For example, in the first chapter of the book, Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper, Charismatic leader Dr. Jack Hayford sets forth some precious truths concerning the different aspects of worship as set forth in the Scriptures. However, when he writes about "Redeeming Worship" on page 19, he teaches serious error. Hayford writes: "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 Eucharist and the Mass (celebrated by Roman Catholics and Orthodox), and the Lord's Table, Lord's Supper and Communion observed by true believers? Of course there is! Historically the mass has been recognized by Bible believers as blatant blasphemy. Yet, today, Hayford, like other Charismatic* leaders, is teaching Promise Keepers and others that this false view of Christian worship is approved by God and proper for all Christians to accept. Promise One has the right words but the wrong application. Many other examples could be cited of errors concerning prayer and the ministry of the Holy Spirit which are believed and taught by Charismatic leaders. We have to ask, "How could anyone possibly promise to obey God's Word and in the same breath disobey that Word?" It is this inconsistency and incongruity that makes Promise Keepers a deceptive movement.
(* Write us for a copy of
our leaflets, 'The Charismatic Movement is Dangerous-Watch Out for It!",
"Is It Right to Judge?" and a sample literature packet.)
God's Word repeatedly warns about the danger of putting trust in men. Isaiah 2:22, "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" Jeremiah 17:5, "Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD." By contrast, note Jeremiah 17:7, "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." God's Word clearly commands us to "...have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3). God specifically warns in 1 Corinthians 10:12, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." Those who disregard God's warnings are surely headed for a fall.
In fact, however, the spiritual,
moral, ethical and sexual purity needed by every believer is not to be
found in making boastful promises nor in dependence upon other believers
but can only be obtained by heeding the Word of God which says, "Whereby
are given unto us [all of us!] exceeding great and precious
promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine
nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world
through lust" (2 Peter 1:4). It is the promises of God that are all
important and they assure divine power to accomplish His purpose of
godliness in an ungodly day, not the promises of even the finest,
most sincere men who attempt to formulate what they believe is needed to
change men and then the world.
Should anyone doubt the fact that the Promise Keepers movement seeks an unbiblical unity, just read the words of its founder, Coach Bill McCartney, as found on pages 160, 161 of Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper: "Now, I don't mean to suggest that all cultural differences and denominational distinctives are going to disappear. But what I know is that Almighty 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, white, red, brown, yellow, Baptist, Presbyterian, Assemblies of God, Catholic [emphasis ours], and so on-and get together on this common ground: 'We believe in salvation through 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!"
In this statement, McCartney's
contradictory words should be noted concerning the necessity of
believing in salvation through Christ alone-and then including Roman
Catholics as "brothers" in spite of the fact that they do not believe in
salvation through Christ alone, adding sacraments and good works as
requirements for salvation.
The Great Commission referred to in Matthew 28:19, 20 involves not only the preaching of the Gospel, but also teaching those who believe "...to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Giving the impression that it does not matter what church is attended or what doctrinal creed is embraced by any true believer is foolish-it does matter to God and a warning against error must be given. The apostle Paul, one of the greatest evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and teachers of all time, writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Acts 20:17-32, reminded the Ephesian elders that he had not shunned to declare "all the counsel of God" (v. 27), warning "every one night and day with tears" for three years (v. 31). What were these warnings about? The grievous wolves (false teachers) who would enter in, "not sparing the flock" (v. 29), and those from within the church who would arise, "speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (v. 30). Separation from, not reconciliation with such false teachers, is God's way of preserving the purity and power of the church.
Much of the strong appeal of the movement is based upon humanistic psychological principles and techniques. Many of its leaders, however, have become very proficient in using such dangerous theories even while claiming to repudiate humanistic psychology. In another of Satan's "dangerous mixture" deceptions, the term "Christian Psychologist" has mesmerized its proponents into believing that it is possible to take the "good things" from humanistic psychology and combine these with Biblical teachings. The result supposedly provides answers to problems Christians are experiencing which can be found in no other way. As a result, Dr. James Dobson, who is one of the Promise Keepers leaders, and other well-known "Christian Psychologists" such as Gary Smalley, John Trent, and Robert Hicks are leading many astray.
We fully concur with the statement of Martin and Deidre Bobgan on page 29 of their 41-page booklet, "Promise Keepers & PsychoHeresy." We quote: "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." For a comprehensive and Biblical analysis of the highly-questionable book, The Masculine Journey-Understanding The Six Stages of Manhood, which has been given massive distribution to Promise Keepers, write to
PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries,
4137 Primavera Rd.,
Santa Barbara, CA 93112.
A second book, Against Biblical Counseling & For the Bible (200 pages) will also be very helpful to all those who want the facts concerning the dangers of Christian Psychology.
Our own publication, "The House That Freud Built," will provide valuable information concerning the dangers of "sensitivity training" and "small group" psychological techniques as devised for those who claim to be evangelical believers. This 40-page booklet gives the history of how "sensitivity training" was introduced into evangelical churches. Originally printed in the September/October 1994 issue of FOUNDATION, this reprint will be an eye opener to all who want to know the truth.
What does Promise Keepers say
about its history and future plans? The following information is quoted
in full from the Fact Sheet which was part of the official press packet
prepared in January 1995:
Speakers at Promise Keepers "Raise the Standard" conferences include: Ron Blue, Wellington Boone, Bill Bright, Dave Bryant, Ken Canfield, Tom Claus, Ed Cole, Chuck Colson, Rod Cooper, Daniel DeLeon, Tony Evans, Steve Farrar, Joseph Garlington, Bill Glass, Franklin Graham, Jack Hayford, Howard Hendricks, E. V. Hill, Bill Hybels, T. D. Jakes, Jeffrey Johnson, Billy Kim, Greg Laurie, Crawford Loritts, John Maxwell, Billy McCartney, Bob Moorhead, Gary Oliver, Juan Carlos Ortiz, Luis Palau, John Perkins, Randy Phillips, Dennis Rainey, Raul Ries, James Ryle, Gary Smalley, Joe Stowell, Chuck Swindoll, John Trent, E. Glenn Wagner, Stu Weber, John Wesley-White, Al Whittinghill, Bruce Wilkinson, and Ravi Zacharias.
(Analysis): Without doubt these speakers are very capable teachers who are able to give forceful presentations of what they teach. The question to be raised however, concerns whether or not they will be giving these huge crowds of men the whole counsel of God or a modified, altered, misleading presentation of essential Scriptural truths. Since the ministry of these teachers runs the gamut from compromising new-evangelicalism and charismatic error, to ecumenical liberalism, it is clear that they will be introducing the Promise Keepers to unscriptural doctrines and fellowships. This is a very serious matter.
Promise Keepers officers and major staff members are obviously very capable communicator and seasoned motivators-their combined talents provide an amazing base for publicity and continued support. An article by Stephen R. McLauchlin in the January/February, 1995 issue of Religious Broadcasters magazine reports that the free 90-second daily "Promise Keepers Men in Action" spot announcements are already being carried on approximately 400 stations. This article encourages stations to publicize Promise Keepers by "giving coverage to the conferences, signing up to air "Men in Action," and covering local stories that highlight grass roots experiences of the movement."
Campus Crusade for Christ is also involved in the movement. In the "Alumni Relations" newsletter of January, 1995 the following article was included which describes the purpose of "Strategic Alliance," the title they have given to the Promise Keepers/Campus Crusade organizational link: "Strategic Alliance-Have you attended Promise Keepers and want to receive further training? 'M.A.N. 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."
Campus Crusade has a long history of increasing compromise. It adopted at its inception the policy of totally rejecting Biblical separation; infiltration rather than separation has always been CCC's stated strategy. As a result of adopting this unbiblical course, CCC has increased its compromise. Liberal, Roman Catholic and Charismatic delusion are now firmly lodged within this incredibly influential organization. Their support will give Promise Keepers a tremendous boost.
Consider also The National Religious Broadcasters which now numbers some 800 broadcasters representing a wide array of diverse theological positions. The NRB is an official arm of the National Association of Evangelicals which, since its founding in 1942, has represented a position of compromise between Biblical Fundamentalism and Ecumenism. Fifty years ago, NAE recognized Roman Catholicism as a false religious system, but it has now become one of the major forces which, while admitting that there are some differences, is now advocating cooperation with Roman Catholics as though it could now be considered a part of the body of Christ. It is obvious that such a position is held by the majority of professing believers today, but that makes it all the more important for all who stand for the Bible and against all compromise to warn all who will listen.
Promise Keepers is being welcomed by Roman Catholic leaders in Southern California. According to the official publication of the Los Angeles Roman Catholic archdiocese, The Tidings, March 31, 1995 edition, Promise Keepers is now considered a viable ministry for Catholics. The Tidings reported that at the urging of Cardinal Roger Mahony, Christian Van Liefde, Roman Catholic priest and pastor of St. Hillary Church in Pico Rivera, "has studied the feasibility and appropriateness of utilizing Promise Keepers at the Catholic parish level." Van Liefde, while noting "the evangelical roots of the program," was quoted as stating that "there is no doctrinal issue which should cause concern to the Catholic Church." Van Liefde was further quoted as saying, "Promise Keepers places a very strong emphasis on returning to your own church congregation or parish and becoming an active layman." Van Liefde also mentioned the fact that one of the promises of Promise Keepers is his commitment to "give generously of their time, treasure and talent to their local church." Roman Catholic leaders are quick to observe how Promise Keepers can be used to build a false church which preaches a false gospel.
The pressure to follow the crowd and silence the voice of scriptural reproof is growing. In closing this article, however, we would point out that any pastor and church wanting to stand against such compromise will have to take a stand now against the Promise Keepers teachings. Many who have already joined this group are now bent on recruiting new members with fully as much zeal and pressure as sports-minded college alumni men seek to recruit top athletes for sports programs.
We see this recruiting zeal of those who become involved in the movement to be one of its greatest hazards. Why? Because there will be many faithful pastors who have in the past taken a stand against all ecumenical endeavors and movements which would introduce doctrinal error and the devilish spirit of new-evangelicalism into their congregations, but who now are pressured into buying into the Promise Keepers program.
How could a pastor say "No, we cannot..." to men returning from a Promise Keepers conference who promise the pastor they will support him, work with him, and pray for him as never before? How can he deal with these undoubtedly well-meaning, yet misled, men within his own church who are now exerting pressure upon him to fall into line with the program? Imagine the faithful pastor's dilemma! Up until now he could herald a warning against Romanism, liberalism, ecumenism, charismatic delusion and the like without reservation. But now he has men within his own flock who are introducing the people to all of the above and more under the attractive packaging-Promise Keepers!
Fundamental, Bible-believing pastor, you must take a stand against this or you will be taken down by it. The machinery is coming into place for this movement to have a continuing influence on its Promise Keepers for years to come. Should you be forced into the program now, dear brother, you will be battling its impact for the duration.
A closing word about those who say, "Why not just emphasize the good things in Promise Keepers?" Such an argument sounds reasonable until you consider the very serious doctrinal errors involved. When a deadly poison is discovered in a popular medicine, no one insists on emphasizing the good ingredients; every one insists on identifying and warning about the poison. When meat or other food is found to be contaminated, the concern is not about the beneficial substances involved, but rather the giving of strong warnings as to the nature, source, and elimination of the contamination. Spiritual poison and contamination (error) are even more dangerous since they affect the eternal welfare of individuals and the reward or loss of reward for believers (I Cor. 3:9-15; 2 Jn. 8; Rev. 3:8-11).
As far as naming names is concerned, this also is frowned upon by most believers today. Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ (who is the very personification of love) issued some of the strongest warnings and rebukes ever given to the false teachers of His day. Read Matthew chapter 23 and pay careful attention to the words our Saviour used concerning the Scribes and Pharisees. Notice His instruction to "call no man father" upon earth (v. 9), and also the particular words He used forbidding repetitious prayer (Matt. 6:7). Both of these are disobeyed by Roman Catholics. And, mark well the warning of Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:15: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. " And, what about Peter, one of the three disciples who were closest to Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry? Was Christ's rebuke of Peter before the other disciples unnecessary and unloving (Matt. 16:21-23)? And, look carefully at the experience of Peter who learned the hard way about the disaster of claiming to be a promise keeper in his own strength (Mark 14:26-42).
Furthermore, the apostle Paul, one of the greatest Bible teachers, pastors, evangelists and missionaries of his day spent three years warning the Ephesian elders about the wolves (false teachers) who would enter into the flock from without; and a similar warning about those who would arise from within the church who would desire to "draw away disciples after themselves" (please read Acts 20:17-32). Likewise both Paul and the other apostles, writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, did not hesitate to mention names. Notice how often they rebuked by name those who were disobedient to the Word of God. 1 Timothy 1:20; 2 Timothy 4:10, 14; 3 John 9. We must follow their example and obey God rather than to trust the promises of any man.
Promise Keepers is dangerous,
but please do not forget that these words of warning are an effort to
"speak the truth in love," praying always that God will help
those affected to see this.
by M. H. Reynolds (Editor, FOUNDATION magazine, reprint from Vol. XVI, Issue 1)
To obtain copies of this leaflet, please write to:
Fundamental Evangelistic Association
Los Osos, California