Oprah Winfrey is one of the most celebrated Afro-Americans in the world today. She is June 2008’s Black Enterprise cover story. Oprah, $2.5 billion estimated net worth, summarizes her business philosophy: “I haven’t planned one thing – ever. I have just been led by strong instinct, and I have made choices based on what was right for me at the time.” Follow her instinct has worked phenomenally well for Oprah throughout her varied career. She is like a 21st century E.F. Hutton. What she promotes, people buy.
Unfortunately one of her more recent promotions includes Marianne Williamson’s audio teachings: “A Course in Miracles.” Its author, Helen Schucman, claims to have received the book from an inner voice in 1965. This voice called itself “Jesus.” Helen listened faithfully and received spiritual dictation over the next seven years. The Foundation for Inner Peace publishing the book in 1975. The book describes its goals in this manner: “A Course in Miracles is an educational program for retraining the mind that is spiritual, rather than religious in its perspective. Although it uses Christian terminology, the Course expresses a universal experience, and its underlying ontology is reminiscent of ancient refrains, echoing the world’s most hallowed traditions…” The program, begun on January 1, 2008, provides daily life lessons over Oprah’s XML radio station. The 1 hour lessons, delivered throughout 2008, gradually draws the uninformed and unwary into the New Age thinking.
There are many hurting people throughout the world. This course’s offer of inner peace will be very attractive to many. True to the aforementioned excerpt, “A Course in Miracles” challenges Christianity’s tenets page by page. As with any New Age doctrine, the course undermines Christ’s deity and mission. Quotes from A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume include “a slain Christ has no meaning” (pg. 425) and “The name of Jesus Christ as such is a symbol… It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.” (Teacher’s Manual, pg. 58) This conflicts with many Bible passages including “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1 and “This [Jesus] is the stone despised by you builders, who has become the cornerstone. There is salvation in no one else, for there is not other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11-12 – Holman Christian Standard Bible Translation.
“A Course in Miracles” directly opposes the Bible. By using Christian concepts and themes, the Course cloaks its message in religious sounding and heart tickling words. Contrary to Christ’s promise of true peace in the face of trial, pain and tribulation Shuchman’s book informs readers that “Innocence is wisdom because it is unaware of evil, and evil does not exist.” Denying the evil of this world, does not give one inner peace. However, it can give you a one way ticket to the asylum.