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November 23, 2014

Here’s My Problem, Oprah

Last Friday night, I got a text from a dear friend working The Life You Want Weekend, asking me if I wanted to have an opportunity to get in the same FullSizeRenderroom with the most influential woman in the world:  Oprah Winfrey.

And as a woman who is constantly praying for God to show me how to steward the small amount of influence He's placed in my hands, I figured I might be able to learn a thing or two from the only female I know who has influenced the world for over twenty-five years.  I giggled at how random and unexpected my life can be sometimes, and turned towards my Studhub to read the text.

“Uh. Christa,” he replied without hesitation.  “YES.”

But my bearded husband's enthusiasm had nothing to do with Oprah.  He could go camping with a fellow outdoorsman, I could go to the event, then we'd end up at our best friend's house in Sacramento.  Luke’s plan didn’t just sound logical, it felt perfect—hitting a lot of targets we’d been meaning to hit in one fail swoop.

BAM—Done.

 

When I entered the SAP Arena in San Jose last Friday night with my yellow ticket and pass, I felt a bit like a fish out of water.  Some of the women sitting around me that I struck up a conversation with had saved up all year for their $300-$1,000 tickets, had travelled from all over the country, watched every episode of Oprah, and were religious OWN Network fans.  They were O Magazine subscribers, Oprah book club members, and were standing up in anticipation for the weekend, dancing in their seats like unsupervised middle schoolers.  I, on the other hand, could count the number of Oprah episodes I’d seen on both hands over her twenty-five years on television.  But each episode that I’d seen, even though they were few, always stuck out in my mind—deeply impacting my heart.  Oprah was always doing things extremely close to the heartbeat of my Jesus—like starting orphanages, taking care of single moms, buying houses and cars to give away, loving on widows, and covering education for those who couldn’t afford tuition.  In the episodes I had seen, she had always exposed wrongdoing to make it right—getting rooms full of men to talk about their sexual abuse, helping them find a release from the shame of the trauma that had tortured their existence.

The lights dimmed last Friday night, thousands of women (and a few brave fellows) stared at an empty stage in anticipation, and Oprah slowly began to rise from a platform—resulting in an eruption of screams that rivaled the teenagers in my old Jonas Brother touring days.  As she slowly walked the catwalk in her stunning red dress and gold heals, with a commanding presence, this beautiful woman openly shared the pain of her past.  She told about the Mississippi segregation that could have destroyed her—but instead, it catapulted her into the woman she has now become.  The woman standing in front of us—the most influential woman in the world—quoted more scripture from the Bible than I hear in most sermons these days…..including my own.

 

I sat in my seat with tears streaming down my face—in awe that my Jesus was the only man on stage that night being glorified.

I cried because my best friend and Savior was standing in the spotlight with the most powerful woman in the world—being proclaimed as her connection to this great God that she lived to hear, know, and be transformed by.   I cried because He was being praised and exalted.  I cried because I could feel His presence and His Spirit moving through the hearts of thousands of women who listened on the edge of their seat—longing to have a relationship with the Creator who made them.  I cried hearing my favorite book—the holy scriptures, the Living Word—being proclaimed as truth and wisdom for life.  I cried because I KNOW that Word doesn’t return void, rejoicing over every person who might never grace the inside of a church—knowing that they were in the presence of my beautiful Savior—His goodness, kindness, salvation, and love.  Seeds were being planted in barren hearts.  Hope was being released over hopeless situations.  And relationship with God was being pitched as the ONLY way to live this life.

Oprah shared about her hurt, her sexual abuse, the men who took advantage of her and the baby boy she miscarried as a result of her abuser’s perverted love.  She showed the picture of the little Mississippi church where she would sit on the second row, learning about this Bible, and this man who taught her about forgiveness.  At one point in the night, she simply stopped, closed her eyes, raised her arm and began to sing, “I surrender all.  I surrender all.  All to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.”

As my hands turned up automatically to follow her lead in worship, a lump rose up in the back of my throat.

Jesus had done it again.  He had made his way out of the four walls where we like to keep Him contained in our churches, and He was declaring Himself—through His beloved Oprah that He loved enough to die for—-that He was real, He was love, He was good, and He was her Savior.

 

All to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.

 

I sat in my seat in complete shock.  This wasn’t at all what I expected at an Oprah conference—anticipating talks about leadership, strategy, and maybe ’10 steps to a better YOU.’  And here I was listening to an invitation to a life with God, with Oprah proclaiming, “I am a Christian. That is my faith.”  I strained my neck around to observe an arena full of people hanging onto her every word, listening to her declaration that a life without relationship with God isn’t a life at all.  I could feel their longing—their jealousy—wanting to know the God who created them.  In a moment of overwhelming joy, I pulled out my iphone, clicked a picture, and posted it on Instagram.

 

And then, Christians, a few of you (as my family members) started doing what we, unfortunately, do best:  throw words as stones from the judgement seats of our smartphones.  Not one person asked me what I was doing there.  Not one person asked why.  With black and white truth and zero regard for relationship or kindness, cruel curses were justified in the name of Christ—crucifying Oprah for her theology, then turning to attack my leadership abilities for posting a picture of her.

 

“False prophet.”

“Oprah is bad news.  Not a fan.”

“I hate Oprah.”

You should be “careful to prop Oprah up as a spokesperson for Christianity or worship.”

“I’m disappointed in you, Christa.”

“You’re in leadership.  You're leading towards someone who endorses The Secret, homosexuality, and secular humanism.”

 

Silly, silly me.  And here I was, simply overwhelmed that the most powerful woman in the world was proclaiming to the broken hearted that she has a relationship with my best friend—so much so—that she stopped to worship Him on stage in the middle of her talk.

With each comment I read in my Instagram feed, quickly deleting them as they popped up, my heart shattered for this real woman with a real heart standing in front of me—who according to my Bible, is part of our family of believers no matter how we differ in theology.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  -Romans 10:9

 

 

I've learned in the past, reactions always get me into trouble.  So after taking a good week to cool down from the nightmare that happened on my social media accounts last Friday night, processing with the BEST counselor in the world—Holy Spirit—I decided that it would be foolish to try and fight fire with fire.  I'm not going to build a case, attack each comment with scripture and justification, or defend myself.

Jesus does a great job of defending my heart, and I’m going to leave that to Him.

So instead, I sat down and decided to listen to the Counselor, letting Him show me who He wants to be in me, who Jesus is in scripture, and then taking His lead.  And after doing that, I formulated a few life-statements about the kind of Christian leader that I want to be—regardless of how many followers I lose because of it.

 

I will always be happy to associate myself with those who don't believe the way that I do—regardless of what it does to my Christian reputation.

In the span of my ministry, I've had the great privilege of speaking to Southern Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Charismatics, non-denominationals, secessionists, business people, atheists, and agnostics.  I have friends who are gay, straight, black, white, hispanic, Jewish and Muslim.  And if you put us all in the same room together, you'd find a library of issues to disagree on that would split us apart—but you'd also find a lot of commonalities that promote genuine relationship.  I've posted pictures of their faces, promoted their endeavors, loved them dearly, and celebrated the goodness of God in the midst of a diverse world.

My need to agree with someone's theology will never determine my association with them—especially since I just disagreed with my own husband this morning on an issue.  Instead, I'm going to take the lead of my favorite person—Jesus.

And what did Jesus do?

In John 4, Jesus didn't care what his own disciples thought as He associated Himself with a Samaritan woman named Photina at the well, leading her to repentance through kindness, and not condemnation.  He didn't care that people were indignant and grumped that He chose the crook Zacchaeus to dine with in Luke 19.  The religious Pharisees of His day chastised Him for his ‘poor choices' in companions—His association could have been seen as an endorsement of their belief systems.

But Jesus was more concerned with the law of love, than the love of law.  So I will be consumed with the law of love.

Because I like to follow Jesus's lead…..then you might see me posting pictures and celebrating people who I disagree with theologically.  If this bothers you or influences your opinion of my leadership, believing that I'm ‘leading people down an ungodly path' and ‘opening them up to false teachings,' then you're probably going to want to stop following me.

Immediately.

During that Oprah event, I had conversations with a nutritionist from Vegas who came searching for more, with two beautiful Jewish women who I talked to about Christianity (because Oprah had talked so much about Jesus), and a beautiful man whose partner of 11 years had recently left him, and wanted information about Gold Monarch Healing Center and my book, God Loves Ugly.

Here was Jesus again, doing what He does best—making His way out of our little cul-de-sac church services, and finding His way in front of stunningly beautiful people who would never enter a sanctuary.  Seeds were planted, phone numbers and email addresses were exchanged, and I was proud to sit and represent my beautiful God to a world who is desperate to be connected with His love.

Religion always backs away and throws stones.  But Jesus always pulls in close through relationship.  (John 8)  So I will always pull in close to value relationship over being ‘right.'

Friends, because I follow Jesus, you're going to see me in relationships or associating with people whose public theology might ruin my Christian reputation in religious circles.

And I'm happy to say…..I couldn't care less.  (:

 

This is getting far too long for a blog….which means, I'll continue my life-statements on Wednesday.

And as always, because this website, my Instagram feed, Facebook and Twitter pages are MY online houses…..my rules go.  Which means…..I will never allow cruel, condemning, or slanderous comments to remain.

You are encouraged to ask questions, welcomed to disagree with me, but remember…..be relational in the midst of disagreement.  Start with the common ground, then expand.  It's always more important to have relationship than to be ‘right.'  Ask questions staying connected to the heart of a person, and above all…..

Remember…..we're all apart of the same family.

The family of God.

 

xx,

CBG_SIGNATURE

 

 

150 Responses to “Here’s My Problem, Oprah”

    • Jodsta from Aus

      Wow. After reading this with an open mind and an open heart…. I’m left feeling slightly sad. Sad that I’ve not come across your writings before now! Love your honesty, your humour, your willingness to wrestle with some contentious issues, beliefs and mind sets….. and that you’re happy to share that journey with us. Love, love LOVE this, and I’m sorry that you experienced such an immediate negative response from some of us within the Body, who may not have had the ‘whole picture.’ In glad you got to be at that event as an Ambassador of Jesus in the audience, I’m thankful that every opportunity presented to you by God to minister to others was always characterised by love.
      Glad too that you’re not going to try and defend or justify your position- that you’re aware that Jesus is THE best guard for your heart, ultimately.
      Bravo you, and I pray you’re blessed for your interactionds and conversations with others thst night. I’ll join with you in prayer that seeds down that night will take root in fertile soil.
      Bless you, Christa!

  1. You know you’re doing something right when people start judging you the same way they did Jesus! 😉 love love love this and so thankful for your authenticy and the way you beautifully demonstrate the heart of our Best Friend.

  2. Such a beautifully expressed response, Christa, and so true. It’s with our heart that we believe and are justified, and it is with our mouth that we profess our faith and are saved. Who are we to judge another’s heart? And if the fruit of our lives is the evidence of our love for God and our “neighbors”, then Oprah has put the majority of me and my church crowd to shame.

  3. Your blog brought me to tears… I couldn’t really agree more. My big heartache with the church is it’s rigidity and the inability to deal with people in severe crisis; people who go against the grain; people who are seeking but arguing it through… people like me who saw the hypocrisy of many who attend church; the judgment; the outright meanness… Mind you, this is not everyone in the church… and hopefully, only a few plus people in the church, however, these people stick out like thorns and poison the rest of the church.. and then another person who could have been saved walks away and never comes back. In leadership I personally have much less tolerance than I do for the masses. I have higher expectations than perhaps I should.. (my problem to work through) Anyway, Christa… thanks for your blog entry… I appreciate your heart and your heart for God.. and his people…which in my opinion is all the people.. at least according to God’s desire.. Melinda

  4. LeslieMiller33

    “Religion always backs away and throws stones. But Jesus always pulls in close through relationship. (John 8)” Christa, you are sooooooo right!! As Christians, we are called to love and so many Christians use their beliefs as defense for judgement and condemnation. I too disagree with some of my Christian friends sometimes….but that does not make either of us less Christian…it makes us individuals with free will and our own minds. God loves all people….not just Christians…and I loved reading how your heart was touched by the Spirit when Oprah was reading Scripture and speaking about our Jesus!! That is such an awesome experience…I can only imagine!! I didn’t see your post on instagram….but I’m grateful for your post here <3

  5. LauraB1186

    I can get both sides of this, people don’t like mixing of the gospel with new age ideas and theology. It’s maybe not so much doctrine about Jesus, but the areas she tends to entertain (but she may just being polite to other views- I’m not 100% sure). What she said at the conference drew your heart to Jesus and gave you opportunity to share the hope of Jesus (and your testimony) with people around you. That’s a powerful thing. There are going to be tensions in the Christian faith, and some people can’t really take those. I used to be really hardline and black and white with certain issues, and now I’m more willing to just ask God ‘Show me how to not loose love while trying to show you I love you by obeying you.” I probably wouldn’t have received much from that conference (probably wouldn’t have gone because I was unsure of what they would be talking about), but that’s just me. I like to know the for sure that the person will be taking about Jesus, and not surprised that he or she is. I hope that makes sense. Oprah applies spiritual principles and they work for her (regardless of doctrinal issues) because they are universal, and God can’t go against His Word. So when she does good, she gets good back. People need to learn to pray for others they even think may be out of God’s will and not throw stones.

  6. Alicia Yong

    This is perfect!! This tells me something I already knew of you….that you love and serve the same Jesus I do. The I’ve who loves all….I can not tell you how many women I recommended God Loves Ugly to in San Jose. I promised them it would be the next step in the healing process. Thank you for allowing yourself to be used to help others heal.

  7. Thank you, Thank You, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! That was incredible to read and so inspiring. I’ve really been struggling lately with christians from my home town judging me for my diverse set of friends and my heart for the people of Los Angeles. Thank you for always being such an encouraging leader and helping me to always go after what’s really important, what’s important to Jesus.
    Much LOVE
    ~Hannah

  8. Tighe Marie

    I have this overwhelming urge to give you a BIG hug Christa and to pour anointing oil all over your back!! 😉 … I am proud of you Christa…you ARE a great leader with a beautiful heart of compassion!! Jesus LOVES Opera and He IS a fan of hers. Your words, by the power of the Holy Spirit will set people free to love unconditionally… Thank you for sharing.

  9. I loved hearing those quotes of Oprah professing Jesus as Lord. I know we hear loudly in the church world all her ‘errors’ in theology and the emphasis on that, but this trumps all that. THIS is what matters.. I’ve often prayed for her because of the influence she has. This made my heart so happy.

    Yet the hate that so often spews from the people that are supposed to be known for our love, disheartens me. I’m thankful you have the wisdom to know how to address it and allow the Holy Spirit guide you in the midst of it. Praying for those of us who claim Christ as Lord that we would all become more like Christ and BE love to this broken and hurting world.

    Thank you for serving Jesus so faithfully.

  10. I loved hearing those quotes of Oprah professing Jesus as Lord. I know we hear loudly in the church world all her ‘errors’ in theology and the emphasis on that, but this trumps all that. THIS is what matters.. I’ve often prayed for her because of the influence she has. This made my heart so happy.

    Yet the hate that so often spews from the people that are supposed to be known for our love, disheartens me. I’m thankful you have the wisdom to know how to address it and allow the Holy Spirit guide you in the midst of it. Praying for those of us who claim Christ as Lord that we would all become more like Christ and BE love to this broken and hurting world.

    Thank you for serving Jesus so faithfully.

  11. Peggy Barber

    perfectly said Christa! ‘we shall know them by their fruits” and from the ”fruits” i see in Oprah’s life?…it’s Obvious to me that she has the heart of Jesus also… God Bless you.
    (we met at LWC in vandalia Ohio last month,..You have changed me and ‘my’ own ”krystah’s” life with the wisdom and words God gave you that you shared,…love you much sister! xoxo

  12. Aaron Fuenning

    Thank you for your written words of totally awesome, back-to-the
    -Gospel, red-letter, truth telling. I have believed all of what you said whole heartedly for years but couldn’t have put it in words quite like you did. Living water to my soul. Living water to my soul. Amen and amen!

  13. Thank you for genuinely loving those who want Love in their life and for celebrating excellence in every person. We’re the best example a pre-believer has to seeing/experiencing Jesus’s heart for them. You make Papa proud, Christa.

  14. Thank you for genuinely loving those who want Love in their life and for celebrating excellence in every person. We’re the best example a pre-believer has to seeing/experiencing Jesus’s heart for them. You make Papa proud, Christa.

  15. Christa, I can’t even explain how wonderful I think this post is. Truthfully, I don’t know what I believe when it comes to religion, but because I’ve been a fan of you as a person since the JB days I’ve continued following your social media accounts. I continue to read your posts about your faith and I continue to be inspired by them because even though I don’t completely share the same beliefs, I appreciate your positivity and love. Thank you so much for taking such a powerful stance against those who condemn others. <3

  16. Christa this is how I am as well. I have friends who r pegan, wiccan, who believe in buddest (sp?). Also I to have friends who r gay straight black white ect.. I love them all! For their diff personalities and everything. Do I pray they find God… Yes! Do I ask God to show his presence through me… Yes! But somewhere in the bible God also said love the sinners and broken. (Something like that).

    I have someone who is a family member is so consumed by law that she is missing the fact of why God put us on earth in the first place… To be a disciple to God. I have been called a dark person when it comes to my faith someone who worships Satan and all that stuff just bc I was diff than most ppl. I dressed up in black, loved my piercings and tattoos. Granted I was lost at that point in my life I was heading down a very dark path in my life. So I guess to a point she was right at the time in my life. I had gotten into things that were not pleasing to God at all.
    (This part of my life is a whole other story in itself and I won’t get into that right now). At one point in my life I was a lesbian. For some reason I feel so ashamed to admit it but I was. I was with the same sex. And I knew it was wrong but like I said at that point my life was doomed for hell and I hadn’t cared. But at that point in my life I had family members who disagreed with ny decision and instead of loving me I bashed everytime I would talk to them. It hurt a lot to know my own flesh and blood would bash me to the point where I absolutely hated myself. I got to the point where I had to tell them they might not like What I’m doing or agree with my actions but why can’t u just love me and accept ne for the person I am

  17. Christa this is how I am as well. I have friends who r pegan, wiccan, who believe in buddest (sp?). Also I to have friends who r gay straight black white ect.. I love them all! For their diff personalities and everything. Do I pray they find God… Yes! Do I ask God to show his presence through me… Yes! But somewhere in the bible God also said love the sinners and broken. (Something like that).

    I have someone who is a family member is so consumed by law that she is missing the fact of why God put us on earth in the first place… To be a disciple to God. I have been called a dark person when it comes to my faith someone who worships Satan and all that stuff just bc I was diff than most ppl. I dressed up in black, loved my piercings and tattoos. Granted I was lost at that point in my life I was heading down a very dark path in my life. So I guess to a point she was right at the time in my life. I had gotten into things that were not pleasing to God at all.
    (This part of my life is a whole other story in itself and I won’t get into that right now). At one point in my life I was a lesbian. For some reason I feel so ashamed to admit it but I was. I was with the same sex. And I knew it was wrong but like I said at that point my life was doomed for hell and I hadn’t cared. But at that point in my life I had family members who disagreed with ny decision and instead of loving me I bashed everytime I would talk to them. It hurt a lot to know my own flesh and blood would bash me to the point where I absolutely hated myself. I got to the point where I had to tell them they might not like What I’m doing or agree with my actions but why can’t u just love me and accept ne for the person I am

  18. Part 2,lol…… And I had people that were like family who I had been friends with for yrs said they would not be a part of my life. Th
    at absolutely crushes a person. They should of been loving me like God did and still does instead of bashing me for that. Let me tell u tho I started going to church and God himself has changed my heart a 180 degree and I am not that person I once was and I’m a total follower of God! He is the center of my life. Granted yes I lose my footing once in a while but the loving God we have is there with open arms once I’m standing on 2 feet again! That my friends is true love!!!

    Even tho I still have those in my family who judge me for my past and still think I’m that same person I once was. I still live my tattoos I still love my black clothes but despite that u can see life in my eyes no matter what I wear or have tattooed on me. I just thank God for loving me and accepting me back into his presence with open arms!

  19. I had no idea Oprah was a Christian! I had heard that she was formerly one and had turned to New Age. I’m so glad to read about your experience and to hear what she said and did! So encouraging! (BTW, this post is the first I’ve heard of your Oprah conf and controversy). 🙂

  20. So good Christa!.. Love your response!.. and I also Love Oprah.. I know shes said stupid things before, but we all have, (you with no sin cast the first stone).. anyways that’s amazing, that this woman, who influences many, and people gathered to see, shined the spot light on Jesus…

  21. So good Christa!.. Love your response!.. and I also Love Oprah.. I know shes said stupid things before, but we all have, (you with no sin cast the first stone).. anyways that’s amazing, that this woman, who influences many, and people gathered to see, shined the spot light on Jesus…

  22. Carla M Keeley

    So good to hear that story and experience! We are all so quick to judge- we make ourselves ‘gods’ in our own eyes. When little do we know about the heart of a person or the true details of a life or experience. Only God truly knows. Hope you didn’t take the words and judgements to heart, and are reminded and incitefully identify with the Savior who was misunderstood, misrepresented, and judged so many times.
    Thanks x

  23. Carla M Keeley

    So good to hear that story and experience! We are all so quick to judge- we make ourselves ‘gods’ in our own eyes. When little do we know about the heart of a person or the true details of a life or experience. Only God truly knows. Hope you didn’t take the words and judgements to heart, and are reminded and incitefully identify with the Savior who was misunderstood, misrepresented, and judged so many times.
    Thanks x

  24. Charlotte

    You’re amazing!! Love love love you!! It’s people like you that is gonna change the world. And you already are. You say stuff, that sometimes even let things in myself manifest (and Im surprised every time, because I’d like to say that I’m a pretty unreligious person who just loves jesus and lets him do him work.. haha!), but… Through love and the presence of God in everything that you do… I’m proven wrong every now and then. And Christa…. I LOVE IT! Chains are breaking off of me. Never loose hope or faith. What you do is out of the box. and that is what we need. /Greetings from Sweden

  25. Anné Leonard

    I respect your viewpoint… However, a lot of what Oprah had said/still says regarding what she really believes, is worrisome. Stuff like promoting “The Secret” and load of New Age ideas are not supposed to sit well with followers of Jesus Christ.

    Are people wrong for showing anything but a Christ-like response to it? Yes. Should we pray earnestly for public figures (and the people who look up to them) as they search for a relationship with God through Jesus Christ? Yes.

    Thank you for always posting something to make people think and for honouring Jesus Christ.

    • Mark Benson

      Excuse me please. “Stuff like promoting “The Secret” and load of New Age ideas are not supposed to sit well with followers of Jesus Christ.” Well actually THEY do Sit Right with the REAL JESUS CHRIST!!!
      WE just Don’t KNOW HIM like Oprah.
      Way back in the 1990’s she rejected the False Jesus and HAS NOW FOUND the REAL ONE!!
      THINK on this. Ask HIM!

      • Anné Leonard

        It annoys me to no end that people write comments
        based on some catch phrase, false theology or factually incorrect information.

        Oprah has she kept her answers on the matter of
        believing in Jesus Christ, as her saviour, rather vague and specifically in the last couple of years. She says her daily routine starts with mediation to “something bigger than myself”… No mention of Jesus Christ.

        She obsessed about many New Age self-help books over
        the last couple of years of her daily show. Two excellent examples are THE SECRET and A NEW EARTH. With millions of people searching for direction in
        life, those two books and other self-help titles, were pushed by Oprah as if they contained a cure for cancer. If you are searching for meaning in life the New Age philosophy of the individual being elevated to the status of one’s own god,
        sounds very appealing.

        As Christians, we all know this cannot be
        reconciled with the relationship Jesus Christ wants to have with us. The only ‘secrets’ to life are not hidden, but are clearly set out in both the Old and New Testaments.

        Finally, my prayer will always be that the millions of people who are so lost and search for meaning in the self-help sections of book shops will be told of the love of God through Jesus Christ.

        • Mark Benson

          Quite evident by you reply, You Don’t KNOW Jesus like Oprah and I. HE’s ALL ABOUT LOVE–UNCONDITIONAL. So PLEASE STOP HINDERING HIS LOVE!! But that SECRET is still HIDDEN from you, in Plain sight. But you are BLINDED to IT!

          • Mark Benson

            You Don’t KNOW Jesus like Oprah and I. HE’s ALL ABOUT LOVE–UNCONDITIONAL. So PLEASE STOP HINDERING HIS LOVE!!

            This is DRIVEL???
            I can’t defend my sister in Jesus?
            She that is WITHOUT sin cast the first stone.

  26. I sat in Miami, next to my wife and my pastor and saw the same talk. I was also floored by the unapologetically Christian nature of Oprah’s story. That was nothing compared to watching my wife bloom in a room where the presence of men wasn’t forcing her into a socially acceptable box–with all these other women she could just be herself.

    Oprah is doing good work.

  27. I sat in Miami, next to my wife and my pastor and saw the same talk. I was also floored by the unapologetically Christian nature of Oprah’s story. That was nothing compared to watching my wife bloom in a room where the presence of men wasn’t forcing her into a socially acceptable box–with all these other women she could just be herself.

    Oprah is doing good work.

  28. I have a friend who works on that tour and she is a believer, and she has shared with me some of this as well, but also says that Oprah repeatedly calls God “the Universe” and tells everyone they are all “stars” and makes numerous new age references – so it’s kind of a mashup of what she believes. I still respect her and do think it’s great she’s using the Bible in her messages, but at the same time, think this article could give people the wrong impression that she’s leading people to Jesus – when she’s leading people to her own version of God that is clearly false.

    • Christa Black

      Hey Jaimie! I have many friends working that tour, and you’re right—there’s a lot of Universe and stars talk. And I love that the ‘new age’ movement can’t claim those terms since my God created both of them. (: The point of the blog wasn’t to defend Oprah or her theology, because I promise you….we would differ in opinions about many things. The point of the blog was to define who I want to be as a Christian towards her—even though we differ. As Christians, we sometimes throw the baby out with the bath water…..writing people off completely because we don’t like their theology. I want to find the God fingerprints in everything, and on everyone….celebrate where He’s working, pray for increase, and exalt Jesus in the process. We will never reach a world who needs the love of our Jesus if we’re too afraid to pull in close. And as a woman who wants to love like my Jesus….I want to pull in close……even when I think the theology isn’t correct. (: xoxo

      • Kathleen F Lamour

        Many of my friends refer to God as The Universe. When I ask them if they are talking about God their answer is a yes. They usually have been hurt by the church or christians and feel like that is not a safe God. Next time someone refers to the universe as them what they mean by it. They might surprise you.

    • Christopher

      Hi. Jamie… As a minister and theologian, I see mashup in 95% of the only Christianity I once knew…Western Christianity. If this one suggestion I give and you take were applied it would open your eyes and ears to see a deeper hidden truth… In the past (15 years ago) if I asked someone to read and study the scriptures in the original languages, it would take a lifetime and much finances. Today it’s at your fingertips…literally. But… Have you looked into it?. Without a doubt I will say no…. As the post directly above shows the paradigm that you are operating out of is a modern one… If we are honest with ourselves we could say that what we Christians have done is create our own Exclusive religion based on gossip and hearsay. I wonder if Jesus Himself came down and showed us His perspective on our awful attempts at characterizing the Father, if we would not call Him a false prophet, a blasphemer, a deceiver who comes as Light. New age you say? Today, do me a favor as a brother.. If you love me… Seek out the word “eternal” in a word study in Hebrew Aramaic and Greek and verify if I’m correct in teaching this…. Eternity is qualitative not quantitative, eternity is better translated as “till the end of the AGE” then go to the beginning of this ridiculous multicultural “telephone game” and ask the first (Pre- Nivens council,) Christian Father’s what THEY received from the Good News… It will awe and Shock you that they would say similar things about your post as you said about Oprah…. Maybe people like Oprah are making their way back to the original truth the ancient grace. Things are a LOT more universal at the origens of all of this… In this information AGE.. We can read literature written by these pioneers of the teaching of the Gospel. Look up a guy named Origen…. Saint Augustine his mentor….then repent…..meaning change your mind about you what you so good heartedly yet blindly have clung to and have defended… You will find Joy to find out God is bigger and BETTER than your passed down theology has feared you to believe.

      • Lauren Sargeant

        Hi Christopher,

        I find your post refreshing as I’ve recently been researching the theory of Cartesian rationality and the way that we compartmentalize everything in the west. I’ve been pondering the way that other cultures seem to have a much more “universal” view of the world and see spiritual connections between humans and the natural world. I just wonder how much of my view of God has been shaped by the Cartesian way of thinking and believing that’s promoted in the west.

        Can you suggest a good website or app that I can use to look up scriptures in the original language?

        Lauren

      • Bonnie Kaemingk

        YES!!!!! Loved this! Most of the theology people have is actually what they were taught in Sunday school and some of it isn’t even in the Bible. People hear a message and if it fits what their framework is, then they take it, verbatim. Just search it out for yourself too… with an open mind and giving God permission to shake up what you know. And you know what, I see so many people doing the Jesus with skin thing who’ve never stepped into a church and they don’t even know Him yet. Or maybe they do, we just can’t recognize it. 🙂

    • God meets us where we are at. She is speaking to the entire world. It’s ea. persons journey to seek and find God, and these little bits of hope she offers, worded the way you want or not, direct people to God. The world is so hurt by the church and its semantics. Oprah is wording peace in a way that is understandable for people who do not have understanding. God didn’t ask us to come here and keep each others language in check. He told us to love. Oprah is offering love to people. What’s not God about that? If your heart is cold and dark and judgmental, you will see the rot things. Can’t we reflect on what’s good? If so, we can see God in everything. We can see God all over … the universe.

  29. whatabunchofit

    I love it! I have watched what l call pew potatoes throw their bibles at people when they weren’t sure yet, (didn’t believe they way they wanted them to) watched legalistic christians almost close the door to you because you had fellowship with a non believer. He did it! Why can’t l? I have left my church because 1) l feel like l am full of someone elses definition of His word, and 2) l hate watching the church destroy it’s own. I applaud you, you are like Jesus.

  30. whatabunchofit

    I love it! I have watched what l call pew potatoes throw their bibles at people when they weren’t sure yet, (didn’t believe they way they wanted them to) watched legalistic christians almost close the door to you because you had fellowship with a non believer. He did it! Why can’t l? I have left my church because 1) l feel like l am full of someone elses definition of His word, and 2) l hate watching the church destroy it’s own. I applaud you, you are like Jesus.

  31. Johnny Bond

    Amen and amen! My first reaction when I saw you were posting about Oprah was to sigh and roll my eyes. I am a professional minister in a fundamental branch of Christianity and I am sick up to my eyeballs with judgmental theological stances that bring no life. So reading your words as the flowed from your heart reminded me of our struggle. To fully accept God’s love, reciprocate and then shower that love on all we meet. Thank you for encouraging, exhorting and rebuking me. You are a good pastor.

  32. Johnny Bond

    Amen and amen! My first reaction when I saw you were posting about Oprah was to sigh and roll my eyes. I am a professional minister in a fundamental branch of Christianity and I am sick up to my eyeballs with judgmental theological stances that bring no life. So reading your words as the flowed from your heart reminded me of our struggle. To fully accept God’s love, reciprocate and then shower that love on all we meet. Thank you for encouraging, exhorting and rebuking me. You are a good pastor.

  33. I have a genuine question that I hope you will answer. I completely agree with relationships regardless of differences in theology. However, I think there is sometimes a thin line between a differing theology and a false prophet. There is also a thin line between being in relationship with a false prophet and endorsing them. (I’m not talking at all about Oprah here; I have others in my mind.) So, I guess my question is how do you walk those lines? The Bible clearly speaks out against false teachers, so we should not endorse them, right?

  34. I have a genuine question that I hope you will answer. I completely agree with relationships regardless of differences in theology. However, I think there is sometimes a thin line between a differing theology and a false prophet. There is also a thin line between being in relationship with a false prophet and endorsing them. (I’m not talking at all about Oprah here; I have others in my mind.) So, I guess my question is how do you walk those lines? The Bible clearly speaks out against false teachers, so we should not endorse them, right?

  35. Christina Fennell

    Christa, I have been reading your blog posts for some months now per the recommendation of a dear friend and while all of your posts have moved my heart to towards my affections for our Jesus, this one by far has touched my heart to such depths that I was compelled to comment. Your heart for Jesus, your relationship with Jesus, and your surrender to His will above your own is the SO encouraging. I praise God for the beautiful work He is doing in your life and I thank Him for your boldness and courage in posting His truth on your blog. I pray that my faith, belief, and confidence in my relationship with Jesus will reach these levels one day; but as I wait, I find so much joy in the journey! Thank you sister for being so obedient! Praise God!

  36. Christa, I saw your post thanks to a friend who linked to it on Facebook. Thank you for writing it. I wanted to leave a comment for your critics and others who find Oprah to be “problematic.” I’m not very religious anymore, but I’ve had a lot of theology training and I love God. I think theology is fascinating and has shaped my life.

    But I think we forget sometimes that one of our bedrock believes about God is that He’s the God of ALL truth and love. So anything that is true or loving ultimately belongs to Him. Someone that is speaking truth or love can’t be a “false” prophet because all truth belongs to God, no matter what human is speaking it. Someone who is acting in love is automatically in line with who God is.

    It’s like when Jesus was accused of being in league with the devil–his response was “how can Satan act against himself?” Obviously, he can’t.

    So when anyone–Oprah, or someone from any religion or belief system–is acting in love, or speaking the truth, they are aligned with God. And most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, KNOW when that is happening. We can feel truth and love resonating with our consciences–we were made that way.

    That doesn’t mean that everything a person says or does is true or loving. I wish it were–wouldn’t the world be a great place then? If we threw out every person who was a mixed bag of truth/untruth, love/not love, there would be NO ONE left. Not one. None of us are 100% theologically “pure”–whatever that looks like. Not even theologians can agree what that is.

    So maybe, we should all be a lot slower to judge or reject what we find to be “untrue.” Maybe, instead, we should rejoice in the truth and rejoice in love, wherever we find it, in whatever form it takes, because who are we to tell God how He can properly reveal Himself to us?

      • Hi Asia,

        If you look at exactly *what* constituted “false prophet” for Paul (or pretty much any of the New Testament writers, really), it was usually teaching that either resulted in injustice for some part of the community or resulted in some kind of harsh restrictions placed on the members of the community. He had very little patience with teachers who used their position to take advantage of people, to deceive or manipulate them or to use their position to gain power for themselves. He also had no respect for teachers who added “the law” to “grace”–and thereby burdening community members with religious requirements he felt were unnecessary in the new covenant.

        So the issue was typically not one of scholarly belief like we tend to view theology today, but rather whether the teaching resulted in people being mistreated or taken advantage of or unduly burdened.

        If it was simply a matter of “theology”–in the more academic sense–the NT writers typically simply address it in a pastoral explanation based on their best understanding of the issue. And if you look carefully, you’ll see that on a lot of those kind of theological points, they actually disagree with each other, often strongly. But they all tend to save the label “false prophet” for those causing actual harm to the community.

        Now, our Christian culture tends to apply the “false prophet” label to anyone teaching something we disagree with or think is wrong, and I’d argue that this isn’t the way the term seems to be used in the NT.

  37. Christa, I saw your post thanks to a friend who linked to it on Facebook. Thank you for writing it. I wanted to leave a comment for your critics and others who find Oprah to be “problematic.” I’m not very religious anymore, but I’ve had a lot of theology training and I love God. I think theology is fascinating and has shaped my life.

    But I think we forget sometimes that one of our bedrock believes about God is that He’s the God of ALL truth and love. So anything that is true or loving ultimately belongs to Him. Someone that is speaking truth or love can’t be a “false” prophet because all truth belongs to God, no matter what human is speaking it. Someone who is acting in love is automatically in line with who God is.

    It’s like when Jesus was accused of being in league with the devil–his response was “how can Satan act against himself?” Obviously, he can’t.

    So when anyone–Oprah, or someone from any religion or belief system–is acting in love, or speaking the truth, they are aligned with God. And most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, KNOW when that is happening. We can feel truth and love resonating with our consciences–we were made that way.

    That doesn’t mean that everything a person says or does is true or loving. I wish it were–wouldn’t the world be a great place then? If we threw out every person who was a mixed bag of truth/untruth, love/not love, there would be NO ONE left. Not one. None of us are 100% theologically “pure”–whatever that looks like. Not even theologians can agree what that is.

    So maybe, we should all be a lot slower to judge or reject what we find to be “untrue.” Maybe, instead, we should rejoice in the truth and rejoice in love, wherever we find it, in whatever form it takes, because who are we to tell God how He can properly reveal Himself to us?

      • Hi Asia,

        If you look at exactly *what* constituted “false prophet” for Paul (or pretty much any of the New Testament writers, really), it was usually teaching that either resulted in injustice for some part of the community or resulted in some kind of harsh restrictions placed on the members of the community. He had very little patience with teachers who used their position to take advantage of people, to deceive or manipulate them or to use their position to gain power for themselves. He also had no respect for teachers who added “the law” to “grace”–and thereby burdening community members with religious requirements he felt were unnecessary in the new covenant.

        So the issue was typically not one of scholarly belief like we tend to view theology today, but rather whether the teaching resulted in people being mistreated or taken advantage of or unduly burdened.

        If it was simply a matter of “theology”–in the more academic sense–the NT writers typically simply address it in a pastoral explanation based on their best understanding of the issue. And if you look carefully, you’ll see that on a lot of those kind of theological points, they actually disagree with each other, often strongly. But they all tend to save the label “false prophet” for those causing actual harm to the community.

        Now, our Christian culture tends to apply the “false prophet” label to anyone teaching something we disagree with or think is wrong, and I’d argue that this isn’t the way the term seems to be used in the NT.

  38. I really wish I could agree with you. But the fact is, Jesus came to bring a sword, not peace. His uniqueness as Savior/Redeemer/God is what separates Him from every other great prophet/philosopher/teacher out there, and what divides households, according to Matthew 10:36. The only way to be adopted into the ‘family of God’ is through Christ (Ephesians 1:5). Oprah may love a lot of things about Jesus, she may even do a lot of “good” things (although our righteousness is as filthy rags to God according to Isaiah 64:6), but she denies the fundamental truth of John 14:6, that Christ is the ONLY way to God. Therefore, she is not a Christian. Can she repent of this and be saved? Yes. Does she deserve love and respect and our fervent prayers? Yes. But we cannot call her what the Bible clearly states she is not. That is not honest, and not helpful to those who are also looking for truth.

    • Christa Black

      Hey Asia, First of all, thank you for disagreeing with such grace. Others have not been so kind. (: I believe Jesus when he said that He is the way, the truth, and the life…that no one comes to Father but through His beautiful and unfathomable sacrifice for us. There is NO King like Jesus….the one who took on sin himself that we might be spotless! I freak out at how incredible the gospel is and can’t figure out why everyone doesn’t run to this love!! The point of the blog wasn’t to defend Oprah or her theology….especially because I don’t know her or know her theology—especially when I posted the picture at the event. The point of the blog was to decide who I’m going to be towards people that might believe differently than I do. If I was in front of the Pope and he did something that released the goodness of the kingdom, I would click a picture of him, even though I don’t pray to Mary. If I was in front of an atheist starting an orphanage, I would click a picture of them, praising them for releasing the goodness of my Father on the earth—even if that’s not what they thought they were doing. I look for the goodness of my Father in every circumstance, and celebrate it. I am just encouraging others to do the same. Blessings. xx

    • andre_lefebvre

      I understand what you’re saying, Asia, however, the “way” to God, through Jesus, will always bear fruit. Words can be many, but actions speak God’s favorite language. I don’t know why it’s that way, but I know that actions are a sign of commitment, a declaration of something deep, actions are words unspoken, words of life that radiate love and hope. It’s not always received that way, we humans who have shattered souls tend to be suspicious, holding the world at arm’s length as much as we can. And so we don’t realize we do the same with God. We have only one (1) relationship face inside, and as we are with others, often we are with God, despite our professed devotion to Him. It’s when we stoop down into the mud and the muck of humanity to be with the broken and needy, the rejected and the ugly, that we show how much we trust the light in us to shine for THEIR sake, and the sake of our friend Jesus.

      Many things can distract us from seeing their heart, their God-carved heart, and trigger responses from the treasure box of our self-righteousness. But if we dare to return God’s favor to one of the least, if we can for a moment suspend the rogue tyranny of our own fears and accept to look at others as they stand in the light of the cross, we will have glimpsed into the eyes of the God dying for them. And that is what should overwhelm us, that it is that simple. Even if difficult, it is simple. I wish I could love this way day in and day out.

      Oprah is not judged by God on the basis of her lack, but the basis of her thirst and hunger, and her faith in His Son, Whom she wasn’t ashamed to confess publicly. We should not join the forces of darkness in slandering and putting on her a burden we ourselves couldn’t bear. To be singled out publicly and trashed by those who claim to follow the Savior she confesses? How many mansions are there in the Father’s House? How many churches in the book of Revelation were both praised and rebuked? I don’t think the Way of Jesus is about technical orthodoxy, but being transformed into His image, by His Spirit in us.

      I didn’t know of Christa before today. I never heard her songs or read her books, but she shared something that moved me to worship Jesus and desire to be more like Him, and love with the determination Christa shows in her post. I love that, and would encourage you to notice how judging Oprah (or others) as “not being saved or a Christian” is in fact not the voice of the Spirit, but the voice of fear of what is different. the disciples told Jesus about a man who was healing the sick in His name, but not following them. You know the story.

      It’s never a good idea to fray and imitate the naysayers who never run out of material to create their own versions of “God’s rules for His acceptance of you.” I think we need to remember that we do not grow uniformly, but we grow, it’s a process. I rejoice for every step someone makes toward the light, even if they can’t sustain the stance for long, because once we taste of this Life, we will never be satisfied until we find it again. And the more we grow, the less we’ll want there to be a mixture, and the less we’ll want mixture, and the more we’ll part with what is mixture in us. I have all hope and faith that this is the call you follow too by following Jesus, while chatting with the other disciples about who is the greatest, how to vote, paying taxes, condemning the guilty, etc. It’s an upside-down kingdom… 🙂

      Sorry for the long reply, I really wanted to reach out in love and share these thoughts with you…

  39. Christa Black

    Thanks Asia. Once again, I’m not here to defend Oprah’s theology. I’m here to define my response to a world in search of Jesus. And I will always celebrate when Jesus gets glorified. (: x

  40. Christa Black

    Thanks Asia. Once again, I’m not here to defend Oprah’s theology. I’m here to define my response to a world in search of Jesus. And I will always celebrate when Jesus gets glorified. (: x

  41. andre_lefebvre

    Christa, THANK YOU!!! Oh I remember Oprah’s TV special she did with all these gospel singers… I also remember how confusing it’s been for me to try to separate the “wheat from chaff” and you’ve done this in one elegant swipe. Thank you, I know I want to get to love this way. The name of Jesus was so honored in your writing just there. Blessings to you, and keep going, many are needing to see this modeled for them, me included.

  42. andre_lefebvre

    Christa, THANK YOU!!! Oh I remember Oprah’s TV special she did with all these gospel singers… I also remember how confusing it’s been for me to try to separate the “wheat from chaff” and you’ve done this in one elegant swipe. Thank you, I know I want to get to love this way. The name of Jesus was so honored in your writing just there. Blessings to you, and keep going, many are needing to see this modeled for them, me included.

  43. So I’m totally stoked at the thought that Oprah has returned to her roots. I’m sad for the hateful comments you received. Oprah did reject Christianity and embraced New Age big time. I’ve heard her myself and read the books she recommended spiritually. So all I can say is, praise God that He wooed this woman of influence back to the fold.

  44. andre_lefebvre

    Note that the video used in this article is more than 5 years old, so its content isn’t very current. She is a seeker obviously, and has clearly explored many different ways to simplify God, wondering about His place in our lives, in the world, His relevance, and His name. But her upbringing is coming full circle, and I’m going to believe her testimony, but more than that, I am going to believe the One Who has always held my hand during my own dark nights and various seasons of drifting – He is the Sure Hand.

  45. I am shocked by Oprah’s testimony of faith! It is a reverse of the new age stuff she has been espousing for many years. I am hopeful that something has occurred in her life that has brought her back to the Savior! I pray it continues. She has such an opportunity to witness to millions of people!!

  46. I am shocked by Oprah’s testimony of faith! It is a reverse of the new age stuff she has been espousing for many years. I am hopeful that something has occurred in her life that has brought her back to the Savior! I pray it continues. She has such an opportunity to witness to millions of people!!

  47. Stefanie Harman

    I love your heart Christa….so like Jesus! Thank you for always defending love. Thank you for the reminder that we always love people. We hate the sin. To often, our church culture fuses the two….that should never be.

    I was that person who watched almost every Oprah show in the early days.I loved her transparent heart that would expose her deepest wounds for the sake of others. I found her wise, funny and truly a lover of all people. For me, this is why I loved Oprah.

    Im thrilled to know that she has gone back to her Jesus and proclaims Him as her savior. There were many years where she was seemingly experimenting and did not know truth and was searching. She brought many leaders in the New Age and Metaphysical culture that taught we can save ourselves and that truth lies within. Fortunately, I knew what scripture said about discerning truth and was not swayed by what was being promoted. I think this is why so many Christians now cringe at her name. Because she did so many great things and represented herself as light, often the truth was far from that light.We are warned in scripture about false teachers and that many will fall from truth because deception represents itself as light and we are to test the spirits so we do not fall away.
    Having said that, I can now see how the Lord has used all her searching to bring her full circle right back to the heart of her Jesus..her true savior. I know he did for me, and Oprah should be allowed the same freedom to find the arms of her ever patient Jesus waiting for her return.

  48. Dawn Magagnotti

    Christa; Why is it every stinkin blog enrty you write I am wiping tears??? Girl, you carry the heart of the Man more than anyone I can think of and I love love love this essay. God bless you and your beautiful family, Oprah and every single person who was at this event! LOVE WINS!!!!!!!

  49. Bonnie Kaemingk

    I was at her event in Seattle and it was so, SO good. I had an amazing God breakthrough during the exercise session (of all places) because I’m not a fan of working out. Ha!!!!

    The one thing my friends and I kept talking about was how quick and eager the church has been to crucify Oprah for some of the things she’s said. I’m fairly certain Jesus is very secure in our doubt and struggles. 😉 When people say things that scare us or shake up our closely held “we know it all” beliefs, it’s easy to lash out with judgement. I admit that I had a few moments like that with her over a couple of her shows. But you know, the closer I get to Holy Spirit, the more I’m not threatened or afraid of people who are searching. Sometimes they’re closer to Jesus than the rest of us because when you’re searching, you know you need someone. When you think you know it all, God isn’t really much use anymore. I want to know Him more than I want to know information or rules… “I don’t know” and wondering is the key to asking the One who has the answers. Loved this post and shared with my friendlies. I hope it sparks some happy conversation! 😉

    p.s. loved seeing you at School of Worship 2 summers ago. You’re a fabulous woman. Keep it coming!

  50. Bonnie Kaemingk

    I was at her event in Seattle and it was so, SO good. I had an amazing God breakthrough during the exercise session (of all places) because I’m not a fan of working out. Ha!!!!

    The one thing my friends and I kept talking about was how quick and eager the church has been to crucify Oprah for some of the things she’s said. I’m fairly certain Jesus is very secure in our doubt and struggles. 😉 When people say things that scare us or shake up our closely held “we know it all” beliefs, it’s easy to lash out with judgement. I admit that I had a few moments like that with her over a couple of her shows. But you know, the closer I get to Holy Spirit, the more I’m not threatened or afraid of people who are searching. Sometimes they’re closer to Jesus than the rest of us because when you’re searching, you know you need someone. When you think you know it all, God isn’t really much use anymore. I want to know Him more than I want to know information or rules… “I don’t know” and wondering is the key to asking the One who has the answers. Loved this post and shared with my friendlies. I hope it sparks some happy conversation! 😉

    p.s. loved seeing you at School of Worship 2 summers ago. You’re a fabulous woman. Keep it coming!

  51. Emily Bohn

    Oh my word! I had never heard of you or your blog until a dear friend posted this entry on her facebook page!! I am so so inspired by your decision to be slow to anger and your allowance of the Holy Spirit to counsel you. This response has really been a practical example of how to show Jesus love in the face of Pharisaical judgement. Thank you for choosing love! Jesus thank you!!

  52. Andrea Pattico

    Oh Christa – thank you for speaking my heart! I remember seeing similar mean comments after a YouTube clip was posted of Oprah singing ‘I Surrender All’ was posted on Facebook. I may not agree with all of Oprah’s theology or that of some of the people I call friends, but it’s exciting to me to hear of Oprah quoting scripture and declaring herself a Christian – to me, that means the real truth has and is taking root in her heart and like a drop of dye in water, will spread wide! The fact that so many would have heard about our Father God is simply fantastic – seed down and God is God, so He’ll do the rest. I ask God all the time to help me love people where they’re at – for some of my friends, I may be the only representation of Jesus they get to see – especially those who may feel intimidated about going into a church for fear of judgement. I’m with you Christa – I don’t care at all. Love God, Love People. God bless you for all you are doing to represent Him #handsandfeetofJesusontheearth x

  53. Andrea Pattico

    Oh Christa – thank you for speaking my heart! I remember seeing similar mean comments after a YouTube clip was posted of Oprah singing ‘I Surrender All’ was posted on Facebook. I may not agree with all of Oprah’s theology or that of some of the people I call friends, but it’s exciting to me to hear of Oprah quoting scripture and declaring herself a Christian – to me, that means the real truth has and is taking root in her heart and like a drop of dye in water, will spread wide! The fact that so many would have heard about our Father God is simply fantastic – seed down and God is God, so He’ll do the rest. I ask God all the time to help me love people where they’re at – for some of my friends, I may be the only representation of Jesus they get to see – especially those who may feel intimidated about going into a church for fear of judgement. I’m with you Christa – I don’t care at all. Love God, Love People. God bless you for all you are doing to represent Him #handsandfeetofJesusontheearth x

  54. Amen, that was beautiful my sister. You have been wonderfully made in God’s image. I’m quite young in my faith, but I know that love and the heart is at forefront of what God wants from us. The difference between humanity and God is that he knows our hearts and what unconditional love truly is. When I look at my children it reminds me of the unconditional love felt towards me in my non perfect sinful existence. Man can never appreciate the magnitude of our heart for Jesus unless they desire him themselves. There is no one greater than anyone else. No sin that is less of a sin
    . I will definitely be following your blog.
    Thank you

  55. Suzy Walker

    So over the modern day Pharisees, think about it, they called Jesus a drunkard? All because He loved the sinners, no different today, that religious demon is mean and so jealous, anyone God exalts they tear down, really pathetic, I love all ministers, God uses whoever He wants to use, Go Oprah your an amazing beautiful gifted woman using your talents to the full, not like the haters that have buried theirs!

  56. Suzy Walker

    So over the modern day Pharisees, think about it, they called Jesus a drunkard? All because He loved the sinners, no different today, that religious demon is mean and so jealous, anyone God exalts they tear down, really pathetic, I love all ministers, God uses whoever He wants to use, Go Oprah your an amazing beautiful gifted woman using your talents to the full, not like the haters that have buried theirs!

  57. Allison Bown

    I love that people are thinking for themselves in this exchange and a conversation is sparked – and you are a genius at finding a dialogue that makes us do that. What DO we believe? Not based on anyone else’s ideas, but from our relationship with God and His Word. That’s what you’ve shared with us about yourself and you’ve stood tall. You are not sharing an opinion on someone else’s relationship with God – but on your own and who you know Him to be. And we are encouraged to do the same. Not easy. Well done girlfriend.

  58. Allison Bown

    I love that people are thinking for themselves in this exchange and a conversation is sparked – and you are a genius at finding a dialogue that makes us do that. What DO we believe? Not based on anyone else’s ideas, but from our relationship with God and His Word. That’s what you’ve shared with us about yourself and you’ve stood tall. You are not sharing an opinion on someone else’s relationship with God – but on your own and who you know Him to be. And we are encouraged to do the same. Not easy. Well done girlfriend.

  59. I stumbled and fumbled my way on to your blog (for the first time) from Science Mike’s website. My head is still reeling. I had read something earlier during my Advent reading that had caused me once again to ponder the scandalous mystery of the hiddenness of God. The One who peeks out from behind the pillar of fire or smoke, or the hay laced with manure and winks. And you made me realize that He may very well be hiding in plain sight, behind a powerful black woman who synthesizes truth claims in (to me, oftentimes) uncomfortable, even offensive ways. But this is what I read and found confirmation for in what you wrote. It is from the Glory of the Lord. The writer is quoting a German philosopher whom I’ve never heard of and whose writings are way above my pay grade –speaking of the glory of God who empties Himself . . . “the Holy Spirit who conceals himself ‘under all kinds of rags and tatters,’ ‘under the rubbish’ of the letter of Scripture, in such a way that ‘truly enlightened and enthusiastic eyes are needed–a friend’s eyes, armed with jealousy, the eyes of a confidant and of a lover too’ so as to recognize the rays of heavenly splendour dressed in such a disguise.'” May we be given eyes to see Him hidden even behind red gown and gold heels.

  60. I have loved watching Oprah and seeing her touch people’s hearts, doing all of the things you mention here. On the show, she did not come across as Christian. She seemed to embrace and encourage teachings that go against Christianity. I refused to watch the shows when she was on the “Eat, Love, Pray” kick. But I was still drawn to her generous heart. I was very surprised, pleasantly surprised, to hear how she talked about Jesus at this event. She has blessed me as a woman, been encouraging and inspiring. I am thankful for her. I also like Iyanla Vanzant and have wondered where she is spiritually. Was she at the event?

  61. I have loved watching Oprah and seeing her touch people’s hearts, doing all of the things you mention here. On the show, she did not come across as Christian. She seemed to embrace and encourage teachings that go against Christianity. I refused to watch the shows when she was on the “Eat, Love, Pray” kick. But I was still drawn to her generous heart. I was very surprised, pleasantly surprised, to hear how she talked about Jesus at this event. She has blessed me as a woman, been encouraging and inspiring. I am thankful for her. I also like Iyanla Vanzant and have wondered where she is spiritually. Was she at the event?

  62. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this Christa! Love your heart for people and your heart for God and to see His kingdom here on earth. You impacted me 5 years ago at Bethel School of Worship with this same heart and you continue to do so! Thanks so much for the heavenly stance you take on these issues and the way you communicate with such love, wisdom and grace.

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