OWR> Paths of the One World Religion
Keepers & James Ryle
When I started
to research into Promise Keepers, its origins and beliefs, I
found that Pastor James Ryle played an important role in its
founding. He was the pastor to its founder, Bill McCartney,
board member, speaker and " helps to provide biblical
direction for men through Promise Keepers" (Hippo In The
Garden by James Ryle). Because of the impact he had on this
organization I researched the beliefs of this man. In several
correspondences with him, and reading his material, certain
beliefs and ideas were revealed.
The Boulder Valley Vineyard
Fellowship, which James Ryle is a pastor of, was part of the
Vineyard churches started by a man named John Wimber. He
believed that the simplicity of the gospel in itself was
insufficient, but signs and wonders were needed win people to
Christ. However, he himself was lacking completely in
ministering in that way. His charismatic, experiential
teachings were to be upheld by every handpicked minister for
the Vineyard church, of which James Ryle was one.
Through the teachings of his
church, Ryle came to share and publish many of his dreams and
visions through books and tapes. In a taped series "Sons
of Thunder" one of the most controversial ideas was
brought forward with regards to The Beatles. In it he recounts
that God told him The Beatles were anointed by God to bring in
a worldwide revival.
The following is an excerpt
from the transcript of the original taped message "Sons
of Thunder". It is as follows:
"The Lord spoke to
me and said, "What you saw in The Beatles--the
gifting and that sound that they had--it was from me. It
did not belong to them, it belonged to me. And it was my
purpose to bring forth through music a world-wide revival
that would usher in the move of my spirit in bringing men
and women to Christ." And I want to tell you those
four lads, the fab four, they aborted something. They took
what did not belong to them and used it in a way that it
was not intended by God to be used. It did bring a revival
of music--but it brought it on the other side of the
fence...And the Lord spoke to me and He said, "In
1970 I lifted that anointing off of them."
In a personal letter from
him regarding his statements about the Beatles, dated January
1996, he opens with:
"Much ado has been
made over my remarks I said in a message entitled The Sons
of Thunder, preached in 1990 at a Denver Evangelism
Conference...In retrospect, I regret having made statements
that have become so controversial...The infamous quote: "The
Lord spoke to me and said, 'What you saw in The Beatles -
the gifting and the sound that they had- was from Me...it
was My purpose to bring forth through music a world-wide
revival that would usher in the move of My Spirit in
bringing men and women to Christ... Music comes from
God, and every musician in the world today owes God for
their talent and creativity. It
is in this sense that I said, "The Beatles were
anointed by God."
Thoughts to consider:
- Were The Beatles ever
known as Christians, and did they acknowledge their
"gifts" as coming from God?
- If they didn't/don't
belong to God, who did they belong to?
- If someone does not have
an understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, will their
testimony concerning their lack of relationship with
Christ be a way to draw people to Christ?
- Since The Beatles were
into the occult, Satanism, Eastern Mysticism, drugs
including LSD, counter culture and so on, what witness of
Christ did they proclaim in order to draw men and women to
Christ, until their "anointing" was removed in
- If, like Ryle has
clarified, The Beatles were not really anointed by God,
but instead they just had a musical gift from God, like
all other musicians, why would that non-existent anointing
have to be removed in 1970?
I received all the
correspondences in this article and several others in February
of 1997. At the time it was stated by James Ryle and staff
heard the report have not contacted me at any time, nor
have sought to verify if I had amended my
Promise Keepers issued an
Official statement due to concerns surrounding Ryles'
statement regarding The Beatles. In it they stated:
his reference to the Beatles' gift of music, Ryle
referred to that gift as an "anointing";
indicating only that the gift was from God. Pastor
Ryle regrets that his comment was misunderstood by
believers who thought he was endorsing the message and
lifestyle of the Beatles..."
"Lest I be mistaken
for commending The Beatles let me quickly add that their
spiritual, moral, and social failures disqualified them
from having any message for us other than, "Don't
do what we did." (The
New Sound of Music; Pastor James Ryle)-received by myself
In a correspondence received
from Pastor Ryle at the same time, was a letter that he had
written to Paul McCartney of The Beatles, dated September
10,1992. In it he shares some of his dreams regarding Paul,
and finds the common ground that Paul also had dreams that
helped him write songs.
life you have had many dreams that have been very
meaningful to you. Indeed, God has even given you
songs in the night.. Because of this I
thought it would be in your best interest to share with
you a couple of dreams I have concerning you.... In
closing I wish to say how much I have admired
you. Your music has lifted me many times, and
for that I thank
you. I am overwhelmed to think that I might be able
in some way to give back to you a measure of the joy you
have brought to my life. I do believe, Paul, that
God is about to bless you greatly in ways that perhaps you
have never realized. Who knows, maybe all your life you
were only waiting for this moment to arise."
Thoughts to Consider:
Contradictions always mean
something--either someone is lying, they have forgotten the
facts, or are unable to relate them accurately. If the only
message that The Beatles gave was " their spiritual,
moral, and social failures disqualified them from having any
message for us other than, "Don't do what we did ",
then how could Pastor Ryle write those above final words to
Paul McCartney? What scriptural basis is it that allows a
"Christian" to admire and uphold as good, the sinful
life, actions and thoughts of a non-believer?
"Woe unto them that
call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light
, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and
sweet for bitter!"
1 John 2:4
"He that saith, I
know Him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and
the truth is not in him."
1 John 2:15
"Love not the
world, neither the things that are in the world. If
any man love the world, the love of the father is not
in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the
flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life
is not of the Father, but is of the world."
Interview with Steve Chavis,
National Spokesman for Promise Keepers: 1/11/96 on the radio
show, "The Grant Connection"; the Colorado Christian
Network on KRKS "The Rock"94.7 in Denver/Boulder and
KGFT "The Gift" 100.7 FM in Pueblo/Colorado Springs/
"Steve Chavis: And
James Ryle is a local ...But I'd be happy to address a
couple of the major questions about Pastor Ryle. One
great unfounded rumour is that he taught and teaches the
Beatles were sent by God and their music was anointed by
God. Interesting rumour but not based on much in the
way of fact. The message he taught at that time was about
the gift of music and how God gifts man with creativity
whether that gift is used for the Lord ...But it comes out
as "James Ryle said, "The Beatles were
anointed by God." It's
On July 17,1997 I discovered
a letter put out on the Internet, dated January 1997. In it
James Ryle stated that he had now repented of his remarks
regarding The Beatles. I had previously received the packet of
information from him and his staff, and was taken aback
because the letter had not been included even though the
letter was written before the packet was sent. That
information had led me believe that there was no other
correspondence regarding The Beatles and his intentions
This omission of the letter
in the packet reminded me of his statement that:
heard the report have not contacted me at any time, nor
have sought to verify if I had amended my
In the letter he went on to
"In deference to
the concerns of my fellow Christians, and in agreement
with them, I humbly acknowledge my error in making certain
remarks that proved to be at best immature, and at worst
blasphemous. I deeply regret having inadvertently put a
stumbling block in the way of any who seek after Christ,
and I ask forgiveness from any whom I have
He also stated:
" The record will
show from 1991 to the present I have done my best to
remove any cause for concern over my devotion to Jesus, my
adherence to Scripture, and my love for the Church. I
regret that some individuals have taken my remarks and
used them to call into question the Vineyard Christian
Fellowship in general, and Promise Keepers specifically,
because of my deep involvement within these two
ministries. . My
comments concerning The Beatles do not in any way reflect
the doctrinal beliefs of either organization. The
error is mine alone. I did in fact correct my reckless
remarks as early as 1991..."
Note: Steve Chavis and
others in Promise Keepers have stated that James Ryle or the
Vineyard have little to no influence or involvement in Promise
To that end I was determined
to get to the bottom of the letter and have the content
clarified. I e-mailed the following to James Ryle.
Subject: Re: Remarks that
were..immature...blasphemous, per telephone conversation with
Cindy Janecke (Assistant to James Ryle)
Date: Thursday, 17 Jul 1997
Dear Pastor Ryle,
Cindy suggested I pose these
thoughts and questions to you. Doing research, I have a
tendency to deal with loose ends. Everything has to make
sense, or I'm inclined to ask more questions. That's why I am
asking you to consider answering all the information.
Cindy can probably verify
that I have been doing research for some time and in February
and early March, you and she answered some questions which I
posed regarding your dreams and prophecies re: the Beatles,
etc.. You stated in material sent to me, that "Much
ado" had been made over remarks you had made and
corrected. You sent the tapes "Sons of Thunder",
instead of directly answering some of my questions, which was
At that time I also, from
another source, obtained your very original message of the
dreams. You also sent me Bill McCartney's stand on what you
said, as well as Promise Keepers stand. They said you never
said "the Beatles were anointed by God." Steve
Chavis in a radio show also stated you never said "the
Beatles were anointed by God."
I have listened to the
tapes, read transcripts, and you did say they were anointed.
In fact, In order for God to remove His anointing, and wanting
to give it back now, He obviously had to give an anointing in
the first place.
However, that is not why I
am writing. I just pulled off the Internet a letter from your
desk, stating the following.... "I've also heard the
honest criticisms ....who have taken particular offense with
my enthusiastic comments concerning the Beatles- specifically
my saying that they were "anointed by God". In
deference to the concerns of my fellow Christians, and in
agreement with them, I humbly acknowledge my error in making
certain remarks that proved at best immature, and at worst
blasphemous. I deeply regret having inadvertently put a
stumbling block in the way of any who seek after
This was my letter which was
dated January 1997.
1. If I understand what you
have said, you admit saying The Beatles were anointed by God,
is that correct? .
2. I am wondering why I
didn't receive this apology, with all the other information,
which stated that you denied you said The Beatles were
anointed by God? The implications were that you were merely
using them as an example of the gift of music.
3. If your "prophecy
was from God, why apologize? I can find no prophecy in
scripture where the prophets apologized for being immature, or
blasphemous, particularly where they Say "the Lord told
me," etc.; though I am probably not as learned as you are
4. If your rendition of your
dream and statements regarding The Beatles were blasphemous,
if that means it did not come from God, where did it come
from? Certainly God does not blaspheme Himself nor make
mistakes in conveying information.
5. Are you apologizing for
saying The Beatles were anointed by God, or for people taking
6. If you believe your
statements were "immature or blasphemous", and you
made an error, does that mean all your dreams are to be viewed
in the same way?
7. Does that mean you will
no longer be advocating people interpreting dreams and visions
or that they should not necessarily be considered as being
If these questions are
viewed as being very direct it should not be a problem for you
to answer with full honesty, as that is what all of Promise
Keepers and your testimony are about. In fact your quote by
Hudson T. Armerding is most fitting. The part where he
says..."much of the conflict.... Instead, it is because
leaders have not been willing to act with meekness."
You have put in writing, as
well as Cindy, that no one has ever tried to contact you in
regards to this matter, referring to those who have written
books or articles about your statements. I particularly note
the letter from Cindy to myself, dated March 7, 1997 in its
entirety, and appreciate the candor and willingness to respond
to honest questions and concerns.
It should be noted that
these questions and their responses will most likely be
entered into a published report that I have been working on
since January regarding, Promise Keepers, it's leaders, and
Please understand that I do
accept apologies for honest mistakes, and appreciate after
seven years you have the courage to do so. I have made many
mistakes myself, and appreciate how easily we can error.
Thank you for taking the
time to answer, hopefully before your conference in August.
In response to my
letter, I received a 3-page letter dated July 24/1997, from
James Ryle. In that letter he did not answer the questions,
but accused me of things that did not make sense to me. He
then went on to suggest that if any of my findings were
published, he would also publish a counter statement to throw
doubt on my credibility whenever he could.
I telephoned his office to
clarify what was wrong. Eventually I was able to figure out
that I was perhaps being confused with Hank Hanagraff's
"Christian Research Institute"(CRI). I had always
identified myself as being with the "Citizens Research
Institute" at that time, and made it clear that Citizens Research
Institute had nothing to do with Christian Research Institute.
Unknown to myself, Mr. Hanagraff had just released a book
exposing cults and had included James Ryle in chapter six, and
other places. James Ryle was very displeased.
In trying to correct what I
felt to be a misunderstanding of identity, I found the staff
very cold and uncooperative by phone. Hoping to be able to
work the problem out, I faxed an explanation of the
misunderstanding to them with my letterhead, emphasizing the
obvious error, I suggested that the Biblical thing to do would
be to apologize and answer the questions. I never received
answers to my original inquiry from James Ryle, which is an
answer in itself. Pastor James Ryle never apologized nor
answered the questions.
Some quotes from the July
24/1997 letter from James Ryle, Pastor and Promise Keeper.
"You asked me a
number of questions, each of which require a thorough, and
careful answer--demanding more time than I am able to give
you. I fear my inability in answering your questions due to
time constraints, and my hesitance to do so due to serious
doubts about CRI, will be misrepresented in your forthcoming
report. I do not wish that you should report to your
followers that "refuse to answer your questions".
This would not be the truth. Yet, this is in fact how I have
been treated by those in the "Research" community.
I see something dishonest about that kind of wording.
Surely, you would agree?
When I originally went to
Ryle with questions, I told him and his staff openly that I
knew nothing of the Vineyard or James Ryle, but had read good
and bad reports concerning him and wanted to find out the
truth from the source. At the start I had not determined to
write a report, but after the research involved decided much
needed to be disclosed.
"...yet you fail to
exercise the painstaking disciplines of thorough study,
which would make you excellent in your endeavor. It is
obvious, by the questions you have asked in your latest
letter, that you have not taken the time to read either of
my two books--both of which would provide you with a full,
biblical, balanced and rational explanation of my views of
prophecy, dreams and visions, as well as other matters you
touch upon in your letter. As a researcher, you should look
there first and foremost to find my mind on these
Contrary to James Ryles'
accusations that I had not read his books, etc., I had waded
through Hippo in the Garden, listened to Sons of Thunder tapes
twice; including the original unedited version. I read many
critiques of James Ryle and some of his own messages. Amongst
these messages, one stuck out in my mind. It was his account
of being at Ricky Skaggs' church and not knowing how to pray
to end the service. Seeing a sword on the altar table, he was
inspired to "knight" the whole congregation with the
sword. The account continued on to tell of another pastor who
heard about this ceremony. The pastor from the other church
thought it was an incredible event and that when his
congregation wanted so much to be a part of that special
blessing they used a music stand to knight each other for lack
of a sword.
Other messages of his were
all the dreams connected to The Beatles as well as the coming
music revival. What I specifically found interesting is
throughout his various publications, at the times when he is
going to cross the line into what many would consider a
questionable or even blasphemous statement, he says "a
little grace here please". I've done my homework.
Quite frankly the
interaction on this matter simply concluded to me who or what
James Ryle is and is not. He suggested that I would say bad
things about him and Promise Keepers because of my research
and my report was going against the scriptures. If all my
research came directly from Promise Keepers and James Ryle
himself, how then could repeating or presenting that
information in a report be considered preparing a bad report?
Instead of being forthright
and answering the questions, as he should have, he tried to
justify not answering them by misusing the Word of God. He
tried to turn my legitimate inquiry into what he considered an
accusation and onslaught. His reason for not answering being
due to time constraints is not legitimate. He received my
letter in August 1997, giving him plenty of time to answer the
questions. He has not.
Out of respect for my
husband's wishes I never responded to his accusations or
diatribe against me, after the initial refusal to consider the
error in identity. Although I had suggested an apology to be
in order, I also indicated I would not expect one. For someone
who claims that their "devotion to Jesus, my adherence to
Scripture, and my love for the Church." are well
documented, should they not be reflecting scriptural attitudes
and Christ like behaviour to fellow believers?
" For by thy
words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou
shalt be condemned."
A man of God is to allow
himself, his actions and statements to be brought forward to
see if they are of God, particularly those in leadership
"For every one
that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to
the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth
truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made
manifest, that they are wrought of God."
As far as the questions
related to James Ryle, The Beatles, his prophecies, his dreams
and visions, these are my thoughts. If a prophet in the Bible
belonged to God, they were honest and accurate in every
detail. What they said was invariably true. They did not have
to admit to making blasphemous statements, nor did they
contradict themselves or the Word of God. They upheld it. When
questioned, they answered regardless of how "evil"
or ungodly they considered the person asking the questions to
be, looking on it as an opportunity to witness of God's love
and wisdom. They had nothing to hide. Accountability seems to
be a virtue being omitted by those who claim to be called by
God or claiming to be of God.
Ezekiel 13 is
fairly clear on how God views false prophets. Also: 2 Peter
2: 1-4; 2 Corinthians 11: 12-15; Matthew 7:15-20 and many
more. Do they need to be applied to this situation?
Scripture is 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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