I decided to watch the Oprah Network’s reality show, Iyanla: Fix My Life featuring speaker, writer and minister or priestess of the Yoruba religion (an ancient African religion), Iyanla Vanzant. Although I’m not a big fan of Oprah’s spirituality shows, I was curious on how the three part series on “Fix My Secret Life as a Gay Pastor” would go. I did view this with low expectations but high hopes, hope that these ministers would be confronted not only with their sin of self-deception, adultery (of the married minister) and lies but also their contradiction of being Christian and practicing homosexuality.
Iyanla has great compassion for people and the desire for fixing all kinds of emotional, psychological and spiritual ailments so I don’t fault her there. But I knew if there would be any confrontation of these men regarding their homosexuality, it would come from their family, friends or congregations they lead and not from Iyanla. Being on the Oprah network means simply she is a supporter of LGBT rights and there would be no confrontation from her regarding their lifestyles that are contrary to biblical teachings. And with her being a minister of an entirely different religion, there would be no way these men would be confronted using God’s word.
She interviews two men, both of whom were living secret gay lives without their churches or families knowing about them. One was a down-low man, meaning he was having sex with men while married to a woman who did not know he was even gay.
Both men came out on the show to their families and/or congregations. The single pastor’s congregation gave him a standing ovation after his “coming out” speech while the other’s church wasn’t even shown. His poor wife was completely in the dark about his homosexuality and was humiliated and devastated with the news. Iyanla seemed to be angry at her for not knowing. How many wives whose spouses cheat have any hint of affairs? Iyanla should have showed her more compassion in that area. This woman did the right thing in later divorcing this unrepentant man. Praying that she is STD free!
The Gay pastors had the weight of the lies and deceptions removed from them after they acknowledged their homosexuality, but their honesty shouldn’t have stopped there. For the Christian, we know that the first step in our relationship with Christ is always the acknowledgement of sin. Truth needs to take a step further – leaving that sin behind! It is never enough just to be honest about the sin without doing anything about it:
He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Proverbs 28:13
Now what about Christians receiving counsel from ungodly people? The bible does have something to say about that here:
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; Psalm 1:1
So these pastors were in the wrong to start off with going on Oprah’s network and receiving counsel from someone who isn’t even a Christian. They knew what they were doing. They wanted affirmation of their gay lifestyles and what greater supporter than Oprah’s network? They probably felt safer coming out with a major supporter. These men obviously had no intention of quitting their gay sexual relationships.
Hopefully I am wrong about them and they are truly doing some soul searching and will leave the Gay lifestyle behind (such as was done by well known ex-gay singer/pastor Donnie McClurkin) and surge forward with a truly godly walk. Praying for these men.
And what about Iyanla? Christians should heed the scriptures when it comes to choosing whom to receive spiritual advice:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:1-3
Iyanla does not accept Christ as Savior and preaches a different gospel – the gospel of self-help. She is the “god” and it’s her words versus God’s word. No Christian should be watching this show to receive any advice AT ALL!
Now a message to those pastors:
- Examine yourself to see if you are truly in the faith! 2 Corinthians 13:5
- Forsake the sin of homosexuality! Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9
- Seek godly counsel Psalm 1:1
- Seek to please God and not man! Galatians 1:10
A message to Iyanla:
- You must be born again! John 3:3
A message to all: Don’t seek Iyanla to “fix it” but seek only Christ!