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The God Oprah Analogy

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Faith Imagined: The God Oprah Analogy

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

July 22, 2006

The God Oprah Analogy

Creation is a part of life. It seems everyone has a desire to create. Our founding-fathers created the United States of America. Oprah created the Oprah show. And women and men across the world create families. We all want to create something, whether it be a fun evening out, a beautiful scrapbook, an awesome business proposal or an A on a paper. We are destined to create things!

But why is it that when Christians say that God created the world that people seem to get all uptight? Who else created the world, aliens? Doesn't it take just as much faith to believe in aliens as it does God? If aliens created our world, then who the heck created them? More aliens?!

Whether you believe in aliens or not is not the point. The point is that this thing we call life had to be created by someone who was not created - someone who has always been.

So why can't we just accept the fact that an eternal Creator exist? Is it easier to believe that God created all things or that all things came from nowhere, were created out of nothing and were created by no one?

But, you might ask, "This world is so messed up! Why would God create this crazy world filled with a bunch of imperfect people who are constantly hurting each other? And why do I need Jesus? What is the whole crucifixion thing about, anyhow?"

The answer to these questions are in the Bible -- the most produced, most bought and most read book of all time. However, I have mulled over what I've learned and tried to come up with a way to explain Jesus in a way that may make sense to people unfamiliar with the Bible. I call it the God/Oprah Analogy.

Oprah Winfrey created the Oprah Winfrey Show. No doubt she created the show because she feels that she has something beneficial to impart to her audience. So in order to create a successful show, she had to organize a system of production and create some rules for everyone to follow. Along with these rules are repercussions if the rules are broken. Without repercussions, the rules would not be taken seriously. The system, the rules and the repercussions are all necessary if the show is going to be successful. Without them there would be complete chaos and no one would learn anything. The show would be an absolute dud!

Now the system is in place, rules have been created and repercussion have been established. Why she created the system the way she did, we'll never know. Why she chose the rules she did, we'll never know that either. But we must trust that she had her reasons; and if we keep questioning them, we'll never enjoy the show because we're too busy complaining about it.

Finally, the show is ready to go! All Oprah needs is an audience. The audience is very important to her. The audience is why she created the entire show in the first place. If there were no audience, there would be no show!

The audience arrives at the show. They sit down in their seats and the production team goes over every detail of what to expect. They explain the system and emphasize the rules. They also clearly lay out the repercussions if the rules are not obeyed. They explain that if the rules are broken, then the show can not be a success. If the rules are broken, then people can get hurt. If the rules are broken, then Oprah will not be able to fully bless her audience.

What are the repercussion of not obeying the rules, you might ask? Well, there is only one -- you get kicked off the show. If you boo Oprah openly while the cameras are running, steal someone's seat next to you, throw pennies at the person in front of you or run naked up and down the aisles, better believe it, you will get escorted off the show and off the premises. But, as you have already guessed, the audience members are not perfect, and they break the rules.

Oprah knew this would happen. She allowed the audience into their seats knowing full well that they have the choice to obey or not. If she didn't allow them this free-will, then what would be the point? If she dictated everything they did, everything they thought and everything they said, why would she need the show? The audience might as well have been created in the image of a chair or camera or microphone. What makes this audience different from any other of Oprah's creations is that they have a choice. That is why free-will is so special, but it also comes with a price.

What is the price of free-will? The audience breaks the rules. They mock Oprah, hurt each other and reek havoc in the show. But what is Oprah to do? She loves the audience. She has so much to teach them and give them. She has a special plan for each member of the audience that will make The Oprah Winfrey Show amazing! But they are not obeying the rules she set up in order to make the show a success. They are tearing the show apart bit by bit. Worse of all, they are throwing their fists at Oprah, criticizing her efforts.

"We hate you!" they scream.

"You don't exist!" they yell.

Oprah wonders how the audience could possibly assert she doesn't exist when, in fact, it is her show -- her idea, her design, her creation. A special gift she made for the very audience that rejects her.

What does Oprah do now? The show is in complete chaos. Sure, there are a few audience members who appreciate her and acknowledge her, but they too have broken the rules. The entire audience has broken at least one rule, and according to the repercussions she made for those who disobeyed, she would have to kick everyone off the show. But she loves them so much. How could she kick them off? But if she didn't enforce the rules, the entire show would be a disaster.

What the audience doesn't know, however, is that Oprah anticipated this before the show was ever created. She knew the audience would fall short of perfection, and she had an idea. She leaked hints about her plan to a few of the audience members, and like the game telephone, the idea passed around from ear to ear changing ever so slightly with every whisper.

The time finally came for her idea to be executed. Oprah gets up out of her chair, walks down from her stage, enters the audience stands and takes her seat among other audience members. While she sits in her tiny seat, she demonstrates to everyone how the perfect audience member should live. She proves with her own life that there is a way to live a blameless life. She shows love and mercy to the audience members around her and chooses a handful of friends to spread her love after she is gone.

But where is she going? Is she going back on stage to her big, cushy seat? Nope. She allows the audience members to hurt her, blame her and drag her off stage. The audience kicks off the only perfect person that ever lived, a person who never broke any of the rules. They kick her off for obeying the rules that they could never obey. And she allows them to do this. Why? Because she figured out how to uphold her rules and keep her audience. She took the punishment for their sins.

In order to keep her audience, Oprah does the most beautiful act of love ever! She kicks herself off of her own show. Three days later, however, she arrives back on her big, cushy seat and her glory is once again restored. The audience members are still not perfect, but at least now they have an example of how to live. Moreover, they never have to leave the show because Oprah took the repercussions of their disobedience. But in order to claim Oprah's sacrifice for them, they have to acknowledge the sacrifice and accept it as their own.

And the show goes on! Many audience members stay the entire length of the show, but they are unable to look past their tiny row of seats. Others, however, see past their seats and to the stage where Oprah is. Oprah is able to guide them, bless them and love them even though the chaos continues around them. They know that the Oprah Show is only a pilot, preparing the way for the perfect show to come.

And that is the end of the God/Oprah Analogy. This analogy is obviously not perfect. Oprah is not God. She is an imperfect human like all of us. But there is a God who created this life and that God wants to bless you through the chaos.

Hopefully, this example will make the entire God/Jesus thing a little easier to understand. If you would like to understand more, I pray that you read the Bible and start talking to God. God didn't just leave us on this earth alone. He gave us a guidebook (Bible), He gave us the Holy Spirit to teach us and He gave us Jesus to save us and to be our example. It is very simple and so wonderful!

Jesus is the only way we can reach God through this messed up world. God sent only one person to our world to guide us and to die for us. Accepting Jesus into your heart doesn't make all of your problems go away, but Jesus can give you healing, peace and joy if you let Him. All you have to do is say this prayer:

"God, I don't quite understand this whole God/Jesus thing, but I know I'm missing something in this life. I'm not a perfect person. I've made many mistakes that I'm ashamed of, but I want to make things right. Thank You for taking punishment for my sins. I accept your sacrifice, and I will no longer hold on to the guilt of my mistakes. Come into my heart, Jesus, and show me how to form an intimate relationship with God. You have something special for me in this life. I want to fulfill the purpose You created me for. I pray this in Jesus' name, Amen."

If you prayed this prayer and have faith that your words are true, congratulations! You are a Christian. You will not understand everything right away, but I would suggest that you read the Bible, get involved in a Bible-based church, find another Christian who can help you and read the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

If you are already a Christian, please continue to put your relationship with Jesus first. Make time to talk with Him and study His Word; otherwise, you are lost in this crazy world without a map or a guide. You can also send this post to friends that you would like to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This post isn't perfect, but God uses our imperfections to accomplish His perfect will.

*Special author's note: I used the example of Oprah not because I support her, but because this is what I would say to her in order for her to understand that there is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. Whatever feelings you have about her are not important. What is important is that we love her. If you don't believe me, read Luke 6:27-36

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