15 March 2014

Pentecostal Megachurch Pastor Says Jesus Christ Led Him to Convert to Roman Catholicism

The road to Rome is paved in part with charismaticism. At least, that is how it is beginning to appear in light of several recent events. It was only a short time ago that Pope Francis reached out to Kenneth Copeland—perhaps the most treacherous, abominable Word Faith leader of influence today—with a message of unity and peace as he called for a reconciliation between Roman Catholics and Charismatics. The pope's message was preceded by words from Anglican Episcopal bishop Tony Palmer, and of Palmer's remarks Stand Up for the Truth reports:
“The Catholic and Charismatic Renewal is the hope of the Church,” exclaims Anglican Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer, before a group of cheering followers at the Kenneth Copeland Ministries. Palmer said those words are from the Vatican. Before playing the video message from Pope Francis to Kenneth Copeland, Palmer told the crowd, “When my wife saw that she could be Catholic, and Charismatic, and Evangelical, and Pentecostal, and it was absolutely accepted in the Catholic Church, she said that she would like to reconnect her roots with the Catholic culture. So she did.” 

The crowd cheered, as he continued, “Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over. Is yours?” 

(Source)
Rome heartily welcomes those of the charismatic persuasion, and it appears that such beliefs allow one to stand underneath a broader "ecumenical umbrella," as John MacArthur describes it, than the true gospel allows.

Ulf Ekman. (Source)
Now it is being reported that a Pentecostal megapastor in Sweden, Ulf Ekman, has announced his conversion to Roman Catholicism. Charisma reports:
During his Sunday morning service, Ulf Ekman announced the he and his wife, Birgitta, are converting to Roman Catholicism.

Ekman is the founder of Word of Life, a megachurch in Uppsala, Sweden. News reports and blogs coming out of the nation reveal the congregation was “partially stunned” after hearing what was packaged as a “special announcement.” The theme was “Follow the Lamb Wherever He Goes."

. . .

“We have seen a great love for Jesus and a sound theology, founded on the Bible and classic dogma. We have experienced the richness of sacramental life. We have seen the logic in having a solid structure for priesthood, that keeps the faith of the church and passes it on from one generation to the next. We have met an ethical and moral strength and consistency that dare to face up to the general opinion, and a kindness towards the poor and the weak. And, last but not least, we have come in contact with representatives for millions of charismatic Catholics and we have seen their living faith.”

. . .

“All this has been both attractive and challenging,” Ekman says. “It really challenged our Protestant prejudices, and we realized that we, in many cases, did not have any basis for our criticism of them. We needed to know the Catholic faith better. This led us to the realize that it was actually Jesus Christ who led us to unite with the Catholic Church.”

Ekman calls his conversion a “personal journey” and says it was not his agenda to lead Word of Life toward Roman Catholicism or to collectively unite the church with the Catholic Church. “That would be unreasonable,” he says.

(Source)
Ekman retired as senior pastor of Word of Life in March 2013, but returned to the pulpit for this "special announcement." Of particular interest is the theme of Ekman's message, "Follow the Lamb Wherever He Goes," implying that his conversion to Catholicism was an act of following the Lord. The Pentecostal pastor declares that at the end of his "personal journey" he and his wife realized "that it was actually Jesus Christ who led us to unite with the Catholic Church."

Is this true? Would Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the One who declared, "I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me," really lead a person to the gates of the Roman Catholic Church? Would the Lamb Who was slain actually carry one who professes to be His own and lay that one at the feet of a religion that condemns the true and saving gospel?

At the Council of Trent (1545–1563), which sought to counter and respond to the Protestant Reformation, the idea of salvation by grace alone through faith alone was anathematized by the Roman Catholic Church. Here are just a handful of the canons set forth at that meeting:
Canon 9: If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema.

Canon 14: If anyone says that man is absolved from his sins and justified because he firmly believes that he is absolved and justified, or that no one is truly justified except him who believes himself justified, and that by this faith alone absolution and justification are effected, let him be anathema.

Canon 24: If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, let him be anathema.

(Source)
Further, the Roman Catholic Church dares to usurp the position of Jesus Christ as Head of the Church. Scripture unequivocally declares this to be the role of Christ alone:
And he [Christ] is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. (Col. 1:18)

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (Eph. 5:23–24)

having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Eph. 1:18–23)
Yet Rome denies this, and instead elevates a mere man to fill this role, thereby usurping the headship of Christ. Vatican I stated:
So, then, if anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema. (Vatican I, Session 4, Ch. 3) 
Vatican City. Photo: Wikimedia
Vatican II further affirms this:
The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. (Vatican II, LG 22)
To the Christian who affirms the veracity and authority of Scripture, then, it seems quite clear that it was not Jesus Christ who led Ulf Ekman to convert to Roman Catholicism. Yet, why is it so attractive and so easy for charismatics to travel down the damning road to Rome? Dr. John MacArthur has quite a bit to say on the subject in his book, Strange Fire:
The unifying feature that binds the Charismatic Movement together is not the truth of the gospel, but rather ecstatic spiritual experiences and physical phenomena like speaking in tongues. . . .
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal (or CCR) began in 1967, when a group of students reportedly received the baptism of the Spirit and began speaking in tongues. The movement was soon officially recognized by Pope John Paul II, and expanded quickly with the Catholic Church's blessing. According to Allan Anderson, "By 2000 there were an estimated 120 million Catholic Charismatics, some 11 per cent of all Catholics worldwide and almost twice the number of all the classical Pentecostals combined." Such numbers indicate that more than one-fifth of the global charismatic population consists of Roman Catholics. Though Catholic charismatics hold to Roman Catholic doctrine—including Rome's denial that believers are justified by faith alone, belief in the ex opera operato efficacy of the seven Roman sacraments, all the idolatry of the Catholic Mass, and the idolatrous veneration of Mary—they have been openly embraced by many Protestant Pentecostal and charismatic groups.
As T.P. Thigpen explains, "Charismatic Catholics, like others in the pentecostal movement, have come to share a basic experience: an encounter with the Holy Spirit with certain charisms that typically follow. . . ."
(John MacArthur, Strange Fire [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2013], 48–49) 
Indeed, the unifying theme is that of an emotional experience outside of and beyond the clear, objective truth of God's Word. When experience comes to triumph over truth, any aberrant doctrine will easily and even eagerly be embraced. MacArthur later states in his book that the acceptance of Catholic charismatics "by the broader Charismatic Movement" led to "the historic distinctives of Protestant doctrine" being "set aside (or deemed insignificant) by many charismatics, simply because their Catholic counterparts have spoken in tongues or embraced other aspects of the charismatic experience" (Strange Fire, 72–23).

In another article at Charisma, it is shared that Ekman had long been dancing with the notion of "unity" within the church:
Their yearning for unity goes even further back in time. Ulf mentions an incident that happened at the end of the '70s, where he was sitting in a restaurant with a schoolmate when he suddenly started to cry.

“I had an instantaneously (sic) experience of how Jesus feels about His church being divided," he says. "It was like a flash, that this doesn’t please God and that Jesus mourns over this fact.”

The experience at the lunch restaurant then vanished from Ulf’s memory but returned during the past decade, he says. In the recent process, the discovery of unity has been very central and essential.

(Source)
Yet the fact that "unity" is sought at the expense of truth by so many demonstrates that the idea of unity that is growing in emphasis between the charismatic movement and Roman Catholicism is a false unity that is fostered by the Great Deceiver himself. And it is not simply these two groups that have been outspoken and calling for unity in recent days. It is heard from other corners of Protestantism and evangelicalism. The cry for compromise cloaked in unity is growing louder seemingly by the day, and the true Christian walking the narrow path must be watching and must be wise. We pray, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus," but while we wait for His great and glorious return, we must remain vigilant and zealous—vigilant as we defend the truth, and zealous as we proclaim the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.

Further Reading
To Those Who Would Usurp the Headship of Christ, Fall on Your Faces
Rejecting the Papacy
Beth Moore Prophesies a Coming 'Outpouring,' Warns of 'Scoffers'

5 comments:

  1. Yes he is right. It was Jesus that lead him into the fold of Rome. Yet this Roman Jesus is not the Jesus revealed to us in the Word of God. It is a different being... Romanism is entirely different religion, with entirely different "gospel" and yes entirely different "God" despite names terms and teachings from the Bible which they use while pouring into them different meanings just as Mormons do for example. Roman Catholic "God" is NOT the True Triune God despite their proclamations to the contrary. One proof out of many:


    841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

    Catechism of The Roman Catholic Church, point 841
    Official Vatican link:http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P29.HTM

    Folding like the one in Uppsala will only accelerate and you will see many of this in United States.

    Sapere aude.

    Despeville

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is awful news to wake to but Scripture does warn us that this is exactly what is going to happen - where to start - all of the JUDE would be good for everyone to meditate upon today.

    If anyone visiting this blog needs information on the Catholic Church for themselves or for loved ones whom they need to reach here are a few sermons: John MacArthur's Part 1 of 2 parts "Explaining the Heresy of the Catholic Mass" [which is only 2 parts to a sermon series on the Heresy of the Catholic Church"]
    http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-318/explaining-the-heresy-of-the-catholic-mass-part-1
    Plus this sermon I found from a preacher named Dr David Murray entitled, "The Pope's Funeral" from the Sermon Audio site:
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=4100515287

    Thank you again for keeping us all up to date. May God continue to bless us with sound Biblical teachers who do not stray from the Word.
    Colette

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maybe you won't appreciate the conspiracy theory, but bear with me anyway since some conspiracies are true (Psalm 2:1-2).

    These guys were always jesuits. Catholic troops that played the game in "evangelicalism" until they could win over enough trust to do what was their goal from the beginning, that goal being, bring 'em to Rome.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "The fact is, the most formidable, relentless, and deceptive enemy in Satan’s long war on the truth has been Roman Catholicism. It’s an apostate, corrupt, heretical, false Christianity—a thinly veiled façade for the kingdom of Satan."

    http://www.gty.org/blog/B130221?term=long%20war%20for%20the%20truth

    ReplyDelete
  5. Okay this caught me totally off guard. The Pope? Kenneth Copeland? Surely the anti-christ will be making an appearance soon! However upon further reflection it makes perfect sense. Charismatic Catholics aside; just look at Romanism in general. Works righteousness theology, visions of “Mary” and “miracles” (like bleeding statues and Cheetos shaped like “Jesus”), extra biblical traditions and Papal decrees, that are considered on par with scripture; the RCC is lockstep in alignment with Charismatics/Pentecostalism. Pentecostals have their visions of angels, trips to heaven, extra-biblical revelation, God “talks” to them on regular basis, “miracles” like “glory clouds” and “gold fillings”. They are different sides of the same coin.

    ReplyDelete

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