Tuesday, August 26, 2014


MICHAEL W. SMITH performed at the Catholic-sponsored World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado, in 1993. Smith and guitarist-songwriter BILLY SPRAGUE performed with Catholic Kathy Troccoli at a concert in November 1985 in Tampa, Florida. The concert was sponsored by Youth for Christ and the First Assembly of God of Clearwater, Florida (St. Petersburg Times, Florida, Religious Section, Nov. 9, 1985, p. 3). Smith also wrote the foreword to Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel, which is published by Multnomah Press. Manning is a Roman Catholic who attends mass daily.
In 1997, Smith joined the Roman Catholic Kathy Troccoli and 40 other CCM artists to record Love One Another, a song that talks about tearing down the walls of denominational division. Smith testifies that he has had many charismatic experiences, though he doesn’t like the label “charismatic” because of “negative baggage associated with the term.” At a Full Gospel Business Men’s meeting he was “slain in the spirit” for 15 minutes and “laughed all the way home” (Charisma, April 2000, p. 55). Another time he felt “a bolt of electricity go through my body from the top of my head to my toes--wham!” He also started laughing uncontrollably--“rolling on the floor,” “hyperventilating”--on that occasion. Inside Magazine interviewed Smith in 1991 and noted that his music is influenced by Alan Parsons. The interviewer said: “There’s also the influence of such groups as Alan Parsons in your music” (Inside Music, January/February 1991, p. 23). Smith’s quick reply was “DEFINITELY!” Parsons is one of the most occultic rock musicians. One of his songs is openly titled Lucifer


Evangelical Church Takes Another Big Step Toward Rome—This Time?: 
Franklin Graham
As Lighthouse Trails has been reporting on over the past number of months, evangelical church leaders are coming out of the woodwork like never before in showing their willingness to unite with and give credibility to the Catholic Church.
In March of this year, we posted Roger Oakland’s report on charismatic leader Kenneth Copeland’s open embracing of the Roman Catholic church (see “The Unification of Hyper-Charismatics and the Catholic Church”). In that article, Oakland stated:
How close we are to the unification of Rome with “Charismatic evangelicals” and eventually all religions. This is something that Understand The Times has been predicting for some years as the present Pope Francis and the last two Popes, Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul, have been active in promoting the New Evangelization.
The purpose of the New Evangelization is to promote the Roman Catholic gospel by reaching out to all religions as well as the separated brethren and introducing them to the Eucharistic Christ.
 Oakland’s report includes a video clip of Kenneth Copeland and Tony Palmer (an evangelical “evangelist” for the Catholic Church who was recently killed in a motorcycle accident). This video is worth watching and will help show how far the evangelical church has gone on the road to Rome. In the video, Palmer who was speaking at Copeland’s church told the congregation that he was coming in “the spirit of Elijah” similar to that of John the Baptist. As you watch this video, you will see that the “spirit” in which Palmer was coming was what he called “reconciliation” (meaning Protestants reconciling with the “Mother” church). Incidentally, Catholic priest Henri Nouwen put much emphasis on this type of “reconciliation,” and as Ray Yungen showed in A Time of Departing,Nouwen used the means of contemplative mysticism to remove the walls between biblical Christianity and Roman Catholicism.
Also in March, we posted a short piece titled “A Picture Says a Thousand Words,” which showed a banner from Ambrose University that stated “Catholics and Evangelicals in God’s Mission Together” (just one of many examples where Christian colleges are showing an affinity with Roman Catholicism.
Back in February of this year, we posted “A Word of Caution: Ecumenical-Backed Movie, “Son of God,” May Send Subtle New Age/Roman Catholic Messages.”  We issued this warning about the Son of God movie because of the New Age/Roman Catholic influence that the producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey would have on the making of the film. In fact, Downey stated clearly that her intention in making the movie was to “bring people together.”1We know that means to break down the barriers between Christianity and Catholicism. And yet, many popular evangelical leaders gave raving endorsements of the film (e.g., Max Lucado, Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Erwin McManus, Pat Robertson, Luis Palau, and others).
Photo: Took place at Moody Bible Institute
Last December, Moody Bible Institute showed its favor toward Rome, which you can read about in our article “Embracing Contemplative Shows Ill Effects at Moody Bible Institute in Ecumenical “Road to Rome” Event.” This photo to the left shows some of those who were involved with the event. While it was a student-led event, a professor from Moody helped to moderate it (interesting because he is a convert from Catholicism to Protestantism).
Then in May of this year, we posted Roger Oakland’s 5-part series on Rick Warren’s interview on a Catholic television network where Warren admitted: he is influenced by Catholic mystics, calls Pope Francis “our Pope,” and tells how he and his wife Kay turn to Catholic ceremonies for comfort and encouragement.
Most recently, in August of this year, we posted “Is Beth Moore’s “Spiritual Awakening” Taking the Evangelical Church Toward Rome?” making a number of different points to show that Beth Moore is showing more and more signs of heading toward Rome including a video where she illustrates on stage that she considers Roman Catholicism on par with Protestant Christianity. That article also showed James Robison’s strong propensity toward Roman Catholicism.
Now, Lighthouse Trails has learned that at the August 15-17 2014  gathering called “Three Rivers Festival of Hope” in Pittsburgh, PA, Franklin Graham (who led and organized the event) brought in Catholic Bishop David Zubik to give the opening prayer on stage with the large audience. During the bishop’s prayer, he acknowledged his belief that Protestants and Catholics are all part of the same church. While Graham’s public stand against homosexual marriage and his work to help the poor and needy is commendable, his giving a thumbs up to Roman Catholicism is moving the church closer and closer to complete apostasy. While we know that Graham’s father, Billy Graham, allowed Catholic counselors at his own crusade meetings (which sadly set a precedent), it’s a big jump to give a Catholic priest the platform at an evangelical event to lead in an ecumenical prayer that puts Catholicism on par with Protestant Christianity.
In a newspaper article advertising the Franklin Graham event, it states:
Photo: Catholic Bishop David Zubik
Bishop David Zubik said the festival dovetails with calls by recent popes to a “new evangelization,” bringing back cradle Catholics who drifted or became estranged from the faith.
“We felt as long as there was a Catholic component to this particular crusade, we wanted to be a part of it,” Bishop Zubik said.
Those who respond to Rev. Graham’s invitation to make a decision for Christ, and who identify as Catholic, will be given the opportunity to go to Epiphany Church — adjacent to the Consol Energy Center — for the sacrament of reconciliation, or confession.
“We’re right next door,” Bishop Zubik said.
Bishop Zubik said Catholics don’t share all of Rev. Graham’s controversial political statements but added: “That’s not what this is all about. The whole point is to bring people back to Jesus.” (source)
The question we have at Lighthouse Trails is, which Jesus is Franklin Graham sending these people to when he sends them to the Catholic Church for the sacrament? We believe the answer to that is “another” Jesus as the Bible warns will happen (2 Corinthians 11:4).
According to one article, nearly 26,000 people showed up to the Graham revival meeting with around 1700 coming forth to commit or recommit their lives to Jesus.
In an article written by Bishop Zubik titled “The Church Evangelizing!,” Zubik expresses his support for the papacy’s “New Evangelization” program that Roger Oakland has warned about in his books Another Jesus: the new evangelization and the eucharist christ and Faith Undone. In the article by Zubik, he states: “As Catholics, we invite others ‘to come to Jesus’ not only at events in stadiums, but to come to Him in the sacraments, most especially the Eucharist” (p. 8). Ironically, the Catholic Church as a whole holds the official position of “closed communion,” which means that only converts to Catholicism can legitimately partake in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Many evangelicals do not understand what the Catholic church teaches about the “sacraments” and the “Eucharist.” They do not realize that the Catholic belief is that Jesus Christ is actually in the wafer and his blood in the wine, and this “transubstantiation” takes place only when a Catholic priest prays over the bread and the wine. This continual re-crucifying of Christ is the benchmark of Catholic Church doctrine to the point of martyring those who would not accept that Jesus Christ was in a wafer (see Foxe’s story about a woman who was burned at the stake for refusing to accept the Catholic belief on the Eucharist.)
This woman, Mrs. Prest, gave up her life because she understood that the Catholic “Gospel” is a religion of works based on participation in the Eucharist and the other sacraments. According to Catholic doctrine, salvation is never certain because it is based on earning something that was meant to be free as opposed to the clear statement of the Bible that we can have full assurance of salvation in that it is based on grace through faith alone in the perfect, one-time sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. The Christian Gospel cannot be reconciled with the Sacrament of the Eucharist, but many are deceived into thinking they are one and the same thing merely because they are both focused on the Cross. But a gift that is earned is no longer a gift; in short, the free gift of salvation has been rendered useless by turning it back into a system of works. If you have not read Roger Oakland’s article and booklet The New Evangelization From Rome: Finding the True Jesus Christ, we urge you to do so as it lays out the Bible Gospel versus the Catholic “Gospel.”
Photo: The man with the Mary statue at the Franklin Graham crusade
Another aspect of the Catholic “Gospel” that shouldn’t be ignored can be seen on an interesting video (see video) on YouTube of a man who is being interviewed who tried to go into the Franklin Graham meeting but was denied access because he was carrying a statue of Mary, and security guards would not allow him to bring the statue in. What is worth noting is that this Catholic man states that the way to truly know God or Jesus is through Mary and that she will actually even usher in world peace and the second coming of Christ.
Frankly, what is the point of keeping a statue of Mary out of the Graham crusade but allowing a Catholic bishop to give the opening prayer? Perhaps Franklin Graham does not realize that embracing Catholicism cannot be a smorgasbord where you pick and choose which elements you want. Catholicism has a whole plethora of anathemas for those who differ on various unscriptural doctrinal points.
Lest you think that the Catholic Church’s “New Evangelization” program is only trying to reach “backslidden” Catholics, we need to ask the question, Who is the Catholic Church’s “New Evangelization” program trying to reach? The answer: Everyone! As Bishop Zubik states in his article: “Pope Francis has made it clear that our witness [for the Catholic Church] must be to and for everyone—to each other as fellow Catholics, active or not, as well as to other Christians, to non-Christians and to nonbelievers.”
While we believe that at least part of the motivation for these evangelical leaders to join forces with the Catholic church is politically and morally motivated to “help bring America back to God,” we believe this unifying for the sake of political and moral issues is going to backfire on the evangelical church as the Catholic papacy and leadership (including the Jesuits) are using these issues to “bring back the lost brethren to the Mother Church.” And the question that must be asked is, if this united ecumenical body of evangelicals and Catholics is successful in bringing in a new White House administration that holds to traditional moral values, will the compromise of Christian faith by evangelicals be able to be reversed and separation of the two different belief systems be restored? Not likely considering the level of spiritual deception the evangelical church is at today. In essence, a paradigm shift has already taken place. And what will happen if the ecumenical evangelical/Catholic effort is unsuccessful in bringing in a morally conservative White House administration in the next election in 2016? We can be sure that the now-very-blurred lines that have in the past distinguished evangelical Christianity from other belief systems will erode all together because unrepentant compromise never produces good fruit but only leads to further compromise. Rather, the foothold that Satan presently has will throw the door wide open for the making of a totally corrupt and apostate church.
For those evangelical/Protestants who believe we have much in common with the Catholic Church and can unify with it, consider these statements, which Warren B. Smith cited in his book “Another Jesus” Calling. They are taken from the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is the official source for all Roman Catholic doctrine today. After reading these quotes, can any Bible-believing Christian say they share the same faith as Roman Catholicism?:
“Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ.” (#795)
“For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” (#460)
“The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.” (#460)
Finally, what is it that we as Christians should hope for? For those who hope to see the church at large turn around from the apostasy that is upon her, there will be great disappointment. The Bible indicates such a falling away is going to happen. Our purpose should not be to hope that all of this will turn around but rather that those who have ears to hear and eyes to see will comprehend the times in which we live and remain steadfast in the faith and to the truth of the Gospel, which God has committed to us.
For biblical believers in Jesus Christ who see this taking place and refuse to become part of this apostasy, they will find themselves on the outside looking in, but when that day comes (and it’s not far off), it will be the safest place to be.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.(1 Corinthians 15:58)
(Friday Church News Notes, August 29, 2014,, 866-295-4143) - A Roman Catholic bishop gave the opening prayer for Franklin Graham’s Festival of Hope in Pittsburg, August 15-17. Bishop David Zubik rejoiced in the ecumenical spirit represented by the event (“Festival of Hope attendees enjoy final day of worship, music, Graham,” Pittsburg Tribune Review, Aug. 17, 2014). He prayed, “Lord, how good it is for us to be here: Orthodox, Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Catholic, and many more. Despite our differences, what draws us here is your Son Jesus Christ.” There is nothing new here. Though Franklin Graham is more outspoken on some matters than his father, Billy, he is totally on board with the ecumenical agenda. In 1999, Franklin said that his father’s ecumenical alliance with the Catholic Church and all other denominations “was one of the smartest things his father ever did” (“Keeping it simple, safe keeps Graham on high,” The Indianapolis Star, Thurs., June 3, 1999, p. H2). Billy Graham’s association with Rome goes back to the early days of his ministry before he came to prominence. We have documented this in the free eBook Billy Graham’s Sad Disobedience See also the report “Franklin Graham’s Radical Ecumenism.” 
Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

General Manager
 Dave Dames was a bored-at-Mass 16-year-old when a Protestant friend invited him to hear the Rev. Billy Graham preach at Pitt Stadium in 1968.
 Rather than leading him out of the Catholic Church, "it planted a seed to take my faith much more seriously," said Dames, a member of St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Perrysville. 
 Hoping that others will have the same experience, he and his wife, Judy, were among hundreds of Catholic volunteers who were trained to assist those who will commit their lives to Jesus when Graham's son preaches next month in Pittsburgh.
 The Diocese of Pittsburgh is cooperating with the Three Rivers Festival of Hope at the Consol Energy Center, where Franklin Graham will invite listeners into a new or deeper Christian life.  The free event includes performances by musicians ranging from rapper Lecrae to worship artist Michael W. Smith to country star Charlie Daniels. It will begin at 7 p.m. Aug. 15-16, and at 4 p.m. Aug. 17, with doors opening 90 minutes early. Details are at
 The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association doesn't steer converts into or out of any particular Christian tradition, but reconnects them with one to which they have a tie. Those who identify themselves as Catholic will be referred to a Catholic parish for follow-up.
 A special feature of the Pittsburgh festival will be the Catholic welcome center next door at Epiphany Church, where Catholics who wish to renew their faith can receive immediate support and an opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation.
 "Catholics who step forward at the festival wishing to renew their relationship with Jesus will have almost instant access to him in the sacrament of his mercy and love," said Helene Paharik, associate general secretary of the diocese and a member of the festival executive committee. "If Catholics bring friends to the festival, we want them to know that they can bring them immediately afterward to Epiphany to celebrate their reconciliation with our precious Lord."
 Steve Geitgey, an adult faith formation teacher from St. Winifred Parish in Mount Lebanon, will be among the volunteers inside Epiphany. A convert to Catholicism, he led supplemental training classes for Catholics who had completed the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's Christian Life and Witness course.
 The Catholic training emphasized that conversion isn't a momentary experience, and that God gave the church sacraments to strengthen and renew the followers of Jesus.
 "This is a conversion of life. We want to accompany people on that journey," Geitgey said.
 While ministry is under way at Epiphany, Christine Raizin, a member of Holy Child Parish in Bridgeville and president of the Pittsburgh Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, will be in an office at Consol recording commitment cards.
 Many of her relatives have left the Catholic Church for non-denominational congregations, so she was thrilled to learn that Catholics who come forward at the festival will receive the encouragement, support and sacraments they need from the Catholic Church.
 "We are a very Spirit-filled church," she said. "People think that if you're a Catholic you don't read the Bible or you don't understand that Jesus is Lord. But we do. It isn't the pope who directs everything, it's the Holy Spirit. Once you understand what the Eucharist is, why would you not want to be Catholic?"
 Twelve pastors have volunteered their parishes as centers of welcome and support for those who return to the practice of their faith after the festival.
 Pastoral associates, including Franciscan Sister Annie Bremmer at SS. John and Paul Parish in Franklin Park/Marshall Township, Mary Jordan at St. Richard Parish in Richland Township and Tess Keddie at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Carnegie "are working closely with parishioners to finalize their plans to integrate these new friends into their parish communities. It is being done in the spirit of Bishop Zubik's pastoral letter ("The Church Evangelizing!"), and his call to be a friend, be a friend of Jesus, make friends for Jesus," Paharik said.
 Ten parishioners from St. Damien of Molokai Parish in Monongahela received training to counsel new converts when they come forward at the festival. New or returning Catholics who are referred to St. Damien will receive one-on-one mentoring. 
 St. Damien parishioners "have always had an interest in reaching out to the unchurched or to those who have fallen away," said Father William Terza, pastor. "We are always open to welcoming people back to the faith and to pursue their relationship with God."

Bring a friend to the Three Rivers Festival of Hope

One of the memories Bishop David Zubik shared with us in his pastoral letter, "The Church Evangelizing!" was from his childhood, watching TV as the Rev. Billy Graham preached to stadiums full of people. Bishop Zubik recalled when the choir sang "Just as I Am" and thousands streamed to the field to commit their lives to Jesus, he felt joy but also a little bit guilty. He wondered, was it wrong for him, a Catholic, to be glad that people were responding to a call from a Protestant evangelist? ("The Church Evangelizing!," 19)  Catholics do rejoice whenever people turn to Jesus. As Catholics, we invite others to encounter Jesus in Scripture, the sacraments and in service to their neighbor.
 We can witness that first-hand Aug. 17 at 4 p.m., when Bishop Zubik will offer the opening prayer as Rev. Graham's son, Franklin Graham, continues his father's ministry at the Three Rivers Festival of Hope in the Consol Energy Center.
 Members of the diocesan staff, along with hundreds of Catholic volunteers, have worked for months alongside Christians from many denominations to plan for this event. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is wonderful about ensuring that anyone who responds to the message will be directed back to the Christian community to which they may already belong. When someone goes forward and says they are Catholic, they will be put in touch with a Catholic parish, one that is prepared and waiting to receive them.
 The Consol arena was providentially built beside Epiphany Church. Each night after the festival, Epiphany will host a welcome center for Catholics. Fellowship will be offered in the parish hall. The church will be open for private prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, and priests will be available to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation.
 The events in Consol Energy Center are the culmination of a larger evangelization process. For months beforehand the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association trained thousands of local Christians to talk to their friends about Jesus and invite them to the festival.
 Again, one can see God's providential timing. The Graham organization's message about bringing friends to meet Jesus echoes the theme of Bishop Zubik's fourth pastoral letter, "The Church Evangelizing!" That theme is: Be a friend. Be a friend of Jesus. Make friends for Jesus. This is an opportunity for all of us Catholics to put that lesson into practice.
 The Festival of Hope is an easy invite. It's free and features great music. On the evening that Bishop Zubik will be there, Sunday, Aug. 17, starting at 4 p.m., the performers include Michael W. Smith and The Charlie Daniels Band. I have to confess that I haven't heard of some of the other performers, but folks tell me that they're very popular with teens and young adults. Ask your (grand) children about a Christian rapper named Lecrae, who's set to appear Saturday at 7 p.m.
 Check the whole schedule at You can find music that your friends like, that your children like, that you like. Then ask them to come with you to the event. This could be an easy first step in fostering their friendship with Jesus. Afterward, bring them next door to Epiphany Church.
 Bishop Zubik wants to make sure that when someone desires to strengthen their relationship with Jesus in the arena, it's not just a flash in the pan. His heartfelt prayer is that you, your family and friends will rediscover the spiritual resources of the church in a fresh, new way. 
 Jesus gave us the sacraments to bring us to him and keep us close. We want to make sure that Catholics who begin a renewed journey of faith have the grace of those sacraments. We want them to ask questions about what they've just experienced and how that fits into what they learned about the church earlier in their lives. We want to help them resolve personal or family issues that may have estranged them from the church. Epiphany Church will be a place to begin those conversations, which can continue and deepen in parishes that have been prepared to receive people from the Festival of Hope.
 Be a friend. Be a friend of Jesus. Make friends for Jesus. Bring a friend to the Festival of Hope. Then share that experience with us at Epiphany Church. See you there!
Paharik is a diocesan assistant general secretary and director of the Department for Human Life and Dignity.
Pope: "Don't Proselytize to be Happy"
by Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel

In an interview published by the Argentine Weekly "Viva", the pope listed his Top 10 Secrets for Happiness. One of them was quite shocking in view of the Great Commission given to the church by our Lord Jesus Christ. Pope Francis disagrees with the true Head of the Church in saying that we should not proselytize. He said we should respect others' beliefs because "the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes." The word "proselytize" means to try to convert somebody to a religious faith. The pope said "the church grows by attraction, not proselytizing."

Mike's Comment: The pope's church does indeed grow by attraction to its "smells and bells." Catholicism has always appealed to the flesh with its pagan rituals, including the solemn worship of the Eucharist, the flowing priestly robes, the flicker of the candles, the smell of incense, the pomp and pageantry of idol worship, and sacrifices for the dead. The influence of the secular media also encourages the world to love the "humble" man in white who declares himself to be the "Vicar of Christ" and "Holy Father." It is no wonder the Lord Jesus declared, "Woe to you, when all people speak well of you" (Luke 6:26). Why wouldn't the world love this pope? He says atheists and homosexuals can follow their conscience into heaven. It is no wonder the pope says "the worst thing of all is religious proselytism." He thinks everyone who has a conscience will make it through the pearly gates. 

The Lord's church does not even resemble the pope's church. God's Church is the body and bride of Christ. It is His purchased possession. It is the Church of the first-born, whose names are written in heaven (Heb. 12:23). This is the Church to which the Lord Jesus promises "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it"(Matt. 16:18). Every member of the Lord's church has been evangelized with the glorious Gospel of grace. After they heard the word of truth and believed in the Lord Jesus, they were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of their inheritance to the praise of His glory (Eph. 1:13-14). Every member has been born again as a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). This is the only Church of which no one member can perish; they are safe in the hands of God for all eternity. The calling of God the Father, along with the continual intercession of God the Son, coupled with the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, protect all who have been divinely chosen. They joyfully proclaim the voice of the Good Shepherd so His lost sheep will hear and follow Him (John 10). They are not citizens of this world because they are only passing through on their way to heaven. This church will be presented without spot or blemish before the Father's throne. To God be all glory, praise and honor!