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It’s sort of old news that Oprah Winfrey doesn’t think God ought to be jealous of anybody, but I think a lot of people agree with her. You can find the clip of her telling the world about her great moment of understanding on YouTube, but I found a transcript of that video at

I will say I was one of those people who used to go to church every—I grew up, as I was sharing with the last caller, you know, in the South and so going to church every Sunday, Sunday School, Baptist Training Union, Wednesday night prayer service, the whole thing, choir, all of it. And when I moved to Baltimore, I was in my 20s, and I remember sitting in a church, you know, one of those big churches where you have to get there at, you know, 6:30 in the morning to line up for 8 o’clock service, ...
... and the minister was preaching about—it was a really good preacher—and he was preaching about how God—”the Lord thy God was a jealous God and the Lord thy God would condemn us for whatever,” and I remember I—I had a spiritual aha! There. And I was in my late 20s, and I suddenly thought, “How can this God who is all loving and all powerful, why would God be jealous of me?”

...”How could that be? It just doesn’t”—it didn’t work for me. Something happened in that moment. And prior to that, I was just sort of by rote doing what I’d been trained to do in the church. And that’s when my spiritual path began. Yeah.[source]
Because I realize it’s sort of a cottage Christian industry to demonize Ms. Winfrey, I want you to know that’s not my intent here. My intent is to point out to you, my reader, that we are just like Oprah. The truth is that most people are dissatisfied with church because it doesn’t make sense to us — it just doesn’t work for us. Some people have been hurt in the local church. For some people it’s just a rote activity, as Oprah admits, which she learned as a child. Some of us are much smarter than our local church can bear, and some cannot stand how smart the church thinks it is. Worse still for others: it will simply be completely useless. You know: the first chapter of Matthew which lists the “begats” of Jesus doesn’t seem to apply to me — because my name isn’t listed there — so preaching on the “begats” is a waste of time. We’re never going to have to build a temple to the living God, so preaching on Exodus 35-39 doesn’t have the same appeal as This Old House or HDTV. Deuteronomy 6 is a little dry because I have public utilities, and I pay for them every month, thanks a lot; preaching Moses’ summary of the Law puts me to sleep.

So when Oprah turns her back on her baptist upbringing for objecting to the jealousy of God, let’s not be too harsh toward her. The rest of us are not that different because we use the same kind of reasoning to sort of block out the parts of the story of our faith and the activity of the local church which we, frankly, don’t think much of. We’re just like her. Making her the bad guy for being a little more honest about her doubts than the rest of us doesn’t make our doubts any less serious, or any less damaging.

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