Edition (October 1995)
Army in Formation?
men's movement that is proving to be hugely powerful and popular in the
States seems set to arrive here in the UK and Europe at any moment. Already,
in preparation, the national media has reported on the phenomenon of thousands
of men gathering in public stadia to listen to rousing sermons about male
bonding and the need for unity. (We might make something of the fact that
the normally anti-Christian media of this country seems to suspend its
judgement when it comes to Promise Keepers.)
magazine of the movement, "New Men" is already available for sale in some
outlets, containing articles and advertisements that preach the Word-of-Faith
ideology of "success in everything". Audio tapes are beginning to circulate
aggressively promoting Promise Keepers and a few news reports have appeared
in the Christian Press. These are the first few puffs of the hurricane
IS PROMISE KEEPERS?
massive movement sprang from a desire in 1990 to "raise up a generation
of promise keepers" - men who would be honest in their religious, social,
family and business lives.
was the idea of Bill McCartney, a former Roman Catholic now associated
with the Vineyard churches. Promise Keepers has Bill McCartney's pastor,
James Ryle, on its Board of Directors. This man was part of the prophetic
move centred on the Kansas City Prophets in the late '80s. So was Vineyard
pastor, Randy Phillips, (another former Catholic) who is now Promise Keeper's
first PK event in Colorado in 1991 was attended by 4,200 men. Since then
it has ballooned enormously. The goal for 1996 is a million men marching
on Washington DC as a witness to the nation and to ask God to restore
of this success can be attributed to PK's promotion through such men as
James Dobson (Focus On The Family), Bill Bright (Campus Crusade) and Gary
Smalley (Today's Family).
include Chuck Swindoll, Luis Palau, Jack Hayford, Gary Oliver, and Bill
is tight at PK, with promotion carried on through Ambassadors (travelling
salesmen?) who introduce PK to local churches. Ambassadors also recruit
Point Men in each church to keep the members informed of seminars, resources
and events. Men who join the movement give their allegiance to a small
"accountability group" overseen by the Point Man, who in turn answers
to the Ambassador. The Ambassador is in submission to the PK leadership.
Thus a pyramid structure of command and control is established which removes
individual men from the oversight of their own Pastors and places them
in "mentoring" roles with other PK men.
are several reasons for being wary of Promise Keepers:
It mimics new-age male bonding and self-discovery therapies, and was
sympathetically reported in a new age magazine. It also endorses a book
called "The Masculine Journey" by Robert Hicks which suggests levels
of initiation to manhood and other new age ideas.
There is an undue emphasis on phallic symbolism, and Jesus is presented
as a sexual male, as a role model. Hick's book does not clearly condemn
It is ecumenical. Leaders have no difficulties accepting Roman Catholics
and Mormons as members, and denominational barriers are not recognised.
It uses "shepherding" techniques to disciple its members. It requires
submission to leaders and employs a pyramid structure in its organisation.
It involves an intrusion into the privacy of a man's family life and
sexual habits, with groups members obliged to share intimate family
matters with eachother.
It promotes Christian psychologists, and uses psychological methods
for counselling. The Hicks book draws heavily from Jungian "archetypes".
It encourages male domination of women. Women are honoured but only
as "Suitable Helpers" - which is the female version of PK.
It compromises biblical doctrine by suggesting that men cannot live
effective Christian lives, nor grow as Christians, without male friends
to help them.
With the use of loud music, emotional worship and chanting, and other
such techniques, it encourages a group mentality where acceptance of
false doctrine becomes easier.
It is rooted in the Vineyard ministry and has strong links with the
Kansas City Prophets. PK is claimed to be the fulfilment of prophecies
relating to the formation of a massive "Joel's army" that will be raised
up to take the nations for God. Furthermore, it is being called one
of the "many streams that feed into the River of God" now flowing as
a result of the Toronto experience.
PROMISES OF A PROMISE KEEPER
(Extract From An Official PK Booklet)
Promise Keeper seizes the moment for Jesus by making commitments. There
is no affecting the future without committing to change. A Promise Keeper
makes promises and commits to carrying them through. These promises...
are meant to guide us toward the life of Christ so that He might transform
us from the inside out. The fact is that we are all in process until our
physical death. Yet, Scripture clearly calls to enter the process of sanctification,
to become who we are in Christ Jesus. Only then will we be godly influences
in our relationships and in our world. We are seeking men who - in conviction,
courage and humility - will commit themselves to the following seven promises.
A Promise Keeper is committed to honor Jesus Christ through worship,
prayer and obedience to His Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
A Promise Keeper is committed to pursue vital relationships with other
men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises.
A Promise Keeper is committed to practice spiritual, moral, ethical,
and sexual purity.
A Promise Keeper is committed to build strong marriages and families
through love, protection, and biblical values.
A Promise Keeper is committed to support the mission of his church by
honoring and praying for his pastor and by actively giving his time
A Promise Keeper is committed to develop meaningful relationships that
reach beyond racial and denominational barriers to the demonstrate the
power of biblical unity.
A Promise Keeper is committed to influence his world, being obedient
to the great commandment (Mark 12:30-31) and the Great Commission (Matthew
details from: Promise Keepers PO Box 18376 Boulder, CO 80308 USA
are now many privately-circulated reports and small newsletters exploring
PK and examining the implications. All these seem to be in the States,
so far, but some will be listed at the end of this article, so that further
information can be found if necessary.
of these reports will now follow.
first is by Jewel Van Der Merwe, and it appeared in her newsletter "Discernment",
for May/June 1995, available from PO Box 129, Lapeer, MI 48446-0129.
second piece is an open letter written to Bill McCartney by Pastor Bill
Randles. It can be obtained by USA supporters as a tract from Believers
In Grace Church, 3336 Prairie Drive NE, Cedar Rapids Iowa.
of Promise Keepers
By Jewel Van Der Merwe
Keepers is a parachurch structure that unites men from every denomination
for the purpose of inter-accountability, beyond what the local church
may accomplish. It does not seek to exclude pastoral leadership, but desires
that pastors become part of its framework. Often, the pastor's contact
with Promise Keepers is initiated when a bright-eyed fired-up recruit
(newly changed from a Promise Keeper rally) says, "Pastor, I'm praying
for you. I want to be supportive in any way possible." What pastor would
not be touched when hearing this from a member of his congregation?
it is an awesome experience to be part of thousands of men lifting their
voices in one accord, as in the Promise Keepers rallies. Men are suddenly
becoming not only supportive of their pastors and churches, but are working
to become the leaders of their homes as well.
testify of changed lives as a result of their contact with Promise Keepers.
If the Gospel is preached, and even one soul is truly saved, then the
efforts are worthwhile.
we not, then, examine Promise Keepers to understand its success? It is
drawing very large crowds. Men are looking beyond their own limited spheres
to something much more vast in scope. Just what is Promise Keepers? What
makes it work? Where did it start?
the large rallies that are filling stadiums across the country, men migrate
into small, intimate groups of 4 or 5. In these groups, men find that
they begin to gain control of their lives by establishing bonds of accountability
with other men. Approved Promise Keeper literature, videos and study guides
assist men in seeing themselves more clearly through the eyes of others.
They find other men who understand them. They see their struggles and
responsibilities as not merely personal burdens to be borne alone, but
as common experiences among men. Sharing and discussion moves a man from
feeling that he is 'all alone' to identification with other men as a group.
impact Promise Keepers is making is apparently a good one. But, aren't
appearances often deceiving? What is the end to be accomplished? It is
as hard to answer this as it is to define the doctrinal position of the
group. Discussions relating to doctrine are carefully and markedly avoided,
and only a positive image is to be projected.
NEW AGE JOURNAL, April 1995 ran an article favourable to Promise Keepers:
Jeff Wagenheim noted the odd combination of New Age men's movement ideology
(Robert BIy's pantheism) combined with the political evangelicalism
of Pat Robertson:
the group's assertions to the contrary, Promise Keepers is an organization
with vast political influence. The fact that hundreds of thousands of
men are being actively encouraged to adhere to a highly conservative
set of values and to work to instil those values in their communities
and nation should not just be a matter of theological interest.'"
historical precedent for a political/religious movement such as Promise
Keepers can be found in Germany during the 30's. According to author Richard
Terrell in his provocative book, RESURRECTING THE REICH (Huntington House,
1994), orthodox Christianity was supplanted by the German Volkish faith:
was to take possession of the German consciousness was a militant romanticism.
According to this way of thinking, the Divine Spirit is manifested in
the people, in their collective genius and total culture or Volkgeist.
...Germany developed a kind of communal mysticism which contained its
own Teutonic concept of a chosen people, called to redeem civilization
from its decadence." (p.44)
describes the advent of this full-blown religion:
were glorious pageants that stirred the emotions, which depended not
on any revelation of Scripture, but on pure feeling.. The Volkish concept
of the social organism was effectively symbolized in mass meetings that
expressed a sense of eternity, awe, and mystery, effects stimulated
by a 'cathedral of light' night-time mass meetings in which anti-aircraft
lights sent brilliant shafts of illumination in the darkened sky."
Promise Keepers creating a new 'folk' religion? The large mass rallies,
the exaltation of emotion over reason, the lack of doctrinal integrity,
the taking of oaths (the 7 promises), the focus on fatherland and fatherhood,
and the ecumenical inclusion of aberrant esoteric doctrines bears a disconcerting
similarity to an era which gave rise to one of the most dreadful armies
infiltration of Manifest Sons of God doctrines into Promise Keepers (via
Vineyard) combined with New Age ideologies (via Robert Bly and Robert
Hicks) appears to create a new American folk theology: pantheism, the
idolatry of self, the belief in a divine mandate to take the land, the
superiority of a group, and the necessity of group hysteria.
many in the church are jumping wholeheartedly into the Laughing Phenomenon
and Promise Keepers, it behoves the rest of the Church to take a sober,
steady look at the historical, theological and philosophical underpinnings
of these popular movements of our times". (CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE, Iowa
Research Group, Inc. P0 Box 17346, Des Moines, Iowa 50317~346, April,
it all appears so "right" -- but didn't even the folk movement in Germany
"feel good" to the masses that gathered under the banner of "a great cause"..
What better cause than "family" for men to rally to?
Promise Keepers are dedicated to uniting men through vital relationships.
unity spawns vital relationships: life changing, interdependent, living
dynamic, face to face covenant relationship. Through vital relationships
we can embrace one another's pains and triumphs. By this we express
our honor for one another as equals while respecting our diverse heritages.
We believe that vital relationships among men are the foundation for
helping one another become promise keepers. We contend that this is
best accomplished when a small group of men agree to pursue God face
to face shoulder to shoulder and back-to-back and establish covenant
relationships with one another to affirm, to be available for, and to
pray for each other; to be honest with, to preserve confidentiality
with, and to be accountable to each other.
context of covenant relationships, a man willingly grants other men
the right to inquire about his relationship with God, his commitment
to his family, his sexuality, his financial deals. Together they form
a team that is committed to advance God's kingdom." (THE
PROMISE KEEPERS Ambassador Training Manual).
is imperative to look at the foundation and structure of the Promise Keepers.
An honest appraisal is warranted, in lieu of a "follow the crowd" mindset.
Foundation - THE VINEYARD AND KANSAS CITY CONNECTION.
years ago, emerging on the national charismatic scene were a group of
men referred to as the Kansas City Prophets. This group became part of
the Vineyard Fellowship (Anaheim, CA). Their emphasis was on visions and
revelations with particular attention given to personal prophecy and prophetic
"words from the Lord". There were prophecies given at this time regarding
the fact that stadiums would be filled with people worshipping God. It
was also prophesied that the evening news would have reports on these
of the "prophets", Paul Cain, said in 1989 that God was raising a new
standard, and the understanding of Christianity would be radically changed
in our generation. He believed that God had invited him to have a role
in establishing this New Order of Christianity. He believed that God was
offering something to this generation that he had never offered before.
'prophets' promoted at that time a NEW THING that would soon happen.
This NEW THING would be based on signs, wonders and miracles. A very
clear warning went out to "beware the Old Order Brethren". The ones
considered to be Old Order were obviously not part of the flow. Signs
and wonders were to be seen as "God's endorsement of the right message
and the right Messenger". (Paul Cain, School for Prophecy 1989).
Ryle, Bill McCartney's pastor from the Boulder, Colorado Vineyard was,
and is, part of the "prophetic" scene. (Bill McCartney is the founder
of Promise Keepers.) Ryle ministers in "Dreams and Visions" conferences.
One of his dreams involved the Beatles. Ryle interpreted it as the Beatles
having the anointing for a new music. His interpretation of this dream
Lord spoke to me and said, 'What you saw in the Beatles - the gifting
and that sound they had - was from me... It was my purpose to bring
forth through music a world-wide revival that would usher in the move
of my spirit in bringing men and women to Christ.' And I want to tell
you those four lads aborted something. They took what did not belong
to them and used it in a way that was not intended by God to be used.
It did bring a revival of music - but it brought it on the other side
of the fence. And the Lord spoke to me and He said, 'In 1970 I lifted
that anointing off of them. And it has been held in my hand ever since.'
And the Lord said, 'The reason you saw it in the equipment room in that
church [part of his dream] is because that anointing belongs to the
church... Now I'm looking for those who I can place that anointing back
upon. And as surely as I place it upon them, they will come forth with
a sound that is distinctive... that will turn the hearts of men and
women and capture their heart.'"
Ryle believes that God is going to raise up a new music again, and when
people hear this new sound they will fall on their faces. [For more information
on dreams and visions see "Hearing God's Voice in the Night" by James
Ryle, CHARISMA, May 1995]. In listening to a tape by James Ryle I found
the simplicity of his style of ministry enjoyable and very effective.
At the end of the message he prayed, "Lord, help us to graduate in our
is off-limits. Your family does not even have a right to family privacy.
Here, in our area, on Woodward Avenue there is a SELF-ESTEEM book store.
The store gives one the sense that it's a "cross-over" pulling together
psychology and the New Age. On the shelf for Men's Movements, two books
were together: "MASCULINE JOURNEY" (endorsed by the Promise Keepers) and
"A CIRCLE OF MEN: The Original Manual for Men's Support Groups" by Bill
Kaught (Co-founder of THE NEW WARRIOR TRAINING ADVENTURE). It was interesting
to note the similarity of the two books; only one was dressed up with
scriptural references to make it palatable for Christians. Robert Bly,
the New Age guru for the men's movement, is referenced throughout both
books and both books speak of small accountability groups set up on an
encounter group format.
thought of Joel's Army came to mind when reading the following:
the only true warrior for God is the Messiah - El Gibbor, or the mighty
warrior God. This waging of war by Christ is as redemptive as His dying
on the cross. The warrior must be willing to shed blood, either his
own or anothers', in order to accomplish anything worthy of redemption..
God the Father and Christ are examples of what it is to be a warrior.
We must embrace the latent or rejected warrior within ourselves, not
only for our own development but also for the sake of our society and
the church..." (MASCULINE JOURNEY, study guide pg. 40).
also teach that Joel's Army is being raised up today. They base this army
on a spiritualizing of Joel chapter 2. This is why James Ryle could answer
in the affirmative that Promise Keepers was indeed "Joel's Army" that
God was raising up. It is also important to note how often the term "warrior"
is used in their materials.
underpinnings to this mighty conquering army can be found in Kingdom Now/Dominion
theology. Those who hold to Kingdom Now teachings believe that true revival
is a Christian Parallel society. They believe we should have a political
system totally controlled by Christians as the government is to be on
His shoulders (the Church).
seems to be a concerted effort on the parts of many parachurch ministries
to swallow up all churches and denominations. "Discipleship Training"
is part of a larger strategy. When all of the local groups are linked
together they will form a very large mobilizable spiritual army ready
to die for a cause.
McCartney didn't just "happen" into a Vineyard church in Boulder, Colorado.
He came from the Catholic Charismatic Word of God community in Ann Arbor,
Michigan. Much has been written about this group and as early as 1972
outside observers were alarmed at the degree of control that was being
exercised over individuals. In spite of many excesses, Pope Paul VI endorsed
this renewal movement during a massive rally in Rome in 1975.
leaders in the Ann Arbor community believed that their system of training
would radically reshape the follower's lives. Training manuals were developed
a Christian guerrilla force to combat four movements the Word of God
considered mortal enemies of Christianity: feminism, Marxism, secular
humanism, and Islam. The course ended with a special secret oath that
graduates were never supposed to reveal... 'we pledge our loyalty to
all who fight with us. We are ready for every sacrifice, even death..
.we will be loyal to our commanders.. .we will keep our plans and movements
hidden from the enemy and his agent'". (DETROIT FREE PRESS, September
occurred a tremendous growth, within the community as well as a growing
list of teachings. The levels of authority kept increasing. It mushroomed
out of Ann Arbor to sweep around the world. Two things, though, remained
constant: the same handful of men remained on top, and hundreds of married
women were relegated to the bottom rung.
doctrine of wifely submission was no brief experiment; it was the bedrock
of the community's way of life for nearly two decades." (Ibid.)
was radical reform in 1992. Many lives of those involved were devastated
and trying to find their way out of the community. Interesting enough,
the Kansas City Prophets visited Ann Arbor and were conference speakers.
The "prophet", Paul Cain, was acclaimed at this conference by those eager
for the latest word from God. Now we find that in the Promise Keepers,
men are strongly urged to get into accountability groups. "All of our
success here is contingent upon men taking part in small groups when they
return home." CHRISTIANITY TODAY February 6,1995, pg. 28.
is a model of this group? Four or five men come together as equals. They
are to build up trust relationships. In other words, every aspect of your
life must be laid bare, whether it is your marriage, personal finances,
business activities and sexual matters (past or present). Nothing is off-limits.
Your family does not even have a right to family privacy. They cannot
object to what you divulge as they are "submitted" to you. If this submission
is inculcated within the family, then there are five families in one group
submitted to the Promise Keepers.
submitted to PROMISE KEEPERS, not the local Church. This small group of
four or five is submitted to a POINT MAN. The POINT MAN links his church
with the Promise Keepers.
is important to note that while this network may be in the local church,
it is networked from without. In this way it runs parallel to the vision
and purpose of the local church (in spite of what you may be told). It
is parallel because the men are encouraged not to address doctrinal issues.
According to their manual, "we expect you to be committed to your denominational
heritage, but this is not the time to proudly wear your colors."
the mission is to unify men. Yet the Promise Keepers will swallow up men's
ministries first in the local church, then within the regional structures,
then ultimately on a national level.
to the order in which the NETWORK works, all decisions would be made in
Colorado Promise Keepers headquarters) then relayed to the AMBASSADORS
which in turn relay them to the POINT MEN.
foundation for Promise Keepers is firmly in place. Big names lend their
support. Some of these already are involved with political action groups.
If a pastor does not support the Promise Keepers there are several methods
taught to win that support. Promise Keepers are admonished to be "positive"
in order to draw in others. It all looks and feels good. Your family "will
be restored". The commonality is the sharing of ecstatic emotional experiences
that actually leaves one feeling drained at the end of a rally. Remember,
however, the rallies are to psyche you up as a good pep rally does before
that big game.
who have their own following have found a new venue to sell their wares
promoting a new brand of popular spirituality.
are good men who do preach the gospel but they are also lending their
caution seems to have been thrown to the wind. Across denominational lines,
men are marching in step. Those with political motivations will not be
far behind in setting up their strategies using this broad base of support.
Already, James Dobson of FOCUS ON THE FAMILY fame has been one of the
staunchest supporters of Promise Keepers. It is certainly no secret that
he heads up a strong political action group vis-a-vis the Community Impact
Committees which are active in over 1,000 churches in Michigan alone.
Keepers is working towards taking a million men to Washington DC in 1997.
One junior legislator at a press conference recently regaling the CONTRACT
WITH AMERICA, made note of the fact that he was a Promise Keeper. Contract!
Promises! To say Promise Keepers is not political is as naive as sending
your teenagers to a co-ed slumber party. If these tremendous rallies were
preaching repentance from sin, trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour
and faith toward God ALONE -- AMEN! Men would go back to their church
and be discipled by the leadership God has raised up in the local church.
They would get into the Word and become a light in their community. It
would be tremendous to hear messages from these meetings where the GOSPEL
truly is preached. However, there seems to be something else at work here,
a leaven that will eventually affect the whole loaf if there is not a
warning (to the pastors, especially). Leaders! Mind the flock which the
Lord has set you over!
OPEN LETTER TO BILL McCARTNEY
name is Bill Randles and I am the pastor of Believers in Grace Fellowship
Church that I founded in 1982. I am writing to express certain reservations
and concerns I have about PK.
reason this is an open letter is because there are probably thousands
of other pastors who have similar reservations. You know this also because
you referred to this at a meeting in Detroit on April 29, 1995. In fact,
I have listened to that message carefully, and heard you make some very
emphatic statements about the reluctance on the part of pastors to ally
themselves with Promise Keepers. You actually went so far as to say that
any clergyman who isn't planning to go to your February 1996 Pastors'
Gathering in Atlanta "needs to be able to tell us why he doesn't want
to go." Mr. McCartney, this is my response to your brotherly challenge.
I welcome the opportunity to tell you what my reservations and concerns
about Promise Keepers actually are. First of all, however, in the interest
of clarity, let me transcribe for you that portion of your speech which
prompted the writing of this letter. You said in Detroit:
have a great army that we are assembling. They're the Christian men
of this nation. However, our leadership, our clergy are not uniform.
Our clergy are divided. Division is many visions. There's no unity of
command...there is tremendous division in our clergy. We have to assume
that responsibility. We have to say, 'Are we impacting our clergy in
a way that's going to take them and make them all that they have to
be in order to lead this army because the shepherds are the ones God's
chosen to lead us out of here.' We are not to go out of here and lead
ourselves. We're to go out of here and to go back to our bodies, our
church bodies, and be led by our shepherd. God has hand-picked them,
He's gifted them, He's trained them, He's invested in them, He's nurtured
them. Now, I think many of you are in touch with the fact that we're
having a pastors' gathering in Atlanta on February 12th, 13th and 14th.
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 says that
he doesn't want to go, he needs to be able to tell us why he doesn't
want to go. Why wouldn't you want to be a part of what God wants to
do with His hand-picked leaders? We need to understand that our clergymen,
many of them, are reluctant to go. Many of you come from churches and
your clergymen have never been to a Promise Keepers gathering because
they're keeping a distance from us. You need to go back and tell them:
Promise Keepers wants to come along side you and be everything you need
by encouraging [your] men and giving resources. Now listen to me, men.
February 12th, 13th and 14th 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" (Promise Keepers, Detroit
Silver Dome, April 29, 1995).
McCartney, my response to that is a simple question. What do you mean
when you call for the clergy to become one leadership? In fact, minutes
after, you made another statement about the things that we could do "if
we are in control, if we come together, if our unity of command responds."
You said we can accomplish things like "pay off the national debt, and
feed the poor,...we can dissolve gangs,... and be an impact in the inner
kinds of statements underscore my initial reservations. I am very cautious
when the call is made for "One Leadership" and "Unity of Command." On
the one hand, I am troubled by this because in actual reality, the church
already is under one leadership. Jesus Christ is Himself the Head of the
Church! If you and I each submit to His headship through obedience to
His Word, we are already in unity and don't need to manufacture it. Evidently,
what you are calling for is one (human) leadership and one unity of (human)
command. Mr. McCartney, there already is an organization claiming that
kind of leadership: the Roman Catholic Church under the headship of the
Pope. Because of this "One human leadership and command," almost a billion
people are locked in spiritual bondage.
call for clergy to become one leadership and unity of command reminds
me of the shepherding movement of the 1970s and 80s, which sprang out
of the Word of God charismatic community in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and was
nurtured by the Fort Lauderdale five: Bob Mumford, Derek Prince, Don Basham,
Charles Simpson and Ernie Baxter.
mention in "Ashes to Glory", that you enjoyed fellowship with the Word
of God Community. Have you perhaps been influenced by that particular
vision of church government? I have a threefold problem with a humanly
centralized church leadership, and unity of command:
it has to be a man-made unity, and it denies the reality of the unity
of the Spirit that all Christians currently partake of;
it concentrates a tremendous amount of influence into the hands of well
meaning but sinful men;
finally, where there is a centralized, carnally unified command, it makes
it easier for deception and manipulation of the Church by Satan.
at the dark ages under the Papacy! I am glad that the church doesn't have
that kind of unity today (yet). Ours is a spiritual unity based on devotion
to Jesus, not a political unity based on "Shepherding" principles. The
way things are now, Satan has to deceive the Christians one church at
a time, but under a "unified command," all he has to do is deceive the
McCartney, a second but closely related concern I have is with the ecumenical
unity promoted by P.K. Of course, I believe in the true ecumenism: the
communion of all true saints everywhere on earth, based on the truth of
the gospel. But I am extremely wary of the "unity-at-the-expense-of-truth"
movement. People are being encouraged to de-emphasize doctrines so they
can come together as though doctrine is a meaningless detail. What is
doctrine, but the body of the truth entrusted to the saints once and for
all? Doctrine divides because truth divides. There are many denominational
barriers that should be kept in place. The whole basis for unity is the
unity of the faith (truth), a faith which has a content and makes specific
demands of people. Any other basis for unity, such as maleness, politics,
social concerns, etc, will only prove to be a house built on sand.
McCartney, do you believe the following statement made by the Pope? "On
this universal level, if victory comes, it will be brought by Mary. Christ
will conquer through her, because He wants the church's victories now
and in the future, to be linked to her" (John Paul II, from "Crossing
the Threshold of Hope"). How am I to find common ground with anyone who
believes this way? What basis for fellowship is there? Scripture commands
us not to fellowship or even wish Godspeed to those who deny the doctrine
of Christ. Another example would be this statement from the 1994 Catechism
of the Catholic Church, page 128, section 460: "The Word became flesh
to make us partakers of the divine nature....... For The Son of God became
man so that we might become God. The only begotten Son of God, wanting
to make us sharers in His divinity, assumed our nature so that He, made
man, might make men Gods."
McCartney, we are to refute such heresies! How am I to find spiritual
unity with people who worship Mary or believe they will become gods? While
I can find all sorts of commonalities on the basis of being a human being,
or the desire that a man be a better father, husband, have integrity,
purity, etc., I would hardly mistake those things for Christian Revival.
If P.K. is supposed to be a great move of God, doesn't truth and discernment
count for anything? What is to stop the Mormons or the Jehovah's Witnesses
from starting P.K. chapters in their denominations? Why not? They can
make identical promises.
GARY AND THE STAR OF 2000
McCartney, is Promise Keepers going to be used to mobilize worldwide support
for a bimillennial celebration of Jesus' 2000th birthday and Jubilee?
The reason I ask is because of the favorable review in the July/Aug 1995
New Man magazine (the official P.K. magazine) of Jay Gary's book, The
Star of 2000. Gary's self-published book advocates such a celebration.
you aware, Mr. McCartney, that in a recent Spiritual Counterfeits Project
article entitled, "Sign of the Times: Evangelicals and New Agers Together,"
Mr. Gary is the subject of much concern? Of particular concern is his
recent association with former assistant secretary general of the UN and
well known New Age author, Robert Muller, who wrote "New Genesis: Shaping
a Global Spirituality".
book amounts to a call for all religions to find common ground and work
together for a one-world religion. This S.C.P. article should sober anyone
who is taking Mr. Gary and his plans for a bimillennial birthday celebration
for Jesus seriously. The article states that Gary invited Robert Muller
to be a key adviser for his B.E.G.I.N. organization (Bimillennial Global
Gary's book, "The Star of 2000", he cites a book by Muller called "First
Lady of The World" in which Muller describes how the UN could prepare
for the bimillennial celebration. In a March/April 1992 publication of
Gary's Bimillennial Research Report, another of Muller's books, The Birth
of A Global Civilization, is recommended. Gary describes it as an "inspiring
look at our emerging global system, including new global human rights,
global networking, global core curriculum and global celebrations culminating
in the year 2000." Just a paragraph at the end of this recommended book
will give you an idea where Muller comes from:
God saw that all nations of the earth, black and white, poor and rich,
from North and South, from East and West and of all creeds were sending
their emissaries to a tall glass house on the shores of the river of
the rising sun on the island of Manhattan, to study together, to think
together, and to care together for the world and all its people. And
God said that is good. And it was the first day of the NEW AGE of the
earth" (Robert Muller, The Birth of a Global Civilization, p. 134; CAPS
McCartney, all I have to go by is what P.K. actually says or does. As
far as I know, when "New Man", the official voice of P.K., favorably reviews
Jay Gary's book, they are indirectly promoting him and his ideas. Again
I ask, is P.K. going to be used to mobilize worldwide support for a bimillennial
celebration of Jesus' Birthday in the year 2000, a celebration already
intertwined with the New Age movement?
would like to know why, Mr. Mc Cartney, when you had 50,000 turned on,
pumped up, spiritually hungry men, of all the books you could have chosen
to offer for spiritual growth you chose "The Masculine Journey" by Robert
Hicks? It is my understanding that 50,000 of these books were distributed
at Boulder in 1993. The book actually has the P.K. imprimatur on it. Do
you honestly subscribe to Hick's con-cept of the Phallic Male? Doesn't
it bother you that Hicks quotes New Age authors Sam Keen and Robert Bly
without any warning? Hicks sets off his chapter entitled "The Phallic
Male" with a quote from Keen's New Age bestseller "Fire in the Belly".
The quote is "The loins are the place of judgment" (p.47). Are you trying
yet to implement Hick's statement on page 51: "We are called to worship
God as phallic kinds of guys, not as some sort of androgynous, neutered
non-males, or the feminized males so popular in many feminist enlightened
churches. We are told by God to worship Him in accordance to what we are
- phallic men."
is growth for men? When did the apostles even remotely encourage anything
like this? I could give you countless other examples of this kind out
of Hicks book but I don't need to. What were you thinking this book would
offer when you promoted it? Was there some particular emphasis in this
book that you thought would help men spiritually? Maybe you see the need
for initiation rites as Hicks advocates in his accompanying workbook under
the section, "Exploring the Issues with other Men":
culture has presented many initiation rites or passages to manhood that
are associated with the phallus. Which ones have you experienced? Do
you have a story to share with other men about one such event?"
you lament, as Hicks does, that the church doesn't offer any alternative
initiation rites, such as circumcision? In his "Masculine Journey", which
P.K. promotes, Hicks teaches us that somehow or other we should celebrate
the different passages of a young man's life - such as his first drug
or sexual experience (p. 177):
sure many would balk at my thought of celebrating the experience of
sin. I'm not sure how we could do it. But I do know we need to do it.
For example, we usually give the teenagers in our churches such a massive
dose of condemnation regarding their first experiences with sin that
I sometimes wonder how any of them recover. Maybe we could take a different
approach. Instead of jumping all over them when they have their first
experience with sex or drugs, we could look upon this as a teachable
moment and a rite of passage. Is this putting a benediction on sin?
Of course not, but perhaps at this point the true elders could come
forward and confess their own adolescent sins and congratulate the next
generation for being human. Then they could move on to all the important
issues of forgiveness and restoration, but this time on common ground,
with the young person as a fellow sinner!"
McCartney, do you believe in this kind of celebration? If not, why promote
it? At the end of "The Masculine Journey" there's a P.K. promotion that
states, "P.K. wants to provide men's materials (like this book)." And
you wonder why pastors are reluctant to let you 'help them'?
RYLE AND THE VINEYARD
Mr. McCartney, another huge reservation that I am having with P.K. is
the fact that James Ryle, a man who claims that God told him the Beatles
were anointed to bring forth a worldwide revival and 'usher in my (God's)
spirit,' is your pastor and mentor. According to Ryle, it wasn't until
1970 that God removed his anointing from the Beatles. (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely
Hearts Club Band was anointed by God? 1970 was the year the Beatles broke
up!). I am leary of a 'prophet' who discerns the demonic as anointed.
Let's face it, although P.K. is rapidly growing and attracting an increasingly
diverse portion of the Church, it is primarily led by Vineyardites. The
'Prophet' Ryle is on the board of directors, Randy Phillips is the president,
and you go to Ryle's church (You told us to explain why I won't attend
the Saint Valentines Day Massacre). I need to tell you I have great reservations
about the Vineyard movement. Your Pastor and mentor is one example, with
his unscriptural prophecies.
are, no doubt, many fine Christians in the movement who want nothing more
than the fulfillment of the Great Commission. But we have to remember
that it was the Vineyard movement who by and large promoted the Kansas
City prophets and have kept them in circulation to this day. The mystical
"Toronto Blessing" is primarily a Vineyard phenomena although there are
many Vineyard congregations who don't claim it. What makes P.K. different
from the other Vineyard ventures? Mr. McCartney, do you believe in the
validity of this "Laughing Revival?" Can a fountain bring forth both sweet
and bitter water?
NOT MEN OF DISCERNMENT?
applaud your many charges for men to become "men of integrity," "family
men", "men of purity" and so forth, but I notice that there isn't that
much of a call for men to be men of discernment. If you truly want to
know where many of us pastors are coming from, I'll tell you. A lot of
us don't see the lack of physical unity nor lack of social action, nor
lack of signs and wonders, as the true challenge of the last days church.
According to II Thess. 2, the ultimate issue facing us is "will we love
the truth, more than the lie, in the face of a false 'revival' of lying
signs and wonders?" This is why many of us are seeing truth as the ultimate
issue, not tolerance.
course, I love all Catholics, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. All of
these "name the name of Jesus"! But almost all of them worship a different
Jesus. I can't claim most of the above as brothers in Christ. If a Mormon
keeps all seven of your promises that could well make him a moral person,
but that moral Mormon will go right to Hell. Why? Because in spite of
his morality, unity, good fathering skills, marital fidelity, he's still
doomed because he doesn't believe the testimony God gave of His Son. What
I am saying is this: What a person believes shouldn't be downplayed as
insignificant. We should rather preach the Word of God without compromise,
no matter how much it divides.
LIKE A BROAD WAY
is the road that leads to destruction."
Mr. McCartney, I am wary of P.K. because it seems to be such a broad,
inclusive way. Catholics, Mormons, and even homosexuals are encouraged
to be "included and welcomed in all our events." There are common denominators
that anyone can stress that almost every human being can admit to. But
when the true God-ordained organization, the Church, upholds the Word
of God, it divides people either onto the broad way that leads to destruction
or the narrow way that leads to life. A tell-tale sign that there is something
wrong is the press being given to Promise Keepers by the worldly media.
Why is the world promoting your organization when Jesus said the world
would hate us as it hated Him? God has an organism already, the Church
of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth, and the world rejects
it. God's work is not based on being male or female, Jew nor Greek nor
bond or free. Whosoever will, may come. These are just a few of my concerns
about P.K.. May the Lord inspire a healthy dialogue on this subject.
Thank you, Mr McCartney, for speaking out for the unborn!)