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Ulf Ekman Converts to Roman Catholicism
CharismaNews ^ | 3/9/2014 | Jennifer LeClaire

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, Ekman’s 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 church’s school has about 1,000 students. Ekman also launched Scandinavia’s largest Bible school, constructed Scandinavia’s 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 Ekman’s 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.”

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Glandberger went on to say that "shock, anger, sadness, despair and confusion" among the reactions to the news. Others, he writes, were relieved that Ekman’s 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 church’s 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.


TOPICS: Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Current Events; Evangelical Christian
KEYWORDS: catholic; christians; megachurch; pastor; sweden; ulfekman

1 posted on 03/09/2014 7:07:43 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: iowamark

Well, that reduces the number of Protestant Evangelical Christians in Sweden to 2,998.


2 posted on 03/09/2014 7:23:40 PM PDT by MuttTheHoople (Nothing is more savage and brutal than justifiably angry Americans. Don’t believe me? Ask the Germa)
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To: iowamark

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.


3 posted on 03/09/2014 7:25:19 PM PDT by livius
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To: livius
I'm waiting for the next season of the Swedish period cop drama Anno 1790.

One of the supporting characters is a Pietist, and gets into trouble as such (among other story threads).

4 posted on 03/09/2014 7:56:14 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: Calvin Locke

“Anno 1790.”

Is that a TV show? But is it in Swedish? It sounds like something I’d like, where do you watch it?


5 posted on 03/09/2014 8:05:59 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: iowamark

well he can’t be a pastor in that church.....


6 posted on 03/09/2014 8:47:22 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: jocon307
One of the PBS stations' digital channels runs the MHZ network. Foreign offerings, Russia Today, NHK, etc. They used to run Al Jazeera too, pre-Algor (not that I watched it then, or now...).

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.

7 posted on 03/09/2014 8:53:50 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: iowamark

Should make for an interesting Easter Vigil.


8 posted on 03/09/2014 9:50:39 PM PDT by reagandemocrat
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To: Calvin Locke

Very interesting, I’ll have to check that out, thanks!


9 posted on 03/09/2014 10:27:30 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: MuttTheHoople

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.


10 posted on 03/09/2014 10:40:13 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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To: iowamark

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.


11 posted on 03/10/2014 12:12:07 AM PDT by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: Steelfish
Without the Eucharist everything else is pure rot.

Good description of the un-biblical transubstantiation and the rest of the current Catholic doctrine.

12 posted on 03/10/2014 12:14:20 AM PDT by xone
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To: iowamark

Great news! :)


13 posted on 03/10/2014 1:31:42 AM PDT by matthewrobertolson
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To: ccmay
Some very high profile conversions, too, especially Tony Blair.

When did Tony Blair become conservative?

14 posted on 03/10/2014 3:56:03 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: Nifster

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.


15 posted on 03/10/2014 5:04:32 AM PDT by iowamark (I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy)
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To: iowamark
Puzzle, eh?

[1] 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: [2] 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: [3] 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. [4] And these things we write to you, that you may rejoice, and your joy may be full. (1 John 1)

16 posted on 03/10/2014 5:13:28 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: livius
Some of the old Scandinavian synods still have Apostolic Succession (or did until the debacles in the last few decades). Many of the Old Lutherans have crossed to Orthodoxy or set up “free churches” outside of the state control.

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.

17 posted on 03/10/2014 5:51:46 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: iowamark

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


18 posted on 03/10/2014 6:30:14 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: Nifster

“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.

Freegards


19 posted on 03/10/2014 7:45:16 AM PDT by Ransomed
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To: Ransomed

Snark all you want... I merely noted the hypocrisy of the roman church and its dogma


20 posted on 03/10/2014 8:46:36 AM PDT by Nifster
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To: Nifster

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.’

Freegards


21 posted on 03/10/2014 9:11:45 AM PDT by Ransomed
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To: Nifster

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.


22 posted on 03/10/2014 9:47:52 AM PDT by livius
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To: redgolum

It’s hard to escape being the state church; Anglicans have the same problem. Hopefully the Orthodox solution will work out for them.


23 posted on 03/10/2014 9:50:54 AM PDT by livius
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To: Steelfish

Or rather the begining of the reunion of the Christian Church, the fruit of prayer for full Christian unity.


24 posted on 03/10/2014 9:51:20 AM PDT by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: iowamark

Awesome. Another thread that will devolve into Freeper Catholics v Protestants. God knows we need another one.


25 posted on 03/10/2014 9:54:59 AM PDT by strider44
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To: livius

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.


26 posted on 03/10/2014 12:15:39 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Nifster

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.


27 posted on 03/10/2014 1:28:02 PM PDT by BillyBoy (Looking at the weather lately, I could really use some 'global warming' right now!)
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To: redgolum

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.


28 posted on 03/10/2014 2:00:25 PM PDT by livius
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To: xone

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.


29 posted on 03/10/2014 2:36:43 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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To: Steelfish
authoritatively decided which books,

An official Catholic thread now. God's Word, not the church's.

30 posted on 03/10/2014 2:59:46 PM PDT by xone
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To: iowamark

God bless them.


31 posted on 03/10/2014 3:02:47 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Nifster
The Catholic Church has no "dogma" on priestly celibacy, and never has.

Thought you'd want to know.

32 posted on 03/10/2014 3:35:51 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He turn to you His countenance and give you peace.)
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To: xone

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.


33 posted on 03/10/2014 10:15:10 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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To: markomalley

conversion != conservative


34 posted on 03/11/2014 12:37:40 AM PDT by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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