Friday, April 4, 2008

The Power of a Word

A couple of days ago I posted a link to a video of Oprah that showed clips of her talking about her "spirituality" (or lack thereof). In that video, she mentions a time in her early twenties when she attended a church where the pastor was very charismatic. She recalls sitting in a service where the pastor was listing some characteristics of God - He is good, He is loving, He is omnipotent, He is jealous.......Oprah said that when she heard the pastor say God is jealous, a huge question came to her mind. In this video Oprah says that it was at that moment she said to herself, "God is jealous OF me?"


What Oprah didn't (and still does not) understand is that God is not jealous OF her but jealous FOR her. He is jealous for her to depend solely on Him. He is jealous for her heart to love only Him. He is jealous for her to give Him everything she has. He is jealous because He knows the other 'gods' or idols of this world can offer us nothing. But Oprah does not understand the difference between God being jealous FOR her and being jealous OF her. Although I am sure that there are many people who are jealous Of Oprah, God is not one of them.

Do you see the power of a word here? One word caused one of the most influential women in the world to question the God of the Bible. One word caused her focus to be shifted from God to what she wanted God to be in her mind. With one misunderstood word, satan has allowed millions to be misled through Oprah. There are people who will miss heaven because Oprah misunderstood the meaning of God's righteous jealousy.

That is how satan works. He uses the smallest, minute details to trip us up. He knows it doesn't take much for those who are weak in their faith to turn their backs on God. If Oprah had taken the time to study her Bible, she could have quickly learned the meaning of God being jealous FOR us. Instead of pulling out the Bibles, the concordances, and the commentaries and researching God's jealousy, she chose to conjure up a perfect god in her mind. Millions of people will be deceived because someone with huge influence did not study the word. Millions of people will bow down to Oprah's god because her god allows them to continue living the way they want to live. Millions of people have been and will be deceived by someone else's ignorance of God's word.

I know it sounds like I 'have it in' for Oprah, but actually I just wanted to use her as an example of how WE can be deceived and how WE can deceive others by not fully understanding God's word. I wonder how many of us have ever added to or taken away from God's word in order to fit our idea of 'a perfect god'.


Or how many of us have been deceived by pastors, friends, teachers, etc. that did not fully understand the Truth.


I have always wondered how the followers of David Koresh never realized that he was a false prophet. Did they not read the Bible for themselves? Or what about the followers of Jim Jones.....how did they not know that he was a liar? What would possess normal everyday people to throw common sense out the window and follow such people?

The simple truth of the matter is that people who do not know the word of God, who do not read the word of God for themselves are easily deceived. There are people who grow up in certain "Christian" denominations that refuse to acknowledge the false doctrine they have been taught all their lives. Or maybe it isn't that they refuse to see, but that it is easier to stick with what you know (even if what you 'know' is a lie).

There are so many different Christian denominations in our world that it would be difficult to even count them all much less decipher what each truly believes. There are denominations that claim the name of Jesus but deny His deity. Some churches call themselves Christian, yet say the Bible is filled with myths. Some churches claim to believe the Bible, yet ordain gay women as pastors. Others worship mere men over God. Some churches deny the Trinity while others say that Jesus was just a 'good man'. I could go on all day about false doctrine, but you get my point. This is why Bible study is so important to us. 2 Timothy 2:15 says it this way "Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth".

If we do not study the word of God, we can just as easily fall prey to false doctrine as the people in Waco or the people who drank the red Kool-aid. Oh, I am not suggesting that any of us would go to those extremes (although I am not saying we wouldn't either). But when we do not know what the Bible says, we will never be able to discern false doctrine from Truth. I know most of us think we are way too intelligent to be taken in, but in reality, some of us are just a word away from buying into the lies of a false prophet.

Okay, now for some fun.......my bother-in-law and sister showed me the funniest guy on youtube.com last night. His name is Tim Hawkins (you may know of him - I am always the last to get word of things) and he is hilarious. You can go to youtube and type a serch for Tim Hawkins, but be sure to watch this particular video!

14 comments:

Earen said...

The Youtube was a riot! I loved the song he sang...thank you for that laugh!

You read my mind...I watched that video yesterday & when she said that about the jealousy part, I said the same things inside that you wrote! I couldn't have written it better. It's so sad that she didn't realize the true meaning. I have friends who I talk to very candidly about the Lord with & she's told me they partly don't want to accept Christ because they would have the change the way they live & it wouldn't fit into their lifestyle...the pressure of the world to "fit in" when in the end they will be doomed forever. Great post. I enjoyed it. Have a great weekend friend!

Anonymous said...

Beth,

I, too, caught that she said, "jealous OF me." I thought it was kind of arrogent to even think that the preacher could mean that, but you are right if we don't really study and read the word, we WILL be deceived.

When I was growing up my church taught that you could "fall from grace" and that you could lose your salvation if you didin't follow God's law perfectly. I was often confused because they would quote, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." Galatians 5:4 However, when I met my husband he taught me to read the verses before and after anything I was confused about (i.e. read in context) and if you read Gal 5:3-5:7 it says, "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."

When I became and adult the Holy Spirit showed me that they in fact were "falling from grace" because they refused to accept that it is faith that saves you not works. As a child, their words and misinterpretation of them, almost sent me to Hell. Fortunately, our loving, gracious, and jealous God, went out of his way to bring the truth to me in my early twenties and I was FOREVER saved once, for all time by God's grace and work on the cross.

Fran said...

The power of ONE word...just ONE word. It can effect everyone and change everything.

Scary and promising at the same time. One word can be life or death.

Hope your weekend is wonderful and powerfully positive! :)

Its drying out over here so maybe its heading your way.
Hugs~

Cheryl said...

Girl, we are on the same page!
When I heard her say that, I thought, "she doesn't understand that God is jealous FOR her not OF her." And btw, what a arrogant thought to think that God would be jealous of you!!!
After I saw the video from the link on your blog, I posted it on mine!
That Tim Hawkins is hilarious!!!
Have a great weekend!

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Girl, the man and I had this same conversation this week!

I'm off to watch the Youtube now....

Hope your weekend is wonderful!
steph.

Alana said...

I thought the argument from Oprah about God being jealous was so weak. I was like, really? That was all it took for you to turn away from God?

Betsy said...

Great post!

Greg P. said...

I'm as guilty as you when it comes to expecting updated blogs all the time. But, since you want to take all the heat.... No, you are no different than anyone else when it comes to that. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Grammy and Olivia said...

That is exactly what my husband and I talked about after viewing the Oprah video. I really think she was searching and it breaks my heart that she is being deceived and used to spread this dangerous deception. I am always trying to tell the ladies in my Bible study groups about the importance of knowing God's Word for themselves and testing EVERYTHING.

Jennifer Partin said...

I was able to see the Oprah clip----kernals of truth wrapped around lies, we see it all around us.

Gonna go check the video for the other thing right now!

Shelley said...

I love that you called him your "bother"-in-law. Freudian slip perhaps? lol

Also, I almost wrote about this very thing: Oprah's misunderstanding of God's character by the use of that phrase. You did a better job writing it than I could, so I may just link from my blog to yours.

You rock--keep on keepin' on!

Mommyluann said...

Just what we talked about in class wasn't it? God being jealous FOR us and never OF us?

Rochelle said...

Loved the Youtube!! LOL!!

Despised the words of Oprah... I was so amazed that someone so seemingly "bright" could totally twist what God meant when He said He is a jealous God!!

jcdisciple said...

Oh yeah...thanks for the hookup on your favorite blog list. I might get some readers from the popular Miss Bethanne!!