Promise Keepers Changes Statement
Few Bible believers are unaware of the Promise Keepers movement which began in the early 1990's and in 1996 attracted 1.1 million men to rallies in 22 major cities of the U.S.
Under the banner of moral integrity they promoted a powerful "gospel for guys" message. Tens of thousands wept their way to a new commitment to Jesus and pledged themselves to a new level of spiritual leadership in their families, businesses, churches and communities. Many men came back from rallies to revitalize the men's ministry in their local church.
But, like most large-scale efforts of spiritual reform, zeal for size and momentum often leads to compromise. In the 1950's Billy Graham failed to avoid that trap and now Promise Keepers (PK) appears to be sacrificing Biblical truth to accommodate unbiblical religions.
It was inevitable that an estimated 10-12 percent of the men at the rallies would be of Roman Catholic background or affiliation. It was also almost inevitable that they would be welcomed as Christians since the momentum of the movement would be seriously damaged by bad publicity if they were told the truth about Catholicism's false gospel.
Now it appears that from the start, there was no intention to draw this distinction. PK founder Bill McCartney, who claims to be an ex-Catholic, told Catholic weekly Our Sunday Visitor recently, "Back in 1992, at our first stadium event, we very clearly stated from the podium that we eagerly welcomed the participation of Roman Catholics, and we've had scores of Roman Catholics attend and go back to their churches excited."
That "participation" has blossomed to include a Roman Catholic board member, Mike Timmis, a Detroit area lawyer and businessman. Catholic "evangelist" Jim Berlucchi was a featured speaker at several 1997 rallies. Our Sunday Visitor reports that PK hosted a "Catholic Summit" at its headquarters in Denver this June to "sound out" Catholic leaders from the country.
Most significant, however, was a revision of the PK statement of faith earlier this year. The original, published last year, stated that alienation from God because of sin could only be removed by "accepting, through faith alone, God's gift of salvation, which was made possible by Christ's death."
Roman Catholic associates of the PK leadership quickly objected to the "faith alone" phrase as being a "key doctrine of the Protestant Reformation."
Early this year the statement of faith was changed to read: "Only through faith, trusting in Christ alone for salvation, which was made possible by His death and resurrection, can that alienation be removed." This was deemed acceptable by the Roman Catholics who are required to add ritual and other works to their faith. It also leaves open their option to worship their wafer-Christ instead of our glorious Jesus of the Bible.
In the beginning, Roman Catholic leaders were wary of the movement since it seemed powerfully evangelical. Now, however the March 31, 1997 issue of The Tidings, official voice of the Los Angeles archdiocese, found "no doctrinal issue" in PK that should "cause concern to the Catholic Church." It also found that: "There is no attempt at proselytizing or drawing men away from their faith to another church."
An estimated 110,000 Roman Catholic men attended the 22 rallies in 1996. Instead of being told that faith in the pope, Mary, and the wafer god would not get them to heaven, they were sent back to continue trusting in their idolatrous system of sacraments, rituals and superstition.
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