|WHO ARE THE PROMISE KEEPERS?|
October 14, 1997
Other questions asked
in this forum:
How do the Promise Keepers interpret the Bible? What is the role of militarism in the organization? How do the Promise Keepers feel about homosexuality? Why did the Promise Keepers make such a national show of public prayer? Additional questions and comments.
October 3, 1997
Our guests debate the Promise Keepers' mission on the NewsHour.
Browse the NewsHour's coverage of religion.
A question from Bill Kinsel of McCoy, Arkansas:
What relation does the Promise Keepers have to other similar historical social movements in American History? Are these types of movements a recurring phenomenon in U.S. history and if so what are the reasons for their formation?
Reverend Alice Anderson responds:
During the October 3rd show both Mr. Edwards and Professor Balmer referred to several such movements- the First and Second Great Awakening, the Businessmen's Fellowship movement, the Jesus Movement of the 70's. I believe the Spirit of God worked within all these movements in that people found hope and meaning in all of them and genuinely turned theirs lives around.
The problem with any movement though is in stopping there. Campfires and rallies can stir our hearts and rekindle our spirits but faith gets lived out continually in the day to dayness of life. Rally faith is often too simple for life's quandaries. Adrenaline can only carry you so far before you require another fix. Spiritual growth requires us to develop deeper and broader theologies that allow us to face the real stuff of life.
If Promise Keepers is a first or second or third step on a journey of faith it will be serving a valuable purpose. If it becomes a destination in itself it will be doing a serious disservice.
Promise Keepers' Vice President Paul Edwards responds:
God has used similar historical social movements within the Christian Church. In America's past, He acted several times to revive His church, with a consequence being a transformation of the culture as well. The decline of the Church and society in New England of the 1690's was the stage for God's reviving His Church in the 1730's and 40's during what has been called the First Great Awakening. Not only did the Church revive, but the institutions of society were also reformed. In the 1790's slavery and the wealth of industrialization had seduced both the Church and the culture. Again, God revived His Church in the early 1800's and the Second Great Awakening spread across the eastern seaboard. The Third Great Awakening began in 1857 with the Union Prayer meetings in New York City, against the backdrop of immigrant mass depredations and the failure of the Church to help the poor and needy. In less than 3 years, cities were changed and over 1,000,000 people came to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.