A Comparative Analysis of Oprah Winfrey’s Worldview of Christianity and Biblical Christianity

Oprah Winfrey continues to be one the most influential people of our time. Her extraordinary gift for connecting with people, combined with her ever-expanding empire (Oprah Winfrey Network), has extended her sphere of influence significantly. Millions view Oprah as a credible source of information concerning just about anything, including spirituality. 
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About the Author

booksigning2Dr. George B. Davis is the founder of New Harvest Church of Wichita Falls Texas, where he currently serves as senior pastor. He was licensed to preach the Gospel in October 1983 and ordained to fulltime ministry in March of 1991. During 28 years of ministry, Dr. Davis served the body of Christ as pastor, assistant pastor, youth pastor, outreach minister, lecturer, seminar conference leader for pastoral training, and church administrator. Dr. Davis holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from Trinity College of the Bible and Theological Seminary, Newburg, Indiana, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Culver-Stockton College, Canton, Missouri. George has been married for forty-two years to the former Dorotha McCauley. They have three children: Andre, Renee, and DeAndrea.

Read an Excerpt

“Within Oprah’s worldview of Christianity, the suffering of Christ on the cross is purely symbolic. While she acknowledges his suffering, she contends that it was an illustration to show humanity how to transcend pain. In this, Oprah defers to the teachings of Tolle to support her claims concerning Christ’s suffering. Tolle writes: Why is the suffering body of Christ, his face distorted in agony and his body bleeding from countless wounds, such a significant image in the collective consciousness of humanity? Millions of people, particularly in medieval times, would not have related to it [Christ suffering] as deeply as they did if something within themselves had not resonated with it, if they had unconsciously recognized it [Christ suffering] as an outer representation of their own inner reality—the pain-body. They were not yet conscious enough to recognize it [Christ suffering] directly within themselves, but it was the beginning of them becoming aware of it. Christ can be seen as the archetypal human embodying both the pain and the possibility of transcendence.

Concurring with Tolle’s comments, Oprah adds a personal note: “The very moment, the worst thing that can happen to you if you surrender to it [suffering], there’s an opening that allows the energy of the divine to come through; the moment you surrender.” Oprah describes her moment when she surrendered to the pain as an epiphanic experience, when she says to Tolle, “As we mentioned last time, Jesus on the cross when he said, ‘They know not what they do,’ meaning they are so unconscious, they are in the grip of an energy field at which they cannot control, they don’t even know that they are in the grip of this energy field because it has taken complete possession of them.”

In saying this, Oprah asserts that suffering is part of the “pain body,” which is an illusion of the ego. Ego, as defined by Tolle, is a “false sense of self,” the “voice in the head that pretends to be you.” In other words, the physical body, like other life forms, has its own intelligence, which interacts with human thoughts, and thus creates pain. Therefore, Tolle suggest that the pain body not only, “wants bad things to happen,” but actually, “loves suffering.”