Tear Down the Doctrinal Walls - Forget Doctrinal Differences - Make Us All One - Protestants - Roman Catholics - Charismatics - Everybody!

The Promise Keepers' Objective

Seventh-day Adventists, in increasing numbers, are attending Promise Keepers' stadium meetings. Now, at last, we are learning the basic objective of this organization. Here it is:

Share this information with every Seventh-day Adventist member and pastor you know!


Introduction. . . . . . . .

The Ecumenical Connection. . .

The Catholic Connection. . . . . .

The Charismatic Connection.

The Rock Music Connection. .

Promise Keepers Today. . . .


Appendix 1 An Earlier (Spring 1996) Report on Promise Keepers.  A MUST READ FOR ALL WHO VALUE TRUTH AND PURITY!

Appendix 2 Modern Revivals (excerpt from Great Controversy)

"Many of the revivals of modern times have presented a marked contrast to those manifestations of divine grace which in earlier days followed the labors of God's servants. It is true that a widespread interest is kindled. Many profess conversion, and there are large accessions to the churches; nevertheless the results are not such as to warrant the belief that there has been a corresponding increase of real spiritual life. The light, which flames up for a time, soon dies out, leaving darkness more dense than before.

"Popular revivals are too often carried by appeals to the imagination, by exciting the emotions, by gratifying the love for what is new and startling. Converts thus gained have little desire to listen to Bible truth, little interest in the testimony of prophets and apostles. Unless a religious service has something of a sensational character, it has no attractions for them. A message which appeals to unimpassioned reason awakens no response. The plain warnings of God's Word, relating directly to their eternal interests, are unheeded."  Great Controversy, 463

 The Promise Keepers' Objective


Promise Keepers (PK) is the new religious movement that is sweeping the nation like wildfire. But there are a number of facts you should know about this organization.

"Dallas author and radio pastor Tony Evans gave his best Burgess Meredith impersonation, 'Get up, you bum! Get up, you bum!' in mimicking the key scene from Rocky V in which the trainer Mick convinces his boxer to pull himself together and defeat a seemingly unassailable foe. "As Evans' words echoed down the National Mall in Washington, D.C., an epic roar issued from the throng of men, who deeply responded to the parallel between Rocky and the American evangelical male. Evans likened 'Get up, you bum!' to the cry of Christ for men to live for God. The crowd rose and let loose a deafening shout." Christianity Today. November 17, 1997.

On March 20,1990, University of Colorado head football coach. Bill McCartney, and his friend, Dave Wardell, were on a three-hour car ride to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting in Pueblo, CO. when the idea of filling a stadium with Christian men first came up. Later that year, 72 men began laying plans for such a project.

In 1991, 4,200 men gathered at the University of Colorado Events Center. In 1992, 22,000 men met at Colorado University's Folsom Stadium. In 1993, 50,000 filled Folsom Stadium to capacity. In 1994, seven sites nationwide totaled 278,600 men in attendance. In 1995, 13 gatherings were held with 750,000 in attendance. Each year since then has brought millions of men together to make Promise Keepers commitments. Huge rallies for both pastors and church members have occurred.

In six years, rally attendance has grown from 4,200 a year to 1.1 million a year. Last year's (1996) revenue reached $87 million.

Unfortunately, with the passing of time, the objectives of Promise Keepers have become clearer. What kind of commitments are being made at these meetings? Where is Promise Keepers taking those men? What is the instruction being given? How does this religious movement relate to concepts outlined in Great Controversy?

Here are several problems we find in Promise Keepers:

 Advocacy of an un-Scriptural religious unity at the expense of sound doctrine and practice.

Acceptance and promotion of un-Biblical Charismatic teachings.

Approval and use of psychological techniques and approaches.

Use and promotion of corrupted modern versions of the Bible.

Misapplying, twisting, and misinterpreting key passages of Scripture.

Evangelism at the expense of maintaining the purity of the faith.

Ecumenical inroads into a remarkably broad number of denominations and churches.

We will expand on several of these points later in this report.

The book, Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper, was published in 1994 by Focus on the Family, with articles by leading Protestant Ecumenical preachers (including Bill Bright, James Dobson. Tony Evans, Gary Smalley, and Luis Palau). The subtitle is "seven solid promises that will change a man's life forever."

An example of what will be found in it is Jack Hayford's comment on page 19 of the first chapter (which discusses Promise One: "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):

"Redeeming worship centers on the Lord's Table. Whether your tradition celebrates it as Communion, Eucharist, the Mass, or the Lord's Supper, we are all called to this centerpiece of Christian worship."

Is there any difference between the Lord's Supper and the Roman Catholic sacrifice of the Mass? Indeed, there is an incredible difference! How could anyone promise to obey God's Word, and yet stoop to such a compromise?

Promise Keepers teaches those who attend it that all men are going to be saved, regardless of what church they belong to.

Here is how Coach Bill McCartney, founder of PK, described it on pages 160-161 of the same book:

"Now, I don't mean to suggest that all cultural differences and denominational distinctives are going to disappear. But what I know is that God wants to bring Christian men together regardless of their ethnic origin, denominational background, or style of worship.

"There's only one criterion for this kind of unity: to love Jesus and be born of the Spirit of God. Can we look one another in the eye-black, red, brown, yellow, Baptist, Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, Catholic, and so on-and get together on this common ground: 'We believe in salvation though Christ alone, and we have made Him the Lord of our lives'?

"Is that not the central, unifying reality of our existence? And if it is, can we not focus on that and call each other brothers instead of always emphasizing our differences? Men, we have to get together on this!"

Although several other denominations question the rise of Promise Keepers, ironically, only the fundamentalist Baptists and other lesser-known denominations, such as the Mennonites, are deeply upset about the doctrinal void that it urges. Nearly all the other denominations --including our own -see this as a great opportunity for strengthening the ranks of their own members.

We will let the Baptists explain the problem to us:

In 1996 and 1997, the Southwide Baptist Fellowship, the Fundamentalist Baptist Fellowship, and General Association of Regular Baptists enacted resolutions warning their member churches against attending Promise Keepers' meetings or having anything to do with them. Here is one of them:

"Whereas the para-church organization known as Promise Keepers advocates an unscriptural religious unity at the expense of sound doctrine and practice, accepts. and promotes unscriptural charismatic teachings and the inclusion of Roman Catholicism, approves and uses psychological approaches that mix truth and error, uses unholy music and highly questionable speakers, and whereas they are aggressive in the pursuit of new members, a definite threat to Bible-believing Baptist churches who hold to doctrinal purity; therefore, be it resolved that the Southwide Baptist Fellowship stands firmly against it and its ecumenical bent." Southwide Baptist Fellowship, meeting at Trinity Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida, October 7-9, 1996.

Here is a second:

"We express our opposition to the inclusive character of Promise Keepers, which minimizes doctrine and denominational distinctions in an attempt to achieve unity and fellowship. We voice our concern over the practice of using some speakers who are identified with denominations that are apostate or charismatic."-General Association of Regular Baptists, June 25, 1997.

And here is a third:

"The FBF [Fundamentalist Baptist Fellowship] continues to oppose the burgeoning movement known as Promise Keepers, and see in this 'grassroots ecumenism' one of the gravest dangers to the cause of true Biblical separation in this generation. A recent example of this ecumenism occurred at the 1996 Clergy Conference for Men held in Atlanta, Georgia, February 13-15, where Bill McCartney, leader of Promise Keepers, said:

" 'It is exciting to see the denominational barriers come down as we have Protestants and Roman Catholics together. The purpose of this meeting is to have the unity of the church.'

"While giving lip service to Jesus Christ, Promise Keepers, in its attempt to break down denominational walls, sends out a confusing message concerning doctrinal walls that God sets up in His Word as essential to Biblical Christianity." -Fundamentalist Baptist Fellowship, meeting at Bethel Baptist Church, Schaumburg, Illinois, June 11-13.

At its annual conference on June 20-22, 1995, the Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America passed a lengthy statement about Promise Keepers. of which this is a portion:

"Promise Keepers' official sounding Doctrinal Statement is crafted so those with theological and ecclesiastical persuasions of belief and nonbelief including Catholic, Mormon, Charismatic and New Evangelical may and do participate. . One of Promise Keepers' goals is to have representative involvement in local churches throughout North America. . Promise Keepers' leaders, speakers and participants hold a multitude of unbiblical doctrines such as sign gifts, psycho-Heresy, and participants are strongly encouraged to ignore Bible doctrine and propound methods that undermine church autonomy and pastoral authority. We therefore resolve and do hereby encourage pastors and laymen to take a clear stand and reject any participation with Promise Keepers lest God's command against compromise be dishonored and churches succumb to ecumenism. . [and we should] teach our congregations the lessons of Scripture and experience which clearly warn against cooperation in spiritual efforts, though noble-sounding, which such are undertaken in ways which conflict with God's Word." -Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America, June 20-22, 1995.

A fifth Baptist association, in its June 21- 25, 1997, annual meeting, has gone on record against participation in Promise Keepers:

"[We are) urging our people and our churches to avoid Promise Keepers and instructing denominational departments and employees not to promote nor participate in the movement." General Association of Regular Baptists, June 25, 1997.

Here is a partial list of other religious groups, organizations, religious publications, and schools which have taken a stand against Promise Keepers:

American Council of Christian Churches. Fundamental Evangelistic Association. Baptist World Mission, Oblo Bible Fellowship, Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America, Mission to Catholics, Media Spotlight, PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries, Bob Jones University, The Berean Call Ministry.

In addition, all black denominational headquarters, as well as Reformed Church leaders, have refused to approve it. There are reasons. Most are given in this report.

Several books have been written on the subject, including, Promise Keepers: Beware! Vols. 1-2, by D. W. Cloud and Mike Betancourt. Promise Keepers in the Light of Scripture, by Douglas Comin; Beyond Promises: A Biblical Challenge to Promise Keepers, by Douglas Wilson and David Hagopian; and Promise Keepers: Another Trojan Horse, by Phillip Arms.

Such prominent church speakers as John MacArthur Jr.; John Armstrong; RC. Sproul, Jr.; and Don Matzat have spoken against participating in Promise Keepers' meetings.

Our readers have been reading our ongoing tract series entitled The Concordia Crisis. We are happy to report that the current president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has spoken out publicly against contacts with Promise Keepers. Such a statement as the following one indicates that over 20 years after the crisis at Concordia Seminary, which shook that denomination, it is still fairly conservative:

"I have watched the Promise Keepers' movement develop. The background of the movement is important for us to understand. It traces its theological roots to the Pentecostal movement. For instance, the magazine of the Promise Keepers' movement features many advertisements from charismatic and Pentecostal organizations. The magazine itself is published by individuals who have been associated with a popular charismatic magazine called Charisma. So, we need to be cautious as we hear the Promise Keepers movement's doctrinal assertions.

"The Promise Keepers' movement very purposefully de-emphasizes the importance of complete faithfulness to the Word of God. They tend to overlook differences between denominations as not all that important. The Holy Scriptures, time and again, urges us to be completely faithful to all that Jesus has given us . .

"The Promise Keepers' movement tends to view specific doctrinal points of disagreement as non-essential, unimportant and thus able to be overlooked. This would explain why the Promise Keepers' movement offered Holy Communion to a very diverse crowd of people at the Promise Keepers' clergy conference recently held in Atlanta [February 1996]. Differences must be ignored in order to facilitate this sort of ecumenical gathering, which we would describe as unionistic.

"Because God commands us to be faithful to the whole counsel of His Word it is both dishonest and insincere for us to pretend that differences do not 'matter' or are 'insignificant' and thus join in fellowship with those who do not accept the teachings of the Word or whatever the subject might be, the sacraments or the doctrine of regeneration, or justification, faith, sanctification, and all the rest.

"The Promise Keepers' movement downplays differences in these key areas and tries to reduce everything to a very simplistic formulaic approach to the Faith. The Promise Keepers' movement tends to accept the notion that there is a 'generic' sort of Christianity to which the various denominations add their particular emphases, sort of like a 'base' of paint to which various colors are added to give the paint the particular color desired. .

"Overlooking differences is not an option for the faithful of God. Recognizing them and realizing that in this life we may have to separate over them is a responsible choice, as opposed to simply 'agreeing to disagree' and then neglecting these divisive issues." -A.L. Barry. president, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Christian News, June 10,1996.

In the summer of 1996, a well-known fundamentalist editor and writer. Shelton Smith, made the following comments in a question and answer interview. Can you imagine the editor of Sword of the Lord magazine having more common Biblical sense than many of our own people?

"Question: Promise Keepers is a new phenomenon on the scene today. What can you tell us about it?

"Answer: It's the latest major attempt to ecumenize the face of Christianity in America. Ecumenism is an attempt to 'homogenize' the religious scene so everyone will walk the same, talk the same, do the same-and in the same place at the same time-without attention to distinctions or details. . The distlnctives of the Bible must never be diluted, compromised or set aside. If you hold the Bible precious to your soul, lf the Bible is the Word of God, then certain distinctives will be held. . The Promise Keepers' success reflects gullibility, and lots of it. There is so much ignorance of the Bible today; it's tragic. People are grasping in their desperation at all kinds of straws. So many do not check it out by the standards of the Bible; they just grab it and go with it.

"Question: But Promise Keepers has its own distinctives, doesn't it? . Answer: Yes, they do! Their first distinctive is to require you to set aside your distinctives.

"Question: What are you saying?

Answer: The Promise Keepers have their own agenda, and a part of their stated objective requires you to submit to their pre-set program. Specifically, you can't talk about things like eternal security at Promise Keepers. It's forbidden. Of course they wouldn't want you to say anything about standards for music, since they have chosen to use the rock culture, charismatic style of music for their rallies. An observer at the rally for clergy in Atlanta [February 1996] said, "The big-beat contemporary music brought the ministers to their feet, followed by giving a 'high five' to all those around them. .

"Question: Do you not find some good things which you can commend with Promise Keepers?

Answer: That's not the issue! You can usually find a few good things in almost anything. But when they are violations of clear Bible commands (which are not only ignored but encouraged) in order to achieve the goals, it's time to say no. When there are too many flies in the soup, you don't eat the soup.

"Question: But it's all voluntary participation, is it not?

Answer: I'm hearing stories about people being pressured pretty hard. The football couch [Promise Keepers' Bill McCartney] made a significantly disrespectful statement toward pastors who weren't lining up: McCartney said. 'Our clergy are divided. . There is no unity of command . . There is tremendous division in our clergy. . If a guy [a pastor] says that he doesn't want to go [to the Promise Keepers' Clergy Conference held in Atlanta], he needs to be able to tell us why. . We've got to have one leadership, one leadership only.' This incredible summons is way out of line; it's off-base. Pastors who cave in to the Promise Keepers' 'leadership' are going to be hearing more such demands made upon them. I think his statement is reflective of what may be expected from Promise Keepers. They want everybody-Baptists, Catholics, everybody-to do the Promise Keepers' thing, no matter what. That's untenable, uncomfortable, unwarranted, totally unacceptable. .

"Steer clear of Promise Keepers! Do not get into Promise Keepers. Give your loyalty to Bible truth, not a superficial unity. Follow Christ based on Bible truths. Don't get ensnared by this newest ecumenical craze called Promise Keepers." "Dr. Smith Talks about the Promise Keepers, " Sword of the Lord. May 31, 1996.

Individuals who have attended Promise Keepers' meetings are convinced that that high-tech psychology is used to sway the vast crowd into accepting concepts they would not otherwise consider.

"If men are to come together as men, they would do well to follow what the Bible says rather than Freudian fables, Jungian myths, and other self-serving, man-made psychologies. And they would do well to gather together in the place where they are meant to grow -in the local church -not in huge rallies with 'mob psychology' or in groups using encounter group techniques and undermining important doctrinal distinctives."-Martin and Deidre Bobgan, Promise Keepers and Psycho-Heresy.

"There are in the ministry men who gain apparent success by swaying minds through human influence. They play upon the feelings at will, making their hearers weep, and in a few minutes laugh. Under labor of this kind, many are moved by impulse to profess Christ, and there is thought to be a wonderful revival; but when the test comes, the work does not endure. Feelings are stirred, and many are borne along by the tide that seems to be setting heavenward; but in the strong current of temptation they quickly float back as driftwood. " - Gospel Workers, 382

The Ecumenical Connection

 On April 29, 1995, at a Detroit Silver Dome Promise Keepers' meeting, Bill McCartney demanded that all pastors participate in the forthcoming 1996 Clergy Conference.

"Now, I think many of you are in touch with the fact that we're having a pastor's gathering in Atlanta in February. This gathering in Atlanta should exceed 100,000 clergymen. Why? Because we have many more than that, and every single one of them ought to be there. We can't have anybody pass up that meeting. If a guy [pastor] says that he doesn't want to go, he needs to be able to tell us why he doesn't want to go! Tell them, 'Why wouldn't you want to be a part of what God wants to do with His hand-picked leaders?'. .

"Now listen to me, men; that February meeting to me is not a coincidence that it comes over Valentine's Day. I think we're going to have another St. Valentine's Day massacre. I think Almighty God is going to rip open the hearts of our leaders. I think He's going to tear them open. And I think He's going to put them back together again as one. One leadership! We've got to have one leadership, one leadership only!"

The 1996 Clergy Conference for Men in Atlanta, Georgia, which convened on February 13-15 of that year, provides us with a typical example of a primary objective of Promise Keepers, which is, bring all the churches together into one vast, non-doctrinal, mega-church!

" This is a historic event never before matched anywhere in this nation' is the way Promise Keepers' leaders described the gathering of 39,024 clergy in Atlanta, Georgia's Dome Clergymen came from all 50 states, 11 Canadian Provinces, as well as 16 other nations. Texas was the state with the highest number registered-2,657. Participants ranged from retirement age to young men fresh out of seminary, but no women were permitted to attend -even though some have attempted to do so as members of the clergy." ACCC Challenge, April 1996 issue [published by the American Council of Christian Churches]. Ralph G. Colas, in his article, An Eyewitness Report on the 1996 Clergy Conference for Men, described the gathering this way:

"While the registration fee brought in $3-$4 million, it is the sale of Promise Keepers' products that is the money producer: polo shirts, $28; windbreakers, $35; sweatshirts, $45; caps, $10-$16; coffee mugs, $5. These are just a few of the items marketed by Promise Keepers. Tapes, videos, books, and other Promise Keepers' materials also provide substantial income for Promise Keepers. Their yearly income is reported as more than $110 million! . .

"Joseph Garlington. . asked the ministers to turn to one another and say, 'The Lord is calling.' The next 'chant' shared with one another was 'There is room for you in the body of Christ. ' This was the beginning tactic to work the crowd' and to break down any reservations a clergyman might have toward those of a different religious group. The clergy eagerly followed the leaders' suggestions. .

"The big beat, contemporary music brought the ministers to their feet, followed by giving a 'high five' to all those around them."

From the podium, Dale Schlafer cried out to the massive crowd of clergymen:

"Some churches represented have ten members while others have 20,000. There are priests, bishops, and ministers from every denomination in our country!"

He added that some had been fasting for 30-40 days, that God would "reunite us" at this gathering.

At the gathering, Bill McCartney told the crowd that denominational barriers had been removed, and every Protestant group, as well as Roman Catholics, were welcome to participate. He said one of the purposes of Promise Keepers was to break down denominational walls, and added:

"The church is in bondage to the giant of denominational restrictions and another giant of racial and ethnic boundaries. PK is dedicated to uniting men through vital relationships."

He also said:

"This is a dream come true. Our Father in Heaven has sent out the invitation for Biblical unity. Biblical unity is the only way we will survive in the days ahead. . Contention between denominations has gone on long enough. If the Church ever stood together, God would have His way!"

At the meeting, McCartney declared war on "denominationalism":

"The Church has never stood together to declare to the giant of denominationalism, 'We will no longer be in bondage to you!' "

Then he quoted Paul, "Who are you to judge another man's servant?"

At another session of the two-day gathering. Max Lucado continued on the same theme, beating, beating it into the minds of the ministers and priests in attendance. His sermon, entitled "From Bondage to Freedom, "was about breaking down the walls of the denominations which separate us from one another.

Lucado made the provocative statement, "In essentials unity, in non-essentials charity." Apparently the only "essentials" is unity itself. Such things as doctrines are non-essentials.

At this juncture, Lucado asked the men to call out, all at one time, their denominational name. The result was a babel of sounds. Then he told them to callout the name of Jesus, and that, of course, was more easily heard.

Lucado then cried out to the thousands of listening pastors and priests from across America:

"The sin of disunity causes people to go to hell! The step to unity is acceptance and no longer to speak evil of one another. Would it not be wonderful not to be known as either Protestant or Catholic? This is a God-sized dream and no one in our generation has ever seen the Church united!"

As Lucado ordered the ministers to apologize to every minister representing a denomination they had ever spoken negatively of, Steve Green, the singer, strode forward and sang repeatedly the phrase, "Let the walls come down!" the 40,000 ministers shouted, whistled, clapped, and cheered.

By this time, they had been worked up into a high level of emotional feeling. Then a message was read from Billy Graham, who told the assembled clergy to "tear down the walls that separate us" This was immediately followed by a powerful act of symbolic unity: A communion service was held for everyone present. Obviously, there are so many variations of this service in the several denominations, that even holding one together was astounding! There is the Eucharist, Holy Communion, the Lord's Supper, and the Sacrifice of the Mass. Yet, somehow, they managed to all get through it together.

At a press conference soon after, a leading church official (Henry Blackaby of the Southern Baptist Convention) replied:

"We don't try to evaluate that, and neither do we take a position regarding women serving as pastors."

At this juncture, Joseph Stowell, president of Moody Bible Institute, also spoke up in defense of the no-doctrine unity.

"Our God does not ever wear an angry face. He deals with compassion!".

Apparently, neither doctrinal purity nor heretical practices matter anymore. As the Atlanta stadium rally drew to a close, Randy Phillips, Promise Keepers' president, announced that the twenty-two Men's Conferences scheduled for 1996 would have as their theme, "Break Down the Walls." Phillips said, "Isolation is the breeding ground for walls-walls of separation. Men, we are coming together in 22 stadiums in 1996 to break down the walls!"

Not only such men as Billy Graham and Joseph Stowell are backing the one-denomination objective of Promise Keepers, but also is Campus Crusade for Christ. This is one of the largest Christian collegiate organizations in America.

In its Alumni Newsletter of January 1995, ACCC printed an article which describes the purpose of "Strategic Alliance, " the name they have given to the Promise Keepers/Campus Crusade organizational link.

"Strategic Alliance-Have you attended Promise Keepers and want to receive further training? 'Man to Man' seminars are part of a Strategic Alliance between Campus Crusade for Christ and Promise Keepers to help men (1) personalize issues that concern men; (2) provide basic leadership training; and (3) give information on small-group Bible studies especially for men."

Speakers at Promise Keepers' rallies include the leading Protestant interdenominational speakers of our time:

Ron Blue, Bill Bright, Chuck Colson, Tony Egantgs, Bill Glass, Franklin Graham (Billy's son), Jack Hayford, Howard Hendricks, Bill Hybels, Bob Moorhead, Luis Palau, Randy Phillips, Raul IDes, James Ryle, Gary Smalley, Joe Stowell, Chuck Swindoll, John Trent, Glenn Wagner, John Wesley-White, Bruce Wilkinson, and Ravi Zacharias.

"McCartney has developed a team of male kindred spirits who round out the roster of speakers at PK stadium events, including Christian therapist Gary Smalley, popular author Max Lucado, media preacher Tony Evans, and Foursquare Gospel pastor Jack Hayford."-Christianity Today, November 17, 1997.

James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, has given Promise Keepers extensive publicity on his radio program; has spoken at a 1993 Promise Keepers' rally in Boulder, Colorado; and has written a chapter in the group's guidebook. In addition, Dobson's organization has published Promises Keepers' books and materials.

"As early as 1992, when the group was without a constituency or a mailing list, it received $10,000 in critical assistance from James Dobson, a psychologist and Christian activist who produces the most widely heard Christian daily radio program."-Time, October 6, 1997.

Pat Robertson, former presidential candidate and Christian Coalition head, has long been a Promise Keepers' supporter.

By 1997, about 20,000 small, regularly held, PK fellowship groups around the country were meeting in local churches and homes.

In 1996, an average of 50,000 men gathered at each of 22 sites for a total of 1.1 million. "Promise Keepers' surveys show that 62% of stadium-goers struggle with sexual sin in their lives,"-Time, October 6, 1997.

Promise Keepers has announced that it wants to "get into every church" in America! On February 4, 1997, leaders of Promise Keepers held a press conference in Washington, D.C., in preparation for their million-man 1997 rally, "Stand in the Gap. "

"[Question:] You obviously have a vision for America, and I'd like to just get an idea of what that is.

"[McCartney:] Well, what we envision happening over the next four years is we want to develop a relationship with every church in the United States that names the name of Jesus

Christ as Lord and Saviour. And make sure that the church has every opportunity to develop a vibrant men's ministry, where the men of God in that church would stand up and be called upon and. be counted upon. . And so we envision getting into every church and partnering with them in ministry and in prayer."

On October 23, 1997, Promise Keepers held a massive "Stand in the Gap Sacred Assembly" in Washington, D.C.

At that rally over a million were assembled, and told to stand in the gap for their families and their churches-and break down the walls of division between denominations.

One individual who attended took notes on what the speakers told the assembled men: "The Promise Keepers at the sacred assembly were asked to repent of denominationalism, They were invited to shout out the names of their denomination. When they did, obviously it was just a confused roar. This was in sharp contrast to when they were asked to shout that they were Christians or that Jesus is the only way to heaven. The men were asked to pray for a 'United Church, the miracle of the Millennium: The unity for which Christ prayed in His high priestly prayer in John 17 was stressed. The watching world should see that the Christians are all one. The 'sin of sectarianism' was deplored. Those who think they know all the truth and that their denomination is more faithful to God's Word than another are guilty of sin. 'The world has never seen a united church. May it now see it: We have seen a divided small church in communities from which we have come. Today we see a united 'Great Church: 'We are men of integrity. We are Promise Keepers,' those at the sacred assembly were told. 'We are brothers of Jesus Christ from every denomination. . We are people of Jesus Christ.'

" 'Let the walls' of denominationalism 'come down' was constantly emphasized. The body of Christ was being weakened by division and by brother fighting against brother. It was time to end this foolishness. McCartney emphasized that God is a God of oneness. He mentioned the unity stressed in Ephesians 4: 16 and Colossians I: 1, 2, that every church should be connected to each other..

"McCartney urged each Promise Keeper to submit to his pastor. 'Obey your leaders. Submit to their authority.' Go back to your church and give away your time, talents and treasures. Promise Keepers were urged to tell their pastors that 'I put my faith in you as leader.' Nothing was said about the fact that many pastors are religious liberals who deny the fundamental truths of historic Christianity or that many major denominations have women pastors and have officially gone on record as supporting the murder of unborn infants and allow practicing homosexuals and lesbians to serve as pastors." Christian News, October 13, 1997.

What then is the position of Promise Keepers on homosexuals? "Some homosexual activists charge that PK is exclusive and promotes homophobia. But in television interviews, McCartney clearly said homosexuals would be welcome in the movement."-Christianity Today, November 17, 1997.

In God's Word we are told to "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). That faith is found in the Written Word, as given to us by Divine inspiration. We are not to trade it for fellowship with all the liberal and apostate religious organizations in the land.

How far does Promise Keepers go in uniting with apostate teachings? Step by step, it continues in the downward track.

According to an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch for July 13, 1996, Promise Keepers has announced it has reversed its former position-and now welcomes women pastors to its meetings!

Here is the news clip:

"Kiel Center will be rocking with the sound of men singing hymns and renewing promises of fidelity to their families on a Saturday afternoon in August. Promise Keepers, a male Christian fellowship group, is planning its first large St. Louis Assembly August 24. They hope to sell 10,000 to 12,000 seats at $15 each. .

"Promise Keepers is a nondenominational group. Initially most participants were members of evangelical churches or had no churches. Now it attracts mainline Protestants and Catholics. .

"Promise Keepers welcomes female pastors and leading male members, [Louis] Monroe said." -"Promise Keepers to Rally at Kiel, " St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 13, 1996 [Monroe is a Promise Keepers' rally director].

In spite of these doctrinal problems, it seems as if every leading Protestant speaker is jumping on the PK bandwagon.

Jerry Falwell, who claims to be a fundamental Baptist, hosted a Promise Keepers' rally at Ws Liberty University in Virginia in 1996. A sizeable number of leading Baptist leaders participated in that event.

Then there is the National Religious Broadcasters Association. It now numbers some 800 broadcasters throughout America and overseas, and represents a wide array of diverse theological positions. The NRB is a subsidiary of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) which, since its founding in 1942, has tried to hold to a compromised position between conservatives and liberals, fundamentals and ecumenicals.

Fifty years ago, the NAE took the position that Roman Catholicism was a false religious system. But it has since changed its stance, and now advocates cooperation with Roman Catholicism, as though it could be considered a part of the body of Christ.

Are we now to unite with Rome? Read on! 

The Catholic Connection,

Promise Keepers has seven pledges which it wants all Christian men in the nation to sign. Number six is a promise to promote unity between all denominations. Promise Keepers' leadership has stated plainly that the unity 'they seek includes Roman Catholicism.

Speaking at one of the early rallies, Founder Bill McCartney said, "Hear me; Promise Keepers doesn't care if you're Catholic." A writer for the liberal magazine, Christian Century, gave this analysis of Promise Keepers:

"There is little if any political labeling. 'Liberals,' either political or theological, are not paraded for ridicule. There is scant evidence of the fundamentalists' non-negotiable principles of faith. Descriptions of Christian belief are framed in broad rather than narrow terms."-David Halbrook, Ministries Today, March-April 1995. Samson gave up his power when he gave up his separation. The Apostle Paul declared: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they are such [that) serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."-Romans 16:17-18.

At the Memphis stadium gathering, on October 11-12, 1996, Chuck Colson's topic was "The Unity of the Body: Brothers United in Christ. "You will recall that it was Colson who, with a Catholic priest, co-authored the notorious "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" document a couple years earlier.

Colson told the gathered men that division is our sin today and that, when we are not one, we are working against God and His plan for our lives. Colson said evangelism is impossible when the denominations are not united. He called out that we need to reach across denominational lines, since, whatever your denomination, you already belong to Jesus. Whether Catholic, Methodist, Orthodox, Assemblies, or Baptist-we all belong to one another and to God, he declared. "I'm proud Mother Teresa's my sister in Christ!"

We understand that Colson is a Southern Baptist, but that his wife is a Catholic. As he united with a Catholic in marriage, so he wants us to unite with them in worship.

The Promise Keepers' connection with Rome goes back to its founder, Bill McCartney. Bill was a lifetime devout Roman Catholic who attended Mass daily until he visited the Boulder, Colorado, Vineyard Fellowship. Liking the pastor's preaching, he began attending there, but there is no record that he ever broke with Rome. '

Ex-Catholics who truly come out of the Catholic communion are concerned to rescue others from its errors. But not Bill. Doctrines never have meant much to him. It is the "spirit' that counts. McCartney accepts Catholics as Christians and sees no reason to evangelize them.

"McCartney's own biography-as a cradle Catholic who became born again and then found his way into a lay-led para-church ministry offers one possible scenario for PK's growing role as an agent of change within American Christianity."-Christianity Today, November 17, 1997.

In his autobiography, From Ashes to Glory, McCartney admitted that he had been a "daily communicant in the Catholic Church," but through a new dedication, he "got saved." He adds, "Making a profession of faith like I did may not be expected and may not even be important in the Catholic Church." In other words, he had tacked on something new, yet no life-changing break had been made.

Keep in mind that the Catholic Church today says it teaches salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. But that is not true!

So when the various religious persuasions attend a Promise Keepers' meeting and hear that, they can go home believing it is what they already believe -even new theology Adventists. It is not enough to preach part of the truth, without preaching against error. It is not enough to preach grace without preaching obedience by faith.

The Catholic and Mormon "converts" who attend Promise Keepers' rallies, are sent back to their own churches for PK small group meetings conducted by their own pastors. The very fact that both the Roman Catholic and Mormon denominations have officially declared that they find no conflict between PK teaching and their own doctrines is extremely revealing.

Bill McCartney has repeatedly said that there are only two criteria for attending his conferences: "Do you love Jesus and have you been born of the Spirit of Jesus Christ?"

Roman Catholics are taught to show their "love for Jesus" by partaking of the Mass (New Catholic Catechism, 1367ff).

Did you know that the Roman Catholic Church believes in the "new birth"? They do, but not the kind you believe in. For them it is equivalent to the act of baptism, which most of them received as infants when three moistened fingers were touched to their foreheads.

 "The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are 'reborn of water and the Spirit.' God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism."-New Catholic Catechism, 1257.

When the National Organization for Women (NOW) passed a resolution denouncing Promise Keepers as "the greatest danger to women's rights," they announced that it was planning a counter-demonstration in Washington, D.C. when the. October 1997 "Stand in the Gap" Promise Keepers gathering occurred;-at a September 16 press conference, a group of conservative women from mainline Protestant, Orthodox-and Roman Catholic-churches denounced NOW for its attack on the Promise Keepers.

The Tidings, the official voice of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles, had an article explaining the close relationship between the Catholic Church in America and Promise Keepers. It appears they have worked out a very close agreement.

"Promise Keepers is a basic program of evangelization for men, begun among more fundamentalist and evangelical Christian communities, but now being expanded to include Catholic congregations. .

" 'The fundamental theme of the weekend is to be a man of faith, a man committed to the Lord Jesus Christ,' explains Father Christian Van Liefde, pastor of St. Hillary Church in Pico Rivera who, at the urging of Cardinal Robert Mahony, has studied the feasibility and appropriateness of utilizing Promise Keepers at the Catholic parish level.

"While noting the evangelical roots of the program, Father Van Liefde says there is no 'doctrinal' issue which should cause concern to the Catholic Church.

"Promise Keepers places a very strong emphasis on returning to your own church congregation or parish and becoming active laymen, Father Van Liefde points out. 'There is no attempt at proselytizing or drawing men away from their faith to another church' . .

"Father Van Liefde is optimistic that Promise Keepers can grow at the parish level as well- and without adversely impacting existing parish programs or finances." -The Tidings, March 31, 1995.

But now, we come to the 1997 changeover in Promise Keepers' beliefs and practices, made to satisfy the Catholic hierarchy and the events at the Franciscan University, in Steubenville, Ohio, which led up to them.

The New York Buffalo News, for May 17, 1997, contained a report on the upcoming Promise Keepers' meeting in that area. This newspaper report contained very significant information.

. Roman Catholic bishops support Promise Keepers, through their National Conference of Catholic Bishops organization.

. A Roman Catholic is on the Promise Keepers board of directors.

. In the city where the stadium rally is held, a Roman Catholic Mass is said on the preceding Sunday, in order to sanctify the gathering of the attending Catholic men.

The first two points will be amplified upon later in this report. Here is more from this important newspaper article. Read it carefully; it is packed! "Although the movement is perceived to be largely Protestant, [Bill) McCartney [Promise keepers' founder and chief executive officer] said during a news conference in the Buffalo Christian Center that Promise Keepers has the approval of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, uses some Catholic speakers and welcomes Catholic men, including priests.

"The organization's national board of Directors also includes a Catholic, Michael Timmis of Grosse Point, Michigan, McCartney pointed out.

"The bishops' position, contained in a 1996 position paper prepared by its Committee on Marriage and Family, indicates that Catholics may participate in Promise Keepers' events. The conferences, the paper suggests, may 'be filling a spiritual and pastoral vacuum' in the lives of some Catholic men and challenged church leaders to develop programs to meet those needs. Bishop Henry J. Mansell, of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese, said Friday that "Catholics are free to attend the Promise Keepers' Conference."

" 'It is his hope that after the conference there will be follow-up experiences in their home parishes,' said Monsignor David M. Lee, diocesan director of communications.

"McCartney said for Catholic men and other Christians, there are only two criteria for attending the conference: Do you love Jesus and have you been born of the Spirit of Jesus Christ?

" 'I believe Promise Keepers is the vehicle God has created to bring down barriers in Western New York,' said Rev. Dean Weaver, pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church in Kenmore, during the news conference.

"In addition to more than a dozen ministers who appeared with McCartney at the news conference, the Promise Keepers' gathering was endorsed earlier Friday by Monsignor James E. Wall, vicar for priests for the Catholic diocese and director of the St. Columban Retreat Center, Derby.

"To help Catholic men prepare for the conference, Monsignor Wall said he will celebrate a mass at 2 p.m. June 13 at Our Lady of the Sacred heart Church, S. 3148 Abbott Road, Orchard Park."-Dave Condren, News Religion Reporter, Buffalo (New York) News, May 17, 1997.

Not once has the false sacramental gospel of Romanism been plainly exposed in any Promise Keepers' conference. Promise Keepers' leaders go to Roman Catholic churches and seminaries and speak at Catholic-sponsored men's meetings. They never expose Rome's blasphemies at such meetings-or anywhere else. They never warn the Catholic participants that Rome's false gospel is cursed of God.

Mike Timmis, the Roman Catholic, mentioned in the above-quoted Buffalo article, spoke at the May 31-June 2, 1997, Catholic Men's Conference at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. This staunch Roman Catholic institution holds annual conferences, defending the pagan teaching that Mary is the sinless Queen of Heaven, through whom alone we can find access to God's forgiveness. The same brochure which announced that 1997 Steubenville conference also announced the "Mary, Mercy, and the Eucharist Conference. " A photo accompanying the announcement pictures a Catholic priest holding a rosary, imploring the Virgin's aid. Another announcement in the brochure describes a planned pilgrimage to Lourdes, a Mary-worship shrine in France.

This Franciscan University is firmly committed to strong traditional Catholic doctrinal teachings. The head of that school, priest Michael Scanlan, is forward in promoting Catholic evangelization of Protestants in America. He was a leading figure at the North American Congress on the Holy Spirit and World Evangelization in New Orleans, July 1997, as well as at its predecessor, the one held in Indianapolis in August 1990. (They purposely scheduled the national event to occur only one month after our General Conference Session in that city. Leading Catholic speakers from all over the nation attended.)

In Indianapolis, Scanlan told how he had been briefly jailed for taking part in an antiabortion march and how proud he was that; while in jail, he converted several jailed Protestants to Catholicism and gave them their first Mass.

Tirnmis, a Detroit businessman and the Catholic representative on the PK board, believes the bread and wine of the Mass is turned into the body and blood of Christ. He believes in auricular confession. He calls the pope "holy father" and believes in papal infallibility. He prays to Mary.

The leaders of Promise Keepers have objectives; they want to unite all the churches. The Catholics working closely with the PK leaders have objectives too; they want to take over Promise Keepers.

This Steubenville, Ohio, Catholic university has been closely involved with Promise Keepers since 1995. According to the July 23, 1995, issue of Today's Catholic, Scanlan conducted a Mass to conclude a Promise Keepers' Leadership Seminar held at his university that month. More than 600 Catholic men participated.

Both in 1996 and 1997, additional Promise Keepers' leadership rallies were held at Steubenville. At these gatherings, amid candles and statues of Mary and the saints, Protestants were taught how to help the men who come to PK meetings.

At the 1997 meeting, one of the speakers was PK vice-president Dale Schlafer. Other speakers included Catholic priest Michael Scanlan and Raphael de los Reyes, director of Radio Peace Catholic Broadcasting.

Because of these developments, the leading evangelical magazine of our time, Christianity Today, declares that Promise Keepers, because of the Catholic origins of its founder and its remarkable deference to Rome, may well be the. popular equivalent of Chuck Colson's Protestant-Catholic coalition.

"The movement could, for example, become a populist incarnation of the theological call from Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT). This group of theologians and institutional leaders seeks not only to make common cause against rampant immorality of individuals and institutions, but also aspires to rethink historic Christian theological disagreements in hopes of facilitating a stronger Christian unity independent of established ecumenical efforts." -Christianity Today, November 17, 1997.

At this juncture, it might be well to inquire why the Franciscan University at Steubenville, Ohio, was selected as the place where the Promise Keepers/Roman Catholic dialogue and PK compromises should be worked out. Extensive advertising material is available, showing that the school is solidly conservative in its support of traditional Roman beliefs, including the adoration of Mary.

But it has one added feature: It is also charismatic. Apparently, the hierarchy decided that a charismatic Catholic center would be the best place to try to hold the first joint PK meeting at a Roman Catholic institution, and the place to ultimately work out joint agreements with PK so the Vatican could grant its full approval and support to Catholics attending regular PK meetings.

If you question why a Pentecostal flavor should be considered so important to a meeting of these diverse minds, the next chapter in this book will provide you with a better understanding.

But still more information on this changeover in PK policy is now available to us:

Promise Keepers has changed its Statement of Faith so it will be perfectly acceptable to Rome! How is that for coming into line! The following article appeared in Our Sunday Visitor on July 20, 1997:

"While there are no hard figures, some say that 10-20 percent of those men [attending Promise Keepers' conferences) are Catholic. And, recently, Promise Keepers, a largely evangelical movement, has taken steps to attract even more Catholic men to its events and principles of discipleship. .

"At its March meeting, Promise Keepers' board of directors welcomed Mike Timmis as a new member. A Detroit-area lawyer and businessman, Timmis is a longtime leader in the Catholic charismatic renewal. "At several rallies this year, Promise Keepers has spotlighted Catholic evangelist Jim Berlucchi as a speaker.

"In June, Promise Keepers hosted a 'Catholic Summit' at its headquarters In Denver, sending out Catholic volunteers and leaders from around the country.

"And earlier this year, Promise keepers amended its statement of faith, revising the lines that Catholics had found offensive.

"Promise Keepers' founder Bill McCartney told our Sunday visitor recently that full Catholic participation was his intention from the start.

" 'Back in 1992, at our first stadium event, we very clearly stated from the podium that we eagerly welcomed the participation of Roman Catholics, and we've had scores of Roman Catholics attend and go back to their churches excited'

"As executive director of Christian outreach at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, [John] Sengenberger cites Promise Keepers as the inspiration of the men's conferences his own office has sponsored since 1995 . . "Sengenberger Invited representatives from Promise Keepers to visit the university. 'We had some frank discussions and told them we needed to see some Catholic involvement of the leadership level.'

"When Steubenville hosted its first men's conference in 1995, Sengenberger invited two Promise Keepers' officials to attend: Dale Schlafer, who was at that time chairman of the board, and Glenn Wagner, vice president.

" 'It was their first time in a Catholic evangelistic setting,' Sengenberger said. 'They were impressed. When they were leaving, we invited them to go through our bookstore and take out any books they wanted. They went home with all kinds of theology books, Vatican II teachings. . Dale took a set of the Liturgy of the Hours. The following year, he told me he'd incorporated it into his daily prayer, so Glenn asked for one, too.'

"Both men returned to Steubenville for the 1996 men's conference, where Sengenberger took them to a eucharistic holy hour.

" 'I took them aside and explained what we were doing, how this only makes sense if you believe in the real presence of Jesus. That night we were down by the stage, and I remember going down on my knees, then prostrate, down on my face-and right next to me was Glenn Wagner, doing the same thing.'

"Yet profound differences remained between the evangelicals of Promise Keepers and Catholics who were sympathetic. Last Year, Promise Keepers published a 'statement of faith with lines that seemed to be crafted to exclude Catholics or force them to reject their Catholic faith. "Section five of the Promise Keepers' credo read: 'We believe that man was created in the image of God, but because of sin, was alienated from God. That alienation can be removed only by accepting, through faith alone, God's gift of salvation, which was made possible by Christ's death.'

" 'Faith alone' is a key doctrine of the Protestant Reformation. Though the phrase appears nowhere in Scripture, it was inserted by Martin Luther in his German translation of the Bible.

"Concerned about this development at Promise Keepers, Sengenberger had several Catholic theologians review the statement and present their objections to Wagner last summer,

"Early this year, Promise Keepers revised the statement in a way that passed theological muster with those Catholics. 'Only through faith, trusting in Christ alone for salvation, which was made possible by His death and resurrection, can that alienation be removed.'

"Paul Edward, Promise Keepers' vice president for advancement, explained that the statement of faith is a 'dynamic' document, and that Promise Keepers is open for change.

" 'Truth and unity are equal, but in tension,' said Edwards, who was raised a Catholic but now attends a nondenominational church. 'We try to present truth, not washed down, yet not truth that devolves into denominational squabbles.'" -Mike Aquilina, Our Sunday Visitor, July 20, 1997. pp. 10-11.

For over a century, Our Sunday Visitor has been the leading Roman Catholic weekly magazine in the United States, In the above article, you have discovered the inside facts of what is really happening inside Promise Keepers! Mark these points well, as noted in the above Our Sunday Visitor report:

. In 1995 when the Franciscan University hosted its first men's conference, two of the top PK officials were invited to attend and did so. One was Dale Schlafer, chairman of the board; the other was Glenn Wagner, a vice-president.

. The article implies that this led to the acceptance by one or both men to portions of the Catholic faith and practice. 1 - After being given free Catholic doctrinal books, at least one PK official (Schlafer) began basing his personal prayers on them. 2 - Both officials attended the 1996 Catholic men's conference, during which they were taken to a special Eucharistic Holy Hour which included the pagan Mass.

3 - One PK official (Wagner) was so impressed, he fell prostrate on his face that night alongside Sengenberger.

. In 1996, Promise Keepers published a Statement of Faith , outlining its basic doctrinal beliefs. Catholic church officials went over it carefully and did not like part of it.

. In early 1997, top PK leaders were invited to Franciscan University for "frank discussions" with leaders of the Roman hierarchy, at which time the Catholics made several demands.

. Shortly thereafter, the board of Promise Keepers met and agreed to each of their requirements, if PK was to meet Vatican approval:

1 - The demand had been made that the PK Statement of Belief must be changed in wording, to agree with professed (but not actual) Roman Catholic teachings! By board action, the basic PK doctrinal statement was changed.

3 - At its March 1997 board meeting, the directors of Promise Keepers voted Mike Timmis, "a long-time leader in the Catholic charismatic renewal" onto the PK board. (Later in this present report, we shall learn that Promise Keepers has a very close relationship with the Protestant charismatic churches as well.)

4 - Jim Berlucchi, a leading Catholic evangelist, was quickly added as a PK speaker, and has already addressed the crowds at "several rallies" in 1997. (By definition, a "revivalist" tries to encourage the members of his own church; an "evangelist" is working to make converts of non-members.)

5 - In June, 1997, a "Catholic Summit" meeting was held at PK headquarters in Denver, to which zealous Roman Catholics, handpicked by the Catholic hierarchy, were brought together for discussions as to how they could help in counseling, or otherwise, at forthcoming PK stadium rallies.

. McCartney was interviewed by the Sunday Visitor and told them that "full Catholic participation" in the rallies was his studied objective.

. McCartney said he was careful to send Catholics who were attending his rallies back to their own churches. No attempt is made to remove them from that evil religious system.

. Commenting on the readiness to change their doctrinal position to agree with Catholicism, Paul Edwards, a PK vice-president, said their doctrines are "dynamic" -and do not include "truth that devolves into denominational squabbles." What then does PK believe? Now add to the above points the added point quoted earlier from the New York Buffalo News news clip for May 17, 1997. In a report on an upcoming Promise Keepers' meeting in that city, some of the above points were mentioned, as well as this one:

. In the city where the next PK stadium rally is held, a Roman Catholic Mass is said on the preceding Sunday. This is done in order to sanctify the gathering for the attending Catholic men.'

This trend to unite PK with the policies of Rome is disturbing to thinking Protestants:

"Since the [April 1996] Atlanta gathering, a Roman Catholic has joined the PK board. Catholics accounted for an estimated 5 percent of those at [the October 1997] Stand in the Gap [in Washington, D.C.]

"PK's general welcoming attitude toward Catholics caused several conservative Protestant denominations to warn their members to beware of its ecumenical goals." Christianity Today, November 17, 1997.