Swearing In New Members

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Recently at my church, my pastor was administering the "Receiving of Members into Full Membership". After completing the ceremony, he went to each candidate and made them raise their left hand and place their right hand on the Discipline and "swear" to be govern by the Discipline of the AME Church. Is this practice of "swearing" common? My pastor has not done this with previous candidates.

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2001


You've gottobekidding.


-- Anonymous, July 30, 2001

I'm not kidding. I don't agree with the "swearing" practice.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2001

I'm intrigued! That's improper, and contrary to the scriptures.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2001

I think it is an EXCELLENT idea, it signifies the pastor is aware of the requirements of the Discipline and wants to be sure the new memberr understands that they also are to abide by the Discipline.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2001

In the Order for receiving Memebers into the Church (1996 Book of Discipline p. 498-9) the minister asks the candidate "in the presence of God and of this congregation" do they promise to be governed by the Discipline. Swearing after this is not necessary and I am not sure it is even proper in the church of God.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2001

Matt 5:33-37

"You have heard that it has been said by them of old time, 'Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord, thine oaths.'

"But I say unto you, SWEAR NOT AT ALL, neither by heaven, for it is God's throne, nor by the earth, for it is His footstool, neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king.

"Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

"But let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay. For whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil."

Can someone tell me exactly what is meant by placing the hand on the Bible to speak an oath? Is it not swearing BY the word of God? If one should not swear by heaven, then why should one swear by God's Word, which is forever settled in Heaven?

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2001

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