Daily Devotional for Tuesday January 8, 2008

Those Who Influence Millions Each Day

(2 Peter 2:1; Matthew 24:23-27; Matthew 7:15,16; 2 Timothy 4:3,4)

Three lives who influence millions each day. For the last 6 years I have warned you about 3 different people whose lives influence millions of people. Amazingly, all 3 of those people are hot in the news today. I wish I had the thousands of emails I have received over the years from people who have given me so much grief for simply sharing the truth about these people, since I have been right about them all along. The purpose today is not to gloat or say "I told you so," but to reiterate the warning I have shared often that those who lead people AWAY from God and His Truth are most dangerous of all, no matter how rich and popular they may be or how much the media glorifies them. There is only ONE TRUTH, the Bible, and there is only ONE HOPE, Jesus!

I began warning people about Britney Spears 7 years ago when she became this mega pop superstar, shedding her wholesome Mickey Mouse Club image for that of a stripper singing about sex and rebellion, causing millions of young girls to want to be just like her. It has been sad to watch her life continue to spiral downward over the years as she has battled with drugs, alcohol, and failed marriages, all the result of a life being lived in complete rebellion to God. Her most recent meltdown, a drug-induced standoff with police after locking herself in a bathroom with one of her children because she didn't want to give them back to their father, landed her in the psych ward of an LA hospital. Even as her life has slowly deteriorated over the years, she still has millions of fans and continues to influence the lives of those who want to be like her.

Another highly influential person I have been warning people about since he appeared on the scene is Oprah's creation Dr. Phil. Oprah owns his program and is the only reason anyone even knows who Dr. Phil is. My concern about Phil McGraw has always been two-fold. First, the counsel he gives on his program is NOT Biblical, but the pop-psycho babble of the world. He has taken stands against God's Word on issues like sex, marriage and sins like homosexuality in order to appeal to the masses. His program is not about helping people but exploiting them for ratings. Again, the danger of Dr. Phil lies in the fact he is not only leading people AWAY from Biblical Truth, but millions are tuning in to his program each day looking for answers and only getting a Band-aid of worldly advice.

The second major concern I have with Dr. Phil is that he claims to be a Christian. Only God knows his heart, but he routinely goes on Christian networks and programs to tap into that audience, saying many of the right things when he appears in those venues, yet continuing to dispense advice in contradiction to the Bible on his program. Biblically illiterate church goers are conned by his charisma, and he has built up over the years a huge following of non-discerning Christians who have bought into the gospel of Dr. Phil.

If you ever needed an example of what a sick, manipulative, and exploitive person Dr. Phil is, you need look no further than his involvement in Britney Spears' recent meltdown. Just like he has interjected himself in the lives of other high profile celebrities and cases, people like entertainment reporter Pat O'Brian who had a recent battle with drugs and alcohol and Natalie Holloway's family to name a couple, Dr. Phil raced to "intervene" in Britney's case supposedly at the behest of her parents.

I was encouraged, however, when I found out that Britney made the best choice she has made in many years when she refused to allow Dr. Phil to see her in the hospital. For context, he will be having Britney's parents on his program this week. With one daughter in full meltdown, another 16 and pregnant, these are parents who really could use some Godly counsel, but sadly, will only get the typical exploitive advice geared to boost ratings. How sick to use such a real life tragedy for ratings!

As a side note, Thomas Nelson publishers which was recently sold to a secular concern, is scheduled to release a book by Britney's mother on parenting. Of all the moms walking this planet to be writing about parenting, the mother of Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears is probably the worst choice for such a book.

The third person is the most dangerous woman on the planet due to her money and influence, Oprah. One of my many quotes about Oprah over the years that the secular press has hammered me on was when I called her a "New Age witch." I won't be holding my breath for their apologies, but that is EXACTLY what she is, even more so now that on her XM Satellite Radio program this year there will be a year-long study on the New Age "A Course in Miracles."

This course was created by a Jewish atheistic psychologist from Columbia University who began to write down a 1,000 pages of messages from a spirit she believed to be Jesus. As she wrote, she says, the words "This is a course in miracles" appeared. The course promises to "provide a way in which some people will be able to find their own Internal Teacher," in other words, their personal 'Spirit Guide.'"

The conclusion of the course is: don't worry about your conduct, since there is no such thing as sin, believe what you want to believe there is no absolute truth, it doesn't matter whether you follow Buddha, Krishna, or Jesus as your enlightened leader, don't worry about hell, there is no punishment, and that salvation comes from yourself. Just like on her TV program where she gives a forum to every New Age philosophy and cult known to man, promoting garbage like "The Secret," it is Oprah once again setting herself out as the spiritual guru to the nation with her own brand of New Age lies from the pits of hell.

Of course, she would NEVER have the guts to have someone like myself on her program who would clearly lay out the fact there is only ONE Truth, the Bible, and only ONE way to be saved, faith in Jesus Christ, since that would strip her of her powers to dictate to people what truth is. Because of her worldwide fame, billions of dollars, and power within the entertainment community, Oprah is without a doubt the most dangerous woman on this planet today and the closest thing there is to the anti-Christ!

I love you and care about you so much. You would not believe the number of lives people like Britney, even in her current state, Dr. Phil, and Oprah influence. All 3 of these people are dangerous because they are leading people AWAY from Christ and Biblical Truth. Please take a few minutes today and pray for Britney. She doesn't need the exploitive Dr. Phil to intervene in her life, but a solid man or woman of God who isn't looking for the cameras, only the opportunity to help lead this troubled soul to the only hope and answer she has, Jesus! Pray for Dr. Phil. If he truly is saved, he needs to start putting Christ before the fame and fortune of this world and start using his visibility to bring people God's Truth and letting people know Christ is the ONLY hope now and for all eternity. Also pray for Oprah. I still believe that if she got saved and sold out for Christ, she could become one of the most powerful vessels ever to bring Christ to this world.

I will be praying for you today. It is so easy to get caught up following those we see in the media and gravitate to their thoughts and ideas. Never forget, there is only one truth. It is not what we want it to be or what someone else says it is, it is what GOD SAYS IT IS IN HIS WORD! That is what must guide our lives each day. I will pray that you measure all you see and hear from anyone, even those men and women who represent the Lord, against the Truth of the Bible. Our lives can be influenced by many different people. My word for you today is to take a moment and really think about who is influencing your life today. Make sure it is someone who is following the Lord and influencing you to follow God's Word and to serve and honor Christ with your life each day!