Sunday, October 01, 2006

Promise Keepers

This last weekend I attended my first Promise Keepers event. To answer my wife Karen's usual question, yes I would go again (whenever we go somewhere new to eat, we'll ask each other if we'd go there again - you get the picture). The Spokane Arena was almost completely filled with men worshipping God, hearing His Word, and being motivated. The theme was "Unleashed: Releasing the Raw Power of your Heart." Here are some of my thoughts (in no particular order of importance):

  • The music was great! Loud, but great (maybe that's my "advanced age" kicking in!). The PK7 worship band is very, very good.
  • Most of the worship songs were God-centered. They weren't easy to remember or memorize, though (they reminded me of Integrity Hosanna songs in that respect). A few were quite complicated, in fact. It's a step in the right direction that most of the songs were not focused on me ("Here I am praising God" songs), my desires, or my needs. Having said that, music that is God-centered needs to do more than simply string together a whole bunch of references to the various attributes of God. That's good, but what does it mean that He is our Redeemer?
  • It was encouraging to see so many fathers and sons attending together.
  • Bob Reccord gave a gospel presentation that was Arminian to say the least. Several hundred men responded to it - praise God! Good lesson here: God saves people who hear the good news of Jesus Christ and respond in faith even if the message is not as "pure" or perfect as I'd like it to be (imagine that!).
  • It's hard to describe how wonderful it sounds when 9-10,000 men are singing together.
  • Don't come by yourself (which I did). You get more out of it if you're with some friends.
  • A "Nooma" video presentation about discipleship was shown (called "Dust"). It was excellent until the last 90 seconds or so, when a seriously wrong turn was taken in terms of the meaning of an episode in the life of Jesus and His disciples.
  • "God wants to do something in your life. Will you allow Him to do it?" That type of question was asked quite a few times during the conference. The false idea behind it is that we have to allow God to work in our life - He really wants to do something, but we have to give Him the go-ahead, so to speak. I realize that this kind of talk is common in the evangelical church, but it limits God's sovereignty and His power. I think if people thought about what they were saying, their language would change (and would realize that God isn't sitting around waiting to be given permission to act).
  • A Promise Keepers event is a good opportunity to be motivated in your commitment to Christ and to see that you're not the only one trying to follow Him (a problem Elijah had, too). It's as if the Lord said, "I have many people in this city," to me like he did to the apostle Paul.
  • I learned that a "mosh pit" is now called a "worship pit" (at least in a Christian context).
  • I learned what the word "aye" means (not in the sense of "all in favor say aye," but as it's heard today) - it's a conjunction of "all right."
  • There was some bad theology. Not all bad, but some. But when it was set next to the heart and the desire and the attitude of those attending, it was a very small thing. I wouldn't have been able to say that even a few years ago, but I can now. The vast majority of men attending this weekend sincerely desire to follow Jesus Christ and to love Him with all of their hearts, minds, souls, and strength; to be the man God wants them to be; to be the husband and father God wants them to be; and to reach out to a lost and dying world. To that, I say AMEN even if I don't agree with every single one of them on every single point of doctrine. We're brothers in Christ - a band of brothers who need to stand shoulder to shoulder for God and His kingdom.

I have some other thoughts, but I'll save them for another time. In short, it was a good time that I really needed.


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