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Amy Spreeman is founder and co-blogger at Berean Research and also a contributing blogger at Pirate Christian Radio’s Berean Examiner blog. She has been a broadcaster and freelance writer for 25 years. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Why Oprah Winfrey gets coaching to proclaim: "I Am a Christian"

There is something strange going on in Oprah land. Apparently she is being coached and primed on how to “boldly profess Christ,” and convince people she is a Christian. This in spite of the fact that Oprah Winfrey has publicly said that Jesus is NOT the only way to salvation or heaven, thus denying Him and calling Him a liar.

Who is coaching her? A lot of people: Movie producer Tyler Perry, who made a huge splash with Oprah when the two attended Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church last November, and the modalist preacher to the stars, T.D. Jakes, who has also appeared on her program.

On Monday during her “Oprah’s Lifeclass: The Tour” broadcast, she very intentionally aligned herself with Christianity. Her show’s theme: “Spiritual Solutions,” featured New Age guru Deepak Chopra. Here is what she said:

Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry attend a service at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 6, 2011.

“I am not talking about religion. I am a Christian. That is my faith. I’m not asking you to be a Christian. If you want to be one I can show you how. But it is not required. I have respect for all faiths. All faiths. But what I’m talking about is not faith or religion. I’m talking about spirituality.” 

How does she define her spirituality? In her program, she said it’s about:

  1. Living life with an open heart through love.
  2. Aligning with the values of tolerance, acceptance, of harmony, of cooperation and reverence for life.

She said she believes there is a divine thread that connects spiritually to something greater than ourselves:

“My favorite Bible verse—because I am Christian—is Acts 17:28. It says, ‘In God I live and move and have my being’.And you want to know why I’m so successful? Because I knew that at 4 years-old … I wouldn’t be who I am today without a spiritual consciousness, without spiritual values and ultimately without spiritual love.”

Oprah Winfrey at the White House for the 2010 ...

Do you question the New Age-iness of this statement, or wonder why her actions and profession of faith do not square with what the Bible says about sin, syncretism, salvation and Christ’s atonement being the only way?   Because if you do, the Black Christian News Network (BCNN) says you surely must be a Pharisee. The BCNN is now working to defend and promote whenever and wherever possible the sincerity of Oprah’s faith:

“Now we know that some people are going to doubt Oprah’s profession of faith in Christ and some are going to say negative things about this because she has different people of different faiths on her show and so forth. But before you Pharisees say all of that, please understand that OWN is not a Christian network. It is a network for all people. OWN is Oprah’s business, and we as Christians know what that is like when you’re doing business in a secular world. So Oprah’s business side is going to be different, but it does not take anything away from her faith in Christ.”

BCNN gave kudos to Oprah’s longtime boyfriend Stedman Graham (who founded two PR firms and is a marketing consultant/guru), public relations, Tyler Perry, T.D. Jakes and others who “wisely” encouraged and coached her on how to make her public profession of faith in Christ before the world.

And here is where it gets real interesting. BCNN wrote: “We believe that Oprah’s true ‘next chapter’ is to finish her life leading millions to the Christ that saved her. We want to encourage all Christians to pray for Oprah as she grows in her faith in Christ.”

Given the New Age Jesus Oprah has described, and considering her star power, are you ready to watch her lead millions to that Jesus?

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66 Responses to “Why Oprah Winfrey gets coaching to proclaim: "I Am a Christian"”

  1. Ms.nicole #

    Jesus died on the cross for how sins. Jesus is the only way, one must confess and truly repent of all sins. One must be born of the holy spirit. We are living in the last days. Thank you Lord Jesus!!!!

    August 18, 2015 at 9:42 PM
  2. NothingButTheTruth #

    To those that said we should not judge someone's standing in Christ by
    how they define salvation or how they define doctrine. First of all, the truth
    according to the word of God is Jesus is the ONLY way…He is the way,
    the truth and the life…NO ONE goes to the Father except through HIM.
    If anyone adds or subtracts from the true word of God, let that man be
    accursed. God takes doctrine seriously so why shouldn't we? He said if
    anyone comes preaching another gospel other than the one the scriptures
    teach, let that person be accursed. I didn't say that; I didn't imagine that
    or make that up…God Himself proclaimed it in His word. If anyone
    is teaching or preaching that
    there is more than one way to heaven, that Jesus is only one of the ways,
    He is a false prophet and a false teacher. It's as simple as that. If Oprah
    believes in all the new fangled teaching of New Ageism, then she is
    a liar…she is not a true christian.
    I am alarmed that if she has known T.D.Jakes and Joel Osteen this long
    even on a personal friendship basis, and she still doesn't know that
    without any doubt, Jesus Christ alone is Savior, then something is not
    right about this whole thing. I had major problems with the concept that
    she was invited to be a guest speaker at Jake's women's conference
    2 or 3 years ago. What exactly was it that she spoke about to give insight
    to a large group of christian women? Can you imagine Jesus asking
    a non-believer to help him deliver His sermon on the Mount? Read Psalm 1.

    July 6, 2015 at 2:18 PM
  3. peterjfoster #

    I will pray for Oprah Winfrey; not judge her but love her.

    July 21, 2014 at 6:00 AM

    OPRAH is causing a lot of UPROAH with her heretical teachings. She is only trying to fill up the emptiness money, and popularity simply cannot fill(no amount of wealth can buy HOLY SPIRIT!). Without antichrists like oprah,CHRISTwill never come back!

    July 8, 2014 at 8:45 PM
  5. Deb #

    Leading millions to the Christ that saved her? Which Christ are we talking about? Pray that the millions led are not led to the wrong Jesus!!!!!

    June 13, 2014 at 1:33 PM
  6. We all seek advice and guidance which has to be seen as a good thing. Everyones different but as long as we are all aiming towards peace and happiness then this world will be a better place for sure :O)

    March 1, 2014 at 9:57 PM
  7. Hleki #

    The problem here there is no clearity at all, does oprah believes in Jesus? and one answer shoud be provided by her ownself YES or NO,u cannot go arround in circles if u r not confident enough in what u believe in,if u work for the devil say it out loud,why try to hide by the word ''faith''? So reading this story i notice that Oprah is not coming out clearly on her spiritual level,u cannot come to conclusion to what she believes in. Another point i want to make is that THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO HEAVEN AND THAT IS THROUGH JESUS period,u either are with God who lives in heaven or satan in hell.

    December 23, 2013 at 6:22 PM
  8. charity azeta #

    Jesus Christ d begotten son of God is d only way/path to God Almighty and dere's no other way. Jesus Christ Is our only Saviour and redeemer. Do not b deceived. Jesus loves U.

    November 23, 2013 at 2:05 AM
  9. Brent Richards #

    Amen! The passages from Matthew are some of the most powerful in Scripture yet some of the least taught or professed.

    November 6, 2013 at 7:40 AM
  10. Allie #

    Your ideas will lead to death. Scripture is God-breathed.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:47 PM
  11. Allie #

    This is not judgement. We are called to warn others about false Gospel. Buddhists do a lot of good too and are headed straight to hell unless they accept Jesus into their hearts.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:43 PM
  12. Allie #

    Thank you for this post. Where is the discernment in all of this ?? I don't understand. Since I've become a believer in Christ these FALSE TEACHERS are so obvious to me. HE is the ONLY WAY.

    Get into the word people! 🙂 and leave the 'Christian ' books on the shelf.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:41 PM
  13. Alicia Wolf #

    Please remember the words, Matthew 7:1, "Judge not that ye be not judged." Oprah is doing a lot of good in the world. Let's leave the judgement to God.

    March 25, 2013 at 2:32 AM
  14. Amy, I am impressed with your site and with your stand for Christ. It breaks my heart to see what is happening in the church today. Of course, we were told that in these last days people will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Tim 4:3,4).

    While there are many, many godly men and women leading the flock today, we will find few of them on television. Most of them are in small churches or ministries, such as this one. God bless you, and continue sharing the truth. People are hearing it.

    October 21, 2012 at 5:26 PM
  15. Hi Amy,

    You are 100% correct in your findings. Thank you so much for posting this.

    The evidence regarding Oprah's view of Christianity comes directly from her own mouth, on video… so anyone who does the research can see that no one is making false statements regarding her distorted view of Christianity.

    I know that their are many Christians that hold Oprah in high regard, and the sad thing is that you see people coming to her defense, not Christ defense.

    Yes, Oprah is clearly likable and is passionate about what she believes, and the fact that she is so popular gives many the impression that she is preaching the Truth; But the only way to know truth from untruth is to make sure what we are hearing aligns with the Word of God, and clearly you have done this.

    The opposition your getting from some of the comments I've read seem to be from those that think your attacking Oprah, when in fact your just defending Truth and trying to encourage others to use discernment. I don't think people understand that it is not meant as an attack on an individual, it is a responsibility of any Christian to expose any false teaching that they are aware of, and in doing this it is not easy, because clearly it comes with backlash, and usually from other professing Christians.

    Thank you for being bold for the faith…

    October 12, 2012 at 9:28 AM
  16. yourladyarecrazy #

    Did Jesus teach you to judge and hate like this? pretty sure you should leave the judgment up to God! Oprah sounds more Christian then you come off on your site!

    August 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM
  17. SCD #

    Mathew LeMay – Wow, that actually makes sense – theosis. I'm definitely going to look into that. Thanks!

    July 30, 2012 at 3:55 PM
  18. SCD #

    Right on, Oprah. Right. On. Did it ever occur to any of you that OPRAH, may be right and you may be wrong? Perhaps she has actually taken the time to look into WHO wrote the Bible (clue: not God, not Jesus), and for what reason, and what was added. Oprah is a true Christian because she follows the true teachings of Jesus, not the ones that were made up after his death…. Look into it. Research. Read, "If the Church Were Chrisitan," and "Meeting Jesus again for the First time" – Google it on Amazon. Open your minds, look for truth, seek and it will be opened to you.

    July 30, 2012 at 3:45 PM
  19. Tony #

    Sadly my heart goes out to a person like Oprah Winfrey. She claims to be a Christian but based on her fruit it doesn't seem to be at all. Quite frankly I don't believe she really knows what a true Christian is. It appears that she is so blinded by the money, fame and prolific celebrity status that she enjoys that are all things of the world, heretic perverted errored doctrine included. Oprah has denied Christ publicly! We as Christians should show compassion and unconditional AGAPE LOVE and pray for someone like Oprah who is among the deceived and spiritually blind. God's will is that all be saved and none perish. I hope and pray that one day soon that Oprah has ears to hear and eyes to see, and stop promoting a satanic wolf's doctrine attempting to lead GOD's sheep.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:44 AM
  20. Oprah has always been New Age-y. The fact that she even gives Deepak Chopra (what a joke) a platform under any circumstance should tell you she's not even in the slightest bit a Christian.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:49 AM
  21. AG-man – Let’s see what the Word says about Grace in Titus 2:11-15:

    v11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
    v12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
    v13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
    v14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
    v15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.

    So, from the verses above, I know that if God's Grace is active in a person's life ("grace teaches us"), there are certain things that are characteristic:.

    – Deny ungodliness and worldly lusts
    – Live soberly and righteously in the present age
    – Look for Jesus’ return
    – (from v14) Be aware of His Work on the cross and how he sought a pure and holy people

    Do we see the teaching of grace working in Oprah's life … no. In fact, we see the exact opposite.

    Could it be that most of the church is chanting "I'm saved by Grace through Faith!" and they don't even understand what grace is? or faith, for that matter?

    Here's the deal … most of us were doomed Gentiles, and through the grace of God, He allowed us a chance to become part of His chosen people Israel. Therefore, if we are saved, we need to walk in the Fear of God, not the adoration of Obama and Dr. Phil.

    Your argument is that Oprah is saved by Grace … she doesn't walk in the Fear of God, you can see it by her actions … and she doesn't believe the Bible (no faith) … you can hear it in her words.

    She's not saved.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:55 PM
  22. AG_man #

    Here's the thing. I don't care what Oprah is. She is who she says she is. Hopefully she makes it to Heaven is all I care about. I don't know about different theologies and doctrines but the main thing we all have to remember is that we are saved by grace through faith. Not every Christian is going to have it together on their day of death or when Jesus comes back. What's important is accepting the fact that Christ died for our sins and accepting him as our savior and the son of God. Everything else is second, although not unimportant.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:38 PM
  23. Timothy Kwoh #

    To that Antiochian fool Matthew,

    You think you are representing Apostolic Orthodoxy by your sophistries and defend outright deniers of Christ. Shame on you indeed. Oprah Winfrey has not only distorted theosis as do all New Agers, she has also in accordance with the New Age denied Christ as the Only Way to salvation.

    You have promoted Origenistic universalism and Augustinianism, both of which are heretical and contrary to the REAL APOSTOLIC FATHERS.

    Unfortunately, eternity is painful for the Christ-rejecters and the unrighteous. There is indeed knowledge of God but certainly not restoration. The Scriptures are abundantly clear about this. The Apostolic Fathers are equally clear about eternal bliss and eternal damnation. Origenism was clearly declared heretical and so was Augustinianism by the Eastern Church Councils. How ironic that a number of Orthodox accept these damnable heresies as gospel!

    The problem with many Orthodox today is that they too are as worldly as the very ones they accuse of being "incomplete" in their Christian faith. Many do not even discern what is genuinely heretical from what is true. Ecumenism with false religions is evidence of this.

    May 13, 2012 at 11:59 PM
  24. Hi – not to quibble but for clarity's sake, I think the double-negative wording of the sentence,

    This in spite of the fact that Oprah Winfrey has publicly denied that Jesus is NOT the only way to salvation or heaven.

    …says the opposite of what it was intended to convey.

    That said, I'm in agreement – this is chilling and I am grateful that Jesus is still on His throne and warned us ahead of time. What a grace it is that He gives us His Word.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:01 PM
  25. Trissa #

    Love one another, as I have loved you.

    I guess I am missing this…or not seeing clearly, this command from Christ in the above comments. 🙂

    May 2, 2012 at 11:55 PM
  26. Matthew, you made a false accusation saying I call it evil. I do no such thing. And the sole reason I mention it is because I am asked about it all the time. I am a speaker, published writer, and author on these areas. So I address areas that people ask about. You sure are veering off course. I think it's because you can't make your case so you're resorting to personal attacks.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM
  27. Mr Davis #

    We should heed Paul's Gospel, but that would mean Paul's Gospel would have to be preached. That hasn't been done for centuries and so we all find ourselves guilty of Idolatry and not holding fast to the whole counsel of God. Rather as we have been taught we do what pleases us.

    Galatians 1

    6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before , so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received , let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

    Acts 20

    26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

    29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise , speaking perverse things , to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch , and remember , that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

    May God have mercy on us and grant us repentance to this end that we may approach the thrown of Grace and Worship God Almighty maker of Heaven and earth and all that is in them, in The Holy Spirit and Truth. God help us!

    April 30, 2012 at 2:41 AM
  28. Matthew, you call syncretizing New Age with Christianity and telling millions that Jesus is NOT the only way a "minor distinction in theology," when it is blasphemy. I stand behind this article. I agree with you that she may indeed be sincere, but no one is questioning her heart, her humility or her salvation–which is God's to decide. Did you listen to the program? No one is demonizing Oprah.

    April 28, 2012 at 6:03 AM
  29. Matthew LeMay #

    To publicly defame another's proclamation of Christ is dangerous ground. May God have mercy on you.

    Even from your article, it seems to me that Oprah's faith is sincere. The "coaching" she was receiving was clearly about *how* to best proclaim her faith to her audience which is made up of more than just current Christians. This is something that any Christian in the media must navigate– how do we profess our faith boldly, while keeping our hearts, minds and the media we produce open and accessible to those who are still seeking that Truth. Yes, this is being "seeker friendly," but it is not necessarily a bad thing; it is simply skillfulness in reaching out.

    This quote says it all: “We believe that Oprah’s true ‘next chapter’ is to finish her life leading millions to the Christ that saved her. We want to encourage all Christians to pray for Oprah as she grows in her faith in Christ.”

    For you to defame her sincerity based on the fact that you interpret Christianity differently than her is stepping *way* over your boundaries and completely deviating from the teachings of Christ in your way of handling it. It is one thing to challenge or clarify views and ethics you disagree with in a civil way. It is entirely another thing to defame another's sincere belief in Christ. Mike said that when we disagree with another Christian, we should, "Challenge the method, but not the Heart." You are totally out of line with that.

    You must realize that your exclusivist, reactionary interpretation of the Faith is not the only version that exists. In fact, it is one of the newest kids on the block with regard to the broader tradition of Christianity.

    If Oprah leads millions to Christ, we should be happy. Being alive in Christ is more important that parsing out minor distinctions in theology, which if you understood the history of the Church and the life and writings of the Saints and Church Fathers would be obvious.

    April 28, 2012 at 5:52 AM
  30. Thank you for this Amy ! Mat_7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

    1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
    1Ti 4:2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,
    1Ti 4:3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
    1Ti 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
    1Ti 4:5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
    1Ti 4:6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.
    1Ti 4:7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
    1Ti 4:8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
    1Ti 4:9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance.
    1Ti 4:10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
    1Ti 4:11 Command and teach these things.
    1Ti 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
    1Ti 4:13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.
    1Ti 4:14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.
    1Ti 4:15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.
    1Ti 4:16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:00 AM
  31. The Word says,

    Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'"

    We see that these people are shocked that they were turned away … after all, they did "all these things" in Jesus' name. Why did they turn away? They were lawless … they had no respect for "the rules" (the absolutes) laid out in scripture. They served a "Jesus of their own design".

    This is what we're seeing with Oprah, Tyler and Joel. Hey, I like certain aspects of Tyler and Joel (sorry Oprah), but their downfall is that they only want to accept certain qualities of God that appeal to their flesh, and leave out the rest.

    We (the Church) love to think that God accepts us for who we are (He doesn't) …. but are we ready to accept Him for who HE is?

    April 27, 2012 at 4:57 AM
  32. I've been speaking on Oprah for about 15 years, and have been trying to let Christians know why Oprah thinks she is a Christian. It is because a major influence on her spiritual views came from a book by Eric Butterworth, a Unity minister (died 2003). The book is "Discover the Power Within." I've read through most of it. Unity came out of New Thought, a non-Christian movement that nevertheless claims to be Christian (Christian Science came from New Thought, too). They use Christian terminology and the Bible to allegedly support their views. The New Age borrows a lot from New Thought, so they can sound alike, but New Thought and New Age are still 2 distinct movements, though people like Oprah take from both of them.

    The sooner Christians realize this (I've been trying to get the word out as much as I can), the better they will understand Oprah and the less confused they will be. I have a lengthy article on New Thought that includes some info on Oprah on my website.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:17 PM
  33. Errrrrr, what? I'll have to follow up on this, cuz I just don't believe it.

    April 26, 2012 at 10:36 AM