Going through my files today, I came across a copy of a letter I had written to Oprah Winfrey, in 2008. A great lady—talented, successful, savvy, and generous in so many ways! That was the day she gave cars to everyone in her studio audience! She had become one of the richest women in the world. However, getting that rare opportunity to watch an episode of her long-running talk show then, it struck me that she was terribly misguided about something more important than all she had ever gained in her career. Here is the basic letter I wrote to her that day, with all my heart… she may never have had opportunity to read it, due to the volume of “fan” mail she no doubt received then. Still, I pray the message got through to her heart.
First, let me tell you I don’t get much chance to watch your program, as I work during the hours it airs; so this is not a fan letter. I am, of course, aware of who you are, guests you’ve had on your show and, more recently, your endorsement of our first black president. However, most alarming to me was your comments about how people get to heaven.
I write to you as a friend, Oprah; not a stone-thrower. I’m truly concerned. I watched a clip from your show that was sent to me via email a few days ago and thought to write you. I was particularly taken with what you said about being “unable to believe in a God who is jealous of us.” My heart went out to you on that one. Surely, you had not understood.
I was not a believer for the first 41 years of my life, thinking about such things… a God who could be “jealous” of me? …a God I must fear? …a God who would pick some “poor slob” (thinking of the man Jesus) and have him die the horrible death of crucifixion “for MY sins?” What kind of God was that to believe in, I wondered? Wasn’t He supposed to be a God of LOVE?
Because I also misunderstood back then, I passed on faith in Christ until February 26, 1984, when I’d had enough pain in the world as a battered wife, then single mother and professional singer. I took that pain to a large Nashville church, literally to confront God. In my ignorance, I went there to shake my fist in His “almighty” face. My attitude had me thinking, “Show yourself or get out of my face forever. I’m sick of hearing about what’s right and what’s wrong, concerning You—wars are fought over it…etc.
SO WHAT’S RIGHT?”
I can tell you, God spoke right out loud that day, scared the behoozits out me, and humbled me by many notches. He gave me to understand in an instant that He was God and I was not, but that He loved me beyond anything I could have imagined. He changed my perspective 180 degrees, and my entire life. I finally wrote all about it in the [enclosed] book, Above Reality: Where Miracles Happen and Healing Begins.
Now I understand what our “jealous” God is about, Oprah! He’s jealous FOR us, not jealous OF us—just as a parent is protective of a child and jealous for that’s child’s well-being in the face of any harm.
When God literally became a man (John 1, verses 1-4 and 14) many centuries ago, He was making a way for all of us to come to Him. In essence, He said: “I love you, but you cannot come to Me unless you believe ME. Heaven is for those! I lay down my life for you through the Person you will call My Son, Jesus Christ. Anyone who believes in what I have done in and through Him, will have his or her sins covered by His/My sacrificial blood, and I will forever after see that person as righteous—because of HIS righteousness. It’s by His GRACE one is saved, through FAITH in Jesus Christ.
No one comes to the Father, except…
Jesus came to tell us that “He and the Father are ONE,” that no one comes to the Father (God) except by Me.” Jesus was and is “jealous” for us. He wants to protect us from falling for the ungodly philosophies of this world system—the same old wiles Satan uses to beguile any of us to believe otherwise, just as he beguiled Eve and Adam in the garden.
If God were not “jealous” FOR you, He would not fight to save you. Heaven is only for those who believe Him—on His terms. Jesus is the TRUTH, the WAY; the LIFE that CAN save us. Those of us who have realized that truth are not righteous in ourselves, we only know for sure that HE is righteous, and is jealous for the love of ALL who would choose to be saved in His great love.
The FEAR I have for Him now is not that He is waiting somewhere ready to pounce or squash me if I err somehow. I FEAR Him now as I feared the loss of the love and respect of my parents or others I love—and yet MORE. He spoke into my world as surely as you speak to your viewing audience everyday; to assure me He loves me. That if I trust Him, over all the other voices and choices on this planet, He will lead me HOME. That journey has already been amazing, Oprah.
You are such a talented and gifted woman—liked and listened to by so many—more importantly, you are SO loved by God that He sent His Son to die for your sins, because He is jealous to keep you for Himself, out of the hands of the enemy ultimately. Truly!! I believe He has given you a great gift. It concerns me now, that you might unknowingly use that gift to lead many in the wrong direction—to destruction—and you with them.
I pray you will search deeper, deep into your heart, Oprah—and that you will know the truth that so many truly born-again believers (not merely “religious” people) can attest to. God loves you so much. May He bless you personally with clarity now. You really could help save the world—Matthew 28:18-20 – 18 Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The world is hungry for truth, not misguided philosophy, Oprah. I believe you have been given an amazing platform to share it with so many. I pray you will.
Truly in His love and by His grace,
Susan Meredith Beyer