Are Seventh Day Adventist's "Legalists"?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Claudia_T, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. Claudia_T

    Claudia_T
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    I think that it all depends on what your view of the word "Legalistic" is. To me, the true biblical definition of legalism is like the Pharisees who claimed to keep the law of God and even boasted in it, yet in reality they did not keep the law of God at all. This is why Jesus called them "whited walls" and hypocrites.

    It is also why Jesus told the Pharisees that they needed to not just refrain from killing, but they needed to keep the law inwardly as well, and not even hate anyone. They needed not only to refrain from committing adultery but they also needed not to even lust after someone in their hearts. In fact Jesus said we need to be even more righteous than the Pharisees.


    So when people claim Seventh Day Adventists are "Legalists" what they usually mean is that SDAs believe wrongly that they need to keep the commandments which supposedly are not required of God to keep anymore. So no, I dont believe Adventists are legalistic in that respect because they are SUPPOSED to keep the law.


    However, if someone -just as the Pharisees did- makes high claims of keeping the Law yet in their secret life or in their heart do not keep the law, then yes, they are a legalist.


    Actually I feel that the very most legalistic thing a Christian can do is to just base their relationship with God upon the fact that they are legally off the hook since Jesus died in their place. And then they want to take things no further than that in their Christian walk. Talk about being legalistic! In that respect, they are only merely concerned about their legal standing with God and do not care about living to reflect God's loving, lawful character to those around them. If you care about God you will want to go beyond the "legal" aspects of Religion and begin to be just as Jesus admonished us to be when he said, "Ye are the light of the world, let your light so shine that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven".

    Then there is the mistaken idea that so many Christians have about legalism that makes them say "Well do YOU keep the Commandments?" and "Are YOU perfect?" ...as if to accuse the other person of being a legalistic Pharisee for thinking they could actually do what God says and obey Him.

    But dont you see that the person making this accusation is actually the one who is being legalistic in the way that they are thinking and in the way that they are viewing God?

    They act as if God commands His people to do something and if they do not perfectly start doing it TODAY with no flaws, then God is just waiting to condemn them and standing over them with a stick to beat them! THEY are the ones with a legalistic view of God but do not evidently realize that.

    You see, Jesus came to "show us the Father". It isnt as if the God of the old testament (who is also the same God today as He was then, by the way) was some sort of monster and Jesus "the nice one of the family" came along and pleads with His Father to be nice and merciful to us poor human beings and so finalli God gives in and says ok.

    Dont you know it was God who "so LOVED the world that he gave His only begotten Son"?

    2Cor:5:19: To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

    Did you get that? God WAS IN CHRIST reconciling the world unto Himself!

    The Apostle Paul said Phil:3:12: Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.


    Mk:4:28: For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

    God realizes that it is going to take awhile to go onto perfection of character. The Bible says "Do not sin, but if you do sin, you have an Advocate, Jesus Christ." We will OFTEN fall and fail in our Christian walk, but too many Christians act as if we shouldnt therefore even TRY to keep God's laws, because supposedly if you do, then you are the dreaded "Legalist".


    As I said before, they dont even really know what a legalist IS. A legalist is someone who claims to keep the law but inwardly is a rotten person. Like the Pharisees. But Jesus said we need to be more righteous than the Pharasees, we need to keep the law both inwardly AND outwardly! You dont just refrain from killing, you also refrain from hating! You dont only refrain from outwardly committing adultery, you also refrain from even wishing you could commit it in your heart and in your secret life!

    Today's modern Pharisee claims you dont even need to keep the Law of God, they claim that if you are off the hook "legally" because Jesus died for you, then "dont worry, be happy" and just remember to say "Praise the Lord" every five minutes! But if they are living a life of sin they dont realize that they are just as inwardly rotten as the Pharisees were... and all the while claiming their great love for God!


    God hasnt changed, He still hates hypocrisy today as He did before Jesus came:

    OLD TESTAMENT
    Ezek:33:31: And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.

    NEW TESTAMENT
    Mt:15:8: This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.


    Lk:6:46: And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?


    Claudia
     
  2. Claudia_T

    Claudia_T
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    THE LEGALISTIC GOD and the Legalistic Christian
    ...a little more on this

    The real problem is that so many Christians do not see that Satan, God’s enemy, is taking them for a ride, he is holding them under a huge deception about the God of the Universe! They just don’t get it, that it is really all about GOD. We are supposed to be a light on the hill, showing people what God is truly like. We are not just supposed to be all concerned with our LEGAL standing with God saying. “Gee I am so glad Jesus was so nice to me and died for my sins and now I am legally off the hook and can go sin with no worries!” They don’t SAY it, but they most certainly THINK it and act like it!

    Many Christians do not see that it is the view of God that is on trial here. It is their false view of God that gets them all messed up and confused about Christianity. Even though they claim “love, love, love” they in reality see God as some mean tyrant with a stick, just waiting to beat us over the head with it if we mess up and sin. But in their view, Jesus is the nice one of the family, the one with compassion, the one who begs and pleads with God to be nice to us poor sinners!


    One problem so many Christians have today is that when they read the Bible, they do not realize that jesus didn’t actually talk IN VERSES… Jesus told whole stories and entire concepts, but it was MAN who divided the Bible into verses and chapters. We need to look at the surrounding words of Jesus when He said something, because He was giving an entire CONCEPT when He spoke about something. Let’s read Matthew chapter 5 for instance… Jesus is here telling people why they are called to serve God, and who God expects them to be. He starts out by telling them they they are SUPPOSED to be living for the purpose of being a light to the people around them… to show the world what God is like! Now when Jesus said this, did He say “Oh don’t worry about keeping the Law, the Law means nothing!” NO, No, a thousand times NO, He never said that! Let’s actually read what Jesus said about the Law:


    Matthew 5:

    13: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
    14: Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
    15: Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
    16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
    17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
    18: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    19: Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
    20: For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    21: Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
    22: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
    23: Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
    24: Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
    25: Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
    26: Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
    27: Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
    28: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.


    Don’t you get it? Jesus came to show us the Father and He wants for us to do the very same thing. This doesn’t involve forgetting about God’s Law… it involves actually KEEPING IT, and doing it inwardly as well as outwardly! Being a genuine Christian, not a false-hearted one.

    Unfortunately, Seventh Day Adventists have had to contend with false accusations of being "legalistic Pharisees" for too long. Those who accuse just do not know what they are talking about. They dont understand why the Sabbath is so important, hey if it is important to God then it ought to be important to us as well! So Many claim oh it doesnt matter what day the Sabbath is... well then why did God care? evidently He DID AND DOES.

    But they just see everything in legalistic terms... so they are blinded to what God is trying to show them.

    Jesus was always accused of BREAKING the Sabbath but in reality He came to show the people how God intended all along for it to be kept!

    But in claiming that Jesus broke the Sabbath they are in reality accusing Jesus Christ of being a SINNER! The Bible says Jesus is our Advocate, our Mediator, He did not sin!


    Prophesied of Jesus:
    Isa:42:21: The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.


    Unfortunately, though, so many Christians just do not get it, and they accuse Seventh Day Adventists of being legalistic because they also believe in keeping the Sabbath and all the other commandments.

    They don’t understand what Jesus really came to show us. And they don’t understand what Jesus said we were to show other people of the world. They don’t understand what it means to be a light to the world. In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus said “I didn’t come to destroy the Law… you are a light to the world, please stop thinking that you just need to keep the law outwardly, you need to be more righteous then the Pharisees you need to keep the law genuinely from the heart!” READ ALL THE VERSES! Matthew 5:13-28

    Get beyond yourself! Get beyond “oh gee Im glad Jesus died for me, now Im off the hook legally, praise the Lord Im saved!”


    Claudia

    [ December 05, 2005, 06:53 AM: Message edited by: Claudia_T ]
     
  3. Claudia_T

    Claudia_T
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    Then they claim well Jesus gave us a new commandment to love one another… so that means the ten commandments are done away with. In this they misunderstand Jesus as well. The old testament said love God and love your neighbor. That was the very foundational principles of the law. Jesus same to bring these to light! Go read Romans 13:8-10.


    8: Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
    9: For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    10: Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    The ten commandments ARE love! The first four are all about loving God and the last 6 are all about loving your neighbor!

    Matthew 22
    35: Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
    36: Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
    37: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    38: This is the first and great commandment.
    39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    40: On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


    So you see then that love to God and neighbor is merely a SUMMARY of or is briefly comprehended in the Ten Commandment Law. And not only that but both Jesus and Paul were merely reiterating what had already been declared in old Testament times! Watch this:

    "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." Deuteronomy 6:4,5.

    "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Leviticus 19:18.

    Sound familiar? Jesus was merely quoting directly out of the old testament when He said Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    God's claims have always been the same. Jesus did not really give us a "new" commandment to keep, He was bringing to light the foundation principles of love which have always underlined the ten commandments of old. This is why John said the following words:

    "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning." I John 2:3-7. The principles of His government are the same. For all proceed from Him "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17.


    Realize that the God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New! And Jesus came to show us the Father. He said “when you have seen me you have seen the Father, yet you keep saying ‘show us the Father’”

    So many Christians just do not realize that it is THEY that have a fundamental legalistic view of God leading them to accuse US, Seventh Day Adventists, falsely, of being "legalistic".

    They view the ten commandments as some sort of legalistic code which is now a dead letter to be discarded, while they think Jesus came along and showed us how to love, INSTEAD. They just arent getting it!


    Claudia
     
  4. billwald

    billwald
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    "A legalist is someone who claims to keep the law but inwardly is a rotten person. Like the Pharisees."

    Thank God none of us are rotten legalists. <G>
     
  5. Kamoroso

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    The SDA church is filled with legalists. As is every other denomination. Far to many " Christians " are just carrying on a family tradition. In fact, all those who call themselves Christians, but do not have a daily, and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, are legalists. Chances are, there is not one of us, who hasn't been the legalist at some time or another. Praise God for His great patients and mercy toward all of us.


    Psalm 136 1 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
    24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
    26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.


    Bye for now. Y. b. in C. Keith
     
  6. Johnv

    Johnv
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    This is a speck/plank issue.
     
  7. Ray Berrian

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    To me there is little value of being judgmental as to matters of conscience. I know the Lord will convict Christians of their sin and if they do not listen He will discipline them.

    I have enough to take care of in my own life in pleasing the Lord God.

    What other people do, in my view, is between them and God Almighty.

    Understanding the imparted and imputed grace and righteouness of Christ should keep Christians from reviewing their own 'set of rules for Christian living.'
     
  8. wopik

    wopik
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    (Matthew 5:18, NIV).

    Far from destroying the law, Jesus would not even diminish it – not a jot or a title was to be removed. On the contrary, more was to be added.

    If we had any doubt about Jesus' intent, it will be dispelled as one studies the Sermon on the Mount.

    For Jesus proceeded to illustrate what He meant by the preceding statement. His illustration is found beginning in verse 21: "You have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment..."

    "Thou shalt not kill" is one of the Ten Commandments. Did Jesus relax this requirement, or did He make it even more strict?


    How about another illustration? In verse 27, He cites another of the Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Then He expands on the Commandments by saying, "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

    Did Jesus take something away from the law, or did He add something to it?

    What Jesus is doing in the Sermon on the Mount is moving from the letter of the law into the spirit of the law. Instead of dealing with technicalities of law, He is emphasizing the meaning of the law. Far from destroying the law, Jesus is developing the law.

    Understanding that the law is not abolished is a powerful key to understanding the Bible. All sorts of obscure scriptures suddenly become crystal clear.


    http://www.cemnetwork.com/essay/essay.php?eid=70
     
  9. wopik

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    JESUS was a teacher of the LAW.

    His first major sermon -- the Sermon on the Mt. -- was above all things, a sermon about the LAW.


    And very early in the message He speaks to a mistake we must not make. Jesus was very concerned that His audience would not understand where He was going and would come to a wrong conclusion.


    And so Matthew 5 verse 17, He said this, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy them, but to fulfil them."


    http://www.cemnetwork.com/btw/btwcurrentprograms.php
     
  10. wopik

    wopik
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    http://intercontinentalcog.org/ICGCC/Lesson_Seven.shtml --

    The seventh-day Sabbath is taught and kept holy in accordance with biblical instruction. Instituted at Creation, reaffirmed to Israel as a part of the covenant at Sinai and taught by Jesus Christ who is the Messenger of the New Covenant, the observance of the Sabbath is considered basic to a Christian's relationship with God.
     

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