Q. Is it normal to ask church members to sign a lengthy covenant? Our church wants all members to sign a covenant and all new members before they can join. We have been members for nearly 26 years and this is a brand new thing to us. I am a Gideon and find the document to be extremely intrusive and somewhat disturbing.
A. To paraphrase Jesus in John 3:3, you can’t join the Church; you have to be born into it. Being born again is the only requirement and in John 6:28-29 He made it clear that God imposes no other conditions upon us.
There are certain behavioral standards that are appropriate for born again believers as a means of demonstrating our gratitude for having been saved, but these are meant to be voluntary expressions, not written requirements. If after prayer you conclude that signing this covenant would make you uncomfortable, then speak to your pastor about it and ask him to justify his decision to require it.