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Home --> Politics --> Religion --> A Course in Miracles

A Course in Miracles

Claim:   Oprah Winfrey is sponsoring a "New Age Christ" course that contradicts the teachings of Christianity.

Status:   Multiple — see below.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, January 2008]

I turned on the TV one day last week just before the 5:00 news and saw Oprah pushing this course. This is true. Please make your friends and family aware of this study and the fact that it is New-Age teaching.

You really need to read this:

"Oprah and Friends" to teach course on New Age Christ

Many of you, like me, have probably been Oprah fans for a long time. This is very discouraging news to hear about one who has such tremendous influence on the general public. Please ask God to show Oprah the real Jesus Christ.

Just to make sure this was true, I went on Oprah's website and there it is. The below article is very interesting, so I thought I would share.

http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/007/smith-oprah.htm

Origins:   The course cited above refers to the Oprah & Friends channel on XM Satellite Radio, which is offering Marianne Williamson's presentation of A Course in Miracles (ACIM), described as:
A self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy contained in three books. It is not a religion, but rather a psychological mind-training base on universal spiritual themes. The practical goal of the Course is the attainment of inner peace through the practice of forgiveness.

A Course in Miracles (often called just "the Course") 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 basis of the course is the book A Course in Miracles (which encompasses a textbook, a workbook for students, and a manual for teachers), authored by research psychologist Helen Schucman (1909-1981). Dr. Schucman maintained that between 1965 and 1972, an "inner voice"
(which she identified as Jesus) dictated the material to her, which she took down in shorthand and transcribed into what was eventually published as A Course in Miracles.

So, just what is A Course in Miracles? It is often described as "New Age Christianity," a version which posits a Jesus who offers more love and forgiveness while wanting "less suffering, sacrifice, separation, and sacrament." (Some have noted that the concepts contained in ACIM are primarily a hodgepodge of teachings from various world religions.) ACIM (and other similar courses) are available in the form of books, audio/videotapes, seminars, and workshops through the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) and through its related organization, the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM), which operates an academy and retreat center known as the Institute for Teaching and Inner Peace (ITIP). ACIM was popularized in the 1990s by New Age spirituality writer Marianne Williamson, whose version of it is currently being offered on "Oprah & Friends" satellite radio channel.

As for the gist of the e-mail cited above, whether one should be encouraged, discouraged, or something in between over Oprah's association with ACIM is a personal, subjective matter. Some people find ACIM to be spiritually enlightening, refreshing, and satisfying. Some people reflexively mistrust or dismiss anything that amends or challenges their particular religion's established precepts (especially when the source is outside of their religion's recognized authority structure). Some people categorically reject any new form of religion (or anything labeled "New Age") as "cults" or mere money-grubbing hucksterism. The one verity here is that those who don't care for the presentation of ACIM on "Oprah & Friends" radio are free not to listen to it.

Variations:  
  • Some versions of this e-mail include excerpts from a 4 March 2008 editorial by Chuck Norris entitled "Oprah's New Easter."
  • Some versions of this e-mail include a link to the following video about the "Church of Oprah":


Last updated:   17 April 2008

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