Debuting to low ratings and mixed reactions, Oprah drummed up interest in religion today with her documentary series ‘Belief.’
The new mini series by Oprah Winfrey, Belief, had caused mixed reactions among the public. Some people support her as she has always had strong opinions and points of view on religion, but some criticize her for misusing the religion for own commercial benefits, while still others think she’s found a way to show a strong shift in religion today.
The premiere of seven one-hour episodes of Belief aired October 18 to 508,000 viewers. The series shows people of different religions: skateboarder from California taking part in Muslim pilgrimage, young boy preparing for Bar Mitzvah, and even Aborigine religious rituals.
TV Columnist Brian Lowry jests about Oprah “…investing in Weight Watchers Intl., promptly causing the company’s value to soar. But based on the early ratings for her new faith-oriented series Belief, that’s not the only thing she’s associated with that’s exhibiting shrinkage.”
Theory of evolution + Christianity = Oprah… https://t.co/efwlG70SDU
— Rexford Belleville (@rexbelleville) October 27, 2015
Some of you need to stop following and believing the lies of Oprah. You know who you are, Christian.
— Gil Burgos (@revgilburgos) October 23, 2015
I'm not Oprah, but one thing I know for sure: When angrily accused of something non-sensical & random; it's something they did, not you.
— Miss Leah (@LeahsLounge) October 2, 2015
“Winfrey's project is a worthy reminder to viewers that religion can heal, restore and transform — and not only fracture,” – believes Diana Butler Bass. In her article in the Washington Post, she described how the series shows a shift in how religion is being embraced. Rather than use a “top down” approach to educate on world religions by interviewing religious leaders and icons, it shows a variety people in their real world environments as they become more connected through their community with their personal interpretations of their religion.
But as some are embracing this shift in how religion is practiced, others are pushing back against it in favor of the more traditional view. Jennifer LeClaire, the editor of Charisma News, criticized Oprah for “not celebrating Jesus” and allowing Rob Bell to speak ill of the Bible. She thinks Oprah hasn’t actually embraced Christianity and rather used Christianity as a marketing tool to promote Belief. "I'm praying and waiting on the day that she turns her heart fully to Jesus Christ,” LeClaire said in her interview.
Franklin Graham took to his Facebook page to correct Oprah’s claim that there are more ways to get to the Father than just through Jesus. As an American Evangelist, he considers only a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ can fill the void in the heart. “This is not a matter of opinion—Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to Father except through Me.’ One way, one Saviour, no exceptions.”