Roger Marsh: Well, welcome back to Family Talk, the listener supported broadcast division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. Today, we're bringing you part two of Dr. Tim Clinton's conversation with Ken Harrison. They'll be discussing Ken's brand new book called A Daring Faith in a Cowardly World. Ken Harrison is the chairman and CEO of the national men's ministry Promise Keepers, a dual role he serves in to lead others and to inspire men across the country to be bold, faithful, and godly fathers and husbands. Ken also serves as CEO of WaterStone, a Christian foundation that comes alongside givers, advisors, and ministries to provide trusted counsel and innovative giving strategies.
After graduating from Marine Corps Officer Candidate school, and then serving as a Los Angeles police officer, Ken Harrison spent nearly two decades in the commercial real estate arena, both nationally and internationally. An author and corporate speaker, he's done many television and radio interviews, including appearances on The Huckabee Show, Fox Nation, The 700 Club, and Turning Point. He is also a Colson Fellow and has served on many boards, including Promise Keepers, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Corban University, Colorado Uplift, and Urban Youth Ministries. Ken has been married to his high school sweetheart Elliette for over three decades.
They make their home in Colorado, and they have three adult children, all of whom are serving the Lord. Here now is part two of Dr. Tim Clinton's conversation with Ken Harrison of Promise Keepers on today's edition of Family Talk.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Ken, welcome back into Family Talk. Can't wait for today's discussion. Fantastic. Congrats again on your new book, A Daring Faith in a Cowardly World: How to Live a Life Without Waste, Regret, Or Anything Unfinished.
Ken Harrison: Thank you. I got to say something about James Dobson, when I first started to bring back Promise Keepers, because I know we've talked about that a little bit, you know that he was the first person I sought out. I remember him taking me to lunch at that place he loves to go to, the sandwich shop, and just saying, "How did you end up with Promise Keepers?" We had an hour long discussion where we became really great friends. It's so neat when you meet your heroes and you realize that they're everything that you thought. Doc is somebody who has exercised the daring faith in a cowardly world. I mean, you look at the enemies and the people putting him down and after him for so long and how he's stood strong. It's amazing. It's a really honor to be on this show.
Dr. Tim Clinton: God continues to work in and through him. He's got some vinegar in him is what I say, Ken. He's got some fire still. He's ready to go. Ken, I want to go back to yesterday. We talked a little bit about there's been a real beat down on men last couple of years, focused in under the topic of toxic masculinity. I think the goal's been to silence, shame, and stigmatize men. At the end of the day though, I mean, if you look at all the research, Ken, and nothing could be more clear than the fact that men matter, that dads matter, and we'll add for good or bad. We get that piece. There's toxic behavior. But there's nothing worse in the whole world than a man who has given up on himself, given up on life. Ken, what are you seeing out there in the front lines?
Ken Harrison: I can tell you why I'm so strong on that issue. It came from being a cop. When I was a cop in Compton-Watts area of Los Angeles, I saw an entire culture being held hostage by fatherless boys. When you go down there and you see the Crips and the Bloods and they're firing at each other and all this stuff, it's shocking how young they all are. You really are overcome with the fact these are little boys with big guns, and it all comes because there's no dads around. Well, that is seeping more and more into our culture today, as men are being told they're unimportant. Tim, and I'll step on some toes here, the church has done a darn good job of agreeing with the world on this.
Because what's the message we get all the time, which is, "You're a bad person, but Jesus loves you anyway, so try not to be bad. But if you are, Jesus loves you. And that's the salvation message. Have a nice day." What in the world? Part of the reason why I wrote this book was seeing men filled with fear and a loss of identity because they'd swallowed this lie. Jesus does... The best line is the one that's 99% the truth, right? But the conclusion is what causes you to go off course. You are a bad person and Jesus does love you anyway, but he also has a purpose for your life and he will transform you from the inside out.
We are told in Romans 12:2 that if we're transformed and not conformed to this world, then we can know the good pleasing and perfect will of God. How do we know God's will in our life? By being transformed by Scripture and not conforming to this world. If we get that message out to men, "Your life matters. People are counting on you, and God will reward you for all that you've gone through," that would have a remarkable effect on the church. If we changed the church, we changed the country.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Ken, I know you're strong on the issue of pastors finding their voice for such a time as this. Getting some backbone back in the pulpit, if you will, Ken, how or what needs to be done to take us there?
Ken Harrison: I believe we have a huge revival coming, Tim, and I know I'm not alone in this. I do not believe this revival would come through the pastors. I believe if there are pastors that comes through, it'll be the small church pastors who no one ever heard of. It's going to come through the people. If we continue to wait for megachurch pastors to lead us out of this way, it's not going to happen. The problem is when you have a huge church, then you have people who come to church who walk in nameless and faceless, walk out nameless and faceless and not be held accountable, that movement is really hurting us, because church is not a place we go.
It's what we are. We are supposed to come to a building on Sundays to worship the Lord and to give ourselves to others, to hold people up, to help with their burdens, to give them money when they need money, to help the single woman raise her kids when she needs help, to do the things that we do together. As long as we continue to come together in massive churches where everyone's nameless and faceless thinking, "We do church," we are off. We've got to have pastors stand up, preach the word of God and demand that their congregations get busy.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Ken, courage seems to be the word of the day. It's the piece we're struggling I think most within Christianity. Let's be fair, there is a massive beat down on social media. I mean, if you step up and try to stand strong on an issue, it seems like you've got people who want to just target you, take you out. We're seeing pastors get taken out. We're seeing people around us, neighbors get taken out. Ken, talk to us about having courage in the middle of this thing. I see it coming. People are getting more bold. But Ken, I'll tell you what, it's been a rough road. It's been a rough patch.
Ken Harrison: Let's talk about that. Let's go into that in depth here. If Jesus gave the salvation message in John 3:16, which He did, "If God so loved the world, He gave his only son, whoever believes in Him will not perish, but they return to life," then what are all the rest of His words about, the beatitudes? "Blessed are the poor and spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." That's the first one. He starts to give us the roadmap towards holiness. And that's a message for us today. It's not about salvation. It's about becoming sanctified. The beginning of that message is the poor in spirit. That is to say, when I realize I have nothing to offer God but the sin that nailed Him to the cross, that's all I have to offer.
And then when we get to the final end of it, it is blessed are you when people persecute you, say all kinds of evil things about you, rejoice because great is your reward in Heaven. Here's His message, when you've gone from poor in spirit and then mourning, and then hunger and thirst for righteousness, and then being meek, you're on this roadmap and you finally get to the end, congratulations, you'll have no friends. But rejoice because great is your reward in Heaven. I'm being a little facetious. But we see that in play in social media, don't we? I say to people all the time who are terrified to stand for Christ, I'm like, "What are you scared of?"
Somebody said something mean about you on social media. Let's face it. We mentioned this yesterday. They're literally destroying the bodies of our children, and we have perverts trying to convince them that they're the opposite gender than what God created them to be. One of the foundations of the creation story. You're going to not say anything about it because you're afraid somebody might say something mean to you on social media?
Dr. Tim Clinton: Ken, some people would come back and say, "Well, Hey, I just think that may be mean and sensitive. You're being harsh. We need to love more. That's what we need to do. We need to love people into a relationship with God and Christ." How do you respond to that?
Ken Harrison: Well, what I always say in that regard is never give your opinion, give Scripture. You notice that everything I just said was simply Scripture. The other thing is, how are we loving? We're loving by telling people how they can be closer to Jesus. That's how we're loving. Let's take the issue of say homosexuality. Should we be gracious and understanding and empathetic? Absolutely. Should we not correct them? Absolutely not, because it would not be loving. Because 1 Corinthians 6 is a list of people, adulterers and sorcerers and idolaters and homosexuals, who will not be in the kingdom of Heaven. Now, I don't believe that means straight Heaven, but that's for a different day.
But how unloving would I be if I tolerated somebody's sorcery or adultery or homosexuality and I never corrected him and said, "This is what God's Word says. Do you want to have the highest in God or not?" God judges us by giving us exactly what we want. Will you choose Him or will you not? If you don't, Romans 1 says, eventually he'll simply just say, "Okay, I will remove myself from you completely, and I will let you have all this in you want without me bothering to get in your way and convict you."
Dr. Tim Clinton: I was talking to our mutual friend, Samuel Rodriguez, the other day, Ken. He said, "Tim, I'm tired of hearing people say, 'Stop being political. That's political.'" No. He said the majority of our issues are biblical. Biblical. In other words, thus sayeth the Lord. Ken, I think he's got a point there, don't you?
Ken Harrison: I love Sam, man. As someone who took over Promise Keepers, we would take on two things that are political. We would take on abortion, because there's never been an abortion in the history of mankind that a man didn't have something to do with, and we would take on traditional marriage, because it goes to the foundation of time. People say, "You can't be political." Uh, uh, uh. This was a godly issue way before it was a political issue. Just because some people decided to make it a political issue and argue about it didn't suddenly make it so that the people of God could not stand up for what's right. Life and marriage, those are absolutely godly issues that way pre-date the history of the United States of America.
Dr. Tim Clinton: You're listening to Family Talk, a division of the James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, your host, and our special guest today, CEO of Promise Keepers, Ken Harrison. New book out called A Daring Faith in a Cowardly World: Live a Life Without Waste, Regret, Or Anything Unfinished. Ken, there's a piece in your book that really caught my attention. It's that section where you're talking about there's only one path to joy, complete abandonment to Christ. In it you quote evangelist Leonard Ravenhill. That quote says, "Are the things you're living for worth Christ dying for?"
Ken, that stopped me for a moment because it makes you evaluate everything in light of who He is and what God's called us to do and be in this earth.
Ken Harrison: People sometimes get confused on who they are in Christ and they say, "Well, Ken and Tim right now are talking about giving up everything and it just sounds so harsh and that's not the loving God." You sort of asked that question and I answer it in one way. Let me answer it in another side of that to answer both these questions. God says He's our father. Now, He is the creator of the universe and He created all relationships and He could have said that there's any relationship He wanted towards us. He could have said, "I'm the master and you're the slaves." But He said," I'm your father." Well, how do we, as parents, want our relationship with our children to be?
When they're younger, we want our kids to crawl up in our lap and say, "Daddy, I just want to hear you because I love you." And that's what God says He wants our relationship for us to be like. As we get older, if you and I... You and I both have studly sons, right? Our relationship to those kids, our level of intimacy and how much we reward them has to do with our relationship with them. If we have a son or a daughter who loves us, wants to hear our words because they love us and they want to obey our words because they know we have wisdom and they want to love us, they may stumble, they will never not have our acceptance, but they won't always have our approval.
The more intimacy we have with them, the more we lavish them with stuff. It's not tit for tat. It's just nature, right? God, sure enough, that's what He says in Scripture, that I will reward you when you do great things. And if you persevere, you'll be co-heirs of Jesus Christ. If you suffer with me, you will reign with me in the millennial kingdom. Here are five crowns that you can get that I will heap upon you at that judgment seat if you do these certain things. That's exactly how God sees us. How diligent of a son or daughter are you to me, I will reward you. And then some of us say, "Well, I'm weak. I don't have what it takes." Hey, you and I know with our kids, sometimes they're better at some things than others.
Your son, the college baseball player, you would not exactly expect him to be an all-state quarterback when he plays football. He may have been an okay football player, but you know his skills are at playing baseball, right? My son, college wrestler. I don't expect my son to be a great basketball player because wrestlers, for some reason, cannot play basketball. He has his skills. Do I look down on him when he tries to play basketball? No. I delight in his weakness in basketball and I love him for all that he gives during his wrestling. And that's how our father sees us.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Ken, no doubt everyone's been listening and they're thinking, "I don't want to be a coward. I want to be a voice for Christ." Ken, start taking us down a road on how do I get from here to there?
Ken Harrison: Everyone listening should remember that we have an enemy who is whispering in our ears all the time that you're not good enough, that you did this, you screwed up there. It can really freeze us. As you listen to this, if you're inspired, make sure that you pray alone and then get with other people and pray that Satan doesn't come and snatch the truth of this conversation from you, which is exactly what Jesus promises he'll try to do. Now, I want everybody to remember Hebrews 11. That is the hall of faith. That's where God goes on and on about look at these people and be like them. You have this list of people who had two things in common.
The first one was they were massively screwed up, but repented. The second thing they had in common is none of them ever backed down from a fight. We're often silenced because we're afraid or we're ashamed of who we are. He has unlimited grace for who you are. No matter how bad you screw up, no matter what you've done in the past, get up, repent, and be about your father's business.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Ken, I remember a few years ago, just working through the issue of prayer in my own life. I remember picking up a book by Richard Foster on prayer. There was a statement in that Foster had made. It was simply this, one of the greatest deterrents to an act of prayer life is the belief that everything has to be right in my life in order to pray. God wants us just to come to Him, just like a loving father wants his son or daughter to come to him when they're going through darkness, when they're going through challenge, when they have confusion. Keep pressing in, pressing in, pressing in.
Ken Harrison: That's part of that, we talked about this a little bit yesterday, this weak and feckless Jesus, weak and feckless religion we've taught, and part of what we've taught in the Western world is the best Christian is the most prudent. It's the one who has the least amount of life. That if it's fun, it must be a sin. Prudence is a great thing and there's nothing in the Bible about that. In fact, the thing that God's looking for is people who are passionate and bold about life, who rush for... Who's the biggest character in the Bible? It's probably king David. The guy is just crazy passionate and screws up in millions of ways, along with his passion. But also God says, "Be like him."
Boy, that's what we want. I don't want to be the one who has the least amount of life trying to make sure I don't screw up somehow. I want to be the one who's out there on the offense saying, "I'm going to retake that ground. I'm not going to let them abuse our 10 year old children and tell them that girls are boys and boys are girls. I'm going to stand up strong against that, whatever it takes." Start off with little things. Don't start off trying to be the great hero. Just raise your kids well. Know Scripture. Be on your knees praying. Get involved in the school board. What little thing can I do around me? And as I do that, then God will give me greater things to do.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Ken, so many stories throughout the book, a lot of Scripture. I want to ask, what did God do in your heart, Ken, as you challenge us to have a daring faith? You stepped up. You decided that God wanted you to take over Promise Keepers. You are getting more and more bold in your faith. But as you look at the horizon in front of you, what are you thinking?
Ken Harrison: Man, it's a great question, Tim. I got to tell you, the thinking is, what's the point? I mean, as we talked about yesterday, I made enough money and retired at the age of 45. So why wouldn't I just retire and then do what's good for me? What's the point of it all? What did God save me for? That was the burning passion in my mind. I thought, as I've seen in Promise Keepers, that's the burning passion of a lot of men. What's the point? I wanted to answer that. What is the point? And then to tell them, not only did Jesus clearly say what is the point, but man, He is going to reward us in amazing ways if we keep the point. Like I said, I go into that in detail in the book. There is a good reason to be about our Father's business.
Dr. Tim Clinton: I love this saying you go to in the book, it's called "hard times make strong men. Strong men make good times. Good times make weak men. Weak men make hard times." I believe this is true. You think Jesus is looking for first generation trailblazers, not third generation comfort seekers, people who are always worried about whether or not you're offending somebody or something. Somebody just needs to get out there and push the buttons and say, "Let's go."
Ken Harrison: It can't be one or two people on their own. We got to have people. Yeah, yeah, I'm blazing the way in some ways. We've got to have people rise up and say, "I'm with that person. I'm going to do that. I'm not going to let him stand out there by himself, but I'm going to be right there with him."
Dr. Tim Clinton: But I'll tell you what, I've heard Dr. Dobson say, "Hey, listen, I don't care if the whole place burns down. If we're not going to stand boldly for truth, if we're not going to rise up in this hour, then what are we doing?"
Ken Harrison: Amen.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Ken, you share an affinity for Winston Churchill with Dr. Dobson. You put a lot of focus on Churchill in your book. Tell us what that's all about and why it was so significant for you as we begin to wind down today's broadcast.
Ken Harrison: People in America especially don't realize why Churchill was so amazing. People hear this statement that he saved the world and then they're like, "What?" Churchill takes over and World War II is starting, and it's brutal. And immediately after him taking over, we have Dunkirk, where they almost slaughtered pretty much the entire British Army, and miraculously saved through prayer, which is an amazing story of its own. And then the Germans now are sitting in Paris. They can now bomb London relentlessly because they have the ability to get their planes there. And everyone is begging Churchill to sue for peace and every night London just get crushed.
People are being killed. Over and over, sue Hitler for peace. Churchill knew that if he gave Hitler peace, Hitler would turn around, take his entire army onto the Soviet Union, destroy the Soviet Union, because he would only have one more to go, then turn around with the entire army of Europe had come back against Britain. Well, finally, after a long time of these bombings, London being destroyed, Hitler comes to Churchill for peace, because he knew that's what he wanted. Everybody tells Churchill, "You got to take peace. You got to take peace," and Churchill says no. It was unbelievable. It didn't look like Britain had a chance to win the war and he still stood and said no.
Finally, of course, Hitler's defeated. Churchill alone saved the entire world from the madman of Hitler. That's the kind of Christians that we need to be. No matter what, I will do whatever it takes, even if all looks lost, because I know that God stands in truth. These pastors who preach this prosperity gospel, there is nothing in the Bible that promises that always there would be long-term joy. When we look at the Bible, how did it work out for Paul? Was he prosperous? Did he have great stuff? No. How about Jeremiah? How about Isaiah? How about all the disciples?
They all had lives of suffering, but they all are rewarded in unbelievable ways for all of eternity because they stood strong. And that's what Jesus promises us to do, stand strong. I can't think of a better example of that in real life than Winston Churchill.
Dr. Tim Clinton: As we think of the word courage, my mind goes to Uvalde, Texas. I think everybody saw what happened down there. All those police officers and all those kids inside those rooms with that shooter. Everybody wondered, "Why in the world wouldn't they go in?" Ken, I don't want to go into the details, but when I think of courage, I just think about, man, the thing you don't do is you don't fail the people around you.
Ken Harrison: I had spoken at an event for 400 policemen, Austin and San Antonio policeman with Governor Abbott, two days before that occurred. I remember them talking about the fact that 19 policemen in Austin are under indictment for shooting bean bags at the rioters during 2020 who were burning buildings. Under indictment. Governor Abbott during that moment after hearing me speak, walked up to the stage and said that he was going to exonerate all 19 of those officers, even if they were found guilty.
But what we saw in Uvalde were policemen who had seen that these people were willing to go after cops and they were petrified with fear, not by a gunman, I don't think, but because they knew the country their people or would not be behind them and they didn't want to get indicted and go to prison. That said, we see the results of leftist idiot policies that cause policemen to not feel like they had permission from culture to go in and do something. On the other hand, when you're clear in your identity and who you are, you rush in there anyway and you shoot that dang shooter right in the chest. And that's we see both sides coming up. We see godless policies, creating a situation where policemen didn't feel free to act. We see policemen who were more concerned with their career and themselves than they were with a school full of kids.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Ken, I want to say congrats on your new book, A Daring Faith in a Cowardly World: Live a Life Without Waste, Regret, Or Anything Unfinished. Ken, I think in the book you're clear. It's to the dad who's on the front line showing up at the game, we see you. To the dad or mom out there loving on their spouse in front of their kids, we see you. When you're out there standing strong and saying, "hey, listen, we stand for life," we see you. For those who are out there, just daring to be faithful and be a testimony in front of others to the work of Christ in their life, we see you. That's what we want to celebrate.
Ken, give us a quick update before you go on Promise Keepers and now you've got a couple of big webinars coming up and more.
Ken Harrison: Yeah, we have a 25 year anniversary "Stand in the Gap" video of the 1.4 million men that gathered in DC in '97. It's coming out in October 4th. It's going to be an hour long and be phenomenal. You can register it for that at promisekeepers.org. In November, we have one on mental health. How do I deal with grief and guilt and depression, suicidal thoughts, and how do I deal with a spouse like that? That's going to come out in November. You can get all that on promisekeepers.org, and I can't encourage men enough to go on and get the app from the App Store.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Ken, always great to have you. On behalf of Dr. Dobson, his wife, Shirley, the team of Family Talk, man, we salute you. Thank you for joining us.
Ken Harrison: It's always great to talk to you, Tim.
Roger Marsh: That was such an inspiring conclusion of Dr. Tim Clinton's conversation with Ken Harrison today here on Family Talk. They were discussing Ken's new book called A Daring Faith in a Cowardly World. Now, if you missed any of yesterday's or today's programs, visit us online at drjamesdobson.org/familytalk. That's drjamesdobson.org/familytalk, or give us a call at (877)732-6825. And now for all of us here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, I'm Roger Marsh. Hope you'll join us again next time for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk, the voice you trust for the family you love.
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