The Purity Covenant: Seven Personal Commitments

My fasting team (Holy Club) at IHOP have made a covenant requiring seven personal commitments to purity. Here they are. I would recommend you find a group of trusted friends that would wholly pursue going after purity together with you.

Confess your trespasses to one another…that you may be healed. (James 5:16)

 photo by___Q___

Commitment #1: I commit to refuse to participate in conversations that promote or joke about immorality. If I do speak in this way, I will confess to those I was conversing with that I sinned.

Commitment #2: For men and women: I commit to wear modest clothing that in no way promotes sensuality. I will “occasionally” ask a godly believer who does not dress the same way I do, if my clothing is too revealing (too tight, too short, etc.).

Commitment #3: I commit to confess each time I view pornography or have any sexual contact with someone (not my spouse) to the same trusted friend (who embraces this covenant).

I commit to register with the technology of choice that promotes the wisdom and safety of accountability whether or not I struggle with pornography.

Accountability Software: These programs track your internet activity and send an email to the accountability partner that you choose. If you uninstall the software it triggers a report to your partner. www.covenanteyes.com ($7.99 per month, if you enter the promo code: “accountability” you receive a 50% discount; www.x3watch.com (Free); www.integrity.com (free); www.accountable2you.com (free).

Web Filtering Software: Programs that block sexual content www.integrity.com ($49.95); www.bsafehome.com ($49.95); www.intego.com (For Mac’s); www.cyberpatrol.com (39.95).

Commitment #4: I commit to hold any confession of my friend’s failure in strict confidentiality. If I do speak it to another then I commit to tell it to the one who confessed their sin to me. The one who breaks confidence should confess also to the one to whom he broke the confidence.

Commitment #5: If I “repeatedly” stumble in immorality, I will show the fruit of repentance by going with my friend to confess to the leadership and then accept the boundaries they give me.

Commitment #6: I commit to share with the leadership if my friend “repeatedly” stumbles in immorality. I will first tell my friend before sharing with a leader to convince him to go with me. I refuse to yield to “unsanctified mercy” that allows sin to increase in my friend’s life.

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. If he will not hear, take with you one or two more…If he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. (Matthew 18:15-17)

Commitment #7: For leaders: I commit to follow through on the process of bringing those who ‘continue’ in immorality to the appropriate discipline without offering “unsanctified mercy”.

Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all… (1 Timothy 5:20, NAS)

We will not bring public shame to anyone who repents. We hope to never expose one’s sin publicly. There are many levels of discipline that do not require personal exposure.

Above all things have fervent love…for love will cover a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8 )

6 thoughts on “The Purity Covenant: Seven Personal Commitments

  1. keithmajor says:

    Luke,

    Thanks for your comment on my blog.

    The International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City entered into a purity covenant on March 23, 2008.

    I sent an attachment of the notes that were given at our staff meeting (we have 1000+ staff members) to your e-mail address.

    Thank you and the guys at Covenant Eyes for all you do,
    Keith

  2. Joshua Harris says:

    Was it made mandatory to enter into this commitment?

    Does the commitment cover confessing to someone if you are lusting?

    I was a couple of years into marriage (1998) when I started confessing to my wife if I had bouts with lust and requesting her prayer; I have talked to other men, and it’s not that I don’t ever deal with it, but I haven’t had near the problem other men have had. God Bless

  3. Joshua Harris says:

    Keith,

    Cool stuff on the site; really liked the praying Poland church clip. When you get a minute could I get some feed back on my question, if it is OK? God Bless, Keep praying, josh

  4. keithmajor says:

    Joshua,

    You asked, “Was it made mandatory to enter into this commitment?”

    It is not mandatory, but highly encouraged that we do this commitment as a body of believers together. The International House of Prayer does not enforce if its staff is fasting (food) at least once a week, but it is a requirement to do so as full-time, part-time, and students of IHOPU (International House of Prayer University). The Purity Covenant was presented to us, to my understanding, in a similar fashion.

    You asked, “Does the commitment cover confessing to someone if you are lusting?”

    Yes, confession to another person is part of the commitment. I have been studying several Catholic Mystics and Saints that I have written about in my blog during the past two months. I have been provoked to pursue whole heartedly the pursuit of holiness. So if I speak about the Catholic understanding of the sacrament of confession please don’t be quick to dismiss it.

    This quote from Ellen Fonizzi (http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/YU/ay0199.asp) sums it up better that I can. “Occasionally, when I talk about religion with friends who aren’t Catholic, they’ll say, “It must be awful to have to tell your sins to a priest!” I have to disagree. Going to Confession is not easy most times, it’s true. On the other hand, I’m certainly glad that the Sacrament of Reconciliation is there when I need it.

    Why does the Catholic Church have this ritual? After the Resurrection, Jesus established this sacrament for his followers. He realized that even after Baptism we would still have to deal with the reality of sin. Out of his great love, Jesus instituted this sacrament through which a sinner who is sorry receives pardon and peace and is restored to the fullness of grace with God.

    Confession is a very intimate experience. Even in a communal reconciliation service that you might attend during Advent, Lent or a retreat, individual confessions are private.

    The Catholic Church maintains, however, that there is also a social aspect to sin. Sin not only affects our relationship with God, sin also alienates us from other people and the Church.

    In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus provides us with a way of being reconciled to God and to those we’ve hurt, and to be strengthened in our connection to God’s entire family. This is more than symbolic; it is spiritual reality expressed through ritual.

    Maybe there are a few people who don’t need ritual in their life, but most do. Isn’t the peak of every school year the traditional events at its end? Seniors spend weeks planning for commencement as well as preparing the invitations, going to the parties. It is a big event, a ritual.
    In any case, a few things are indispensable. A priest is necessary, since only an ordained person has the authority to give absolution. On your part, three essential elements are required.

    1. Be repentant. O.K., you blew it. Being repentant is the recognition that you’ve made a mess of something in your life, and you want to clean it up.

    Your ability to face your sins is a good sign. A real scoundrel doesn’t feel guilty about the evil he or she has committed. So if you’re feeling bad about something you’ve done, that already says something good about you.

    2. Confess your sins. When you confess your sins, you’re not telling God anything God doesn’t know already. The point is to be honest with yourself, to hear yourself name those ugly sins out loud and in the presence of a priest who alone can provide you with the peace of absolution.

    3. Accept the penance. Accepting a penance from the priest and completing it is proof of your true sorrow. It is a way of expressing your sincere sorrow, a way of “putting your money where your mouth is.”

    Consider it this way: Suppose a friend snatched your allowance which was in your locker. What would you think if that friend said, “Hey, I’m sorry I stole the money. Let’s forget it.” Maybe you’re a nice person and you decide to cut the kid a break. But wouldn’t you also expect the money back?

    Wouldn’t it be crazy if your friend said, “I’m sorry. Forgive me. Let’s be friends again—but I get to keep the money I stole.” Justice demands that words of regret be accompanied by actions which demonstrate true contrition.

    True contrition itself is a dynamic reality that seeks to turn aside from sin and evil, and to turn back to God. Accepting and performing the penance assigned by the priest puts us on the road to God again, our final goal.”

  5. Joshua Harris says:

    Keith,
    My tone is gentle here. Concerning the sacrament of confession and a priesthood:

    Statements like, “After the resurrection Jesus established the sacrament for His followers.”, and the statement of confessing to a “priest who alone can provide you with the peace of absolution.” Man established this practice, and confession is to the Lord Himself, and to one another in the context of the church.

    These statements are not only unbiblical, they are antibiblical. Are you just sharing the official catholic understanding, or is this really your own doctrine and practice?

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