By Wayne Camp 

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

 Over the years I have investigated a number of Satanic movements such as the Mormons, Catholicism, Pentecostalism, Russellites (falsely called Jehovah’s Witnesses), Planned Parenthood, the Jesus Movement, and others. I have never been quite as stunned as when I began (by request) to investigate the latest Satanic phenomenon, The Promise Keepers (Hereafter I will call them the PK’s to save time and space. Never have I seen such a conglomerated mess of doctrines taken from mythology, psychology, paganism, humanism, the barking dog in the glass cathedral, and other isms and ologies. PK’s have a meeting scheduled in Memphis in the month of October. With that in mind, I thought, at the suggestion of others, that I would write an article for the October, 1996, issue of this paper.

I began my research on the Internet. I have downloaded nearly 500 pages of favorable and unfavorable material. I have gone to a local "Christian" (?) bookstore which has an entire section dedicated to PK’s. In addition, they have a section connected that is dedicated to the "men’s" movement in general (The Christianized Men’s Movement). I spent about two hours perusing the books written by the leaders of the PK’s to see if what I was finding on the Internet was really in their books. Since their books have very little information on each page I could peruse a page pretty quickly, hence a book pretty quickly since their over-priced, slickly presented books are also very short. More will be said about this later. At this time I have not persuaded myself to invest any money in their books. I hate spending good money to purchase their over-priced, poorly written, slickly decorated books. I will make a trip to a couple of libraries to see if they have wasted their money on them. If not, I may spend a good deal of time in bookstores that handle them verifying quotes others have made from them.

By the time I had done the research I have described (more will be done as this series progresses), I had jotted down a list of things that I saw that I felt should be exposed. I will give a list of these later, but first let me show you the seven promises of the PK’s.


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.

A Promise Keeper is committed to pursuing vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises.

A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity.

A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection, and biblical values.

A Promise Keeper is committed to supporting the mission of the church by honoring and praying for his pastor , and by actively giving his time and resources.

A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity.

A Promise Keeper is committed to influencing his world, being obedient to the Great Commandment (see Mark 12:30-31) and the Great Commission (see Matt. 28:19-20)

Taken from the book Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper published by Focus on the Family Publishing, Colorado Springs, CO 80995. (Editor’s note: Pop psychologist James Dobson is very much involved in and supportive of the PK movement. His publishing company publishes some of their books.)

 In this series of articles we will look at several things concerning the promises keepers which I am going to list and briefly comment on. In future articles we will come back to each of these items and expose the error of the PK’s on each.

THE ORIGIN OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS WRONG. The movement was founded in 1990 by James Ryle, pastor of Boulder Valley Vineyard, which is part of the Vineyard Keepers movement, the extremist, Pentecostal group where the Laughing Phenomenon of Pentecostalism originated, and by Bill McCartney, the figure-head founder and writer of the PK’s movement. Ryle is a member of the board of directors of PK.

THE BIBLIOLOGY OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS WRONG. While they do occasionally appeal to the Scripture in their books, most of their positions and lessons are found in such books as The Masculine Journey: Understanding the Six Stages of Manhood. The book, by Robert Hicks, is actually a spin off from a book by popular New Ager, Robert Bly, which admittedly draws its ideas for the stages of manhood from mythology, shamanism among the American Indians, and pagan rites of manhood. When PK’s use the Scriptures, they usually grossly abuse them with their interpretations. In some cases, as will be shown, they twist them to teach the exact opposite of what they really teach, a necessity for their aggressive ecumenism.

THE SOTERIOLOGY OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS WRONG. They welcome Roman Catholics and Mormons as born-again believers in Christ, when both these groups teach an erroneous way of salvation. Of course, the PK’s are Arminian to the core, also. They place more emphasis on their seven promises and the six stages of manhood than on true evangelism.

THE CHRISTOLOGY OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS WRONG. Every man who attended the 1993 PK convention in Boulder, Colorado, received a free copy of The Masculine Journey: Understanding the Six Stages of Manhood. In this book there are references to a "phallic" Jesus. According to Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, "phallic" means "relating to or being the stage of; psychosexual development in psychoanalytic theory during which a child becomes interested in his or her own sexual organs. "Phallicism," according to the same authority, is "the worship of the generative principle as symbolized by the phallus (penis)." In one of their studies they suggest that Jesus had thoughts of committing homosexual acts. This is done to encourage men to freely talk of their own sexual thoughts and of their sex life with their wives. It is necessary to discuss and confess all such thoughts to pass one of the stages of manhood set forth in The Masculine Journey. In the book, Hicks also accuses Jesus Christ of being a sinner, and of having sexual thoughts and fantasies about Mary Magdalene.

THE THEOLOGY OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS WRONG. 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. For support for their teachings, PK’s more often cite The Masculine Journey, than the word of God. This book quotes men (as authorities) such as Carl Jung, a demon-possessed psychiatrist, Leanne Payne, a New Age psychiatrist and occultist/spiritualist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Promise Keeper speakers, including Bill McCartney, are constantly claiming to have had direct revelations from God about things that are not in agreement with Scripture. The PK’s get their ideas of God from their personal experiences and feelings, more than from the Bible. Some who have studied the movement from its origin are of the opinion that it is headed down the road of modern Gnosticism. Gnostics look to dreams, personal experiences and revelations, and other writings as essential to understanding God and the Scriptures.

THE ECCLESIOLOGY OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS WRONG. This goes without saying, almost. They were born out of a fringe group of Pentecostalism which is itself an unscriptural movement. They are a parachurch organization and believe they have been given a commission to break down the walls of doctrinal differences and unite the churches. It is their opinion that they are to impact the pastors (they call us "clergy") and to take the pastors and make them be what they have to be to be a part of this army of men. PK’s Bill McCartney called for a meeting of over 100,000 clergymen in Atlanta, GA. Speaking of those pastors, McCartney said, "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. ‘Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of what God wants to do with His hand-picked leaders?’" McCartney went on to call for one leadership in the entire nation for all the churches. "One Leadership, Unity of Command."

THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS WRONG. They subscribe to the Pagan and mythological ideas of men maturing. Their stages in the masculine journey are absolutely without biblical authority. The authority for these things is found in the mysticism of the American Indians, the mythology of Paganism, and the psychobabel of Jung, Bly, and Hicks. In The Masculine Journey, previously mentioned, which has the approval of PK’s, Hicks states on page 51, "We are called to worship God as phallic kinds of guys, not as some sort of adrogynous, neutered non-males so popular in many feminist enlightened churches. We are told by God to worship Him in accordance to what we are—phallic men." No where in God’s word is such a thing found.

THE PAGANISM OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS EVIDENT. Robert Bly, in a treatise called Iron John, expressed the need for men to experience the ancient, occultic rites of initiation. Pagan rites of initiation have existed in primitive societies past and present and are usually found as a fundamental practice in most secret male societies. Hicks has simply "Christianized" these pagan practices and doctrine.

THE PROMISE KEEPERS ARE DISTINCTLY PENTECOSTAL. Though they claim to be very ecumenical, they are distinctly Pentecostal. Most of their leaders are Pastors or members of Pentecostal churches. One secular reporter who was assigned to do a story on one of the rallies related his experience in trying to interview some of the men. He said they kept laughing. He would ask a question about the movement and they would laugh as they were answering. Apparently this is the effect of the Laughing Phenomenon that is growing among fringe sects of Pentecostalism. Vineyard Keepers, with which most of the leaders are affiliated, is the nest of this heresy. Alleged direct revelations from God set the doctrine and practice for PK's just as it often does for other Pentecostal groups. Remember Oral Robert’s 90 foot Jesus who told him to build a hospital that was unneeded and almost unused and had to be sold. Remember Jim and Tammy Faye and the things God allegedly told them to do. This is the heart of PK’s theology and methodology. Nearly anything they decide to do is the result of a vision or a dream. Their seven promises were born out of a staff prayer meeting, not derived from the word of God.

THE ECUMENISM OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS DANGEROUSLY WRONG. In fact, it is felt by many that this is the most dangerous aspect of this movement. Promise Six of the Seven Promises says, "A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity." It is apparent they are willing to downplay nearly any doctrine to achieve an unscriptural unity. There leaders have written books about "tearing down the walls," "breaking down the walls," "destroying the walls," and other such ideas. It seems that the greatest motivation they have is "to unite men who are separated by race, geography, culture, denomination, and economics." They do not call on Mormons to leave Mormonism. They do not call upon Catholics to leave Catholicism. In fact they have promised Catholic leaders there will by no proselytizing of their people. Over the last few decades there have been several forces that have made inroads into "Christianity" with the message of ecumenism. It started with the National Council of Churches. It was enhanced by the ecumenism of the Charismatic movement. It was further advanced by the prophets of psychobabbleism. The practice of analyzing all things via "Christian Psychology" has caused many to support and recommend men who were doctrinally unsound because they had found an audience with their psychological approach to the solving of problems of Christians. The Bible is all we need for counseling. PK’s is cursed with all these. Their calls for unity is distinctly in the spirit of the National Council of Churches. Their Pentecostalism is another tool in this ecumenism. They are loaded with men who major in psychology, among them Robert Hicks and James Dobson.

THE COMMERCIALISM OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS GREEDY. At one meeting in Atlanta, Feb. 13-15, 1996, the registration fees brought in between $3-$4 million. This is not a drop in the bucket to what is made off the sale of PK’s products. They sell polo shirts, $28, windbreakers $35, sweatshirts, $45, caps $10-$16, and coffee mugs, $5. They market tapes, books, videos, and other PK’s materials. They have run greedily after gain.

THE HUMANISM OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS WRONG. All Arminian movements are infected to some degree of humanism, self-esteem, and self love. It abounds in PK’s. There entire approach is to appeal to man and his own ability to lift himself up. It is seen in their stages of manhood. It is seen in their mentoring. It is rampant in the chanting and other things that are done to get the emotions running high. It teaches men to depend on other men for their success as a Christian. They absolutely teach that without a few other men mentoring and assisting, no man can grow into the man God would have him be. Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

THE ALLIANCES AND LEADERS OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS A MOTLEY CROWD. It is not my intention to name them here as I have named several in this introductory article already. This crowd makes for a confused mix of psychobabble and charismatic babble. Just today I read that Jerry Falwell may get on the bandwagon, as he did when Jim Bakker fell from his pinnacle.

THE MORALITY OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS SUSPECT. There are things in their endorsed book, The Masculine Journey, that, in the name of decency, I will not be able to tell you. There is evidence that their men’s meetings on the local level, at certain stages in their masculine journey, turn into locker room vulgarity. One of my men was recently told by a person whose husband is big in the local PK’s organization that he curses her and tries to lord it over her. When men are taught that Jesus entertained sexual thoughts and sexual fantasies about Mary Magdalene and also had homosexual desires and thoughts, there is little doubt that this will negatively affect their morality. There is some shocking information, including one guide book encouraging men to "celebrate their sin." One stage of manhood through which men must pass in this group is the "wounded stage." Various ways in which one may be wounded are named, including marital infidelity and divorce.

THE ESCHATOLOGY OF PROMISE KEEPERS IS GARBLED, UNINTELLIGIBLE, AND INCOMPREHENSIBLE. They don’t seem to care or know what their position is. It is asserted by several of their leaders that they are building "Joel’s Army." This apparently has reference to the second chapter of the book of Joel. Joel 2:11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? As we will show when this point is dealt with in detail, one of their leaders has been seeing visions and getting messages about this army since he was 19. And, it has been revealed to him it was happening at other gatherings but now he knows it is more certain in the PK’s movement.


 This has only been an introduction to the religious babble of Promise Keepers. You will miss nothing that will enhance your spiritual life by not being in this movement. You do not personally need this movement. The Lord’s true churches do not need this movement. It is of the Devil and in the spirit of Antichrist.

A number of pastors who were favorable toward PK’s when the movement first started, are now opposed. Churches are being divided over the movement. It is probably one of the most dangerous and deceptive movements to come down the pike this century. It is a tool of Satan to accomplish his ecumenical mission. 1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.   

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