Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Mark Driscoll's May 26, 2005 commentary on Oprah, a cult leader?
Is Oprah a Cult Leader?
Her television show is a pulpit of sorts, where millions of American women tune in to hear from their great guru on everything from improving their souls to shedding their pounds. Much like a mega-church, her flock then breaks up into various small groups around the country to read the books she recommends so that her disciples can continue to grow in thinking and living according to her teaching.
For further indoctrination there is also her monthly magazine named, you guessed it, O. Like an icon upon which to meditate, her photo adorns the cover of every issue of her magazine as she is glorified in suburban homes across the nation.
In a November poll conducted at Beliefnet.com, a site that looks at how religions and spirituality intersect with popular culture, 33 percent of 6,600 respondents said Winfrey has had "a more profound impact" on their spiritual lives than their clergypersons. "She puts the ‘cult’ in pop culture," wrote media critic Mark Jurkowitz in The Phoenix.
The fifty-two-year-old Oprah Winfrey is reportedly worth a whopping $1.4 billion and is now the moral conscience and feminist prophetic voice of a generation of women. Following Hurricane Katrina, she showed up in New Orleans to berate the failure of the government as a voice for social concern. In February she attended the funeral of Coretta Scott King as an icon for civil rights while standing next to the coffin. Additionally, she regularly speaks to female guests on her show about everything from living a better life to caring for the poor and oppressed around the world.
Her fame is rising above even legendary evangelists such as my hero Billy Graham. Her television show is now watched by 49 million people in this nation, as well as many more in 122 other nations.
Jamie Foxx said, "You're going to get to heaven and everyone's waiting on God and it's going to be Oprah Winfrey." Cathleen Falsani, religion writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, recently suggested, "I wonder, has Oprah become America's pastor?" Oprah has herself referred to her television show as her "ministry."
Oprah seems to be a contradiction perfectly suited for a confused world of pluralism. She is a billionaire who speaks passionately about the pain and suffering in the world from the comforts of her sheltered life. She is among the most beloved icons of mothers yet she has never had any children. Many viewers tune in to learn how to improve their marriages yet she has never been married. And, she speaks of spiritual matters often and has an entire segment of her show titled "spirit," which makes you wonder which spirit she’s referring to.
Bad Theology - Culture - Cults & Occult
Mark Driscoll's blog