Oprah’s unorthodox gospel comes under scrutiny
Oprah Winfrey’s beliefs can best be described as Cafeteria Religion. Also known as Salad-bar Religion, this is a faith system in which people pick and choose religious beliefs, doctrines and practices - mixing and matching them much as they would select food in a cafeteria
Some evangelical Christians have voiced alarm that Winfrey is introducing the 46 million viewers who watch her each week to nontraditional spirituality they don’t condone.
In May, two dozen Christian newspapers pooled their resources to publish an article titled “Oprah’s `gospel’” that prompted higher readership and more letters to the editor than any story some of the individual papers had ever published.
In a first-of-its-kind venture, the evangelical newspapers hired Colorado writer and editor Steve Rabey to write the story.
“For some Christians who have considered themselves part of Oprah’s electronic family, her sins against evangelical orthodoxy have increased in number and seriousness,” Rabey said.
In recent months, Southern Baptist newspaper editors also have written editorials declaring “It’s time for Christians to `just say no’ to the big `O’” and calling her a source of “foolish twitter and twaddle.” And Charisma, a prominent charismatic and Pentecostal magazine, ran a story in its July issue with the headline “Oprah’s Strange New Gospel.’”
Lamar Keener, publisher of the Christian Examiner regional newspapers in California, came up with the idea to work with a dozen “mom and pop” publishers to address Winfrey’s theology.
Keener was inspired after viewing a video titled “The Church of Oprah Exposed,” which has had more than 7.2 million hits on YouTube.
One of Winfrey’s quotes highlighted in the story is her belief that “there couldn’t possibly be just one way” to God.
“Oprah was raised Baptist and has stated many, many times that she is a Christian and that she believes in only one God,” said the spokesman, who asked not to be named. “She has also said, `I’m a free-thinking Christian who believes in my way, but I don’t believe it’s the only way, with 6 billion people on the planet.’”
The spokesman noted Winfrey is hardly alone; 70 percent of Americans said “many religions can lead to eternal life” in a recent survey from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.