Posts Tagged ‘Roman Catholicism’
The title for a new book, The Good Shepherd Calls: An Urgent Warning for the End Times Church, flooded into my mind like a lightning bolt flashing in the darkness. In all honesty, I had no desire or motivation to write another book. I have been telling people that I was in retirement when I was asked about writing another book.
For the last five years, my ministry had shifted away from focusing on discerning the times to our Bryce Homes International program, assisting poor and underprivileged children around the world. I was satisfied to live out the rest of my life without facing the pressures and the hostility so common in a ministry that deals with contending for the faith.
For almost four decades of my life, I have been on the front lines directing an apologetics ministry called Understand The Times. As the result of a serious illness that nearly ended my life in 2009 when I was in my early 60s, I reasoned the time had come to let others take my place in the battle. However, that suddenly changed after reading an article and watching a video that showed Jesuit Pope Francis proclaiming that all religions including “Christianity” worship the same God. Something in me snapped. How could I not send out a warning?
Immediately, I wrote and published a commentary on our website showing that Bible prophecy is in the process of being fulfilled and the return of Jesus Christ is at hand. I could no longer remain silent. Something had to be done to wake up the pastors and the church. We are living in the crucial Last Days the Bible foretells will unfold, and the time is short.
Yet there is a huge problem. The closer we get to the return of Christ, fewer and fewer recognize what is happening. Satan’s deceptive plan to set up a One-World global religion in the name of Christ for the cause of peace is being fulfilled to set up the religion for the Antichrist. Why are the pastors not warning the sheep? Worse yet, why are so many pastors promoting global ecumenism and praising the pope? Click here to continue reading.
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: A Former Nun Speaks Candidly About Pope Francis, Deception, and Mind Control in the Catholic Church
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: A Former Nun Speaks Candidly About Pope Francis, Deception, and Mind Control in the Catholic Church by Ann Marie is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of A Former Nun Speaks Candidly About Pope Francis, Deception, and Mind Control in the Catholic Church, click here.
By Ann Marie
Pope Francis is trying to pull Protestants into the Catholic Church. As you will see, several things are helping him accomplish this.
Ecumenism seems plausible because Catholics use words in a way that outsiders don’t understand. Because Protestants don’t understand what Catholics really mean, they think they have a lot of things in common, when in reality, they don’t. For example, let’s look at the word “grace.” According to the Bible, salvation cannot be earned. It only comes from the grace of God. The apostle Paul says:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. (Titus 3:5)
However, according to Catholic doctrine, if people do good works, and they fulfill certain specified requirements, then they can merit a “divine reward” from God.1 This is a doctrine of earning spiritual blessings by doing good works. In addition, the liturgical ritual for baptizing infants includes a prayer asking God to give grace to the water in the baptismal font (the water used to sprinkle the infant).2 For Catholics, “grace” is something that can even be given to inanimate objects such as water.
Here is another example of how Protestants can think they understand Catholicism, when they really don’t. A Catholic priest wrote to me saying that the Catholic Church teaches we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. However, he failed to mention something. According to official Catholic doctrine, we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ—PLUS being baptized, going to Mass on Sundays, receiving communion at least once a year, going to confession at least once a year, believing the official doctrines of the Catholic Church, and dying in “a state of grace.” (In America, Mass on Saturdays can be substituted for Mass on Sundays.)
Pope Francis claims that Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship the same God. We do not! Christians and Jews worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the Bible tells us to love and forgive. Muslims worship a very different “god,” and the Koran tells Muslims to kill “infidels” if they refuse to convert to Islam.
In June 2014, Pope Francis invited Muslims and Jews to the Vatican for an interfaith service for Catholics, Muslims, and Jews. This is the first time in history that Islamic prayers have been held at the Vatican.3
When listening to Pope Francis or reading his statements, please remember— he is a Jesuit; and Jesuits believe it is morally right to engage in “mental reservations.” This is the practice of saying something with the deliberate intention of deceiving people, but doing it in a way that avoids technically telling a lie. One form this can take is to add more words in your mind that are never spoken, but taken together with those said out loud, the total statement would technically be true.4
Jesuits and Mind Control
The Jesuits practice a form of mind control. It violates a person’s ability to think independently and to follow one’s own conscience. In addition, this can be used to pressure people to obey orders to do bad things. This approach can be seen in the following three rules from the “Spiritual Exercises” of Saint Ignatius Loyola. (He was the founder of the Jesuits.) The “Spiritual Exercises” are divided into sections of four “weeks,” followed by sections of four kinds of rules. These are from the last section of rules titled “Rules for Thinking with the Church.” Ignatius Loyola taught his followers:
Rule 1: Putting aside all private judgment, we should keep our minds prepared and ready to obey promptly and in all things the true spouse of Christ our Lord, our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church.
Rule 9: [T]o praise all the precepts of the Church, holding ourselves ready at all times to find reasons for their defense, and never offending against them.
Rule 13: If we wish to be sure that we are right in all things, we should always be ready to accept this principle: I will believe that the white that I see is black, if the hierarchical Church so defines it. For, I believe that between the Bridegroom, Christ our Lord, and the Bride, His Church, there is but one spirit, which governs and directs us for the salvation of our souls, for the same Spirit and Lord, who gave us the Ten Commandments, guides and governs our Holy Mother Church.5 (emphasis added)
In addition to these Jesuit teachings, the Catholic Church itself promotes mind control. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the idea of freedom of religion is wrong. Religious belief is said to be “outside the realm of free private judgment,” which means that people are not supposed to use their own personal judgment to determine their religious beliefs.6
According to Canon Law (the official laws governing the Roman Catholic Church), Catholics are required to submit their minds and wills to any declaration concerning faith or morals which is made by the Pope or by a church council. They are also required to avoid anything that disagrees with such declarations.7
The Catholic Church teaches that only the Magisterium of the Catholic Church (the Pope and the bishops in communion with him) has the right to interpret Scripture. People are not allowed to interpret Scripture for themselves. They are supposed to rely entirely on Catholic Church authorities.8 Catholics are supposed to “receive with docility” any directives given to them by Catholic Church authorities.9
A Spirit of Control
The Catholic Church has a strong spirit of control. However, it does not always show it overtly. There is an old saying that when it is in the minority, then it is as meek as a lamb; when it is equal in power with other denominations or religions, then it is sly as a fox; and when it is in power, then it becomes as fierce as a tiger.
Two examples of this are the claim to be infallible and the claim to be able to consign people to hell. I’ll discuss infallibility here, while information about anathemas and consigning people to hell are found in the appendix.
According to the official teaching of the Catholic Church, Catholic men and women are not allowed to believe what they read in the Bible without first checking it out with the Catholic Church. They are required to find out how the bishops of the Church interpret a passage, and they are to accept what the bishops teach “with docility” as if it came from Jesus Christ Himself. They are not allowed to use their own judgment or follow their own conscience. They are required to believe whatever the bishops teach without questioning it.*10
The Catholic Church also teaches that when the bishops officially teach doctrine relating to faith and morals, then God supernaturally prevents them from making any errors. This is called “infallibility.” It applies to official councils, such as the Second Vatican Council. It also applies to other teachings, as long as the bishops and the Pope are in agreement about them.11
In addition to all this, the Pope is said to be infallible whenever he makes an official decree on matters of faith and morals. According to Catholic doctrine, it is impossible for the Pope to teach false doctrine. Catholics are expected to obey the Pope without question even when he is not making an “infallible” statement about doctrine. They are expected to submit their wills and minds to the Pope without question.12
The “Early Fathers,” and the theologians and canon lawyers of the Middle Ages, never taught that the bishops or the Pope were infallible. This is demonstrated by the fact that in 680 A.D., the Sixth Ecumenical Council condemned a pope as a heretic. It was not until the fourteenth century that the theory of infallibility began to emerge. With the development of this theory came a change in the interpretation of some biblical passages.13
My Experience with Mind Control
I understand such things because I used to be a nun in a convent where we were subjected to some forms of mind control. Our personal identities were taken away from us, and we were given new names. We were cut off from our families. We were not allowed to have any kind of emotional attachment to any person or even to an animal. We had to keep silence, which prevented us from communicating with the other nuns.
We had no free time. Everything was scheduled. We had several services a day to sing the Divine Office (Vespers, etc.). Plus we went to Mass every day. We also had scheduled prayer time in the evening, when there was a strict code of silence. All of our other time was spent doing chores.
In the convent, we owned absolutely nothing. I wore my eyeglasses, but they could have taken them if they wanted to.
Christians are supposed to put on the mind of Christ. We do that through prayer and reading the Bible. In contrast, in the convent, we were taught to put on the mind of the Pope and of the founder of our religious order and also of our mother superior. They were our guides rather than the Bible. We were led by them instead of being led by the Holy Spirit.
In effect, our superiors were our conscience and our brains. We were not allowed to think independently or have our own opinions about things, much less communicate about any questions we might have. We were not to ask questions—just obey.
When I left the convent, the nun responsible for getting me out of there whisked me away in such a fashion that the other nuns never saw me leave. I recall noticing that nuns would disappear from time to time but didn’t understand what that meant until it happened to me.
The nun took me to the bus station and got me a ticket to go back home, which was in another state. While she was at the bus station, she called my parents. I thanked God that my parents were home at that time. They weren’t out of town or away visiting friends. I didn’t have enough money to take a cab from the bus station to the house, and I didn’t have a key to the house. If my mother and dad had not been there, I would have landed helplessly at the mercy of strangers.
When I got home, it was strange talking to people again, and it took me a while to get used to it. It was strange hugging my family because I wasn’t used to touching people.
For months afterward, I always kept my head covered. I always wore a scarf. In the convent, we always kept our heads covered, except when we went to bed at night. It took me months to be able to have my head uncovered without feeling guilty about it. After that, it took many more months before I was able to put on lipstick, and when I did it, I felt guilty.
I got a job as a temporary secretary as I had been a secretary before going into the convent. One day, a man called my boss on the phone, and my boss asked me who it was. I told him I didn’t know, so he told me to ask the caller who he was. I wasn’t able to do that. For years, as a secretary, I had routinely asked callers who they were, but being in the convent, I could not be assertive enough to ask a question like that. Therefore, my boss had to teach me how to do it.
I have some friends who are former nuns. They also went through strange experiences while making the adjustment to normal life. One of them had a woman mentor her. The woman taught her how to ride a bus, how to shop, how to handle money, how to fix her hair, and how to do other things that people take for granted. She had lost all of those skills while she was in the convent.
One friend of mine who is a former nun was trained to whip herself. It took a lot of training to get her to think that it was the right thing to do. But because she trusted and obeyed her superiors, she came to believe it was a good thing. However, she didn’t actually put this into practice because Vatican II came along, and the convent changed its policy; but she was trained for it and was prepared to do it.
Leaving the Catholic Church
Eventually I left the Catholic Church and became an evangelical Christian. It took me a long time to do that, with a lot of Bible study and prayer. Even after I was fully persuaded that Catholicism taught things contrary to Scripture, it was difficult to leave because of the degree of mind control to which I had been subjected.
Getting out of the Catholic Church was one thing, but getting Catholicism out of me was another matter. It was a long, slow, difficult, and painful process because of the level of mind control I had gone through, but I wanted the truth—no matter what it cost me to learn it. Truth is precious, and the Lord Jesus Christ is truth incarnate. He says,
I am the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6)
I was called “Sister Ann Marie” when I was in the convent. I am using that name in this booklet because I want to avoid being harassed.
According to the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, when the Catholic Church anathematizes someone, the Pope ritually puts curses on them. There is a solemn written ritual for doing this. The Catholic Encyclopedia article describes the ritual in detail, including extensive quotations from it. (You can read the articles of the Catholic Encyclopedia online.)14
In pronouncing the anathema, the Pope wears special vestments. He is assisted by twelve priests who are holding lighted candles. Calling on the name of God, the Pope pronounces a solemn ecclesiastical curse. He ends by pronouncing sentence and declaring that the anathematized person is condemned to hell with Satan. The priests reply, “Fiat!” (Let it be done!) and throw down their candles.
As we will see, the Catholic Church considers heresy (disagreement with Catholic doctrine) to be a crime. The Council of Trent, and other Church councils, declare that any person who disagrees with even one of their doctrinal statements is thereby anathematized.
When the Pope pronounces an anathema, he is said to be passing sentence on a criminal. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the anathema ritual is deliberately calculated to terrify the “criminal” and cause him to repent (in other words, to unconditionally submit to the Catholic Church).
For those whose crime is heresy, repentance means renouncing everything they have ever said or done which conflicts with Catholic doctrine. In other words, they have to renounce their own conscience and discernment and the conclusions they reached in their best efforts to understand biblical principles. And they have to submit their minds and wills unconditionally to every official doctrinal declaration of the Catholic Church. As we will see, Canon Law says this unquestioning submission of the mind and will is required.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, a person’s religious belief is “outside the realm of free private judgment.” This is consistent with the spirit behind anathematizing people.15
The new Code of Canon Law was published by the authority of Pope John Paul II in 1983. It claims to be inspired by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and to put its reforms in concrete form. According to Canon 752, whenever the Pope or the college of bishops makes a declaration concerning faith or morals, “the Christian faithful” are required to submit their intellect and will to it. Furthermore, they are required to avoid anything which disagrees with it.16
So it is against Roman Catholic Canon Law for “the Christian faithful” to doubt or deny or dispute any Catholic doctrine. If something is against the law, then any person who does it commits a crime, which makes him a criminal. Canon Law has punishments for such criminals.
According to Canon 1311, the Catholic Church has the right to coerce “the Christian faithful” who do things contrary to Canon Law. Canon 1312 says that penal sanctions can include depriving people of spiritual goods (such as the sacraments) and temporal goods (things which people need for life on this earth). During the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church penalized Protestants by depriving them of their property, their freedom, and even their lives.17
The Catholic Church has never renounced its past practice of killing people it considered to be heretics. On the contrary, the Office (or Congregation) of the Inquisition still exists. It is part of the Roman Curia (the group of men who govern the Catholic Church). In 1965, its name was changed to “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” It was headed by Cardinal Ratzinger until he became Pope Benedict in 2005.18
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (i.e., that Mary was entirely sinless from birth). After defining the dogma, the Pope said that if any person dares to disagree with what the Pope has declared, then he or she shipwrecks their faith and is cut off from the Church. The Pope declared that such people are “condemned.” He said that if any person says, or writes, or in any other way outwardly expresses “errors” in his or her thinking, then that person becomes subject to punishment.19
The Pope’s reference to punishment is significant because a man had been executed for heresy 28 years before this papal bull was issued. In 1826, a Spanish schoolmaster was hanged because he substituted the phrase “Praise be to God” in place of “Ave Maria” (“Hail Mary”) during school prayers.20
On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII issued a papal bull defining the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. He ended by saying that it is forbidden for any person to oppose his declaration or to say things contrary to it. The Pope further declared that any person who attempts to do so thereby incurs the wrath of God and the wrath of the Apostles Peter and Paul.21
Although this papal bull doesn’t openly threaten punishment, it still implies the possibility of some form of punishment. The difference in tone between the bull of 1854 and the bull of 1950 reflects the decrease in power of the Catholic Church. In 1854, a man had recently been executed for heresy. In 1950, the political power of the Roman Catholic Church had decreased. By 1950, the kind of language which was used in the 1854 bull would not have created a good image for the Catholic Church in our modern day.
The Roman Catholic Church believes that the Pope has the power and the authority to damn people to hell. The anathema ritual demonstrates this belief. Many Catholics deny this, saying that only God can condemn people to hell. But look at the ritual of the anathema, as described in the Catholic Encyclopedia. And look at the following solemn declaration of excommunication, which was pronounced by Pope Innocent III:
We excommunicate, anathematize, curse and damn him.22
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*This contradicts what the Bible says about being a good Berean and testing all things (see Acts 17:10-11 and 1 Thessalonians 5:20), and it nullifies the idea that the Scriptures (particularly the Gospel) were intended to be understood by the common man (see Isaiah 35:8 and Habakkuk 2:2).
1. John A. Hardon, Pocket Catholic Dictionary (“merit”), p. 295. Hardon is a Catholic priest with a doctorate in theology.
2. The Rites of the Catholic Church, Volume 1, pp. 394-407 as cited by James G. McCarthy in The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and the Word of God, p. 22.
3. Christopher Agee, “The Pope Just Invited Islam Into The Vatican, Christians Aghast” (Western Journalism, June 6, 2014, http://www.westernjournalism.com/pope-francis-host-islamic-prayer-vatican).
4. “Mental Reservation,” Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. X, 1911. The Catholic Encyclopedia is available online: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10195b.htm.
5. The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, translated by Anthony Mottola, Ph.D., introduction by Robert W. Gleason, S.J. (New York, NY: Image Books, 2014), pp. 139-141.
6. “Inquisition,” Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, 1910. The statement opposing freedom of religion is in the second paragraph of the article: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08026a.htm.
7. Code of Canon Law, Canons 752, 1311-1312 (Latin English edition, New English Translation) (Washington, DC: Canon Law Society of America, 1988), pp. 247, 409. The 1983 Code of Canon Law was translated into English in 1988.
8. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraphs 85, 100, 891, 2051. The Catechism summarizes the essential and basic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. It comes in numerous editions and languages. Because it has numbered paragraphs, statements can be accurately located in spite of the variety of editions.
9. Ibid., Paragraphs 87, 1310, 2037.
10. Ibid., paragraphs 85, 87, 100, 862, 891, 939, 2034, 2037, 2041, and 2050.
11. Ibid., paragraphs 890, 891, 939, 2033, 2034, and 2049.
12. Ibid., paragraphs 892, 2037, and 2050.
13. William Webster, The Church of Rome at the Bar of History (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1995), pp. 34-55.
14 “Anathema,” Catholic Encyclopedia (1913 edition), Vol. 1. The ritual is described in detail, with a lengthy quotation; http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01455e.htm.
15. “Inquisition,” Catholic Encyclopedia,” Vol. VIII, 1910; http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08026a.htm.
16. Code of Canon Law, Latin English edition, New English Translation (Washington, DC: Canon Law Society of America, 1988), p. 247, Canon 752. The 1983 “Code of Canon Law” was translated into English in 1988.
17. Ibid., p. 409, Canons 1311 and 1312. These canons are in the beginning of Book VI.
18. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dxcdf.html
19. Ineffabilis Deus (“Apostolic Constitution on the Immaculate Conception”). This encyclical of Pope Pius IX was issued on December 8, 1854. Near the end of this papal bull, there is a section titled “The Definition.” The statements I described are in the last paragraph of that section; http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ineff.htm.
20. Paul Johnson, A History of Christianity (New York: Simon & Schuster, a Touchstone Book, 1995), p. 308. Paul Johnson is a prominent historian and a Catholic.
21. Munificentissimus Deus (“Defining the Dogma of the Assumption”), paragraph 47. Encyclical of Pope Pius XII issued November 1, 1950; http://www.geocities.com/papalencyclicals/Pius12/P12MUNIF.htm.
22. Paul Johnson, A History of Christianity, p. 199.
To order copies of A Former Nun Speaks Candidly About Pope Francis, Deception, and Mind Control in the Catholic Church, click here.
By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times
Hardly a day goes by without news relating to Bible prophecy and especially the advancing trend towards a global religion for the cause of peace. It seems there are few who understand this is what the Bible predicts will happen on planet earth before the return of Jesus Christ to set up His Kingdom.
Of course, this is no surprise to those who take Bible prophecy seriously. As the apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Man’s plan for peace, inspired by Satan, will end in disaster, not in utopia.
While the Bible warns about the deception that will be characteristic of the Last Days through many prophetic statements, modern-day purpose-driven “Christianity” no longer pays attention to what God has said in His Word. Without question, the closer we get to the return of Jesus Christ, fewer and fewer who profess to believe in Christ believe what His Word says. Click here to continue reading.
LTRP Note: The following is posted for informational and research purposes only.
By SooToday.com Staff
The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) is hosting a conference for Northeastern Ontario educators focused on meditating with children. Christian meditation pioneer Ernie Christie will be the facilitator of the full-day conference. . . . Christie is the Director of Learning, Teaching and Catholic Identity with the Diocese of Townsville Catholic Education Office in Australia. He is also the author of Coming Home: A Guide to Teaching Children Faith-Based Meditation.
“We have integrated meditation exercises into a number of our schools with great success. Having an expert such as Mr. Christie assist us in improving our understanding and approach to teaching children how to meditate is a tremendous gift. It will also allow us to better incorporate our faith into the meditation exercises we pass on to our students,” Click here to continue reading.
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome And How One Interview Revealed So Much
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome And How One Interview Revealed So Much by Roger Oakland is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome And How One Interview Revealed So Much, click here.
By Roger Oakland
In 2014, Rick Warren (called “America’s Pastor) was interviewed by Catholic T.V. network host Raymond Arroyo. The interview took place at the Saddleback Church campus and was posted on YouTube by EWTN in April of 2014. Because I had written previously in 2013 about Rick Warren’s connections to Rome and to the Catholic convert Tony Blair (former prime minister of Britain), I was very aware that Rick Warren was heading down the path toward Rome. But not until I saw this interview did I realize just how far he has gone in that direction.
When I wrote the 2013 commentary titled “What is Next for Rick Warren?,” I provided evidence to show that Warren and Britain’s prime minister Tony Blair were partnering together with the Roman Catholic Church to form a P.E.A.C.E. Plan that would lead toward the creation of a global religion in the name of Christ. While many who read that commentary were skeptical that such a Warren-Rome connection existed, the 2014 interview clearly reveals it does.
EWTN made this statement about the interview on their YouTube station:
Part II of our exclusive interview: Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California. Rick talks about the expansion of his ministry abroad, the Vatican delegation that recently came to Orange County to study his church’s style of evangelization, and which television channel he finds himself watching most often and the show that draws him.1
If you have access to the Internet, I highly recommend you watch the entire thirty-minute interview as it is filled with information that provides further insight into Rick Warren’s pathway to Rome—one he has actually been supporting for quite some time. For instance, in 2005, Warren created the Purpose Driven Life Catholics program. And in his best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life (released in 2002), Warren makes several favorable references to well-known Catholics: page 88 (Brother Lawrence, a Catholic mystic); page 108 (Catholic priest and contemplative mystic, Henri Nouwen and Catholic panentheist St. John of the Cross); and twice he mentions Mother Theresa (pages 125 and 231).
But in this EWTN interview, Warren takes his views of the Catholic Church to even “greater” heights and admits he is in favor of the Roman Catholic New Evangelization program (set up to win the “lost brethren” back to the Mother Church).2
The Warren-Arroyo Interview
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 the thoughts running through my head when I first watched the EWTN interview with Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo. The comments by Rick Warren in response to Arroyo’s questions were stunning. They left no room for doubt in my mind—Warren is marching towards ecumenical unity with Rome, and it has become clearer than it ever was before.
The interview opened with the following question by Arroyo:
The Purpose Driven Life is the best-selling 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?3
To Arroyo’s question, Warren responded:
You know, Ray, there is not a single new thought in Purpose Driven Life that hadn’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 Driven Life it took me seven months, twelve 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.4
Warren’s answer certainly provides some understanding as to where his spiritual affinities lie, and it associates him with the Catholic contemplative prayer movement brought into the evangelical church through Richard Foster and Dallas Willard. Interestingly, in Warren’s first book, The Purpose Driven Church, he identified (and promoted) Foster and Willard as key players in that movement.5
In the interview with Raymond Arroyo, Warren’s exalting of the writers he refers to is disconcerting to say the least. They are all mystics. Brother Lawrence talked of “dancing violently like a mad man” when he went “into the presence.”6 Teresa of Avila levitated and often wrote about her numerous esoteric mystical experiences.7 St. John of the Cross (author of the contemplative favorite, Dark Night of the Soul) was panenthestic in his belief that God was in all creation.8 The Desert Fathers were ancient hermits and monks who embraced the mystical prayer practices of those from pagan religions.
For Rick Warren to list the writings of these Catholic mystics as “great” insinuating they are “eternal” is more than revealing. The Bible is the inspired word of God. As the apostle Paul states, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). While the Bible is great and is eternal, the books written by Roman Catholic mystics are the works of fallible humans who were misled by the fallen spiritual dimension. They can promote doctrines of demons and lead Bible believers away from the faith.
Raymond Arroyo then asked Rick Warren the following question:
What is your secret to reaching people every day, every week, not only in your writing but when they speak to you? What is it? What is this communication gift, if you will, if you could decode, because a lot of preachers would like to know.9
While Warren mentions Pope Francis several times throughout the interview with the EWTN host, he answers this question by directing attention to the pope, stating:
Well, the main thing is love always reaches people. Authenticity, humility. Pope Francis is the perfect example of this. He is a—He is doing everything right. You see, people will listen to what we say if they like what they see. And as our new pope, he was very, very symbolic in, you know, his first mass with people with AIDS, uh, his kissing of the deformed man, his loving the children. This authenticity, this humility, the caring for the poor, this is what the whole world expects us Christians to do. And when we—when they go, oh, that’s what a Christian does—In fact, there was a headline here in Orange County—and I love the headline. It said, if you love Pope Francis, you’ll love Jesus. That was the headline! I showed it to a group of priests I was speaking to awhile back.10 (emphasis added)
While loving others is a quality all Christians should embrace and promote, using Pope Francis as the perfect example seems somewhat opportunistic. For Rick Warren to call Pope Francis “our new pope” suggests that Rick Warren has accepted the pope not only as the head of the Catholic Church but as the head of the Christian church as well. Either Rick Warren believes that or he was indeed being opportunistic.
His comments about the Orange County headline, “If You Love Pope Francis, You’ll love Jesus,” is no less reason for scrutiny. Can you imagine the apostle Paul referring to the head of a false religion as “our” leader and comparing this false teacher to Jesus Christ.
Rick Warren, Religious Liberty, and Catholics & Evangelicals Together
It is a well-known fact, based on Bible prophecy, that the last-days one-world religion called the “harlot” will be a counterfeit to the true church, which is the Bride of Christ. Bible scholars who take this position believe the ecumenical gathering of religions together for the cause of peace will be the prerequisite. One of the key events bringing this about is when a declaration is made that the Reformation is over, and the “separated brethren” will be welcomed back into the fold (i.e., the Catholic Church).
This booklet you are reading deals with aspects of the Rick Warren-Raymond Arroyo EWTN interview that provide some significant clues indicating this scenario is presently underway. I am making reference to a portion of the interview that deals with the topic of religious liberty. In fact, it was revealed that Rick Warren may have a plan laid away for the future of promoting a “religious liberty movement” that will be the equivalent of the “civil liberties movement” of the past. When Raymond Arroyo asked Rick Warren what he thought about the separation of church and state and how the Supreme Court would rule on this topic in the future, Warren responded:
Now it’s interesting that phrase today means the exact opposite of what it meant in Jefferson’s days. Today people think it means keeping religion out of government or out of politics. But actually, the separation of church and state was we are going to protect the church from the government. I believe that religious liberty may be the civil rights issue of the next decade. And if it takes some high profile pastors going to jail, like Martin Luther King did with civil rights, I’m in. So be it. I mean, as Peter said and the apostles that we must obey God rather than men.11 (emphasis added)
It may seem surprising to some that “America’s Pastor” would be so outspoken and willing to take such a strong stand for religious liberty—especially when he shows his passion for this topic by stating he is personally willing to go to jail for such a cause. These are passionate words. Does this mean that the Purpose Driven Church model may have a broader agenda than previously advertised?
Arroyo then asks Warren:
Do you think events like this, moments like this, are actually sources of unity and moments of unity, particularly for Catholics and Evangelicals?12
When I first listened to Warren’s response, I was somewhat surprised by what he said. However, after thinking about it further and comparing his answer with other statements Warren previously made about his willingness to work together with various faiths and belief systems for the common cause of good, his response made perfect sense. Warren states:
Well, obviously we have so much in common in protecting our religious rights—and really the religious rights of other people who we disagree with on beliefs and behaviors. Muslims, for instance, don’t drink alcohol. If all of a sudden they made a law that said every Muslim restaurant has to serve alcohol, I would be there protesting with that. If they made a law that said every Jewish deli in New York City has to sell pork, I’m going to be there protesting. I don’t have a problem with pork. But I am going to protest that. If they make a law that says every Catholic school has to provide contraceptives, if you’re morally convinced you shouldn’t have contraceptives, I stand with you, firm with you on your belief on that because you have a right to train your children the way you want to.13
It is difficult to challenge Warren’s argument as he states his case. Religious freedom is a major pillar that America was founded upon. To attack religious freedom or rights could well spark a religious liberty movement if this is the direction political leaders are headed.
However, it is also possible that a so-called “religious liberty” movement championed by America’s Pastor, who is willing to go to jail for standing up for the religious rights of all religions, could be a stepping stone to something else. Especially when it is so obvious this would be another effective way to join evangelicals and Catholics together, the current common trend is going that direction wtih each passing day.
While it may be a stretch to suggest Rick Warren will become the pied piper who unites all the world religions for a common cause, it is certainly within the realm of possibility that Warren could be a major spokesperson for persuading evangelicals to join together with Roman Catholics. This whole movement has been in place for some time and has received endorsements from such well-known leaders as Bill Bright, J. I. Packer, and Charles Colson.
In the past, Rick Warren has made numerous statements about his willingness to join forces with Rome in order to establish the kingdom of God here on earth. In a message Warren gave at the Pew Forum on Religion in Key West Florida, May 23, 2005, he stated:
Now when you get 25 percent of America, which is basically Catholic, and you get 28 to 29 percent of America which is evangelical together, that’s called a majority. And it is a very powerful bloc, if they happen to stay together on particular issues. . . . I would encourage you to look at this evolving alliance between evangelical Protestants and Catholics.14
Without question, Warren’s “evolving alliance” with Rome has come a long way since he made this statement. The interview with Raymond Arroyo of EWTN is proof of that. When a pastor of Warren’s stature and influence refrains from warning his followers about the dangers found in the extra- and non-biblical teachings of Roman Catholicism, discerning Christians should not remain silent.
Rick Warren, Jean Vanier, and the New Evangelization
One significant revelation that was brought to light during the interview was that Rick Warren and Saddleback Church had hosted a delegation from Rome to discuss the New Evangelization program. According to the interview, a number of Roman Catholic delegates were observing the Warren-Saddleback Purpose-Driven model in order to gain ideas and insight for the Roman Catholic New Evangelization plan initiated by Pope John Paul II and continued by Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. I have discussed this New Evangelization plan and the serious implications of it in several articles over the years as well as in my book Another Jesus: the eucharistic christ and the new evangelization.
With regard to the Catholic delegation visit to Saddleback, Raymond Arroyo asked Rick Warren the following question:
The Vatican recently sent a delegation here to Saddleback—the pontifical council—the academy for life. Tell me what they discovered and why did they come? This is a sizable group.15
Rick Warren enthusiastically answered:
They were about thirty bishops from Europe. One of the men had been actually trained and mentored by Jean Vanier, which is an interesting thing because we have a retreat center here and my spiritual director, who grew up at Saddleback, actually went and trained under Jean Vanier too. So I am very excited about that.16
While the term “spiritual director”* or the name Jean Vanier may not mean much to you unless you are versed on contemplative mystical spirituality, this admission by Warren provides conclusive evidence of his endorsement of Roman Catholic monastic mysticism (i.e., contemplative prayer). The fact he mentions he has his “own” spiritual director located at Saddleback who was trained under the leadership of Jean Vanier is even more significant and further unveils Warren’s journey to Rome.
Let’s take a brief look now at Jean Vanier, the man who trained Rick Warren’s spiritual director. This will provide important insights. Vanier (b. 1928) is the Canadian Catholic founder of L’Arche, which is a humanitarian community for disabled people. It is L’Arche where Catholic priest Henri Nouwen spent the last ten years of his life. Vanier is a contemplative mystic who promotes interspirituality and interfaith beliefs, calling the Hindu Mahatma Gandhi “one of the greatest prophets of our times”17 and “a man sent by God.”18 In the book Essential Writings, Vanier talks about “opening doors to other religions” and helping people develop their own faiths be it Hinduism, Christianity, or Islam.19 The book also describes how Vanier read Thomas Merton and practiced and was influenced by the spiritual exercises of the Jesuit founder and mystic St. Ignatius.
Now think about this. To learn through Rick Warren’s interview with Raymond Arroyo that Warren’s own “spiritual director” was trained under Jean Vanier is, at the very least, a key to understanding the long history where Rick Warren has expressed support for contemplative mystics and ecumenical/interspiritual efforts. In Ray Yungen’s book, A Time of Departing, he points out that both Rick and Kay Warren very much admire the writings of Henri Nouwen. As a matter of fact, Yungen has devoted an entire chapter to Rick Warren’s contemplative propensities including his instructions in The Purpose Driven Life on breath prayers. Now that Warren has revealed that his own spiritual director was trained under someone like Jean Vanier, we can better understand the direction Warren is heading.
The New Roman Catholic Evangelization
If the delegation sent to Saddleback from Rome consisted of thirty Bishops, obviously this was a very significant event. What were the delegates discussing with Warren and his team? Warren provides the answer to that question in the interview:
[T]hey were talking about the New Evangelization, and Saddleback has been very effective in reaching [the] secular mindset. Our church is 33 years old. Easter 2014 at Saddleback is our 34th anniversary. And in 34 years, we’ve baptized 38,000 adults. Now, these are adult converts. People with no religious background. People who say, “I was nothing before I came to Saddleback.” So we figured out a way to reach that mindset. And I fully support your Catholic Church’s New Evangelization which basically says we’ve got to re-evangelize people who are Christian in name but not in heart. And they need a new fresh relationship to our Savior.20 (emphasis added)
While Warren provides his stamp of approval on the Roman Catholic New Evangelization program and makes it sound like the purpose is to win converts to Christ, there is much more to the picture than Warren describes. The Roman Catholic New Evangelization program is dedicated to winning converts to the Roman Catholic Eucharistic Christ and obedience to the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. While Warren may call this “a new fresh relationship to our Savior,” he is overlooking what Catholics must believe in order to be a member of the Catholic Church. Either he is oblivious to this fact or he is ignorant of it. For a man who claims to be a voracious reader and who has a doctorate degree from a theological seminary, it’s hard to believe it’s the latter.
In a commentary I wrote called “Mysticism, Monasticism, and the New Evangelization,” I was able to document that contemplative mysticism provides the catalyst for the New Evangelization. Thus, Rome and Babylon join together to form a new ecumenical Christianity that fits the description of the harlot—the counterfeit bride—described in the book of Revelation, chapter 18.
The facts stare us in the face. Warren’s pathway to Rome is dangerous! Why do so few recognize what is happening? Do you know someone who is caught up in the deception but does not see what is going on? Maybe this would be a good time to pray God’s grace would open their eyes, and they would see the truth of God’s word.
Rick Warren and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
Some who are reading this report may be asking the question: Why spend so much time and energy on this topic? What is wrong with “America’s Pastor” expressing his support for the Roman Catholic Church and what it stands for?
The answer is simple. Bible-believing Christians are called to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3). When a Christian leader publicly makes statements or endorsements by saying or doing things that contradict the Bible, the leader needs to be addressed in a public manner so those who have been influenced can be put back on track. While many professing Christians who embrace full-blown ecumenical unity with Rome remain silent and see no harm with the direction Warren is heading, we are compelled to sound the alarm.
Thus far in this booklet, I have addressed several critical topics indicating Warren is headed down the road to Rome. Now, I would like to address what is possibly the most blatant endorsement of Roman Catholicism revealed in Warren’s entire interview with EWTN. It was so revealing that even Raymond Arroyo expressed surprise when he asked Warren to comment on the following topic:
Tell me about your—the little breather you take in the day when you watch television. When we first met, you came up to me afterwards—I can’t believe you watch Chaplet of Divine Mercy.21
In response to Arroyo’s comment, Rick Warren expounded:
I’m an avid fan of EWTN. I make no bones about it. I probably watch it more than any Christian channel. Well, you know what? Because you have more, more, uh, shows that relate to history. And if you don’t understand the roots of our faith, that God had been working for 2,000 years, regardless of what brand of believer you are, God has been working for 2,000 years in His church. And if you don’t have those roots, you’re like the cut flower syndrome. Or you’re a tumbleweed.22
If Warren’s main reason for watching the Roman Catholic Eternal Word Television Network is to gain a knowledge and understanding of Christian history, then there is no question he is getting a biased one-sided view. While I admit I do not watch EWTN as much as Warren apparently does (and certainly not for the same reasons), I do know that a major part of Christian history dealing with the Reformation and the Counter-reformation is not one of the favorite topics presented. Perhaps a quick review of Fox’s Book of Martyrs would be a good balance for Warren and a reminder of what happened to Christians who stood up against the pope of Rome and his Jesuit enforcers in the past for believing the Word of God rather than the word of man. People were burned at the stake for saying that Jesus could not be found in a wafer (the Eucharist).23
In the interview, Warren not only stated that EWTN was his favorite Christian television network, he further offered that he had a favorite program he and his wife watch regularly on that network. When I first watched the entire EWTN interview, it was the statement Warren made at this point that primarily motivated me to do this report. If Arroyo was shocked by this revelation, the best way to describe my reaction to his response would be astonished and angry. In Warren’s own words:
One of my favorite shows, which you repeat often is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which I love. And when I’ve had a very stressful day, I’ll come home, I’ve got it taped, and Kay and I will both, we’ll listen. We’ll put it on and just sit back, relax and worship. And in the time of reflection, meditation and quietness, I find myself renewed and restored. So thank you for continuing to play the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.24
Arroyo responds to Warren’s statement, “Thank Mother Angelica.”
Warren then echoes, “Thank you, Mother Angelica.”
“Mother” Mary Angelica (b. 1923) is the founder of the Eternal Word Television Network. Among the programs making up the daily broadcasting schedule is “The Chaplet of Divine Mercy.” A description of this program provides background information:
The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy is a Christian devotion based on the visions of Jesus reported by Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), known as “the Apostle of Mercy.” She was a Polish sister of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and canonized as a Catholic saint in 2000. Faustina stated that she received the prayer through visions and conversations with Jesus, who made specific promises regarding the recitation of the prayers. Her Vatican biography quotes some of these conversations. As a Roman Catholic devotion, the chaplet is often said as a rosary-based prayer with the same set of rosary beads used for reciting the Holy Rosary or the Chaplet of Holy Wounds, in the Roman Catholic Church. As an Anglican devotion, The Divine Mercy Society of the Anglican Church states that the chaplet can also be recited on Anglican prayer beads. The chaplet may also be said without beads, usually by counting prayers on the fingertips, and may be accompanied by the veneration of the Divine Mercy image.25
Note the reference to “the veneration of the Divine Mercy image,” which is an essential component of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Consider this further documentation that will clarify that idolatry is the only way to describe what is taking place:
The earliest element of the Devotion to the Divine Mercy revealed to St. Faustina was the Image. On February 22nd, 1931 Jesus appeared to her with rays radiating from His heart and said, Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and throughout the world. (Diary 47)
I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory. (Diary 48) I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature “Jesus, I trust in You.” (Diary 327)26
One could contend that Warren was just “making conversation” with Arroyo or even making a joke when he made the claim that The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy was his favorite “Christian” television program. But he has never made a public statement refuting or withdrawing his statements. Plus, he gave such detail in his account. If this is what he truly believes, if he was speaking the truth to Arroyo, then he is defying the God of the Bible and willingly ignoring the commandment in the Bible that states:
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (Exodus 20:4)
While researching this issue, I took the time to watch several Chaplet of the Divine Mercy programs posted on the Internet. Staring at images of “Christ” or worshipping a monstrance containing the supposed body of Christ while repeating the rosary apparently brought peace and relaxation for Warren. However, it does not take a great deal of discernment to realize these unbiblical practices are rooted in paganism.* *
The Bottom Line
There’s no other way to put it, Rick Warren is on a dangerous path away from sound biblical doctrine toward an ecumenical apostate form of Christianity with Rome that has the potential to lead many astray.
What does it mean “to earnestly contend for the faith”? Is sound biblical doctrine being compromised for the sake of unity in the church today? When a pastor endorses a television program that promotes idolatry, shouldn’t that pastor be called out or at least asked to give a public repeal of his earlier endorsements?
The facts have been presented and a hypothesis can be formulated that leads to a reasonable conclusion. My prayer is that the damage done to biblical Christianity can be corrected through open repentance and public statements that set the record straight by Warren himself and those who follow him.
The Warren-Arroyo EWTN interview that first aired on YouTube on April 11, 2014 provides many insights regarding the “New Evangelicalism” that is presently unfolding. Rather than lines being drawn in the sand, walls are coming down, and ecumenical unity is being established. If Rick Warren and his followers represent the direction many Protestants are heading, it is only a matter of time for the coming one-world ecumenical religion to be established. The Jesuit plan to bring the “separated brethren home to Rome” will have been accomplished. Those who refuse to follow will be singled out and considered “heretics” who are ruining the P.E.A.C.E. process. Is it possible that persecution for these “resistors” is in store.
To order copies of Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome And How One Interview Revealed So Much, click here.
* A term used in contemplative spirituality as one who can help you “discern” the voices you are hearing in the contemplative “silence.”
** I have decided the best way to confirm this point is to provide an Internet link to an actual Chaplet of Divine Mercy service so you can see with your own eyes what Warren and his wife Kay consider a “Christian” devotional. This is only one of many programs that you can watch that all show the same thing. Please check out this 8 minute video clip of a Chaplet of the Divine Mercy program. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__RbWgxA2G0.
1. The interview can be viewed by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVCY8pW-ACs.
2. For more information on the Roman Catholic Church’s New Evangelization program, read Roger’s book, Another Jesus.
3. You can see a transcript of this portion of the interview, Section 1, here: http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/transcripts/rwinterview1.shtml.
5. See Faith Undone (Roger Oakland), A Time of Departing (Ray Yungen), and Deceived on Purpose (Warren B. Smith) for documented information.
6. Gerald May, The Awakened Heart (New York, NY:Harper Collins, First Harper Collins Paperback Edition, 1993) p. 87, citing from The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, translated by John Delaney, Image Books, 1977, p. 34.
7. For numerous actual quotes by Teresa of Avila, read Castles in the Sand by Carolyn A. Greene (a Lighthouse Trails novel based on the life of Teresa of Avila and a modern-day college girl).
8. See http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/johnofthecross.htm.
9. Transcript, section 1, op. cit.
11. Transcript, section 3: http://www.understandthetimes.org/audio%20commentary/transcripts/rwinterview3.shtml.
14. Rick Warren, PEW Forum, Key West, Florida, May 23, 2005, http://pewforum.org/events/index.php?EventID=80.
15. Transcript, section 4: http://www.understandthetimes.org/audio%20commentary/transcripts/rwinterview4.shtml.
17. Jean Vanier, Essential Writings (Orbis Books, 2008), p. 62.
18. Ibid., p. 76.
21. Transcript, section 5: http://www.understandthetimes.org/audio%20commentary/transcripts/rwinterview5.shtml.
23. See the story of Mrs. Prest in the Lighthouse Trails edition of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Some editions of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs have omitted stories of papal persecution.
24. Transcript, section 5, op. cit.
Editor’s Note: Since Roger Oakland wrote this report in 2014, several high prolific Christian leaders, including Rick Warren, have moved further along the dangerous ecumenical path to Rome. You may find articles about these situations written by Lighthouse Trails authors in our print research journal (see copyright page of this booklet) as well as our research site (www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com).
To order copies of Rick Warren’s Dangerous Ecumenical Pathway to Rome And How One Interview Revealed So Much, click here.
Faith Undone by Roger Oakland is back from press in its 12th printing. The book was released in 2007, and we believe it is still the most powerful and truthful book about the emerging church that has overtaken much of the Christian church. Below is a chapter by chapter synopsis of this book. If you have not read Faith Undone yet, we urge you to do so. And make sure your high school and college age children have read it. After you read this synopsis, you will understand why we say this. Some leaders of the emerging spirituality have tried to convince others that this movement is dead. But this emerging spirituality is anything but dead.
Faith Undone is available as a print book, an e-book, a PDF book, is in Spanish (La Fe Desachada), and is available in Kindle and Nook (as are all LT books and most booklets).
1/A New Kind of Church
Leaders of the emerging church say drastic changes must take place because the church can no longer be effective with old ways and an old church. We need a new kind of Christianity if we are going to make a difference in people’s lives and the world around us. But just what is this new kind of Christianity?
Quote from chapter 1: A common technique to changing society (or the church) is to repeat an assertion over and over as fact; once people have heard a statement enough times, they come to believe it is true without questioning. They even parrot the statement in their own conversations, eager to appear in the know. Oh how we need to answer every assertion with, “Says who?” This book examines the underlying spiritual substance of the emerging church movement as Scripture tells us to do: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thessalonians 5:21).
2/The Birth of the Emerging Church
Contrary to what many believe, the current emerging church movement was not initiated by a group of disillusioned young people. In reality, the movement was largely the inspiration of a successful business guru whose ideas on an emerging church were catapulted into existence by other successful businessmen, and thus it became the influential religious force it is today. Backed by multi-million dollar corporations and entities, its very core has been influenced dramatically by those with mystical affinities.
Quote from chapter 2: While this chapter will lay out the origins of the emerging church, I do not wish to give the impression that this is merely a human endeavor. A distinct spiritual component to it implies a guiding force from the supernatural realm. This movement is very complex, and all of the underlying factors that played a role in its inception cannot be explained completely by just a short synopsis like this chapter. But my intent is that I can describe the framework in which this movement sprang and was able to gain the momentum it now enjoys.
3/A “New” Faith for the 21st Century
The Word of God is under attack. According to emerging church leaders, the Bible is not so much for truth and doctrine as it is for hopes, ideas, and participation. In other words, don’t use the Bible as a means of theology or absolute truth and standards by which to live; rather than the Bible molding the Christian’s life, let the Christian’s life mold the Bible.
Quote from chapter 3: In An Emergent Manifesto of Hope, [Will] Sampson writes:
A rallying cry of the Protestant Reformation was sola scriptura, Scripture alone. And while this doctrine may have arisen as a necessary corrective to abuses of church leadership in the Reformation period, it is in full effect today. Preachers speak of the Bible as an instruction book or as the only data necessary for spiritual living. But this diminishes some critical elements of theological knowledge. … Sola scriptura also tends to downplay the role of God’s Spirit in shaping the direction of the church.
Sampson says that people who fall into this category “do not take into account the subjectivity of human interpreters.” In other words, those men who penned Scripture may not have been that inspired after all. It could have been more a case of their point of view based on their own life experiences.
4/Riding the Emerging Church Wave
How far is this new kind of church willing to go to reach its objective? Emerging church proponents say there is a new wave taking place and we have to hop on. The wave is a Vintage Christianity, which in reality is an experience-based religion. Experiences must be implemented in order to attract both Christians and non-Christians alike; we must appeal to this postmodern generation with its hunger for experience, rituals, and mysticism.
Quote from chapter 4:The Bible says that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God [i.e., an intellectual or cognitive approach]” (Romans 10:17). Not so in the emerging church. Faith comes by seeing images, touching icons, smelling incense, and hearing chants and liturgical recitations; then the “word” follows. Leonard Sweet calls it “EPIC culture: Experiential, Participatory, Image-Driven, Connected.” Post-moderns require such stimulation to experience God. Images of Jesus hanging on the cross are very common. So are icons of Mary and baby Jesus.
The emerging church embraces multi-sensory worship. Leaders of the emerging church say the ideas and beliefs of the early church fathers (100 AD to 600AD) are important and these teachings from the past will bring spiritual transformation and success to churches in the 21st century.
Quote from chapter 5: Stimulating images that provide spiritual experiences are an essential element of the emerging church. While many are bewildered why their churches are darkening their sanctuaries and setting up prayer stations with candles, incense and icons, the 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.
Often, Christians who have been attending church all their lives find the changes their pastors are implementing disconcerting. They see the trend away from Bible teaching to multi-sensory stimulation.
6/When West Meets East
Contemplative spirituality (i.e., mysticism) is to the emerging church what the wind is to a sail boat. Without it, there is no momentum, and it is woven into the very fabric of the emerging church. In order to understand why this is so important, we must first understand the dynamics of contemplative spirituality.
Quote from chapter 6:Contemplative spirituality* is a vital element of the emerging church. One proponent defines it like this:
To help the mind become quiet, we can follow our breathing. Or we can repeat silently a chosen prayer phrase or a word.
That may sound beneficial at first glance, to quiet ourselves in the midst of a busy and hectic world. What Christian doesn’t want to be find rest and peace?
7/Monks, Mystics, and the Ancient Wisdom
The emerging church is embracing contemplative spirituality and what is called the ancient wisdom. While appearing to be Christian because of the altered terminology, in actuality, it is occult based and New Age.
Quote from chapter 7: Tony Campolo, professor emeritus of sociology of Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania, is founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education. His own testimony is an example of someone who has not only embraced mysticism, it is the avenue through which he considers himself born again. Campolo states:
In my case intimacy with Christ had developed gradually over the years, primarily through what Catholics call “centering prayer.” Each morning, as soon as I wake up, I take time-sometimes as much as a half hour-to center myself on Jesus. I say his name over and over again to drive back the 101 things that begin to clutter my mind the minute I open my eyes. Jesus is my mantra, as some would say.
8/The Second Coming of the Eucharistic Christ
The Roman Catholic Church has a plan to establish the Kingdom of God here on Earth and win the world to the Roman Catholic Jesus-the Eucharistic Christ. It is believed the “triumph of the Eucharist” will be accomplished when the world (including the separated brethren) come under the rule and reign of Rome and the Eucharistic Jesus. The presence of “Christ” in the Eucharist is the second coming, Roman Catholic style. The emerging church is a bridge to Rome.
Quote from chapter 8: To those who traditionally haven’t had much ritual in their lives (i.e., Protestants), the ambiance of the [Catholic] Mass would have great appeal because of it’s religious novelty-thus the interest in the Eucharist [Catholic communion service where the elements are transformed into the actual body and blood of Jesus] by those who promote contemplative spirituality. And for many Catholics, the Mass (where the Eucharist is presented), in and of itself, is not a mystical experience. However if the contemplative dimension is added, one actually can enter the mystical realm. On the surface this phenomenon seems complex, but once we begin to understand mysticism, it all makes sense. Within the contemplative prayer realm, the meditator is actually getting in touch with a spiritual power or force. Combining the tradition of the Eucharist, which appeals to many who are raised in the Catholic Church, with the relatively recent explosion of contemplative practice, the Catholic Church sees this as a way to recover its robust state it had in previous decades.
9/The Kingdom of God on Earth
The Bible says that Jesus Christ will establish His kingdom when He returns to Earth. But today a theology called Kingdom Now or Dominionism is permeating the walls of Christianity, and the emerging church movement is taking this heretical belief full speed into the next generation. With the idea that the church can establish the Kingdom of God before Christ returns and essentially turn our world into a Christian world, this belief system has literally changed the way countless Christians view the world and go about their Christian living. What most of them don’t realize is this Kingdom of God on Earth mindset is an all out effort by Satan to merge the religions of the world and thus negate the gospel message.
Quote from chapter 9: Most people, with any common sense and compassion, would like to see a planet without poverty, disease, and illiteracy. I thank God for all the organizations that are working to help the suffering, the sick, and the poor. Jesus made it very clear that we are to care for and reach out to those in need. However, working to bring about utopia on Earth through global and religious unity is futile. My saying that might make some people angry, and they may accuse me of being fatalistic. But nowhere in Scripture is the notion supported that there will be a kingdom without tears, pain, poverty, and suffering until Jesus Christ physically returns and establishes it Himself.
There is another question that needs to be considered: Can the kingdom of God be established by those who don’t know the King? In other words, can people of all religions and faiths who donâ€™t know Jesus as King and Lord be members of His kingdom?
Rick Warren believes that God has shown him not only the boundaries (or lack of them) of this coming global kingdom, but also the strategy to bring it about. Before Warren came up with the plan, he says he asked Jesus to show him how to reach the world.
10/The Undoing of Faith
The fruit of the emerging church includes: changes in views on sexuality, the desire by emerging leaders to stop identifying with Christianity, eradicating the gap between good and evil (the very goal of Satan’s religion, the New Age), and developing a new missiology which says keep your own religion, just add Jesus. This truly is the undoing of Christian faith.
Quote from chapter 10: It should be apparent what is occurring as the emerging church evangelization program unfolds. Walls that once separated biblical Christianity from pagan religious belief systems are being demolished. Instead of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ that saves sinners from hell, a new kind of gospel is being preached, and its preachers are wearing interspiritual robes of deception. Jesus proclaimed it is a narrow pathway that leads to heaven, and He is the only door through which to enter-but now the supposed pathway to God has been broadened to permit open access for the sake of establishing the kingdom.
11/A Slaughterhouse Religion?
If someone said that emerging church leaders don’t like the Cross, many would cry out, “Yes, they do. I’ve heard them talk about Jesus and the Cross.” But while this may be true, there is an underlying theme building momentum in the emerging church that says, “Jesus going to the Cross was an example of sacrifice and service that we should follow. But the idea that God would send His Son to a violent death for the sins of mankind-well that is not who God is. He would never do that!” This mindset negates the very atonement on which biblical Christianity rests.
Quote from chapter 11: In [Harry Emerson] Fosdick’s book, Dear Mr. Brown, he states:
Too many theories of the atonement assume that by one single high priestly act of self-sacrifice Christ saved the world.
Fosdick ends that statement with a pronounced-“No!” He insists, “These legalistic theories of the atonement are in my judgement a theological disgrace.”
12/A New Reformation?
Faith Undone shows that the nature of the emerging church’s new reformation is anything but new, and when it comes to pass could bear violence and persecution on those who defend the Bible as the true and literal Word of God. This is a heavy chapter that will zero in on what this new emerging reformation will look like.
Quote from chapter 12: Most likely, you have heard the term new reformation, or as some refer to it, postmodern reformation. Rick Warren talks about it, emerging church leaders discuss it, and New Agers for a long time have been saying, “We need a new reformation.” Referring often to the reformation that took place in the 16th century, these current reformation advocates believe that something as radically different as the early reformation must happen again. In fact, they believe that the church (and the world) will not survive without it. Statements like “We’ll do whatever it takes,” or “reinvent or die” often leave the lips of the new reformation evangelists. The passion and zeal to bring about the new reformation equals that of the early reformers.
13/Or An End-Time Deception
The Bible says that in the last days Satan will deceive the whole world with doctrines of demons and seducing spirits. The question must be asked, is the emerging church spirituality part of this great falling away? And just what are the earmarks of a church that has become part of this end-time deception?
Quote from chapter 13: There is no question about it, the world is in serious chaos, with poverty, sickness, and disease inflicting millions and millions of people. Suffering seems to be at an all time high level. Understandably, the world is looking for answers. Many religious leaders (including New Agers) believe we need a new reformation. Neale Donald Walsch, a prominent leader in the New Age, is one of those who has new reformation on his mind. He states:
We are suggesting that people become modern day Martin Luther’â€™s and take the five steps to peace and tack them up on church house doors, as Martin Luther did with his 95 theses in 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany, which started of course, the first Reformation. Our intention is to stimulate the second great Reformation of world religion. That is our intention, our goal and our purpose. We intend to, in fact, inspire the second great Reformation of world religion.
Comments like the one above are quite interesting because Walsch is not a Christian, but he speaks of a religious reformation that he is hoping to witness. But Walsch’s reformation does not include Jesus Christ. On his website Group of 1000, a statement explains what Walsch calls “the new spirituality”:
The New Spirituality is a global movement to create the space for humanity to experience its natural impulse toward the divine in a way which makes no one else wrong for the way in which they are doing it.
I realize that most Christians would probably laugh incredulously if someone told them they were heading toward the spirituality of Neale Donald Walsch. Most of them would see themselves as orthodox and biblically-based and certainly not as New Agers going toward some kind of new reformation that says everyone is God. But as I have tried to convey in this book, I believe the emerging church is the bridge between Christianity and this “new spirituality.” And the question that every Christian must ask themselves is, is this a bridge on which I am willing to walk and eventually cross?
For more information about Faith Undone, CLICK HERE
Fox News Contributor Kirsten Powers Exits Evangelicalism to Embrace Catholicism – Timothy Keller & Other Evangelical Leaders Partly to Blame
By L. Putnam
Kirsten Powers, Fox News’ pundit, happily announced on October 9, 2015 to “The Five” on “One More Thing” that the next day she would become Catholic. Immediately, Powers was “high fived” by Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Eric Bolling.
Exactly why was this announcement so news worthy? Well, for starters Kirsten, once an Episcopalian and later an atheist, had shared a “conversion story” about nine years ago. At the time well-known Presbyterian Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Church in New York City had played a role in unveiling her eyes to the truth that God existed. Further time at Redeemer had her calling herself an “orthodox Christian,” and sharing her story with Christianity Today. One wonders was there anything Keller shared about his own affinity with Catholicism as found, for example, in his book Reason for God that gave Kirsten the impression Catholics are surely true Christians?
In an article, “Fox News’s* Kirsten Powers Announces: ‘I’m Becoming Catholic,'” Catholic Deacon Greg Kandra of the Diocese of Brooklyn writes that during a 2006 trip to Taiwan Powers felt she had had a visitation from Jesus. Kandra further writes, “She has called her conversion a ‘a bit of a mind bender’ due to her political beliefs and former atheism, and prefers the term ‘orthodox Christian’ over ‘evangelical’ to describe herself due to the ‘cultural baggage’ around the word ‘evangelical.’ She has said that the biggest impact her new found faith had on her political beliefs was that she came to ‘view everyone as God’s child and that means everyone deserves grace and respect.'” However, I would point out, that the Bible does not say everyone is God’s child. One Christian source puts it this way, “The Bible is clear that all people are God’s creation (Colossians 1:16) and that God loves the entire world (John 3:16), but only those who are born again are children of God (John 1:12, 11:52, Romans 8:16; I John 3:1-10).”
* Kandra’s error.
In another piece, “Kirsten Powers Awakens to the Beauty and Depth and Riches of the Catholic Faith,” Rick Rice wrote of Msgr. Charles Pope’s* article that told of Kirsten’s beautiful conversion story to Evangelicalism. Rice noted that Msgr. Pope, at the time, prayed that Kirsten would to know that Jesus is Lord and the lover of her soul. Of the Msgr. Pope piece, Rice quotes, “But Father, but Father… ‘She did not become Catholic.'” However, Msgr. Pope wrote, “Well, all I know is that she is on a journey. And the Lord has surely led some of the best Catholics through the Evangelical denominations to the Catholic Church.** … In fact some of the greatest converts to the Catholic Church bring many gifts from their time as Evangelicals … At a personal level, I would love for Ms. Powers to find herself in full union with the Catholic Church. …” Rice went on, “Well Msgr. Pope, that one day has apparently arrived: Welcome Ms. Powers to the faith that challenges and enriches.” Rice ended by saying to Powers, “May God use you ma’am to bring others to His embrace.”
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