Does legalism beget liberalism?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Tim, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. Tim

    Tim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2001
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    It seems to me, from church history and personal experience, that legalism tends to beget liberalism within a generation or so.

    Prime example, New England's Puritans were the spiritual "forefathers" of New England's Unitarian Universalists (among others).

    From my personal observation, the same reactionary response to oppressive legalism within families (and churches) has also spawned liberal theologians in the next generation.

    Anybody else noticed this?

    In Christ,

    Tim

    P.S. Maybe it works the other way too?
     
  2. massdak

    massdak
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    0
    well, my answer is that most evil and most disobedience always flows toward liberalism, i do not say this because i loath liberalism, but study the facts and see the lowest denominator is liberal agendas in religion and secular. the end result is like sodom and gomorrah
     
  3. Wisdom Seeker

    Wisdom Seeker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Messages:
    5,702
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rules without good relationships breads rebellion.
     
  4. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think it works both ways. Fundamentalism began as a reaction to modernism.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    First Generation
    Salvation LORDSHIP
    Action Love God; personal vibrant relationship
    Heart Spiritual
    Devotional Life Builds life on principles of the Word
    Daily Living Rules based directly on those principles
    Spirit Meekness
    Others (unsaved) Tell everyone of salvation story
    Others (saved) Fundamentalism - God’s Word Alone
    Outlook Looks at God to supply all things

    Second Generation
    Salvation LEGALISM
    Action Love God; distant, formal relationship
    Heart Pharisaical
    Devotional Life Builds life on rules of the previous generation
    Daily Living Develops more rules, not teaching the principles
    Spirit Pride
    Others (unsaved) Judgmental Attitude
    Others (saved) Evangelicalism - As long as they’re saved
    Outlook Looks at self to supply all things

    Third Generation
    Salvation LIBERTINE/LIBERAL
    Action Love God if convenient; Walmart relationship
    Heart Carnal
    Devotional Life Ignores or interprets away the
    principles of the Word
    Daily Living Throws out both principles and rules
    Spirit Anger/Bitter
    Others (unsaved) What’s in it for me? Attitude
    Others (saved) New Evangelical - Compromise
    Outlook Looks at others to supply all things
     
  6. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    While NOT "copyrighted", I would appreciate any who use the above chart to give credit to:
    Bob Griffin
    Grif.Net Ministries

    Thanks
     
  7. Tim

    Tim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2001
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. Bob,

    Seems like you've thought about this for a spell.

    Tim
     
  8. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unitarianism came to America from Europe. Unitarians captured many of the Congregational churches and hence the Unitarian foothold in the Christian Church.

    The Puritans were always a mixed bag of theological thought. We generally attribute the name Puritan to those theologians who held forth the truth of God's word, but there were many who held weird doctrines also.

    I came through a fairly liberal organization and it was not a reaction to legalism, but the outgrowth of scientific research of the time and rationalism. Fundamentalism was a reaction to modernism of the 1920's. The modernists applied the social gospel whilst the evangelicals virtually ignored social responsibility. Sadly, the pendulum seems to always swing in either extreme.

    Society was becoming a moral social realm and the modernists were more in tune to these changes. The evangelicals thought that all that mattered was the preaching of the gospel. Get someone saved and all their problems are solved. Only lately we are finding a sense of balance between social gospel and evangelical thought.

    Just my thoughts on the matter. Not written in stone, but an observation over 57 years of preaching the word.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,719
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not sure how you are defining "legalism." If by "legalism" you mean salvation by works, I would agree that it begets liberalism.

    Any time you put a standard of practical obedience on a man to be saved (as with Arminianism) or to judge his salvation (as with Calvinism) he will automatically liberalize the standard of righteousness so he can consider himself to be saved.

    I've known a few Baptist who held to the "if you're really saved you won't sin too much" heresy. Invariably, these sort of people make allowances for their own personal sins and the sins of their familty and friends. As a matter of fact, they will even excuse in themselves what they condemn in others.

    I know of a Campbellite woman who's father is a Campbellite preacher. When asked if lying would cause a man to forfeit his salvation, she replied that it would not. It doesn't take a genious to figure out the reason behind this sort of thinking.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  10. Gunther

    Gunther
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fundamentalism was made necessary by modernism. The truths that are within the Fundamentals go all the way back to the apostles. Every now and again, they just have to be clarified because the moderates are always trying to convince people they really aren't as liberal as they sound.
     
  11. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  12. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    I do seminars and Bible Conferences in churches around the world. This is an oft-requested topic!

    I have a series of three sermons on the subject . . including one on how to BREAK the cycle!
     
  13. Tim

    Tim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2001
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wouldn't limit legalism to salvation by works but would also include sanctification by the Law (or by some human standard)as legalism. (Gal. 3:3). The Puritans were experts at it, and unfortunately so are some in fundamentalist and reformed circles today.

    That kind of legalism does tend to be a breeding ground for liberalism as the next generation seeks to remove the burden of law-keeping from their backs and then ends up going too far in the other direction.

    If one spends too much time and effort on the errors of the other side, he will tend to become reactionary, instead of being proactive--with the "pro" focused upon Christ.

    Thus the pendulum swings.

    Tim
     
  14. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    You're right, Tim. And I've noticed that the real legalists are the most vocal in trying to "limit" the use of the term legalism to just salvation!

    When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps the loudest usually is the one that got hit! :rolleyes:
     
  15. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Depends on how hard you throw the rock. Throw it hard enough, and the one who gets hit doesn't make a sound.
     
  16. Daisy

    Daisy
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Messages:
    7,751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ew! Great imagery, Scott! :(
     
  17. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Guess I need to throw harder on the BB. [​IMG]

    Or find a bigger rock. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/jrhodes.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Messages:
    3,944
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. Bob, I would be highly interested in hearing that sermon series. You don't by any chance have that taped do you?
     

Share This Page

Loading...