First she’s there; now she’s gone, or is she? New Age sympathizer Roma Downey was scheduled to speak at the National Religious Broadcaster’s 2019 convention, Proclaim 19. Sharing the docket with her are highly popular evangelical names like John MacArthur, Rick Warren, Greg Laurie, and Kirk Cameron. Lighthouse Trails reported on the story with the release of Greg Reid’s booklet, Butterfly Illusions (which unveils the strong New Age messages in Roma Downey’s new book, Box of Butterflies).
Shortly after the release of the booklet, Lighthouse Trails learned that Roma Downey’s name (along with her husband Mark Burnett) had been removed from the speakers list for Proclaim 19. Calls to the NRB office in Washington, DC by Lighthouse Trails editors provided no answers as to why Downey’s name was gone other than being told “it has not yet been decided” if she will be speaking there. As has been the “normal” protocol for Christian leaders when they get challenged, there is just dead silence from NRB as well as from the evangelical figures who are involved. But new information about Roma Downey’s beliefs will hopefully prompt NRB and Christian leaders to be responsible and do the right thing.
God “In” Everyone and Everything?
The crux of the New Age is not Ouija boards and Tarot cards but rather is the foundational belief that God is “in” everyone and “in” everything. It is the prevailing doctrine throughout all New Age teachings as well as the root of mystical meditation. To believe that God is in everyone and in everything is to ultimately reject the Cross (whether one realizes that or not). If God is in everyone, then there would have been no reason for Jesus Christ to go to the Cross as a substitute for humanity’s sins because we would already be divine and not need a Savior. That is why one prominent New Age leader quoted his “God” as saying, “the era of the Single Savior is over”1 (because we are all Saviors). It would stand to reason that Christian teachers and pastors who profess to know God’s Word and His ways would easily recognize the contrast between New Age spirituality and biblical Christianity. But in the case of Roma Downey and today’s Christian leaders, this is not so.
For many years now, Roma Downey has consistently and publicly shown herself to be strongly aligned with the New Age. Her long-time spiritual mentor was New Age/New Thought pastor and teacher Della Reese whom Downey considered to be a mother figure. Downey then attended and, in 2010, graduated from the University of Santa Monica (one of the most popular New Age schools in the world). And she favorably quotes the school’s New Age leader and founder, the late John-Roger2 (who claimed he was inhabited by the “mystical traveler consciousness”). Shortly after her graduation from USM, Downey came on the evangelical Christian scene (calling herself a devout Catholic), producing Bible-story movies and being wholeheartedly welcomed by numerous Christian celebrities (see some photo examples below) including Rick Warren, David Jeremiah, Greg Laurie, Samuel Rodriguez (she wrote the foreword to his 2017 book, Be Light), and Joel Osteen. And now, most recently, her open-armed welcome to speak at Proclaim 19 with John MacArthur, Rick Warren, Greg Laurie, and Kirk Cameron.
Christian Leaders Say Nothing
Until concern was issued by Lighthouse Trails and others, none of the men listed above had any apparent problem with being associated with Roma Downey. But do they even know or care about what she believes? Or have they just benefited from their association with her and ignored what she really stands for? (After all, she has gained the affection and following of millions and millions of people since her Touched by an Angel days—those associating with her would clearly glean from her substantial popularity.) On this point (i.e., the motives of the leaders), we can only speculate. But on the issue of Roma Downey’s New Age beliefs, we can know this for sure. For example, on two different interviews, one in 2012 (during the making of The Bible series) and one in April 2018, Downey stated that she believes God is “in” everyone and everything. (See videos below.) And as Greg Reid shows in his booklet Butterfly Illusions, Downey’s new book Box of Butterflies echoes this same message that God is in everyone by stating that separation is an illusion.3 Reid confronts Christian leaders (many of whom gave their hearty endorsements for Box of Butterflies) for not being more discerning and also for not correcting Roma Downey and her husband about their New Age beliefs and showing them that such beliefs are the antithesis of the message of the Bible and the Gospel, and the two absolutely cannot mix or be joined together. (We must interject here that recently Greg Reid had the opportunity to hand Roma Downey a copy of Warren B. Smith’s biography The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace—can Christian leaders say they have done even half that much to point Roma Downey in the right direction?)
In Warren Smith’s own booklet, Be Still and Know That You Are Not God (God is NOT in Everyone and Everything), Smith states:
Our Spiritual Adversary would have everyone believe that we are all “one” because God is “in” everyone and everything. Using every promotional means possible—including a creative and ingenious perversion of quantum physics—he is attempting to convince the world and the church that while Jesus was Christ, so is everyone. And while Jesus was God, so is everyone else. To underscore this heretical New Age doctrine of God and Christ “in” everyone, he would have us further believe that nothing of any significance happened on the Cross of Calvary. However, the Bible makes it very clear that something extremely wonderful and overwhelmingly significant did happen on the Cross of Calvary. For it was on that Cross that Jesus Christ died to save the world as He defeated sin (1 John 2:2), death (2 Timothy 1:10), and the Devil himself (Hebrews 2:14). As the one and only Christ, He is our Rock (1 Corinthians 10:1-4), He is our Foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11), and in every sense of the word He is the Saviour of the world (1 John 4:14).
The tragedy about this situation between Roma Downey and Christian leaders is that the leaders are using Roma Downey, Roma Downey is using the leaders, and our Adversary is using them both—and countless naïve and undiscerning Christians are buying into the whole thing.
Is Roma Downey going to be speaking at Proclaim 19? We don’t know. NRB is saying nothing about the removal of her name except the unofficial comment to Lighthouse Trails that “it has not yet been decided.” We urge NRB as well as John MacArthur, Greg Laurie, Kirk Cameron, and the other leaders to do the right thing—to speak the truth in love to Roma Downey about the dangers of her New Age beliefs that directly contradict the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Washington Post Interview – 2012
100 Huntley Street Interview – April 2018 (start at 1:30 min. mark) (100 Huntley Street is Canada’s equivalent to the 700 Club in the U.S.)
PHOTOS THAT SAY A THOUSAND WORDS:
1. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2002), p. 157.
2. On Roma Downey’s August 4th 2011 Twitter.
3. To understand the “lie of separation” heresy, read Warren B. Smith’s booklet, Oneness vs. Separation Heresy “Now” in the Church
(Photo of butterflies from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)