Archive for the ‘Roma Downey’ Category
As we observe evangelical Christianity being drawn toward “the Mother Church” of Roman Catholicism, it is amazing to see how very few Christian leaders speak up about this. On the contrary, one after the next, Christian leaders are succumbing to this ecumenical, interfaith last-days apostasy of merging evangelicalism into the Catholic fold. Lighthouse Trails has reported on numerous examples of highly influential evangelical leaders heading in this direction: Rick Warren, Beth Moore, James Robison, and Ken Copeland to name a few.
Today, we received two different e-mails that provided information to show the continuance of this evangelical move toward Rome. In the first e-mail sent by Roger Oakland of Understand the Times, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa senior pastor Brian Brodersen was brought to our attention. Brodersen is beginning an online YouTube series called Things That Matter. In his introductory segment, he explains that this new show is going to help believers see “the bigger picture of Christianity.” He says that too often Christians focus on issues that are not important. As we listened to his words, we couldn’t help but be reminded of the words of emerging church pioneer, Leonard Sweet, when he said:
“Christ is in the Church in the same way as the sun is before our eyes. We see the same sun as our fathers saw, and yet we understand it in a much more magnificent way.” (Aqua Church, p.39, emphasis added)
Sweet was actually quoting Pierre Teilhard de Chardin when he said this as Warren B. Smith points out in his book, A “Wonderful” Deception. What is this “more magnificent way” to which Sweet refers? We know what Chardin means by this, and based on our research on Leonard Sweet and the emerging church, Sweet concurs with Chardin. The “more magnificent way” of seeing things is the paradigm shift that brings all religions together as one, removing all “barriers,” and ultimately leading man to believe he is Divine.
Some may say this is a stretch to suggest that Brian Brodersen is thinking this way just because he says “the bigger picture of Christianity.” But is it really a stretch? As we reported earlier this year, Brodersen recently came out publicly promoting the Alpha Course leader, Nicky Gumbel, who is practically in the arms of the papacy and will take millions of Alpha Course participants with him. It was no small thing that a leading Calvary Chapel pastor endorsed Gumbel and the Alpha Course (if you aren’t sure what to think about the Alpha Course, read our recent article by Mary Danielsen and Chris Lawson). While Brodersen is not proclaiming that man is Divine, whether he realizes it or not, he is helping to remove the barriers between evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism.
What is this “bigger picture of Christianity” that Brodersen is talking about? Is he just talking about the Christianity that is beyond the Calvary Chapel borders? Of course not; that would be nothing new as many Calvary Chapel pastors, including CC’s founder Chuck Smith have acknowledged that the body of Christ includes believers outside of Calvary Chapel. Calvary Chapel has never claimed that the body of Christ was solely within their own walls. Time will tell what exactly Brodersen means by this “bigger picture of Christianity.” However, from our perspective, it stands to reason that Brodersen’s remarks would resonate with Rick Warren’s when Warren has stated on numerous occasions that Christianity does include the Catholic Church and that we should focus more on what we have in common than in what we don’t. In other words, the bigger picture of Christianity. That is what Warren means. In Brodersen’s Things That Matter segment, he expressed his concern that some in the body of Christ are focusing too much on “non-essential” issues. We are curious as to what those “non-essential” issues are, and we suspect one of those will be criticizing the Catholic Church.
The second e-mail we received today was regarding Calvary Chapel’s leading pastor Greg Laurie. The e-mail stated: “As a former attendee at Harvest Christian Fellowship [Laurie’s church], it saddens me that Pastor Greg gives validity to Mel Gibson. This post was on Pastor Greg’s Instagram.” The Instagram our reader was referring to shows a photo of Greg Laurie, his wife, and Hollywood actor Mel Gibson.
While this may seem to be of no significance at first glance, the message that Laurie included in his Instagram also stated: ” I have good news; this dynamic duo [Gibson and Randall Wallace] is working together on a follow-up of the epic film on the crucifixion of Jesus, The Passion. . . . I am really looking forward to a long-overdue movie about this topic from the man who created a whole new template for telling a biblical story on film, Mel Gibson.”
As veteran author and teacher Roger Oakland has documented in his book, Another Jesus, The Passion film was an attempt by Mel Gibson to “evangelize” evangelicals and drawn them “back to the Mother Church.” As Oakland pointed out, Gibson said:
The goal of the movie [The Passion] is to shake modern audiences by brashly juxtaposing the “sacrifice of the cross with the sacrifice of the altar–which is the same thing.”1
When Gibson says “the sacrifice of the altar,” he is talking about the Catholic Mass, which re-crucifies Christ repeatedly.
Oakland also wrote “The Passion of the Christ Motives Revealed” that brings out more evidence from Gibson himself that The Passion was intended to draw non-Catholics to the Catholic Church. Oakland stated:
The newly released “Definitive Edition” of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” confirms the film was produced with the specific purpose to promote a Roman Catholic agenda that would introduce viewers to the Roman Catholic “Mary” and the Roman Catholic “Jesus.”
One of the statements Mel Gibson made (brought out in Oakland’s article) regarding this Definitive Edition of The Passion was about Mary. Gibson stated: “[S]he was cooperating with this, salvific work. I tried to make that obvious.” You can read several other statements by Gibson with regard to his motive in doing The Passion in the article above.
Read this extract from Another Jesus titled “What Lies Behind Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ,” and you will see that The Passion was an effort to bring “modern audiences” into the Catholic fold. There’s little doubt that Greg Laurie knows of this information from Roger Oakland. Roger was virtually the only Calvary Chapel figure (when he was part of Calvary Chapel) opposing the raving support the evangelical church was giving The Passion when it came out, and he was severely criticized for his opposition; and at the 2005 Calvary Chapel senior pastor’s conference in Murrieta, California, with Chuck Smith’s permission, a copy of Another Jesus was given out to each pastor in attendance.
Laurie’s recent praise on Instagram of Mel Gibson and The Passion isn’t the first time Laurie has shown that he sees “the bigger picture of Christianity.” In 2015, he publicly promoted New Age Catholic Roma Downey.2 And in 2011, there was the LifeFest event where he had no problem sharing a platform with a Catholic priest as you can read in our article “Green Bay Catholic Priest David Ricken leads Mass at Lifefest Before Joint Worship with Greg Laurie” and Roger Oakland’s article “The Pope’s New Evangelization Program: Bishop Ricken, Greg Laurie and Calvary Chapel. ” And, of course, most recently, we reported on The Gathering 2016 taking place this fall where Laurie and other evangelical leaders are coming together in an ecumenical event that has at least one pro-Catholic speaker.
There are too many instances to ignore anymore where Christian leaders are saying OK to joining up with the Roman Catholic Church. And sadly, there is too much silence and apathy from the ranks of the evangelical/Protestant camp. Few voices are speaking up, and when those voices are silenced, all that will be left will be the bigger picture of a false Christianity.
A Lighthouse Trails reader sent this photo (see below) to us today. It is a picture of Calvary Chapel pastor Greg Laurie, standing with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett and was posted on Greg Laurie’s Facebook page along with this caption by Downey:
So nice spending time with friends. Mark and I had a lovely lunch today with Greg and Cathe Laurie #harvestoc
Such a photo only heightens concerns as to the direction Greg Laurie (one of Calvary Chapel’s most popular pastors) is taking the church.
In 2012, Chris Lawson (a former Calvary Chapel pastor, now a Lighthouse Trails author) wrote a report about a book titled Have Heart (which is the story of pastor Steve Berger and communication with his deceased son). Even though the book encouraged necromancy, it was endorsed by Greg Laurie.
In author Greg Reid’s booklet, Confused by an Angel: The Dilemma of Roma Downey’s New Age Beliefs, he documents that Roma Downey is aligned with the New Age. That, though, has not deterred Christian leaders, such as David Jeremiah and now Greg Laurie, from showing comradeship with Downey and Burnett.
To understand a fuller scope of our concerns about Greg Laurie, refer to the articles from our archive below.
Letter to the Editor: “Awakening America Alliance” Brings SBC President Ronnie Floyd Together with New Age Roma Downey
TO LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS:
I’m sending you this e-mail (see below) that I got from the “Awakening America Alliance” about their recent biennial “RESET SUMMIT” held in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Awakening America Alliance” states this as their ultimate goal: “The Alliance’s ultimate goal is serving kingdom initiatives for spiritual awakening and missional living. The Reset Summit is a part of their pursuit of a fresh Christ-Awakening across the nation—in every state, every county, every church, and every heart. Gathering leaders from these various spheres of influence not only builds relationships, but reflects one of their foundational principles—“history is transformed among friends.”
I am sending you this because I noticed that participants included Roma Downey (and husband Mark Burnett)! This is a conference for national Christian leaders, and Ronnie Floyd (President of the Southern Baptist Convention) along with other denominational prayer and church leaders participated. What is Roma Downey doing at a National Christian Leader’s conference for an American “spiritual awakening”?
I am concerned over Roma Downey’s growing influence over evangelical Christians, and what seems to be her public role in helping Christians supposedly gain influence or reclaim “dominion” over the “Arts and Entertainment” mountain of the “7 Cultural Mountains”. (See–http://www.7culturalmountains.org/). Lance Wallnau, Os Hillman, C.Peter Wagner are all proponents of this.
Please see Herescope blog posts: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/06/seven-mountains.html http://herescope.blogspot.com/2010/09/next-great-awakening_20.html.
Roma Downey’s (and her husband Mark Burnett’s) recent and growing projects are gathering great momentum, sadly among evangelical Christians. As you well know and have warned about, her projects include creating the “A.D.” miniseries currrently airing on NBC, which is not even remotely accurate to the Bible. She and husband Mark Burnett were also executives of the recently released Roman Catholic, mystical film : “Little Boy: Believe the Impossible” (See Facebook page link with trailer–https://www.facebook.com/littleboymovie).
I’m sending you this email so you can hopefully keep warning your readers about the unbiblical teachings and associations of Roma Downey and the promotion and embracing that evangelical leaders are giving her.
Concerned in California
Reset America Summit Unites National Leaders
The Awakening America Alliance recently hosted their bi-annual Leadership Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. The summits emphasize:
General Sessions introduced fresh ideas and inspired the group of key leaders with speakers from the arenas of denominational leadership, next-generation evangelism, faith-based media, and prayer ministry. Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, Producers of A.D. The Bible Continues, and Ronnie Floyd, President of the Southern Baptist Convention joined the group via video conferencing. (Click here to view Mark and Roma’s greeting.)
LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes only and not as an endorsement of the content. This is another example of how Christian leaders and figures are leading the way in bringing the evangelical/Protestant church “back to the Roman Catholic Mother Church.” It was just a few months ago that Amy Grant and numerous other well-known Christian musicians (including Chuck Girard, Dallas Holm, Michael W. Smith and Nicole Mullen) stood on stage with New Age sympathizer and Roman Catholic Roma Downey in an ecumenical concert saying “we are united.” A number of years ago, when Rob Bell was still pastor at Mars Hill in Michigan, he invited one of the Dominican Sisters of Mary to speak at his church. You can listen to a little of that service here where Bell and the Sister are leading the congregation through a contemplative practice.
“Thousands Flock to Michigan for Faith-filled Family Concert”
YPSILANTI, Mich., April 22, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — The first major concert for The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, enjoyed widespread success Sunday April 19 in Ypsilanti, MI. The Unite, Disciples of Christ concert at Eastern Michigan University, hosted by the Dominican Sisters of Mary and Spiritus Sanctus Academy brought together 4,000 attendees of all ages and backgrounds from all over the Midwest. The benefit concert featured some of the top names in the Christian music industry: Amy Grant, Matt Maher, Sanctus Real, Ike Ndolo, Jon Guerra and the Dominican Sisters of Mary. The acclaimed line-up performed for a captivated crowd for over 5 hours including special performances, which included all of the artists on stage together.
The press supported the Unite Concert as Amy Grant and Sr. John Dominic were guests on Kresta in The Afternoon, which is heard nationwide on Sirius/XM and Ave Maria Radio. The entire interview is available here. Additional coverage was also given by Son Rise Morning Show, Proclaim FM in Toledo, WMUZ in Detroit, The Michigan Catholic, Christian Review, and Smile FM, among others. Click here to continue reading this article.
Letter to the Editor: Took Concerns About A.D. T.V. Series to Pastor – He Says “Result Will Be Good” – David Jeremiah Part of the Problem
To Lighthouse Trails:
I took my concerns to one of my pastors at my church regarding the bible A.D. Series. I was given Philippians 1: 15-18 that as long as the Gis preached or the Bible story being told, the result will be good. No matter who they are or what their motives are.
What are your thoughts on this?
The thing that needs to be pointed out to those with such reasoning is that because of the spiritual persuasions of the producers of such films (in this case, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett), wouldn’t it make sense that “the Gospel” message could be altered, and in fact, a different gospel could be presented? Yes, it’s true that the Bible is the focal point in the series, but the Bible itself warns that those coming as if in the faith will present “another gospel” and another Jesus.”
It’s also hardly comforting to know that David Jeremiah is turning out to be a major spokesperson, adviser, and promoter of the A.D. series when he himself has shown little or no discernment regarding spiritual deception during the past decade. With his widely promoted book, Life Wide Open, in which Jeremiah says that people like Rick Warren, Brother Lawrence, Buddhist sympathizer and Catholic convert Peter Kreeft, and goddess worshipper Sue Monk Kidd are a handful of people who have found the secret to a passionate life, we don’t see his involvement as some kind of assurance that the series is going to be biblically sound. How interesting that a New Age sympathizing producer (Downey) picks a New Age-promoting evangelical to help promote and create the series. But then as the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. It’s just too bad that multitudes of pastors (like the one described in the letter above) are going to fall into step with Jeremiah and Downey, having completely ignored what Scripture says about spiritual deception and a great falling away.
American Christians seem desperate for everything but the Bible. They’ve got to have the most popular “Bible teachers” (e.g. Rick Warren and Beth Moore); the most exciting and sensually appealing books (e.g. Jesus Calling and The Shack); a wide assortment of exciting, sensual, wordly music; the most mystically drawing teachers (e.g. Richard Foster and Brennan Manning) and mystically oriented practices (e.g. lectio divina and contemplative prayer); and they’ve got to have the most thrilling and captivating movies about God (e.g. The Passion of the Christ and Son of God). The fact is, reading and studying the Bible itself has become too boring and blasé for most Christians today. And the pastors and leaders keep feeding this unsatiable hunger for sensual foods because the truth is, they want to to be filled with them too.
Letter to the Editor: David Jeremiah Brings Roma Downey and Mark Burnett to Shadow Mountain Community Church
A Lighthouse Trails reader who is on David Jeremiah’s mailing list received the following e-mail notice from David Jeremiah. The appearance took place earlier this month. Please read our new Booklet Tract/article by Gregory Reid, “Confused by an Angel: The Dilemma of Roma Downey’s New Age Beliefs.”
|You’re Invited: Thursday, March 12, at 3:00 p.m.|
|Dear ______,You’re invited to be part of a live studio audience as I interview the producers of The Bible and A.D., Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, on stage in the main sanctuary at Shadow Mountain Community Church this Thursday, March 12, at 3:00 p.m.
On Easter Sunday, Turning Point Television will begin airing our new series, A.D. The Revolution That Changed the World. This teaching series is the “Scripture behind the story” of the dramatic NBC television event, A.D. The Bible Continues.
We are privileged that producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey asked us to partner with them in telling the story of the early church through the characters found in the Book of Acts.
I pray you’ll join me for this live taping with Mark and Roma as we discuss the role of Christians in Hollywood and how God is using biblically based programming on primetime television to reach the world for Christ.
Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. and the taping is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. This interview will be aired on Turning Point Television and used online and in social media to promote the message of this groundbreaking series.
See you this Thursday!
Shadow Mountain Community Church