Fox News' Contributor Kirsten Powers Exits Evangelicalism to Embrace Catholicism
Kirsten Powers, Fox News' pundit, happily announced on October 9, 2015 to "The Five" on "One More Thing" that the next day she would become Catholic. Immediately, Powers was "high fived" by Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Eric Bolling.
Exactly why was this announcement so news worthy? Well, for starters Kirsten, once an Episcopalian and later an atheist, had shared a "conversion story" about nine years ago. At the time well-known Presbyterian Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Church in New York City had played a role in unveiling her eyes to the truth that God existed. Further time at Redeemer had her calling herself an "orthodox Christian," and sharing her story with Christianity Today. One wonders was there anything Keller shared about his own affinity with Catholicism as found, for example, in his book Reason for God that gave Kirsten the impression Catholics are surely true Christians? Dr. E.S. Williams in his article "Keller's Affinity with Rome" would support this. Read more here:
In an article, "Fox News's* Kirsten Powers Announces: 'I'm Becoming Catholic,'" Catholic Deacon
Greg Kandra of the Diocese of Brooklyn writes that during a 2006 trip to Taiwan Powers felt she had had a visitation from Jesus. Kandra further writes, "She has called her conversion a 'a bit of a mind bender' due to her political beliefs and former atheism, and prefers the term 'orthodox Christian' over 'evangelical' to describe herself due to the 'cultural baggage' around the word 'evangelical.' She has said that the biggest impact her new found faith had on her political beliefs was that she came to 'view everyone as God's child and that means everyone deserves grace and respect.'" However, I would point out, that the Bible does not say everyone is God's child. GotQuestions.com puts it this way, "The Bible is clear that all people are God's creation (Colossians 1:16) and that God loves the entire world (John 3:16), but only those who are born again are children of God (John 1:12, 11:52, Romans 8:16; I John 3:1-10)." http://www.gotquestions.org/Printer/Gods-children-PF.html
* Kandra's error.
In another piece, "Kirsten Powers Awakens to the Beauty and Depth and Riches of the Catholic Faith," Rick Rice wrote of Msgr. Charles Pope's* article that told of Kirsten's beautiful conversion story to Evangelicalism. Rice noted that Msgr. Pope, at the time, prayed that Kirsten would to know that Jesus is Lord and the lover of her soul. Of the Msgr. Pope piece Rice quotes, "But Father, but Father... 'She did not become Catholic.'" However, Msgr. Pope wrote, "Well, all I know is that she is on a journey. And the Lord has surely led some of the best Catholics through the Evangelical denominations to the Catholic Church.** ... In fact some of the greatest converts to the Catholic Church bring many gifts from their time as Evangelicals ... At a personal level, I would love for Ms. Powers to find herself in full union with the Catholic Church. ..." Rice went on, "Well Msgr. Pope, that one day has apparently arrived: Welcome Ms. Powers to the faith that challenges and enriches." Rice ended by saying to Powers, "May God use you ma'am to bring others to His embrace."
* Msgr. Charles Pope is pastor of the Holy Comforter- St. Cyprian Church that is part of the Arch- diocese of Washington, D.C. Pope has also led Bible Studies in both Congress and the White House.
** This could certainly refer to former Presbyterian Scott Hahn who converted to Catholicism some years back, and has become a best selling Catholic teacher, author, and speaker.
In still another "Home to Rome" article: "Fox News' Kirsten Powers: Welcome Home to the Catholic Church" from Catholic News Live, Kate O'Hare writes "Deo Gratias! Welcome Home!" O'Hare also mentions Kirsten's tweet note of gratitude to Father Jonathan Morris for being instrumental in leading her into Catholicism. O'Hare also adds, " ... maybe we can get her to tag-team with Father Morris and plant seeds to change the heart and mind of fallen-away Catholic Greg Gutfield of 'The Five.'" As Powers has proven it may be a long and winding road, but there's no greater joy then finally crossing the Tiber. Come on in Greg, the water's fine."
Dear reader, this is why Kirsten, a well-known writer and contributor, is such a prize convert for her opinions and thoughts influence many. For us as Evangelicals, it is time to awaken and to understand that the Catholic Church teaches another gospel. And rather than praising the Catholic Church and seeking common ground, we need to be planting our own seeds of the true gospel as found in Romans 3:24-26, and 28 where Scripture declares we are justified freely, and by faith without or apart from the deeds of the law!
While at Fox, Powers would have much contact with the large number of Catholic contributors. And as Kirsten twittered about her conversations over dinner at Del Friscas, a ritzy Manhattan restaurant, with Fox's resident Catholic "evangelist" --the ever charismatic Father Jonathan Morris who had swayed her to make her decision. This same Morris, you may recall, was on evangelist James Robison's program where Robison spoke of Evangelicals and Catholics joining together. Morris was also on "Hannity" (9-24-15) along with Dr. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church, Dallas as they discussed their positive reaction to Pope Francis' visit.
Certainly, it seems Powers knows of, and has met Jeffress. One might ask did she hear Jeffress' clear affirmation of the pope declaring Francis "a humble Christ follower" for whom he had much respect? Did she hear him state that he had more in common with his Catholic friends than his liberal Baptist friends? Did she hear him say he differed with the pope only on secondary issues? If Powers didn't, hundreds of others did!
A second prominent priest, Father Roger J. Landry of the Holy Family Catholic Church, an attache to the United Nations and a permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations also heavily influenced her to convert. On Kirsten's October 11 Twitter to Landry Kirsten wrote: "Day 1 as a Catholic: awesome! Wld not be here w/out the brilliant, kind, sacrificial, thoughtful, @ Fr.RogerLandry."
And it was Landry's homily about which Kirsten tweeted, "Happy to share the phenomenal homily from my baptismal Mass by Fr. Roger Landry "The Continual Conversion..." The homily: "The Continual Conversion Asked of the Rich Young Man and of Us, October 10, 2015" (Mass of the Reception into Full Communion with the Catholic Church) was given at Manhattan's Holy Family Church whose building was dedicated in 1965 by His Eminence Francis Cardinal Spellman to serve the needs of the UN. The church, by the way, is located just one block from the United Nations.
Holy Family was designed by architect George J. Sole to reflect the contemporary, post-Vatican II Church to fit into the United Nations neighborhood. Its art and design reflect "a spirit of ecumenism and multi-nationalism." To the left of the main altar stands a large Byzantine icon--"Our Lady of Peace." Its eastern church style and subject matter, says the parish history, reflects the themes of universality and peace. http://churchholyfamily.org/about-the-church
Just prior to her conversion Power's twittered her awe with the Pope on his recent papal visit by saying she was waiting for "Papa Francesca;" and later by writing she "was at the Pontifex Mass in DC."
Yes, Kirsten was, as Bob Smietana of Christianity Today wrote in a Gleanings News piece, "Pope Francis' Latest Convert: Kirsten Powers." Smietana said, "Fox News' highly reluctant Jesus follower
has found a new church." Smietana also noted, "Powers gave few details about her decision to become Catholic. She did thank Father Jonathan Morris, pastor of Mt. Carmel Church of the Bronx, on Twitter."
How many like Kirsten have received, and are receiving confusing messages about Catholicism from pastors such as Keller, Jeffress, and a host of others. In light of this, may we be ever ready to share the gospel that in order to reach heaven one must be born again, not join a church or do good works. For as Acts 4:12 says: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." May we avail ourselves of every opportunity to share the hope that is within us with truth, and love. And may we stand true to the faith that Jesus Christ is the only way, the truth, and the life; and that it is through Christ alone that we find salvation.
Learn to Discern Granny Verse: I Peter 3:15
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."
For More Information:
Pope Francis and the Thomas Merton Connection by Ray Yungen--A Light House Trails Booklet
My Journey Out of Catholicism by David Dombrowski--A Light House Trails Booklet
The Catholic Mary and Her Eucharistic Christ by Roger Oakland--A Light House Trails Booklet