The Gospel According to Oprah is more than just a book title; it’s a mindset that has created quite a following for the billionaire talk-show host.
According to a May 2006 article titled “The Divine Miss Winfrey” in USA Today, “Over the past year, Winfrey
has emerged as a spiritual leader for the new millennium, a moral voice of authority for the nation.”
There’s no doubt that Oprah is spiritual, but the philosophy she pushed on the February 8, 2006, broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show couldn’t place her farther from the truth.
During the show, Oprah interviewed a panel of teachers who appear in a 93-minute film called The Secret.
The Secret, also a book which has sold two million copies, is promoted as “a feature length, historic and factually based account of an age old secret, said to be 4,000 years in the making, and known only to a fortunate few. The Secret reveals this great knowledge to the world – The Secret to wealth, The Secret to health, The Secret to love, relationships, happiness, eternal youth
The Secret to life itself.”
While its appeal is wide and its lure powerful, the philosophy of The Secret is a narrow road that leads to death and destruction.
In Colossians 2:8, the apostle Paul warns the church at Colosse to “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
Therefore, AFA points out reasons why The Secret has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with occultism.
What sources say
While the worldview behind The Secret is nothing new, Rhonda Byrne, an Australian woman in her 50s, is credited with discovering The Secret during a time of utter despair in her life. Because of the impact it had on her life, she has decided to share it.
According to Byrne and her host of high-profile “teachers,” the Law of Attraction – which they claim is the most powerful law in the universe – is the Secret.
The DVD summarizes the law in three words: “Thoughts become things.” If a person thinks hard enough about something, he will get it – be it good or bad. The attraction is especially potent when a person’s thoughts and desires are super-charged by emotions.
So by applying the Law of Attraction, a person can create his own circumstances based on the thoughts he thinks and the choices he makes.
“Your life is a physical manifestation of the thoughts that go on in your head,” said Lisa Nichols, one of the teachers of The Secret.
“You are the masterpiece of your own life. You are the Michelangelo of your own life,” added metaphysician Joe Vitale.
What makes these ideas even more deceiving is that they are backed by personal testimonies.
For example, Jack Canfield, teacher of The Secret and author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, said, “Since I learned The Secret and started applying it to my life, my life has truly become magical – a life everyone dreams of.
I live in a four-and-a-half million-dollar mansion. I have a wife to die for. I get to vacation in all the fabulous spots of the world.
And all of this happens and continues to happen all because of knowing how to apply The Secret.”
Even more alarming than stories such as Canfield’s is the way The Secret teachers twist Scripture and present an unbiblical view of God. For example:
Teacher James Arthur Ray asks, “Do you treat yourself the way that you want other people to treat you?”
Nichols instructs: “You are eternal life. You’re source energy. You are God manifested in human form, made to perfection.”
What the Bible reveals
According to Christian Worldview Network columnist Russ Wise, “The Secret is the latest in a series of examples that are used by the enemy of Truth to try and nullify God’s authoritative Word.” Wise is vice president of Christian Information Ministries.
Referring to Romans 12:1-2, Wise writes: “Note that Paul did not say that we should consult our feelings about the matter, but that our spiritual worship is to present our bodies as a sacrifice to the Lord,” Wise added. “The message of The Secret is not selflessness, but selfishness and self indulgence.”
Wise explains that according to 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Our purpose is not to use our thought life to enhance ourselves, but to bring our thought lives into obedience and submit ourselves to a holy God. This thought is totally absent from The Secret!”
It is also totally absent from a culture that is more concerned about what Oprah says than what God says.