In an informal seven-minute video that has been posted to YouTube, Pope Francis calls for the unity of all Christians. The context is even more instructive. The video was recorded on a smartphone owned by Anglican Episcopal charismatic bishop Anthony Palmer when he visited the Vatican recently. Palmer has known the pope since the latter was an archbishop in Argentina. The pope’s video clip was recorded to be played at a Pentecostal pastors conference hosted by Kenneth Copeland, a man laden down with heresies who falls on the floor and laughs hysterically while “drunk in the spirit.” The pope said that all Christians are to blame for disunity, and that God has begun the miracle of Christian unity and will finish it.
In his remarks at the Copeland crusade before the pope’s video was played, Palmer showed that he is a passionate and effective one-world church builder. He has a personal testimony of conversion experience, says he believes in salvation by God’s grace alone, and is well spoken and personable. But he could not be more deceived. Consider the following statements carefully that Palmer made as a prelude to the pope’s remarks: “I come tonight in the spirit of Elijah, which is the spirit of reconciliation. ... I've come to understand that diversity is divine; it’s division that is diabolic. ... It’s the glory that glues us together, not the doctrine. If you accept that the presence of God is in me and the presence of God is in you, that’s all we need. God will sort out all our doctrines when we get upstairs. ... Division destroys our credibility. ... I believe we will see more people go out into the churches in the spirit of Elijah. We need to throw as much resources and energy into the ministry of reconciliation as we do to the ministry of evangelization. I challenge you to find a bridge builder and back him.”
Nothing could be more dangerous and unscriptural than to replace Bible doctrine with experience as the basis of unity. This is the heart and soul of the charismatic delusion, and now we see it being proposed by the pope of Rome as the foundation for a one-world church. In his own call for unity, Palmer said nothing about the heresies of the papacy, the priesthood, sacramentalism, infant baptism, baptismal regeneration, the mass, mariolatry, purgatory, the saints, prayers to the dead, nunnery, monasticism, and a host of other heresies. He said nothing about Copeland’s Word-Faith heresies. With his philosophy of “Elijah reconciliation,” none of that matters as long as an individual loves “Jesus,” believes the “gospel,” and has the “spirit.” We aren't allowed to examine WHAT Jesus, WHAT gospel, or WHAT spirit. That type of examination would spoil the unity and bring us right back to division, which, we are led to believe, is diabolic.
What spiritual deception! How late the hour is! No wonder Jesus warned that false teachers will become so subtle that “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Mat. 24:24). Be not deceived, the following verse singlehandedly destroys the call for end-time unity: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
(Friday Church News Notes, February 28, 2014, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143)