Oprah reacted by standing up and saying she disagrees and that one needs to look within oneself, to find the inner longings and live them out in order to be authentic.
“But wait just a minute,” the respected apologist cautioned. “What if he was a child abuser? Would Oprah say the same thing? To be consistent she has to. What if he was a rapist? She would have to say the same thing.”
McDowell and Sterrett, through examples of what Oprah teaches about spirituality, demonstrate that she cannot be consistent with her belief.
The apologists also addressed the opinion of Oprah and others who subscribe to religious pluralism – which says multiple religions, often contradicting, are equally true – saying that Christians are intolerant for saying Jesus is the only way. The apologists pointed out that people who say they cannot tolerate people who say Jesus is the only way are in fact showing they are intolerant with that statement. If they were as open-minded as they claim, the authors argued, they would tolerate people who disagree with them.
“I am not called in the Bible to be tolerant,” McDowell declared emphatically. “I am not. I refuse to be tolerant. I think it demeans people. I am not called to be tolerant; I am called to be loving. I am not called to tolerate people; I am called to love people.
“When you tolerate someone, it demeans them,” McDowell continued. “When you love someone, it projects value, dignity and worth in that person. As Christians we are called to not only love one another, we are called to love the ungodly.”
McDowell’s strong message about Christians not being called to be tolerant but to love resonated with attendee Denise Wingerd, 30, of Reston Bible Church.
“It clicked with me when he said Christians shouldn’t be tolerant,” Wingerd said to The Christian Post after the event. “The Christ standard is to love; to love those who persecute you. That is way above tolerance,” she said.
Wingerd said she used to watch the Oprah Winfrey Show until a “defining moment” made her decide to stop. On one episode, Oprah congratulated a guest for divorcing his wife and leaving his family after coming out that he is gay. Oprah had told the guest it was time to celebrate that he is now his best self.
“I thought to myself, this woman does not deserve my attention,” Wingerd said.
Meanwhile, Melanie McFarland, 29, a member of McLean Bible Church, appreciated McDowell’s argument that if people followed Oprah’s teaching on acting on their inner longings then child-abuse and rape would be acceptable.
“You can rationalize everything in the world,” McFarland said. “He (McDowell) opened my eyes.”
She added, “I don’t watch Oprah but it’s just amazing people take her word and don’t look for the truth.”
“O” God: A Dialogue on Truth on Oprah’s Spirituality is written as a fictional Socratic dialogue where the reader feels he/she is sitting at the table with the characters discussing and comparing Christianity with pantheism and the spiritual teachings promoted by Oprah and her teachers. The book contains many exact quotes from Oprah and the authors she promotes on their views of spirituality.
Included in the back of the book are discussion questions that can serve as a guide in conversations about Oprah’s spirituality in community groups, book clubs, and Sunday school Bible classes.