Thank you for your very kind response. I appreciate that you can discuss strong differences without hostility. I in no way take offense to your writing, but rather welcome a dialogue that may prove to benefit individuals, denominations, and organizations for Christ and His Gospel.
You wrote, "we do not become Catholics, teach Catholic doctrine nor encourage Catholic policies." Please understand that this statement is just not true when Luis Palau and the Association sanctioned a tent from which 3,000 rosaries were handed out, Catholic pamphlets upholding the false gospel of the sacramental salvation were given out, and the sacrament of penance (confession) was performed by two priests. Did you read "Father" Ryan Lewis's words, "With Palau expected to tell people that they could have forgiveness for their sins by asking God for it, Catholic leaders wanted to make sure their church members could go to a priest to seek God's forgiveness." The sacrament of penance blasphemes the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
"Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification." CCC Para 1446
"One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he remembers after having carefully examined his conscience." CCC Para 1493
You must see that making provision for priests to offer sacramental salvation does "encourage Catholic policies."
You wrote, "we rather choose to focus on what we do have in common vs. what divides us." I understand the Palau Association's methodology of ecumenical evangelism. Please read God's condemnation of ecumenical evangelism methodology with a prayerful and open heart:
*2 Cor 6:11-17 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same(I speak as to children), you also be open. 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers (ROMAN CATHOLIC INCLUDED). For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
"I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people."
17 Therefore "Come out from among them and BE SEPARATE."
*Rom 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and AVOID THEM.
*Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather EXPOSE THEM.
*1 Tim 6:3-5 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. FROM SUCH WITHDRAW YOURSELF.
*Titus 1:9-16 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. 10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons." 13 This testimony is true. Therefore REBUKE THEM SHARPLY, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
*2 John 9-11 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, DO NOT RECEIVE HIM INTO YOUR HOUSE NOR GREET HIM; 11 for HE WHO GREETS HIM SHARES IN HIS EVIL DEEDS.
I plead with you to see how serious these departures from the faith are, and call Mr. Palau and his Association to repent. Don't ignore the clear command of God delivered by Paul and John. Having priests and bishops on the platform praying or even just present in an official capacity is Gospel compromise that the Lord forbids, "for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds" (2 John 11). Having priests present offering a false sacramental Gospel is aiding the evil one in the destruction of their souls. It would be entirely Biblical evangelism to invite every Catholic man, woman, and child to your evangelistic event that they might hear the Gospel faithfully applied to the very Catholic heresies that are binding them up to hell. It is entirely un-biblical to invite bishops and priests to carry out their priest craft at your evangelistic event when we (all Christians... especially evangelists) are commanded to BE SEPARATE, AVOID THEM, EXPOSE THEM, WITHDRAW FROM THEM, REBUKE THEM SHARPLY, and NOT RECEIVE THEM OR EVEN GREET THEM.
You wrote, "Their 'endorsement' in Omaha led to over 4500+ decisions...many were Catholic in their background. Luis never wavered from the gospel, did not water it down for Catholic ears, and we made no apologies for preaching Christ at the festival." I ask you, did Mr. Palau specifically address the false gospel of Rome, or did he simply call them "back to their faith - the Catholic faith... just trying to re-energize people for Christ. So if you're Catholic, he wants you to be an energetic Catholic... He's not out to proselytize people to a particular church" as Father Lewis of the Omaha Diocese stated? Over 800 of the 4,500 responses indicated a Catholic background and were thus handed over to the priests of the Omaha parishes to follow up on. Did Mr. Palau stand up boldly and declare that the sacraments cannot save you, the priests cannot save you, the Church of Rome cannot save you? You know that he did not. His message somehow succeeds in keeping priests and bishops united with him in festival after festival across America and around the world. This is an unholy union achieved by avoiding the specific Gospel truth that Roman Catholics desperately need. They need to hear that it is Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and above all Christ Alone that saves! A billion Roman Catholics need to hear that Catholicism has Scripture plus tradition, God's grace plus personal merit, faith plus sacrament, and Christ plus Mary, the Pope, and the priests.
They need to hear the Apostle Paul's Holy Spirit inspired correction.
*Gal 1:6-9 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
You wrote, "Do the methods matter as long as they are God honoring? Does the end justify the means? If there is a theological answer I don't know it." The methods DO matter. The Palau method of ecumenical evangelism is not God honoring. The end does not justify the means. Do you really believe that disobeying God will enhance the effectiveness of the Gospel message? Are more souls really being saved because the Palau Association disregards the Lord's command to BE SEPARATE, AVOID THEM, EXPOSE THEM, WITHDRAW FROM THEM, REBUKE THEM SHARPLY, and NOT RECEIVE THEM OR EVEN GREET THEM (them = priest, bishop, pope, etc.)? There is a theological (Biblical) answer, and it is outlined briefly in bold font one sentence back.
You wrote, "You obviously have your own ministry and I'm sure if we looked hard enough, we too would find things that we don't agree with." You won't find bold union with the most successful cult the world has every known, headed by the most successful anti-christ the world has ever known, guilty with torture and the blood of martyrs. The basic definition of a cult is Scripture PLUS & MINUS and Jesus PLUS & MINUS. Rome has plenty of plenty of additions and subtractions in the form of Papal decree, Church tradition, and Catechism. I did not "look hard" to find the Palau Association united with the false gospel of Rome. I attended a local pastoral prayer meeting and I visited the Palau Association website. The majority of the articles and news clips that I reference in my blog and sermon were proudly provided by the Palau Association website.
You wrote, "It's a fact of life that we live and work with people we don't always agree with across the board." Yes, but they must agree on the Gospel! The Gospel is not negotiable! The Palau Association's ecumenical evangelistic methodology makes the Gospel a point of negotiation; "We were able to craft some concessions and some compromises such that the archbishop came to a point where he thought this is something that would be good," Father Lewis told The Catholic Voice.
You wrote, "We have never compromised our presentation of the gospel." Yes you have. When you craft your message for a Catholic audience in such a way as to avoid the very truths that they need to hear in order to distinguish between the authentic Christ and the anti-christ of Rome (wafer & cup, priestly absolution, etc.)... you have compromised the Gospel. When you water down your message so much that the Hindu's of Nepal can't distinguish between the authentic Christ who is "THE way, THE truth, and THE life" and the popular Hindu anti-christ that fits in comfortably with a million other gods... you have compromised the Gospel.
You wrote that you use the, "platform to spread the good news to as many as are willing to listen-no matter who is in the crowd." That would be great if it were true. Invite the whole city and preach the whole Gospel, but don't invite heretics to come practice heresy and withhold the Gospel truth that would expose the predominant soul damning heresy of the region (Catholic, Hindu, or otherwise).
...continued in DIALOGUING WITH A LUIS PALAU ASSOCIATE -PART 2