The Ecumenical Work of Catholic “CCM” Artist, Matt Maher
READING TIME: 23 MINUTES
The following are the notes to the discussion found at this link (https://www.facebook.com/tammy.cheetham.77/videos/273251946507854/) for anyone who would like to study the subject more in depth:
I want to begin with some basic biographical information about Matt Maher. Although a Catholic, he is recognized as a Contemporary Christian music (or CCM) artist. He is also a songwriter, and worship leader. He was born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada. While he was in college, his parents divorced and he moved to Tempe, Arizona with his mom, an American citizen. He received a scholarship from Arizona State University to study Jazz Piano and earned a degree in music there. After college, he moved to Mesa, Arizona. There Maher accepted a full-time position at St. Timothy Catholic Church and started writing songs for his church. In 2005, Matt signed a publishing deal with EMI publishing and several artists like Chris Tomlin and Phillips, Craig and Dean began recording his songs.
Just to say a word about Contemporary Christian Music before we say more about Maher himself. CCM is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful forces of the end-times ecumenical movement. It is the music of the “one-world church.” In his book Making Musical Choices, Richard Peck makes the following important observation about modern church music: “Aside from its commercialism and its increasing resemblance to the world, (and we would say these in themselves are great reasons to stay away from Contemporary Christian music) but, also contemporary Christian music is becoming a religious melting pot. Some in the community admit that they are not believers. And while this is still an exception, CCM IS PROUD OF ITS ECUMENICAL AND CHARISMATIC SPIRIT. THIS ECUMENISM EXTENDS OPEN ARMS TOWARD APOSTATE PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.” (You know, everywhere we look we see “Evangelical Christians” chasing experiences like never before. These huge events, with lights flashing, drums pounding, and machines spewing out smoke, all work together to create a pseudo-worship event. We have said before in other discussions that these events are laying the groundwork for the worship of the antichrist and this is the truth. People are joining together, praying together, and worshiping a god of their own imagination).
Continuing with some statistics concerning Maher’s music career which are the most up-to-date I could find:
He has written and produced nine solo albums to date. Three of his albums have reached the Top 25 Christian Albums Billboard and four of his singles have reached the Top 25 Christian Songs chart. Maher was awarded Songwriter of the Year, at the 2015 GMA Dove Awards.
A nine-time Grammy nominee, he has garnered multiple radio successes writing and recording songs like “Lord, I Need You,” “Hold Us Together,” “Christ Is Risen,” “All The People Said Amen,” and “Your Grace Is Enough.” In addition to writing songs recorded by Chris Tomlin, Maher has also recorded songs for David Crowder, Third Day, Matt Redman, Hillsong, and Passion, among others. In 2013, Maher performed on stage with Pope Francis in front of 3 million people at the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZa6spYqHsA)
In addition, he sang "Litany of the Saints" for Pope John Paul II and 700,000 youth at the 2002 World Youth Day. And, then in 2008 he sang for at least 500,000 pilgrims and Pope Benedict for World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia.
Maher continues to perform and speak as a part of global high-profile events, including the World Meeting of Families in 2015, which marked Pope Francis’ first visit to the US. Here are a few of his statements during a CNN interview at this event in Philadelphia: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZNGQtrvKAs) “I think this pope, what’s different about it, he’s trying to call everybody together, look we’re here, we’re on this planet, we’re with each other, we have to learn to live together, to love each other…Other popes said the same thing, but I think this pope has changed the tone so much, he’s an expert communicator. I don’t know if it’s his Jesuit background, his intellect, it’s just a gift that God’s given him.” The interviewer, Jake Tapper, asked, “How do you feel (about the pope) and how does the Christian music industry feel, if I may designate you to speak on behalf of them?” Maher replied, “Usually I’m the token Catholic in the Christian music industry. All my friends, they all love him, who aren’t Catholic…Francis is the heart; he speaks with the language of the heart…Christianity’s about a journey from earth to heaven. It’s not about a singular moment; it’s not about doing right things to be a good person.” (And, we will see throughout this discussion how Maher has taken on the job of trying to bring people together as well. And, it’s interesting for him to say, “it’s not about doing right things to be a good person,” when Catholicism pushes a social justice gospel and someone like Mother Teresa has been so esteemed for her good works).
In December of 2015, Maher spoke and led worship at Mike Bickle’s IHOP OneThing event: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVmJhb0UuF4&list=PL4S19ubs2BxdgP4XrvSUWHVuTe4tM-LI7&index=7)
I listened to one of his messages and here are some excerpts:
At the 27:03 mark: Maher says he was born and raised Catholic and went to a Jesuit high school. (Well, the fact that he attended a Jesuit high school shouldn’t surprise us because we know that a one-world religion that will offer the promise of peace throughout the world is going to be established prior to Christ’s return. And, we know that Jesuits are working hard to draw those from the evangelical/Protestant church world into the Roman Catholic church, largely through what we call “The Jesuit Agenda.” (http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c97.shtml)
At the 38:02 mark: Then, we hear Maher saying Chris Tomlin is a good friend of his and he has recorded “Your Grace is Enough” which was written by Maher. (So, we obviously see that Chris Tomlin has no biblical understanding of the commands in 2 Cor. 6:14-17 to remain separate. Verse 16 which says, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?” is especially telling in this case because Catholicism is rife with idolatry. The mass is idolatrous; idols fill their churches. Now, in the Church's opinion, "the honor paid to sacred images is a 'respectful veneration', not the adoration due to God alone." However, the toes and feet of statues are often worn down from kissing as is true of the statue of St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. That sounds like more than a ‘respectful veneration’ to me). (https://www.romaexperience.com/st-peters-basilica ).
At the 40:29 mark: Then, speaking of John 17, we hear Matt Maher say: “It’s Jesus’ high priestly prayer for unity and just to set the stage for you, He’s, Jesus, has celebrated the Last Supper – there’s a lot of people in this room that believe during that He actually instituted the Eucharist. Then. after that comes a hymn of praise. And, then Jesus goes into the Garden of Gethsemane where He’s going to suffer.”
(Well, let’s discuss the Eucharist for a moment. According to Paragraph #1336 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), the Mass seeks to “re-present” Jesus as a sacrifice during the observance of the Eucharist. And, then, paragraph 1367 says this: “The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory." In other words, whenever the Catholic Church observes the Eucharist during Mass, it is essentially re-sacrificing Jesus. John O’Brien explains this well in his book The Faith of Millions, “The priest brings Christ down from heaven and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal victim for the sins of man, not once but a thousand times.” (However, these doctrines of the Catholic church are obviously unbiblical. First of all, Christ was not a “victim.” He willingly laid down His life according to John 10:18. And, then, as recorded in John 19:30, Jesus exclaimed “It is finished!” on the cross. The Greek word here is tetelestai and the Greek perfect tense indicates that the debt has been paid in full with a never-ending effect; it has been paid in full once and for all. Therefore, no further works are needed; Jesus need not be re-sacrificed. Hebrews 10:12 says: “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God”).
At the 41:34 mark: Maher continues: “He (Jesus) prays a prayer (speaking of John 17). So if you’re going to have the audacity to call yourself a Christian…to say that you’re a follower, you’re going to have to contend with the things that He prays…I would encourage you to read the whole prayer. Basically, what it boils down to; there’s two things. Jesus says, I pray for my followers, God, that they may be as one as You and I are one. Okay, I want you to stop and think about that. The second Person of the Trinity – the Son – is communicating to the Father and He is praying for us. And, He is saying, God, as close as I am with You, which is pretty close because they’re one, they’re one, that’s what we believe. That’s one of the foundational mysteries of the Christian faith, we believe in a God who’s three persons, but He’s one, and you can’t call yourself a Christian if you don’t believe in that. (But, we would say, yes, Jesus asks God the Father to keep the brethren together as one, however, He did not say a unified movement is something we are responsible for establishing. The prayer is addressed to God the Father; it is not a command given to men. It is not something man yet needs to do; it is something God has already done. This unity is already an established fact for believers who are united in the truth. Verse 17 of this chapter says, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Those born-again believers who love and obey the Word of God; those who acknowledge God’s Word as the truth, can worship and fellowship together. However, this fellowship would not include Catholics because Catholics are not like-minded believers. They deny that Christ’s work was finished on the Cross which is evident by their practice of the mass as we just discussed. Also, their belief in purgatory, and the related practice of indulgences, demonstrates their lack of understanding of Christ’s atonement. They do not believe in justification by faith alone. The anathemas declared by the Council of Trent against those who do have never been rescinded. So, with these beliefs and others, they show they have another Jesus and another gospel).
At the 46:36 mark: Maher says, “So, you know what, Lord, I’m just gonna keep writing songs for the whole church to sing.” (And, this is exactly what is happening. As I already mentioned Maher has penned songs recorded by Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, and so forth. Here are some of the songs he has written in conjunction with other artists: http://www.gospelmusic.org/blog-12-songs-didnt-know-matt-maher-wrote/
Jesus Culture – I Stand In Awe (Written By: Chris Quilala, Hank Bentley, Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes)
Bethel Music – Greatness Of Your Glory (Written By: Brenton Brown, Brian Johnson, Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher) (Brian Johnson, of course, is the son of Bill Johnson, the founder of Bethel Church in Redding, CA).
Steven Curtis Chapman – Hallelujah, You Are Good (Written By: Steven Curtis Chapman, Matt Maher)
Third Day – Soul On Fire (Written By: Brenton Brown, David Carr, Mac Powell, Mark Lee, Matt Maher, Tai Anderson)
David Crowder – Come As You Are (Written By: Ben Glover, David Crowder, Matt Maher)
Hillsong – We Glorify Your Name (Written By: Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, Matt Maher, Reuben Morgan)
Kari Jobe – We Exalt Your Name (Written By: Kari Jobe, Matt Maher)
Chris Tomlin – I Will Rise (Written By: Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Louie Giglio, Matt Maher)
So, Maher says he’s going to keep writing songs for the whole church to sing, but some of these groups are out of churches which are part of the NAR, some are Word of Faith. These groups have different belief systems than that of true believers. We are absolutely witnessing an ecumenical, religious melting pot.
At the 49:20 mark: Continuing with Maher’s statements at IHOP: “My wife, Kristin; she’s not Catholic. We go to two churches on Sunday when I’m in town. We go to a non-denominational church in the morning and then I go to mass. We’re registering our kids, they’re gonna go to Catholic school. We’re gonna raise our kids Catholic. We’re trying to figure all this out. It’s like a whole new reality.” (So, they have their own ecumenical unit. How sad is that? And, how many young adults, and others attending this IHOP OneThing conference, were just given the green light to go out and do likewise?).
At the 50:01 mark: “Here’s the thing. Worship is the key to this. The ability for us to stand and pray together in public, despite our disagreements, it actually gives witness to a world that doesn’t know how to get along anymore. So, like us standing here, you standing here, these few days, and praying together with people and seeking prayer from somebody that doesn’t confess fully the same thing you do, the humility in that is the humility of Christ.” (Worship is the key, really? No true believer can worship with Catholics because when they say “Lord” they are speaking of “another Jesus.” When they pray to Mary and believe she aids in man’s salvation they are usurping Jesus’s role as Savior. And, for anyone who is not aware of these things, Catholic Catechism 969 says: “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation . . .” And, then Maher speaks of humility, but it is not showing humility to seek prayer from people who don’t believe the same way you do; it is against God’s Word if you are a true believer! And, this is one of those times we can see how the enemy has used all the racial unrest, the problems in Ferguson, MO and elsewhere, and then the violence in Virginia yesterday. Also, all the bombings by Islamic terrorists to stir people up, and then to use the idea of we must all get along no matter what anyone believes).
At the 53:14 mark: Maher says, “And, so here we are for such a time as this, in such a time as this, brothers and sisters, in the history of the church, standing on a threshold of a new era, a new age. In Catholic circles we talk about it; we call it the New Evangelization. We’ve spent twenty years trying to figure out what that is. Maybe, brothers and sisters, maybe what the New Evangelization is, is Christians of all denominations proclaiming the gospel together. Maybe that’s actually what the New Evangelization is. Because what makes it so new is we’ve never seen that before. That’s really new.” (A new age? Really? That’s not suspicious at all…(cough, cough). And, since Matt Maher, as a Catholic, believes Catholics are Christians, he thinks they would all be preaching the true, biblical gospel. However, Catholics can say Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He died for their sins all day long, but they have a different Jesus as we have been discussing. A Jesus who needs to be re-sacrificed, a Jesus who can be called down into a wafer by a priest, a Jesus who didn’t completely atone for sin but whose followers must partially pay for their sins in purgatory, a Jesus who shares His glory with Mary; these are all examples of another Jesus).
At the 54:13 mark: Maher continues: “Do you realize most of us, we’ve grown up in a church, we’ve never seen a unified church before in the history of the church since the Reformation. We haven’t seen it. We don’t even know what it looks like. But, like we’re standing on a threshold of moments like this conference, and like where ministry is actually happening on a local level where people could start to have fellowship together and I think that’s what the work of unity is. I’ll end by saying this, I think what the work of unity starts with; it starts with us praying together; it starts with us fellowshipping together; it starts with us having common respect for each other; a love for each other.” (We have already discussed the correct understanding of John 17 and proper unity so let’s discuss the rest of this statement. Previously Maher states we should preach the gospel together and in this comment he states we should pray together, fellowship together, love each other. Well, we would say the love we are to have for each other is the type which “speaks the truth in love” taught in Eph. 4:15. This kind of love would require telling Catholics they have another Jesus, another gospel, and another spirit rather than praying, worshiping, and fellowshipping with them. A question that must be asked with all this talk about unity is what about all the scriptures concerning separation as I mentioned earlier? 2 Cor. 6:14-17 and many other scriptures command true believers to remain separate. So, either the Bible is contradicting itself with the talk of unity and separation (which we know it’s not doing) or Maher is not rightly handling God’s Word. And, we of course, believe it to be the latter since we have clearly explained the meaning of true unity in John 17).
Now, someone might think of Ephesians 4:3-6 which says, “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (The Apostle Paul is speaking to true believers in these verses. They were told to keep the unity of the Spirit. This unity had already been created by God. True believers in Paul’s day, and those of today, are not to establish unity with false converts to the pagan religion of Catholicism).
That is all concerning Maher’s statements at the IHOP conference. Now I would like to discuss various statements, interviews and activities involving Maher.
https://www.thoughtco.com/matt-maher-interview-709460 In an interview posted at thoughtco. com, Maher states: “The joy that I really feel, as part of my ministry, is that I’ve been kind of going out more and traveling and working with different people breaking down those stereotypes because people have a lot of Catholic stereotypes. I’m just letting them know that there is a generation, now rising, of Catholics who recognize the gift of Salvation that’s been given to them and that see the need for a daily relationship with Jesus and pursue it. And pursue Him actively in His Word, and also pursue it in the Sacrament. Primarily, I think the way that God has been using me to reach out to people is through worship." (You know, it isn’t a matter of having Catholic stereotypes; it is a matter of recognizing that Catholics are not Christians. And, before someone feels that is terribly unkind to say, please ask yourself if someone who worships a different Jesus could possibly be a Christian? Hopefully those listening can recognize the problem with saying one can pursue a relationship with Jesus in the Sacrament).
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/octoberweb-only/mattmaher-oct09.html From an article entitled, “Common Bonds: Catholic musician Matt Maher is bringing his music—and a dream of unity—into the Protestant church,” we glean this information:
An interviewer asks: “How did a music minister at a Catholic church end up on a Protestant record label?”
Maher says: “I was involved in ministry at St. Tim's in 2005, and I was doing a Bible study on unity for our college group. I took the group to a Passion conference, and my heart sort of exploded with the desire for unity in the church. I didn't do anything; I just knew that was something I was called to, and it was going to be important.” (Maher says he took the college group from St. Timothy’s to a Passion event, so here is more proof that these conferences and concerts are ecumenical. And, since Louie Giglio, the founder of Passion, visited the Vatican in July of 2015, we know that he has ecumenical leanings. And, since we know the ecumenical movement is laying the groundwork for the one world religion, we know this calling Maher feels he received at this event was clearly from Satan).
Continuing with this article, Maher says, “I’ve had co-writing sessions with Protestants where we had that common denominator, and I’ve seen in a very radical way the real possibility of unity. I look at it like the Catholic church is my immediate family, and all my friends from different denominations are extended family.”
Leaving the Catholic Church is not an option for Maher, because he says, “I love my faith and the expression of it.” He intends, rather, for his music to be “a bridge.” He says that contemporary worship music is a way to “build relationships with people and link arms with them for the Kingdom.” (You know, it always amazes me how much damage one person can do in the area of false teaching and ecumenism. And, no one likes to be on the outside looking in; no one likes to be isolated, so mankind easily follows the crowd).
Here are three CCM events I will just list:
In the fall of 2009, Maher traveled with Michael W. Smith on the “New Hallelujah Tour”.
In the fall of 2010, he was a guest singer at the David Crowder Band’s “Fantastical Church Music Conference” held at Baylor University in Waco, TX.
In early 2011, Maher toured on the “Rock and Worship Roadshow” headlined by MercyMe.
And, then, in July 2012, Maher sang “Hold Us Together,” the ecumenical theme song for Mormon Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Love” conference in Dallas, Texas.
http://thirdday.com/blogs/news/2012-alaskan-third-day-cruise Here is an advertisement for a cruise in 2012. It reads: “This 7 day cruise will leave Seattle, WA on July 14, 2012 and will make stops in Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria, British Columbia. Third Day will be joined by their good friends Max Lucado, Trevor Morgan, and Matt Maher. We hope you'll join us in this once in a lifetime opportunity. Come join Third Day and friends in a week-long celebration of God's amazing creation, the unspoiled Alaskan wilderness.” (You know, it’s just crazy how people so easily come together for such occasions. Where, oh where, is the discernment?)
Then, in July of 2016, Maher sang “Because He Lives” at the ecumenical “Together 2016” event. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Together_2016; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pc2aPsDbU4
He asked the following question of the assembled crowd: “Are you doing good, church?” (Such a question cements the idea in people’s heads that merely gathering together in the name of Jesus means everyone at the event is a believer).
Then, Casting Crown’s “Very Next Thing Tour” featured Matt Maher. (All those attending these events and any others which feature Maher are attending an ecumenical event. Who knows the number of Catholics who will attend due to the popularity of Maher? Additionally, Casting Crowns has a song entitled – You Are The Only One, and you guessed it, one of the song writers is Matt Maher).
https://www.facebook.com/ccmmagazine/videos/10154170921053715/?hc_ref=ARSimfGgitgQq6MQ1lMD5UHXGlC3YIzEkbv-Xeka53ts0RRTcTiK8T8QTJlfOrR4-xs The last thing I want to discuss is an interview from CCM magazine hosted by Andrew Greer. It features Matt Maher and Mike Donehey, lead singer of Tenth Avenue North, and their conversation about the role of music in the Christian church. And, of course, straight away we recognize the ecumenism involved when we hear the words, “Christian church,” when one of the people is a Catholic. Here are some of the comments:
The host, Andrew Greer, says, “My first openness was contemplative retreats with some Catholic friends.” We should note that Andrew Greer is a CCM artist himself. (And, so we see that in addition to the problem of joining together with false believers, “evangelicals” in CCM are being led into contemplative prayer practices).
Matt says: “The thing about a liturgy of any kind is that it does provide historically space, for silence, and the way I always tell people about the silence is, silence is a very active thing. Basically the contemplative life – contemplation itself is what happens when you exhaust all the things to say about God? And, at some point you should. Contemplation is the space where in some ways the real exchange happens. It’s the place where the veil between heaven and earth gets real thin. A buddy of mine, John Gerr always says that. The membrane between heaven and earth, it gets real thin. It is quite mystical, but it’s also very practical.
And then, I researched this concept of thin places because it doesn’t sound Christian at all. This is the information I found at thinplaces.net: http://www.thinplaces.net/openingarticle.htm “A thin place is a place of energy. A place where the veil between this world and the eternal world is thin. A thin place is where one can walk in two worlds – the worlds are fused together, knitted loosely where the differences can be discerned or tightly where the two worlds become one. The thin places concept was a part of the pre-Christian or pagan charism in Ireland and these beliefs or sensitivities – existed prior to the Celts. The concept is rejected by many of the present day Christian communities, often being linked to “new age” heathenism. …These pre-Christian Irish people believed the thin place itself had the mystical or spiritual power.” (And, of course, this isn’t anything true believers should seek out).
Andrew says: “There’s a unity in the universal church. There’s one more quote of yours, Matt, from the Washington Times. "If we're singing the same songs together, then we can't yell at each other." (Well, no true believer should ever suggest yelling at those of another religion. But, they do need to hear the truth. And, as we’ve already made clear, Catholics worship another Jesus).
Matt says: “I think more than ever we need real unity. And, I think real unity starts fundamentally on a relational level. I’ve known Mike for 8 years…Fundamentally he’s my brother. I think what unity needs to look like is the willingness to step into the point of tension of disagreement, of disunity… There’s lots of things that Mike and I don’t see eye to eye about. It doesn’t change the fact that he’s my brother. When you talk about something with family it’s so much different like I said than with a stranger. (We need to ask, on what basis does Matt Maher consider Mike Donehey his brother, and vice versa? With Maher, we know there has been a major push to bring back the “separated brethren” since Vatican II. So, the designation of those outside of Catholicism, yet in the Protestant church, as any kind of brethren would seem to be Maher’s justification.
However, for Mike Donehey to consider Maher a brother, Maher would have to be a child of God. Gal. 3:26 says, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” But, again, Maher worships another Jesus).
Mike: You can’t take this group and put them in this category because like well no, my friend is in that category. In the same way Protestants and Catholics. You’re not going to say ‘those Catholics’ if you’re a Protestant with a bunch of Catholic friends. If you’re a Catholic you’re not going to say ‘those Protestants’. (Wow. We can just see Satan’s hand all over this. You know, get these people to become friends through their music and then they will put their differences aside and act like everything is fine because they’re supposedly worshiping Jesus together. Those with discernment will know that we shouldn’t develop friendships in this manner with unbelievers or false believers. It is so easy to think, but they’re such nice people so we cannot criticize their theology. I pray true believers will not fall into this trap).