By Brannon S. Howse
At the heart of this coming together lies the co-opting of the charismatic movement I mentioned at the beginning of the chapter. Tony Palmer explains how the process began with the Catholic charismatic movement in 1967:
[quote] The Roman Catholic charismatic renewal began back in 1967. That’s less than 50 years ago. In Duquesne University in North America, a handful of Catholic Christians got together for a prayer meeting for the weekend. They’d heard about the renewal of Pentecost from the Azusa Street Revival, so they called a few Pentecostal friends to come to their prayer meeting for the weekend and asked if they would lay hands on them so that they, the Catholic brothers and sisters, could receive the baptism, the infilling of the Holy Spirit—and they did it. And so these few Christians, Catholic Christians, back in 1967, receiving the Holy Spirit in such a way they were baptized by the Spirit, this movement has now grown to be over 200 million born again and Spirit-filled Catholic Christians throughout the world. This is what the movement, how wide the movement is today. [end quote]
The World Catholic Report website offers a similar connection to the Azusa Street Revival:
The article also describes how a priest embraced the charismatic movement, giving it what seemed to be permission to other Catholics to take part in this.
Since then, this charismatic Catholic renewal movement has become mainstream. And although I think he’s extreme, heretical, ecumenical, and a false teacher, Rick Warren represents an incredible number of people in “mainstream” evangelicalism who are helping to mainstream the Catholic church within evangelicalism. Rick Warren offers tremendous credibility to the Roman Catholic Church. In an EWTN interview, he “vouched” for the spirituality of the pope this way:
[quote] Authenticity, humility, Pope Francis is the perfect example of this. 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. [end quote]
The pope is a humble man? He does everything right? He is our new pope? It’s difficult to see how the pope can be so humble when he claims to be the vicar of Christ—the very presence of Christ—on earth. And when he sits in the chair, ex cathedra, he supposedly speaks without error; he’s infallible. Hardly the image of humility, this is, rather, the epitome of arrogance and self-righteousness. Rick Warren panders to him so strenuously, though, that he claims the pope is doing everything right. In truth, he’s doing almost everything wrong, biblically speaking.
By his acceptance of the pope among evangelicals, I believe Warren helps build the false church known in Revelation 17:1 as the great harlot. He even supports Roman Catholic-style evangelization, as reflected in this quote in Tom Peterson’s book Catholics Come Home:
[quote] I fully support the Catholic Church’s new evangelization, which basically says we’re to re-evangelize people who are Christian in name but not in heart, and they need a new, fresh relationship to our Savior. [end quote]
And in a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is move, Rick Warren welcomed to his church a spiritual director trained by a Roman Catholic. He explains in an interview how this came about:
[quote] The Vatican recently sent a delegation here to Saddleback, the pontifical council, the Academy for Life, to tell me what they discovered and why did they come, this was a sizable group. . . . [T]here were about 30 bishops from Europe, one of the men who had been actually trained and mentored by Jean Vanier and, 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’m very excited about that. [end quote]
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