“Why does a christian need to make an additional commitment to another man to abstain from sin and remain obedient to God when he has already committed his whole life in submission to Jesus Christ and to sanctification by his Truth which is His Word? (John 17:17)––all this without signing any paper?”
I remember the ‘entering into covenant’ movement in my CLB. Seems like everything was determined by the latest fad, trends and ‘movements’ instead of scriptures. The covenant-enterers were stood up in front of the rest of the congregation as shining examples of godly submission, and the rest of the congregation was then asked to submit to THEM as some kind of ‘second tier leadership.’
The whole presentation was emotional (moody music playing the whole time) and dramatic: Manipulation and old fashioned peer pressure. Perhaps my particular experience was even more dangerous than the example discussed at Thinkerup, because there was no written covenant- just a vague notion about not causing division; embracing the leadership’s vision; and submitting to leadership. It could have meant something different to every person there, but it would have been used as leverage at the first hint of someone disagreeing with what came from the pulpit.
The idea of signing some kind of set of rules puts a secondary layer of obedience between the signer and God- the ‘leadership’ usurps the place of the Lord, and the covenant usurps the place of scripture.
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. James 5:12