I usually tune out Hollywood’s award season, but Oprah’s acceptance speech soared on to my radar. That speech was a sermon, a secular sermon. Oprah began by acknowledging the women who “have endured years of abuse and assault because they… had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue.” She talked about one victimized woman who never got police help because she was black. Oprah said: “I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!” In other words, “Hang on, sufferers! Keep your eyes on the hopeful horizon, because justice is coming.” The only thing (the essential thing) missing from this sermon was God. In fact, this sermon only makes sense if you believe in God. After all, who will bring us this dawn? To Oprah, good men and women will “fight hard” and “take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.” Why should those victims suffer patiently, looking for a new dawn they will never see, unless they believe God will bring them back to life and bring their abusers to justice? Why should they have hope without God? When you take God out of Oprah’s sermon, it’s a beautiful nonsense. When you put God back into Oprah’s sermon, and it’s a wonderful Adventist truth.

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