AIA, Promise Keepers: An Answers In Action Summary Opinion
It is our opinion that the Promise Keepers Christian men's movement is an over-all Christian movement attempting to encourage Christian men to fulfill their biblical potential as individuals and as family members. We do not condemn the movement, and, in fact, encourage its leaders to continue modifying its content and presentation to achieve a more biblically complete and pure focus. However, there are several areas of concern that restrict us from an unqualified endorsement, and which we believe must be addressed and corrected by the Promise Keepers leadership. Additionally, there are some general concerns for any large, event-oriented movement.
Areas of Agreement
- Strong biblical focus
- Emphasis on individual responsibility for growth in Christ
- Encouragement for discipleship through positive Christian role models
- Commitment to biblical family leadership and service
- Recognition of the necessity for spiritually mature and intact families
- Open respect for masculine spiritual and emotional growth
Areas of Disagreement
- Promise Keepers promoted author Robert Hicks, whose teachings combine common sense advice and psychobabble with Christian vocabulary and New Age motivational/positive confession ideas.
- Promise Keepers distributed thousands of copies of Hicks' book, The Masculine Journey, which has serious theological deficiencies.
NOTE: Promise Keepers, to our knowledge, no longer promotes Hicks or his books.
- Promise Keepers speakers are not always theologically sound, biblically centered, mature Christian speakers. (For example, they have repeatedly promoted T. D. Jakes, a United Pentecostal pastor/evangelist who denies -- along with his denomination -- the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity and promotes baptismal regeneration.)
- Promise Keepers has not done a careful job of distinguishing between white, middle-class American social expectations and true biblical spiritual discipline and maturity.
Areas of General Concern
- Events such as Promise Keepers tend to feed our unbiblical assumption that a single event or experience can transform our lives on a permanent basis.
- Mass audiences tend to enable the individual to lose himself in the crowd and thus more easily evade personal responsibility.
- Mass events and movements tend to reflect the cultural and ethnic habits of their founders and leaders and thus inadvertently tend to exclude those from other cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
- Gender exclusive movements are susceptible to subtle and unintended promotion of gender division rather than gender unity in Christ.
While we do not without reservation endorse the Promise Keepers movement, we recognize that many Christian men who attend will be spiritually benefitted. We do have positive expectations for the movement as it matures. We will continue to review the movement and change our summary as necessary.
The Lord's Servant must not quarrel; instead,
he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not
resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently
instruct, in the hope that God will give them a change
of heart leading to a knowledge of the truth
II Timothy 2:24-26