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Franklin Graham Slams Oprah Winfrey's 'Belief' TV Series for Claiming There Are 'A Million Paths' to God

( [email protected] ) Oct 21, 2015 01:21 PM EDT
Prominent evangelist Franklin Graham has criticized Oprah Winfrey's new documentary series, "Belief," which suggests that one can reach God through a number of paths -- not just through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey, pictured in 2014. Facebook

Prominent evangelist Franklin Graham has criticized Oprah Winfrey's new documentary series, "Belief," which suggests that one can reach God through a number of paths -- not just through the blood of Jesus Christ.  

Graham said in a Facebook message on Monday that the new series, which premiered on Sunday, "looks at a number of religions and might make one think there are many paths to God, as Oprah has said in the past."

"There are not many paths to God or to eternal life with Him. A personal relationship with Almighty God through His Son Jesus Christ is the only thing that can fill the void in the human heart," he emphasized.

Graham charges that this is "not a matter of opinion," and added: "One way, one Savior, no exceptions."

The seven-part series, which airs on OWN for seven consecutive nights, Oct. 18-24, looks at various religions, including Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism, and searches for deeper meaning and connection with the world.

"The special will also introduce some of the most compelling stories in 'Belief,' each illustrating the rituals and relationships that bind us all together as human beings," reads a description on the show's website. "These stories and others will all lead us to ask: What do you believe?'"

Graham punctuated his Facebook post with a link leading to an article in The Atlantic, which notes that over the years, Winfrey has promoted an "eclectic spirituality," claiming that there are "millions of ways" to get to God, and has backed some New Age gurus, such as Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle.

"Her difficult-to-nail-down theology led Christianity Today to call her 'a postmodern priestess-an icon of church-free spirituality,'" writes journalist Jonathan Merritt, contending that Winfrey's "millions-of-ways approach to faith comes through more than once" throughout "Belief".

"The debut episode depicts a birth to highlight that 'every single one of us enters through the same universal experience' before asking why we are here and whether 'there is a divine order to the mystery of our lives,'" he continues.

"In the introduction to episode two, Oprah says, 'Our planet is home to countless religions, and nearly every one of those faiths asks us to love-love your God, your family, your neighbor.' It's a muffled but constant drumbeat."

While Winfrey''s beliefs may be difficult to pinpoint, she has in the past revealed the tremendous influence the Bible has had on her life and identified herself as a Christian.

"My favorite Bible verse-because I am Christian-is Acts 17:28. It says, 'In God I live and move and have my being'," Winfrey said back in 2012. "And you want to know why I'm so successful? Because I knew that at 4 years-old ... I wouldn't be who I am today without a spiritual consciousness, without spiritual values and ultimately without spiritual love."

In September, the entertainment mogul revealed that she learned Bible verses before learning nursery rhymes: "I grew up with the stories of Elijah and Elisha and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fire," she said.

"All of these biblical characters and stories were what I learned before I learned nursery rhymes or before I learned fairytales. ... I learned what it means to rely on Jesus, and not to rely on your own power. Because of those stories, I grew up knowing that real fear was trusting in only myself and that being fearless was being able to release my fears to that which is greater than myself and let God handle it."