Finding Your Spiritual Path Webcast Transcript
Michael: Several things. One is that the saying goes that "We're spiritually made in the image and likeness of God." God made us in his image, and we've been trying to return the favor ever since. So we've made a God of these human frailties, angry, judgmental, jealous, and we've projected onto the presence of God all of the human immaturity. But that's not the presence of God. The presence of God is as the Reverend is saying, love and compassion, generosity, all of these wonderful qualities. So we're not here telling people what to think. We're asking people to think. To begin to open up their minds and think and come to touching that inner authority that is within them because the Bible is not God's holy word. The Bible is the inspired word of man about God, you see. And so the Bible is— there are also versions of the Bible. If anybody picks up their Bible and reads it, it will say—
Oprah: I was always told the Bible was God's holy word.
Michael: Right, but it's actually the inspired word of man. The inspiration of man about God. And if you read the Bible, open up any Bible, it will say "version." "This is the King James Version."
Oprah: That's right. That's right.
Michael: It's the King James Version of the Bible. It's not the Bible. You can't find the real Bible. All you have are the versions that have been passed down. So people are putting their faith in versions.
Oprah: Say that again. The inspired words—words of men about God.
Michael: About God.
Michael: That's what you're reading. So at any moment, you know, you have an aha!, you have an inspiration about the presence of God.
Oprah: I just had an aha! just then.
Michael: You lay it down, you know, it becomes your Bible. It becomes that moment of inspiration. So you compile all of that. It has history.
Michael: It has customs.
Oprah: And it also has to do with the times. I mean, if we're going to go literally by the Bible, then we would all still be in slaves—well, Michael and I would still be in slavery and it would be, "Slaves obey your masters because—"
Michael: We couldn't play football. In Leviticus, it says to touch a pigskin is an abomination. That means you couldn't play football on Sunday. All those quarterbacks throwing the pigskin?
Oprah: Well, there's some people who can't because of Leviticus because of that. You see, John, what we're saying. What did you want to say about that?
Elizabeth: Well, if you study history, and it's a really good idea to study the history of religions. All religions. Not just Christianity.
Elizabeth: They change over time to accommodate the times. Like Galileo was jailed in the 15th century because he posited that the— the earth was the center—was not the center of the universe, and the sun was. And the church, the Christian church at the time, jailed him because they said in the Bible that man and earth is the center of the universe. Well, we wouldn't do that anymore. That's— we have evolved. And religions evolve with the times, and all you have to do is read your Bible and see the things we no longer take as gospel. But they're in the Bible. So we're evolving now. It's slow. The— the debate now about gays and what was unleashed here the other day on television—
Michael: Was revealed. (Laughter.)
Elizabeth: Revealed. In 50 years, we'll look back at it and think—
The Rev. Bacon: What was that about?
Elizabeth: "That was a strange time back then."
Elizabeth: So we're moving slowly. We have to be both patient—
Oprah: "That was a strange time when we people believed that because people were born a certain way then they should be judged."
Michael: Right. Right.
Oprah: Or they should be stoned or they should be, you know—
Oprah: —treated like women were at one time.
Elizabeth: Where we said—
Oprah: Like witches.
Elizabeth: —"God is love and religion is love, but you're not allowed to love that kind of person". We're going to look back and say, "That was a contradictory message."
Oprah: They'll say, "They were strange, weren't they? They'd say one thing and then do another." Yes.
The Rev. Bacon: John, I grew up in Georgia. You're in South Carolina.
The Rev. Bacon: There was a very famous pastor where I was a young man who said, "God is a segregationist God." That was a misuse of scripture used to abuse human beings. And we are called to use scripture not as abusive, but as compassionate, healing and liberating.
The Rev. Bacon: And you are on a path that I salute, my friend.
Michael: Yes. Stay awake.
The Rev. Bacon: Stay awake.
Michael: Stay awake.
Oprah: Stay awake.
Michael: You look back. Now we're talking about gay people, as Oprah was indicating just a short time ago it was black people.
Michael: Before that it was women who were inferior and witches were born. And before that, it was left-handers. If you were left-handed, you were from the devil.
Oprah: If you were left-handed and black, God help you.
Michael: If you were a left-handed gay person.
Oprah: A left-handed and black gay person. Forget about it.
The Rev. Bacon: (Laughter.)
Michael: There's no way to get in.
Oprah: And a woman. Left handed gay—gay black lesbian. Oh, burned at the stake.
John: Oh my gosh.
Oprah: All right, John. See what you've unleashed here. Thank you so much.
John: You're welcome.
Michael: Thank you, John.
Oprah: Michael from Newport, Rhode Island, wants to jump in on this. Go ahead, Michael.
Michael: Hi, how are you?
Oprah: How are you?
Michael from Newport: Good, thanks. I just want to say thank you. I e-mailed you just to thank you and ask you for you to pass it on to Rev. Bacon. I was completely— I just sat up in my seat and was brought to tears with absolute joy not to just hear it but to know that so many millions of people were hearing it and for homosexuals that needed to hear it, but also for people, you know, that you all were talking about society's evolution, I mean I really think it may have, you know, pushed some things forward. It came out of nowhere for me. I'd never—I mean, I never—you said you were completely—
Oprah: It came out of no where for me too. Believe me.
Michael: It comes from God.