Roma Downey, who has never renounced her extensive New Age involvement, is now firmly entrenched and aligned with contemporary Christian leadership. Because Christian leaders and day-to-day believers have given Roma Downey a get-out-of-the-new-age free pass, Lighthouse Trails is releasing a second Roma Downey booklet today. This booklet emphasizes the danger of Downey’s most recent book, Box of Butterflies, which has been incrementally and dangerously endorsed by a wide variety of Christian leaders (listed in the booklet). In addition, a number of Christian leaders such as Rick Warren, Greg Laurie, and John MacArthur will be speaking at an event in 2019 called Proclaim 19, and Roma Downey is also one of the speakers. While some say this is no problem for this mixture of speakers at a Christian event and is only a faulty premise of guilt by association, we believe such actions by Christian leaders only give the New Age/New Spirituality further admittance into the church. Of course, many disagree with our calling out and challenging Christian leaders on such matters.
NEW BOOKLET: Butterfly Illusions: The New Age Implications of Roma Downey’s Box of Butterflies & the Christian Leaders Who Were Fooled by Greg Reid is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Butterfly Illusions, click here.
By Gregory Reid
The illusion of separation is just that, an illusion.1—Roma Downey, Box of Butterflies
The illusion is that we are separate, distanced from our Earth, Moon and Stars, yet in reality we are one.2—New Age writer Grace Gabriella Puskas
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)
I had just given my life to Jesus, and I was excited to share Him with others. I went out one night with a group from our Bible study to pass out literature and tell people about the Lord and what He had done in my life.
“Jesus loves you!” I said to one man as I handed him a paper.
“I’m a Buddhist,” he replied.
“That’s cool,” I replied. “All paths lead to God.” “Jesus loves you,” I told a lady.
“What, am I going to go to Hell if I don’t believe?” she answered.
“No,” I replied, “There is no Hell. Heaven and Hell are here on earth!”
As good intentioned as I was, I was not sharing the God of the Scriptures but rather the lies I had learned from studying the occult.
One of our team members told our house leader, Dave, about my unbiblical ideas. Dave was prepared to talk with me. When I met with him, he said, “Greg, I hear you don’t believe in Hell. Can you read this verse for me?” He had his Bible opened and was pointing to a verse. “Read this,” he said.
“‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned,’ Mark 16:16. So?”
“I also hear you believe all paths lead to God.”
“So what?” I replied testily.
“Read this,” Dave said, pointing to another verse.
“‘I am the way the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’ John 14:6.” On it went until I finally snapped at him. “What’s your point, Dave?”
“My point is, you either believe all of this Word or none of it. You either believe everything Jesus said is true, or you’re saying He’s a liar. He said He was the only way to God. Understand?”
I did. And I was furious. I had spent four years studying spiritual teachers—Edgar Cayce, Ruth Montgomery, Jeanne Dixon, Paramahansa Yogananda, and others. Everything I learned and accepted as true, I learned from them—reincarnation, communicating with departed loved ones, that all paths lead to God, that there is no Hell, that Jesus was just a great teacher—a Christ among many Christs of whom we all were Christs—and now this man was telling me it was all a lie.
The battle for my soul had begun. It had only been a month since I had given my life to Jesus Christ. Now I was told that I could either believe the Bible or believe my long-held New Age teachings, but not both. I would either believe all paths led to God or Jesus was the only way. I could believe in reincarnation or that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). I took it all to God and studied the Scriptures. It became clear that what Jesus and the Bible said were nearly a hundred percent in opposition to everything I believed.
I was devastated. All I had believed was threatened. The Word of God overwhelmingly contradicted my New Age worldview. I was sick with the conflict. I can’t remember the specific turning point, but in one moment, I realized I had been utterly lied to by Satan and that everything I learned was a lie. I knew I couldn’t walk with Jesus and hold on to the lies. Jesus had saved me out of the utter darkness I had grown up in—including the confusion all these “beliefs” really led to. I chose to follow Him. “Jesus, I believe Your Word,” I prayed. And in one moment, my New Age worldview crumbled into an ash heap. Instead of feeling sad or lost—I felt free. A tremendous weight lifted off me. From that moment on, the Bible began to make sense for the first time.
I’ve never regretted that decision or failed to be thankful for the person that dared to tell me the truth.
It’s been years since I stepped out of the world of New Age and occult thought. It took time to be healed from the knots of lies I had believed. The clarity of the simple truth of God’s Word was a miracle to me.
I could not have imagined that, not too many years later, the very doctrines of death from which I was delivered had begun to seep into the very highest levels of the church. Before then, I underwent solid spiritual education and preparation through the Word of God and godly teachers such as Dr. Walter Martin who sharpened my discernment and helped me teach and train believers concerning spiritual warfare, the last days, and spiritual deception. I also had three encounters that showed me how deception could easily slip into Christian circles.
The first involved a “Christian” counselor a friend had recommended. Warning lights immediately went off as she began speaking of “The Christ Spirit,” the “divine within,” and using other New Age words I had once used myself. I broke off the meeting when she and her associate tried to lead us into a guided visualization meditation! I was shocked that my friend had recommended her as a Christian counselor.
The second incident was at a conference I had been invited to by a well-known Christian author. That weekend, her “spiritual father” taught, and from the moment he began to speak, I knew he was a New Age teacher, speaking about “God, whoever you conceive him or her to be, . . . the Bible, which contains the words of God . . .” and saying that Jesus swore and was married. Sadly, my attempt to reason with the writer who had invited me cost me the friendship.
The third incident involved a woman who asked me to explain why I thought Edgar Cayce was wrong. I explained that he practiced the occult. “But he healed people!” she protested.
“He was an occultist,” I answered.
“But he quoted out of the Bible and loved Jesus!” I then explained biblically and specifically why he was teaching the occult. She realized she had been deceived. It was revealed that the wife of one of her church’s elders was having an “invitation only” ladies’ Bible study where she taught Edgar Cayce and promoted other New Age concepts like reincarnation. She had also laid hands on and prayed for nearly every pastor in our city.
I thought these encounters I had witnessed were rare and that most Christians wouldn’t fall for such things. But somewhere in the late 1990s, New Age teachings—sometimes in very subtle forms—began gaining a foothold in the church, from “Christian Yoga” to Buddhist/Hindu-modeled meditation in the guise of “contemplative prayer.” It was the beginning of what soon became a flood of New Age-tinged, infused, or themed books and teachings right in the center of the church, from The Shack to Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis and more. I challenged these things scripturally, and I was often opposed for trying to expose the New Age and occult roots of these teachings.
In 2013, Roma Downey, star of the acclaimed TV series Touched by an Angel, and her husband Mark Burnett burst onto the Christian scene with their well-produced television series, The Bible, followed shortly thereafter with the movie, Son of God.
When I first heard, I assumed that Roma had departed from the New Age message that was so strongly evident in the series she co-starred in with her spiritual mother Della Reese. (Della was pastor of a large New Age/New Spiritualty church in California. She was totally committed to New Age principles.)
Immediately, Mark and Roma were widely embraced by the Christian world and media. Even though I knew how deeply committed Roma had been to New Age precepts, I was cautiously hopeful she had turned away from them. I began to research, hoping to find a testimony that would confirm she had broken with New Age teaching and become a true follower of Jesus Christ and His Word.
Instead, I found that Roma had graduated from John Roger’s University of Santa Monica—one of the most well-known New Age schools in the world—in 2010, and by 2011 was working with her husband on The Bible series.3 Roma was using all the right words about Jesus, but I feared she might be talking about another Jesus, one in complete affinity with New Age thought. Roma, a committed Catholic since childhood, said she had always loved Jesus yet had no conflict participating in a televised séance with well-known psychic John Edward who “channeled” her deceased mother.4
It was almost a certainty that Roma was still a committed New Age believer. Around the time of the release of Son of God, I was miraculously given an opportunity to personally hand Roma a copy of The Light that was Dark by Warren B. Smith, the testimony of how he and his wife were delivered out of the New Age and A Course in Miracles. I prayed that Roma would read it and turn away from the New Age and somehow communicate that in an upcoming interview, book, or article.
Box of Butterflies
In 2018, Roma Downey came out with a new book, Box of Butterflies. As I read the book, I was dismayed to see she had not rejected her New Age views at all. Box of Butterflies is filled with New Age precepts. Page after page has quotes from a mix of Christian, mystic, Buddhist, Muslim, and New Age leaders interspersed with her own Christian-sounding but New Age beliefs.
Box of Butterflies would fit in any New Age/New Spirituality/self-help bookstore section with no objection nor contradiction as to its contents, simply because there is nothing in Box of Butterflies that contradicts or, in fact, is not accepted and taught in the New Age/New Spirituality circles. Nothing. In many ways, the book is little different than many Christian self-help, possibility-thinking books that fill today’s Christian bookstores. The poison is always in the mixture.
Here is the problem. Roma Downey is not known in Christian circles as a “New Age” author but as one of us. Mark and Roma are accepted as believers—loving Hollywood luminaries who brought new life to religious films through The Bible series and Son of God. They have been given carte blanche into church leadership, pastoral circles, Christian media, and places of influence without question because their presentation, products, and faith appear to be the genuine. Their sincerity is so real that one is reticent to ask the most crucial question: Who is the Jesus of whom they speak? Jesus Himself said clearly there would be false Christs in the last days (Matthew 24:24). Is the Jesus they love the Jesus of the Word of God?
It is not unusual that New Age devotees accept all religions, believe in reincarnation, accept all religious books as equally valuable, do not believe in Hell, and can say with all sincerity, “I love Jesus with all my heart.” But the Jesus that New Agers love is a “Christ” who is one of many “ascended masters,” allows everyone into Heaven, and accepts everyone whether they believe in the blood sacrifice of Jesus as an atonement for their sins or not. This is the New Age world Roma has come from and, from all indications, never left.
Box of Butterflies has received endorsements from some of the most well-known and respected leaders and pastors in the evangelical world. This requires that we look carefully at what exactly they have endorsed. So many Christian leaders have endorsed Roma unreservedly that unsuspecting Christians have been given complete liberty to pursue Roma’s world and will suspect nothing as they take their first step into the world of New Age/New Spirituality that Roma lives by and promotes. With Box of Butterflies, the doors to the New Age have been thrown wide open.
The New Age/New Spirituality movement has a very clear and exacting agenda. The movement, in fact, is a very old movement that began with the Tower of Babel (see Genesis 11) where all people united in a multireligious occult community. It has continued through the teachings of Madame Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, and more recently, Neale Donald Walsch, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Marianne Williamson (author of A Return to Love), Rhonda Byrne (author of The Secret), Eckhart Tolle, and a plethora of others. This movement has always had vanguards who wrote and spoke to further the vision for a New Age in which all religions are one. Their belief is that we must unite the world under one banner that includes all people, all religions, all governments. It includes the need to absorb the church by slowly removing “old and outdated teachings” such as the Cross, sin, and Hell, replacing them with the idea that we must be one family under whatever “God” each person worships to save the world and bring peace. Their teachers and influencers are many and vast, from Oprah Winfrey to the late John Roger and his New Age university from which Roma graduated.
Roma’s Associations and Influencers
There’s an old expression: Tell me who you’re with, and I’ll tell you who you are. The people we affiliate with, the writers and teachers we recommend tell us a great deal about who we are.
We must put that test to some of those Roma quotes in Box of Butterflies. After we examine them, I’ll leave every Christian believer including pastors and leaders with the question: Are you comfortable recommending this book, knowing these things?
Let’s now look at some of those quoted in Box of Butterflies, who they are, what they say in this book, and what they believe.
Box of Butterflies gives three quotes by the Catholic mystic Thomas Merton, one of which states:
May we . . . not neglect the silence that is printed in the centre of our being. It will not fail us.5
For those not familiar with Merton, the following quotes from some of his writings and speeches illustrate his spiritual propensities:
I came with the notion of perhaps saying something for monks and to monks of all religions. . . . My dear brothers, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity.6 (emphasis added)
If only they [people] could all see themselves as they really are . . . I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other. . . . At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusions, a point of pure truth. . . . This little point . . . is the pure glory of God in us. It is in everybody.7
I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity. . . . I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.8
It is not difficult to see, when examining the teachings of Thomas Merton, that he clung to panentheistic (God in all) and interspiritual (all paths lead to God) views that contradict the Word of God.
Roma quotes Henri Nouwen several times in her book. Here is a small sampling from Nouwen’s books that illustrate his spirituality:
The God who dwells in our inner sanctuary is also the God who dwells in the inner sanctuary of each human being.9 (emphasis added)
[O]ur souls are those sacred centers where all is one . . . It is in the heart of God that we can come to the full realization of the unity of all that is.10 (emphasis added)
Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.11
David Richo, also quoted in Box of Butterflies, is a psychotherapist who uses Buddhist and other mystical practices with his clients. He is the author of several books promoting the New Age, such as Everything Ablaze: Meditating on the Mystical Vision of Teilhard de Chardin (Chardin is considered broadly to be the “father” of the New Age movement). Any Christian with even the least amount of biblical discernment would never favorably quote Richo.
Rabindranath Tagore was a Hindu and the author of the book Sadhana: The Realization of Life, which touts panentheistic beliefs. In Box of Butterflies, Roma quotes him as saying:
Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.12
Tagore is speaking of all people, no matter what their beliefs are or where they put their faith. Contrary to his belief stated above, death is followed by darkness for those who reject Jesus. In his book, Sadhana, Tagore says, “death is not the reality.”13 But for the lost unbeliever, death is not only the reality, it is the place of eternal separation from God. The spiritual teachings of Tagore do not belong in a box of butterflies (butterflies symbolizing life and hope) but are rather in the remains of dead empty cocoons where there is no life at all. Obviously, by Roma quoting him, she is gleaning from his teachings and passing them on to unaware Christians.
One of the most concerning persons quoted in Box of Butterflies is Robert Holden, a New Age motivational speaker and author. Roma gives Holden an entire page in her book. A few lines are:
The belief that happiness has to be deserved has led to centuries of pain, guilt, and deception. So firmly have we clung to this single, illusory belief that we’ve almost forgotten the real truth about happiness. . . . Happiness is natural, happiness is a birthright, happiness is free, happiness is a choice, happiness is within, and happiness is being.14
Holden’s website states:
Robert Holden Ph.D.’s innovative work on psychology and spirituality has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, a PBS show called Shift Happens! and in two major BBC documentaries. . . .
Robert is the author of Happiness NOW!; Shift Happens!; Authentic Success; Be Happy; Loveability; . . . 365 Daily Meditations from A Course in Miracles; and Life Loves You, co-written with Louise Hay [the founder of Hay House, the largest New Age publishing house.]15
There is nothing in Robert Holden’s writings to even suggest he believes in or follows the Jesus Christ of the Bible but everything to show he is a devoted New Age teacher. For those reading this who are not familiar with A Course in Miracles (essentially the New Age “Bible”), the following section by former New Age follower and Course devotee Warren B. Smith explains:
A Course in Miracles . . . claims it is new revelation that was supposedly delivered by Jesus Himself to . . . Helen Schucman [who] claimed she heard an inner voice saying, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.” So, for seven years she took down the notes. It was a whole new philosophy about life. It was a whole new religion, if you will. . . .
The Jesus of A Course in Miracles . . . says the following things, and they are not true. “The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.” And, “The journey to the cross should be the last useless journey.”
Another thing the Jesus of A Course of Miracles said was, “Do not make the pathetic error of clinging to the Old Rugged Cross.” These things I know now are total blasphemy to believers in Christ, but somebody who doesn’t know what happened on the cross wouldn’t know that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and to defeat the Devil.
Then, there was a most interesting statement this New Age Jesus claimed, “There is no sin. There is no evil. There is no Devil.” Okay, with that you have pretty much turned the Bible upside down, and all in the name of what? Love. It’s all done in the name of love.
The one spectacular heresy that this New Age Jesus said that is really significant, especially today, is that when this Jesus was asked, “Are you Christ?” He responded, “Yes, and along with you.”16
With such quotes, affiliations, and sympathies that Roma has exhibited in Box of Butterflies, there cannot be any doubt as to her affinity with the New Age. She obviously is very familiar with who Robert Holden is and that he teaches from A Course in Miracles. Roma would not quote him if she did not believe what he says. Again, tell me who you’re with, and I will tell you who you are.
Three Points of Focus in Box of Butterflies
When we take Box of Butterflies as a whole, we can see three themes that run through the book.
I. Possibility Thinking
Throughout the book, with Roma’s quotes, references, and statements, the message is: There is nothing really wrong with you; you just need to wake up to who you are, remember you are in God (and God is in you), and accept that you are full of power, love, and possibility just the way you are and who you always have been (“I pray this book is a moment of remembering for you. A remembering of who you really are.”17) This is a theme echoed by the Muslim poet Rumi whom Roma also quotes, “My soul is from elsewhere. I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”18
The “Gospel” of possibility thinking presented in Box of Butterflies is a contradiction to the biblical view of man that we are born into sin, that we are born into a broken world, and that we need a Redeemer to save and deliver us from our sin. If we really “remembered who we are,” we would remember that without Him, we are in spiritual darkness. Scripture tells us we need to turn from that old dark lifeless existence (repent), come to the Cross, and be born again into new life. Roma’s book expresses the overall New Age teaching of accepting the inherent goodness in all people and in yourself.
Man’s heart is sinful, and he is separated from God because of it. It is only in trusting in the Lord Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross for our sins and being born anew that we can truly “remember who we are” with an accurate assessment. Outside of that provision God gave mankind for salvation, there is nothing within us that can save our souls from eternal separation from God. If you believe the Word of God, then you realize that the idea that we are inherently good and just need to “remember who we are” is a deception meant to keep us from recognizing that “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This foundational biblical belief is nowhere to be found in Box of Butterflies. But the opposite view is.
II. Universalism and “Separation”
From Box of Butterflies:
Define yourself radically as one beloved by God . . . every other identity is an illusion.19—John Eagan, a Jesuit who practiced Ignatian exercises
I am sorry, God, for forgetting the truth. That you are my Father, and I am your child. That we all belong to one family.20 —Roma Downey (emphasis added)
There are people in the world who really get it. Who embody the great possibility that dwells within each one of us. The potential we all have to love, to speak truth, to connect no matter our differences. To understand that we are all one, that we all belong to each other, that we are all one big, beautiful family of God.21 Roma (emphasis added)
Tucked carefully within the pages of Box of Butterflies is the language of universalism—that we are all part of God’s family; whether Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, we are all one.
It goes much deeper, however. As in the first quotes in this booklet, Roma says something that absolutely defines her beliefs in New Age thought when she states:
The illusion of separation is just that, an illusion. . . . If we are all God’s children, it means that we are all one family. . . . We are all the family of God. We forget. We get caught up in separation. . . . We all belong to each other.22 (emphasis added)
The “illusion of separation” is a teaching that humans are not, and never have been, separated from God, or each other, and that to believe there is a separation between God and man is an “illusion.”
We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.23—Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist (emphasis added)
But why do most of us have this mentality? . . . The illusion of separation is what causes this. On the surface . . . we all appear separated. But this is the base level of who we are. When you start to peel away the surface of the ego, brain, and assorted vehicles (physical, astral, and mental), you will find that we exist within the network of the Universal Mind or All That Is. . . . But we forget.24
This “illusion of separation” that Roma has placed in her book is a core principle of New Age thought. Typing that phrase into a search engine will bring up hundreds of New Age and occult websites. What’s more, this “illusion of separation” teaching is now being introduced into the church through others and now through Roma Downey; and Christian leadership is giving this New Age belief a pass.
Let’s read the words of two more New Age teachers on the matter:
A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need to correct.25—A Course in Miracles
You are to destroy the illusion of separation.26—Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God
This “illusion of separation” is becoming so prevalent in the church that former New Age follower Warren Smith wrote a booklet titled Oneness vs. Separation Heresy: Now in the Church solely devoted to this teaching. To really understand how detrimental this “illusion of separation” heresy is, read his booklet as it offers numerous quotes by both New Agers and Christian leaders alike.
We are separated from our Creator God through sin. If separation is an illusion, as Roma states, then there was no reason for Jesus to die on the Cross. He died because sin separated us from God, and the only way to save us was through Jesus shedding His blood for us. To reject that this blood sacrifice on the Cross is the only way to be reconciled to the Father is to deny the very heart of the Gospel and the reason Jesus came to the earth and gave His life.
III. The Butterfly Effect
The butterfly is the vehicle through which Roma brings her message in the book. For Roma, she sees the butterfly as a symbol of many things: hopefulness, life, God speaking to her, etc. But much more is going on here. Through her use of the butterfly metaphor, Roma’s views on death, Heaven, and our departed loved ones are revealed. It begins with a story of Roma at her mother’s grave when she and her father witness a passing butterfly:
“Would you look at that little butterfly. That could be your mother’s spirit right there!” her father says, a story she repeated in 2018 on a CBN interview.27 This is not just a touching story or analogy. Roma believes her mom uses butterflies to speak to her from beyond the grave:
These gifts, these simple moments that show that He is here and that your loved ones are still surrounding you, are the ones that lift my heart and give me strength. They show me that the veil between this world and the next is just that, a thin veil. We are closer than we think, though we may feel so far. Separation is just an illusion.28 (emphasis added)
Roma wraps up her book with the death/butterfly theme with a story of how she won a prize in a contest, and it turned out a woman who made jewelry had a “unique” piece and felt Roma should have it. It was a butterfly. Roma said, “Tears sprang to my eyes. Immediately, I knew it was from my mom. That it was a message from her. I’m still here, Roma. All these years later, I’m still right here. . . . That ring was a gift from my dear mother. It was meant for me.”29 (Her grief is so palpable on these pages, it is painful to even address it.)
Those moments were so validating to me. I then understood that my mother is still reaching out to me. That I will see her again. That I will be reunited with the loving energy of my mom and dad.30
At this point, I realize that bleeding through nearly every page of the book is a grieving little girl who never got over the death of her parents. A recurring theme of grief and the afterlife are tied in with some dangerous misleading conclusions about it all.
While my heart is saddened for Roma’s pain, I am deeply troubled that unsuspecting readers may take cues from her and seek their own communication or “signs” from departed loved ones. While very likely well intentioned and sincere, Roma is actually bringing potentially millions into harm’s way by promoting ideas and practices that do not align with the God of the Bible.
The Heart of the Matter
The Bible is very clear on the following points: 1) all paths do not lead to God, 2) salvation is only through Jesus Christ, 3) Hell and judgment are real, and 4) there is a coming tribulation in which Satan will try to unite the whole world against God and against His Christ ending with the visible return of the real Jesus to judge the living and the dead.
The Bible also says that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” As someone who was once steeped in the occult and the New Age, my heart is grieved for Roma and her husband Mark as well as for those who are being led down that same path. I am also grieved because I do not see Christian leaders discerning the New Age nature of Roma’s message. Have any of them, such as David Jeremiah (who publicly showed his unwavering support for her in 201531), sat down to explain to Roma and Mark the vital importance of breaking away from all New Age, occultic, and unbiblical ideologies and practices? Has Jeremiah and other leaders in the evangelical church ever asked them if they 1) believe that Jesus Christ is the only provision God has made for man to go to Heaven; 2) believe that the Bible is the Word of God, not just one of many “good” religious books; 3) believe there is a real Hell and a real judgement; and 4) believe that God does not dwell in every human being, that there is a separation between man and God and not everyone will be saved?
After reading this booklet and the quotes and documentation I have provided, you may be very surprised at the list of Christian leaders below, all who gave glowing endorsements for Box of Butterflies. Incidentally, I sent a letter with the same information to several of the names mentioned below.
Jonathan Falwell, Lisa Bevere, Samuel Rodriguez, Andy Stanley, Max Lucado, Rick and Kay Warren, Matthew Barnett (founder of the Dream Center), Mark Batterson (author of The Circle Maker), Christine Caine, TBN’s Laurie Crouch, Craig Groeschel (mega-church pastor), Ronnie Floyd (president, National Day of Prayer), Jim Daly (Focus on the Family president), Jerry Johnson (president of the National Religious Broadcasters), Erwin McManus, Kevin Palau (president of the Luis Palau Association), Andy Stanley (Charles Stanley’s son), and John Hagee who encourages people to “get several copies of this stunning book.” The only thing stunning about this book is that it has fooled all these evangelical leaders into thinking it is a God-given book. That is truly stunning!32
I have listed so many names to emphasize how serious this matter is. It’s not going to affect just a few people. Put together, these leaders and pastors have millions and millions of followers whom they influence. How can these leaders exhibit this drastic lack of discernment? I see three possibilities. One, is that as one Christian media representative told me, they are “aware of the issues” but have decided to go ahead and sell their material “for the greater good”—basically putting profit before principle and truth. Or two, they were so overwhelmed with the sheer genuineness and charm of Mark and Roma that they did not even read the book before, which is a terribly irresponsible thing to do. And three, they did read it, and they did not discern or care to discern the dangerous New Age nature of the book. I chill at the possibility that the third may be true.
In 2019, the National Religious Broadcaster’s Convention, called Proclaim 19, will take place in Anaheim, California. Some of the speakers lined up for the event are Greg Laurie, Rick and Kay Warren, Charles Stanley, John MacArthur, and Kirk Cameron—and along with those names scheduled to speak are Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.33 If this is what evangelical leadership has come to, then dark days are ahead for mainstream Christianity as it reaches deeply into this box of deceptive butterflies.
To order copies of Butterfly Illusions, click here.
1. Roma Downey (Light Workers Media, LLC), Box of Butterflies (Howard Books, Simon and Schuster, 2018), p. 221, Kindle (e-pub) location 2520.*
2. Grace Gabriella Puskas, “A New Cycle” (Body, Mind Spirit magazine, Summer, 2018).
3. https://web.archive.org/web/20170628124120/http://www.universityofsantamonica.edu/testimonial/roma-downey-5; http://www.browsebiography.com/bio-roma_downey.html.
4. https://web.archive.org/web/20160331011148/http://www.locatetv.com/tv/crossing-over-with-john-edward/1821144; https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Roma%27s+TV+chat+to+dead+mother.-a082422578.
5. Roma Downey, Box of Butterflies, op. cit., p. 165, Kindle location 1913; citing Thomas Merton from the book Hidden Ground of Love: The Letters of Thomas Merton (edited by William Shannon), p. 116.
6. “Thomas Merton’s View of Monasticism,” a talk delivered at Calcutta, October 1968 (The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton, 1975 edition, appendix III), p. 308.
7. Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Publishers, 1989), pp. 157-158.
8. David Steindl-Rast, “Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West” (Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969, http://www.gratefulness.org/readings/dsr_merton_recol2.htm).
9. Henri Nouwen, Here and Now (New York, NY: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1997 edition), p. 22.
10. Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1997), Jan. 15 and Nov. 16 daily readings.
11. Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey (New York, NY: Crossroad, 1998), p. 51.
12. Roma Downey, Box of Butterflies, op. cit., p. 229, Kindle location 2599.
13. Rabindranath Tagore, Sadhana: The Realization of Life (public domain Kindle copy from Amazon), Kindle location 437. For another exposé on Box of Butterflies, read Lois Putnam’s article, “To Unpack Roma Downey’s Box of Butterflies Is to Discover a Core False Teaching” at: http://whputnam00.blogspot.com/2018/06/a-book-review-to-unpack-roma-downeys.html.
14. Roma Downey, Box of Butterflies, op. cit., p. 202, Kindle location 2294; citing Robert Holden from Happiness Now (Hay House, 2007), p. 100.
17. Roma Downey, Box of Butterflies, op. cit., p. 11, Kindle location 225.
18. Ibid., p. 205, Kindle location 2314.
19. Ibid., p. 218, Kindle location 2476; citing John Eagan from A Traveler Towards Dawn.
20. Ibid., p. 225, Kindle location 2546.
21. Ibid., p. 149, Kindle location 1725.
22. Ibid., pp. 221-222, Kindle location 2520.
24. “The Illusion of Separation,” http://www.spiritual-experiences.com/articles-spirituality/illusion-separation.php.
25. Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles, Combined Volume (Mill Valley, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace, Third Edition, 2007, Kindle edition), p. 12, Kindle location 1452.
26. Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God: An Uncommon Dialogue (New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999, p. 21).
27. CBN interview with Roma Downey, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmteMi9DeiY.
28. Roma Downey, Box of Butterflies, p. 212, Kindle location 2413.
29. Ibid., p. 214, Kindle location 2431.
30. Ibid., p. 215, Kindle location 2441.
31. “Letter to the Editor: David Jeremiah Brings Roma Downey and Mark Burnett to Shadow Mountain Community Church,” https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=17111.
*The wording in the print edition and the Kindle (e-pub) edition of Box of Butterflies may vary slightly. This booklet has taken the wording from the Kindle edition.
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Confused by an Angel: The Dilemma of Roma Downey’s New Age Beliefs by Gregory Reid.
“GOD’S DREAM”—Satan’s Ultimate Scheme by Warren B. Smith
For a complete listing of Lighthouse Trails resources including other materials by Gregory Reid, visit http://www.lighthousetrails.com or write, call, or e-mail to request a catalog. You may also visit Greg’s website at: http://www.thecolorofpain.com.