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Section 12...The New Age
Oprah Winfrey

 

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Oprah-Eckhart
 

The Great Heretical Idea:
Oprah and Eckhart Do the
New Age Shift

By Warren Smith

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part 1
The Shift
Evolve or Die
Surprised by the Truth

Part 2:
Introduction
Butterworth: Christian or New Age?
Back to the Future
The Ultimate Ego Trip vs. Being Born Again

Part 3:
Oprah, Butterworth, Tolle and the Divinity of Man
Oprah and The Great Heretical Idea

Part 4:
Tolle and the Queen’s ‘New’ Suit of Clothes
Oprah’s Rude Awakening
The Truth:


Part 1

“Get ready to be awakened.” [Oprah] [1]

    “The twenty-first century will be the time of awakening, of meeting The Creator Within. Many beings will experience Oneness with God and with all of life. This will be the beginning of the golden age of the New Human, of which it has been written; the time of the universal human, which has been eloquently described by those with deep insight among you.

    “There are many such people in the world now – teachers and messengers, Masters and visionaries – who are placing this vision before humankind and offering tools with which to create it. These messengers and visionaries are the heralds of a New Age.” [bold added] [2] “God” Neale Donald Walsch. Friendship With God

    “…[T]his book itself is a transformational device that has come out of the arising new consciousness. The ideas and concepts presented here may be important, but they are secondary. They are no more than signposts pointing toward awakening. As you read, a shift takes place within you.”

    “This book’s main purpose is not to add new information or beliefs to your mind or to try to convince you of anything, but to bring about a shift in consciousness, that is to say, to awaken…. It will change your state of consciousness or it will be meaningless. It can only awaken those who are ready. Not everyone is ready yet, but many are, and with each person who awakens, the momentum in the collective consciousness grows, and it becomes easier for others.” [bold added] [3] Eckhart Tolle. The New Earth

    Don’t get attached to any one word. You can substitute ‘Christ’ for presence, if that is more meaningful to you. Christ is your God-essence or the Self, as it is sometimes called in the East. The only difference between Christ and presence is that Christ refers to your indwelling divinity regardless of whether you are conscious of it or not, whereas presence means your awakened divinity or God-essence.” Bold Added [4] Eckhart Tolle. The Power of Now
     

I stared at the huge stack of books in the Barnes & Noble bookstore. The title of the book was A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life Purpose. The title sounded like a new book by Purpose-Driven pastor Rick Warren, but it was actually the latest selection in Oprah’s Book Club. A colorful orange and blue paper band around the book invited the reader to “Join Oprah and Eckhart for a worldwide web event… Every Monday night beginning March 3, 2008 for 10 weeks… Register at Oprah.com/anewearth.” A personal message from Oprah stated: “Get ready to be awakened.”

It was clear to me that Oprah was no longer content to just popularize New Age beliefs, she would now teach them. This was a bold move by a woman who was obviously willing to do everything in her power – which is considerable – to convert the world to her New Age worldview.


The Shift
With friend and New Age author Marianne Williamson simultaneously teaching A Course in Miracles daily on Oprah & Friends XM Satellite Radio, Oprah now offers two very public New Age classes. These classes are teaching millions of people that the way to save themselves and the planet is not by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but rather by accepting “the Christ within.” For someone who probably has an aversion to traditional proselytizing, Oprah is giving new meaning to the word “proselytize” as she continues to push her New Age beliefs upon the world. But, in defense of her role as a New Age proselytizer, Oprah would probably be the first to tell you – it’s all for the good of the world. She would also probably argue that what she is teaching is not New Age, but a “New Spirituality.” Curiously, that just happens to be the same term that some emerging church leaders like Brian McLaren are using as they introduce New Age ideas and language into the church. [5]

Oprah can call her New Age teachings whatever she wants, but she and her ever-growing band of New Age colleagues are still teaching that “we are all one” because we are all “God” and “Christ.” As Marianne Williamson writes, “We are all one, we are love itself. ‘Accepting the Christ’ is merely a shift in self-perception.” [6]

The “shift” Williamson, Oprah and Tolle describe is “awakening” to the “Christ within” and the “God within.” “Shift” is the key word. It means to move from one position to another – as in shifting one’s awareness away from the mind and “ego” to the collective “Christ consciousness” or “Christ within.” And, as in shifting your belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to a New Age belief in the “Christ within.” With her New Age classrooms on satellite radio, and now on the Internet, Oprah apparently feels an urgency to teach everyone how to “awaken” and make this “shift” to the “Christ” within. With her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) kicking in next year we can expect to see her New Age views showcased on an even grander scale.

In her first class with Eckhart Tolle, Oprah asked if people had experienced the “shift” while reading Tolle’s book, A New Earth. The question reminded me of Werner Erhard’s New Age EST program in the 1970s that taught this same idea of shifting one’s perception, and then similarly asking – “Did you get IT?” Obviously, there is pressure to “get IT” – to feel the shift: Oprah felt the shift – did you? Are you understanding this new [age] way of looking at yourself and the world? Or, are you being blocked by your mind and your ego from seeing this New Spirituality that can save our planet? Keep logging onto our classes. Keep reading Tolle’s book – you’ll ‘get it.’

Years earlier, when launching the New Age movement publicly with her book The Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn Ferguson introduced this concept of the “shift,” connecting it to the mystical ideas of Teilhard de Chardin – the father of the New Age movement – “whose new perspective would trigger a critical contagion of change” which would result in the “rapid transformation of the human species, beginning with a vanguard” of emerging leaders. She explained how scientist-philosopher Thomas Kuhn coined the term “paradigm shift” to describe “a distinctly new way of thinking” which entailed accepting new truths. When “the new paradigm gains ascendance” and “a critical number of thinkers has accepted the new idea, a collective paradigm shift has occurred.” Ferguson said the “shift” would result in a “new knowing” of the occult world called an “awakening” of “deep inner shifts.” [7]


Evolve or Die
Tolle’s book A New Earth – like A Course in Miracles and other New Age teachings – exploits the idea that the world is at a crisis point and insists that we must “spiritually evolve” as a species to avoid personal and planetary disaster. According to New Age leaders like Tolle, spiritually evolving means “shifting” or converting to the heretical belief that we are all “God” and that we are all “Christ.”

In both his book and his class with Oprah, Tolle reiterated the words that New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard was given by her New Age “Christ” – “evolve or die.”[8] In other words, don’t feel any pressure, but if you don’t “shift” your point of view, and “get it” that “we are all one” and that “we are all God,” our planet will probably be destroyed and our human species will become extinct.

Tolle and Oprah stayed away from the harsher aspects of this “evolve or die” dictate in that first Internet class. Hubbard, however, has made it clear that in the future, those who refuse to make the “shift” by seeing themselves as “God” will be eliminated by something called “the selection process.”[9] Hubbard, who is highly respected by her New Age colleagues, claims that her “Christ” has laid out an Armageddon alternative peace plan to save the planet. This peace plan is predicated on accepting the “shift” in consciousness that Oprah and Tolle (and other New Age leaders) are teaching – the “shift” to the Christ within.

Hubbard’s New Age view of the future inspired her to be one of the co-founders of the World Future Society and she is currently listed as a member of its Global Advisory Council.[10] Emergent leader at the “vanguard” of church “transformation,” Brian McLaren, has also written about an Armageddon alternative [11] and just happens to be one of the featured speakers at the upcoming World Future Society’s annual gathering.


Surprised by the Truth
In describing their New Age/New Spirituality “shift” and the necessity for everyone to spiritually evolve, Eckhart Tolle erroneously states that once you “awaken” to your Christ-consciousness and your own godhood, the shift is “irreversible.”[12] What he neglects to take into account is that there are large numbers of us who formerly made the “shift” to these New Age beliefs only to discover – by the grace of God – that we had been greatly deceived by these New Age teachings. The Bible proved itself to be true as it exposed the New Age/New Spirituality for what it was – a lie. It was very humbling for us to realize that the Bible was true after all, and our New Age beliefs were wrong. God was God and we were not. Jesus was the one and only Christ. There was no universal “Christ-consciousness” or “Christ within.” We were amazed to discover that there really was a deceptive spirit world and an actual devil; that we really were sinners that needed to be saved by Jesus Christ. What we came to understand was that the whole New Age plan to save the world was part of the very deception that Jesus warned would come at the time of the end (Matthew 24). We were stunned by the truth of the Bible and shocked at our own gullibility to have believed that we were “God” and “Christ.” We had been very sincere about our New Age beliefs, but we were sincerely wrong – as are Oprah and Tolle.

The New Age paradigm “shift” is a deceptive device that is being cleverly used by a very real spiritual Adversary who is out to deceive the world. One of the definitions of “shift” in Webster’s Dictionary is “a deceitful scheme or method; a trick.” [13] The New Age/New Spirituality “shift” advocated by Oprah and Tolle is such a “shift.” It is, in every sense of the word, diabolically “shifty.”

Endnotes:
1. Eckhart Tolle, The New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (New York: Plume, 2005), paper band encircling book.
2. Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God: an uncommon dialogue (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999), p. 295-6.
3. Tolle, The New Earth, p. 6-7.
4. Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (Novato, CA: Namaste, 1999), p. 104.
5. Brian McLaren, quote cited in Faith Undone by Roger Oakland (Silverton, OR: Lighthouse Trails, 2007), p. 11.
6. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles (New York: Harper Perennial, 1996), p. 32.
7. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1980), pp. 25-32.
8. Tolle, A New Earth, p. 21. Barbara Marx Hubbard lecture at Texas A & M University, September 11, 2002, information taken from The Aggie Daily, September 12, 2002. Warren Smith, Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel (Ravenna, OH: Conscience Press, 2002), pp. 16, 19.
9. Smith, Ibid.
10. “WorldFuture 2008: Seeing the Future Through New Eyes,” World Future Society conference brochure, http://www.wfs.org/March-April08/WF2008_preliminary.pdf
11. Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, 2006), p. 175.
12. Tolle, The New Earth, p. 7.
13. Websters New World Dictionary (New York: Websters New World Dictionaries, 1988).

 

Part 2:

    “This basic principle – the Divinity of Man – is the dynamism of Christianity that can save the world and lead mankind to a new level of ‘peace on earth, good will toward men.’” [Eric Butterworth. Discover the Power Within You] [14]

    “The great sin of mankind is not to know the divinity that lies unexpressed within every individual.” [Eric Butterworth. Discover the Power Within You] [15]

    “‘Namaskar!’ Behold yourself in a mirror and say, ‘Namaskar!’ (I salute the divinity in you.) And then go out and act the part.” [Eric Butterworth. Discover the Power Within You] [16].

Several million people have already downloaded Oprah and Eckhart Tolle’s webcast classes on Tolle’s new book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. Obviously this book is connecting deeply within people. Why? Because Tolle is giving very practical applications on how to be a better person and how to love your neighbor, becoming more sensitive to others and to your own life. These very practical things that he is talking about are part of the reason I was drawn into the New Age for 5 years before realizing I was being deceived. From my background, I can totally understand how people are attracted to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. It seems so right, feels so good, and appears so wonderful. However, for all the worthy applications that Oprah and Tolle are teaching, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (Gal 5:9).

Oprah and Tolle completely invalidate the interpersonal lessons they are teaching when they suddenly “shift” to the teaching of the “Divinity of Man,” which is the core New Age belief that man is “God” and that man is “Christ.” For whatever good Tolle and Oprah might be sharing with their audience, it is utterly undone when they build it on the foundation of the “Divinity of Man” teaching. The Lord Jesus Christ said if you build your house – no matter how nice – it’s going to fall if you build it on a foundation of sand (Matthew 7:26-27). No matter how beautiful your house, how good it feels, how nice it looks, if it is built on the wrong foundation it will fall. Of particular concern is the fact that Oprah and Tolle selectively pick Scriptures from the Bible for their own convenience and then omit the First Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Deuteronomy 5:7).

This is the “shift.” It is a bait and switch. It is reaching people through their “felt needs,” which are genuine and real, but then tells them that they are “God” and they are “Christ.”

In their first Internet class, Oprah and Tolle were very careful to not describe “the shift” or their spiritual beliefs as New Age.” They tried to distance themselves from the term "New Age" by saying "New Age" was more “I want:” what they were doing was on a much higher plane. So rather than calling their New Age teachings for what they are – New Age – they were now describing them as the New Spirituality.

Because many Christians are rightfully concerned about heretical New Age teachings, Oprah and Tolle and most New Age leaders are now trying to redefine the term “New Age" to mean something selfish and frivolous. New Age teacher Marianne Williamson is particularly clever at this. However, the New Age by any other name is still New Age. To confuse matters even more, Oprah described herself on the webcast as a “Christian” and not as the New Age believer that she is. This had to be very confusing to her audience; and when the first caller asked how Oprah reconciled this “new form of spirituality” with her “Christian” beliefs, Oprah responded by talking about “Christ consciousness”.

    First Caller (“Kelly from Alton, Illinois”): …Well, my question is regarding religion and spirituality.... In reading books such as Tolle’s… it’s really opened my eyes up to a new way of thinking, a new form of spirituality that doesn’t always align with the teachings of Christianity. So my question is to you, Oprah, how have you reconciled these spiritual teachings with your Christian beliefs?

    Oprah: … I’ve reconciled it because I was able to open my mind about the absolute, indescribable hugeness of that which we call God. I took God out of the box because I grew up in the Baptist church and there were, you know, rules and, you know, belief systems and doctrine….

    …And, you know, it’s been a journey to get to the place where I understand… that what I believe is that Jesus came to show us Christ consciousness…. Jesus came to show us the way of the heart… to show us the higher consciousness that we’re all talking about here….

    And as I said earlier in the preshow here, there was a wonderful book called Discover the Power Within You by Eric Butterworth, which helped me reconcile the two. So that might be really good for those of you who are Christian and trying to balance the two.[17]


Butterworth: Christian or New Age?
Twenty-one years earlier, on her September 18, 1987 Oprah Winfrey television program on the topic of “The New Age Movement,” Oprah actually defined the term ‘New Age’ by talking about this same Eric Butterworth and the same book Discover the Power Within You. This program was significant because in it Oprah introduced the New Age movement to her American audience. The ideas of “awakening” and “shifting” one’s awareness to the “divine self” – everything that she and Eckhart Tolle are now calling the “New Spirituality” – was clearly described by Oprah and her guests on that 1987 program as the “New Age movement.” Oprah began that program by stating:

    “They call themselves members of the New Age movement, and they say that our hope for survival as a planet comes from learning about our own individual power and our own divinity….” [18]

Guests on that show included:

    Marilyn Ferguson, author of The Aquarian Conspiracy, which Oprah referred to in her introduction as “the bible of the New Age movement”

    Glenn Lehrer, “a minerologist and gemologist who has been working with …doctors who use crystals for healing”

    Keven Ryerson, “the trancechanneler made famous by Shirley MacLaine in her books and also on her miniseries, ‘Out on a Limb’”

    Marcello Truzzi, a skeptic who “says that much of the New Age philosophy is just yuppie spiritualism”

    Dr. Donald Curtis, a Unity minister, who “says that Christ did not come to preach his own divinity, but to tell us of our own divinity”

Later in the show, Oprah is told by Dr. Curtis that her remarks concerning author Eric Butterworth perfectly defined the term ‘New Age’:

    WINFREY: One of the most important books, I think I’ve read, in my life was a book by Eric Butterworth…. Called Discover the Power Within You. And what Eric Butterworth said in that book is that Jesus did not come to teach how divine he was, but came to teach us that there is divinity within us. So that is essentially what we are talking about.

    Dr. CURTIS: That’s a summary statement of exactly where we are in what we call the New Age or New thought.

Oprah and Dr. Curtis had several other noteworthy exchanges:

    WINFREY: …There seems to be a spiritual movement afoot, and I wonder if it’s because I sense my own spiritual evolvement, or is this something that’s really happening, Dr. Curtis?

    Dr. CURTIS. Unity Minister: Well, I’m sure it’s happening, because as you said in the introduction, that the New Age or the new thought religions are very much in line with traditional religion. I think it’s a dimension that comes when we’re aware of the awakening in consciousness, the shift, the new paradigms of thought and all of the awakening of that divine self in individuals, that of course, where is one to go to find security, or to find a sense of their own reality, except within?... [bold added]

    …Dr. CURTIS: Can you imagine any greater revolutionary or New Age thinker than Jesus Christ when he came on the scene?

    WINFREY: Yeah, absolutely. [19]


Back to the Future
On her March 3, 2008 webcast with Eckhart Tolle, Oprah was actually reiterating what she had already said about the New Age movement over twenty years ago on that 1987 Oprah Winfrey Show. Her statements about Eric Butterworth and his book then were almost identical to what she is saying now – that man is divine. And Dr. Curtis’s description of the New Age “awakening” and the New Age “shift” to the “divine self” on that 1987 program are essentially what Oprah and Tolle are teaching now – but instead of calling it “New Age” they are trying to distance themselves from the term by calling it the “New Spirituality.”

But there is nothing new about the New Age/New Spirituality, or what Oprah and Tolle have been teaching in their worldwide webcast. The New Age/New Spirituality Movement has been around for decades, working its way into the world’s mindset in some extremely creative ways. Take for example the extremely popular Chicken Soup for the Soul books. These books are commonly found in Christian bookstores. The co-author of these books, Jack Canfield, has been a New Age leader and educator for over thirty years. He wrote an article entitled “Education in the New Age” for New Age Magazine in 1978. He has also written school curriculums that instruct teachers how to use guided visualization to help children get in touch with their spirit guides. [20]

It was not by chance that the first story in Canfield’s very first Chicken Soup for the Soul book was written by Oprah’s New Age mentor, Eric Butterworth. The quote preceding the Butterworth story was by Teilhard de Chardin – the father of the modern New Age movement. Also, in that first Chicken Soup for the Soul book Canfield included one of his own stories entitled “The Golden Buddha.” The “feel good” moral of this little story about Buddha is that there is a “golden Christ” inside each one of us who is our “real self.” [21]

New Age leader Jack Canfield and his Chicken Soup for the Soul books speak loudly to how the New Age has integrated itself into the world and into the lives of Christians. Canfield’s introductory quote by Teilhard de Chardin, the story by Butterworth, and his own story about the “Golden Christ” within each person, perfectly dovetails with Oprah and Tolle’s New Earth webcasts. This is the way the deceptive New Age “shift” works. The “shift” seems so innocent and beguiling, but in reality it is a “shift” to the heretical teaching of the “Christ within.” [See Chicken Soup For The Soul]

As a footnote, Canfield’s book Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul sits in many Christian bookstores – as does his first Chicken Soup book that has the Butterworth story and the story about the Christ within.


The Ultimate Ego Trip vs. Being Born Again
During that 1987 Oprah Winfrey Show on the New Age movement, a woman in the audience courageously presented the Gospel message that “you have to accept Jesus as your personal savior.” Oprah responded by telling her, “That’s your personal feeling.” Dr. Curtis then jumped in and explained away the woman’s comments as representative of an “orthodox interpretation.” Then Oprah responded with a shocking statement about Jesus:

    “…I mean, I was raised a Baptist – if in fact what we are taught when you go to church and you adore Jesus and you praise Jesus and praise this, it means Jesus would have been the biggest egotist that ever lived, if that was his purpose in coming to the world, to have people adore him and worship him and carry on about him, as people do.”

There was a brief further discussion and then a commercial break, after which Oprah immediately began to do damage control over what she had just said:

    “I just want to clarify, I did not say Jesus was an egotist, so don’t write me saying I said he was an egotist. I didn’t say that. Okay?” [22]

Twenty-one years ago her comment was a very controversial statement. Today, with the widespread influence of the New Age movement, many people believe this way, including a number of emerging church leaders.

But, contrary to what Oprah and Tolle state, New Age beliefs can not be reconciled to biblical Christianity. The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus Christ came to the world as Messiah – the one and only Christ. He did not come to teach humanity to “shift” from the “ego” to their “inner Christ.”

What Oprah, Tolle and all other New Age/New Spirituality leaders seem to overlook in their discussion of the ego is that the absolute, ultimate ego trip for man to believe that he is God. When you “shift,” you are not leaving the ego at all! Setting up God in your own heart, you make a mockery of the one true God. Claiming the title of "God" and "Christ" for himself, man succumbs to the original beguiling by the Devil in the Garden of Eden that “ye shall be as gods.”

Jesus Christ taught “that which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). He said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). He said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7). Being born again means accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, not accepting yourself as “God” and shifting to a nonexistent “Christ within.” Accepting yourself as “Christ” is not being born again. It is to fall into the very deception the real Jesus Christ warned us to beware of in Matthew 24:4-5:

    “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”

Endnotes:
14. Eric Butterworth, Discover the Power Within You: A Guide to the Unexplored Depths Within, Based on the Actual Teachings of Jesus (New York: Harper & Row, 1968), p. 8
15. Ibid, p. 233.
16. Ibid. Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaste for definition of “namaskar.”
17. ITunes podcast: “Oprah and Eckhart Tolle Discuss Chapter 1 of A New Earth” 3/3/08.
18. The Oprah Winfrey Show, Show #W265, Air Date September 18, 1987, official transcript.
19. Ibid.
20. Johanna Michaelsen, Like Lambs to the Slaughter: Your Child and the Occult (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1989), p. 88.
21. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit (Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc. 1993), pp. 1-4; pp. 69-71.
22. The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ibid.

 

Part 3:

    “Now the heretics are gaining ground, doctrine is losing its authority, and knowing is superceding belief.” [Marilyn Ferguson. The Aquarian Conspiracy] [23]

    “In you, as in each human being, there is a dimension of consciousness far deeper than thought. It is the very essence of who you are. We may call it presence, awareness, the unconditioned consciousness. In the ancient teachings, it is the Christ within, or your Buddha nature.” [bold added] [Eckhart Tolle. Stillness Speaks] [24]

    “As we flew home on Cathay Pacific Airlines I began to think to myself, “We are all like the clay Buddha covered with a shell of hardness created out of fear, and yet underneath each of us is a ‘golden Buddha,’ a ‘golden Christ’ or a ‘golden essence,’ which is our real self.” [bold added] Jack Canfield’s story “The Golden Buddha”. Chicken Soup for the Soul.] [25]

    "Christ is your God-essence or the Self, as it is sometimes called in the East. The only difference between Christ and presence is that Christ refers to your indwelling divinity regardless of whether you are conscious of it or not, whereas presence means your awakened divinity or God-essence.” [bold added] [Eckhart Tolle. The Power of Now] [26]


Oprah, Butterworth, Tolle and the Divinity of Man
How long has Oprah believed in this historically heretical idea that we are all one because we are all “God” and “Christ”? For sure, at least as far back as her 1987 television program on the “New Age Movement,” when she defined the New Age movement by endorsing Eric Butterworth’s book Discovering the Power Within You and reiterating his view that “Jesus did not come to teach how divine he was, but came to teach us that there is divinity within us.” [27]

It is no wonder that Oprah came away with that point of view after reading Butterworth’s book. In Discovering the Power Within You, Butterworth uses the terminology about the divinity of man over 100 times. In this book, which Oprah described as “one of the most important books” [28] that she had ever read, Butterworth writes:

    “We must begin to see Jesus as the great discoverer of the innate Divinity of Man, the supreme revealer of the truth about man, the pioneer and way-shower in the quest for self-realization and self-unfoldment.” [29]

    “Jesus had a unique concept of God. To Him, God was not an object of worship but a Presence dwelling in us, a force surrounding us, and a Principle by which we live. It is not too much to say that anyone who catches the idea of Jesus’ concept will find himself caught up in a new consciousness that will change his whole life. He will never be the same again." [30]

    “The ‘only begotten’ in spiritual man, the Christ principle, the principle of the Divinity of Man.” [31]

    “Tradition holds that the disciples once asked Jesus, ‘When shall the Kingdom come?’ and He answered, ‘When the without shall become as the within.’ In other words – when you become in expression what you were created to be. Or, from the world view, when the race of man is elevated to the level of universal perfection.” [32]

Oprah, Tolle and New Age teachers are warning that our planet and our species may become extinct if we don’t have a “Great Awakening” to the reality that we are all “God” and we are all “Christ.” The real Jesus Christ warns us not to believe them. He warns that false Christs will be part of the Great Deception at the end of time. This warning definitely includes those who believe in a universal inner Christ – the “Divinity of Man.”

Unfortunately, Oprah has placed her faith in New Age teachers like Eric Butterworth, Marianne Williamson and Eckhart Tolle rather than the teachings of the Bible. Whatever the case, Oprah should be honest with her viewers and let them know that what she is teaching is pure New Age spirituality. Should she continue to deny that fact, Eric Butterworth’s official website as of March 31, 2008 (www.ericbutterworth.com) describes Butterworth as a “New Age pioneer.”

    “Eric Butterworth was Senior Minister of The Unity Center of New York City from 1961 to 2003. He made a peaceful transition into the Flow of Eternal Life on Thursday, April 17, 2003. Eric was considered a legend and spiritual icon in the Unity Movement…. The author of 16 best-selling books on metaphysical spirituality, a gifted theologian, philosopher, and lecturer, Eric was a highly respected New Age pioneer and innovator of New Thought, whose life was dedicated to helping people to help themselves.” [33] [bold added]

Butterworth’s official website also describes Oprah Winfrey as a Butterworth “devotee” and includes her endorsement of Discover the Power Within You:

      “His devotees include people from all walks and stations of life, all of whom state that his teaching helped to change their lives. Oprah Winfrey says of his classic book, Discover the Power Within You, ‘This book changed my perspective on life and religion.’” [34]


Oprah and The Great Heretical Idea
On that 1987 Oprah Winfrey Show on the New Age Movement, Oprah’s first featured guest was Marilyn Ferguson, author of The Aquarian Conspiracy – a book Oprah referred to as “the bible of the New Age movement.” 35 In The Aquarian Conspiracy, Ferguson described the “great heretical idea” 36 that will enable humanity to spiritually evolve and achieve world peace. That great heretical idea is the belief that God is “in” everyone and everything. Ferguson described imminence – “God within” – as the world’s “oldest heresy.” 37 This heresy is the one that she and her New Age “conspirators” were in the process of mainstreaming – believing that it would eventually become our “common heritage” and what “everybody knows.” [38] Ferguson wrote:

    “Usually at the point of crisis, someone has a great heretical idea. A powerful new insight explains the apparent contradictions. It introduces a new principle… a new perspective.” [39] [bold added]

    “Given the superior power and scope of the new idea, we might expect it to prevail rather quickly, but that almost never happens. The problem is that you can’t embrace the new paradigm unless you let go of the old.” [40]

    “If these discoveries of transformation are to become our common heritage for the first time in history, they must be widely communicated. They must become our new consensus, what ‘everybody knows.’” [41]

How ironic that as Ferguson and other New Age spokespersons sat with Oprah on that 1987 television program discussing the New Age Movement, it was Oprah’s stated personal belief that defined the New Age to her viewers and outed the “great heretical idea.” She did this by referring to Eric Butterworth and reiterating his belief that all humanity is divine. That was when Dr. Curtis turned to Oprah and said, “That’s a summary statement of exactly where we are in what we call the New Age or the new thought.”42 Should we be surprised that over the next two decades Oprah popularized countless New Age books that all teach this “great heretical idea” that we are divine because God is “in” everyone?

In The Aquarian Conspiracy, Ferguson wrote that it takes time to get from “the great heretical idea” to the acceptance of the idea as new truth. In order to arrive at this “new consensus,” she stated that the heretical idea “must be widely communicated.” And this is precisely what Oprah Winfrey has done over the past twenty years – and that is what she is doing today with her New Age classes with Eckhart Tolle and A New Earth and with Marianne Williamson and A Course in Miracles.

Had Oprah read and believed Matthew 24:4-5 instead of Eric Butterworth, she would have seen Butterworth’s New Age teaching that we are all "Christ" to be part of the very deception the real Jesus warned would precede His coming and the coming of His Kingdom.

      “And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5)

But if we are all “Christ” as Eric Butterworth, Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle and the New Age teach, then what is Jesus warning about in the Bible when he says:

    “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and they shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” (Matthew 24:23-26)

If we are all “Christ” then how can there even be false Christs? It makes no sense for Jesus to warn of false Christs if everyone is “Christ.” It is very clear that Jesus is not telling everyone to “awake” and “shift” to the “Christ within,” but to beware of those who tell you to do that – to beware of Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson and anyone else who teaches that we are all “Christ.”


Endnotes:
23. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1980, p. 371.
24. Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks (Vancouver: Canada: Namaste, 2003), p. 13.
25. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit (Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc. 1993), p. 71.
26. Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (Novato, CA: Namaste, 1999), p. 104.
27. The Oprah Winfrey Show, Show #W265, Air Date September 18, 1987, official transcript, p. 7.
28. Ibid.
29. Eric Butterworth, Discover the Power Within You: A Guide to the Unexplored Depths Within, Based on the Actual Teachings of Jesus (New York: Harper & Row, 1968), p. 25.
30. Ibid, p. 27.
31. Ibid, p. 11.
32. Ibid, p. 224.
33. http://www.ericbutterworth.com/html/eric_bio.html
34. Ibid.
35. The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ibid., p. 2.
36. The Aquarian Conspiracy, p. 27.
37. Ibid, p. 382.
38. Ibid, p. 34.
39. Ibid., p. 27.
40. Ibid.
41. Ibid. p. 34.
42. The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ibid, p. 7.

 

Part 4:

    "The good old minister went into the room where the swindlers sat before the empty looms. ‘Heaven preserve us!’ he thought, and opened his eyes wide, 'I cannot see anything at all,' but he did not say so. Both swindlers requested him to come near, and asked him if he did not admire the exquisite pattern and the beautiful colours, pointing to the empty looms. The poor old minister tried his very best, but he could see nothing, for there was nothing to be seen. ‘Oh dear,’ he thought, ‘can I be so stupid? I should never have thought so, and nobody must know it! Is it possible that I am not fit for my office? No, no, I cannot say that I was unable to see the cloth.'" [Hans Christian Andersen. The Emperor’s New Suit] [43]


Tolle and the Queen’s ‘New’ Suit of Clothes
In the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” some swindlers convince the Emperor and his ministers to see a suit of clothes that is actually non-existent. These swindlers convince the Emperor and his ministers by telling them that only “intelligent,” well-informed citizens can see the suit. Publicity about the Emperor’s “new” suit went out unto all the kingdom as people were told what they were supposed to see. The people realized that if they were to be perceived as “smart” and not seem “stupid” they would see this suit of clothes. And, of course, no one wanted to be perceived as stupid.

Soon it was publicized throughout the kingdom that the Emperor would be showing off his “new” suit of clothes in a public procession several days hence. When the day came, the naked Emperor walked among his people and received unanimous acclaim for his new suit of clothes. The people saw what they had been told to see. “Isn’t it absolutely wonderful,” all the people proclaimed. “The emperor is all dressed up in his new suit of clothes.”

Everyone was so taken by the Emperor’s “new” suit of clothes, that they barely heard the little boy who hadn’t been told what he was supposed to see. “But the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes,” said the lad. “The emperor is naked.”

Several people heard the boy and realized that what he was saying was true. Suddenly everyone’s eyes were opened and they realized they had been tricked into seeing something that wasn’t even there. The Emperor wasn’t wearing a new suit of clothes. He was as naked as the day that he was born. Swindlers had deceived the Emperor, his ministers, and almost the whole kingdom with their clever scheme.

And so it is with the “New” Age/”New” Spirituality and Oprah Winfrey. Widely regarded as the “Queen” of the airwaves, Oprah has been deceived into seeing a “New” Age/”New” Spirituality “suit of clothes” that simply isn’t there. The Queen’s advisors – Eric Butterworth, Maya Angelou, Marianne Williamson, Gary Zukav, Neale Donald Walsch, Esther Hicks, Eckhart Tolle, and countless others -- have all been similarly deceived into seeing this “new” way of looking at themselves and the world. Deceived and deceiving, they in turn convinced the Queen that she and everyone in her kingdom just needed to “shift” past their “egos” and “awaken” to the fact that they were already clothed in “Christ” – that they were already wearing this “new” suit from the New Age/New Spirituality wardrobe. All they had to do was accept and affirm the “God” and “Christ” within.

The Queen was very excited. She said she would help everyone “awaken” and “shift” to this new “Christ consciousness” – this “new” way of “seeing” themselves and their world. Being a sympathetic and caring person, she wanted the whole world to see what she and her advisors were seeing – that everyone was divine and clothed in this “Christ consciousness.” She knew that if this “New” Age/”New” Spirituality suit of clothes was presented properly, all the wise and well-informed people would “see” her point of view and “get it.” They would “awaken” as she and Marianne Williamson and Eckhart Tolle had. If everyone would just “awaken” and “shift” to this new way of seeing themselves, then everything in the kingdom could be made right again. With this “Great Awakening,” all of humanity could spiritually evolve and world peace could finally be achieved.

So with great fanfare and publicity, the Queen went on the worldwide web and told everyone in the world that what she and Eckhart Tolle were teaching was the most exciting thing she had ever done. On her first Internet class, the Queen told her enthusiastic followers that there was nothing more important than “awakening” to the “New” Spirituality – that we are all clothed in “Christ” and that we are all dressed in this same suit of clothes because we are all “God” and we are all “Christ.” She was hopeful everyone would see the world as “A New Earth” the way she and Eckhart, and all of her New Age colleagues, saw it. But she was worried about the people who were not smart enough to see that they were “God” and “Christ.” She told everyone in her first Internet class if there isn’t a shift, God only knows what will happen to us.

The Queen’s urgency let everyone know that it was really important that they have the “awakening” and make the “shift” to the “Christ” within. She was very charismatic and very convincing as she made it clear that the well-being of the planet depended on everyone seeing themselves as “God” and “Christ.” She and Eckhart warned that people would either be smart and evolve, or they would die.

But it wasn’t a little boy who warned the Queen that she was being greatly deceived – the warnings were from the one true God that had created her. His Holy Bible warned her not to be deceived by false prophets and false Christs that claimed that “Christ” was within every person. His Scriptures made it clear that Jesus Christ was the one and only true Christ. But the Queen wasn’t listening to the words of the Bible. She was listening to Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson and her New Age colleagues.


Oprah’s Rude Awakening
Oprah has done her job well. For over twenty years she has enthusiastically and consistently communicated her New Age beliefs through countless New Age authors. Marilyn Ferguson and all those in the “Aquarian Conspiracy” must be very proud of her. Thanks to Oprah’s high visibility and continued popularity, “the great heretical idea” that “God” and “Christ” are within everyone has been “widely communicated” and is fast becoming our “new consensus” and “what everyone knows.” [44] This ten-week class that she is teaching with Eckhart Tolle is the culmination of all that Oprah has sought to teach her viewers over the years about the New Age and how to see the world anew. But like the Emperor and his “new” suit of clothes, Oprah has been greatly deceived by her New Spirituality.

Sadly, if Oprah and her colleagues continue down the path of the New Age/New Spirituality, they will experience an “awakening” some day, but it will not be the “Great Awakening” they anticipated. Instead it will be a rude awakening come Judgment Day. On that day they will suddenly realize that God is God and they are not, and they never were. They will realize that Jesus Christ is Lord and that He is the one and only Christ, and there is no “Christ” within. They will see that they were deceived and that the Lord Jesus Christ really meant it when he said,

    “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5).

Just as the Apostle Paul prayed for Israel, may we all pray for Oprah and her millions of followers.

    Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 10:1-4)


The Truth:

    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)


Footnotes:
43. The Complete Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales, edited by Lily Owens (Portland House, 1984), p. 439.
44. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1980, p. 27

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Index to Oprah Winfrey
High Priestess of The New Age

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