Frank Pastore from KKLA in Los Angeles interviews Richard Abanes, author of “A New Earth, an Old Deception: Awakening to the Dangers of Eckhart Tolle’s #1 Bestseller.” Eckhart Tolle is the spiritual mentor of Oprah Winfrey. Tolle and Winfrey have collaborated for an online class on Tolle’s book “A New Earth.”
“God, in the essence of all consciousness, isn’t something to believe. God is. And God is a feeling experience, not a believing experience.”—Oprah Winfrey
Pastore: [When you hear Oprah say,] “You know it’s not about belief and doctrine,” and, “God’s a jealous God” and, “I couldn’t find a seat, so I left,” what’s going on Richard?
Abanes: Well, you know Oprah talks a lot about how she is a Christian and how she believes Christianity and all of these teachings from Eckhart Tolle are compatible with Christianity. Just by those few quotes that you had right there we can see that actually this guy is teaching things that are diametrically opposed to some of the foundational teachings of the Christian faith, such as on Jesus Christ, who God is, who we are, the nature of sin and forgiveness, issues of the cross what Jesus’ mission was. So, for whatever reason, she likes saying she is a Christian, she simply—and if I can be blunt—she isn’t. She isn’t a Christian anymore than she is a Buddhist or a Hindu or a Muslim because those words mean something when it comes to various beliefs.
Pastore: What is Eckhart Tolle’s basic teaching?
Abanes: His bottom line is, what’s made him so popular [is the idea that] you can escape suffering: You can have a happy life, fulfilling, peaceful, joyful, find purpose in your life if you understand who you are…. He is basically teaching Hinduism—this pantheistic view that everything we see is just an illusion and the only reality is the underlying essence of the universal life force in the cosmos and that is what everything is. And we are part of that. We are the essence of God, and that is how he defines God.
Pastore: How should a Christian respond to all of that? It sounds like it is all the New Age movement in a different suit.