Promise Keepers Supports Women Pastors
January 27, 1998
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
Promise Keepers is inviting women pastors to participate in its 1998 conferences. According to the Los Angeles Times religion page, Jan. 24, 1998, a few female pastors participated in the regional clergy conference on January 20 in San Diego, California. The LA Times interviewed one of these, Roberta Hestenes, pastor of Solano Beach Presbyterian Church and former president of Eastern College near Philadelphia. She said, "I find it surprising that I am going. But I've heard [Promise Keepers founder] Bill MaCartney say that they desire to be supportive of women pastors, and I'm taking him at his word."

This is not a new feature of Promise Keepers. In July 1996, Promise Keepers director for the state of Missouri, Louis Monroe, said PK welcomes female pastors. Monroe is a Baptist pastor. He also is quoted as saying: "Initially most participants were members of evangelical churches or had no churches. Now it attracts mainline Protestants and Catholics. It recently began recruiting Mormons" (Christian News, July 29, 1996).

At a press conference for the 1996 Promise Keepers Clergy Conference in Atlanta, the PK representatives were asked if they had a position regarding the "laughing revival," in which people get "drunk in the spirit" and stagger about and fall down and mutter like they are intoxicated with liquor. Dr. Henry Blackaby (Southern Baptist) said: "We don't try to evaluate that, AND NEITHER DO WE TAKE A POSITION REGARDING WOMEN SERVING AS PASTORS" ("An Eyewitness Report on the 1996 Clergy Conference for Men, Atlanta, Georgia, February 13-15, 1996," by Ralph G. Colas, American Council of Christian Churches, P.O. Box 19, Wallingford, PA 19086-0019. 610-566-8154).

Many of the Promise Keepers speakers support women pastors. T.D. Jakes is an example. He is the popular black Church of God in Christ conference speaker and pastor of the Potter's House in Dallas, Texas. He often speaks at Promise Keepers meetings. In an interview with Charisma magazine, Dec. 16, 1996, Jakes was asked what he believes about women as pastors. He replied: "I try to avoid setting myself up as a judge to tell anybody what God did or did not call them to do. There are many women who are celebrated as ministers: Marilyn Hickey, Joyce Meyer, Jackie McCullough, Dr. Iona Locke, Ernestine Reems and Iverna Tompkins. Many women are making a contribution to the body of Christ." This is typical New Evangelical-Promise Keepers-type doublespeak. He is positive, up-beat, non-controversial. In regard to the hard issues he is a fence-straddler. In spite of the clear teaching of the Word of God, in spite of the fact that the Apostle Paul solemnly forbade women to preach or usurp authority over men, Jake refuses to judge whether it is right or wrong for a woman to be a pastor. He refuses to enter into controversy and risk destroying his popularity. Instead of basing his answer on the Word of God, he bases it on pragmatism. He points to women who appear to be successful in the ministry. In other words, if it works, it must be right.

Their position in support of female pastors is another evidence that Promise Keepers is willing to ignore the Word of God to further their own agenda.

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