By Walter J. Caywood
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 13, 1997

Promise Keepers serve needed function


I write in response to Max Gromyko's letter of Oct. 10. on Promise Keepers(PK) recent gathering of men in Washington, D.C. Mr. Gromyko's ignorance of the beliefs, aims, purpose of this movement shown through clearly in several points made.

He writes that the vital issue regarding Promise Keepers is not who's launching verbal attacks on them, or that they are "all-male" or "all-Christian". "The issue is the plausibility of the whole movement." From whence does his doubt over its "plausibility" come? The reason for its implausibility is as follows: "Promise Keepers are nothing else, but a desperate attempt at a quick fix. It is very symbolic, yet it is nothing more to it than empty words and promises."

First, the leaders of PK do not share your skeptical view of faith as merely "a good aide in leading a family life", but rather the only answer to genuine and lasting change in men and families. God is the only One who can enable them to be good husbands, fathers, brothers and citizens. A good marriage, family, etc. is built on the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is one of their central convictions. They make no distinction between "coming back to God, or becoming better fathers, brothers, and boyfriends."

Second, they do not have any illusions that a weekend experience in a stadium is sufficient to transform men and the life of their families. These are intended to be the beginning of what they hope will be a lifelong transformation which will permeate this nation. In order to faciliate this PK has local groups that meet on a weekly basis to give men regular accountability so that they don't return to their own ways. Contrary to Mr. Gromyko PK is not intended to be a "quick fix".

Third, that there certainly are some within the movement for whom its aims are "empty words and promises" is granted. It is always this way in any movement. But Mr. Gromyko's gross generalization aside, the reality is that the men involved are sincere and want to see change come to their families and countries.

Finally, though I am not part of PK myself, and think that there are legitimate concerns in regard to this movement, I am glad for them nonetheless. They are meeting a desperate need among men to know God and to learn, perhaps for the first time, to be mature and responsible.

Walter J. Caywood
Religious studies senior


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