Jesus Creed

When you “join” your church or “profess your faith” or “get baptized” or complete your confirmation — depending on your church orientation —  what are you asked to do? Are you asked to tell your story of faith? What is required?

I’m reading Patricia Caldwell’s exceptionally-researched and well-written study, The Puritan Conversion Narrative: The Beginnings of American Expression (Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture)
, while in Ireland and it details the “relation” (spiritual autobiography) that the Puritans were asked to provide for membership. Furthermore, not only where they asked to provide a “relation” they were also often examined by both the leaders and the entire church to see if the marks of grace were truly evident.
There are plenty of interlocking issues here — like the difference between the English and the Americans on this issue, the debates by Presbyterians against the Congregationalist Puritans for developing the “relation” into an art form and into a mandatory exercise, the connection of the “relation” to travel to America, the connection of a genuine church member and the ability for a local church to limit membership to the “visible saints”  etc … but those are not the issues.
As I read this study, I routinely put it down to ponder what is required of us today? What do they expect of you at your church?
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