After the dust settled somewhat from the initial fracas concerning the controversial Son of God movie, I have taken some time to reflect on the reactions of individuals adamantly and ardently in favor of the movie. Some of them, such as Matthew Hagee (Cornerstone Church), refused to consider any information about Roma Downey. Other ones went to see the movie, loved it, and recognized no biblical discrepancies in it. Some even claimed conversions as young people prayed and purportedly gave their lives to Christ. There was a faction that went on the offense to accuse and rebuke me and other ones for attempting to present the facts.
The controversy centers on the claim that Roma Downey is a godly person who is engaged in the work of God, namely, spreading the Gospel and bringing souls into the kingdom of God. The counter claim is that Downey is a New Age adherent, and her movie depicts an unbiblical Jesus. There is also a concern that she is a Lightworker, which is a cult within the New Age Movement (NAM). It is difficult to prove beyond the shadow of doubt if someone is associated with the NAM or the Lightworkers unless they state it outright. The reason is because neither entity is an organized movement that has a physical headquarter and membership record. They are identified solely by religious affinities, doctrines, and practices. However, allow me to suggest that we can usually determine if someone is a sinner even if they never declared it. We can determine if they are jealous, vindictive, a drunkard, or a terrorist for that matter, though they may not admit it. When the evidence is overwhelming that they are of one ilk or another, we have no problem drawing that conclusion. We can employ the same process that the courts use to determine culpability beyond a reasonable shadow of doubt.
There are some facts that people should consider in arriving at their conclusion. Downey professes to be a Roman Catholic, but that religion has no problem accepting components of the NAM or pagan religions. Her composite religion seems to be the new syncretism that is called New Age Christianity or simply New Christianity. Thus, Downey and her husband present themselves as Christians though no true Christian would agree with that identity. New Christianity’s root, Contemplative Spirituality, sprang up in antiquity via Roman Catholic mystics. It is now the spiritual dynamic of the Roman Catholic Church and I might add the Emergent Church. New Christianity is ecumenical in the sense that the RCC extends an invitation to Protestantism for Interfaith Dialogue, and that the Emergent Church is reaching out to dialogue with Islam, Mormonism, and other religions. However, it is syncretistic in the sense that neither Catholics nor Emergents want merely an ecumenical connection, but a merger—not only with each other but with non-Christian religions. To a significant degree, Roman Catholicism and the Emergents have already syncretized with the NAM. Roman Catholic scholars declare that Contemplative Spirituality is the sole essence and sum of Roman Catholic spirituality. Spirituality determines a religion or a person’s identity. It does not matter if the rest of one’s Christian doctrine is spot on, if such a person regularly engaged in séances, transcendental meditation, contemplative spirituality, and necromancy, that person is New Age.
Downey graduated from Santa Monica University, which is a New Age school founded by notorious New Age spiritual and self-help guru John-Roger, with a degree in Spiritual Psychology, the definition of which can be found at the following link; http://www.universityofsantamonica.edu/What/index.aspx. Included in her training was how to be a Divine Being having a human experience, which appears to be one of the requirements for being a New Age Lightworker on their website. A Lightworker then is any being, who is aware of their true non-dual nature, their eternal “I Am” Presence and acting in accordance with it. (http://lightworkers.org/what-is-a-lightworker-are-you-a-lightworker)
Downey confesses to listening to books on tape (probably CD) by New Ager Eckhart Tolle. Tolle, author of The Power of Now and A New Earth, is listed on the Lightworkers website as a good read. The review by Lightworker.org of Tolle’s work states, At the core of the teachings lies the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening that he sees as the next step in human evolution. An essential aspect of this awakening consists in transcending our ego-based state of consciousness. This is a prerequisite not only for personal happiness but also for the ending of violent conflict endemic on our planet (http://lightworkers.org/node/31652).
Other evidence that Downey is a NAM adherent is that she identifies with other established New Age individuals such as Della Reese and Oprah Winfrey. Further, she was on the cover of the premier NAM magazine, OM (July 2011, 2nd Anniversary Special Edition). OM would not have put her on the cover if it did not identify her as New Age, especially their 2nd Anniversary Special Edition. Who better to identify someone as New Age but the premier magazine of the NAM? Downey is also a necromancer. She appeared on the Necromancer John Edwards show and attempted to contact her dead mother. John Edward’s book, Practical Praying, included a bonus CD on meditation provided by Downey. In 1999, Roma Downey recorded a New Age album with Celtic artist Phil Coulter that features Downey reading from ancient Celtic texts about life and spirituality.
As to the direct connection between Downey’s production company, LightWorkers Media and the NAM cult, Lightworkers, the evidence is mostly circumstantial. However, if one peruses all the Lightworker Facebook pages and websites, you will realize that there are similarities of beliefs. Lightworkers claim no connection to an organization, but are identified as New Age by their fruit. I typed Lightworker into the search engine and every result was New Age. Downey explained in an interview why she called her company, Lightworkers Media.
“And as they started this journey with us of shining a light; because our company is called Light Workers, tired of cursing the darkness; we wanted to be part of shining a light, shining his right.” (Interview: Roma Downey and Mark Burnett on “Son of God” by Nell Minow)
The Lightworkers site gives this response to the question, “What is lightworking?” Just as the sun rises each morning, to shine its light into the world, so it is with lightworking. To walk upon the face of the planet lightly, light in spirit and bearing, and shine love, happiness, tranquillity (sic) and peace into the world. Of course, Christians believe shining their lights also. The question is whether Downey is shining the light of the true Christ Jesus, or the false light of the NAM Jesus, Sananda (the false New Age Jesus that stunningly resembles the Jesus actor in the Son of God movie).
In the New Scriptures, that was channeled from Sananda/Jesus, there is this statement. My beloved wife Mary Magdalene taught The True Way at my side, in harmony with the ideas I had come to offer the world. In the movie, a woman named Mary was always with Jesus and the twelve disciples. Further, she often reproved them, which would indicate that she had some authority that was not normally accorded a single woman in Jewish antiquity. However, it might be authority afforded a wife of a Rabbi. Her reproving the disciples equated didactic reproving, or teaching. Here is a link to the Lightworkers website promoting the New Scriptures: http://lightworkers.org/channeling/186297/chapter-one-new-scriptures-written-sanandajesus.
Downey also stated, “I am so grateful to have Loyalty to Your Soul to sweetly remind me of all I have learned. Let’s just say that I went from playing an angel on TV to living more of an angelic life every day. The teachings in this beautiful book have sent me on a journey to the very center of my own being where, wrapped in the safe wings of Love, I feel as though I have come home.” Other than being a bit spooky and perhaps a delusional statement, it is an endorsement of a completely NAM book. The book was taught at Santa Monica University. Loyalty to Your Soul contains teachings promoted by groups such as The Movement for Spiritual Inner Awareness. The following excerpt pretty much explains what direction they come from.
Within the spiritual context, you’d assume that you’re responsible for everything in your life. However, you usually don’t know the spiritual reason why your Soul would choose an experience such as cancer. What you do know is that all of life serves a spiritual purpose, and since illness is part of life, cancer must serve one, too.
In a Washington Post interview, Downey affirmed that she was a Roman Catholic. Then she said, “…and so, um, and I see, I, I see God in everyone, um, and in everything, you know. I guess, when I’m looking for inspiration myself, I probably find it most in nature, and the beauty and um, the magnificence of nature. And, and, you know, the, the, and I’ve heard once that…two things that have struck me as profound, that, that, there are two points of view, perhaps. That there is no God, or that there is only God. And for me there is only God. Um, that you could see nothing as a miracle, or you could see everything as a miracle, right? So, um, that and then just that, that the language of God in science, perhaps. And um, you know, from this, from I was a very young age, um to, to my education, but really, through my, my father’s guidance, encouraged to listen to what he called, you know, your God voice, which is the, the, still, quiet, voice inside of yourself, that, that you know what’s the right thing to do, that you know the kind thing to say, and I’ve always tried to be guided by that” (Actress Roma Downey on religion, faith, Washington Post, 02/09/2012) Discerning Christians will recognize the Panentheism in her statements, the NAM belief of divinity, the advocacy for a spirit guide, and the lack of mentioning Christ Jesus.
In an interview with the Washington Times, “I grew up in Northern Ireland,” Ms. Downey said. “And I was grateful that the show did not take a strongly religious point of view. As angels we worked for God, all Gods.” However, in an interview on beliefnet, Downey said, “I loved being on that show. I loved it. I loved playing Monica. I loved being the messenger, the believer. I loved being part of a message that went out weekly reminding people there is a God and this is God’s purpose for you and God will be part of your life and most importantly that God loves you.” (Roma Downey’s life has been more than touched by an angel, by Rob Kerby, beliefnet)
Does Downey believe that all gods are God? If so, it is another NAM connection. The God Consciousness and Christ Consciousness are NAM beliefs. Both doctrines allow people to become gods or christs within the context of an overarching consciousness.
On the Lightworker’s website, in answer to the question, what about God, there is this answer.
There is no concept that can define God. That power some call God is the source of all. It is the over arching divine consciousness that guides and directs all life in form and non form. We know God by knowing our true selves. We do not need to consciously understand, rationalize or define God for God to be real. Like us, God Just IS. We accept there is great power in who we are, and the processes of how we each came to be. Yet each is free to formulate their own interpretation of what that power is, yet to do so may prove futile. HOwever (sic) we can come to understand aspects of God. LIke (sic) the fact that God pervades each and everyone of us, exists both within us, around us and is intricately connected to us. God works, with us and through us and for that we honor and love God through divine service and existing in a state of least resistance to God. We honor the process and honor our own role within it. To see through the illusionary nature of form and see clearly each and every beings, non dual nature. To see the God aspect in each other, and to love God. http://lightworkers.org/what-is-a-lightworker-are-you-a-lightworker
Another interesting detail that I discovered when researching Downey, which by itself may not be considered significant. However, when put together with the other information about Downey’s “faith”, it is definitely relevant. After listening to interviews, reading articles, quotes, and etcetera, I realized that here was something missing that is included in every true Christian’s life. Until the time of the “Son of God’ movie, I did not hear or read one mention of Jesus Christ. Instead, Downey mentions God and inspiration from nature. Although true Christians love God, they relate to His Son in a different way. Christ Jesus was the one who died for their sins. Their gratitude is the reason for so many songs about Jesus, so many testimonies, and why He is the topic of so many sermons. When you talk to a true Christian about his or her faith, Jesus will be the focus of their gratefulness. Conversely, Downey referred only to God until interviews about her movie. God is a generic term to the NAM that covers all their unbiblical concepts of what that term means. It does not refer to Almighty God of the Scriptures that gave His only Son Jesus Christ as atonement for our sins. They use the term God to include all gods, self-gods, and ideas of gods.
Maybe at some point Downey has given an account of her salvation experience and mentioned her gratitude to Christ Jesus for saving her soul. The only reference to Jesus I could find was when she was asked in several interviews about playing the mother of Jesus, her response was, “I have loved Jesus my whole life.” (CNN, CBN, Christian Today, Christian Post, and others) She also said in an interview with Parade concerning Mary, “I have loved her my whole life.”
For someone who, as Downey, believes they are a “divine being having a human experience”, I can understand her remarks. However, for us mere humans, we encountered the Divine when we met Christ and recognized that we needed Him as both Lord and Savior. At that point we established our spiritual birthday. All that was before that was darkness and a death spiral into eternal hell. Gratitude for His deliverance is overwhelming. It not only makes it near impossible not to give Him due glory when asked about our faith, but it makes it near impossible to engage in the making of a movie that presents Him anything other than what He is exactly to us. He’s more than the Son of God. He is Lord and He is Savior. Further, He is the only way, truth, and life, and no one can come to the Father God except by and through Him. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” No one who truly loves Christ Jesus would engage in diabolical New Age activities.
In conclusion, Downey claimed in the CBN interview that, “the ultimate message of Jesus was to love each other as we love ourselves, and to love God.” No it was not His ultimate message. That was His response when asked which was the great commandment in the law (Matthew 22:36-39). The ultimate message of Christ was the Gospel. The Gospel is that God loved us so much that He sent His Son whose vicarious atoning death delivered from sin the ones who confess and surrender to Him as both Lord and Savior.
It is not my intent to convince anyone who is dead set on believing that Downey and her husband are godly Christians and that their movie has no New Age message. I’m just laying the facts out exactly as I discovered them. Everyone can make up his or her own mind based on the evidence. In my opinion, Downey fits the description of a Lightworker as presented by the main Lightworker.org website. I also believe that the facts show that she is deeply involved in the NAM. Although she frequently refers to God, her description is as that of the New Age god. Based on those conclusions, I have determined that she cannot possibly be a godly person working in God’s harvest. I do not believe that she has a relationship with the true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I believe that she is a good actress, knows exactly how to use that talent to deceive Christians, and does so with great success. I also believe that the movie Son of God is an attempt to present an ecumenical New Age Jesus, perhaps Sananda, which does not resemble the biblical Jesus. That’s my opinion and it is partly why I oppose the movie Son of God.