Promise Keepers and the Men's Movement
RESURRECTING PAGAN RITES
Part 3: THE NEW GNOSTICS
(From the December 1995 issue of Christian Conscience magazine)
Promise Keepers, the rapidly growing national ecumenical men's movement,
too closely associated with the revival of modern Gnosticism?
the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God
doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be
opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:4-5)
Part I and 2 of this series, we examined the men's movement and several
books written by Robert Hicks. Each article contained numerous references
to the psychoanalyst Carl Jung through the current works by his followers.
We were startled by the many references to Jungian psychology.
Far from being a stuffy psychoanalytic method confined to hospital wards
and therapist couches, Jungian ideas in recent years have found a welcome
home in the New Age movement and the men's movement. Carl Jung's influence
is also finding a comfortable niche in the fringes of evangelicalism,
and may indeed become more widespread through the influence of Christian
authors like Robert Hicks, organizations like Promise Keepers and publishing
houses such as NavPress.
This raised the obvious question: how could the controversial, occultic,
and pornographic Jungian material potentially become tolerated in Christianity?
As we researched the answers to this question, we found a common core
belief system, based on Gnosticism, the ancient heresy that men can become
gods. As this heresy rears its ugly head once again in our generation,
it is entirely conceivable that psycho-spiritual constructs of Carl Jung
will find a comfortable resting place in certain segments of the American
According to Gnostic expert, Jewel van der Merwe, the Vineyard denomination
is one of the chief perpetuators of Gnostic doctrines in the church today.
This is an important fact. At the upper echelons of Promise Keepers, there
is the potential for considerable influence from some well-known Vineyard
leaders. Because the parachurch organization, Promise Keepers, is set
up like a shadow denomination, with men situated in every local church,
who report to Ambassadors, who report to the field staff at Promise Keepers
headquarters (see diagram [Ambassador's Training Manual, p. 2, which shows
the church point men linked to the PK Field Ministry Staff via the Ambassadors]),
we have grave concerns that the gnostically-inspired spiritual ideologies
of the leadership of Promise Keepers could readily be exported across
the country, penetrating every denomination, and easily entering through
the front door of unsuspecting local churches.
This article will review Promise Keepers' close association with selected
aspects of modern Gnosticism. It will raise many important issues that
need to be addressed regarding the scope, direction, motives and ultimate
goals of this organization. We do not claim that Promise Keepers is Gnostic.
Rather, we point out the difficult areas where the influence of Gnosticism
could potentially propel the movement in a direction away from the simplicity
of the Gospel.
SECTION 1: Promise Keepers' Relationship to Vineyard
In an excellent critical review of Promise Keepers in the "Dallas/Fort
Worth Heritage" (June 1995) entitled "Promise Keepers: Growth and Caution,"
Chris Corbett chronicled the connection between Promise Keepers and the
Vineyard movement, "home denomination of PK founder McCartney, PK President
[Randy] Phillips, and board member James Ryle, who is also pastor to the
first two." Corbett noted:
Vineyard movement of churches is controversial even within its Pentecostal
base. It has been labeled `hyper-Pentecostal' by its detractors, which
have included figures such as Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel and evangelist
David Wilkerson. Currently, the Vineyard is a major conduit for the
`oly Laughter Movement' in which those said to be filled with the Holy
Spirit during a meeting might begin laughing uncontrollably, becoming
paralyzed, roar like a lion or howl and bark like a dog."
Promise Keeper founder Bill McCartney's pastor, James Ryle, who has been
on the Board of PK, is a highly controversial figure [see sidebar, end
of article]. His participation in the `Laughing Revival' was written up
in a "Washington Post" article (11/18/95) about the Laughing Movement
at the Pasadena Vineyard Christian Fellowship:
the Pasadena church, James Ryle, chaplain of the University of Colorado
football team, is telling the congregation how Jesus freed him from
his own demons - growing up in an orphanage and serving jail time for
selling drugs. He tells many jokes about his missing middle finger,
lost to a lawn mower. There are waves of tear-wiping laughter.
makes sound effects, including some animal noises. He snaps his fingers,
bangs the podium, paces and tells how God will appear here in suits
of fire, oil, water. `You will feel! And the glory of the Lord will
put you down!' ("A Rush of Ecstasy and Alarm," Carol McGraw)
The Vineyard movement has been closely associated with the signs and wonders
means of evangelism. Founder John Wimber follows closely the doctrines
of George Eldon Ladd who was a professor of Biblical Theology at Fuller
Theological Serminary in Pasedena, California. Ladd introduced radically
new ideas of the kingdom, redemption and Christian unity.
According to "The Doctrines of the Kingdom of God", by Carl Widrig (1995),
"George Eldon Ladd, apparently under the influence of such men as [J.C.K]
Hoffman [a German theologian (c. 1850)] and [C.H.] Dodd [an English theologian
(c. 1930)], believed that Jesus' mission at His first coming was to mysteriously
inaugurate the fulfillment of His `reign' in the lives of men, redeeming
them from the powers of Satan by the power of the Holy Spirit of God and
the works of power in the age to come, so that men may presently enter
Jesus' kingdom to experience its blessings, a kingdom that has Jesus as
its King, a Jesus who presently reigns in heaven on the throne of David
over the people of God, the Church, the New Israel, who are on the offensive
against the kingdom of Satan... Ladd's `gospel of the Kingdom' had a tendency
to distract Ladd away from emphasizing the saving information of the gospel
of Jesus' death on the cross."
Christian pastors and men who become involved in the Promise Keepers movement
would do well to familiarize themselves with the doctrines of the Vineyard
movement in order to discern its influence on PK.
2: A Common Root
David Hunt, in his two books, "The Seduction of Christianity" (1985) and
"Beyond Seduction" (1987), first chronicled the influence of Carl Jung's
ideas in the modern church. He wrote of Agnes Sanford whose visualization
techniques are founded in shamanistic practices of the occult and who
expressed pantheistic beliefs similar to those held by Carl Jung. Her
ideas influenced a number of well-known Christian leaders such as Francis
MacNutt, Barbara Shlemon, Tommy Tyson, Herman Riffler, Leanne Payne, John
and Paula Sandford, Richard Foster, and Morton Kelsey. Morton T. Kelsey,
according to Hunt, continues to bring the teachings of Carl Jung and Agnes
Sanford to the church today, albeit cloaked in seductive Christian-sounding
garb. According to Hunt, Kelsey "and Agnes's son `Jack' (John Sanford)
went to Zurich, Switzerland, to study at the C.G. Jung Institute and returned
thoroughgoing Jungians. Their numerous books since then have expanded
upon Jung's teachings, dressing them up in Christian terms and passing
them off to an unsuspecting church." (p. 208 "Beyond Seduction")
Why would these Christians be tempted by the ideas of Jung? The answer,
we believe, lies in a common root belief system - Gnosticism. With the
current rise of this old heresy in the Church, it is not surprising there
is a concurrent rise in popularity of Jung's ideas. While Jung's beliefs
may seem harmless at first, in fact even beneficial or therapeutic, there
is a vast lurking darkness that threatens to overshadow the Gospel of
Jesus Christ and replace it with mysticism.
No branch of the church is as susceptible to Jung's Gnostic views than
the charismatic groups who have been immersed in the Gnostic doctrines
of the Latter Rain Movement (also known as Joel's Army or Manifest Sons
of God). Latter Rain is a rapidly growing heresy in the 1990s, gaining
footholds in major Christian ministries and mission organizations around
the world. According to Al Dager in his book "Vengeance is Ours"(Sword
Publishers, 1990) much of modern charismatic Christianity has been influenced
by the Gnostic doctrine that we can become gods:
to Manifest Sons of God doctrine is the belief that sonship to God comes
through higher revelation. The Christian life, it is believed, is fragmented
into stages of maturity: the first step is that of servant of God; the
next is that of friend of God; following this is to become a son of
God and, ultimately, gods ourselves." (p. 69)
Dager lists a number of prominent Christian public figures and leaders
throughout his book who have been affected in some way by the new Gnosticism
of the Manifest Sons of God cult. Among the many adherents include: Ken
Copeland, Paul Crouch, John Wimber, Francis Frangipane, Rick Joyner, Earl
Paulk, Mike Bickle, Paul Cain, and Pat Robertson.
Writer and researcher, Ed Tarkowski, in his 6-part series on the Laughing
Phenomenon ("Christian Conscience", 2/95-8/95) also lists Rodney Howard-Brown
of the Laughing Revival, James Ryle of Promise Keepers, and Jay Gary (AD
2000 and Celebration 2000). Significant to our discussion will be the
interrelationships between leaders of Promise Keepers and the Vineyard
movement, as well as the connection between Vineyard beliefs and the Gnosticism
of Latter Rain.
3: Is Gnosticism
Influencing Promise Keepers?
The newly released book by Travers and Jewel van der Merwe, "Strange Fire:
The Rise of Gnosticism in the Church" provides us a detailed explanation
of the Gnostic heresy and how it has adapted to the modern church in various
new perversions of doctrine.
a high value is placed on personal experiences or revelations, Scriptures
are then unscrupulously twisted and misquoted. We find those who believe
the feelings of a congregation must be hyped-up in order to `feel' the
Presence of the Lord or else the church is thought to be `dead.' Instead
of music being used to worship and glorify God, it is used as a means
of `connecting' or `feeling' the Presence of God. (p. 89)
Could Promise Keepers be adopting some of these `experiential' Gnostic
beliefs and practices? Chris Corbett noted, in the "Heritage" article,
that "given PK's emphasis on emotional highs and revelations, and their
apparent disdain for precise theology, critics wonder where the next `vision'
could take the movement - and how it could influence the lives of the
Christian men being tethered to it through PK's growing arms." Unfortunately,
Corbett found that "PK officials would not comment on the Vineyard..."
A key component of the Gnostic experience is the alteration of consciousness.
Because the Gnostic is subjectively driven, the perception of God becomes
something that hinges on feelings rather than faith. In order to improve
upon the feelings, the use of additional mechanisms to create moods, especially
the use of music, is frequently brought in. The van der Merwe's explain:
is an integral part of the Christian faith. Sometimes feelings of ecstasy
are experienced. The Presence of God is rightly acknowledged by true
worship. However, when emotional feelings become the doctrine of God's
Presence, then God has been reduced to a "gnosis" form of Presence.
For many, the doctrine of `knowing the Presence of God' is sought in
a subjective experience. An emotional experience, especially a repetitive
one during a worship service, if not kept in proper perspective or check,
can lead to an altered state of consciousness in which the capacity
for rational reasoning is greatly reduced. At this point the congregation
is open to delusion and can easily be led astray. In many charismatic
groups an altered state of mind is explained as `getting into the Spirit'
or as a manifestation of the presence of God. Uncontrolled spiritual
feelings transcend sound scriptural rationalism and give rise to the
doctrine of `the Presence of God' built on experience. (p. 90-91, "Strange
One of the latest additions to the Promise Keepers movement is a former
rocker, Mike De'Vine, from 2 Live Crew, who will be writing rap music
for Promise Keepers. According to a "Rocky Mountain News" article ("Ex-2-Live
Crew member on a divine mission," Michael Noble, 1-26-96), "De'Vine believes
he's on the cusp of breaking into the big time, and he's looking to Promise
Keepers as a pulpit. He's already met with McCartney, who the rapper says
is interested in having him come aboard to rap before stadiums full of
Rap music is an offshoot of soul, rhythm and blues, and rock according
to Rev. Melvin Johnson in his book, "Junk Food in the Body of Christ"
(Rainbow's End, 1995). Rap music is an `acceptable' alternative for Christian
men who may not be comfortable with beating drums in the wilderness as
the men's movement advocates. Rap music, like chanting or drumming, can
be mesmerizing and has the potential to create an altered sense of consciousness.
Unfortunately, this type of music has become very popular in the Christian
community. Is it possible that the mass rallies of men accompanied by
chants, yells, and now rap music, is designed to produce an altered state
of consciousness in the name of "getting closer to God"?
Gnostics use sources other than the Bible for their inspiration. "The
Gnostic believes it is wrong to use only the Bible to interpret the Bible.
Besides the Bible, they believe there are additional inspired manuscripts
and books on a par with the Bible and hearing the Voice of God apart from
the Scriptures. A Rosicrucian writer neatly puts it: `In order to obtain
a satisfactory comprehension of Bible teachings, it is essential to give
careful consideration to its symbolic, allegorical and mystic elements.
The student and interpreter must learn to consult the vast library of
Legend, symbol and myth as faithfully and as accurately as he would resort
to a Lexicon of Hebrew and Greek terms and radicals. These elements -
symbolic, allegorical and mystic... are skillful devices for concealing
yet half-revealing the deepest truth.'" ("Strange Fire", p. 92)
This use of myths, which as we have documented in Parts 1 and 2 of this
article series, has been widely incorporated into the men's movement literature
cited by Robert Hicks in "The Masculine Journey", the controversial book
endorsed by Promise Keepers. There is a preponderance of evidence that
the Vineyard movement relies on sources outside of Scripture to validate
its beliefs. The belief that there are "new" truths or revelations from
God is just one example.
Travers and Jewel van der Merwe devote an entire chapter in "Strange Fire"
to the Gnostic concept of elitism. They note that to the Gnostic, only
"the `elite' (the subjectively illuminated ones) can achieve godhood."
(p. 39) This conveys the idea that only a select few will "get it", will
enter the promised land (or the "inner courts"), will acquire hidden knowledge
or secrets, or will move on to the next stage of maturity. Elitism focuses
on special attributes or characteristics of man that make one part of
a new race, a new breed, or a new order of special people. The elite believe
they will experience perfection, attain a god-like status, or godhood
The corporate body of this elite group is assigned significance when a
certain mass is reached. A disturbing corollary to elitism is the belief
that enough people transformed into godhood will result in a changed society.
Thus, Gnosticism can easily slide into social reform movements, or holy
wars, to achieve its mystical, utopian aims. Essential to Gnosticism is
a belief that one is part of an elite group, described as an "overcoming
company" that is evolving, or "becoming more and more perfected so that
they will be able to drive Satan from the world." (p. 40) Another corollary
to elitism is the belief that Christ's return is dependent upon the actions
of these perfected men, a subtle re-definition of the Great Commission.
Here is one such example of this Latter Rain teaching from George Otis,
who heads The Sentinel Group, from his book, "The Last of the Giants"
Church needs to act - and act decisively. If Christians - especially
in the West - are truly serious about fulfilling the Great Commission
and bringing back the King, then a major redeployment of personnel and
finances is in order." (p. 94)
Otis' Sentinel Group will be headquartered in Ted Haggard's World Prayer
Center in Colorado Springs along with C. Peter Wagner's Global Harvest
Ministries and Christian Information Network. C. Peter Wagner, professor
at Fuller Theological Seminary has been credited with mainstreaming John
Wimber, Vineyard head. Many current charismatic activities and groups
such Global Mapping, March for Jesus, AD 2000, etc. are closely aligned
with the doctrine that the efforts of the church will bring in Christ.
The Gnostic belief that one can attain godhood can also be found in the
Latter Rain belief that the church will become the literal incarnation
of Jesus Christ on earth. Al Dager explains: "Whether Jesus will return
at the beginning, during, or after the Millennium is open to conjecture.
Some who have been infected by the Manifest Sons of God teachings even
believe He will not return physically, but rather that Christ and the
Church are becoming one in nature and essence, and that the Church, as
the `on-going incarnation of God,' IS Christ on earth." (p. 70, "Vengeance
Although ideas like these are often cloaked in "spiritual-sounding" language
when exported to Christianity, they are rooted in pure Gnosticism. These
elitist Gnostic beliefs are rapidly gaining ground in many segments of
the American evangelical and charismatic church, and are becoming mainstream
through the activities and efforts of "credible" leaders. There is a subtle
change of emphasis. No longer is the Church waiting on Christ's soon appearance,
but they are anxiously awaiting a new "power" or "anointing" or "unity."
Not only do these beliefs alter one's eschatological framework, but they
can subtly erode the truth of the Gospel. As the van der Merwe's warn:
foremost danger in these divisive teachings is that Jesus Christ is
removed from His high place as God the Son to the level of all the sons
of God. The sons of God are moved up to Christ's place. The truth of
the humanity of Christ is taken to an extreme. This is one of Satan's
chief ways to discredit and finally destroy God's Word - to add to His
message by pushing it to the extreme. History shows that the worst danger
in Gnosticism, especially in the concept of elitism, is its inherent
propensity to extremism. Given free reign, it inevitably leads to moral,
political and spiritual extremism. (p. 42-43, "Strange Fire")
For an analysis of the influence these beliefs could have on Promise Keepers,
we refer the reader to Ed Tarkowski's sidebar at the end.of this article.
3: Jung's Gnosticism
With common Gnostic beliefs like the ones we have just delineated, it
is not surprising that Jung's beliefs have already taken hold in many
areas of the American church. Unless discernment is used, it is possible
that his influence could expand considerably in the years to come.
Who is Carl Gustav Jung? The question is not an easy one to answer. The
traditional history of Carl Jung, which has officially circulated for
years, holds that he founded a psychoanalytical school during the early
years of this century that somewhat paralleled and rivaled that of Sigmund
Freud. However, in recent years documents from the past have been released
which reveal more of Jung's character, his beliefs, and his involvement
in the occult. We have chosen to review a controversial new book, "The
Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement" by Richard Noll (Princeton
University Press, 1994), as the primary source of our discussion on Carl
Jung. We review this particular book because it candidly explores Jung's
fascination with the occult in a historical and cultural context.
Jung's Gnosticism is indisputable. Friend and foe alike have acknowledged
Jung's belief that becoming one with god or finding the god within, i.e.,
self-deification, was an essential part of becoming whole, or attaining
maturity in his psychological constructs. "Jung reenvisioned psychoanalysis
as a way to achieve both personal and cultural renewal and rebirth." (Noll.
Carl Jung's participation in the occult has been well-documented; however,
Noll casts new light on Jung's life and beliefs. It is Noll's premise
that Jung was setting up a system of redemption that challenged biblical
Christianity with the intention of ultimately replacing it with a type
of new religion:
it is arguable that Jung set out to design a cult of redemption or renewal
in the period beginning as early as 1912. This was a mystery cult that
promised the initiate revitalization through contact with pagan, pre-Christian
layer of the unconscious mind. By doing so, one would have a direct
experience of God, which was experienced as an inner sun or star that
was the fiery core of one's being. (Noll, p. 141)
An article in "The Quest" magazine, a New Age periodical, entitled "The
New Religious Consciousness," by Joseph M. Felser (Summer 95) discussed
the yearning of 18th century Romantics for a new religion to replace Christianity.
Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung's chief promoter in America, is cited as having
"argued that we are in a chaotic transitional period in which a new mythology,
as the successor to all the great world religions, is being incubated."
The article goes on to say that "...Campbell earnestly believed that such
a new mythology would arise in due course, though he could not by his
own theory say exactly what the new form would be."
While Noll's ultimate conclusions may be disputable, his book proves to
be a valuable source of information about the culture that Jung was immersed
in, which was the community of the German volk (folk, or common people)
whose ideologies had become mainstream by the turn of the century. In
the void left by the systematic dismemberment of Christian doctrines by
German philosophers (Hegel, Nietzsche, etc.) there entered a host of new
mythologies, ideologies and pagan philosophies during the latter half
of the 1800s. One of the noteworthy movements was the Theosophical Society,
a direct offshoot of ancient Gnosticism. It was founded by Madame Blavatsky,
whose belief in a supreme Aryan race ultimately became a core tenet of
the Third Reich. By the turn of the century the Theosophical Society was
producing a great number of tracts, pamphlets and periodicals.
1896 to 1904, the Eugen Diederichs Verlag: Publishing House of Modern
Endeavors in Literature, Natural Science, and Theosophy, was in full
operation in Leipzig under the direction of the volkisch pantheist Eugen
Diederichs... [he] played an important role in the dissemination of
occult, mythological, and volkisch literature as well as the finest
examples of German `high culture'... In 1910 the Theosophical Publishing
Society began publishing an enormous number of books on astrology, making
such works available to the German-speaking public on a mass scale that
was unprecedented. (Noll, p. 68)
According to Noll, Jung was heavily influenced by a Theosophical scholar,
G.R.S. Mead, who was Jung's "stepping-stone to higher things."
was a true Theosophist and viewed his impressive scholarly work as a
personal path to spiritual renewal and wisdom (gnosis)... Jung's post-Freudian
work (after 1912), especially his theories of the collective unconscious
and the archetypes, could not have been constructed without the works
of Mead on Gnosticism, Hermeticism, and the Mithraic Liturgy. (p. 69)
Carl Jung didn't just dabble in Gnosticism, however. It is the premise
of Noll's book that Jung was totally taken in by the dark, occultic Theosophy,
and fully incorporated it, along with other pagan belief systems, into
his psychological theories. It is commonly known that Jung attended seances,
had a spirit guide named Philemon, cast horoscopes, used I Ching divination
methods and automatic writing, and participated in occult activities.
However, the story of Jung's own personal rite of initiation into the
occult is one that has been suppressed for most of this century.
Deification of Jung
Jung used the technique of active imagination to undergo a descent into
what he called `The Land of the Dead' where he underwent a rite of initiation.
As he descended into the underworld, he describes a series of events that
culminate with him assuming the posture of the Crucifixion, and in which
his face had taken on the appearance of a lion, which he recognized as
the Mithraic Leontocephalus, a figure with the face of a man and lion,
which Jung identifies as the god Aion, a Persian deity. Richard Noll analyzed
issues need to be addressed: first it is clear that Jung believed he
had experienced becoming one with a god... Second, this deification
was part of an initiation into the ancient mysteries of Mithras. The
lion-headed god that scholars (rightly or wrongly) have called Aion
is indeed a part of most Mithraic cult sites that archaeologists have
studied... For Jung, the figure of Aion became his secret image of his
god within, his imago Dei, and in later years he entitled a book `Aion:
Researches in the Phenomenology of the Self' (1951)...
it must be remembered that according to the scholarship of Jung's day
Mithraism was a survival of ancient Zoroastrianism, thus giving it a
direct link with the earliest Aryan homeland (Urheimat) and peoples.
An initiation into the Mithraic mysteries was most importantly an initiation
into the most ancient of Aryan mysteries....
indulging in such highly personal self-disclosure about his life in
the 1925 seminars, Jung was modeling the way for his disciples to follow
if they, too, wanted to be redeemed by initiation into mysteries that
would give them the `certainty of immortality.' Jung had already been
teaching his patients and disciples the practice of active imagination
by 1916, and indeed it became a practical method for contacting a transcendent
realm of the dead, ancestors or gods. By contacting and merging with
the god within, true personality transformation would then follow."
(Noll, p. 214-215)
This story about Jung's deification is relevant because of the renewed
emphasis on the necessity of rites of initiation that originates in the
recent Jungian-based men's movement, which we covered in Part 1. We discussed
a similar rite of initiation for men which had been inaugurated by the
Boulder Valley Vineyard Church, pastored by James Ryle of Promise Keepers.
Clearly, this new push is not founded on any biblical principle, but rather
is based on Gnostic ideas about one advancing through levels of spiritual
maturity to attain perfection.
Jung's idea of descent is sometimes referred to as "deep". The van der
Merwe's point out that "deep" is also a Gnostic term referring to levels
of "deeper knowledge" or "levels" of spiritual insight (or maturity) that
the Gnostic experiences. The men's movement frequently refers to the "deep"
masculine; and in fact, one book quoted by Robert Hicks was entitled "To
Be A Man: In Search of the Deep Masculine."
Significant to this discussion is Noll's premise that Jung, by going through
this deification rite, was establishing the path for his followers to
mimic. Jung's ideas about "individuation" gains new meaning as a form
of spiritual liberation from the Judeo-Christian tradition. Noll points
out that the intent was to break bonds "with one's family, one's society,
even one's God."
offers the promise of truly becoming an individual after becoming a
god, or rather, after learning to directly experience the god within.
This is a process of self-sacrifice and struggle during which one must
give up one's former image of god, indeed most effectively smashing
the Judeo-Christian idol with the `hammer' of questions that is analysis.
Jung's analysis helps to destroy the hold that the Judeo-Christian god
has over the individual. The promise here, then, is Jung's promise of
liberation, of freedom, of becoming a continually self-re-creating individual
in a state of constant becoming, a perpetual revolution of the soul."
(Noll, p. 257)
Jung borrowed the technique of active imagination, which he utilized in
his deification experience, directly from the spiritualists. Noll states
that Jung resorted to "visionary practices already quite familiar to him
from his involvement with spiritualism and from his knowledge of the claims
of Blavatsky and the other initiated Theosophists that the ancestral past
could be contacted directly through the imagination. Jung, however, reframes
the practice to make it seem less occultist and more scientific..." (p.
According to the Felser article in "The Quest", cited previously, "The
belief that the dream, as the pure, unadulterated voice of Nature in us,
cannot be manipulated by the ego, is a corollary of Jung's unyielding
belief in the absolute autonomy of the unconscious." Although dream analysis
is one of the hallmarks of Jungian analysis, Jung was not content with
simple dream analysis; rather he encouraged "`the emergence of fantasies
which are lying in readiness' in the unconscious." To do this, one must
first abandon reason, a critical factor in all rites of initiation. "Jung
claims that patients can be trained to do this by `first of all in systematic
practice to eliminate critical attention, whereby a vacuum is produced
in consciousness.' In essence, the techniques Jung then recommends are
those that actively promote the dissociation of consciousness and therefore
disrupt the so-called normal sense of continuity of self, identity, volition,
and the processes of memory."(Noll, p. 229)
Noll further points out that Jung chose active imagination, "a technique
by the spiritualist mediums", to interact with a voice he heard. "Jung
is therefore admitting here that his psychotherapeutic technique of active
imagination is based on the techniques of spiritualism. In this sense,
too, Jung's method is akin to that of the volkisch groups who also borrowed
the techniques of spiritualism in order to contact nature spirits, Teutonic
ancestors, and the Germanic gods." (Noll, p. 203)
Modern Christians will recognize this technique, sometimes called "guided
imagery." It has been popularized as a psycho-spiritual tool in the church
by Jungian analyst Morton Kelsey according to author David Hunt, (p. 174,
"Seduction of Christianity"). Hunt notes how pervasive these practices
have become in the church:
Vineyard Christian Fellowships, headed by John Wimber, are heavily involved
in the use of imagination, visualization, and inner healing. There has
been criticism that to a large extent allowing God to `guide the imagination'
has been placed on a level equal to the authority of the Bible, which
has created a great deal of confusion.
Wimber's recommendation of authors such as Kelsey, Sanford, MacNutt,
the Sandfords and the Linns is consistent with the growing reliance
upon psychospiritual pseudoChristian techniques as necessary implementations
to biblical Christianity in order to experience full deliverance and
victory." (Ibid., p. 177)
Thus, as with all manifestations of Gnosticism, the path to knowledge
and redemption is a mystical, inwardly-validated experience that is enhanced
by the use of various occultic techniques. James Ryle's new book on dreams,
called "A Dream Come True", with a foreward by Promise Keeper founder
Bill McCartney, invites men to begin analyzing their dreams. He cites
a variety of sources to back up his point, including non-believers. Ryle
cites Tertullian's "Treatise of the Soul" and agrees:
concluded his discourse with the deliberate exaggeration, `The whole
world is full of oracles of this description!' While he did not teach
that all dreams were from God, Turtullian did say, `From God must all
these visions be regarded as emanating, which may be compared to the
actual grace of God, as being honest, holy, prophetic, inspired, instructive,
and inviting to virtue.' My sentiments exactly!" (p. 158)
Ryle concludes his book by inviting the reader to ask the Lord for a vision
of Jesus: "God has given each one of us what I call `vision hunger' -
an appetite for revelation from God, an inner need for visual soul stimulation."
(p. 228) Ryle "envisions" a last days "army of seers", a group of people
who "will receive profound insight into the Scriptures in dreams and visions."
Ryle referring to Promise Keepers?
Mystical experiences, such as that described above, are personal, subjective,
intuitive, and experiential. Inner mystic knowledge is a characteristic
of Gnosticism. Even though they claim to use the Bible as the reference
point for discernment, Christian mystics typically engage in an allegorical,
symbolic, or hyper-spiritualized method of biblical interpretation.
and the Millennium
The 1800s saw a marked rise in utopian experiments. Most were quick to
rise and fall. The Bolsheviks tried a "god-building" movement, which was
"a call for `scientific socialism' to be a religion with a god at its
center who was human." (Noll, p. 54) Noll notes the Neitzschean fantasy
"of the creation of a `New Man,' a `genius' in the New Order of a revitalized
society... this same fantasy is one of the many mystical or prefascist
sources of National Socialism." (p. 55)
It is Noll's thesis that Carl Jung created a select, elite group of spiritual
initiates that would lead the rest of society to redemption. Jung was
influenced by Eugen Diederichs who "called for just such a spiritual aristocracy
to lead" post-war Germany. (p. 87) Diederichs also, believed that "being
truly religious means being irrational" and that his calling as a publisher
was to "push the irrationalist character of religion into the foreground"
and assist in creating "a new mythos" or "mystique... for the spiritual
reawakening of the Germanic peoples." Jung was also influenced by Count
Hermann Keyserling and was a prominent lecturer at Keyserling's Schule
der Weisheit (School of Wisdom) which taught yoga and other esoteric doctrines.
trained his metaphysically superior elite to lead the spiritual reawakening
of the world. His goal was "to develop sages from fragments of men"
and to develop "the true leader of the future"...the metaphysically
"chosen" agents of cultural change in the modern world." (Noll. p. 94)
Was Jung a utopian? According to Noll, Jung hoped that through his methods
of psychoanalysis that his
would not only heroically suffer psychological crucifixions and heal
themselves, but afterwards they could redeem society as well by becoming
initiates of this new secret wisdom of the ages... In a section on `Individuation
and Collectivity'... Jung proposes linking individual spiritual development
with the fate of humankind, using such statements as, `The individual
is obliged by the collective demands to purchase his individuation at
the cost of equivalent work for the benefit of society.'" (p. 232)
the techniques Jung taught his patients, which he expected them to practice
well after therapy was over, they could access the religious wisdom
of the ages. If they survived the initial ordeal without permanent damage,
they could announce these insights from the ancestors and apply them
to the rest of society, thereby redeeming humanity by leading it to
a spiritual awakening. As these initiates, the elite corps of the individuated,
can receive information directly from the collective unconscious (the
land of the ancestors or the dead), they have the advantage and, indeed,
the obligation, to proselytize this new doctrine for the benefit of
society." (p. 232-233)
If this concept of a collective spiritual elite sounds vaguely familiar,
it should. Noll makes the case that Jung's ideas about a corps of initiates
originated from the same dark cesspool that gave rise to the ideas of
an Aryan "master race" that were eventually used by National Socialism
in Germany. Jung was closely associated all of his life with those "Germanic
Europeans in search of their long-lost Teutonic spirituality and a return
to a Golden Age of paganism [whose] `old dreams of a new Reich' were of
a very similar Volksgemeinschaft (a mystical blood community of Volk)
through a revolution led by an elite (spiritual and/or political) or,
perhaps, a fuhrer." (p. 261)
Noll contends that Jung set out to replace 2000 years of Christianity
with an "irresistible mass movement." (p. 188) Jung had a continual theme
of "a millenarian religion of psycholanalysis... Jung... suggests to Freud
that psychoanalysis should create an elite (in essence a Nietzschean new
nobility), to protect itself against its critics and then to finally usher
in a golden age on earth."
This idea of a golden age on earth is a common belief of those who are
steeped in Gnosticism. This point is documented in Harold Bloom's "The
American Religion" (Touchstone, 1992), in which he describes several Gnostic
cults with millenarian beliefs. It is Bloom's contention that America's
true religion is not Christianity, but a form of Gnosticism.
The Latter Rain movement holds to a form of utopianism and dominionism.
Al Dager notes that the Charistmatic Dominionists "are convinced that
supernatural manifestations of power will be instrumental in bringing
about the visible Kingdom of God on earth,..." (p. 179, "Vengeance Is
Ours") This Manifest Sons of God theology "envisions an immortal company
of `overcomers' who will `put death under their feet' and rule the earth
through supernatural power before Jesus returns." (p. 147) This translates
into a belief that
Church is Christ in the sense that Jesus is the head, and the Church
is the body. The Second Coming of Christ, therefore, is through the
Church, not Jesus returning in the flesh; we should not wait for Him
to return in order to set the world in order, but we are to take His
authority over the world and the spiritual realm now. This concept reduces
Jesus to just one part of a greater whole. (Dager, p. 148)
PK Board member James Ryle reflects these beliefs when he says in his
book, "Hippo in the Garden":
Spirit of almighty God will unite Christians of every race into a holy
nation, filling our hearts with the compassion of Jesus Christ and shaping
our character to reflect His royal majesty. Our united movement of true
brotherhood will manifest the love of God for those who are lost, and
a great harvest of souls will be gathered before the throne of God by
the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen! Let's join our hearts together in
the Holy Spirit and cry to heaven: `Shine, Jesus, shine!`" (Hippo, p.
It remains to be seen how Promise Keepers will fit into the end-time revival
scenario of those who hold to the Latter Rain eschatological beliefs.
There are many indications that for some leaders, at least, Promise Keepers
is seen as a significant fulfillment of the unity and fervor necessary
to usher in "Christ the King" for the new millenium, as Ed Tarkowski's
sidebar documents (see next page).
Jungian analysis was cloaked in secrecy for much of this century. Despite
this, Jung's ideas played a major role in the revival of paganism since
the 60s, including the New Age movement, wicca, the men's movement and
others. The recent plethora of books and literature on Jungian psychology
is one reason why "armchair psychologists" such as Robert Hicks can borrow
Jungian concepts and incorporate them into their worldview. Noll concludes
his book with the warning:
the Jungian movement and its merger with the New Age spirituality of
the late twentieth century, are we witnessing the incipient stages of
a faith based on the apotheosis of Jung as a God-man?" (p. 297)
While it is not likely that the charismatic church will openly engage
in Jung adulation or adoration, it is plausible that there may be considerably
more carry-over in Jung's Gnostic ideology than we have seen previously.
And, given the striking similarities in belief structures, it is foreseeable
that Jungian beliefs could easily become assimilated into current Latter
Rain beliefs. Even now the Jungian terms borrowed by Hicks are working
themselves into Promise Keepers' vocabulary.
In "The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back", (P&R Publishing, 1992) author Peter
Jones predicts that "there will be a move to open the church's canon for
the inclusion of a certain number of ...ancient egalitarian `Christian'
Gnostic documents. And then the struggle for orthodoxy will take on proportions
of difficulty the church has rarely known." Jones concludes:
stand again on Mars Hill, surrounded by a host of unfamiliar and doubtless
unfriendly gods. At some time in the future, perhaps more quickly than
we think, true Christianity could well be reduced to a small minority.
Christian ministry in the New Age of Aquarius will not be for the fainthearted.
The defeat of ancient pagan Gnosticism and its so-called Christian counterpart
was only gained by deep spirituality, hard theological work, and often
physical martyrdom. But those called by Christ must stand, for they
can do no other, even it if does involve similar kinds of personal sacrifice.
The orthodox Christian church needs courageous leaders, not clerics
of leisure and compromise. Without an extraordinary degree of prophetic
commitment and self-sacrifice from a new generation of leaders, the
church of Jesus Christ is no doubt headed for a period of significant
persecution. If we do not speak out now, speaking out later promises
to be very costly!"
[Sidebar to the article:]
OF FILLED STADIUMS
By Ed Tarkowski
In a Grace Ministries tape, November 1988 called, "My Father's House,"
Kansas City Vineyard Pastor, Paul Cain, expresses this eschatological
don't know what the second coming is to you, ...but let me tell you
he's coming to you, he's coming to his Church, he' s coming to abide
in you, to take up his abode in you... I want you to know he's coming
to the Church before he comes for the Church. He's gonna perfect the
Church so the Church can be the Image, be Him, and be his representation."
In this talk, Cain defended himself that he wasn't denying the rapture,
but spoke of Jesus coming again to indwell His Church as a corporate body
where the whole body experiences Him all at the same time. This is Latter
Rain doctrine. Allegorical Pentecost to the Latter Rain adherent is a
coming of God to the individual - it is a personal experience. To them,
the allegorical Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated when God comes to the
entire Church and fills it with the manifest Glory of God. Cain told his
are not just looking for glory in God, we want God to be glorified in
us. Oh, let God be glorified in us, let this be your intent. Everybody
in this room tonight that has the intent to follow through and act accordingly,
the Lord says I will truly visit you, and I will make this real to you.
The Lord will commit himself to you."
Then he tells us how to follow through and act accordingly so this glory
will be made real to the Church before Christ returns.
dump all that stuff, just dump all that carnal knowledge, and dump some
of the stuff we have learned through the years."
Is he saying dump your doctrine and your hope and go for this unbiblical
experience? Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries in England has noted these
Glory, in the Latter Rain understanding, is the visible manifestation
of the Spirit. Now, in light of the satanic nature of this deception,
it is not surprising that deceived Christians are being led to expect
a manifested spirit and not the visible return of the Lord Jesus. I
believe the way we are headed is into teaching about the return of the
`lord` to his church, in glory, before (or perhaps even instead of?)
the physical return of Jesus."
This doctrine, once declared a heresy, is finding a place in all denominations
through the unity of charismatics with other faiths. Cain says out of
this unity will come an army, Joel's Army, a Latter Rain belief based
on the book of Joel:
told you about ...this recurring [35 year-old] vision I had...The angel
of the Lord said, `You're standing at the crossroads of life. What do
you see?' And I saw a brilliantly lit billboard which reads, `Joel's
Army now in training.' ...I believe one day soon Joel's Army will be
in training ...until it graduates into the stadium ...But a right understanding
of the plan of God for this generation brings this tremendous inclusion...
God's offering to you, this present generation, a greater privilege
than was ever offered any generation at any time from Adam clear down
through the millennium."
Paul Cain claimed this was the plan of God for this generation - everybody
- all denominations - because it is the plan of God for the `last of the
last days.' On a Grace Ministries tape of a talk given by Cain some years
ago in Missouri, he told his audience,
had a vision of you people coming from ...a circle of maybe a hundred
miles and I saw people coming from every major city within that circumference
and a great conclave was taking place, and it was the training of Joel's
Army...I believe that people are going to come together by the thousands
and train for the Army of the Lord. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I mean,
that's long overdue."
When enough pastors and other leaders are trained, for the Army of the
Lord, he expects the greatest revival of all time to result. During his
talk in Missouri, Cain described his vision for this endtime revival:
"All of the stadiums and all of the ballparks are filled with hundreds
of thousands of people. They have hearses lined up, ambulances lined up.
They have hundreds of stretcher cases and all that. And there are men
standing there in the pulpit, there are women standing there that haven't
had a change of raiment in three days, they haven't had a drink of water,
they haven't had any food and they're preaching under the mighty power.
`Why, did you see that last night on ABC? Did you see that man levitated?
Did you see all those preachers levitated? Did you see that fixed pose?
They stood there for 24 hours in a fixed pose, worshiping and praising
God, and hundreds of thousands came by and fell on their face and nobody
pushed them. And nobody shoved them. They fell under the power of God.'
And everybody everywhere is crying, `Oh, this is God! Jesus is Lord!'
It seems like the whole world is turning to God."
Recently, Cain spoke at Christ Chapel in Florence, Alabama, and shared
a dream he'd received when he was 19 years old. Again, the emphasis was
on huge numbers of people in stadiums:
had a dream that became a recurring dream, and it was about all the
stadiums - and we've told this hundreds and hundreds of times all across
America, all over the world, in fact - and I saw these stadiums and
football fields, soccer fields and sports arenas, all of them filled
with thousands of people, sometimes over 100,000 in each place." (August
30, 1995, evening session)
In the Alabama meeting Cain connected his prediction of stadiums-full
of soldiers in his Army of the Lord with the reality of stadiums-full
of warriors in the Promise Keepers army. He said,
call it `the last days ministry,' ...I believe we're on the threshold
of it...And I know the Lord is coming to His Church and he's going to
prepare us...We're closer to it than we've ever been before. Who would
think that there would be a group like Promise Keepers who'd already
be setting the stage and filling stadiums with tens of thousands of
people, ...They'll be over 100,000 in no time, and maybe they already
are. I think an event's already planned that way. So, what if God shows
up at just one of those meetings? That could just be the kick-off for
`last days ministry.' Think about that...What if 120,000 get together
and then the fire comes from heaven and the glory of God..."
Cain was probably referring to the 70,000 to 100,000 pastors expected
at the February Promise Keepers' meeting in Atlanta, but what if his words
came true concerning the PK goal of filling a stadium in each of the fifty
states in the year 2000? In a Promise Keepers gathering in the Detroit
Silver Dome stadium in April 29, 1995, Promise Keeper founder Bill McCartney
also spoke of a great army:
have a great army that we are assembling. They're the Christian men
of this nation. However, our leadership, our clergy are not uniform.
Our clergy are divided...There's no unity of command...there is tremendous
division in our clergy. We have to assume that responsibility. We have
to say, `Are we impacting our clergy in a way that's going to take them
and make them all that they have to be in order to lead this army?'
Because the shepherds are the ones God's chosen to lead us out of here."
McCartney later continued,
gathering in Atlanta should exceed 100,000 clergymen. Why? Because we
have many more than that, and every single one of them ought to be there.
We can't have anybody pass up that meeting. If a guy says that he doesn't
want to go, he needs to be able to tell us why he doesn't want to go?
`Why wouldn't you want to be a part of what God wants to do with His
hand-picked leaders?' ...I think Almighty God is going to rip open the
hearts of our leaders. I think He's going to tear them open. And I think
he's going to put them back together again as one. One leadership. We've
got to have one leadership, one leadership only. We've got to have everybody
hitting on all cylinders. There's only one race. It's the human race.
There's only one culture. It's Christ before culture. Christ culture
- that's all that there is."
Cain said we are on the threshold of God's glory possibly coming upon
100,000 pastors who want to be Promise Keepers. When you read this in
conjunction with Latter Rain proponent Francis Frangipane's new book,
"The Days of His Presence", there is reason for concern. Is Promise Keepers
the catalyst for the anticipated Latter Rain "revival"? In a write-up
on the book, Frangipane himself says,
Spirit of the Lord is moving on so many fronts. In just the past ten
months we have seen racial reconciliations take place among Southern
Baptists in Atlanta; in Memphis, leaders from Pentecostal denominations,
once divided along racial lines, are now reunited, while white Evangelical
leaders repented with blacks in Chicago. We can truly say the Lord is
moving mightily on his people. Mix in the March for Jesus and the 750,000
Promise Keepers, and we are seeing the stage set for what I believe
will be the greatest awakening of this century."
March for Jesus drew 20,000,000 this year. Promise Keepers is currently
drawing 750,000. That adds up to 20,750,000 Christians, and Frangipane
is saying that this multitude will set the stage for revival because of
reconciliation of racial issues and Christians ministering to one another
in unity. Frangipane describes this next great awakening in his book:
book chronicles the vision the Lord gave me in 1971...The Holy Spirit
revealed the baptism of glory that the Father has prepared for the end
of the age.
to Jesus Christ's physical return, His living presence will companion
the church in ever-increasing power. During this time the visible glory
of the Lord will rise and appear upon God's people."
this: God's visible glory will rise and appear on His people prior
to Jesus' return. This is new revelation - it's Latter Rain teaching,
and Frangipane says 20,750,000 members of Christ's body are being prepared
to have the visible glory of God come on them! This prophetic word says
that the Church will be glorified and changed to be like Christ Jesus
our Lord - not when we see Him face to face, but when we reconcile our
differences. This appears to be the goal of the ecumenical unity movement.
Jesus can't come back until everybody agrees and gets along. Promise Keepers
seems to be openly embracing this theology.
Paul Cain said, "You can look ... for the Glory of God to appear just
as soon as our lives and everything are in order." What does it take to
"get our lives and everything in order"? In the Fall 1993 PK magazine,
"Men of Action," we read,
believe that we have a God-given mission to unite men who are separated
by race, geography, culture, denomination and economics...We are dedicated,
then, to addressing the division that has separated the Body of Christ
for too long."
Notice that racial harmony is cleverly lumped together with demoninational
unity as if they were equatable concepts. While there is nothing harmful
with racial reconciliation, doctrinal unity is being forged at the expense
of truth. The PK Ambassors training manual tells Ambassadors that they
"must avoid negative political, doctrinal, and denominational remarks
and discussion" in order to build this "relational bridge" of unity (p.
Frangipane says we are on the verge of a manifestation of glory because
of this "unity":
Lord revealed to me He would first unite His church, reconcile the racial
issues in Him, and then fill the church with glory! The first two phases
of this restoration are well under way! The last phase, the preparation
for glory, is at hand. Indeed, in several places manifestations of God's
glory are already occurring."
Both Promise Keepers and March for Jesus are dedicated to this type of
unity. Frangipane's "new" revelation states that the first two phases
of this restoration are underway - and are being fulfilled by PK and the
MFJ. Promise Keepers and March for Jesus are ripe for a visitation by
the Latter Rain spirit. Cain said so and so did Frangipane. What makes
this unity dangerous is this:
Doctrinal differences are being set aside in order to tear down denominational
walls for the sake of demonstrating what is being called biblical unity.
This is the door through which Latter Rain "manifestations" of "glory"
RYLE'S VINEYARD THEOLOGY
By Debra Bouey
continue to arise about Promise Keepers and how closely linked the organization
is with the doctrinal stance of the Vineyard movement. These issues are
of concern particularly in light of the following comments by Promise
Keepers' Board Member and Vineyard Pastor James Ryle, who is also Bill
McCartney's pastor, during an interview with GQ writer Scott Raab ( Jan.
in the world,' he said, chuckling, `could have ever possibly happened
worse, in the whole world, than for Promise Keepers - this incredible,
significant, undeniably noble movement - to be spawned out of the Vineyard.'"
Pastor Ryle is telling us, indisputably, Vineyard "spawned" Promise Keepers.
It is very difficult to believe that Promise Keepers was propagated by
Vineyard and yet remains unaffected by Vineyard's doctrinal views, some
of which are quite questionable theologically.
instance, Pastor Ryle believes his dreams and visions are prophetic revelations
directly from God. In a sermon entitled "Sons of Thunder" he preached
at his church, Boulder Valley Vineyard in Longmont, Colorado, July 1,
1990, he alleges that God is about to anoint Christian musicians with
the same "anointing" that was originally given to the Beatles. He says
God told him in a dream:
called those four lads from Liverpool to myself. There was a call from
God on their life; they were gifted by my hand; and it was I who anointed
them, for I had a purpose, and the purpose was to usher in the charismatic
renewal with musical revival around the world."
the Beatles were anything but an instrument of God during the years they
recorded and performed music together, as the lyrics to their songs attest.
So, how does Ryle account for this? In the same sermon he says God told
four lads from Liverpool went AWOL and did not serve in my army. They
served their own purposes and gave the gift to the other side."
Ryle goes on to say that God told him he lifted the Beatles anointing
in 1970 and has held it in His hand since but that He is about to release
it again in the church.
Then, there is the book Pastor Ryle wrote entitled "Hippo in the Garden"
(Creation House 1993), which stems from yet another dream he had. He claims
he heard the Lord tell him:
am about to do a strange, new thing in My church. It will be like a
man bringing a hippopotamus into his garden. Think about that." ( p.259)
Apparently, Pastor Ryle did give a great deal of thought to it and reached
the conclusion God was telling him He was going to return "the power
of His prophetic word by His Holy Spirit into churches that no longer
have any place for it." (p. 261) Pastor Ryle continues:
only is the hippo in the garden the unusual thing God will do prophetically
within His church, but it also heralds His release of a prophetic voice
into the world through His church, bringing in a great last-days harvest."
Ryle then quotes Acts 2:17-21 and says:
vast prophetic movement inspired by the Holy Spirit within the church
in the midst of the world resulting in an evangelistic ingathering -
that is the `hippo in the garden.'" (p. 262)
hippo happens to be a member of the same biological family as the pig.
Given the situation with the Gadarene demons being cast into a herd of
swine (Matthew 8:28-32), it seems highly unlikely God would liken Himself
to a member of the pig family, does it not?
Last year, yet another book recounting hearing God through dreams and
visions was released by Ryle, entitled "A Dream Come True: A Biblical
Look at How God Speaks Through Dreams and Visions" (Creation House, 1995).
Obviously, the "Word of God" is considerably far more spacious than Scripture.
Rather, Ryle adds to it his own subjective personal revelations, visions,
words of prophecy and dreams. Both of his books are replete with isolated
Scripture passages wrested out of context and applied peculiarly.
proclaims: "The Bible is not an end in itself, rather, it is the God-given
means to an end." (Hippo in the Garden, p. 74)
Ryle and others in the Vineyard organization are teaching is that God's
written Word should be viewed through the lens of one's personal, spiritual
experiences, dreams and visions as opposed to rightly asserting that one's
personal, spiritual experiences, dreams and visions ought to be viewed
through the lens of God's written Word.
so doing, he and the others have denigrated and relegated God's written
Word, that more sure word of prophecy (2 Pet. 1:19) to the back seat while
"fresh prophetic words" overtake the driver's seat and thus dictate the
direction one ought to take in the practice of one's faith.
This serves to deny that "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable
for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."(2
Tim. 3:16-17) If
written word is sufficient to equip the man of good for every good work,
what need is there to rely heavily upon subjective impressions? To do
so clearly denies that God's written Word is sufficient.
Is There Carry-Over?
What, perhaps you are wondering, does all of this have to do with Promise
Keepers? Since, as Ryle has told us, the Vineyard organization "spawned"
the Promise Keepers movement and Ryle himself, until very recently, was
a board member, is it not reasonable to assert that the movement itself
is managed by men holding doctrinal views congruent with Ryle's? Bill McCartney
has been pastored by Ryle throughout Promise Keepers' formative years and
still is today.
If, as Ryle tells us, Vineyard did indeed "spawn" Promise Keepers, then
the movement is likely to be equally as inundated with the same doctrinal
convictions. This is an issue which is not likely to go away and some hard
questions need to be asked and answered... and the Promise Keepers movement
will be plagued by these issues until they are viably dealt with.
This is the third article in a multi-part series published in the February 1996
issue of The Christian Conscience.
Copyright 1996, Lynn and Sarah Leslie, publishers of The Christian Conscience,