Thursday, May 1, 2008

Our Response Should Be

To pray.

Through another blog, I checked out a site called “Stuff Christians Like” and it has some pretty funny stuff on it. To be honest, some of it I don’t get and probably because I wasn’t aware that something was what Christians liked. If you know me, then you probably have noticed that I am oblivious to a lot of things and don’t think as the general public seems to think on many an occasion.

One of the things Christians apparently like, and I was aware of this one, is “Slowly Turning Against Oprah.” I was convicted. Not because of slowly turning on her because I hadn’t; I’ve known for a good while that she wasn’t a capital “C” Christian. I still watch her shows but less and less frequently; I only watch if there’s a guest on that I like, like when she had the Osmonds on. And I did watch the “pregnant man” story and a few others like that just to see how confused people can be.

For years I have watched an episode now and then and every time I do, I am just amazed by the audience. Oprah walks out on stage and people are clapping, people are woohooing, and people are CRYING. It’s not just Oprah, some people wait their whole lives to see Oprah in person, to see the Dalai Lama in person, to see… Justin Timberlake in person, all sorts of people whom they have let have a huge amount of influence on them.

So I started wondering of whom I would be so emotional in meeting that I would cry when it happened. I’d like to say Chuck Swindoll, but I don’t think I’d cry in meeting him. I’m still working on it. Maybe the problem is that I’ve grown up in Hawai‘i where we aren’t generally in awe of anyone of any stature or fame. Or maybe I’m afraid that I’ll find out it’s someone not particularly powerful or of a smaller influence or someone who’s just plain gorgeous, like Paul Walker, or the owner of Two Ladies Kitchen or Lauri Hakala [UH Volleyball].

Back to the original matter, I was convicted by one of the comments someone had made after the entry. In my previous entry [Work It Out, Babe!], I went through my thoughts on several matters, two of which being the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the book “A New Earth.” While I didn’t condemn nor boycott either, I left something out. I had said that if someone thinks the U.S.A. is going down the wrong track, one should pray for the U.S.A. It’s a good idea to pray for our country at any time, to pray for our leaders especially. I do.

But what I should have said, what the Christian response should be in the matter, is that we should pray for people we think are going down the wrong track. We should pray for Rev. Wright, Oprah, and Tolle, the author of “A.N.E.”

I constantly pray for God’s continuing grace upon myself. I pray for the health and wellbeing of my family and friends. I pray for the leaders and future leaders of this country, the country of which I am so grateful for having been born into it. I also pray for those I hate; I pray for their salvation and I pray for my heart to soften towards them. I pray for former friends and former boyfriends. I pray for a great many things.

I never thought to pray for Oprah. I never thought to pray for Tolle.

My response should always be to pray. If one is a Christian, capital “C” Christian, one’s response should always be to pray.

By the way, why do I feel sure that Oprah is not a Christian as I am a Christian? Among other things she has said and done in the past, more recently she has said that she doesn’t believe that Jesus came to earth to start Christianity. One can hear it for oneself; she said it clearly in the first “A.N.E.” lesson. She doesn’t think Jesus was about dying on the cross.

The thing is, “Jesus” is his NAME; “Christ” is who he IS, his TITLE. He is called “Jesus Christ” or sometimes “Christ Jesus,” but more clearly he is “Jesus, the Christ.” From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Main Entry: Christ
Pronunciation: \ˈkrīst\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English Crist, from Old English, from Latin Christus, from Greek Christos, literally, anointed, from chriein
Date: before 12th century

Main Entry: mes•si•ah
Pronunciation: \mə-ˈsī-ə\
Function: noun
Etymology: Hebrew māshīaḥ & Aramaic mĕshīḥā, literally, anointed
Date: 1560
1capitalized a: the expected king and deliverer of the Jews b: JESUS

Now, if Jesus didn’t come to die on the cross, if he came to earth to be just a good teacher and role model for how we should live, then Jesus was not the Christ. Since Oprah does not believe that Jesus came to die on the cross, Oprah has taken away “Christ” as Jesus’ title, and without the belief in the “CHRIST,” I don’t understand how one can call oneself a “CHRIST-ian.”

The main definition of “Christian” [again by M-W Online]:

Main Entry: 1Chris•tian
1 a: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

The definition makes a clear differentiation between Jesus the name and Christ the title of one man. I believe that one may believe in Jesus, but if one doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior, the Lord, one isn’t a Christian. I believe this is biblically sound, test me out on this if one believes I’m wrong. Oprah should call herself a "Jesus-ian."

That being said, there’s no human way of knowing Oprah’s heart or the heart of anyone else. There is no way that I can know for sure whether one is a Christian or not, no way of basing it on one’s good works, one’s Christian-sounding statements, one’s church attendance. I believe Oprah is a good-hearted person, but not a Christian. I can, however, and should, be discerning about one’s works and statements that deny a faith in the Christ. I mean, there’s no way of my knowing that someone won’t come to a true faith in Christ before they die. To that end, one in the faith should pray for those not in the faith.


Stuff Christians Like: Slowly Turning Against Oprah
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary