Michael Barber shared a YouTube video from a conference hosted by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland—charismatics of the Word of Faith variety—where Tony Palmer of the Ark Community—a charismatic, evangelical, episcopal group that works closely with the Vatican—basically challenges the attendees to work toward reconciliation since “Luther’s protest” has concluded and we’re all preaching the same Gospel now. Palmer’s address is followed by a video greeting from Pope Francis to this assembly of charismatics.
My brain is a bit scrambled by all this. I watched Palmer’s talk, Pope Francis’s greeting, and Copeland’s response to the Pope. On the one hand, it seems beautiful: who doesn’t want Jesus’ prayer for unity to be answered? On the other hand, it seems strange: Palmer describes the audience as a group of “leaders” who have private jets, who pastor large congregations, and who are basically “movers-and-shakers”. What sort of Christianity does this represent? If you have the chance to watch the video tell me your thoughts (and please, if you’re going to comment for or against what happens in the video let it be done after you’ve actually watched it). I’d be especially interested in hearing from Catholics, charismatics, and charismatic Catholics (like our own JohnDave Medina)!
– Dale M. Coulter, Pope Francis and the Future of Charismatic Christianity