Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | November 11, 2011

What would Oprah do?

Raised by her grandmother and off and on by her mother and the man she considered to be her father, Oprah Winfrey rose from the depths of poverty to become the wealthiest woman alive today.  Her influence spans the globe.  Her talk show produced discussions of rape and incest, gay marriage, pornography and a whole host of other topics considered taboo when her show first aired.  A generation of young adults has been raised on Oprah’s political and religious views.

“What would Oprah do?”  is a phrase being popularized just as “What would Jesus do” was just a few years ago.  Stephen Mansfield has written “Where Has Oprah Taken Us?” asking the question not so much as a criticism of Oprah’s accomplishments but more to expose the dangers of her religious and spiritual teachings.

Oprah has taken the best qualities of different religions and combined them to form a religion that pleases everyone.  Her philosophy or theology is basically if you think it you can make it happen thereby making you the god of your life.

The truth is Oprah has accomplished great things and become rich in the process.  People around the world love her and worship her.  They want what she has, and that’s the danger.  She teaches that they can have what she has if they believe it to be so.  We do not hear about what happens to those who fall for her rhetoric after the delivery of such promises are unfulfilled.

Oprah wants people to like her so she seeks to win their love and adoration by giving outrageously expensive gifts to her friends and family and sometimes complete strangers.  Oprah is living proof that it doesn’t matter how much money or power you have, if you don’t have love, you have nothing.  That’s what’s missing in the world of Oprah we are living in today.  If we listen long enough and earnest enough, we might start to believe her rhetoric.  Oprah became an overnight success and she is still riding on the wings of success.  With each new venture, Oprah wins the right to influence others.

Mansfield asks difficult questions about Oprah.  These questions are important for us to consider.  Should we allow Oprah, or anyone else, to influence what we believe about money, power, and our God?  Can the world survive without Oprah?  Can you?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




  1. Without having the benefit of discussing it with her, I have to say only what appears to be true – Oprah seems to have shifted her spiritual focus from her Christian raising to a more worldly version of religion. She has tried to embrace so many things “spiritual” that she has diluted the strength of her witness. I don’t know if this is due to her more worldly exposure to other celebrities who embrace everything from Scientology to atheism, or if it has to down with a crisis of faith in her own life. She is giving ambivilent messages. She has such a huge platform. It is a pity she has not used it for sharing the gospel.

  2. …typo…has to do with a crisis…

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