Sunday, June 10, 2007

Why I Am No Longer In Covenant Community

It couldn't be more aptly put than by the father of the Covenant Community movement himself, Steve Clark:

Having our lives in common also means sharing other personal aspects of our lives. In our culture, if we sin, if we are plagued by sexual temptations, if we are anxious or depressed, we keep these problems to ourselves. Victories over difficulties are similarly private. We might share our personal lives with our spouse or a very close friend. But most of us grow up with the firm conviction, perhaps arising from bitter experience, that our personal lives are strictly private.

However, as brothers and sisters in Christian community nothing in our lives is entirely our own. My life belongs to my brother. I cannot construct elaborate strategies to keep him from finding out what I am really like. In fact, opening up our lives to our brothers and sisters in the Lord is usually necessary to begin overcoming our problems and experiencing the freedom that the Lord wants us to have.

Most people who belong to Christian communities where personal sharing is encouraged find quickly that they can be more free about their personal lives than they ever imagined
[just the way Clark intended it -- Cyg]. Personal sharing must be done with discretion and in the appropriate circumstances. But it should be done, for it is part of sharing our lives in Christian community.

Ummmm, no. This sort of "sharing" is exactly what caused considerable harm in the Lamb of God Community, with the "coordinators" learning details of members' lives when they had absolutely no need to know. That happened to me and my sister both. And oh, did the coordinators hate it when members (like me) started going to 12-Step programs over which they had no control!

More about the covenant community phenomenon. And still more.

I'll have much more to say about my days in the Lamb of God in future posts.

P.S. I've been surprised to find out how many of my other friends from cyberspace were involved in this covenant communities movement in some way, shape, or form.


Mom2BJM said...

Hmm. Very odd. I've never heard of this Covenant Community. But yeah, my personal life is my personal life - not for everyone else to know!.

Cygnus said...

There's one such community in Tempe, City of the Lord. I'm not familiar with it. It may or may not have had a similar sordid past like Lamb of God did.

Silvergirl said...

Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said all this sharing is about control. I do value my privacy. My Church knows enough about me already, but they don't have to know every little personal tidbit, and it's not a requirement.

4HisChurch said...

The only time we are obliged to "share" our sins is during sacramental confession, and that is with an ordained priest who is obliged never to disclose what he has heard.

I was involved in a protestant "Christian fellowship" in college, that wasn't a covenant community, but shared many of its unfortunate traits.