Posts Tagged ‘Roman Catholicism’

TV Preachers [Copeland, Robison] Glowingly Describe Meeting with Pope to Tear Down ‘Walls of Division’

By Garrett Haley
Christian News Network

Meeting with the PopeROME – Two controversial TV preachers recently met Pope Francis in an effort to work toward tearing down the ‘walls of division’ between Catholics and Protestants.

Kenneth Copeland and James Robison are two religious leaders in northeast Texas known for drawing huge crowds to their services and events, and who were a part of leading the group identifying as a “delegation of Evangelical Christian leaders” in its meeting with the Roman Catholic pontiff late last month.

Copeland heads Kenneth Copeland Ministries and Eagle Mountain International Church, while Robison is an “apostolic elder” at Gateway Church and co-hosts the Life Today TV program.

In 2008, CBS News released a detailed report on Kenneth Copeland Ministries, saying an investigation “raises serious questions about the Copeland’s religious empire.” For example, according to the report, the “ministry” operates private jets which are often used for vacation trips. Click here to continue reading.

Related Information:

Protestants Who Don’t Unite With Catholics are Guilty of “Spiritual Racism”

Rick Warren, Jean Vanier, And The New Evangelization

Related Video: (Tony Palmer, Kenneth Copeland, and the Pope)

Queen of All

Instagram style image of a neon Virgin MaryBy Roger Oakland

It was a highly newsworthy item. Secular news agencies around the world reported on this very religious matter. A rift between Roman Catholics and Anglicans was soon to come to an end.

A document titled Mary: Hope and Grace in Christ was finally published after six years of discussion. Centuries of Anglican dissent over the Roman Catholic view of Mary would soon be history. According to an article titled “Anglicans invited to take Catholic view of Mary,” a major step towards reunion with the Mother of All Churches was about to be accomplished. Quoting from the document:

“There is no continuing theological reason for ecclesial division” over the role of the Virgin Mary. “We do not consider the practice of asking Mary and the saints to pray for us as communion dividing,” it says. The document also describes private devotions inspired by apparitions of Mary as “acceptable” [1]

But there was more. The document stated that the infallible dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption – the teachings that Mary was herself conceived “without sin” and that on death she was “assumed” body and soul into Heaven – are consistent with the teachings of Scripture. [2] Click here to continue reading.

Another Look at the Catholic Church

By Steve Blackwell
Indywatchman Blog

Some things are worth repeating. Dave Hunt wrote a book twenty years ago called A Woman Rides the Beast that needs to be revisited. I have friends who have joined the Catholic Church because they were seeking religion, and they have, without a doubt, found the ultimate religion. In Dave’s book he shows accurately with very much Biblical documentation that this ultimate religion, the Catholic Church, is in fact the woman who rides the beast, a whore who has committed fornication with the kings of the earth.

In 1993 Dave recorded a pre-book video lecture which I have embedded. Take a look at the video and I believe you will find it very, very hard to argue with Dave’s interpretation of Revelation 17:7. Click here for the source of this posting.

RICK WARREN, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTICS AND POPE FRANCIS

LTRP Note: This series by Roger Oakland is one of the most significant stories we have ever covered. You will come to understand this as the rest of the series unfolds. If you have not read our articles/booklets The New Evangelization From Rome or Finding the True Jesus or The Jesuit Agenda, we encourage you to do so to help come up to speed on the Road to Rome issue. Considering the millions of Christians being influenced by Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven movement worldwide, what is happening here simply cannot be ignored.

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times

What did he say? This is exactly the direction we predicted he would go! It will be crucial that skeptics hear and see this interview. These were my thoughts when I first watched the EWTN interview with Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo provided by YouTube. April 11, 2014. The comments by Rick Warren in response to Arroyo’s questions from an interview that took place at Warren’s church in southern California were stunning. There is no room for doubt: Warren’s march towards ecumenical unity with Rome is becoming clearer and bolder as time passes.

The interview opened with the following question from Arroyo:

The Purpose Drive Life is the bestselling book in the world – 36 million plus copies. It’s been translated more than any book except the Bible. What is the key to that success? Why were so many people touched by that book and continue to be? [1]

Warren’s response to this question provides insight to two very important questions – the inspiration behind the book and the reason why it was written. His own words confirm that Roman Catholic mystics and their writings have been a strong influence on him personally and his ministry. This affinity associates him with the emerging church as well as numerous other statements he has made in the past. Warren responded:

You know, Ray, There is not a single new thought in Purpose Driven Life that teresaavilahadn’t been said for 2,000 years. I’ve just said it in a fresh way. I said it in a simple way. When I was writing Purpose Drive Life it took me 7 months, 12 hours a day. I’d get up at 4:30 in the morning. I’d go to a little study. Start at 5 a.m. I was fasting til noon and I would light some candles and I would start writing and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. One of the things I did before I wrote the book was, um, I’d ask the question—How do you write a book that lasts 500 years? For instance, um, Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis, Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Ok? The Desert Fathers, St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila. All of these great, classic devotional works. Any one of them—I just realized that in order to be timeless you have to be eternal. Click here to continue reading.

 

 

Multi-Sensory Worship: Prayer Stations, Icons, Incense, and Candles

by Roger Oakland 
Understand the Times
(author of Faith Undone: the emerging church—a new reformation or an end-time deception)

Stimulating images that provide spiritual experiences are an essential element of the emerging church. While many are bewildered as to why their churches are darkening their sanctuaries and setting up prayer stations with candles, incense, and icons, promoters of the emerging church movement say they know exactly what they are doing. Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Fellowship explains:

Everything in the service needs to preach–architecture, lighting, songs, prayers, fellowship, the smell–it all preaches. All five senses must be engaged to experience God.1

Often, Christians who have been attending church all their lives find the changes their pastors are implementing disconcerting, as they see the trend away from Bible teaching to multi-sensory stimulation. Dan Kimball quotes an older gentleman who had expressed his concerns about the implementation of an emerging style of mystical worship:

Dan, why did you use incense? I am not sure I like walking over to those prayer stations with all those props; can’t we just pray from our seats? Why aren’t you just preaching just the Bible? I wasn’t too comfortable when you had those times of silence, and it’s a little too dark in there for me.2

The comment by this gentleman in his seventies is typical of the comments I hear from many as I travel and speak at conferences around North America. But comments like this not only come from the elderly; many younger people are saying the same things. Both young and old are becoming concerned as they see multi-sensory mystical worship replace the preaching and teaching of the Word.

Nevertheless, Kimball and many others are convinced they are on the right path based on their view that emerging generations desire a multi-sensory worship experience. For example, in a chapter of Kimball’s book titled “Creating a Sacred Space for Vintage Worship” Kimball states:

[A]esthetics is not an end in itself. But in our culture, which is becoming more multi-sensory and less respectful of God, we have a responsibility to pay attention to the design of the space where we assemble regularly. In the emerging culture, darkness represents spirituality. We see this in Buddhist temples, as well as Catholic and Orthodox churches. Darkness communicates that something serious is happening.3

Kimball further states:

How ironic that returning to a raw and ancient form of worship is now seen as new and even cutting edge. We are simply going back to a vintage form of worship which has been around for as long as the church has been in existence.4

Of course, that is not really true. There is no evidence in the Bible that the disciples or the early church turned to a “raw” form of worship, especially one that needed darkness to help them feel more spiritual. If the early believers were in darkness, it would have been because they were meeting in secret to avoid arrest. To insinuate they were thinking about multi-sensory practices is an insult to their courage and devotion to God. Nowhere in Scripture is there even a hint of this. (For more on the emerging church, read Faith Undone.)

Notes:

1. “The National Reevaluation Forum: The Story of the Gathering,”(Youth Leader Networks – NEXT Special Edition, 1999, click here),pp. 3-8, citing Mark Driscoll, “Themes of the Emerging Church.”
2. Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church, p. 127.
3. Ibid., p. 136.
4. Ibid., p. 169.

Embracing Contemplative Shows Ill Effects at Moody Bible Institute in Ecumenical “Road to Rome” Event

For over seven years now, Lighthouse Trails has followed Moody Bible Institute’s continued promotion of contemplative spirituality. Although the organization has denied that they are promoting contemplative, the evidence has consistently existed. Those who have a good understanding of contemplative spirituality are aware of the inevitable outcome for followers of contemplative. This outcome is a change in spiritual attitude that leads to the following – ecumenism (a joining together of all religious traditions, in particularly Catholicism first, then Islam),  interspirituality (all paths lead to God), panentheism (God is in all), and eventually universalism (all are saved, regardless of belief – thus no need for the Cross).

We had hoped that at some point leaders and professors at Moody would seriously examine the contemplative issue and come to the conclusion that they do not want to go in that direction. Sadly, the indications of that happening are non-existent, and the probability of the complete embracing of contemplative spirituality is fast increasing. A case in point occurred just this month when the school allowed an ecumenical/road to Rome  event to take place on campus, where it was reported that over 300 people showed up, most of them being MBI students.

On December 3rd, emerging church figure John Armstrong (a convert from traditional evangelicalism to emerging) and Catholic priest Father Robert Barron spoke at a gathering at Moody Bible Institute. The event was presented by the Moody Student Theological Society. It was not broadcasted, and Moody’s website doesn’t seem to show anything about it so we have had to gather information from various other sources, including the Moody Student Theological Society’s Facebook page, which carries information about the event, which was called the “Evangelical and Catholic Ecumenical Dialogue.” (Photo from the “Dialogue”: 2nd from left: Liftin, next: Armstrong, next: Robert Barron)

We were first alerted to the ecumenical “dialogue” by a Lighthouse Trails reader, who stated:

Heads up to things stirring at Moody Bible Institute. (Also, please read this blog entry about it:  http://www.revangelicalblog.com/blog1/?currentPage=3   from Dec. 4, titled, “Can We Learn from Rome? Maybe… (A Reflection on Ecumenical Unity). This is by that young man I have mentioned to you before, who rubs elbows with Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Jim Wallis, et. al.

The blog entry mentioned by the LT reader was written by a senior at Moody Bible Institute (MBI). On the post, he has this photo of the Vatican:

The MBI student states:

As I myself have been in the process of rediscovering the beauty of the ancient Christian tradition [contemplative] offered to us via the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and even Anglican versions of faith, I have also felt a tugging and noticed a trend of millennial evangelicals to convert to Catholicism- returning to Rome, if you will.

It is not our intention to draw attention to or scrutinize this student. Our issue is with MBI’s leadership and professors. We believe this and other students at Moody who are being drawn to contemplative . . . and Roman Catholicism  . . .  are merely reflecting the sympathies they have witnessed at Moody from professors and others in leadership. For instance, on John Armstrong’s website, he talks about his invitation to the “Evangelical and Catholic Ecumenical Dialogue” and points to one of the MBI professors:

Our dialogue tomorrow will begin with a welcome by a Moody student leader which will be followed by an introduction given by our moderator, Dr. Bryan Litfin (Ph.D. in the field of ancient church history at the University of Virginia). Dr. Litfin is a professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute. Bryan is also a first-rate patristics scholar and has often encouraged Christian dialogue as a part of his teaching. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers–An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007). Fr. Barron and I will each speak for about ten minutes and then we will field questions from the students.

It is interesting that Dr. Liftin was willing to moderate the event at MBI given that he is a Catholic convert to Protestantism. We decided to spend $13.99 to buy an e-book copy of Liftin’s book, Getting to Know the Church Fathers – an Evangelical Introduction. A better title for this book might be Why Evangelicals Should Not Think Too Lowly of the Catholic Church. Liftin says that the benefit of studying the “church fathers” is to “help us get in touch with the general thrust of the Christian faith”  (Kindle Locations 389-390, Baker Publishing Group). But from Liftin’s book’s point of view, the benefit of studying the church fathers is to see some good in the Roman Catholic church. Here’s one example in Liftin’s book where he whitewashes and minimizes the heretical teachings of Roman Catholicism:

[M]any Catholic teachings must be understood as continuous historical developments out of earlier thought. For example, though the theology has changed from biblical times, the breaking of bread and drinking of wine in the Mass is an evolution of the love feasts of the early Christians, for whom the elements represented the Savior’s body and blood just as they still do for Catholics. Likewise, recitation of the Lord’s Prayer is an ancient habit still practiced today. And there are not a few doctrines held by the Roman Church which every orthodox Protestant would hold as well. (Endnote section, #20, (Kindle Locations 4084-4088).

The MBI student (mentioned above) goes on to say:

The Catholic Church offers much of what many millennial Protestants are longing for – liturgy, artistic expression, scholarship, ancient tradition, and a robust and deeply rooted theology [i.e., the Desert Fathers and contemplative spirituality]. Rome offers one, united Christian body with many stripes, styles, and theological variations contained within one communion. And with the Roman Catholic Churches recent moves for ecumenical unity with the Eastern  church and a number of Protestant traditions, it seems to me that perhaps a return to Rome may be in some millenial Evangelicals future.

The MBI student expresses his own hope for the future:

My hope and prayer is that in the coming years, Evangelicals, Mainliners, Catholics, and Orthodox will find more and more common ground on which we can work together to expand the Kingdom of God. My prayer is that God would continue to cause us to rethink, reform, and renew our faith traditions and insodoing help us refine them to reflect more clearly the face of Jesus Christ- our common Lord and Savior.

When you consider that Moody has been promoting the contemplative tradition for so long and the Catholic Church uses contemplative prayer as a catalyst to bring in new converts, it makes perfect sense that a student attending Moody for three and a half years could say something like this.

In 2007, Moody posted a response to our criticisms that they were promoting contemplative. In that statement (which still sits on their site), they deny the allegations. But take a look at some of the related links we have provided below to see that indeed they have been promoting contemplative and continue to do so.

One person who would have been very upset about the recent “Evangelical and Catholic Ecumenical Dialogue” held at Moody is Harry Ironside, who was the pastor of the Moody Church (which also now promotes contemplative via its inclusion of sermons by contemplative/Spiritual Formation leader Larry Crabb [1]) from 1930-1948. He stated:

Every Roman Catholic priest will tell you that all  the claims of the Church of Rome stand or fall with the doctrine of the real  presence of Christ in the Mass. If the bread and wine used in the Sacrament of  the Mass, when consecrated by the priest, are changed in some mysterious way  into the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ so that the  communicant receiving the bread actually takes into his mouth and eats and  digests the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ-if this is  true, then the Church of Rome is the true church of Christ and every one of us  should be members of it. But if it is false, if it is absolutely opposed to the  teaching of the Word of God, then the Church of Rome is an apostate church and  every faithful believer should come out of her in order that he might not be  held accountable for her sins.

It was because the great reformers of the sixteenth  century saw this clearly and were assured in their own hearts that the doctrine  of the Church of Rome in regard to the Eucharist or the Mass was absolutely  opposed to the Word of God and was not only blasphemous but idolatrous, that  they came out in protest against that apostate system and they won for us at  tremendous cost of Christian blood the liberty that we now possess. And yet we,  unworthy children of such worthy sires, are frittering away our liberty and we  are allowing our children to be ensnared again by this evil system from which  our fathers escaped with such tremendous effort. (From Ironside’s “The Mass Versus the Lord’s Supper”)

What is happening in the evangelical/Protestant church today is significant and utterly devastating. The contemplative issue has not at all been addressed by Christian leadership but rather the majority of Christian leaders have either embraced it or ignored it. To really understand where this is all going, consider these words by Ray Yungen who is talking about Thomas Merton here:

In a letter to a Sufi [Islamic mystic] Master, Merton disclosed, “My prayer tends very much to what you call fana.” So what is fana? The Dictionary of Mysticism and the Occult defines it as “the act of merging with the Divine Oneness.”

Merton saw the Sufi concept of fana as being a catalyst for Muslim unity with Christianity despite the obvious doctrinal differences. In a dialogue with a Sufi leader, Merton asked about the Muslim concept of salvation. The master wrote back stating:

“Islam inculcates individual responsibility for one’s actions and does not subscribe to the doctrine of atonement or the theory of redemption.”

To Merton, of course, this meant little because he believed that fana and contemplation were the same thing. He responded:

“Personally, in matters where dogmatic beliefs differ, I think that controversy is of little value because it takes us away from the spiritual realities into the realm of words and ideas … in words [doctrine] there are apt to be infinite complexities and subtleties which are beyond resolution…. But much more important is the sharing of the experience of divine light [i.e., contemplative] … It is here that the area of fruitful dialogue exists between Christianity and Islam.” (emphasis added – quoted from A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., pp. 59-60)

In other words, through mysticism, the world’s religions can come together and all can be one/unified. But, doctrines like the atonement, according to Merton, stand in the way and are “of little value.”

The Bible says in the last days there will be a harlot church. We are watching its formation right now; the tragedy is Christian leaders don’t even see it happening. And sadly, like so many other Christian campuses, Moody Bible Institute is falling into step with this apostasy.

If you have not read Roger Oakland’s recent article The New Evangelization From Rome or Finding the True Jesus Christ, we recommend you do to better understand the role that the Catholic church is playing in this apostasy.

Related Information/LT Coverage on Moody:

Concerns Grow as Moody Presses Forward Down Contemplative Path

Moody’s Pastors’ Conference Teaching Lectio Divina This Week – And Seven Years of Warning by Lighthouse Trails Go Unheeded

The Moody Church of Chicago Welcomes Contemplative Advocate Larry Crabb As Guest Speaker

Moody Publishers Release Prayers for Today: A Yearlong Journey of Contemplative Prayer

An Epidemic of Apostasy – Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited

 

Time magazine names Pope Francis its ‘Person of the Year’ – “Captured the Imaginations of Millions”

 

LTRP Note: After reading the article below by the Washington Post, please re-read some of the 2013 Lighthouse Trails coverage on Pope Francis. (See the links below the article.) When you consider that the new pope is contemplative, interspiritual, ecumenical, and soft toward the homosexual issue – basically, an emerging “progressive” pope – it’s no wonder Time magazine (which promotes all of the above) named Pope Francis “Person of the Year.”

By Lillian Cunningham
The Washington Post

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - DECEMBER 04: Pope Francis arrives in St. Peter's square for his weekly audience on December 4, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. At the end of his General Audience Pontiff called on everyone to pray for a group of nuns taken by force from the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Saint Tecla in the ancient Christian town of MaÕlula in Syria. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)The red border of Time magazine will frame Pope Francis as its 2013 Person of the Year, the magazine announced Wednesday morning. By the judgment of Time’s editorial staff, the pope — elected earlier this year after a surprise resignation by predecessor Pope Benedict XVI — was the most influential global newsmaker of the past 12 months. Earlier this week, Time narrowed the finalists down to 10, then five. Pope Francis ultimately won out over NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Texas senator Ted Cruz and gay rights activist Edith Windsor.

“[W]hat makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all,” Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias write in the cover story. “In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church.”

Coverage by Lighthouse Trails:

United Nations Chief Hails Pope Francis as “a Spiritual Leader of the World”

The Implications of Pope Francis Recent Remarks about Homosexuality and Abortion

Pope Francis calls for intensified dialogue with Muslims – Everyone “a brother or
sister.”

Pope Francis – Spiritually “Founded” on a Contemplative Tradition

Evangelical Leaders Luis Palau and Rick Warren Salute Pope Francis – What Are the Implications?

The New Evangelization From Rome Or Finding the True Jesus Christ


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