As you all know, I've been doing a lot of thinking about both postmodernism and about the fear-based vows that we make. While these two work together in my heart and head, I haven't really had any thing that really concretely links them together. Then I stumbled upon this bit of reasoning:
Language, being limited and finite, can only express finite ideas. (I'm developing a theory for how we communicate infinite ideas, but it requires analog experiences - like music, emotion, or relationship - to communicate them.) God, however, is infinite, and his relationship with us has infinite potential for variability. (I don't mean that God might do anything - there are things he will not do - but within the range of things that God might do, there are an infinite number of possibilities.) To attempt to compress the entire revelation of God to us into a few sentences is inherently to compress the infinite into the finite. Thus, detail is lost. Therefore, any law, rule, vow, or slogan which attempts to communicate a timeless moral truth is faulty because it is attempting to express an infinitely varied, timeless truth with words that are finite and which are locked into the temporal understanding of the hearers.
Therefore, any vow - no matter how "true" - is false when it is applied outside of the dynamic of the relationship with God. We must anticipate that our Varied and Dynamic God will impact and alter our understanding of Him, and thus we may have to reformulate our old vows into newer, more appropriate ones.
It is possible to formulate a rule with the best intentions - to help us obey and love God - that instead functions to lock us out of a dynamic relationship with God because the new relationship experiences don't fit the old vows.
This forms a connection, for me, between postmodernism and vows. Postmodernism shows all vows, no matter how carefully formulated and how selflessly followed - to be temporary expressions of a timeless reality. To be with God is to be in your current situation, but to be aware of the fact that you are in your current situation, not in your future situation, the situation of your friend, or the situation of someone from the past. Vows, then, are replaced with relationship patterns and themes which are directed and powerful but nonetheless flexible.