Section 10A .. The Contemporary Church
Treacherous “Christian” Organizations


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Promise Keepers

The cover story of the October 6th, 1997 issue of Time magazine was about the Promise Keepers. The coverPromise-Keepers-Time photograph of a gathering of a large number of men carried the caption

    “A new movement is filling stadiums with men asserting their manhood. This week they rally in Washington. Should they be cheered - or feared?”

Which finds me in the rare position of asking the same question as the liberal editors at Time. Regardless of any conclusions Time Magazine came to (I have not read the article) I am afraid that the answer to their question, from a conservative, Bible believing standpoint, is that Promise Keepers movement is to be feared in a manner of speaking. for two reasons. The first being that the movement has attracted huge numbers of men from across the country. A June 29, 2002 Life magazine article stated that [Emphasis Added]

    "Twelve years after its founding by former University of Colorado head football coach Bill McCartney, Promise Keepers has attracted approximately 4.8 million men to conferences at more than 140 stadiums, sports arenas and outdoor rallies across the U.S." [1]

The second reason being that they are leading these hundreds of thousands down paths that are not even remotely Biblical. For example..

    "At the Atlanta, Georgia, Promise Keepers conference that saw 39,000 clergy gathered together, PK founder Bill McCartney said, "This is a dream come true... It is exciting to see the denominational barriers come down as we have Protestants and Roman Catholics [and Mormons] here together. The purpose of this meeting is to have the unity of the church." The conference brought together the World Council of Churches, National Council of Churches, Pentecostals, charismatics, evangelicals, Mormons, and Roman Catholics, including 600 priests. Promise Keepers Vice President of Pastoral Ministry, Dale Schlafer, who organized the conference, declared that this new unity is not built upon doctrine but upon relationship..." [2]

And this is far from the only problem...

Promise Keepers.. An Evaluation
While PK's goal of developing godly men is commendable, the lover of truth will quickly realize that its approach is unbiblical.

Is What You See What You Get?
Is any organization so without blemish that it merits blind loyalty and rejection of any fair criticism? The Lord promised that at the end He would present to Himself a church without spot or blemish. We know that the church is nowhere near that condition. So why would we expect that any organization whose aim is to impact all the churches with their philosophy would be without spot or blemish... especially in view of the diverse and numerous contributors to the organization's messages?

 Promise Keepers, The Vineyard & Joel’s Army   And   Promise Keepers And Joel’s Army
Promise Keepers has the potential to be harnessed for the end time warfare being trumpeted by Dominionist leadership. In other words to become part of “Joel’s Army”. This connection has already been drawn by some of the leaders of both the Dominionist and Promise Keepers Camps.



James Ryle (Founder and president of TruthWorks Ministries and Author of two books, including A Dream Come True (Creation House, 1995) is one of the founding Board members of Promise Keepers and Bill McCartney's pastor in Denver. He has spoken at several PK stadium events around the country and is one of the featured speakers at the Promise Keepers Conference scheduled for Raleigh NC. on August 22-23, 2003).

 In 1990 at a Vineyard Harvest Conference in Denver, James Ryle, Bill McCartney’s pastor, claimed that God had personally revealed to him and instructed him to reveal to his church that He was going to bring about a worldwide revival through Music. He claimed that God told him that the 60-70’s rock stars, the Beatles and their music, were the direct result of a special anointing of the Holy Spirit. According to Ryle, it wasn't until 1970 that God removed his anointing from the Beatles, which means that Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was anointed by God. One has to wonder then why the album cover featured a picture of well-known Satanist.. Aleister Crowley, why John Lennon flashed the Satanic Il Cornuto sign on the Yellow Submarine album and why blatant disrespect for the Messiah characterized the life and art of John Lennon.

 Incidently a glance at John Lennon's bookshelves reveal that Crowley's inclusion was not a token gesture , Lennon was fascinated with everything occult from numerology to magic. His interest in the occult and New Age style spiritism is well documented throughout both The Lives of John Lennon and The Beatles, Second Revised Edition, (McGraw-Hill, 1985), Hunter Davies)

The same year Promise Keepers was formed, Ryle published a book entitled Hippo in the Garden: A Non Religious Approach to Having a Conversation with God (Orlando: Creation House, 1993, 292 p.). 

    "A vast prophetic movement inspired by the Holy Spirit within the church and a validated prophetic message preached through the church in the midst of the world resulting in an evangelistic ingathering--that is the 'hippo in the garden.' ... The prophetic movement will surely be established in the midst of the church, like a hippo in the midst of a garden. ... The hippo in the garden is the indefinable, unexpected, strange and extraordinary work of God! Yet, though it seems so out of place, it nevertheless is exactly what the Lord wants. The hippo is His pet, and it is here to stay" (Ryle, Hippo in the Garden, pp. 262,291,292).

Ryle claims this dream was a sign of the Lord raising up the charismatic/ prophetic movement.

James Ryle has had many failed prophecies, weird visions and dreams. See Hank Hanegraaff’s book Counterfeit Revival (Word Publishing, 1997, pp.67-79)


End Notes

[2] Dave Hunt. Occult Invasion - the Subtle Seduction of the World and Church (Harvest House Publishers, 1998) , p. 594

Treacherous Christian Organizations