Word of Life (or Livets Ord) has been one of the largest charismatic groups in Sweden, if not Europe, but recently the Uppsala-based movement has moved in more ecumenical and “Catholic” directions.
In the past, Word of Life has generated its share of controversy over its “word-faith” teachings (where one is taught to claim God’s blessings and prosperity), with anti-cultist groups also claiming that the group displayed authoritarian tendencies. But now Word of Life, under its leader Ulf Elkman, is increasingly associating with Catholic, Orthodox and high church Lutheran circles and teachings. Elkman insists that
he is not adopting Catholicism, but only broadening his theology and promoting new unity among Christians. Elkman has spoken at charismatic Catholic gatherings and is associating with Oasis, the Swedish Lutheran charismatic movement, and the high church Lutheran Ostanback monastery.
He recently stated that “[w]ith secularism and Islam taking over in Europe, revival slogans won’t suffice. The need of the hour is a powerful, effective unity including the historic churches.” While avoiding debates over Catholic teachings, Elkman added that the recent undoing of the Lakeland healing revival in Florida over leadership scandals has highlighted the “need to tie in with classical doctrines and with a stricter understanding of the church offices.”
(Source: Charisma, November)