Skip to comments.Ulf Ekman Converts to Roman Catholicism
Posted on 03/09/2014 7:07:43 PM PDT by iowamark
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 congregation was partially stunned after hearing what was packaged as a special announcement. The theme was follow the Lamb wherever He goes."
For Birgitta and me, this has been a slow process were we have gone from discovering new things, to appreciating what we have discovered, to approach and even learn from our fellow Christians, Ekman says on his ministry website.
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.
According to the Alethia blog and think tank, Ekmans conversion is a news story that affects a relatively large part of Swedish Christianity. Word of Life has about 3,000 members and a staff of 12 pastors. The churchs school has about 1,000 students. Ekman also launched Scandinavias largest Bible school, constructed Scandinavias largest free church building, and rolled out a media program with TV on all continents, recorded teaching that has been spread around the world, books in 60 languages, and a strong engagement for Israel.
We have as many know, followed Ekmans steps towards Roman Catholicism since 2007, at times under a lot of ridicule from both members and leadership of the congregation, but also from others within the Christian Community in Sweden, writes Andreas Glandberger, who operates the think tank. Based on Ulf Ekman's various articles, sermons, statements, and even type of organizations he decided to support financially, a painstaking puzzle has been laid in which the last piece of the puzzle now is in place.
Glandberger went on to say that "shock, anger, sadness, despair and confusion" among the reactions to the news. Others, he writes, were relieved that Ekmans long love affair with the Catholic Church finally was consummated openly, which is also a help in theological discussions.
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 called his conversion a personal journey and said 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 said.
Ekman retired as the churchs senior pastor in March 2013. He founded and served at Word of Life for 30 years with a mandate from the Holy Spirit to Equip my people with the Word of Faith.
You can watch the video of the sermon here.
Well, that reduces the number of Protestant Evangelical Christians in Sweden to 2,998.
If you’re a Swede, that’s probably the only way to go. The former (or even present?) state church there is totally meaningless, and it probably devalues all of the more orthodox Protestant churches that depend on it. Better to make a clean break.
One of the supporting characters is a Pietist, and gets into trouble as such (among other story threads).
Is that a TV show? But is it in Swedish? It sounds like something I’d like, where do you watch it?
well he can’t be a pastor in that church.....
They have a two hour block of foreign crime and mystery shows, subtitled, during the week.
I came across Maigret one night and sample the other offerings as they come and go.
Some keep my interest. Crimes of Passion is another Swedish period (~1950s) mystery that I like. The Italian Montalbano is a favorite, and the French Spiral is finishing up a season this week.
There are Norwegian and German shows running just didn't appeal to me at the moment.
Anno 1790 is about a Swedish doctor, back from the unpopular war with Russia, that takes a position as the district LEO/CSI. He deals with the monarchy, friends of the monarch, coveting of the boss's wife, people that want his job, the French Revolution, Swedish revolutionaries, drugs, abortions, hangings, adolescent death-in-custody, state church problems, and a vixen revolutionary that wrongly blames him for the death of her brother, all while solving civil crimes as well.
Should make for an interesting Easter Vigil.
Very interesting, I’ll have to check that out, thanks!
There is the mustard tree of Catholicism followed by thousands of wild and often poisonous brands of wild “Christian” mushroom that over time wither and die. Without the Eucharist everything else is pure rot.
It’s happening in England too. There are soon going to be more Catholics attending weekly services than C of E types. Some very high profile conversions, too, especially Tony Blair.
Good description of the un-biblical transubstantiation and the rest of the current Catholic doctrine.
Great news! :)
When did Tony Blair become conservative?
Actually, exceptions to the celibacy rule have been made for a number of married former Protestant pastors who have been ordained to the priesthood. Please note that I have no idea if Mr. Ekman is interested in the priesthood.
 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life:  For the life was manifested; and we have seen and do bear witness, and declare unto you the life eternal, which was with the Father, and hath appeared to us:  That which we have seen and have heard, we declare unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us, and our fellowship may be with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.  And these things we write to you, that you may rejoice, and your joy may be full. (1 John 1)
I used to talk to a missionary from one of the free churches in Finland on occasion. Their relations with the Russian Orthodox have been very good, and it allowed them to witness in places that a Catholic or Evangelical would not be able to.
Oh I know the roman church tried to lure Anglican and Episcopal priests with the promise of a waiver.... just makes the claim that priests must be unmarried to be more like Jesus is just so much blather
“Oh I know the roman church tried to lure Anglican and Episcopal priests with the promise of a waiver....”
Forcing them to ask to become Catholic by deviously not accepting ‘gay marriage’ and female clergy is truly insidious. Especially when even the discipline of celibacy is relaxed, something that never happens anywhere in the world except when Protestant pastors are threatened into asking to become Catholic clergy.
Snark all you want... I merely noted the hypocrisy of the roman church and its dogma
Yeah. The discipline of celibacy is a dogma, for sure. And obviously it is only hypocritically ever broken at all when Protestant clergy are threatened into asking to become married Catholic clergy due to the outrageous machinations of not accepting female clergy and ‘gay marriage.’
It’s not a dogma, it’s a discipline. Clerical celibacy is, IMHO, a very good thing, and really does give us priests who are very focused on their ministry. However, it can be relaxed for prudential reasons, and receiving an already-married Protestant would be one of them.
There’s nothing hypocritical at all in it.
It’s hard to escape being the state church; Anglicans have the same problem. Hopefully the Orthodox solution will work out for them.
Or rather the begining of the reunion of the Christian Church, the fruit of prayer for full Christian unity.
Awesome. Another thread that will devolve into Freeper Catholics v Protestants. God knows we need another one.
Lutheran Synods are typicaly a bit easier. The German Free Church is Lutheran, and totally outside the state church.
The trouble is funding. The State collects taxes, and either gives it to the State church or to the Catholic church. People are not used to giving on Sunday.
The ban on married priests is a regulation, not a “dogma”. The Catholic Church has never preached that you CANNOT be validly ordained unless you are unmarried, and married priests were allowed prior to the 1100s.
Giving is always a problem in state churches because, as you say, people aren’t used to it. They regard the church as kind of a public utility.
The Europeans have a very strange system anyway,and even states that don’t have an official state church do some strange state funding of churches that actually serves to give the state some control over the churches or at least their schools.
In many European countries, education must be entirely state controlled, and the state “contribution” is considered to be payment for the schools and other social services run by the different churches (particularly the larger ones, such as the Catholic Church, Lutheran Church, etc.). The Catholic Church had long provided education, ranging from basic literacy taught by the village priest all the way up to universities, but at various times in the 19th century, the Church (and this probably applies to some larger Protestant churches, too) was forbidden to run schools and the state school system was established.
Of course, this gives the state enormous control over the curriculum and other conditions, which is not a good thing. But most parents don’t seem bothered by it, unfortunately.
Tell that to the saints, martyrs, early Church fathers who authoritatively decided which books, should be included called in what is called the “Bible” and a litany of theologians from Aquinas to Augustine to Benedict. Beats Billy Graham and David Koresh and Jim Jones and Jeremiah Wright and Joel Osteen.
An official Catholic thread now. God's Word, not the church's.
God bless them.
Thought you'd want to know.
Based on the authority handed to St. Peter and his successors as to what are the “authentic” words of God, this monumental decision was given to the early Church fathers. The included the Books we call the Bible and rejected scores of other written works. This authority of the Church is unbroken and continuous to this day.
conversion != conservative