Your Truth...My Truth...THE Truth
By Hal Lindsey
Oprah Winfrey thrilled the world with her speech at the Golden Globes ceremony. The Atlantic said, “It was undeniably the most electrifying moment of the 2018 Golden Globes.” CNN called it “extraordinary.” The President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, tweeted that Oprah’s words were “empowering & inspiring.” That’s surprising because the speech contained at least one swipe at her father. People were so thrilled that they immediately began clamoring for Oprah to run for president in 2020.
In the speech, Oprah employed a phrase that concerns me a great deal. She said, “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”
The phrase “your truth,” as it is commonly used, is a non-sequitur. Ideas, beliefs, and opinions can belong to you. But truth stands above those things.
Oprah brought up “your truth” while speaking of sexual harassment. But if truth changes according to point of view, how can we convict the rapist? The victim’s “truth” is that she was sexually assaulted. The rapist often claims that the victim really wanted him to attack her. His view is clearly nonsense, but if he believes it, it meets the common definition of “his truth.” Our justice system must be based on THE truth — not just opinion, or point of view.
In a world where truth and opinion are one, a white supremacist’s worldview would be as valid as any other. White supremacy would simply be “his truth.”
When we see truth as malleable depending on point of view, we build on shifting sand. You don’t want an architect to use “his truth” when designing the foundation of an office tower. You want him to use “the truth” — objective, solid truth. You want him to use mathematics. 2 + 2 = 4. If “your truth” says something else, then it is not truth, but a lie. If an architect builds on lies, the structure will fail.
A recent article in The Guardian explores Satanism’s sudden rise in popularity. The headline read, “Hell freezes over: how the Church of Satan got cool.” People are not flocking to Satanism because it is true. Most of the new Satanists say they don’t even believe the religion’s most basic precept — the existence of Satan. But they like sexual “freedom,” the rebellious nature of the name, and the sense of community. They want to be part of it, not because it is true, but because it is “cool.”
In one of Oprah Winfrey’s “Life Classes,” she refers to herself as a Christian. Then she says it really doesn’t matter. “I am a Christian,” she said. “That is my faith. I am 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!”
Having respect for people of all faiths is a Christian position. But to respect all faiths is to bury one’s head in the sand. The Manson Family’s faith was rubbish. Charles Manson was not the second coming of Jesus. Neither was Jim Jones nor David Koresh. Respect those faiths? Never! But we must respect the God-given rights and dignity of the people who held those faiths. Respect those people, and help them escape Satan’s snare.
Oprah said being a Christian “is not required.” If she means joining a specific church or denomination, then I agree. But I suspect she’s means that faith in Jesus is not required. On many occasions, she argued that He is not the only way to God. In this, she ignored Jesus’ own words. In John 14:6, He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (NASB)
Promoting one of her books, Oprah said, “God is a feeling experience and not a believing experience. If your religion is a believing experience… then that’s not truly God.”
Without truth or belief, all you have left are feelings. And feelings can lead us into dark places. That’s why Oprah’s TV show sometimes featured guests teaching highly destructive things. In 2011, Mark Oppenheimer wrote in the New York Times, “She helped launch Rhonda Byrne, creator of the DVD and book ‘The Secret,’ who teaches that just thinking about wealth can make you rich. She invited the ‘psychic medium’ John Edward to help mourners in her audience talk to their dead relatives.”
Oprah promotes feeling over believing. But Jesus said that not believing in Him condemns us before God. In John 3:18, He said, “He who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (NKJV)
Seeing truth as merely a point of view, goes hand in hand with the failure to see belief as important. In the New York Times piece mentioned earlier, Oppenheimer wrote about Oprah’s television show. “In her religious exuberance Ms. Winfrey gave people some badly broken tools. Ms. Winfrey nodded along to the psychics and healers and intuitives. She rarely asked tough questions, and because she believed, millions of others did, too.”
The psychics and healers and intuitives were sharing “their truth.” Oprah was respecting “all religions.” It’s natural that she nodded and believed. Hers is a vaporous creed of feeling good about yourself no matter what, and seeing the potted plant on your desk as a part of God. Those are not the teachings of Jesus — nowhere near them.
We can debate Oprah’s credentials to be president, but there’s no doubt she’s one of the best communicators to ever step in front of a television camera. Her Golden Globes speech lasted 8½ minutes. She had the crowd on its feet starting at the 7-minute mark. People in the room and many in the television audience wept for joy.
But Jesus — the Founder of the “faith” she identifies with — said you must believe in Him. He talked about the importance of knowing truth. In John 14, He said, “I am…the truth.” In John 8:32, He said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”