Question: In discussing what I believed were Promise Keepers’ “ecumenical tendencies” with a friend of mine who is deeply committed to the organization, he said Promise Keepers’ statement of faith is “enough to straighten out any Catholic or Mormon!” What do you say?
Answer: The Promise Keepers Ambassador’s instructional booklet (p.10) states that PK’s “Purpose Statement and Statement of Faith have been carefully worded to give [Ambassadors] tools to answer questions that arise” when contacting churches, pastors, priests, etc. It must be “carefully worded” so that it can be accepted and promoted by Roman Catholics. For example, Promise Keepers field representative for the upper Midwest, Steve Jenkins, is a Catholic charismatic and must be able to use the following PK faith statement in communication to satisfy both priests and evangelical pastors alike. Mormons are a slightly different story, but let’s see on how many beliefs Catholics and Mormons would agree:
1) We believe that there is one God, eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Catholics agree. Mormons believe in a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but would differ with the doctrine that they are one God.
2) We believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man and that it is verbally inspired, authoritative, and without error in the original manuscripts. Catholics and Mormons generally agree; however, Catholics deny biblical inerrancy in matters of natural science and history and add Church tradition. Mormons add other LDS books and writings as equally authoritative.
3) We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, death on the cross to provide for our redemption, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, present ministry of intercession for us, and His return to earth in power and glory. Catholics and Mormons agree, but add other errors which nullify these truths.
4) We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, that He performs the miracle of new birth in an unbeliever and indwells believers, enabling them to live godly lives. Catholics and Mormons seem to agree; their understanding is that the “new birth” begins at baptism but does not assure them of salvation.
5) We believe that man was created in the image of God but because of sin was alienated from God. That alienation can be removed only by accepting through faith God’s gift of salvation, which was made possible by Christ’s death (emphasis ours). Catholics and Mormons agree; however, they understand Christ’s death to open the way for salvation, which is secured through obedience to the teachings of their respective churches. The wording “made possible” is contrary to what the Bible teaches (Jn:3:16; Acts:16:31; 1 Jn:5:11-13, etc.) and opens the door for Catholic and Mormon works salvation.
Roman Catholics have had no problem fitting the PK statement of faith into their belief system. Mormon leaders who were contacted felt that their differences with the PK statement were of a very minor nature. Since both Catholics and Mormons could sign the above, shouldn’t we then conclude, as many evangelicals have, that they are brothers in Christ?
In contrast to the PK declaration, compare the following carefully worded yet very simple statement of faith from Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel, a ministry committed to leading Roman Catholics to the biblical Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ, fully God, fully man, paid the complete penalty for man’s sin when he died on the cross of Calvary. Any person who repents and trusts in the life, death and resurrection of Christ as his or her only hope of salvation, ceasing to trust in anything else, receives the gift of eternal life which, once granted, can never be revoked. Catholics or Mormons who would sign the preceding in faith could not in good conscience remain within their respective churches. Neither, hopefully, would they want to.