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Text Sermons : ~Other Speakers A-F : Discernment Reasearch Articles : Promise Keepers: Should Fundamentalists Get Involved? Compiled by Miguel Betancourt

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In the summer of 1990, while traveling in a car from Denver to Pueblo, Colorado, for a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting, University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney spoke with a friend, Dave Wardell, about the need for a men's ministry (David Halbrook, "Promise Keepers Looks Ahead," Ministries Today, March-April 1995, p. 61). After a brainstorming session in July with several invited friends, Promise Keepers (PK) was born. Although credited with the founding of the movement, Bill McCartney is only a figurehead. The administrative duties fall upon the president of the organization, Randy Phillips. Approximately eighty people are employed full-time.

This movement has seen explosive growth since its beginning. A crowd of 4,200 men attended the first convention at the Coors' Event Center in Boulder in 1991. In 1992, 22,000 men gathered together for a convention. A 1993 National Men's Conference at the Univ. of Colorado's Folsom Stadium drew a capacity crowd of 50,000 ministers, priests, and laymen. Seven conventions held in 1994 had around 300,000 in attendance. Some estimate that nearly 3/4 million men will attend the conventions this year. A national conference is scheduled for June 30-July 1 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Plans also include the production of daily radio broadcasts and occasional TV programs. Promise Keepers plans to have one million men in attendance for a rally in Washington, DC in 1996.

Much of the success, humanly speaking, seems to be attributed to a few prominent individuals such as Bill Bright (Campus Crusade for Christ), and psychologists Dr. Gary Smalley and Dr. James Dobson (Focus on the Family) who have given their whole-hearted endorsement. Those who actually take the Promise Keepers program into the churches are called Point Men and Ambassadors. Point Men are the primary contacts with the churches that inform the congregations of upcoming conferences, training seminars and resources, and organize the promotion of PK conferences. Ambassadors introduce Promise Keepers to the churches in the community and recruit Point Men (Albert Dager, Media Spotlight Special Report, "Promise Keepers: Is What You See What You Get?", p. 2).


Promise Keepers operates on the basis that God wants men to be responsible leaders in the church, home, and community. McCartney says that men must commit to what he describes as "the three non-negotiables of manhood: integrity, commitment and action" (Bill McCartney, What Makes A Man? Twelve Promises that Will Change Your Life, Colorado Springs: NavPress Publishing, 1992, p. 11). He goes on to state,

"If you were to take the word integrity and reduce it to its simplest terms, you'd conclude that a man of integrity is a promise keeper. He's a guy who, when he says something, can be trusted. When he gives his word, you can take it to the bank" (Ibid., p. 12).

The philosophy of PK can be found in the "Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper":

Promise #1. A Man and His God: A Promise Keeper is committed to honoring Jesus Christ through worship, prayer, and obedience to God's Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Promise #2: A Man and His Mentors: A Promise Keeper is committed to pursuing vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises.

Promise #3: A Man and His Integrity: A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity.

Promise #4: A Man and His Family: A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection, and biblical values.

Promise #5: A Man and His Church: A Promise Keeper is committed to supporting the mission of his church by honoring and praying for his pastor and by actively giving his time and resources.

Promise #6: A Man and His Brothers: A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity.

Promise #7: A Man and His World: A Promise Keeper is committed to influencing his world, being obedient to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

Conventions and rallies will give little more than a cursory explanation of the seven promises and challenge men to commit to them. To get to the heart of PK, one has to review their literature.


Although there is no official PK publishing house yet, their books are published by others--primarily Focus on the Family and NavPress. However, other publishing houses have begun to produce titles also. For example, Multnomah published Stu Weber's Tender Warrior, and Word Publishing produced Archibald Harts' The Sexual Man. PK's bimonthly magazine, A New Man: For Men of Integrity, is published by Strang Communications, publishers of Charisma, a magazine that is the official voice of the Charismatic movement. These publishers represent some of the strongest promoters of "Christian" psychology and errant doctrine. The following books are officially endorsed by PK and used by them:

What Makes A Man? Twelve Promises That Will Change Your Life, NavPress, 1992
Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper, Focus on the Family Publishing Co., 1994
The Masculine Journey: Understanding the Six Stages of Manhood, NavPress, 1993
Brothers! Calling Men Into Vital Relationships, Promise Keepers manual, 1993
Daily Disciplines for the Godly Man: Practical Steps to an Empowered Spiritual Life, NavPress, 1993

1. DR. E.V. HILL
Pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist, in the Watts section of Los Angeles, CA.
Church affiliated with the National Baptist Convention & member of the National Council of Churches (which rejects orthodox doctrine; they are fully apostate.)
Board member of Los Angeles NAACP, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (which sponsored the Gay Rights march on Washington in the summer of 1993), Los Angeles Urban League, and Billy Graham Association Endorsed 1984 candidacy of Jesse Jackson for Democratic nomination for the presidency.
Guest speaker on various charismatic and new-evangelical platforms -- May 1991 commencement speaker at charismatic Kenneth Hagin's Rhema Center, speaker for Billy Graham 1992 School of Evangelism, 1991 Moody Bible Institute, etc.

Native of Argentina; internationally known as "the Billy Graham of South America".
Cooperates with new-evangelicals, liberals, charismatics, and Roman Catholics in crusades and conferences.
Participated in "Methodist Congress on Evangelism" held at Oral Roberts University. Also featured was Dr. Charles Allen, First United Methodist Church of Houston, along with other Methodist bishops. This demonstrates his willingness to cooperate with apostate Methodism or the radical fringe of Charismaticism.
His ecumenical message is filled with Arminian easy-believism and pop psychology.

Hyper-charismatic pastor of the Church on the Way in Van Nuys, CA.
Senior editorial adviser for Ministries Today, a pro-charismatic magazine published by Strang Communications.

Professor at the Seminary of the East; teaches pastoral theology.
Author of The Masculine Journey.

5. And many others such as James Dobson, Chuck Swindoll, Gary Smalley, etc.



One analyst who has read PK's writings found "a preponderance of advocacy favoring self-love over self-denial, the latter of which is the biblical admonition" (Al Dager, Media Spotlight Report, p. 3). Oddly enough, both sides of the issue can be found in the same book without any comment as to which is correct. For example, Don Osgood's statement in What Makes A Man? reflects the biblical side of the issue (p. 97), but psychologists Gary Smalley and John Trent offer advice (which amounts to self-love) which is drawn from humanistic psychology (pp. 44-45).

Dr. Tony Evans in Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper, challenges men to be men and to take back leadership roles in churches and homes. He also laments the fact that our nation is full of "sissified men who abdicate their role as spiritually pure leaders, thus forcing women to fill the vacuum" (p. 73). Evans' sound advice to men is offset by the unsound advice of Gary Smalley (given in the same book, pp. 105-106) whose ideal of a man is one pictured in a family scenario where the father overcomes the "dysfunctional elements" of his own background to raise "three emotionally- healthy children." Smalley's mindset seems to be more towards rearing "emotionally healthy children" with "unconditional acceptance" and "sensitivity" than instilling biblical principles through genuinely loving confrontation and discipline. Instead of of condoning his son's rebellion, a biblically oriented father would teach his son the necessity of honoring parents, standing his ground for godly values, and correcting his son in a Scriptural manner.

Again, the diverse approach PK uses confuses people who try to discern truth from error. On the one hand, men are challenged to be men while on the other, they are presented with "truths" that are lies based upon a "feminizing requirement for unconditional acceptance and sensitivity" (Ibid., p. 5). With all the talk one hears about the need for being men of integrity, Promise Keepers allow teachings that lack the integrity they desire men to have. Note Albert Dager's discerning insights:

"Male leadership in and of itself is insufficient for adherence to the biblical mandate that demands doctrinal purity and unity in the bond of love. Men who teach error within the Church lead it nowhere closer to obedience to the Lord than women who teach, whether truth or error. Both operate outside the biblical mandate" (Ibid.).
The answer to the problem of the feminization of the church does not lie in just putting any man into a leadership position. Many more problems could come as a result. Male leadership must be doctrinally sound and biblically grounded if they are to effectively direct the church and home along God's pathway.

In a fax dated 12/8/93 to Greg Dixon, pastor of Indianapolis Baptist Temple, Promise Keepers stated that it "shares the same historic and biblical stance taken by Evangelicals and Catholics." But then PK takes a soft, worldly stance on the issue by recognizing it to be "a complex and potentially polarizing issue" to be understood in the context of psychology and genetic research. Robert Hicks seems to reinforce PK's tolerant attitude:

"Some of my early `counselees' were individuals who I once thought were logical contradictions. God brought me to Christians who were homosexuals and Marxists. I listened, tried to understand, debated back and forth, but was left with the conviction that they were sincere about both their faith in Christ and their views on sexuality and politics, though these differed from mine....I have learned that the way to look at God or the world is not necessarily through the lens or categories I currently believe are the correct ones. The labels don't matter all that much, whether they be Communist, Democrat, New Age, feminist, fundamentalist, or hookers-married- to-crossdressing codependents" (Robert Hicks, The Masculine Journey: Understanding the Six Stages of Manhood, Colorado Springs: NavPress Publishing Group, 1993, pp. 133,34).
Several things need to be pointed out about the fax sent to Greg Dixon and this statement from Hicks' book. (A copy of the fax to Greg Dixon as well as a fuller analysis of Hick's position can be found in the Media Spotlight Special Report, pp. 5-6.)

1. Seemingly, Hicks and others are convinced that a person can be content to remain an unrepentant homosexual and still be a genuine child of God. When one ceases to look at a particular sin from a scriptural perspective, he is left with only the darkness of human reasoning. God's word is clear: no unrepentant homosexual will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10). Further, Paul commands that those who profess Christ and yet openly practice sin should be removed from fellowship ("with such an one, no, not to eat" Cf. 1 Cor. 5:9- 11).

2. Biblical truth is timeless; it is not dependent upon the circumstances or cultures of the day. If one looks at God or the world through the eyes of his religious tradition or experience, then views can easily change. But if one's vision of God and the world comes from explicit Scriptural teaching, then those views cannot change without first rejecting divine revelation. (Hicks should have said that his counselees' views differed from God's word rather than his own.)

3. Labels ARE important. A person cannot identify himself with an anti- Christian philosophy (Communism, feminism, New Age-ism, homosexuality, etc.,) and still genuinely identify with Christ and true biblical faith.

4. Albert Dager summarizes the situation as follows: "While calling for strong male leadership in the churches, Promise Keepers has wimped out on an `issue' (read `sin') that strikes at the very heart of masculinity and presents an affront to God by its militant in-your-face challenge to accept sexual perversion or risk being called `unloving'" (Ibid., p. 6).

1. Jesus: a man personally tempted with homosexuality?
Even more shocking (and perhaps the explanation for his compromising stance) is Hicks' belief that Jesus was personally tempted with homosexuality. The following is taken from his book, The Masculine Journey, p. 181, which has been officially sanctioned by Promise Keepers as being "biblically-centered, frank, and honest." Promise Keepers issued a seven- page defense of Robert Hicks' book, The Masculine Journey, in which they responded to various concerns that were raised regarding its distribution, endorsement, and the ideas presented in it. It can be obtained by writing to Promise Keepers at P.O. Box 18376, Boulder, Colorado 80308. Martin and Deidre Bobgan have also written a rebuttal to this statement in their book Promise Keepers & PsychoHeresy, pp. 31-44. The Bobgan's Promise Keepers & PsychoHeresy is a scholarly analysis of Hicks' work in which the meanings of six Hebrew words are distorted to support his psychological presuppositions.

Hicks' book and its accompanying study guide were distributed to each man who attended the 1993 convention in Colorado.

"I believe Jesus was phallic with all the inherent phallic passions we experience as men. But it was never recorded that Jesus had sexual relations with a woman. He may have thought about it as the movie The Last Temptation of Christ portrays, but even in this movie He did not give in to the temptation and remained true to his messianic course. If temptation means anything, it means Christ was tempted in every way as we are. That would mean not only heterosexual temptation but also homosexual temptation! I have found this insight to be very helpful for gay men struggling with their sexuality" (Hicks, p. 181).

Again, several things should be noted [the following observations come from Bobgan and Bobgan, pp. 12-13]:

a. To refer to The Last Temptation of Christ as evidence that Jesus may have been tempted with lust for Mary Magdalene is as blasphemous as that movie was. It portrayed graphic sexual desire (lusting in the heart) which Christ identified as sin (Matt. 5:28). Hick's statement embraces the movie's blasphemy.

b. Hick's concept of a "phallic Jesus" is offensive when offered in the context (in his book) of the various seasons of a man' s life. The "phallic stage" of a man's life is one season during which his sexual energy is the dominant force. No where in Scripture are we presented with the concept of a "phallic Jesus." The idea is not only insulting but also absurd.

c. Hicks reveals a faulty grasp of the nature of temptation and a total misunderstanding of Heb. 4:15 with his statement that Jesus was tempted in every way (with every possible temptation??) as men are. To say that He was sexually tempted as men implies that the experience of temptation was identical--that Jesus had the same inward inclination to lust as men do. Jn. 14:30 makes it clear that nothing inside of Christ responded to sin or a solicitation to do evil. It was absolutely impossible for Him to have sinned.

d. These and many other statements in The Masculine Journey, afford a prime example of humanistic psychology being used to strait-jacket Scripture into supporting "Christian" psychological theory. In reality, his position is nothing more than an heretical view of Christ. [Compiler's Note: Hicks' "Christianized" psychological theories find their source in two influential psychiatrists--Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Both of these men rejected Christianity. Freud was a sex pervert; Jung (who broke ties with Freud) dealt heavily in the occult. Quoting from Jung's autobiography, Memories, Dreams, and Reflections (1961), the Bobgans reveal Jung's involvement with necromancy. Jung claimed to have daily contacts by a familiar spirit he called "Philemon" which he credits for some of his psychological theories. Hicks' use of the term "archetypes" is borrowed from Jung who used it to refer to disembodied spirits with which he also claimed to have daily contact.]

e. Under "Exploring the Issues with Other Men," (p. 21) the following question is asked in the Study Guide to The Masculine Journey: "What were your male models like as you were growing up, and how did Jesus compare as a man?"

One of the suggested points of discussion is: "Both were regular guys sexually tempted as men are."

The statement infers that Jesus was a "regular guy" and that He was "sexually tempted as men are." Use of the slang expression "guy" is hardly fitting for the God-man. It's disrespectful and contemptuous. As one writer put it, "Using the words `regular guy' in relation to sexual temptation reduces Christ to the lowest common denominator of masculinity (Bobgan, p. 13).

2. Jesus: the non-confrontive encourager as a pattern for Promise Keepers

a. Geoff Gorsuch, in the PK manual, Brothers! Calling Men into Vital Relationships, presents a distorted view of Christ. For example, note the following quotations:

"Jesus didn't view men as losers. He saw them as lost" (p. 49).

"...Jesus always asked those who came to Him what he [sic] could do for them" (p. 63).

1. With regard to the first statement Gorsuch makes, Christ seems to prefer looking at men in an unoffensive and positive manner. Mankind is not to be thought of in a demeaning term such as "loser," but as individuals who just need a little help to find their way. The truth is that all men are losers AND lost. A loser is one who does not triumph. Since no man can by himself overcome sin much less its penalty, he cannot be said to be just neutrally "lost": He is a loser as well. Apart from God's grace we will all remain desperate losers condemned and under the curse of sin. In man-to-man associations, some are winners and some are losers. But in man-to-God relationships, every man is a loser of the worst sort. Our victory can only come through the Holy Spirit as the merits of Christ's finished work on the cross are applied.

2. With regards to the second quotation above, Jesus did ask blind Bartimaeus what he wanted, and possibly there may have been other similar instances that the Scriptures do not record, but the fact is Jesus did NOT always go around asking what He could do to help people. Jesus was most concerned about their deepest need (deliverance from sin) rather than mere material or physical needs.

b. Author Bob Beltz's description of Christ also adds to an erroneous view of Him: "Jesus Christ is challenging and exciting! He was and is the most attractive and winsome personality in all of human history" (Bob Belz, Daily Disciplines for the Christian Man: Practical Steps to an Empowered Spiritual Life, Colorado Springs: NavPress Publishing Group, 1993, cited by Dager, p. 10).

As a model for the PK, the stereotype of a godly man seems to be more Mr. Personality than one committed to holiness regardless of the cost. There was nothing about Christ physically (personality or otherwise) that was the secret of His popularity, and that attracted people to follow Him. Isa. 53:2 tells us "he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him." Many followed Jesus not because they were attracted to His personality, but because of the supernatural miracles He performed. When Christ pressed them to submit to His demands for discipleship, many stopped following Him (Cf. Jn. 6:66-68).

It is interesting to note that as our Lord came to the close of His earthly ministry, His popularity dwindled and the very crowds that earlier praised Him cried out for His death (Cf. Matt. 27:20-25). Does this mean He lost whatever it was that made Him so attractive and winsome?? Albert Dager sums up the situation accurately

"There are many human concepts of Jesus, but there is only one biblical truth about Him. It is not sufficient to hold onto a close facsimile; one must hold onto the biblical Jesus. Beltz presents an unbiblical Jesus--a Jesus viewed through the romantic eyes of nostalgia. This is the feminized, "sensitive" Jesus, not the true Son of God who [sic] will appear in flames of glory to bring judgment upon an unrepentant humanity" (Dager, p. 10).

1. Promise Keepers is a charismatic-led organization that was started by members of John Wimber's Vineyard Fellowship. Coach McCartney, his pastor James Ryle, and president Randy Phillips are members of the Boulder Valley Vineyard. The Vineyard fellowship witnessed the so-called "Toronto Blessing" on Oct. 20, 1994 during South African Evangelist Rodney Howard- Browne's meetings. When members were "slain in the Spirit," they began to roll on the floor and laugh hysterically. Some lay on the floor for long periods of time giggling uncontrollably. At Oral Roberts University, Oral Roberts heralded the "laughing revivals" and Rodney Brown's ministry as signaling an "arrival of another level in the Holy Spirit." A September 1994 issue of Charisma magazine pointed out that John Wimber and his Vineyard churches had been largely swept up by the strange incidents. (The "laughing revivals" first broke out in January 1994.) (See David Cloud, The Laughing Revival and The Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement, Oak Harbor, WA: Way of Life Literature, 1995; for further information about the Vineyard movement and its beliefs see another Media Spotlight special report, Latter-Day Prophets, and the book Wonders and the Word, Kindred Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba).

2. As so often is the case among charismatics and those who reject the biblical doctrine of separation, they press for a physical expression of unity [among Christians], regardless of doctrine. Promise Keeper's stated goal is the unifying of all who love Jesus and claim to be born again, regardless of denominational affiliation. In keeping with the current craze of cooperation with Rome is the attempt to unify non-Catholics and Catholics. Albert Dager sizes up the problem:

"The weakness seems to lie more in Promise Keepers' official hands-off policy. While Promise Keepers does not overtly endorse Catholicism, they fall short in not addressing those doctrinal issues that essentially nullify the doctrines upon which unity for Promise Keepers is based. This coupled with their admonition not to judge or confront per their manual for men's groups, leaves those who wish to minister the truth to Catholics without a leg to stand on within the Promise Keepers' format. By not taking a stand on doctrinal issues, Promise Keepers overlooks the doctrinal differences not so much among non-Catholic denominations but between these and Roman Catholicism" (Dager, p. 12).

Such a passion for visible unity obligates them to refuse to stand up against the heresies of Rome. Even in their literature, there seems to be a willingness to accept the Catholic system as legitimate: "One of the core values of Promise Keepers is honoring the pastors and priests of our local congregations" (Dager, p. 12)

Acknowledging the legitimacy of Rome's priesthood is an act of treason to God and Scripture. It not only discredits the sufficiency and untransferable nature of Christ's priesthood, but also the scriptural truth of the priesthood of the believer. Promise Keepers is playing right into the Vatican's hands as the "Mother Church" seeks to accomplish its goal of incorporating all erring sheep back into the fold (Ibid.).

3. Fundamentalists should not participate in the Promise Keepers movement because of its ecumenical tendencies. This can be seen in its willingness to broadly accept any religious denomination or system of religion that calls itself Christian (regardless if there may be different meanings for the terms "Christian," "saving faith," "salvation by grace," etc.). A recent issue of Ministries Today, quotes Carl Schmidt's insightful observation of the Promise Keepers' mindset in his article in Christian Century. [The magazine Christian Century proudly advertises that it offers the Christian community material that is written from the moderate to liberal perspective; Carl Schmidt's comments about the absence of funamentalists' nonnegotiables in Promise Keepers speaks volumes.]

"There is scant evidence of the fundamentalists' nonnegotiable principles of faith. Descriptions of Christian belief are framed in broad rather than narrow terms" (emphasis mine) (Halbrook, p. 60).
4. The Promise Keepers Movement violates the Bible doctrine of separation.

a. Ephesians 5:11 admonishes the believer to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." PK demonstrates its refusal to obey God's command to reprove (expose) apostate systems for what they really are. There is nothing Christian about Catholicism: it is paganism in Christian garb. To showcase key speakers who are professing believers but identify with apostate denominations, and who refuse to take a strong stance against Romanism, is treasonous to the cause of Christ.

Neither Catholicism nor any apostate denomination is to be accepted as a legitimate expression of biblical Christianity. It is one thing to make an honest mistake in one's associations, but quite another to willingly and continually form unscriptural alliances as PK speakers and leaders do. If the men who are known as Promise Keepers are sincere in their commitment to honor Jesus Christ through obedience to God's Word (Promise #1), and to practice spiritual purity (Promise #3), then let it be demonstrated by their loving loyalty to the Scriptural mandate to separate from error and compromise. As one author observed:

"The only genuine measure of any person's or group's integrity with God is strict adherence to the purity of His Word. Promise Keepers' acceptance of anything called `Christian'--unless it is perceived as `unloving'--neutralizes the effects of those changed lives" (Dager, p. 15).

b. God commands the believer to "come out from among them and be ye separate" (2 Cor. 6:17), yet some think it better to "stay in", "infiltrate," "accommodate," "dialogue with" and yoke together for a good cause in spite of error, compromise, and infidels.

c. Passages such as Matt. 18:15-17, 1 Cor. 5:11, 1 Tim. 6:3-5, 2 Thess. 3:6, and Rom. 16:17 instruct believers how to treat brothers in Christ who willingly disobey the truths of God's word. "The person who bears the responsibility of dividing the body of Christ (in an organizational sense) is not the Christian who militantly and correctly insists on obeying Scriptural precepts, but the believer who rejects the Bible doctrine of separation and insists on fellowshipping out of bounds" (John Ashbrook, Axioms of Separation, Mentor: OH: Here I Stand Books, pp. 12-13). [O Timothy Editor: We don't believe the term "the body of Christ" should be applied to any worldwide grouping of professing Christians today.]

d. Why not join together for a good cause? If no portion of scriptural truth is compromised, then it may be a good thing to do. However, with Promise Keepers, the situation is different. Biblical truth is compromised.

In 2 Chron. 18, the pagan king Ahab conned a righteous king, Jehoshaphat, in a "good cause syndrome" (Ibid., p. 17). The Syrians had taken the border town of Ramoth-Gilead and for the best interests of both Judah and Israel, the two kings planned to join forces to fight a common enemy and regain the town. When Jehoshaphat asked for God's will to be consulted on the matter, Ahab's false prophets gave their counsel. Micaiah was the only true prophet of the LORD present that gave the truth. But Jehoshaphat listened to the voices of the majority and sided with Ahab. Upon return from a disastrous set of circumstances, Jehoshaphat was greeted by Jehu the prophet who delivered this message from God:

"Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon thee from the Lord" (2 Chron. 19:2).

If questioned, Jehoshaphat probably would have denied loving Ahab. But from God's perspective, his cooperative venture (though it seemed like a good thing to do) was seen as traitorous and worthy of chastisement from God.

Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. used to say, "It is never right to do wrong in order to get a chance to do right." Today, modern day Ahabs and Jehoshaphats are joining forces to fight a common enemy in the good causes of winning souls, moral issues, etc. God's disapproval of Judah's king is a lesson modern day Christians need to remember.

e. More applicable to the majority of laymen who associate with Promise Keepers is the lesson taught in Ezra 4:1-4. The people of the land that had been transplanted there by an Assyrian king had approached Zerubbabel and the Jewish leaders about cooperating together in the good cause of rebuilding the temple. They claimed to worship the same God the Jews did and professed to serve Him faithfully for many years. Yet, Zerubbabel saw through their claims and rejected their offer of cooperation. His "no" cost him a lot of adversity (the withholding of supplies, accusations lodged with Ahasuerus and Darius, etc.), but it kept God's blessing upon them and their endeavor. The Jewish leaders did not "love them that hated the LORD."

"Promise Keepers is one of the latest and most subtle attempts to break down the biblical line of demarcation between ecumenism and biblical Christianity under the honorable purpose (the good cause) of building strong men and families" (The Fundamentalist Digest, Vol. 3, No. 5, September-October 1994, p. 4). Like Zerubbabel we must be on guard against being drawn into an unholy union and a false public display of unity with compromise.


1. Though we can rejoice that men may get saved and their lives turn around for the good, yet results in and of themselves do not necessarily mean the movement has God's approval or that the methods Promise Keepers uses are right and in conformity to the will of God. Numbers 20 provides a classic example of this. Moses was commanded by God to strike the rock (Ex. 17:5) and speak to it (Num. 20:8) and water would come forth miraculously to supply the needs of the Israelites and their animals. In a fit of rage and frustration over the rebellious attitudes and complaints of Israel, Moses angrily struck the rock twice and water came out of the rock in abundance to quench the thirst of millions of people and animals. God graciously displayed His supernatural power and performed a miracle in the presence of the entire assembly. Yet, did God approve of Moses' methods? Did the visible result of water coming out in abundance demonstrate God's hand of blessing was upon Moses' work? No, his disobedience was noted and as punishment, he was forbidden to enter the Promised Land. "The good results that were publicly displayed did not justify the wrong way in which God's will was carried out" (Axioms of Separation, p. 14). The same is true about Promise Keepers.

2. Coach McCartney credits the recent phenomenal growth of the PK movement to the fact that "we've tapped into something that is at the very heart of God, which is why it knows no boundaries" (Halbrook, p. 61).

The Scripture is unmistakably clear: the primary attribute by which God wants to be known is holiness--He is totally separate from all that is sinful or defiled.

Fifty-five times God refers to Himself in Scripture as the "Holy One." Fifty-nine times He is called or described as being holy. There are only forty-three times where God is said to love or that He Himself is love.

Interestingly enough, the word "holy" (or a form of it) occurs 651 times in Scripture. The word "love" (or a related form) whether human or divine is mentioned only 546 times. Although no attribute of God is mentioned more frequently in the Bible than that of holiness, there is perhaps no other characteristic so ignored and misunderstood as this one. Many seem to view holiness and love as being contradictory: holiness is too negative and divisive while love seems to be positive and accepting. But contrary to God's nature is the notion that love must tolerate or even refuse to expose error. God's love is compatible with His holiness. As believers follow the command to imitate their God (Eph. 5:1), they are not free to pick and choose which characteristics to copy. The modern day definition of love largely sets aside God's demand to His children, "Be ye holy for I am holy" (Lev. 11:44; 1 Pet. 1:15,16).

Holiness is the hub of the wheel from which all other divine attributes radiate. Anything that is genuinely at the heart of God should primarily reflect that same characteristic of holiness. With the blatant rejection of the Bible doctrine of separation (which finds its foundation in the holiness of God), Promise Keepers cannot be legitimately considered "at the very heart of God." Whenever a movement becomes engrossed in compromise with error, it ceases to reflect that core attribute which God has chosen as His name (Isa. 57:15).

3. Still some would try to ignore the wrong of compromising methods and point out only the good that is seen. Some would even say that those who dare criticize a movement (as PK) which has enjoyed such phenomenal success are being nit- picky. If there can be an agreement on the "major" doctrines of Scripture, then why not get on the bandwagon of a good cause? To this Albert Dager makes the following remarks:

"The evidence of God at work is not outward results, but conformity to Scripture, which in turn results in outward change. Outward change without conformity to Scripture is merely human righteousness. Change of mind does not always equate to change of heart. A genuine change of heart results in the holding of Scripture in high esteem. Nor does it distinguish between so called `essential doctrine' and `secondary doctrine' ... (2 Tim. 3:14- 17)... When the Holy Spirit says that all Scripture is given for instruction in righteousness, He isn't speaking only of the so-called `Big Five' doctrines the ecumenists are claiming as reason for unity. He means all of Scripture itself is the essential doctrine of the Faith" (Media Spotlight Special Report, p. 14).

He then continues with these comments:

"The end does not justify the means. The proper focus must be on the means itself, as well as on the end. . . Results are not the final arbiter of truth; one's pious demeanor is not the final arbiter of truth; one's ability to call fire down from heaven is not the final arbiter of truth. God's Word is the only and final arbiter of truth" (Ibid.).

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