Sunday, January 18, 2015

Quotes to Change the World

Today, Oprah's Lifeclass published the following quotes that will "change the world"...
Anne Lamott—novelist
1. People help you, or you help them and when we offer or receive help, we take in each other. And then we are SAVEDAnne Lamott
In other words: We save each otherso we don't need God.
2. Why YOU? Because there's no one better. Why NOW? Because tomorrow isn't soon enoughDonna Brazille
In other words: it's all about you, it's all about nowso forget about God.
3. Don't ever forget that you're a citizen of this world, and there are things you can do to lift the human spiritAaron Sorkin
In other words: This world is our home. Let's make each other cozy in itbecause we don't need God.
4. When we give what we can and give it with joy, we don't just renew the American tradition, we renew ourselvesBill Clinton
In other words: Giving, not God, renews usso we don't need God.
5. Whenever you see someone being cared for, and not forgotten, their human spirit comes aliveSir Elton John
In other words: Humanitarianism gives life not only to the body, but also the spiritso we don't need God.
6. Compassion is the ultimate expression of your highest selfRussell Simmons
In other words: Self-actualization, not faith, is all that mattersso we don't need God.
7. Look for a way to lift some one up, and if that's all you do, then that's enoughElizabeth Lesser
In other words: be satisfied with where you are in life, as long as your kind to some one once-in-while—because we don't need God (lesser isn't more in this case!)
8....What I can do is offer myself, wholehearted and present, to walk with the people I love through the fear and the mess. That's all any of us can do. That's what we're here forShauna Niequist
In other words: we're doomed to a life of fear and mess. There is no hope. So, the best thing we can do is cling to our loved ones—because there is no God.
9. At the end of the day, it's not about what you have or even what you've accomplished...It's about who you've lifted up, who you've made better. It's about what you've given backDenzel Washington
In other words: it's all about our works, not about God's gracebecause at the end of the day, there is no God.

Oprah's Lifeclass is right. Ideas like these change the world. These quotes are merely reflections of our culture's prevailing ideology. And they will be added to the world's tragically long list of fatally Bad Ideas.

7 comments:

Glennardo said...

I'd not go to Ms. Winfrey for theological reflection, and I don't know much of the actual lives of the persons quoted; but I do have several concerns about the conclusion that God is not needed. First, Ms. Lamott has written several Christian books from her viewpoint and choice of interpretation. Second, a "sample" of a quotation cannot effectively cover the full spectrum of a person's scope and beliefs, or expression of faith. Third, in my former work as a social worker, I'm sure I made comments about successful interventions that did not include mention of God. But I was also a Presbyterian clergyperson, serving as a mental health chaplain. It seems a risky business to too easily generalize from one bit of evidence.

A. Maeve McDonald said...

There is no claim here that these quotes fully represent the views of those who uttered them originally. These quotes were compiled by Oprah [and/or her cohorts] as examples of ideas that would "change the world." And these quotes are not viewed in isolation. They are viewed against the backdrop of an increasingly secularizing AND increasingly spiritualizing culture. Oprah's insidious form of Godless spirituality--that incidentally has duped too many Christians over the years--marginalizes our need for God *consistently.* And in keeping with this pattern, not one quote selected mentions God, but all uphold the *self* as the be-all, end-all. These quotes exemplify post-modern selfism at its worst--a seemingly benign set of ideas that pull the wool over undiscerning eyes. Satan cannot destroy the gospel, so he'll do all he can to distract us from it. Self-helpism does just that.

Glennardo said...

Thank you for your reply and for the amplification of your perspective. I have had no contact with Oprah's programming since Eckhart Tolle was promoted some years ago. What did catch my attention was Anne Lamott on the list of quotations. She has written several books on her Christian faith. What I find disturbing, from what I'm able to observe from day to day, is the failure of dialog among Christians. In my own city, two major Baptist churches have little or no communication or fellowship with the Baptist seminary. Thank you for your good work with Faith Actually.

Glennardo said...

I don't want to overuse comments, but I did take a look at Lifeclass offerings and found nothing that I'd want to pursue. It is actually sad that "empty spaces" in persons are being filled with breezy fixes. We have to ask why there are so many persons who find answers in Lifeclass and the like. As a clinical social worker, I saw mental illness at its worse in terms of suffering: severe schizophrenia with constant hallucinations and suicidal mood disorder, for example, where there is little notion of self-actualization. I tried to encourage engagement with one's faith tradition, when possible. But some churches are not very welcoming of such persons. I think it requires all of us to take a critical look at our own churches and ministries. People are going to go where they feel accepted.

A. Maeve McDonald said...

"people are going to go where they feel accepted." Yes--and churches should be filled with grace, demonstrating sincere, welcoming love to sinners (which we all are) from all backgrounds. But if people want their sinful lifestyle accepted, endorsed, or even promoted, then that is a different issue.

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Jeba Qpt said...

faith believe u do not see and faith can help you to be strong in the LORD.
Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
- Confucius