Thursday, June 11, 2009

Oprah and Spirituality?

This is going to be an interactive post...

I am not a fan of Oprah. I actually really like her show because she usually has pretty interesting guests and some of them have great advice and stories (Dr. Oz, Nate the decorator, Lisa Ling, Faith Hill just to name a few), but I really don't like Oprah. She often adds her input to her "expert" guests as if she too is one of the experts. This irritates me because she is just a talk show host and does not have any formal training in any of the specific areas where her guests specialize. The BIGGEST problem I have with Oprah are her extremely vague and all-encompassing "religious" views.  She accepts every view from every religion shared on her show. She can nod her head in agreement when Faith Hill speaks of Jesus and do just the same when someone speaks of Karma and the the serenity of Buddhism. Now, I am by no means an expert on the different religions of the world (I only took one very interesting "World Religions" class in college), so I certainly don't know the specifics about each religion, but agreeing with ALL of them seems to me to be truly agreeing with none of them. Does that make sense?

So, what has me all fired up was yesterday's Oprah show which was a rerun from earlier in the year. It was called "Spirituality 101" and was part of a series she did on all sorts of different topics for one week...I think there was one of your physical health, your money, your sex life, etc... Each show featured one or more "experts" to share how you can get your life on track. Dr. Oz told about how to get physically healthy, Dr. Laura Berman spoke about sexuality, and Suzie Orman (I like this woman and her bluntness) spoke about money. Anyway, this one particular episode was on Spirituality and how to get your "spiritual life" on track - I guess. I didn't get to watch much of it in between C needing me to be her constant playmate and D waking up and needing to be fed, but I did catch that there was no real definition of what Spirituality was. The one guy I saw that was a guest via Skype was gay and I guess he was feeling defeated and put off and two of the "experts" who both claimed to be "reverends" assured him that being gay was a gift from God! The skyping guy said he felt much better and a little more hopeful after hearing from the experts. Oprah seems to think "spirituality" is more about feeling good about yourself and who you are and taking control of your life - more of motivationally speaking ?(kind of like Joel Osteen....did I say that out loud? Yes, because it's how I truly think) It seems like it (spirituality) is all about something bigger than this physical life, but by no means did that mean God or an "afterlife." I understand "faith" and "religion(s)" but "spirituality" is this big word that to me, kind of means...nothing.  

So, my question to you is, What is "spirituality?" Webster's dictionary is very vague as well just talking about the essence of being spiritual or something silly like that, so no real text book answers :-) Please leave me a comment about what you think this is and how it can be some overarching thing that all of us can benefit from - if we can, haha. And, just for a thought to ponder...wouldn't it be GREAT if Oprah was a true follower of Christ and used her influence over so many dedicated viewers to share the gospel? Just a cool thought...and something to pray about :-) 

Leave your comments! Plus, I am equally as interested to see who actually reads my blog, haha.


  1. I am so glad you wrote about this because I've heard people talking about this show, but I didn't really know what happened! Oprah definitely has some issues all her own, but I'm not sure I have a great answer to your question. I think "spirituality" is a weird word anyway. It's gotten so associated with other religions and even yoga that I definitely wouldn't use it to describe my relationship with Jesus. I agree that it would be so nice if Oprah was a follower of Christ...we'll keep praying for her! :) I love your blog - definitely a reader!

  2. I agree with her post above... I think people use 'spirituality' to mean anything they want it to mean... to me, The Spirit lives inside of me, so when I think of spirituality personally, I think of my relationship with Christ and how His Spirit is inside me... that, too, is very abstract and it's hard to explain, especially to someone who does not know Him. So, I'm afraid I don't have a great definition, either! I have to tell you that I agree with your opinions on Oprah - I think the influence she has on a lot of people is scary, especially those who are unsure of Christianity or unstable or on the verge of a relationship with Christ. I think she is very misleading, especially since she speaks as if she claims to KNOW. Also, I agree with your Olsteen remark... not a fan! Glad you wrote this :)

  3. I hadn't even thought about Yoga as being called spiritual as well, haha. To me it is just a form of exercise...and if I do the P90X yoga it is REALLY HARD exercise! Thanks for your thoughts :) I am glad I am not the only one that thinks "spirituality" is kind of an odd word that is used to describe way too much! I appreciate your input!

  4. I guess if I could describe spirtuality, it would mean anything to do w/ your spirit and your nurture or neglect of it. We are all body, soul and spirit. Body is pretty obvious but soul and spirit I think are often exchanged and and confused with one another. In Hebrews 4:12 it says, "The Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." Our spirit is what longs for God. Only through Jesus Christ, can that relationship be restored. We often feel that longing in our soul and seek to fulfill that longing with many soulish things, that even become idols we worship trying to fulfill that desire for God. That pursuit of God is spirituality. Unfortunately, so many people are led astray to forms of spirituality seeking to fulfill that longing only a personal relationship with Jesus can do. Some people try to cover it up by filling their soul with pleasure to num the longing, thus neglecting their spirit.

  5. I'm so glad you wrote on this. I used to love Oprah, but now I'm not a fan. Especially after she began endorsing "The Secret" and the gospel according to Oprah. (sigh) It's kind of frightening, actually. I read an article recently about how many people who had been Christians were falling away because of her influence. It's just people being seduced by her theology of moral relativism and some vague nondescript definition of spirituality (as the above comments defined quite well). So now, I won't watch Oprah, Dr. Phil, The Doctors, the Oxygen network, or read any of her magazines, and I encourage others to do the same and spread the word about why.

    And Joel Osteen? Please. The only way to describe the way I feel about that man is that when I look at him I feel uneasy in my Spirit. What he teaches (I hesitate to even use the word "preach" in reference to him), is nothing that could ever be mistaken as true to the Word Christian gospel and doctrine; it's a feel-good, God loves you and wants you to be happy and rich message. It's easy to sell tickets to a show that everyone wants to see, you know? I personally don't put a lot of stock into many "famous" preachers, because I know that the more popular people become, the easier it becomes for them to blur the lines and compromise their absolute standards for the sake of MORE popularity and renown.

    There's a lot more I could say about this, but I need to stop before I write a comment long enough to be a blog post! :o)