Promise Keepers

Early this summer a moral earthquake rocked Washington. The epicenter was RFK Stadium, where 52,000 men gathered for a Promise Keeper's meeting. The event was an unabashed celebration of marital fidelity and faithfulness to Jesus Christ in every area of life. And do you know what? The secular media didn't "get it." They really didn't understand what was happening. Why is it that the information moguls of our society find an event like Promise Keepers to be so incomprehensible? It is because our nation has drifted so far from its Judeo-Christian roots that we no longer understand what it means to be virtuous. So when 52,000 men fill a stadium to talk about honoring God and family, the media assumes there must some hidden agenda. Thus we have the Washington Post suggesting that Promise Keepers was a cover for a right-wing political movement. It also noted with suspicion that Promise Keepers is a ministry to men. It questioned the legality of what it called a "gender-exclusive" event being held in a public facility. Can you imagine the Post criticizing a convention of the National Organization for Women for the same reasons? Speaking of NOW, a spokeswoman for the organization dismissed Promise Keepers as a "not-very-well-cloaked misogynistic message." Literally, the word means "hating women." Other critics took issue with evangelist Tony Evans's book Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper. What was his transgression? Nothing more or less than affirming that men need to exercise responsible leadership in their families. Sociologist Peter Berger explains why the cultural elite persists in vilifying what is foreign to their own world view. He describes an emerging new class that he calls "knowledge workers." These "knowledge workers" exploit ideas and concepts in order to promote their secular world view. Berger explains that these elitists are bent on redefining our cultural and social institutions. That includes overturning the biblical understanding of family and the God-given distinctions between male and female. That is why Promise Keepers poses such a threat: It reaffirms with a big RFK Stadium "in your face" rally the traditional Christian virtues that are anathema to the cultural elite. We're not talking about a sinister conspiracy but rather a conflict of world views-two diametrically opposed views about the meaning of life and the role of men and women. The cultural elites impugn our motives simply because we're unintelligible to them. Promise Keepers may be one of the most significant movements of our time. Far from being anti-women, it is profoundly for both women and family. It recognizes that at the root of many of our social problems lies the male flight from responsibility. When people ask me about Promise Keepers, I use the opportunity to explain that this movement is accomplishing what no government program can achieve: keeping the family intact by encouraging men to act with integrity and to stand by their word. Take all this cynical press coverage and use it as an apologetic opportunity to explain to your neighbors and friends the biblical world view-the one that really does provide an answer to our society's most urgent need.


Chuck Colson


  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary