It is one thing to do good; it is quite another to presume one can do
it in his own strength and volition. An association of men worldwide,
in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, calls itself Promise Keepers, thus
declaring the ability to keep promises.
I say to you, Do not swear at all!”
Their goal seems a good-intentioned, noble and godly one. After all,
they speak of good things, and one might expect that God would help them
in this endeavor. But are these people not “dead in the water” before
they begin to do that which they presume? Here’s why:
“Again, you have heard that it has been said to the ancients, ‘You
shall not swear falsely, but you shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But
I say to you, Do not swear at all! Not by Heaven, because it is God’s
throne; not by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; not
by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King; nor shall you
swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.
But let your word be, Yes, yes; No, no. For whatever is more than these
comes from evil” (Matthew 5:33-37 MKJV).
While these men are apparently able to stir up emotions of sincerity
and enthusiasm and keep a few promises for a time, on the whole they
are doomed to failure. Why is this? It is because they are manifestly,
directly disobeying the Lord. What is this about keeping promises when
one is not supposed to be making them in the first place? The Lord
taught me a long time ago that aside from daily plans with the proviso
of “Lord willing,” I should not make promises to anyone
because I was not able to keep them. Think about it: We are mere creatures
and not the Creator. We have no control over any circumstances and
lives, not even our own. Anything can, and often does, happen to change
something or everything in a matter of moments, if not years, often
forever, rendering certain options obsolete.
Do Promise Keepers say, “Lord willing, I will do this or that”?
Can they say, “Lord willing, I promise to do this or that; I
promise to be a good husband, to be faithful, patient, or whatever
else needed”? If they promise, are they not depending on their
own strength and virtue, on their own righteousness, which is quite
contrary to the Savior’s righteousness?
The concept of promising flies in the
face of the cross of Jesus Christ.
One does not say, “Lord willing, I promise...” but one
may say, “Lord willing, I will do this or that.” So then
why the appellation, “Promise Keepers”? It is a declaration
of the carnal man, the one presuming to pull himself up by his own
bootstraps, the one who thinks he can do things simply because those
things seem right enough and godly enough and therefore should be done.
At best, he might presume that God will help him keep every promise
he makes, but who is to say that God would agree with every promise,
or its timing and way of implementation? Yes, the man may have an apparently
good intention, but the very concept of promising and keeping promises
to God and wife or anyone else flies in the face of the cross of Jesus
Christ and denies His Word.
Why did Jesus command us not to keep such promises? Here is what John
“And as He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, at the feast, many
believed in His Name when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus
not commit Himself to them, because He knew all and did not need that
anyone should testify of man. For He knew what was in man” (John
Jeremiah said this:
“O Lord, I am conscious that a man’s way is not in himself:
man has no power of guiding his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23 BBE).
How can man presume to make promises, much less keep them? No, members
of Promise Keepers are learning the hard way, bringing God’s wrath
on themselves by making promises, contrary to the Lord’s counsel,
and finding they are unable to deliver. Indeed, they multiply their sorrows
because now they live with disillusioned spouses and others who are solemnly,
even sincerely, promised things and are let down. This may not happen
every time, but inevitably it must happen, or the Lord is a liar or fool
and His Word worthless.
He must humbly turn to Jesus
Christ, the Solution to any and all problems.
So what are some of the complications of broken promises, especially
when done in the name of godly virtue? For example, let us say that a
man promises something to his wife, saying, “Dear, I’ve been
wrong on this or that, but I’ve been to Promise Keepers, a group
of Christian men who are joining in prayer and commitment to keep promises
and encourage fellow members to do the same. I promise you that from
now on, I will never do this or that again.”
Then Jeremiah’s words of the Spirit come to pass, the promiser
fails, and his wife is disillusioned. If she is not disillusioned, it
is because she may not have been naïve enough to believe her husband
in the first place, knowing the experience and reality of the fallen
human nature manifesting in her husband, and, indeed, in herself. Most
wives have enough understanding to be justifiably skeptical. Nevertheless,
I have found women willing to go along, if possible, saying, “Sounds
good, but we’ll see.”
Why do men join Promise Keepers to begin with? Is it not because they
have been failing as faithful husbands? Is it not because they have been
letting their wives down, recognizing their faults and looking for ways
Will taking on a system or formula for success solve their dilemma?
No. The only answer to the failure of the carnal man is total annihilation.
The carnal man must go. Try as he might, he will never succeed. He must
make way for the new man in Christ. He must recognize his absolute need
of the Savior, repent of his own abilities, which are empty and deceptive,
and humbly turn to Jesus Christ, the Solution to any and all problems.
Why do not men simply believe and obey, trusting in the Lord’s
righteousness, which is available by His Spirit? The answer:
“Lo, this only I have found, that God has made man upright, but
they have sought out many inventions” (Ecclesiastes 7:29 MKJV).
What a curious thing I have discovered! Men will try anything and everything
and believe the most outrageous of lies before they will humble themselves
at the cross of Christ. They will do anything to “stay alive” and
maintain their own righteousness and independence, not knowing they are
dead in their sins. They refuse to believe that by coming to the one
and only Savior, Jesus Christ, and by acknowledging Him as Lord, they
will come from death into life, with true liberty, joy, peace and fulfillment
they have never known.
Promise Keepers take on another form of the hero. What is a hero, but
one who maintains his own righteousness and seeks somehow to glory and
to excel over his fellow man, seeking his applause and approbation? This
is just another form of Baal worship, that being “hero worship.”
The walk of faith and
righteousness is one of believing and obeying God.
Wives subject to Promise Keepers, seek to turn your husbands away from
themselves and turn them to trust in God Almighty, Who alone has the
I will address one more important issue: Men seek to please their wives
because they believe and follow them instead of God, even as Adam ignored
God’s command and ate of the forbidden fruit that his wife Eve
offered him, after she was deceived by the serpent and partook of it.
Men have deliberately sought to please and to serve their wives before
God. Therefore, even if men do not make promises to their wives, and
even if they make and keep them, will it do? Is it enough to keep promises
even if one is able to do so? Not nearly. The whole walk of faith and
righteousness is one of believing and obeying God:
“Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that
you believe on Him Whom He has sent” (John 6:29 MKJV).
For further instruction and understanding on this matter, read The
Promise Keepers is, as Victor pointed out, an oxymoron when speaking
of men. As it is written: “But let God be true, and every man a
liar...” (Romans 3:4 MKJV).
This applies to professors of Christ who walk not by the Spirit of Christ
but by their own strength and righteousness. Let me demonstrate. In Promise
Keepers’ statement of faith, Point Three states:
“Since the disbelief and disobedience of
Adam and Eve, all humans have failed to obey God’s two major laws summed up by the Lord
Jesus Christ. We have failed to love God with our whole being and we
have failed to love our neighbors as ourselves. People have become slaves
to selfishness and are alienated from God and one another.”
That is most certainly true, applying to all men.
Promise Keeper, how is it that you will now
be perfected by your own works?
Point Four goes on to say:
“Jesus’ death in our place reconciles us to God. His atoning
sacrifice provided redemption from the power of sin, forgiveness for
our guilt, and reconciliation to Himself and others. We become acceptable
to God, or justified, not by works, but by God’s grace alone, through
faith in Christ alone.”
If you, Promise Keeper, as a member of the human race, have failed to
obey God’s Laws, how is it that after being reconciled to God and
justified by faith in Christ, you are still not living according to His
Laws, but now must gather together with other men to pledge yourselves
to doing so?
Can you not see the contradiction? By your own statement of faith, you
declare that the power of Christ was not sufficient to save you, so now
you propose to succeed where He has apparently failed. Where was the
grace of God to begin with, and how is it that you will now be perfected
by your own works? All you are confessing is that you have not known
His saving grace, by which those who believe keep His commandments.
What is lacking is not self-effort, but application of the cross in
obedience to the personal commandments of God by His grace and faith.
Do-it-yourself religious works are antiChrist, the paths of the destroyer.
Instead of being for God, Promise Keepers are found to be against Him
as enemies of the cross.
Read: Only the Death Sentence
How can a Promise Keeper keep even the first of his seven promises?
“A Promise Keeper is committed to honoring
Jesus Christ through worship, prayer and obedience to God’s Word in the power of the
This is very presumptuous. How can you keep what you do not know? For
example, if you knew and honored Jesus Christ according to His ways,
you would not be acknowledging and supporting all manner of churches
that teach things contrary to His Word and each other.
Choose the lonely path with God rather than
the crowded path with men.
Herein lies the problem: Men do not know what the Lord requires, and,
until they do (by His grace), they cannot walk with Him in faith, by
His Spirit. When men come to the place where they walk with Him by His
Spirit (the only acceptable place to be for one professing the Name of
Christ), they will not be making promises because they will already be
found fulfilling His Law:
“Therefore do we nullify the Law through faith? Certainly not!
On the contrary, we establish the Law” (Romans 3:31 EMTV).
For any that presumes to argue this point, thinking he or she already
knows all that the Lord commands and is not walking in darkness, read
The True Marks of a Cult and Is Your Profession of Faith Vain, Christian?
Don’t even think of starting on, or staying on, the path of self-empowerment
and attainment. Repent. Choose the lonely path with God rather than the
crowded path with men.
“For though the LORD is high, yet He looks after the lowly; but
the proud, He knows from afar” (Psalms 138:6 HNV).