Promise Keepers, Part II
By L. Toreador, the Bullfighter
Promise Keepers is a men's movement (too bad, girls) that makes men keep their promises (too bad, guys). Marriage vows won't do it. The Bible can't do it. The church isn't doing it, but Promise Keepers — hot dog! — They can do it! When men get together in a football stadium and scream their heads off, and beat on drums, and have their polliwogs (wiggly-heads) rejuvenated — brother, that does it! Now, they keep their promises.
Too bad Jesus didn't think of it.
Anyway, we have some Care-Ris-Ma-Ticks who thought of it and that takes care of everything. These guys are really something. They can fix the unfixable. The men who go to these meetings, and shout themselves hoarse, are the very guys who would run with whores and beat their wives, if it wasn't for Promise Keepers. If you can get their names, turn them in to the vice-squad - they are bummers! (I suppose this is true because those who attend claim they need the help to keep themselves straight and out of mischief.) This is why I am a big, big fan of Promise Keepers. They may even be able to cure AIDS.
"Who-who-ha, we're making baskets for Jesus," is their cry. Now, I ask you, doesn't that sound adult; I mean, really Grown-Up, like, maybe, second-grade (with apologies to second-graders). "Macho-Men" for Christ?
The girls are not left out — not really. The June 1995 Houston PK rally in the Astrodome serves as the behind- the-scenes involvement of women in Promise Keepers. Of the 3,000 volunteers, about two-thirds were women. Prior to the conference, these women took part in anointing each chair in the Astrodome with oil and prayed over them (reported in the June 18, 1995, Houston Chronicle, p. 4G).
Now, if you want to put the whole thing beyond intelligent criticism, take a look at James Ryle's pronouncements. (James Ryle is Bill McCartney's preacher — and Bill McCartney is Promise Keepers' founding-father.)
Ryle claimed that God gave him a vision of a Beatles concert where the audience instead of screaming the names of the Beatles, was screaming the name of Jesus. He said God told him in a dream:
I called those lads from Liverpool to myself. There was a call from God on their life; they were gifted by my hand; and it was I who anointed them, for I had a purpose, and the purpose was to usher in the charismatic renewal with musical revival around the world.
Some may remember that the Beatles studied at the feet of the gurus of India. They were New Age guys and had little or not respect for Jesus and his cross. They were caught up with the Walrus, and were deep into Yoga. Theirs was the renewal of Hinduism and not of Christianity. Do you suppose God did not know that? Or did Ryle make up his claim that God revealed to him the divine purpose of the Beatles in a dream?
The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD (Jer. 23:28).
The full proof of the validity of the Promise Keepers' claim is revealed in the rainstorm at Denton, Texas. The Promise Keepers were holding their regional conference in Denton, Texas (Feb. 6, 1995). Reported in Christianity Today ("Manhood's Great Awakening," p. 23). "Some 33,000 men gathered for the conference, ... only to be sent fleeing by a devastating rainstorm that destroyed equipment and shut down the program for more than five hours." Recalls president Randy Phillips, "When we got together, we said, 'Lord, is there something you want to show us here?"' The men unanimously concluded that God had allowed the storm to happen to show them how much they were lacking in making the Texas meeting a racially mixed affair." (Too silly for comment.)
At the Boulder, Colorado National Conference, "A Christian rock band set the mood. When the music stopped, the crowd rose to do 'the wave,' shouting, 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, ... We're scoring baskets for Jesus.'"
Then there were the Swindoll's motorcycles antics (described in Newsweek, July 29, 1995).
Later in the evening Gary Smalley made his entrance on a kiddy-sized Big Wheel Bike.
All of this in the name of Christian Manhood.