Wineskins Archive

February 21, 2017

Men Keeping Promises (Image Vol 12 No 1 – Jan/Feb 1996)

Filed under: — @ 11:43 am and

By Denny  Boultinghouse

One of the more interesting developments over the last few years in our country has been the initiation and growth of the Promise Keepers movement. Promise Keepers, founded by Coach Bill McCartney, challenges men to keep their promises. Such things as a personal relationship with God, sexual faithfulness, racial reconciliation, and servanthood are promoted. They have affirmed a commitment to seven promises.

The promises are so good that it would seem impossible for any Christian to oppose this effort. Yet, some oppose any effort that does not fit into their small view of God’s working. These critics are quick to limit God’s work to their unbiblical view of the definition of a believer. Even in the first century, such narrow, sectarian views raised their heads. “‘Teacher, we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.’ ‘Do not stop him,’ Jesus said. ‘No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything against me, for whoever is not against us is for us'” (Mark 9:38-40).

Earlier in Mark 9 the apostles had been unable to cast out a demon, yet they soon came upon a man who was casting out demons in the name of Jesus. They were quick to tell that man to stop his good work. Jesus was quick to affirm the man and to chastise the apostles. Surely Jesus would do the same today.

When you read an article against Promise Keepers, remember how Jesus stood against those who spoke against what was obviously good. Don’t listen to the critics; they are eaten up with the disease of sectarianism. Instead of listening to them, listen to Jesus when he says, “Do not stop those who do good work in my name.”

We have some preachers who are unable to do the work of God (in the sense of bringing about change in the men in their churches), yet the oppose those who are doing the work of God. Promise Keepers has a message and method that help men become spiritual leaders. Promise Keepers motivates men to serve their wives; it touches their heart so that they confess their sinfulness before God and man; it helps racially prejudiced men confront the sin of their racism; it helps men reaffirm their need to be sexually faithful to their wives. In other words, Promise Keepers helps men grow spiritually in just about every area a person should grow. Beware of those who would encourage you to oppose such good.

During 1995 I was able to be with Coach McCartney on several occasions, including a short personal visit. He is impressive. McCartney was the football coach of the number-one team in the nation and thus has all the accolades that the sports world gives, yet he admits that many of his past decisions were selfish. He has experienced many personal struggles. He is serious about men honoring God in their lives, and he is serious about God using men to heal some of the racial divisions in our country. I am grateful that God is using Coach McCartney.

Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper

  1. A Man and His God: 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.
  2. A Man and His Mentors: 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.
  3. A Man and His Integrity: A Promise Keeper is committed to practicing spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity.
  4. A Man and His Family: A Promise Keeper is committed to building strong marriages and families through love, protection, and biblical values.
  5. A Man and His Church: 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.
  6. A Man and His Brothers: A Promise Keeper is committed to reaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity.
  7. A Man and His World: 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).

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