma, promoting Buddhism and denying Christ? Why not Muslims? Do they not teach that Jesus was a prophet and a great man but NOT the Son of God?

    Right inside our “Christian” circle, why are we not attacking the false teachings of the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses or even the Catholics to name just three denominations of “Christians” who all claim to follow the same Holy Bible but ALL teach doctrine that is man-made, NOT from the inspired Word of God? (Ooooh…picking on the Catholics might only be second to picking on Oprah!)

    NEWSFLASH!!! When God does not want Oprah to exist…she will no longer exist!(Metaphorically speaking of course) “His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.” How do any of us know what God has in Oprah’s future? How do we know that she does not have a “Damascus Road” experience coming up?

    Paster Mark, you have told numerous stories of people (some famous)who lived their lives denying Christ, yet miraculously “found God” and changed their ways.

    As true followers of Christ, do we not believe that God is the Creator of everything and every one? That means that the same God who created YOU also created OPRAH! And the same Jesus that died on the cross for YOUR sins also died for OPRAH’S sins (whether SHE understands that or not). She is no less loved by God than you or I. She has no more or less value in God’s eyes than you or I.

    Oprah may never choose Christ as her Savior…and that’s up to God to deal with when her time on earth is done. One day she will be on her knees in front of her Maker confessing that He is Lord…that is a FACT!

    Let’s pray the truth sets her free before that. Let’s hope that somehow, somewhere, some way, she realizes her need for Jesus to be her Savior and she will pray for a personal relationship with Him.

    And…whether you like it or not…”if” and “when” she does that…He WILL forgive her… the old will be washed away and she will become a new creation in Christ…just like you or me or anyone else that has ever said a “sinner’s prayer” and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior.

    This should not just be about Oprah Winfrey, but for everyone who does not have the joy and peace of having Jesus as their Savior!

    Throughout history, God has been pretty good at taking care of things! Everything happens for a reason whether our finite little minds can comprehend it or not! From something as horrible as Hitler’s rise and fall to something as pathetic as the destruction of false ministries like Jim Jones, David Koresh or even Jim & Tammy Baker.

    Thank God that He is in control! If He had left it up to us humans, the world would have ended 1000′s of years ago. Our intolerance and ignorance guarantees our failure without Him! Intelligent discussion is fine… but quit with these petty arguments and barbed jabs at each other. You are wasting precious time that could be spent doing something useful in furthering God’s Kingdom.

    Romans 12:2-21 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

    Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.

    In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

    Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

    Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

    Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

    Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

    Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,“I will take revenge;I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

    Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

    Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

  30. Harry says:

    Jeff,

    Amen to that Brother. That what I was trying to say. Some people are pointing thier fingers so hard they are starting to wag.

  31. Sally says:

    I have to respond to Jeffs comments regarding Pastor Mark. In defense of Pastor Mark, he is not singling out Oprah per say, he is just doing what he is called to do; to stand up for truth and righteousness,”to preach the Word in season and in out”, no matter who thinks it is politically incorrect, whether it be Oprah Winfrey or anyone else for that matter.
    It is time for us Christians to be the force of change in out society and that won’t happen if we sit back with our lips zipped shut. We have seen the results of that over the past few years, now we have an abortion and homosexual agenda in our nation which would have been unheard of before.
    When a person like Oprah Winfrey who has pretended to be christian yet promotes another gospel and is deliberatingly influencing millions with the new age philosophy; it is only right for that error to be exposed for what it is. And yes I am all for praying for people, which all born-again believers naturally do; but there comes a time when we christians have to take a stand and be counted. Again when we stand before God He isn’t going to ask if we kept silent about social issues He is going to ask us what we did to warn those going the wrong way. We come to the Lord by “hearing the Word” and if we are not speaking then who is hearing us??

  32. Jeff says:

    Sorry Sally…my bad…the only comment directed soley at Pastor Mark was the paragraph that started with his name…throughout my entry, I was speaking in general to everyone reading. I was just beginning to be shocked by the shots people were taking at each other!

  33. Jane says:

    Wow! you sure called it Pastor Mark, I’ve never heard such strong reactions before and it’s mostly for Oprah. I think you all have many really good strong beliefs, if you put them all together you’d have it about right. One thing though, I don’t think Mark has said anything about Oprah’s future.

    I don’t believe any of us has her God complex that would allow us to say we know what her future is and that it’s all bad. Thats silly. As far as the other people, who have different beliefs, that make movies; we need to judge the contents if it’s not appropriate, don’t watch it. We need to guard our spirituality, our standing with Jesus and our Father.

    To stand firm we have to judge right from wrong. How can you do that if it’s wrong to judge peoples behaviour, We can act and pray, speak against evil, and Oprah’s cult is that, as also is a religion that teaches blowing up innocent people. That doesn’t mean we don’t pray for them. We judge all sorts of things everyday, most of us do so while keeping in touch with what our God wants from us. God bless all of you.

  34. Harry says:

    Well personally I can easily admit wrong when I am standing in error. Such is not the case. First the bible does say “do not judge”
    secondly, it also states “though shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour” Which sin is worse sin from an atheist or sin from a christian? (I cant help but think people are construing. the atheist doesn’t believe in sin so it is inconsequential). Hey I’m not perfect either but I also don’t like people pointing it out to me. We should remember that the latter part of the scripture of judge not lest you be judged Jesus states “why do we notice the speck in your brothers eye remove the plank in your own eye first” Remember Christians are sinners too.

    Amen

  35. Sally says:

    When Jesus spoke about not judging your brother he was speaking to those already in the household of God. This does not mean we are not to hold accountable those who are preaching a different gospel. We are to warn those in hopes that some may escape the snare of the devil.
    This statement of “judge not lest ye be judged” has been used by the enemy against us. If he can paralize the Body of Christ with a “religious spirit” which this is, he definitely will. His tactic is: lets not judge anything whether it be righteous or not…lets just accept every thing. We might offend someone if we speak out against what they are teaching; and that would be wrong or as they say today “politically incorrect”.
    All through the scriptures we are called to stand up for truth and righteousnes. And we know what happens when good men do nothing..

  36. G says:

    I find it interesting that some people will hide behind the “I was taught that if you had nothing nice to say about someone you shouldn’t say anything at all” and while if we all practiced that the world would probably be a quieter place I challenge you to provide the biblical reference for that. Jesus cast out the money changers in the temple saying that they had “made it a den of robbers”. He continuously harrassed the intentions of the Pharisees and exposed their self righteous and misleading teachings. Going so far as to call the a “brood of vipers”
    Kudos to you Pastor Mark for saying it like it is. It concerns me that so many of us are willing to accept a watered down christianity. Sometimes true christianity is uncomfortable. Sometimes standing up for what is right and exposing the negative influences in our lives, however popular, will result in us being unpopular. Such is the price of righteousness and such is the price of leadership.
    I wonder how many of us would stand up in the face of real persecution. I think we have it too soft these days and don’t need to CLING to God to identify ourselves as followers of Christ. Perhaps we need a good old fashioned persecution to bring back the strength of our church… (my tongue is partly in my cheek) and considering the state of religious tolerance in the world today; I don’t think that is too far off.

  37. Sally says:

    G, I think your last comment is right on and I think it is not as far off as one would think. Already we are seeing the anti-Jewish;(it is to the Jew first then us) and anti- Christian rhectoric is already happenening. We can see in the press the attack on Christians everywhere eg: the Coptic christians in Eygpt and of course the martyrdoms in other countries. I don’t think we will escape it is only a matter of time..The question is are willing and ready to die for our faith??

  38. Harry says:

    G,

    Gee that was easy. I never even finished reading your post.In regards to your challenge. Hmmm How about honor your mother and your father. The first commandment with a promise. I would like to think that speaking politely and not degrading people based on their race, religion etc is something my parents would have taught me. And you?

  39. Cindy says:

    To all the viewpoints posted herein and the time I’ve taken to absorb it all I am left with one basic thought, which I think summarizes the acts of Jesus as He walked on this earth. It is to love the sinner and bring awareness to the sin nature and to repent of it, leaving it behind and walking in newness of spirit as unto God. Judgement has not yet come and belongs to Christ alone, however we are to be discerning of both good and evil, of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Jude vs. 22-23 Of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire.

  40. Betty says:

    Thanks, Pastor Mark, for a job well done.
    The truth sometimes, really hurts, but we need to hear it, if we like it or not.

    Interested in the answer, to “What was[not is] the first Christmas gift?” It is, [a child], God Loves us so much, that He gave His Son.
    John 3:16,For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. NKJV

  41. Jane says:

    Paul was upset when he learned the Corinthian
    church were taking their desputes to the courts. In 1Cor.6:2&3 he says,”Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world be judged by you, are ye not worthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge Angels? how much more things that pertains to this life”.
    This doesn’t mean we can run around pointing fingers, but that we are obligated to know right from wrong and to stand up for that amongst ourselves. In other letters he tells us to love not be judgemental

  42. M says:

    do you realize as soon as i leave this message here anybody can Google your name and find out personal stuff about you.

  43. M says:

    We are all Gods Kids.

  44. M says:

    resntment is to refeel the past

  45. M says:

    I am sure although the Church of the Rock wants you to think that it is pastor Marks great mind and through god,that he is able to tell all these stories.He is the massager not the message.I resent-ally heard him recite 2 verse of the bible and 2 hours of stories.Thanks to Pastor Mark and all the people that do all his research.They are the real stars of the show “church of the rock”

  46. GL says:

    ‘M’
    You need to wake up!
    Pastor Mark has said it right on as well as other. We are to expose the darkness or how will people know? People are so apt to follow anything that makes them feel good but that is not the way, and yes we can judge! We just have to be prepared for the same and make sure are hearts are right.

  47. G says:

    @ harry:

    does it honour God to allow a non-christian to tell us how we should live our lives?
    does it honour God to listen to parents that lead us astray?
    Before the mention of honouring our parents we are taught in those very same commandments you quote that “I am the Lord your God” and “You shall have NO other Gods before me” and “You shall not make yourself an Idol”
    We are to obey God first and foremost and part of obeying God is to expose the false teachings of others including the “worshipped” oprah. An idol or god could be a person and need not be an inanimate object.
    Once again I will state that christianity is sometimes uncomfortable and it is especially uncomfortable when what we believe is true is revealed as not quite true.
    While your parents might teach you to not say anything if you have nothing nice to say I seriously doubt they meant that to allow someone to mislead the masses.
    I can feel your anger Mr Harry, I challenge and encourage you to look deeper into your heart and see the real truth. Obey GOD not man. In the order of events expected of jews in the ten commandments we are to hold GOD first and foremost and parents after our allegience and obedience to God is cemented. I can go against my parents teachings and still not dishonour them. If my parents were drug dealing alcoholics does and allowed me to live a promiscuous lifestyle when I was growing up do I dishonour them by choosing not to abuse drugs and alcohol? If my parents were viewers of pornography do I dishonour them by not viewing it myself? If my parents are divorced do I dishonour them by choosing my mate wisely and working hard to maintain my marriage? If my parents led a very unhealthy lifestyle and abused their bodies (and the temple of the Holy Spirit) does it dishonour them to keep myself fit and eat healthy foods?
    Mr Harry, obey God first. Expose untruth. And once again; I challenge you to show me the biblical reference to “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all” because I have nothing nice to say about child pornographers and I don’t think that dishonours God or my parents in any way and I will denounce it until the day I die.

  48. Judging righteously says:

    In his book of illustrations of Bible Truth, H.A. Ironside pointed out the folly of judging others. He related an incident in the life of a man called Bishop Potter. “He was sailing for Europe on one of the great transatlantic ocean liners. When he went on board, he found that another passenger was to share the cabin with him. After going to see the accommodations, he came up to the purser’s desk and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship’s safe. He explained that ordinarily he never availed himself of that privilege, but he had been to his cabin and had met the man who was to occupy the other berth. Judging from his appearance, he was afraid that he might not be a very trustworthy person. The purser accepted the responsibility for the valuables and remarked, It’s all right, Bishop, I’ll be very glad to take care of them for you. The other man has been up here and left his for the same reason!

    Paul now shifts the focuse from the pagan man and his rejection of God to the moral man and his self-righteous judgment of others.

    In both cases we are dealing with a problem of faith.

    Remember Romans 1:17 which sets the theme for this entire book: “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

    The pagan man rejects the object of faith which is God. The moral man rejects the function of faith which is to put faith or trust in God.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Romans 2:1

    Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

    ———-

    Paul uses the inferential particle DIO to connect the sinner of the previous context with the man who judges another.

    THEREFORE: You are without excuse.

    The scene set for us is one in which Paul has been critical of the one who is an overt sinner. While he has said the things of chapter one a group stands off to the side agreeing with Paul, nodding their heads, condemning those whom he is criticizing.

    But then Paul turns to them and announces condemnation upon their act of judgment.

    They are the ones who are without excuse . . .

    He uses a vocative for the singular use of MAN. A bit rare in the Greek New Testament, but it is used to grab the attention of the ones who think Paul is on their side.

    He wants to rouse them from their self-assuredness, to shock them into seeing that their sin of judgment is just as bad as the overt sin of the pagan man.

    This condemnation upon the moral man allows us to understand some of the mental attitude and verbal sins he mentioned in the list of Romans 1:28-31. The ones who judge others who do the overt sins are practicing sins also . . . they are full of malice, they are gossips, arrogant, boastful, unloving, and without mercy.

    They judge others, thinking they are doing God’s work; but God needs no help from morality.

    Morality is beneficial to society; but morality without spirituality leads to legalism, and legalism leads to the judging others.

    Paul tells the moralist that by judging others he condemns himself because he too practices sin:

  49. Harry says:

    Well that was informative and refreshing. Thank you Mr. Righteous. I think I hear some stones dropping. Jesus tells a story of casting stones you can read the story in the bible. Also, G I am not not interested in your challenge. It will just prove that a) the bible doesn’t actually cover every aspect of our lives and b) one can twist and constue any scripture for ones own intent. Remember, better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice.

  50. Victoria says:

    Hi.
    I have something to share about Oprahs show yesterday.
    The “Octo” mom had agreed to do an interview.
    Oprah had her seated between Suzy Orman(her financial consultant that has her own advice segment)and herself.
    I watched in absolute disgust as Oprah and Suzy bullied her into answering questions!the “octo mom” was obviously getting near a breakdown on stage and Suzy Orman even started to smile at the”octo-moms” discomfort!!! I am appalled and disgusted as they continued to accuse (and bully) the “octo mom” of getting false eyelashes, and getting botox and lip injections to look better for the cameras!
    I am sooooo sure that Oprah is working for the devil now.
    And it greatly saddens me.:(

  51. Jane says:

    Thank you Victoria, you just left a beautiful example of judging unrighteously.
    Noone agrees with what octo mom did BUT she and her beautiful children are a fact, if we can’t help her, leave her alone. If Oprah and Suzy did not intend to make her life a bit better they should have left her where she was. In saying that I’m being judgmental but once again Paul said in 1Cor.6 we need to know how to judge properly.

  52. G says:

    @ Harry
    I disagree with you vehemently. The Bible does provide us with teachings to govern every aspect of our lives.
    Your double negatives of “not not” are a mistype I assume? What you wrote indicates an energetic interest in my challenge.
    Your last line makes no sense to me; is it related to this discussion? Please elaborate.

  53. Harry says:

    G,

    Sorry wrong again. As I previously stated I am not interested. As for the last line I wrote previously that doesn’t make sense to you…look up Proverbs 16:8 that may help you with your dilemna.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*