The Christian men’s movement known as Promise Keepers (PK) is back, holding large stadium events and calling men to be better husbands, fathers and servants of Christ. Begun in the early 1990s by men such as University of Colorado’s football coach Bill McCartney, the leadership mantle has been passed to Ken Harrison and Judge Vance Day.
But the message remains the same, and the effect it has on cultural elites remains the same, i.e., vocal disapproval and condemnation. Recently the national news service, USA Today, published an editorial column written by Mike Freeman titled, “Opinion: Don’t use Dallas Cowboys’ name, AT&T Stadium to mainstream anti-trans hate.” Freeman is identified on the site as USA Today’s “Race and Inequality Editor- -Sports.”
Freeman accuses PK’s Harrison and the organization of “cloaking bigotry as patriotism or religious freedom.” Harrison had recently given an interview where he criticized the transgender movement and same-sex marriage. Freeman took special exception to the following statements from Harrison:
“One of the things they’re doing to make their agenda happen is destroying the identity of the American people, and if they can get Christians, especially Christian men, to sit down, be silent and be passive, then they can be effective.
“It’s working. Christian men are not standing up for what’s right. I mean, you think about how quickly we went from homosexual marriage to men putting on dresses, being called women, and playing on women’s basketball teams. Where are the Christian men?”
Freeman contacted Harrison and gave him the chance to take back his words. Did he regret saying those things?
“Look, today’s culture is blurring the lines when it comes to sexual identity,” Harrison wrote in an email to USA Today. “Both Promise Keepers and I subscribe to a Biblical worldview when it comes to male and female, and that’s one of the religious freedoms we celebrate in our nation. Sometimes we agree with culture, and sometimes we don’t.”
Freeman is so incensed that he used his column to demand that AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys and the site of a July PK event that will see 80,000 men in attendance, be declared off limits to the Christian organization.
“By allowing this conference to happen at one of football’s meccas, and by AT&T allowing it, they are helping to mainstream hate speech,” Freeman wrote.
He then accuses Harrison of not seeing transgendered individuals as human beings. Harrison, of course, says that’s not what Christianity teaches. In his email to USA Today, Harrison notes, “The irony of defining my words as hate speech is that is exactly the opposite of what we teach. All people everywhere are welcome to come to our rally to celebrate and be unified around the fact that God forgives the sins of all who believe in Jesus.”
Christians should always be ready to stand up for the Bible’s definition of male and female, and to lovingly but firmly oppose transgenderism as not in keeping with God’s design for men and women. But that doesn’t mean that Christians hate people who are struggling with their biological sex, as Freeman insinuates. The call to biblical manhood that organizations such as PK proclaim simply calls for men to stand up for God’s truth in the public square, as well as in their homes.
That’s neither hateful, nor bigoted. It is a shame, but not much of a surprise, however, that some people see it that way. Christ told us that the message of the Cross would appear to be “folly to those who are perishing.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV
If you want to know more about PK’s upcoming event in Texas in July, go here.
Photo from CK Foto / Shutterstock.com