Posts Tagged ‘Catholicism’
Letter to the Editor: My Former Teacher, Scott Hahn—A Convert and Prominent “Evangelist” of the Catholic Church
LTRP Note: The person being discussed in this Letter to the Editor – Scott Hahn – is a convert from Protestantism to Catholicism, and today, he is one of the most prominent and outspoken Catholic “evangelists” on the scene, working to convert Protestants and evangelical Christians to Roman Catholicism. Roger Oakland discusses Hahn in his book Another Jesus: the eucharistic christ and the new evangelization (see excerpt below Letter to the Editor).
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I just want to thank you for the recent article you printed in the newsletter concerning the truth about Scott Hahn. When I was in high school (30 yrs or so ago), he was my teacher in History and Bible class. The administration had hired him in place of my dad since he was Presbyterian, and my Father a Baptist. My dad still taught at the same Christian school with Scott, however, no longer with HS students.
I remember so well being warned from my father that Scott Hahn was going to turn Catholic. Well, sad to say, as you well know . . . he certainly did.
Anyway, the day your newsletter with the article concerning his “salvation experience with the Eucharist” came in, I noticed Scott added me as a friend on Facebook. I decided to send him a private note as all I could think of were the friends from my High School years who may not realize how deceived Scott is. They were “liking’ all his stuff and basically didn’t seem to think twice about the fact that their former teacher/friend is now apostate. The morning I wrote him back, I picked up your newsletter for help, and I really believe it was not a mere coincidence that the information I needed was right there. I am so thankful for your ministry and would like to send you the note I wrote to him as well as his response. If anyone ever has any doubt that this man is deceived or under the influence of another spirit . . . they should read his response.
Thank you again and please continue to warn others. I am so tired of hearing, “Well, it really isn’t that important to focus on the New Age, mysticism, deception . . . whatever . . . you fill in the blank . . . all that matters is the Gospel!” This is sadly the comments we seem to hear most. May God continue to bless your ministry. I’m really enjoying the Bible verse tea! :) D. Allyson
D. Allyson’s Letter to Scott:
I am absolutely heartbroken to read your [FB] wall and see your books and how far you have actually gone into the bondage of religious deception. What happened to your teaching way back at Fairfax Christian . . . . over 30 yrs. ago? Sola Scriptura? Psalm 146: 3 warns us to “not trust in princes, in mortal men, in whom there is no salvation.” Are you trusting Christ and His Word or man and his religious traditions? The only legitimate priesthood which remains on earth is the royal priesthood of all believers. Why do Catholic priests continue to offer Jesus as a sacrificial victim when He said, “It is finished.” Why do you call Jesus your Savior when you as a Catholic must save yourself thru penance?
Acts 4 :12 . . . What about purgatory? Gods word says “the Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” I’ts obvious the Word of God is not your final authority anymore.You are following another voice, another Jesus. Hebrews 6:1-8 tells us it is impossible for those who were once enlightened . . . have tasted of the good word of God . . . if they shall fall away to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame”
I pray this has not happened to you. You are being used of the enemy to build the ecumenical one-world church. You have elevated the priesthood to the level of godhood, exalting sinful men. The Eucharist that is present on every Catholic alter is not the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Truly I am grieved to have to write this to you. Please read Hebrews 9:22b, Hebrews 9:28a, and Hebrews 10;11-12.
Thanks for the [Facebook] friend request but you would not be comfortable showing me your wall or seeing mine. May the Lord open your eyes to the truth of His Holy Word, our only hope of salvation. D. Allyson
An excerpt from Another Jesus by Roger Oakland on Scott Hahn:
Scott Hahn is not only a convert to Catholicism but is a zealous promoter of the Eucharist. Both he and his wife Kimberly have testified that the Eucharist played a major role in their conversion to the Catholic Church. Hahn, a theology professor at a Catholic University in Steubenville, Ohio, and author of a number of books, also writes a regular column called “Scripture Matters” for Envoy Magazine. In an article titled “The Paternal Order of Priests,” he enthusiastically reminds Catholic priests of the power they have been endowed with. He writes:
As priests of the New Covenant, you are conformed to Christ in a unique and powerful way. Christian tradition speaks of ordination in the most astonishing terms. It is a commonplace of Catholic speech to say that the priest is alter Christus, another Christ. The Catechism tells us further that the priest acts “in the person of Christ” and like Christ, he is a “living image of God the Father.” Through the ministry of ordained priests, the presence of Jesus Christ “is made visible in the community of believers.”1
Elevating the priesthood to a level of godhood, Hahn exalts ordinary sinful men, by saying:
Theologians refer to the ontological change—a change in the man’s very being—that occurs with the sacrament of Holy Orders. Ordination “confers an indelible spiritual character” that is permanent and imprinted … forever.”2
Then comparing this supernatural transformation attributed to priesthood with the transformation that occurs during the consecration of the Host, Hahn states:
The great Cappadocian Father Gregory of Nyssa compared this sacramental change to the transubstantiation that occurs in the Eucharist. “The bread,” he explains, “is at first common bread. But when the sacramental action consecrates it, it is called the Body of Christ … The same power of the word makes the priest worthy of veneration and honor. The new blessing separates him from common, ordinary life. Yesterday he was one of the crowd, one of the people. Now, suddenly he has become a guide, a leader, a teacher of righteousness, an instructor of hidden mysteries. And this he does without any change in body and form. But while he appears to be the man he was before, his invisible soul has really been transformed to a higher condition by some invisible power and grace.”3
1. Scott Hahn, “The Paternal Order of Priests: An Open Letter to Our Catholic Clergy, In a Time of Crisis” (insert in Envoy, Volume 7.2, 2003) in insert.
Scott Hahn’s Conversion by Roger Oakland from Another Jesus
Hahn entered the Catholic Church on Easter 1986. He is a former ordained Presbyterian minister with ten years of ministry experience in Protestant congregations and a former Professor of Theology at Chesapeake Theological Seminary.
An exceptionally popular speaker and teacher, Hahn has delivered numerous talks nationally and internationally on a wide variety of topics related to the Catholic faith. His teaching has been effective in helping thousands of Protestants and fallen-away Catholics to (re)embrace the Catholic faith.1
Both Scott and his wife Kimberly have written about their spiritual journeys that brought them to the Catholic Church in a book called Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism.2 On the back cover of their book, a statement is made that provides further information about the Hahn family:
For the last decade, Scott and Kimberly Hahn have been speaking around the country—and making tapes that circulate the globe—sharing with thousands all about their conversion to the Catholic Church and the truth and splendor of the Catholic faith. Now this outstanding Catholic husband and wife have finally put their story into print as they recount their incredible spiritual journey “back home” into God’s worldwide family, the Catholic Church.3
In Rome Sweet Home, Hahn gives a step by step account of a Eucharistic encounter that was instrumental in his conversion to Catholicism. He describes in detail what happened to him one day while attending a Catholic Mass. He writes:
[O]ne day, I made a “fatal blunder”—I decided that it was time for me to go to Mass on my own.… Right before noon, I slipped quietly into the basement chapel for daily Mass. I wasn’t sure what to expect; maybe I’d be all alone with a priest and a couple of old nuns. I took a seat as an observer in the back pew.
All of a sudden lots of ordinary people began coming in off the streets—rank-and-file type folks. They came in, genuflected, knelt and prayed. Their simple but sincere devotion was impressive. Then a bell rang and a priest walked out toward the altar. I remained seated; I wasn’t sure if it was safe to kneel. As an evangelical Calvinist, I had been taught that the Catholic Mass was the greatest sacrilege that a man could commit—to resacrifice Christ—so I wasn’t sure what to do.4
Hahn then describes the thoughts and feelings that overcame him as the priest proceeded with the consecration of the Host:
After pronouncing the words of consecration, the priest held up the Host. I felt as if the last drop of doubt had drained from me. With all of my heart, I whispered, “My Lord and my God. That’s really you! And if that’s you, then I want full communion with you. I don’t want to hold anything back.”
Then I remembered my promise … Oh yes. I’ve got to regain control—I’m a Presbyterian, right? right! And with that, I left the chapel, not telling a soul where I had been or what I had done. But the next day I was back, and the next, and the next. Within a week or two I was hooked. I don’t know how to say it, but I had fallen head over heels in love with our Lord in the Eucharist! His presence to me in the Blessed Sacrament was powerful and personal. As I sat in the back I began to kneel and pray with the others whom I now knew to be my brothers and sisters. I wasn’t an orphan! I had found my family—it was God’s family.5
Soon the conversion process was complete. Hahn was overcome by his experience and was convinced he truly had discovered the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. In his own words:
Day after day, witnessing the entire drama of the Mass, I saw the covenant renewed right before my eyes. I knew Christ wanted me to receive him in faith, not just spiritually in my heart, but physically as well: onto my tongue, down my throat and into my whole body and soul. This was what the Incarnation was all about. This was the gospel in its fullness.
Each day after Mass, I spent a half hour to an hour praying the Rosary. I felt the Lord unleash his power through his Mother before the Blessed Sacrament. I begged him to open up my heart to show me his will.6
1. See http://www.scotthahn.com for more information about Scott Hahn.
2. Scott and Kimberly Hahn, Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press), 1993.
3. Ibid., back cover.
4. Ibid., p. 87.
6. Ibid., pp. 88, 89.
By Ray Yungen
Two authors from Great Britain portray a stunningly clear picture of New Age spirituality. They explain:
[T]he keynote of it appears to be a movement for synthesis derived from an understanding of the underlying unity behind all things and the sense of oneness that this brings.
This oneness of all life is the crux of the New Age movement.17
Catholic monk M. Basil Pennington defined the contemplative spiritual worldview in his book Thomas Merton My Brother. He related:
The Spirit enlightened him [Merton] in the true synthesis [unity] of all and in the harmony of that huge chorus of living beings. In the midst of it he lived out a vision of a new world, where all divisions have fallen away and the divine goodness is perceived and enjoyed as present in all and through all.18
The first viewpoint describes God as the oneness of all existence. In Merton’s new world, God is perceived as being present “in all and through all.” It certainly appears that the same spirit enlightened both parties. The only difference was Merton’s revelation worked in a Christian context just as occultist Alice Bailey predicted. Unfortunately, this context is now commonplace in Catholic circles, becoming so in mainline Protestant churches, and being eagerly explored and embraced by an ever-increasing number of evangelical Christians.
Evangelical leaders now debate whether such spiritual truths as resting in God are the same as contemplative silence. Based on these presented documentations, I believe contemplative prayer has no place in true Christianity. Scripture clearly teaches that with salvation comes an automatic guidance system—the Holy Spirit. Lewis Sperry Chafer, in his outstanding book Grace: The Glorious Theme, spells out this truth with crystal-clear clarity:
It is stated in Romans 5:5 that “the Spirit is given to us.” This is true of every person who is saved. The Spirit is the birth-right in the new life. By Him alone can the character and service that belongs to the normal daily life of the Christian be realized. The Spirit is the “All-Sufficient One.” Every victory in the new life is gained by His strength, and every reward in glory will be won only as a result of His enabling power.19
Show me a Scripture in the Bible in which the Holy Spirit is activated or accessed by contemplative prayer. If such a verse exists, wouldn’t it be the keynote verse in defense of contemplative prayer?
I want to emphasize what I believe cuts through all the emotional appeal that has attracted so many to teachers like Richard Foster and Brennan Manning and really boils the issue down to its clearest state.
In his book Streams of Living Water, Richard Foster emanates his hoped-for vision of an “all inclusive community” that he feels God is forming today. He sees this as “a great, new gathering of the people of God.”20
On the surface, this might sound noble and sanctifying, but a deeper examination will expose elements that line up more with Alice Bailey’s vision than with Jesus Christ’s. Foster prophesies:
I see a Catholic monk from the hills of Kentucky standing alongside a Baptist evangelist from the streets of Los Angeles and together offering up a sacrifice of praise. I see a people.21
The only place in “the hills of Kentucky” where Catholic monks live is the Gethsemane Abbey, a Trappist monastery. This also, coincidentally, was the home base of Thomas Merton.
Let me explain this significant connection. In the summer of 1996, Buddhist and Catholic monks met together to dialogue in what was billed the “Gethsemane Encounter.”22 David Steindl-Rast, a Zen-Buddhist trained monk and close friend of Thomas Merton, facilitated this event.
During the encounter, presentations on Zen meditation and practice from the Theravedan Buddhist tradition were offered.23 One of the speakers discussed the “correlation of the Christian contemplative life with the lives of our Buddhist sisters and brothers.”24
For these monks and the Baptist evangelist to be “a people,” as Richard Foster says, someone has to change. Either the monks have to abandon their Buddhist convictions and align with the Baptists, or the Baptists have to become contemplative style Baptists and embrace the monks’ beliefs. That is the dilemma in Foster’s “great gathering of God.”
Mystic David Steidl-Rast once asked Thomas Merton what role Buddhism played in his going deeper into the spiritual life. Merton replied quite frankly: “I think I couldn’t understand Christian teaching the way I do if it were not in the light of Buddhism.”25
Did Merton mean that in order to understand what Christianity really is, you have to change your consciousness? I believe that is exactly what he meant. Once he personally did that through contemplative prayer, Buddhism provided him with the explanation of what he experienced. But again the catalyst was changing his consciousness. This is what I am warning Christians about. Contemplative prayer is presenting a way to God identical with all the world’s mystical traditions. Christians are haplessly lulled into it by the emphasis on seeking the Kingdom of God and greater piety, yet the apostle Paul described the church’s end-times apostasy in the context of a mystical seduction. If this practice doesn’t fit that description, I don’t know what does.
You don’t have to change your consciousness to grab “aholt” of God (as Brennan Manning insists). All you need is to be born-again. What Steidl-Rast and the other Gethsemane monks should have been telling Buddhists is, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
In his book, Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning mentions that once Baptist Sunday school teacher, now New Ager, Sue Monk Kidd eventually came under the mentorship of Dr. Beatrice Bruteau who authored the book What We Can Learn From the East. Since that title is self-explanatory, it’s easy to understand why Dr. Bruteau would write the preface to a book like The Mystic Heart by mystic Wayne Teasdale. In the preface, she touts that a universal spirituality based on mysticism is going to save the world.
It seems that all these people want a better world. They do not seem like sinister conspirators like those out of a James Bond film. Yet, it is their niceness that rejects the reality of the fundamental separation between Man and God. It is their sense of compassion that feeds their universalism. It is idealism that makes Manning so attractive and causes him to say that Dr. Bruteau is a “trustworthy guide to contemplative consciousness.”26
The irony of this is that Manning is completely correct in his statement—Dr. Bruteau is a reliable guide to contemplative awareness. She has founded two organizations, the Schola Contemplationis (school for contemplation) and the very Christian-sounding Fellowship of the Holy Trinity. With the latter, she is promoted as “a well-known author and lecturer on contemplative life and prayer.”27 Both of these organizations incorporate Hindu and Buddhist approaches to spirituality. This should come as no surprise because Bruteau also has studied with the Ramakrishna order, which is named after the famous Hindu swami Sri Ramakrishna.
The Ramakrishna order is dedicated to promoting the vision of Sri Ramakrishna. He was known for his view that all the world’s religions were valid revelations from God if you understood them on the mystical level. He was an early proponent of interspirituality. According to the book, Wounded Prophet, Henri Nouwen even viewed him in a favorable light and esteemed him as an important spiritual figure.
Sue Monk Kidd became enamored with contemplative spirituality while attending a Southern Baptist church. We could possibly dismiss that and say she was just an untaught member of the laity who was spiritually lacking in discernment. Maybe her spiritual dryness was a result of her not being grounded firmly enough in the faith. But what about the leaders and pastors whom so many look up to and who are considered trusted individuals in the church? Surely they are able to discern what is spiritually unsound. It seems safe to make this assumption. Right? Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.
Dear Lighthouse Trails:
I thought you might want to know that Rick Warren is going to co-preach the Keynote Address with a priest for Pope Francis’ visit in September 2015. Here is the link to the documentation on that meeting: http://www.worldmeeting2015.org/about-the-event/adult-congress-sessions-thursday-friday/
Thank you for continuing to warn about Rick Warren’s ecumenism, particularly with his joining hands with the current Pope and Catholicism. Thank you for informing your readers that on Nov.19, 2014, “a delegation of Catholic bishops sought ‘wisdom’ from Saddleback on how to use Purpose-Driven methods to propagate their ‘new evangelization,’ which is really no true biblical evangelization at all!” (See link: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16405).
In your Nov.19, 2014 blog post, it asked: “Did Rick Warren play a role in getting the Pope to the US, and will Rick Warren play a role in the Pope’s visit to the US. in 2015?”
The answer apparently is: “Yes!” as to whether Rick Warren is going to play a role in the Pope’s visit to the U.S. in September 2015.
Also in your same Nov.2014 blog post, it said that earlier in 2014, a “delegation of Catholic bishops visited Rick Warren and Saddleback to gain some ‘wisdom’ on how to accelerate the Catholic New Evangelization program using Purpose Driven methods.” That same blog also stated: “Perhaps the Pope will make a stop at Saddleback”…
Considering how most hyper-charismatics and heretical groups seem to be convinced a “global revival” will start in California, maybe the Pope might just stop by Saddleback . . . Perhaps a Papal visit to California might deceive more Christians into jumping on the spiritual bandwagon of this “revival” that supposedly will begin in California, as Bethel Church, Jesus Culture, the Sacramento pastors, etc. all have been pushing this false, ecumenical revival idea for quite a while already…
LTRP Note: Please see the video below, which is an 8-minute talk Pope Francis recently gave regarding this matter. While listening to him talk, it was hard not to think of the martyrs described in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, many of whom died at the hands of Roman papacy because they would not accept Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist. Is this where we are heading again? As Roger Oakland often says, history repeats itself. See our article “If Rick Warren is Right, Why Did These Martyrs Even Die At the Hands of the Roman Catholic Church?”
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
ROME — In a recorded video statement released on Saturday, the Roman Catholic Pontiff known as Francis asserted that evangelicals and Catholics are one, and that it is the devil who has divided the two groups.
“Division is the work of the ‘Father of Lies,’ ‘the Father of Discord,’ who does everything possible to keep us divided,” he said.
The eight-minute video was for the “Celebration of Christian Unity” event organized by John 17 Ministries out of Phoenix, Ariz., which seeks to unite Christians and Catholics.
“I feel like saying something that may sound controversial, or even heretical, perhaps,” Francis stated. “But there is someone who ‘knows’ that despite our differences we are one.” Click here to continue reading.
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.