PROMISE KEEPERS' D.C. COVENANT AGENDA FOR CHURCHES REVEALED
Promise Keepers: Promise Keepers is a charismatic men's movement. It is related to Vineyard and is sympathetic of all denominatiosn who will come under their domination. The Catholic church participates because it has its own Jubilee 2000 agenda for a one world church.
Following the reconciliation portion of the program, Bill McCartney took the platform to stir the men into action, and to set the agenda for the churches into the twenty-first century:
Hallelujah! We're in that part of the program now, where we talk about an extraordinary hope. It's my privilege to cast a vision! We need a precise plan!
Can't be a guy leave here [sic] without knowing exactly what we're going to be doing, so that the right hand will know what the left hand's doing. We have a plan!
Originally, many pastors and men became involved with Promise Keepers because of the encouragement they offered for the men
to take the role of leadership in their homes, churches and communities.
There was no idea given that Promise Keepers would actually mobilize not only the men, but the pastors and their churches under a "plan."
McCartney's proposal, as we will see, effectively places the churches under the direction of Promise Keepers to fulfill the Great Commission and achieve the goals of the Promise Keepers in breaking down denominational and racial distinctions.
It is the local church's job to work, without oversight from others, to fulfill the Great Commission as the Lord guides it through the elders' leading.
McCartney and the Promise Keepers, however, have a plan to mobilize the churches under their leading:
Let's take inventory! Let's get one heartbeat! Who are we? Where are we going? And how are we going to get there?
How can we take this multitude of men and multiply them to advance the Kingdom of God?
First of all, who are we? Positionally, we are seated with Christ in heaven, amen? [A loud response from the men, "Amen!]
Yet practically, we are still here on earth, but in dwelt by God's Holy Spirit, amen? [Another loud "Amen!]
Every guy here has God's Spirit in him. That's what knits us together; we have the same seed! We're going to spend all eternity together! [This, of course, is an assumption!] Well, when we get up there, we want to be able to testify that we did it together!
The third part of our identity, positionally, practically, and now we're partners. We are the Church! We're the Body of Christ! We're the brotherhood of believers! This is what we believe:
if you, only through faith, trust in Christ alone for salvation, then you are saved from your sin, and born again by the Spirit of God!
If you have faith alone in Christ alone, then you are delivered from the fear of condemnation to the joy of peace with God!
But Roman Catholics, if they are faithful to their church, must believe that the mass, the sacraments and indulgences are the means to salvation, not to mention the need to remain under papal authority and in submission to the Roman Catholic Church's Magesterium (teaching authority). Yet McCartney melds all together under what normally would be a good qualifier for true faith in Christ. But then the good qualifier is reduced to a subjective claim to faith in Christ:
Here's who we are: we are Baptists; we are Pentecostals; we are Methodists; we are Lutherans; we are Roman Catholics; we are independent -
anyone who names the name of Jesus, believes that Jesus Christ is the son of the Living God, loves Him with all his heart, and has received Him in Spirit-that's who we are! Do we agree on that?
This was followed by a loud shout of "Yes!" and prolonged applause. McCartney then set the course of direction for the churches:
And where are we going? The reason that there's momentum - and there's great optimism - is because we've been divided, and a house divided cannot stand! But now we're being reunited! And as we're reunited, we understand that this is unity with diversity! there's a well-used New Age term!
This is diversity without dissension!
God is not a God of sameness; He is a God of oneness! Our destination is brotherhood in concert! True, biblical oneness! Ephesians 4:16 makes it real personal: "From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love as each part does its work!"
Here's where the Promise Keepers' plan for control of the men begins to reveal itself:
Every guy must do his part! Nobody can go out of here without the same plan! Colossians 3:1 and 2: "since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above-not on earthly things."
The change is the Spirit of God has taken over dominion of our hearts, and our hearts and minds are being set on God when we leave out of here! We have to be hungry for more! We are not satisfied with what we receive here, because, "blessed are those who hunger and thirst"-they keep getting filled! So we stay hungry for God!
Now, how will we get to where we're going? Simply stated, it works like this:
every man connected to a church; every church connected to each other.
We propose that every man returns home and submits to the authority of a local shepherd-a pastor! Our clergy are called to lead us spiritually! We must let them lead; we are commanded by God to let them do so! Hebrews 13:17 is a clear mandate; it's not negotiable! Listen to God's Word: "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them, so that their work will be a joy and not a burden. For that will be of no advantage to you."
[There is no command in in Christianity and where command authority exists Christianity does not exists. The elders (plural) are the leaders of the church and they rule by teaching while those who submit listen to and obey only what the elder has delivered exactly as it has been delivered to him by Christ the Spirit, once and for all times.]
Can no guy leave out of here [sic] as a Lone Ranger! Many guys have been traveling on their own vision! We want you to go back to your church and give away your time, your treasure and your talents! When we were born onto this earth we were born with God-given gifts, amen? [A loud shout of "Amen!" resounds.]
But when you're born again, you're born in the spiritual gifts! And the parable of the talents tells us that you can't sit on those gifts; you can't squander them; you've got to give them away! You've got to go to your local church, and you've got to say to your pastor,
"How high, how far and how much!? You lead me! I put my faith in you as a leader!" We all gotta do that!
If one knows the Vineyard philosophy of control, one will easily spot the "clergy-laity" foundation for this command to "submit" to one's pastor. In truth,
however, we are commanded to submit only in spiritual matters that are in conformity to God's Word.
We are not commanded to submit in everything, especially where God's Word either conflicts or has no say in the matter.
While we must respect and honor those in authority within the churches, we do not give our minds and bodies over to them unqualifiedly.
Yet this is the impression given by McCartney and it is fully in line with the Vineyard shepherding model.
In addition, there are no qualifiers offered for submission "to a pastor." The pastors must answer to the brethren for their beliefs and practices. And, in fact, most pastors today are unqualifled to lead God's people. We cannot trust men beyond the degree to which they are in submission to God's Word. And there are too many areas where the pastors-most notably in this case, Vineyard pastors-are teaching and practicing contrary to God's Word. (See our special report, The Vineyard: Its Doctrines and Practices.)
Now pastors! You are our leaders! You've been working with half a squad! You've been working with mostly women! But that's going to change. You have to be ready now! These guys are coming back; these guys want to be part of building a vibrant church! Is your church ready for these men to give away their gifts?
Envision with me, if you will, a church where the men go back, and the men give away everything that God has invested in them! So they're praying in that church, and they're very active in that church! They're giving everything that God's given them away!
Now the pastor, we are asking you to connect with the other pastors in the community!
We're asking you to meet once a week-and not to compromise this!
We're asking you to come together in prayer with the other pastors in the community! And as you cry out to God and hear God's heart for that community, we want you to share the burdens of the community!
Exactly what is God's heart for any given community? His burden is for His people, not for the community, which will continue under Satan's domain until the Lord returns. His burden is for the lost in the community, true, but that goes without saying. By telling the pastors to share the burdens of the community, he is implying the need for social reform led by the churches.
Also, Promise Keepers is setting the agenda for the pastors and telling them not to compromise it. But who put Promise Keepers in authority over the churches?
True, McCartney is "asking" the pastors to do this. But as he continues we will see the demand behind the request, stated in terms that coerce with a guilt trip for those who do not comply:
And then, pastor, when you've heard the burden and the need, go back to your church, call your men together, and tell them about the needs in the community! And Almighty God will raise up just what we need to meet the needs in those communities!
What "needs" beyond the Gospel and works of love by every believer - which is already commanded in God's Word - does McCartney expect the pastors to find? And who can tell what God will do? Job and his friends were chastised by God for daring to think they knew His mind. Beyond what He has revealed in His Word, we cannot know His mind. And all "needs" other than those revealed in His Word are subjective to the mind of man.
There are a lot of people who aren't here today! And the reason they're not here today is they think this is just a pep rally! They don't realize the intentionally that we have! The word "justice" means, "see the need in others and respond to it!"
Some do not quite know what to make of Promise Keepers, as was evidenced when USA Today described its rallies as "Part rock concert, part football, part evangelistic crusade" (Mar. 23, 1996).
Of course, evaluation is always subjective. One Christian journalist, writing from another perspective said, "The writer witnessed the most vivid illustration of massive emotional hysterical mind crowd control he has ever seen anywhere" (Promise Keepers, by Don Jasmin, p10).
The Charismatic Influence
If our presupposition, based upon our understanding of Scripture, is that the Charismatic and Vineyard movements are not of God (see our papers on the Vineyard Movement), then something is terribly amiss at the Promise Keepers conferences. Not only are the founders of Promise Keepers, many of the key leaders, and a number of favorite speakers Charismatic, but the very worship, music and methods of Promise Keepers spring from the Charismatics well. I believe that in a very real sense
Promise Keepers is the machinery that is moving the evangelical church wholesale into the Charismatic camp, without most even realizing it.
One example at the Clergy Conference will suffice at this time: Jack Hayford, one of the most often used speakers at Promise Keepers conferences, attempted to teach the thirty-nine thousand pastors how to "dance in the Lord." He said he had learned a little dance in Africa and later the Lord spoke to him directly saying, "May I have this dance?" At this point he demonstrated his dance before the pastors.
Hayford and Promise Keepers were subtly introducing thousands of pastors to some of the heretical teachings of the Charismatic movement. The focus was on a Charismatic form of worship dancing in the Lord! The real issue, one that seemed to be missed by most of those pastors,
is that this man is claiming direct revelation from God!
Where was the outrage among those pastors? Are they being anesthetized by Promise Keepers to the extent that those who claim direct revelation are accepted without rebuke? If so, where will this lead?
The fact is that when you fall into a Charismatic fit as at Promise Keepers in Atlanta you have sold your birthright for a mess of effeminate soul food and you can no longer discern.
This isn't exactly accurate, but we can accept McCartney's subjective understanding in context of what he is attempting to accomplish.
Here's what we're going to do! (No more asking from here on; now he is telling.) We're going to connect in such a way that we're going to meet the needs of our communities! Men, you've got to get excited about that! That's when God's going to move! [The most ancient paganism believes that God only moves when people get excited by music and effeminate, charismatic worship]
Who says? This is Promise Keepers' vision, not God's. God will move when and how He chooses to move. Is this a prophecy? Is it a guarantee? The subjective charismatic spirit is evident.
Not only that pastor, we need you preaching, teaching, living and modeling racial reconciliation and denominational reconciliation! There's tremendous favor in your heart for all the Body of Christ! And so it breathes from your heart! We need every pastor to breathe that through the men!
"We need you?" Who put Promise Keepers in the position to tell the pastors what to teach, preach and practice? It's one thing to say that these things should be done; it's another to insist upon it so that Promise Keepers' vision can be realized. And the demand for denominational reconciliation leaves no room for questioning the doctrines and practices of religious organizations whose "creedal statements" meet Promise Keepers' criteria for acceptance. There can be no more questioning of Roman Catholicism, especially. At this point McCartney reveals Promise Keepers' plans to teach the pastors how to catch the PK vision:
Promise Keepers is sponsoring nine pastors' conference - they're one day-it's not overnight! It's in early January 1998 in January, February and March. It should show up on the overhead. These conferences will last one day; be sure that your pastors participate! The reason they have to come and
we need them there is we need a unity of command! We need to have everybody on the same page.
Early on I warned certain pastors about Promise Keepers' design to control the churches. I was summarily rebuffed as not knowing what I was talking about. Now the plan comes to light.
Promise Keepers wants all the pastors on the same page. But whose page? Promise Keepers' page, of course. They need unity of command. But who is in command? Promise Keepers, of course. And what about those that don't come? Will they be out of God's will? Who is Promise Keepers to demand total loyalty and participation in their agenda or God's work will be hampered?
The theme for these clergy conferences is "Building mighty men of God!" This will be a time of renewal for our pastors, but also a time for them to embrace their call to spiritually lead the men that God's going to bring to them-models of vibrant men's ministry will be presented, and pastors will be equipped to start effective men's ministry in their church! Many of our churches have it, but most do not have it.
"Our" pastors? What if the denominational leaders of some pastors object to this? To whose authority are the pastors to submit-their denominational heads or Promise Keepers? To suggest that Promise Keepers is going to be "building mighty men of God" is to say that Promise Keepers is going to make the pastors into the men of God that they should be. Again, Promise Keepers takes control over the churches by taking control of the pastors! And they will tell the pastors how to take and keep control of their men to fulfill Promise Keepers' agenda! The fact that the primary leadership of Promise Keepers is in submission to John Wimber, who has claimed to be the apostle to the churches in the last days, should give pause to pastors who are so blindly submitting themselves and God's men under their authority to the Promise Keepers agenda.
Models of churches in a community, connected together in vital prayer networks will be presented! Our pastors will be encouraged and equipped to bring their church and the community together through prayer and meeting the needs of the community!
Why is it necessary to bring the churches and the community together? The churches are to be autonomous, separated assemblies of believers to build one another up in Christ and to take the Gospel to the unsaved; they are not here to "meet the needs of the community" beyond that. This is a doctrine of the church growth movement authored by C. Peter Wagner and his protege, John Wimber.
Lastly, racial and denominational reconciliation standards will be presented at these pastors' conferences in practical ways that we can live in unity in the Body of Christ, and together make a difference for the Kingdom!
Whose "standards" for racial and denominational reconciliation are the churches to accept? From what we've seen so far, Promise Keepers' standards aren't biblical. Their position on racial reconciliation is to blame white society for all evils. And their position on denominational reconciliation effectively
nullifies Reformation attempts to maintain purity of doctrine and practice in accordance with God's Word.
No proselytizing of Roman Catholics will be allowed! No leading of Roman Catholics out of the errors foisted upon them by their "church" will be tolerated! What a clever way to polarize believers against preaching the Gospel where it is so desperately needed!
Now I want you to hear this: on January the first, on the year 2,000, we're calling for every church that names the name of Jesus Christ to gather at twelve o'clock noon on the state capitol-the steps in your geographical state - and we're asking every pastor to come with his men on that day. That day is twenty-seven months away- and we're asking the pastors to stand with their men and say before all of the other churches and pastors in that state, 'Yes, we have vibrant men's ministry; we meet the needs of our men; our men are fully integrated and involved!"
[This is the Manifest Sons of God proposal to take over all state governments. This apparently got too much for PK and they have called off the immanent move against stage governments]
What about men who do not agree with Promise Keepers' agenda?
We've already been pushed aside.
Promise Keepers has set the course for fellowship based on accepting their direction, and many pastors and individual men in the churches
have been making those who disagree feel ostracized from the "accepted" group.
Secondly, "Yes, we have vital prayer partnership networking going throughout our community; we testify!"
And then, thirdly "they're going to stand and testify [They are? Is this a command?] that they are racially-reconciled. They are going to be able to say, "Yes! We teach, preach, model and live racial reconciliation!" And when that happens, the Church of Jesus Christ is going to be able to stand up and say,"We can testify that the giant of racism is dead inside the Church of Jesus Christ!"
We're also asking you, pastor, to be able to testify, regardless of denomination, that you teach that we live together and love each other together as one across denominations!
What we are witnessing is a typical Vineyard takeover tactic. They get as many as possible to agree with those areas where they have a biblical basis to stand, as well as with emotional issues that appear on the surface to be of God.
Then they take command and direct as many as they can get to follow them into their pre-planned course.
Now, Promise Keepers is shifting our strategy. We're going to take two years, and we're going to sweep this nation! Next year  we're going to have eighteen stadium events and nineteen arena events! And these events are going to change, because there's going to be no admission-no charge! We want you to bring the lost! We want you to bring the lukewarm! Almighty God's going to show up! He's going to grab them! Go out and get them! And bring them!
Again, McCartney tells us what God is going to do in response to Promise Keepers' efforts. If this is audacious it was certainly lost on the men in attendance, and certainly on McCartney and Promise Keepers.
In 1999 we're going to duplicate that in different places! And then, on January the first, the year 2,000, when the churches stand together and testify that the men are fully involved, and that everything's in order, Promise Keepers is going to turn and go globally (sic]. We're going to set all our efforts-do you know, there's nowhere in the world-no-where-where men are standing strong for the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It's time! You guys gotta launch us and send us out there so God will use us, calling men together all over the world! [Applause.]
One must wonder how Promise Keepers is going to do in Roman Catholic countries. The tensions that exist due to persecution of Evangelical Christians in those countries will not be so easy to overcome. Christians in those countries know first-hand the evil face of Roman Catholicism. They will be coerced to either stop proselytizing Catholics (which has the Catholic Church upset and has resulted in the pope's call for resistance against them), or they will incur the disfavor not only of the papacy, but of Promise Keepers as well. It will be interesting to keep an eye on.
As a prelude to the offering and the reading of the D.C. Covenant, McCartney closed by saying he wanted to give the men a chance to say, "Count me in!"- to "wholeheartedly buy into what we believe in our hearts Almighty God has given the men of God in this nation to do."
Jack Hayford again took the platform to introduce James Robison, who would take an offering for Promise Keepers. In the process, Hayford cleverly put a guilt trip on the men:
Hey, listen! We're all so pumped right now, it's going to be tough to just focus. But you know what? There is right now the action point that may be the real test of each of our maturity (sic]. And it's something I believe every man here is going to want to do. As we take these next few minutes, I want you to join me in a prayer for openness to receive what James Robison, Dale Schlafer and Billy Graham are going to bring us - each briefly, but each significantly. Would you pray a prayer with me brothers-all of us together-just say with me, will you, after me, "Dear God, help my ears to hear and my heart to obey; help me catch this moment of commitment and covenant - covenant with You to be the man you called me to be - commitment in faith. It's at hand right now; Lord, I don't want to miss it. Everybody say, "In Jesus' name.
How can anyone ask men to pray that God will give them ears to hear, and, especially, a heart to obey a covenant before they hear the terms of that covenant? This is a clever psychological ploy to put the men in the frame of mind to accept that their "leaders" are leading them properly. And it also is designed to open their wallets to the "cause."
Robison, as he does so well, gave an impassioned plea for the men to be generous and sacrificial in their giving to Promise Keepers. He reminded them of all that Promise Keepers has done without charge that day, and the work that lies ahead. The guilt trip, of course, was employed with skill:
Now listen closely. All day long you've said to God, "I love You!" A few moments ago you said, "God, we love you." But Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, that's where your heart is."
After having led the men to say these things, Promise Keepers uses it to coerce money out of them. Some might not see the ungodliness in such a ploy, but it's there in full bloom. No one should be coerced. And no one should coerce with appeals to one's faith. Let the need be known and leave it at that. If God wishes to bless it (or if Satan wishes to bless it), the necessary money will come in.
The Apostle Paul set the example for giving:
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
Yes, it's alright to remind the brethren that generosity will reap its own reward, but that should not be the reason for giving. Just let each person purpose in their own heart what to give and trust God for the outcome.
Leading the men to open the Bibles they were given, which contained two envelopes for gifts to Promise Keepers, Robison "prophesied" to the men: "What is God telling you to do?" He then told the men what to do. He wanted to see the greatest gift ever given, and he wanted the men to pledge to support Promise Keepers with a monthly gift.
I want to ask you right now to ask God what you should give here in the Mall! And I want you to give the greatest gift you've ever given in your life! God will lead you! Would you bow your head right where you stand and ask God to direct you in what He wants you to give? Just ask Him!
Why bother to ask God? Robison already told them he wants them to give the greatest gift they have ever given in their lives. But what if God doesn't want at least some of them to give that much? The confusion is obvious to one who will listen and not just allow himself to be manipulated.
But when it comes to hawking for money, today's Christian leaders are masters.
And even at this point, Robison didn't stop speaking; he continued by reiterating over and over again how the men must give generously. After several minutes he still had not gotten to the point. At one stage of his appeal he said:
I want every single person here, under the leadership of God every person-to make a gift!
Robison is presuming that God is leading "every person to give. But what if God isn't leading every person to make a gift? Had I been there I would not have given a gift. Would I be disobeying God by disobeying Robison?
Robison continued for yet several more minutes urging the men to give. I switched from C-Span to TBN. Paul Crouch had interrupted Robison's appeal to make an appeal of his own for funds, reminding the viewers of TBN's generosity in carrying the rally free of charge. After listening to Crouch's appeal I turned back to C-Span only to find Robison still appealing for money. Finally, he told the men where to hand their gifts in.