On Sunday, retired pastor Ulf Ekman, founder of Word of Life, a megachurch in Uppsala, Sweden, announced he was converting to Roman Catholicism. Charisma News broke that story stateside. You can read it here.
Now Charisma News has obtained a letter that Ekman wrote to David Yonggi Cho, who himself recently made international news headlines after being convicted on embezzlement charges. Charisma News set the record straight on that story, which was widely misreported in the mainstream media.
In Ekman’s letter to Cho, he resigns from Cho’s church board after explaining his personal journey into Catholicism. The following is the text of the letter, which was obtained in PDF form on Ulf Ekman Ministries letterhead:
Dear Dr. Cho,
I pray everything is well with you and that the blessing of the Lord is on your life and ministry. In this letter I want to share with you a decision that my wife Birgitta and I have come to.
As you probably know, last year there was a shift in the ministry at Livets Ord/Word of Life. Our church received its new Senior Pastor, Joakim Lundqvist. He is a fine man and does a very good job and is very much loved by our church. The transition has gone very well and the church and the different ministries are doing great. We have reconstructed some of the ministry and made the structure more effective. Our son Jonathan Ekman is our CEO and is working effectively with the Board, and Christian Åkerhielm has succeeded me as our Missions Director. The work keeps expanding and I know you will find these brothers and Livets Ord to be great partners in ministry in the future. I am confident that the work is in very good hands and the future looks good, by the grace of God.
Recently Birgitta and I have retired from our positions at Livets Ord/Word of Life. But we are still servants of the Lord, of course, and want to be active in his service in this season of our lives. As we look back on our 30 years of ministry we can distinguish three parts in it.
The first was building the Livets Ord church, reaching out with the Gospel and teaching about faith and the Holy Spirit through Livets Ord Bible Centre. We have seen many thousands of students going through our school.
The second part has been our Missions work, going to many nations preaching the Gospel, planting churches and Bible schools and developing a network of Livets Ord congregations in many places.
The third part started around the beginning of this millennium. An increased longing for and understanding of the importance of Christian unity started to grow in us. We wanted to help our network, and believers in general, to have a deepened understanding of the Body of Christ and relate stronger to God’s people in the historic churches.
In this process we have constantly come into contact with the Catholic Church, especially during our three years in Israel. This has lead to friendship, a deeper understanding, a gradual removal of prejudices and a stronger desire for unity. It has been a fascinating journey with a lot of studying and praying and we have discovered in how many ways we have so much in common with the Catholics.
We share a common history, going back to the apostles. We share the central tenets of our faith and are actually indebted to them for the development of classical dogmas. We share a strong moral commitment and with millions of Catholics we also share the Pentecostal experience. I have also had many opportunities to share with them what the Lord has given us.
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SOURCE: Charisma News