Steven Edward Duren: A ‘Prodigal Son’ Finds His Way Out of Religion and Back to Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #243)

He is an American songwriter and musician best known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the heavy metal band W.A.S.P. He sang with a series of bands in the 1970s, before forming W.A.S.P. in 1981. The band, which experienced its greatest success in the 1980s, has sold over 12 million albums and continues to tour today making it one of the most enduring of the West Coast heavy metal outfits. Despite the genre’s reputation, many of the band’s songs deal with religious and apocalyptic themes due to the Christian upbringing and return to the faith of its lead singer. Continue reading “Steven Edward Duren: A ‘Prodigal Son’ Finds His Way Out of Religion and Back to Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #243)”

Oprah Winfrey: ‘I am a Christian… I Wouldn’t be Who I am Today Without My Faith’ (Gospel Light Minute #143)

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey

She is a media mogul, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Her multi-award winning talk show was the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011. Known as the “Queen of All Media”, she has been ranked as the richest African-American of the 20th century by Forbes, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and is currently North America’s only black billionaire. CNN and TIME called her “arguably the world’s most powerful woman” and TIME named her “one of the most influential people” from 2004 to 2011. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and received an honorary doctorate degree from Harvard University. In fact, Barack Obama would not be president of the United States without this woman.

On April 23, 2012, while introducing her “Lifeclass Tour” to a Radio City Music Hall audience in New York City she made a public profession of her faith. She said, “I am not talking about religion. I am a Christian. That is my faith. I’m not asking you to be a Christian. If you want to be one I can show you how. But it is not required. I have respect for all faiths… My favorite Bible verse, because I am a Christian, is Acts 17:28. It says, ‘In God I live, and move, and have my being.’ And you want to know why I’m so successful? Because I knew that at four-years-old, I wouldn’t be who I am today without that.”

On June 1, 2011, after Oprah delivered her public farewell from her talk show, I wrote the following on a news site that our organization runs: “Evidently, Oprah got saved recently, now she needs to make that clear to her millions of fans. Based upon statements that Oprah made throughout last week regarding God and Jesus Christ, we believe that Oprah has recently truly accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour and has been born again this year.”

Now, I took a lot of heat for making that statement, but as I explained in my article, “some people are going to doubt Oprah’s profession of faith in Christ and some are going to say negative things about this because she has people of different faiths on her show and so forth. However, please understand that OWN is not a Christian network. It is a network for all people. OWN is Oprah’s business, and we as Christians know what that is like when you’re doing business in a secular world. So Oprah’s business side is going to be different, but it does not take anything away from her faith in Christ.”

For example, Mark Burnett, is the producer behind the popular “Bible” mini-series and the “Son of God” movie. However, before he produced those Christian-based works, he produced such popular shows as Survivor, The Apprentice, The Voice, Shark Tank, The Sing Off, and the People’s Choice Awards which have nothing to do with his Christian faith. Yet, based on his own words and on his life, I believe Mark Burnett is saved just as I am.

In fact, in the Bible, we see examples of these types of believers. Jesus had His public disciples, the Peters, Jameses, and Johns, but He also had his secret disciples, the Nicodemuses and Josephs of Arimathea. When His public disciples, Peter and the other disciples, forsook Him at His trial and His crucifixion, it was His secret disciples, such as Joseph of Arimathea, that stood with Him until the end. This Joseph took His body off the cross and placed Him in his own grave. All of Jesus’ followers are not out front; some are behind the scenes, but they are doing just as much for Him.

Based upon Oprah’s public profession of faith in Jesus Christ, she is saved by the grace of God through faith by believing in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, according to the Word of God. So instead of worrying about what she is doing or not doing, how about you? Are you saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?