Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship Invites Roman Catholic Speaker
The Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship Family Evangelism Conference scheduled for July 12-17, 2010 at Milligan College, Tennessee will feature Ambassador Alan Keyes. Alan Keyes is a Roman Catholic Knight of Columbus. What follows is some information about the Knights of Columbus from their official website and from the Catholic Encyclopedia website:
Growth of the Knights of Columbus
The Order has been called "the strong right arm of the Church," and has been praised by popes, presidents and other world leaders, for support of the Church, programs of evangelization and Catholic education, civic involvement and aid to those in need.
Viewed and retrieved June 29, 2010 from http://www.kofc.org/un/eb/en/about/history/index.html.
The Knights of Columbus have done notable work in promoting Catholic education and charity, providing education and homes for Catholic orphans, endowing scholarships in Catholic colleges, providing lectures on Catholic doctrine, endowing hospital beds, providing sanitoria for its sick members, maintaining employment bureaux, and, in general, performing the work of the apostolate of the laity. In 1904 the order presented to the Catholic University at Washington $50,000 for a chair of American History, besides several thousand dollars for library purposes, and is at present engaged in raising $500,000 to endow 50 scholarships in the University.
The work of lectures to non-Catholics on questions of Catholic teaching and belief has always appealed to the spirit of the order, and of late years has been taken up with no little success. Splendid results have attended the lectures so far delivered. They have led to a better understanding of the Catholic faith on the part of non-Catholics, and a more friendly attitude towards it; they have shown that bigotry is on the wane, and that the non-Catholic mind is open to conviction. The series of lectures delivered by the Right Reverend Bishop J.J. Keane of Cheyenne, Wyoming, in Denver, in 1909, inaugurated the work. At Cedar Rapids, Iowa, eighty-five per cent of the audience, at the lecture under the auspices of the Knights of Columbus, was non-Catholic. The work has been taken up successfully in Buffalo, Milwaukee, Houston, Los Angeles. It is a movement which does not aim at attacking any man's belief, but at building up charity among men "and", in the words of Bishop Keane, "bringing us all closer to God Almighty". In several cities the Knights have established Catholic libraries, and in many others have catalogued the Catholic books in the public libraries.
Hearn, E. (1910). Knights of Columbus. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved June 29, 2010 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08670c.htm
Dr. Rick Light, President of PEF, responded to early criticism for choosing Ambassador Keyes to speak at Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowshipâs Family Evangelism Conference with the following (taken from The Aquila Report):
Rev. Rick Light, PEF Executive Director, stated that Mr. Keyes will be one of the speakers at the conference. When asked about Mr. Keyes religious affiliation, Mr. Light stated, âLet me assure your reading audience that he will not be a preacher of the Word. Neither the Executive Director nor the Board of Directors would stand for this. Mr. Keyes will address national, constitutional and governmental issues that face us all and obviously do it from a conservative perspective.â
He continued, âI am glad that his coming has stirred some to at least ask about PEF. This tells me they remember and are even concerned about PEF. Please let our dear friends, who are concerned about Mr. Keyes being with us, know this: we are not, nor do we intend to embrace Mr. Keyes ecclesiastical position of Roman Catholicism. We are simply âspoiling the riches of Egyptâ so that we may become, by the grace of God, better equipped salt shakers and light bearers (evangelists) in the glorious kingdom of God here in our beloved nation.â
Mr. Light stated further, âIn the years that I have been Executive Director, since 1999, I have asked numerous conservative, protestant evangelicals (can I say shakers and movers ... heavy hitters among us?) to come and address these issues at our annual conference. They have all graciously refused for different reasons. Mr. Keyes graciously agreed to come fully understanding our ecclesiastical differences and his limitations.â
After reading about the conference in the Spring 2010 edition of Come...Follow (the newsletter of PEF) I sent a letter to Dr. Light on April 19, 2010 asking the following:
What is the message you are sending to the families that support PEF â We ought to join with Romanists to save America? Does Rome have the Gospel that can save lives? Does Rome have the political, economic, and educational theory and philosophy to support ANY free society? In your choice of Ambassador Keyes, you are not only endangering the sheep, but you also show your complete ignorance of Roman Catholic theology, philosophy of education, politics, and economics. The Roman Catholic Church-State is not a bastion of truth or knowledge.
I waited for a response, and after almost a month I contacted Dr. Light to see if he received my letter. He had but he did not have time because of his schedule to ârespond in a responsible way,â instead he referred me to the article at The Aquila Report (see above). I have yet to receive a response.
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