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A.R. Bernard: Promise Keepers Can Help ‘Bring Clarity’ to Our Confusion Over Race, CRT

About the hot-button topic of CRT, the pastor says that theory is grounded in truth but has been “hijacked.” It’s important, he says, to examine “the historical role of race and racism” in our country because America is an “incredible experiment” conducted by “flawed human beings.” But, he adds, “Unfortunately, people are hijacking terms and language and using fear tactics to push their social and political agendas.”

Bernard’s goal is to “bring clarity” amid “all this confusion and robbery.” The power of Promise Keepers’ events, he says, is that men from all walks of life “come together under the banner of our shared relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Restoring a Biblical Model of Manhood

The definition of “manhood” is in dire need of clarification, Bernard tells The Christian Post. He acknowledges that Promise Keepers “stands for the traditional model…that the man should be the backbone of the family.” By treating “the man as foundational to the family and the family as foundational to society,” he says, “we will try to empower that man, shape his thinking about himself and about his relationship with his family and with the culture at large.”

The church, says Bernard, currently has a great opportunity to deal with all the confusion that resulted from the “feminist movement” and to “restore men to an identity that is biblical and not extreme.” But he rejects accusations that Promise Keepers advocates for “hyper-masculinity.”

It’s important for Christians to have an opinion and to live out a worldview, says Bernard, who isn’t worried about ongoing culture wars. “When I have these opposing forces and opposing ideas,” he says, “it forces me to clarify who I am and what I believe.”

Promise Keepers Aims to Build ‘Real Men’

Promise Keepers CEO Harrison, a former Los Angeles Police Department officer, sparked controversy in April when he appeared on “Real America’s Voice,” the podcast of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. While promoting this summer’s conference, Harrison told Bannon that political liberals and the LGBTQ community are “destroying the identity of the American people” and that “Christian men are not standing up for what’s right.”

Harrison laments “the evil in this country” and “the nonsense the leftists are trying to tell us we’re bad people, we’re racists, we’re misogynists.” As an example, he points to “how quickly we went from homosexual marriage to, now, men putting on dresses and being called women and playing on women’s basketball teams.” The Promise Keepers leader asks, “Where are the Christian men?” and says, “We need to…call men back and remind us of who we are in Christ.”

When asked why men have become so passive, Harrison responds that the global media has played a big role. He also points to suspect church teachings. “We taught cheap grace,” he says. “We taught that if you repent of your sins, Christ will save you and then [you can] just sit back and enjoy your life.” On the other hand, he says, knowing we’re forgiven through God’s grace is what can get men “out of this complacency that we’re in.”

On the podcast, Harrison revealed that 10,000 “underprivileged boys” who don’t have fathers will be attending the Texas Promise Keepers event on scholarship. “This’ll be their first chance to see what men look like—real men,” he says.

Not surprisingly, that sentiment is leading to pushback. A recent headline in the independent Dallas Observer describes the Promise Keepers gathering as “80,000 Christian Men Afraid of Men Wearing Dresses.”