Promise Keepers group ought not inspire fear

I would like to comment on the column written by Steve Macek in Tuesday’s Daily on the so-called “new church of the macho Jesus” from the viewpoint of someone who actually attended the event. It amazes me how someone can distort the facts to such an extent that I began wondering if I actually attended the same Promise Keepers rally he was discussing.
First of all, Promise Keepers does not preach domination of women or blame them for the world’s problems, they simply challenge men to be committed to “building strong marriages and families through love, protection and biblical values.” The sermons given during the conference on women dealt with how we, as Christian men, should honor our wives by being committed to “practicing spiritual, moral, ethical and sexual purity.” Promise Keepers simply calls for men to become accountable for their actions and if their families are struggling in any way, they should take charge and take up the burden of rectifying the situation. With the rampant divorce rate and problems with infidelity in our society, I don’t see how an outcry for men to become responsible for their actions could have anything but a positive impact.
On the subject of homosexuality, the Bible states that its practice is definitely a sin. Notice that I said its “practice,” not necessarily those who consider themselves homosexuals, but those who choose to engage in its activities. In that respect, I feel Macek is correct in his observations about Christian views of homosexuality. But I would also hope that a homosexual individual would not be chastised by the church. I know many are, but the true nature of Christianity is to love your neighbor as thyself. Many Christians have a problem dealing with this lifestyle because it is clearly considered a sin in our religion. But they should also remember that Jesus said, “Let he who is blameless cast the first stone,” and “We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We ourselves are sinners and we should treat the homosexual population no differently than we would want to be treated. I know this subject could be further debated in great length and my statements may spark some reply, so I will leave it stand as is for now in order to move on.
Finally, I would like to address what I believe to be Macek’s greatest misrepresentation of what Promise Keepers believe. He likens this organization to that of the Nazis, which couldn’t be any further from the truth. The Nazis were intent on creating a master race of homogeneous white Germans while exterminating all others that didn’t fit their mold. One of the premises that Promise Keepers is based upon is to “unite Christian men who are currently separated by race, sectarianism, age, culture and economics.” A large portion of the conference was spent on healing racial tension and to “break down the walls” that separate us all. There were speakers from many different racial backgrounds including Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, African-American and Caucasian representatives. Does this sound like something that would have gone over well with Hitler? I think not! Promise Keepers is an organization dedicated to keeping Christian men accountable not only to themselves, but also to their wives, their children and their brothers in Christ whether they be black, yellow or white. We are not a bunch of “religious freaks” looking to build arms or take over the world — we are simply a group of guys who have said we are fed up with the moral degradation of our society and are willing to take a stand, starting with our own lives.
I feel that Promise Keepers is sound in its teachings and should be something welcomed — not feared. It can only bring about a change for the better in our society. I encourage those that do not understand what Christianity is truly about to look into it for themselves and not judge by what is on television, the radio or in newspaper editorials.
Chad Kieper is a graduate student in pathobiology.