The world's largest church is one that teaches a New Age theology that denies all the fundamental truths of the Bible. The church has over 20 million enthusiastic members in the United States who adore their pastor — Oprah Winfrey.
An Incredible Life
Oprah's life story is a rags-to-riches sensation that could happen only in America.4 She was born in 1954 to an unwed teenager in Mississippi. She was given the name of Orpah at birth, after the biblical character in the book of Ruth, but her family and friends always mispronounced it, calling her "Oprah" instead.
For the first six years of her life she lived in rural poverty, being raised by her grandmother who taught her how to read. In the years that followed, she bounced around from relative to relative, finally ending up in Nashville, Tennessee where she became an honors student. She won an oratory contest which provided her a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, a black institution where she majored in communications.
At age 17, Oprah won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant. That brought her to the attention of a black radio station that hired her to do the news part-time. She ultimately became the youngest news anchor and the first black female news anchor at Nashville's WLAC-TV. In 1976, at age 22, she became the coanchor of the six o'clock news at a Baltimore TV station. Two years later she became the co-host of that station's local talk show called People Are Talking.
In 1983, at age 29, Oprah relocated to Chicago to host a lowrated local morning talk show. Within a few months, the show rapidly rose from last place in the ratings to first place, overtaking the popular Donahue Show.
On September 8, 1986, the Oprah Winfrey Show began broadcasting nationally, and in short order it replaced Donahue as the number one day-time talk show in America. Since that time, the Oprah Show has set all sorts of records. It is the highest-rated and longest-running television talk show in American history. The show has 22 million viewers in the States and 49 million worldwide in the more than 120 countries in which it is broadcast. Her O Magazine readership is over 3 million. Her website is visited 1.3 million times each day.5
All of this has propelled Oprah to immense wealth and popularity. Her net worth is estimated to be more than one billion dollars. A Gallup poll ranked her as the 4th most important woman in the entire history of the world! CNN and Time magazine have both referred to her as "arguably the world's most powerful woman." She has received similar laudatory rankings from Life, USA Today, and Ladies Home Journal. Forbes named her the world's most powerful celebrity in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2010. And in 2010, Life magazine named her one of the 100 most important people who have changed the world — right up there with Jesus Christ and Elvis Presley!6
An Incredible Danger
There is no doubt that Oprah Winfrey is the world's most popular and powerful woman. And there is also no doubt that she is the most dangerous.
I make that assertion without hesitation because she has emerged as a New Age High Priestess who is deceiving millions into rejecting God's Word and embracing, instead, a convoluted theology that is straight from the pit of Hell.
As we continue in the next segment to probe into the extent of Oprah's New Age Church, we'll look at her role as a spiritual leader.
1) Photo of Oprah from http://biographydvd.com/oprah-winfrey-biography.
2) Photo of A Course in Miracles from http://hemachandra.com/MarianneWilliamson.aspx.
3) Photo of Marianne Williamson from http://www.garyrenard.com.
4) Wikipedia, "Oprah Winfrey," http.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oprah_Winfrey, pages 1-34.
5) David Cloud, "Oprah Winfrey: The New Age High Priestess," www.wayoflife.org, page 1.
6) Wikipedia, "Oprah Winfrey," pages 12-13.