When I got home from work today I turned on the TV to watch the news for a few minutes while I brewed a cup of coffee. The TV was already on channel 11 and there was Oprah, within the last 10 minutes of her show. I don't usually watch Oprah but I catch 5-10 minutes now and then. Today she was talking to a married couple about the husband's pornography addiction. I was only half listening, letting Harley out onto the porch, mixing half and half into my coffee, and walked back toward the TV as a sex addiction "expert" went on and on about why this man was a sex addict, how he will never be free of the addiction, etc. Apparently Oprah interviewed Gospel singer Kirk Franklin earlier in the show because as I sat down the camera panned to Kirk and he said something to the effect of, "It wasn't until I really dealt with the issues of my past, prayed, and God healed me that I overcame my pornography addiction." What caught my attention was this: as the sex addiction expert pontificated and Kirk Franklin followed by matter-of-factly stating prayer as his remedy Oprah visibly bristled with anger and said, "This isn't just something you can pray your way out of." I was actually taken aback by Oprah's anger, so angry she seemed to oppose Kirk's faith in God's healing. The sex expert then again stated the eternity of addiction and Kirk humbly said, "But I don't have the taste for pornography anymore, it's gone." Oprah somewhat obliged him and said something like, Well good for you, and the audience applauded.

I really don't hate Oprah but I don't love her, either. And I do think her spirituality is wacky. In telling this story to Johnny tonight he made a wise observation: Oprah believes she overcame her abusive childhood by herself, believes she gained all of her success and wealth by her own merit, and lost weight by putting her mind to the task. I don't know her personally but imagine sitting down with her over champagne as Jennifer Aniston did on her show and asking Oprah how has she overcome, how has she succeeded? How has she healed? I doubt she would say by God's help, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, by praying without ceasing, and "God heals all our diseases." (Psalm 103) And by the way, the sex guy was wrong, too. God does heal addiction. I've seen it with my own eyes, in my own life, in my friends' lives. Will a healed addict still be tempted? Of course. But thanks be to God, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)

"For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen."
(Romans 11:36)


princessdominique said...

I'm really hoping you don't mind if I quote you. I didn't actually see the show but I've heard how angered she was thinking that God alone or prayers alone couldn't do it. You make valid points about her childhood. I'll surely link back to your blog.

Aziza said...

I missed this show. But I get the same feeling when I watch Oprah's show. If her guests don't use or agree with her approach to healing themselves, it seems like she discounts/dismisses their beliefs.

chele said...

I have a problem with Oprah saying "just praying" won't heal an addiction.


It sounds to me that she truly has not experienced the power of prayer.

Rose said...

I saw the show and honestly I think Oprah was suspicious of Kirk and I felt that not only did she believe that he is still into pornography, she tried to get him to admit to looking at other types, like males etc. I don't know about her spirtuality needs or what she has said about that but for this show I felt she was feeling he was a fraud, singing to God and deep into porn while making his wife do stuff she hated.

Shelia said...

I am a witness that prayer is powerful and can make the impossible, possible.