OWR> Paths of the One World Religion
Keepers: Part 2
STEVE CHAVIS, After Stand in the Gap
for Promise Keepers
OCT. 21, 1997- 1:35 P.M.
V: I am sure you are pleased with the
Stand In The Gap march.
Steve Chavis: We are. It is really more
than we asked for in terms of the attitude of the men and the
unity of the men, the diversity of the men who came and the
support from so many of our sisters from all over the country
and there in DC. I saw hundreds of women there in support.
Q: Oh, women attended the rally, I
didnít realize that.
Q: There was apparently lots of media
coverage regarding the march and I am wondering if you could
verify a statement made by Bill McCartney to Larry King. That
statement was that Bill McCartney said he was a born-again
Catholic. Is that correct?
SC: He did say that, yes.
Q: If you recall, the questions I asked
you (in June), and one of the very first questions was
basically similar to that -- Could you explain, when you would
defend unity of denominations, why you and Eric Wardell
refused to state Bill McCartney was a born-again Christian,
when I had asked that in my previous questions -- as to
whether Bill McCartney had ever renounced Catholicism?
Many people have asked and called on
him to do that and he hasnít done it. He does not attend the
Catholic Church now. He does attend the Vineyard church.
Q: Yes I know thatís what you said,
but when he publicly states that he is a born-again Catholic
that says to me that
he still believes in
the Catholic church to some extent.
SC: I know that he believes in Jesus
Christ Ėhe believes in being born-again. Thatís what he
Q: Bill McCartney also stated on NBC
Meet The Press this quote: "I rely on my Pastor to define
the truth for me"-- meaning of course, James
Ryle of the Vineyard
Fellowship. In my questions before, you affirmed to me that
Bill McCartney is viewed as quote, "the Prophetic
Word". -According to, I believe, Dr. Erickson. Does
Promise Keepers still maintain that the Vineyard beliefs or
involvement in Promise Keepers does not influence Promise
Keepers theology, doctrine or direction? Based on Bill
SC: If you attempt to extrapolate lines
of influence for lines of predominate influence for lines of
undue influence then you may miss the reality of the
relationships involved. Okay? Now let me make it real
practical. Bill has chosen to submit his spiritual discernment
to his Pastor, James Ryle, okay. Bill is Chief Executive
Officer of Promise Keepers. James Ryle has one vote on the
Board of Directors. By and large, the Vineyard is given way
too much credit for everything, or blame, for what takes place
on the Promise Keepers Board of Directors. The Vineyard has an
association of churches, okay, that would be our response.
* James Ryle has been a
frequent speaker to PK events, has been a PK Board member and
has written various resources for the benefit of PK or men
committed to PK.
Q: Can you expound just a little bit on
his statement though. "He (James Ryle) defines the truth
for me (Bill McCartney),"-- but, he also, it is believed
that he, Bill McCartney, I mean up here, he is still called
"Coach" and his influence over people and over the
whole thing is very evident. So, therefore, what he believes
and what he states is truth (is important) and if he is
pulling it (truth and direction) from James Ryle that does
have influence, does it not?
SC: Yes, I would say there is influence.
Q: A while ago I read something and it
said that the Promise
Keepers Statement of Faith,
particularly point No. 5 regarding salvation and faith was
revised in 1997 with the help of, or by, two Catholic bishops
so that it was not offensive to Catholics, but could then
easily include them and their beliefs on salvation which is
keeping with your statements on unity. Care to comment?
SC: Certainly. In fact, I get to answer
this question almost every day. You ought to have the old and
the new in front of you (Statement of Faith). Hereís what we
are looking at here. There is a change in wording and we
believe the new version, - new, its over a year old-, has been
clarified. Okay and there is no, no easier way and no work
faith salvation in our statement of faith on Point No. 5.
Okay? In the old version it said there is a key sentence, that
alienation could be removed only by accepting through faith
alone Godís gift of salvation. The new tenet reads:
"Only through faith, trusting in Christ alone for
salvation." So, it is actually expanded and clarified.
Q: Okay, let me ask you something. What
about the two Catholic Bishops helping to write it?
SC: Thatís not true. I would like to
know where that came from.
Q: I believe that was out of their own
SC: Well, if you could site it for me, I
would really like to see it.
Q: I sure will and Iíll get it to you
NOTE: I made an error
when I said the "2 Catholic Bishops". The next day I
faxed Steve Chavis the following information---" I
believe it was Catholic theologians who were asked to review
the "Statement" by John Sengenberger (Franciscan
University). He dealt with Dale Schlafer and Glenn Wagner
(Promise Keepers) about Catholic concerns, which were
apparently presented to Wagner last summer. The article Ėby
Mike Aquilina, Our Sunday Visitor, July 20, 1997. If you have
any comments, please let me know."
Steve Chavis never
SC: Thank you. By the way, there is
input from lots of corners, but this wording came from Promise
Keepers staff and Board only and there are noÖ.
Q: But you have Catholics on your staff
and Board so, thatís not saying that it isnít, that it
wasnít made to be non-offensive to Catholics. Of course, if
you want unity you have to make it non-offensive, do you not?
SC: We want clarity. Let me go on to say
we are really pressing hard on this issue because the
Q: Do you mean the issue of unity or
SC: The issue of the Statement of Faith
in its entirety and Point No. 5. While I think splitting hairs
on Point No. 5 is almost foolish. Exegete the word Ďonlyí
and the word Ďaloneí and you will find the reference to
sole or single. I donít see any way around a faith based
confession of Christ as a means of salvation. Okay, letís be
sincere. Letís quit playing games about faith alone or only
through faith trusting Christ alone. We have clarified
itóitís better now.
Q: Okay, was it a problem beforeó is
that why you are taking heat for it, because it was not clear
enough or that it excluded or seemed exclusionary?
SC: No- no exclusion or inclusion was
never the issue with any of the points of the Statement of
Faith. It was a pursuit of clarityóit was less than
Q: Okay, Ö but I am intrigued, very
intrigued because this has affected us personally.
SC: I hope positively.
Q: Actually, it has been interesting.
Just saying that I am doing a report on it, I have taken heat
because people donít want any questions asked. And I find
that fascinating. Why would just me talking, saying that I am
doing a report on Promise Keepers make people mad at me? You
tell meóit shouldnít be. If this is on the up-and-up, and
you would be the first to say that it is, why would people
that support it be offended or worried that I might uncover
something? To me, that is absolutely ludicrous.
*Note--the ones most
offended and who have become hostile or unapproachable
generally make claims that they are Christians. My situation
is not unique in the reaction people exhibit towards
questioning this organization or involvement in it. People I
had a working relationship with, discontinued our association
abruptly when the issue of Promise Keepers was discussed and I
presented critiques or questions. If I had said I was in full
support, that would have been acceptable.
SC: As we have learned in Promise
Keepers as an organization and we personally learned this over
time, the gospel is open for everybody. We have to open our
books; we have to answer every question. This project here is
not the most exhaustive, but you are getting there. We have
been investigated by a few different media organizations and
your work, so far, is in the top ten both in time we have
invested, and time you have put into it. So bring it on,
letís press into it and hopefully weíll have a chance to
get our side in and the readers will decide for themselves.
Q: Well, what I find, I want to ask the
questions directly because if you go by hearsay, if you go by
what other people are saying, well you get people saying,
"Well, where did you get that from?" Well, I can say
I got it from you guys... I want everything verified and, if
not, then I guess the question will be left open.
SC: The last thing I wanted to say on
this question. You got the brochure, "Biblical Unity and
Q: Yes and it was the 1997 version. I
received two copies. However, I did get through my meandering
-I obtained an old ambassadorís
Statement of Faith,
which was slightly different.
SC: Well, the issue really isnít
whether you call yourself a Mennonite or Presbyterian or a
Baptist or Catholic, what do you believe? The question is,
what do you believe? And so, this has been a major paradigm
shift for many, many in the community of faith because we
easily attract labels, but we rarely understand what we
Q: Well, most Christians are biblically
SC: But, thatís another study.
Q: Thatís true.
Q: Bill McCartney has stated that
although Promise Keepers (I believe it was on Larry King
again) is not political, your goal is to have rallies in every
capital in the nationóIím assuming thatís in the U.S.
SC: Roll call is January 1, 2000.
Q: If it is not political in intent, why
the public show?
Q: Do you like that question?
SC: Sure, I probably answer that every
other day. The same question was asked about holding a prayer
meeting in Washington, DC. We are not shy about our faith and
the State Capitals are often central and certainly capable of
accommodating large bodies of people. So, there is our
constitutional freedom to assemble peacefully and there is no
evidence of a political agenda. We reject every choice,
political opportunity, we continue to talk ministry, serving
the local church, plugging men into their church life and
activity and, as you know, churches have different political
viewpoints. We simply are not interested in political power or
influence. Weíve missed too many good political
opportunities to beÖit's like someone said, "How is it
you have held 22 stadium meetings around the U.S. in 1996, a
political election year and forgot to tell over 1.1 million
men how to vote.
*Note-- the scripture
that came to mind while I was asking this question and while
Steve responded was this:
Matthew 6: 1-7
Take heed that ye do not your alms before
men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your
Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do
not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the
synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of
men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left
hand know what thy right hand doeth:
That thine alms may be in secret: and thy
Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be
as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the
synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may
be seen of men. Verily, they have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into
thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy
Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in
secret shall reward thee openly.
But when ye pray, use not vain
repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they
shall be heard for their much speaking.
Q: Did you tell them to vote?
SC: You know, I donít think we told
them to voteówe may have.
Q: Thatís one of the biggest things
that should be encouraged of people of faith.
SC: As an African American, my right to
vote came at a very high price and I take it very seriously.
Q: And people should.
SC: And people should. And either we are
stupid about it or we are not interested. And I think it is
Q: Remember you asked me how I was
treated (regarding Promise Keepers). A pastor who fully
supports Promise Keepers recently said that he noticed Promise
Keepers were unapproachable and (they) viewed those that had
not attended Promise Keepers as not being "with it"
or "spiritual". What do you say to that?
A Pastor that fully supports Promise
Keepers said that he noticed some people that are really
involved in Promise Keepers and they are totally
unapproachable. Now you cannot talk about spiritual things
(with them), but they view anybody that hasnít attended a
conference as being, "not with it". What is your
response to that?
SC: I would take him at his word and I
would be sorry, hurt, and ashamed for any hint of spiritual
Q: I think it is a reality because what
I have seen in doing this research, just from a personal
perspective, that many of the people that I have spoken with
that support Promise Keepers are not people of their word and
I think it is a very sad statement. Not people of their word,
you canít count on them and Ö
*Another observation is
their inability to discuss any of these matters or answer any
questions put to them; and there is an absolute avoidance of
dealing with this issue from a Biblical perspective.
SC: Well, maybe those are the folks that
need it most of all.
SC: I guess Iíll say that.
SC: We published a brochure once and had
a photograph of a man at a conference. A woman wrote us and
said, "The man in that picture is my ex-husband and he
beat me violently for years." We wrote her back and said:
(1) We have withdrawn the picture from circulation and regret
the pain that it caused you (2) Promise Keepers is exactly the
kind of meeting we want him to go to and so, we are absolutely
imperfect. And we will prove it again, if we havenít
already. Speaking so broadly now, we are not a membership
based organization. We serve men in the local church, but that
is much of what the sacred assembly was about. We have been
spiritually proud. Some guys return to their churches and wear
the Promise Keepers wristband like its some badge of approval
or spiritual success and we ought to wear the cross as a badge
of our desperate need.
Q: Let me ask you something. When you
see things like that, where the message in essence, is lost
because of these types of attitudes that are being taken.
"I belong to Promise Keepers so therefore, I am with
it"- like these, that is the main essence of what is
coming across. "You guys are losers basically if you are
not. (PK)" How can you, in leadership, deal with that?
Obviously, it has got to be a problem with more than what we
are seeing, with the contacts I have, and with what I am
seeing. There is a consistent thing here that this is not real
on the spiritual plain (level)-- it certainly is on the ego
plain (level)- with some that I have dealt with. So how can
you, as leadership, deal with that from a spiritual
perspective. Certainly, it canít be a few here and there
only coming across with that.
SC: Again, that was a major element of
the Sacred Assembly. Let me just look at some of the topics
that were covered in the program that spoke to that and we
will continue to seek the messageóits a spiritual discipline
of brokenness. That message of brokenness is never, and may
never be popular, but it is so absolutely critical to
Christian growth. We are a proud and stiff-necked people-
broadly and that cuts across- I think would apply in the U.S.
and Canada. People are people, who donít need God except in
a crisis. Men who attend Promise Keepers conferences are no
different. In two specific ways we address-- three, four, five
specific ways we addressed that attitude at Sacred Assembly.
We dealt with the sin, and we consider them sin
- Prayerlessness, we donít pray
- Disregard for the Bible, we donít
read or apply what the Bible says
- Pride and jealousy, these are all in
the context of sin and we called men to pray, and they
went to their knees and prayed
- These three are gossip, backbiting
and murmuringóthese are all in one category. Now we are
talking church life now. That may have been the critical
issue for all church people everywhere.
Q: Thatís certainly destructive.
SC: And weíre supposed to love one
Lastly-- sectarianism. Those five areas
were dealt with in the Sacred Assembly. We will continue to
deal with each of those in upcoming meetings and writings. But
guilty. What that Pastor said, guilty.
Q: Let me ask you something on
sectarianism. The whole view of unityóbringing all
denominations together that can basically, as Bill McCartney
says "Lift the name of Jesus up" and "Do you
have the spirit of Jesus" right?
SC: That is correct.
Q: My brother got involved in the
Bíahai, in fact he is very up in the organization. I asked
him, based on those statements, if he would be offended to
attend Promise Keepers according to those statements. And he
wrote me back, "absolutely not" because of
how (B'ahai) view Jesus
and they believe He is a deity, but they believe He is just
one of many.
So, therefore, when you talk of
sectarianism and unity, where are you drawing the line?
SC: See Statement of Faith.
Q: You know, you did an awful lot of
those things on my 63 questions. In fact you could just say
"repeat, repeat, repeat." Thatís not fair. (or
SC: Well, you know. Some, I donít
accuse you of this, someone has to complicate what is a very
simple issue and that is the reason we wrote it. It would
basically; this is how we use the Statement of Faith. It is
really our anchor. It is the ground for unity, as the
essentials, the core essentials of orthodox Christianity. We
can meet with other people, who are different
denominationally, sect-wise, than we are and we offer that as
a model for the Christian community to begin to relate
together. Clearly, some will not agree with that Statement of
Faith and wonít be able to fellowship with us as one.
Bíahai would not. Latter Day Saints would not.
Q: And yet my brother who has been in it
for many years, (would attend), he said is going to send me a
book on Christianity and the Bíahai and how they view it,
but what he said is more than enough.
SC: Well, perhaps a study should be done
asking various groups how they feel about our Statement of
Faith and could they fellowship with us.
Q: Oh, I have done some and that is what
is really fascinating.
SC: I would be interested to see what
they say. Now, because they say, "Yes, letís get
together" doesnít mean we are saying the same thing.
Q: No, itís all in the interpretation,
isnít it. If your understanding of Christ is different than
mine, but we both say that we believe in Christ, then that is
no problem, is it, unless we validate what we believe?
SC: Well, and then the question isóhow
do we fellowship? How do we get along together? What do we do
then? What do we do next? Do we work together in this kind of
way, keeping in mind the final judgment is not ours to make.
Q: It was recently reported that Billy
Graham, a supporter of Promise Keepers recently stated in an
interview, and this is my paraphrase, that he could not say
Christ is the only way to God. That he has met many Hindus and
so on that were fervent for God and of the major faiths. With
Promise Keepers stand on denominational unity, would you agree
with world-renowned Billy Graham that Jesus is not the only
way to salvation or not the only way to God?
*Note: Billy Graham and
Franklin Graham support Promise Keepers and have been speakers
at various events. I sent Steve Chavis a copy of the interview
that Robert Schuller had with Billy Graham.(May/97) In it
Billy Graham stated that ".... And that's what God is
doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His
name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist
world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they
are members of the Body of Christ because they've been called
by GOD. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know
in their hearts they need something that they don't have, and
they turn to the only light that they have, and I think they
are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven....
I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal
situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a
Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they've believed in their
hearts that there was a God, and they've tried to live a life
that was quite apart from the surrounding community in
which they lived..." Steve never responded to this
information. (The entire Billy Graham issue will be covered in
The scriptures that come to mind are:
" Neither is there salvation in any
other: for there is none other name under heaven given among
men whereby we must be saved. "
" Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,
the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but
SC: Hum, I would have to see the quotes
and call his Office before I would accept that as being Billy
Grahamís words. I have heard Dr. Graham many, many, many
times and never heard him say that.
Q: It was just recently, but I am very
interested (in your response).
SC: If you can show me the quote I will
come back and say, "See Statement of Faith".
Q: Somehow I thought you would. You know
youíre very political.
SC: Iím focused
Q: Youíre very safe in your
SC: Iím focused because we do, weíve
grown so large and we have found fellowship of believers
across the spectrum that, and donít take that lightly, and
that everything I say gets attached to all these guys. And
theyíre, they are Mennonite, and born-again Catholics, and
Pentecostal, and Baptist and, you know? -- weíve got to
narrow down on scripture the best we can. You know, they want
us to talk about a womanís role in the home, they want, -you
know- we talk to men, let women figure it out. They want us to
talk about Palestine. They want us to talk about gun control,
you know. They want Promise Keepers position on the death of
Lady Diana. They want PK position on everything under the sun,
they really do, and we just focus.
So, allow me to frustrate you a little.
Q: Oh, Iím not frustrated, Iíve been
doing this (interviewing) awhile. By the way, when you said my
publication was one of the top tenóis that what you said?
SC: No. Iím talking about your
Q: My investigation? How do you know
itís in the top ten? You havenít seen it.
SC: No, not the results. Iím talking
about your investigation.
Q: You mean with my questions?
SC: Yes, your questions. Thereís a few
people that work us as hard as you do.
Q: Well, I guess I like to think about
SC: So, youíve, youíre working us
over. Iím feeling worked over here.
Q: Well, I appreciate your time. By the
way, one more thing. I understand you have, PK, has published
your own set of Bibles, correct?
SC: We have done New Testaments for
several conferences. ThreeÖ let me look here. We have three
different editions of New Testaments that we published along
with some other materials inside, and bound it and use it at
SC: I was just going to say that we just
published a menís devotional Bible which is a full study
Bible with helps, everything, with Zondervan which is a major,
major event for us.
Q: Well, apparently in one, now I
donít know if it was for Stand in the Gap, or maybe itís
all of them. There is something about what you can expect from
Revival. Are you familiar with that?
SC: Sure, itís on the last page of the
one from Stand in the Gap. It says, "What can I Expect
from Revival and Spiritual Awakening".
Scripture Taken from The Authorized King James Bible
Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.
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