Is God a Promise-Breaker?
In the United States, and probably in other parts of the world, there is a Christian organization that is growing in leaps and bounds named "Promise-Keepers." It is an organization composed of men who have committed themselves to seven principles. They gather in large stadiums around the country to encourage one another and to let the world know there are men who are not afraid to separate themselves from the powers of this world. They are at war. They do not use the weapons of the world. They will use spiritual weapons. The tenents of Promise-Keepers include commitments to:
- Honor Jesus Christ through worship, prayer, and obedience to His Word, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Practice spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity.
- To build strong marriages and families through love, protection, and Biblical values.
- To support the mission of the church by honoring and praying for their pastors and by actively giving their time and financial resources.
- To reach beyond racial and denominational barriers so demonstrate the power of Biblical unity.
- To influence his world, being obedient to the Great Commandment (Mark 12:30-31) and the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19,20).
- To pursue vital relationships with a few other men understanding that they need brothers to help keep their promises.
These are certainly noble, high, and very desirable promises. The decision to sign a statement promising to keep the above commitment is certainly a serious matter especially in the light of the fact that Mr. McCartney, founder of Promise-Keepers gave some statistics of the condition of the pastors of these men who have signed these commitments. The following are some statistics taken from an audio tape made by Promise-Keepers entitled "What is a promise Keeper?"
A survey of pastors cited by Bill McCartney, founder of Promise Keepers:
- 80% said that ministry effected their family negatively.
- 33% said their ministry was a hazard to their family.
- 50% felt they were unable to meet the needs of the job.
- 90% felt they were inadequately trained for the job.
- 70% said they have a lower self-esteem of themselves since in the ministry.
- 37% said they have had inappropriate sexual relations with someone in the church.
- 70% said they had no one they considered a close friend.
- 40% said they have considered leaving the pastorate in the last 3 months.
If this is the condition of the leadership of those who plan to become Promise Keepers, what is the likelihood of them keeping their promises? Are there reasons for the pathetic condition of church leadership?
A friend of mine recently told me of one of these city-wide gatherings of Promise Keepers which he attended... He said the worship was fantastic. The sight of thousands of grown men praising God together was magnificent. At the end of the evening, the leader lit a candle and passed it on until the stadium was filled with thousands of lit candles. The sight must have been impressive. Lit candles and torches have been used for centuries by institutions of all kinds, religious as well as non-religious to induce a sense of awe, divinity, or transcendence.
I listened to my friend's account of this great event, thousands of men coming together to make commitments that their pastors were unable to keep. To me, it was obvious, that these men would be unable to keep their vows also. How can I say that, you might ask? I know that one will become like the God one worships. If the God they worship does not keep His promises, which I believe is the case with most Promise Keepers, then the door is wide open for Promise Keepers to break theirs. We conform to the image we set before us.
How can I say that these men worship a God Who breaks His promises? Well, let us look at some of the promises contained in the Bibles and compare them with the image of the God presented by these pastors and flock. I will just focus on two key doctrines to make my point. These church leaders believe that if a person has not "made a decision for Christ" before they leave this earth, they will be forever separated from God in a place of eternal torment. There is no hope beyond the grave. The keys Jesus has are worthless. Any one who has not confessed Jesus Christ as their Savior before their death is lost eternally. In addition to that, many Promise Keepers and pastorate teach that once you have "eternal life" it is possible to lose it again through some sin or by just walking away from Him. I cannot list all the thousands of things one can do to lose their salvation, they would fill a book. (Recently, I personally heard a pastor from a well known denomination tell a young born again man he was going to hell because he wouldn't shave off his mustache.) Let us look at some promises that God will break if He sends one person to hell if they don't accept Jesus Christ as Lord on this side of the grave or if one could backslide into a sin which takes away the eternal life they once had been given..
If one soul goes to "eternal torment" the following promises or Words would be broken:
- He would break His promises to the fathers, Abraham and Isaac: "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed." (Gen. 22:18; also see Gen. 26:4, ) There are thousands of nations who either never heard the gospel or if they heard one, it was not Paul's gospel. Will all nations be blessed or won't they? How?
- He would break His Word to the families of the earth: "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you." (Psalm 22:27) All families in worship?
- He would break His Word to all flesh: "O, You Who hear prayer, to you all flesh will come. Iniquities prevail against me; as for our transgressions, you will provide atonement for them." (Psalm 65:2-4) All flesh?
- He would break His Word to His enemies: "How awesome are your works! Through the greatness of your power your enemies shall submit themselves to you. All the earth shall worship you and sing praises to you." (Psalm 66:3,4) Will they sing praises and worship in "hell?" All enemies will submit?
- His mercy would have to end for some: "This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning." (Lam. 3:21-24)
- This scripture would make Him a liar: "For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies." (Lam. 3:31,32) Hell is forever, according to orthodox theology.
- Adam's fall would be greater than Jesus' resurrection: "Just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men." (Rom. 5:17-19)
- His desire or will would not come to pass: "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires (NKJV) or wills (KJV) all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Tim. 2:3,4)
- "Hell" means His love failed to reach someone: His "Love never fails." (1 Cor. 13:8)
Now we see why the pastorate of the Promise Keepers is in such miserable condition. Their God is a promise breaker and they have become just like him. But in the end, our Father will be vindicated. The Jews dragged His Name through the mud for 1500 years and the church has done the same for 1900 years. Does that make God a promise breaker? God forbid! "For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar!" (Romans 3:3,4) He will not fail anyone, even Promise Breakers and their promise breaking leaders! While the church has become faithless, He will remain faithful, because He will not deny Himself. Praise His wonderful name forever!