Posts Tagged ‘Promise Keepers’

Is THIS what's next? Stranger things have happened.

I have heard of the pot calling the kettle black, so what in the world does this newly ordained minister for a COGIC church call his followers?

Meet Johnny Lee Clary, a good ol’ boy from Oklahoma, proud white boy who is a minister for a black denomination… and oh yeah, a former imperial wizard for the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

This should be good.

Bishop [George] McKinney and I both felt like racial reconciliation was needed now more than ever,” said Clary, who befriended McKinney in the early 1990s when the two spoke during a Promise Keepers event. “We feel like it makes a huge statement that the former national imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan would join the Church of God in Christ and reach out with the Church of God in Christ to bring racial reconciliation to America.”

In case you haven’t read your bible recently, this is called f-o-r-g-i-v-e-n-e-s-s and r-e-p-e-n-t-a-n-c-e. WOW!

You know God truly had to yank the scales from Clary’s eye sockets for him to see the error of his ways and make good on a promise to God to be “all he could for Jesus Christ.”

The word “kyklos” is Greek for circle and in the reconstruction era of the 1860s, a “circle of friends” decided to cleanse the south and then the only circle they used was the noose placed around 1000s of necks. And yet, they use the Bible for the terrorism.

Bishop McKinney knows this… and still accepted Clary into the fold, with open arms. That’s God.

I know the answer to racial reconciliation, and that’s Jesus Christ,” he said. “They all come to me, even secular people are saying, ‘What changed you?’ I tell them, ‘The only thing that changed me was the Word of God.’ Because when I accepted Christ … I had to get my mind renewed, and that was through God’s Word.”

It’s no secret racial reconciliation still needs to improve, but stories like this really help folk answer the Rodney King rally cry.

Why can’t black men and white men preach the red-stained words of Christ together? The fact that Clary dawned a hood and burned the same cross he professes now is the headline of this story, but the heart of it is a man with a vision [McKinney] who reached out to another man with some victory [Clary].

There is not one scripture in the Bible that says God chose one race over another. People get out of the Bible what they bring to it in the first place. You get a cowardly bigot – black, white or any other hue – reading the Word of God, somehow that filter will let some of that dirt through.

I know for a fact these two brothers-in-arms are reading this one:

Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other. (John 13:34-35 MSG).

There’s hope yet, people. And in the words of a dude who can’t decide if he wants to be a white politician or a black civil rights activist, “Keep hope alive!”

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[Breaking linkage about this story: As of 9/14/09, this story has been linked in many national hot beds. Regretfully, not because of the content, but rather the picture. My source tag vanished but this was indeed lifted from Promise Keepers’ footage in 1997, “Standing in the Gap.” Thanks all for the link love and hat tips. Peace.]

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

NEWS FLASH: The economy sucks.

I know, breaking news, but hey, we’re here for you.

Some of the most affected businesses during these tumultuous times are faith-based and non-profits. Many are cutting corners, getting things on the cheap and dawning the sackcloth & ashes for donations just to “arrive” at the front door.

Before...

Before...

In the heyday of ministry outreach, people would fill stadiums and give $1000s without flinching for the betterment of the Gospel.

One such ministry was Promise Keepers. Actually, it was more like a movement in the 90s.

One that moved upon the men of this nation with brilliant marketing, highly respected leaders and a niche message for men… by men.

Fast forward to the Oughts. No more stadiums. The speakers have checked out. And Coach McCartney even came out of “retirement” to energize the base.

What? You haven’t heard? Yeah, that’s how good the marketing has been these days too.

So, the Colorado-based ministry needed a spark to light the fires of revival again. And, according to the story in Yahoo!, they named that spark, “Woman.” Huh?!

After 20 years of men-only events, Denver-based Promise Keepers is urging men to bring “the women in their lives” to a July 31-Aug. 1 conference marking the group’s anniversary. “It’s time for Promise Keepers men to step up and honor women,” Raleigh Washington, the group’s president, said Monday. “We’re going to heal the gender divide that exists in America. What better way to challenge a man than nose to nose with his wife, his mother, his sister?” he said.

Well, that’s uh, sweet. But riddle me this: Do you really expect us to believe it 20 years for some dude to think up that gem? Out of all the man-law meetings the PK executives have had in the Mile High city, not one guy has thought, “Um, can I invite my wife?” No? Oh, well then perhaps you wouldn’t mind this:

Promise Keepers filled football stadiums and boasted a $117 million budget in the mid-1990s, but has struggled to find an identity since. Revenues declined for several years to about $10.9 million in 2007, according to its tax forms. This year’s budget is $7.5 million, Washington said.

Let’s see, what do men have in common with women? Gender? No. Temperment? Nah. Spirituality? No way. Wait! Money? We have a winner.

...and after

...and after

Forgive the snark, but if you would have just come out and said, “We’re looking to expand our horizons as a means to capture the audiences we had back in the day,” we could respect that. But to church it up with the P.C.-gender divide talk, and keep N.O.W. off your case (because, let’s be honest, NOW doesn’t care unless you are in the news), is foolish at the very least and hypocritical at the most.

And, did anyone catch who’s actually coming to the party? “The women in their lives.”

What used to be about “Men of Integrity” is now open for “men who are shacked up”, “baby daddies” and “fellas who just want to bring a date.” Classy.

Maybe the PK events will be back to where they used to be and the economy will stop being the final determinant. And maybe then, they can go back to the original idea of “Promise Reapers”. If you have a gripe about the focus, let them know. Since its all about integrity, they should respond. And if not, holler at these guys… it’s where the spin came from in the first place.

Memo to PK (and your PR team): It’s not the gender divide of which you have to worry; it’s the divide among men who used to call themselves Promise Keepers thanks to this jackleg move.

They filled stadiums across the countries. They marched on Washington. They changed men’s lives. And now they are completely irrelevant.

So, what happened to Promise Keepers anyway?!

And I don’t ask that question lightheartedly. I am one, and was very involved with them for a while, but then the throngs were leaving, the interest was waning and the focus was dwindling. Why? Well, for one, the media had didn’t have a face. There was no personality to discuss the reality and practicality of this once world-changing ministry.

MEMO to PK execs: Marketing 101 says brands need catchy slogans, logos and mass appeal. Ministries need interest from people, a wonderful talking head and a story for the media. You guys had none of that after your jaunt to the nation’s capital.

Well, no more excuses, guess who’s coming BACK to dinner? Coach Mack himself – Bill McCartney!

Thanks to the article by the Christian Post, we get an inside look at PK’s “Wal-Mart” approach to ministry and how it cost them supporters, relevance, reputation and money – dearly:

The leadership change comes as attendance has been declining at Promise Keepers events for years. The organization was going through a period of refocus and recalibration in recent years, scaling down the number of stadium-size events it holds annually and adding smaller local church events such as PKAdventure.

Former president and CEO Dr. Tom Fortson, who resigned last weekend, had told The Christian Post earlier that they were “looking for ways to have more impact at a lower cost. We will continue to offer a number of our larger arena events; but by offering new programs such as PK Adventure, PK Edge and pastors’ workshops, and by incorporating satellite and internet technology, we provide a more robust PK experience that can impact men beyond the arenas,” Fortson had said last month.

They marched on Washington, and now… appearing in front of churches without media regalia. Huh?! And now for the most obvious statement of this ministry in years:

“The coach (McCartney) basically said ‘if this is a unanimous decision by the Promise Keepers board of directors, I will follow,'” Washington continued. “In light of that, Tom Fortson did resign.”

Ya’ think this decision would have any shot of being debated? Amazing what the bill collectors do to an organization who are interested in change. Here’s to hoping Coach’s triumphant return becomes the shot in the arm this ministry needs. Otherweise, it could get another shot… you know, the kind associated with taking a horse out to pasture.

Giddy’up Coach! Welcome back, brother!

No parties for Jesus, just parishionersObama, Clinton or McCain? That’s the $64K question? It may go up to $128K if you are saved.

People of faith have one opinion, and that’s usually based on how their parents voted or what (or whose) propaganda got a hold of them first. But for true Christ-following people, what do you do? Well, one organization thinks they got an answer to that. Meet HWJV: How Would Jesus Vote.

This organization created by D.C.’s Advance Church and Georgia’s Wellington Boone Ministries (most notable for his excellent work with Promise Keepers) is geared to answering that interesting question. Good on them!

Christians, listen. Just because you are politically pinned as “republican” doesn’t mean you’re necessarily “conservative”. Did you know that? Consider Jesus’ day. You think talking about the dead rising (including himself) was a “conservative” ideology. Not so much. I would say that swayed a tad liberal.

We, as a collective group of believers, need to vote ISSUES. Not what CNN or FOX advises. Not what your straight-ticket voting buddies do. What is truly best for our country is God’s interest because that means his children will be best positioned for success and blessing. Or perhaps if we get the worst person for the job, it will force us all to pray more for the sovereignty of this nation. IJS.

BTW, the HWJV tour kicks off in June. For more information, here’s the story.