As many readers may remember, in 2014 Word of Faith preacher Kenneth Copeland invited the Anglican priest Tony Palmer to speak to his congregation.* Palmer, who died in a motorcycle accident a few months later, was an “evangelist” for Pope Francis to convince leaders in the Protestant church that the reformation was over and that there was no longer any need for division between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant church. During that particular meeting at Copeland’s church, Palmer played a video clip from Pope Francis who greeted Copeland’s congregation and encouraged them to unite. Incidentally, Palmer also shared a similar message of unity on James Robison’s T.V. show during that same time period.
Fast forward to the fall of 2017 where Kenneth Copeland (click here to see video) reiterated what Palmer and the Pope were conveying. In this video, Copeland is clearly carrying on Tony Palmer’s message that there is no longer a need for the Protestant church to be separated from the Catholic Church.
As Ray Yungen points out in his book, Simple Answers, many evangelical leaders, including Rick Warren and Beth Moore, are doing their part to convince Christians that the Catholic Church is part of the true church. If this is accurate, then Jesus Christ can be found in a wafer (the Eucharist), and all Christians who are not Catholics do not have the life of Christ in them because according to Catholic doctrine, that can only be accomplished through the Eucharist (the focal point of Catholicism). Also keep in mind that from the Catholic perspective, the Catholic Church is the one true church and all Protestants are the “lost brethren,” so the only way we could unify with Catholicism is for Protestants to become Catholic. Some may think that such a unification could never happen, but as Yungen points out in A Time of Departing, global spiritual unification is happening in the mystical realm (e.g., contemplative prayer, centering prayer, mindfulness meditation, etc). For countless Christians (including many leaders), who at one time would have never considered uniting with the Catholic Church, they now see this as a viable path as they embrace contemplative prayer and have allowed doctrine to be superseded by mystical experiences. Now is a perfect “opportunity” for this to happen as the current pope has shown his New Spirituality/New Age affinities—such as proposing a new beatitude that believes God is in everyone.
*Start at 11-minute mark to watch Tony Palmer talking to Copeland’s congregation in 2014.