legalism

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by PraiseHim, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. PraiseHim

    PraiseHim
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2003
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anyone in a legalistic church? I was in one for 5 years and finally got enough sense to leave. This article explains what a legalistic chruch does. If your church fits this I'd hope you'd consider your membership!

    the article is long but soooo good.
    http://www.biblebelievers.com/Morton_legalism-liberty.html

    Heather
     
  2. Loren B

    Loren B
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2000
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a great article, Heather! I have been associated with ministries that were very much of the brand described in the article. Praise the Lord that is not how it is in my present church.
     
  3. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    The link is well worth the read. Thanks.

    I was bred and trained as a legalist of the ifb sort. NOT following a code of life to merit salvation (like the legalists of Paul's day) or keep my salvation (like arminians), BUT following that code to gain favor and please God.

    But keeping ANY set of law does NOT please God. I am presently leading a 12-step program for recovering pharisees. And still lapsing regularly. :eek:
     
  4. Jim H.

    Jim H.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. Bob wrote...

    But keeping ANY set of law does NOT please God.

    Hey Dr. Bob. Just curious, how do you harmonize that statement with these qoutes from Christ?

    Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    and

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

    Just a couple out of many similar qoutes. Any thoughts?
    God bless,
    Jim
     
  5. Andrey

    Andrey
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    God still says to do things. Individually to each one of us today.

    If I did not communicate and converse and agree with and sometimes obey my wife, the relationship would suffer greatly.

    If in a similar way, I do not value my relationship with God, by not communicating, by not listening, by ignoring what He says and only holding up what He wrote, I would not please Him.

    My invitation to His House, is based on our relationship, which I do not deserve, but I do cherish.

    "Jesus is not your Savior, if He is not your Lord."

    <><
     
  6. Andrey

    Andrey
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is a great article.

    <><
     
  7. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Your task, if you should so desire, is to find out exactly what the Bible says "pleases" God.

    Is it keeping His commandments or doing any sort of list of "works"?

    Neat study :D
     
  8. Jim H.

    Jim H.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr. Bob wrote...

    Your task, if you should so desire, is to find out exactly what the Bible says "pleases" God.

    Is it keeping His commandments or doing any sort of list of "works"?


    Hum. I found this...

    1Jo 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

    And this...

    Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

    But, really Dr. Bob, I knew what you meant the first time. I just had to yank your chain a little. [​IMG]
    But at the same time, I think we should be carefull not to sound "antinomian" in our doctrine. (Did I spell that right? I'm too sleepy to bother looking it up.)

    I know that "without faith, it is impossible to please God". But does that mean that once we have faith, (given by God), we should be disobedient to everything He tells us to do? Of coure not. Is He pleased when we obey? Of course.

    Here's a good exercise. Define "legalism".

    God bless,
    Jim
     
  9. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    Legalism is a system of works either to gain favor with God or keep up a relationship with God.

    God wants faith, not works.

    NOTHING else pleases God except faith. Nothing.

    And the really neat thing? The "faith" that we have (that pleases God) is a gift from God as seen in the next chapter of Hebrews . .
     
  10. Su Wei

    Su Wei
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    0
    Glanced through the article. Thanks for the reminder! [​IMG] And i'm glad i come from a very balanced church.

    I'm just worried that nowadays, anyone who quotes scripture and holds any standard is a Pharisee. :eek: (But i understand the article is not saying that.)
     
  11. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Should we not be careful to remind ourselves that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26)?

    Obedience pleases God.

    The problem is that too many people have separated faith from obedience as if faith can exist without obedience. It does not. In each of the short biographies of Heb 11, faith is said to result in obedience.

    For many, a "legalist" in anyone who has a standard I don't like. We must admit that legalism does exist but simply having standards is not legalism. Let us not confuse them.
     
  12. Abiyah

    Abiyah
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/abiyah.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    5,194
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have personal standards and expectations of
    myself, and they are set quite high. They are,
    however, for me; they are not for anyone else.
    When my personal standards and expectations
    spill over my personal boundaries and into
    someone else's pesonal area, they become
    pharisaism. As long as they stay within my own
    bundaries, they are not pharisaism.

    When it comes to what the BIble clearly states
    that I must do, that is what I must do; the rest
    is fluff -- and useless fluff, I might add.
     
  13. RomOne16

    RomOne16
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    0
    I totally agree that what most people are labeling legalism in this day is in reality standards that they don't like or agree with.

    But guess what? We, as a society, have lived by standards for thousands of years. And not just religious standards.

    Is there a dress code where you work? Are you expected to show up on time? Fully dressed (hopefully) with your hair combed? Do they tell you when to get there and when you can leave? Those legalists!

    How about the policeman who maintains all kinds of standards in our society? He/she is certainly a legalist for making sure you don't exercise your liberty to drive through a school zone at 55 mph. Sure, you have the liberty to do it, but the standards in place keep you in check for a good reason.

    Just where would we be without standards anyway? Sadly, we are starting to see some examples of that in our younger generations. Those who were raised by parents who didn't believe in maintaining rules and discipline. We see rising crime, increasing immorality, and a deteriorating work ethic.

    Can standards, rules and discipline be abused? Yep. As long as there are humans inhabiting this world, you can count on it. But do we go completely in the other direction and do away with standards altogether? Especially as Christians? I don't think society can afford to and I don't see how the Bible supports such a notion.

    It is a sad reality though that the more rebellious (and further away from God) that mankind gets, the more standards will be objected to.

    Ok, got my asbestos suit on now. :D [​IMG]
     
  14. Abiyah

    Abiyah
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/abiyah.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    5,194
    Likes Received:
    0
    No need for an asbestos suit, Mom, if the people
    here live by the biblical standards of "do unto
    others." 8o) But what you call a "standard" may
    not be the same in another place.

    Where I used to attend, they had a standard that
    we could not, for example, wear wedding bands
    or any jewelry other than a watch on the wrist (no
    ring-watches, no necklace-watches), tie tacks,
    and dress pins. If I walked in there wearing red
    nail polish, they would, for sure, know I was on a
    fast track to Hell. Their standards also said no
    going to theaters, no bowling, no billiards, no ball
    games, no mixed-gender swimming, etc. Now,
    are these not ridiculous?

    When it comes to an entity telling another how to
    dress, those rules are only for the immature and/or
    ignorant; the others need no such rules.
    Furthermore, why do we try to play Holy Spirit
    attempting convict people of those things which, if
    they are to learn them, they will learn them, if they
    have honest hearts? And what makes us think we
    can improve upon what our God has already said
    by making up our lame little rules, like those
    above?

    If some concept is in the Bible, teach it; if the
    Bible is silent on an issue, we should also be
    silent on it.
     
  15. timothy 1769

    timothy 1769
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,323
    Likes Received:
    0
    no mixed-gender swimming

    this one, at least, i understand. swim suits are not modest, and being around a bunch of half naked females is going to inspire lust in men.

    immodesty and lusting are clearly prohibited by scripture, are they not?

    how is this ridiculous?

    bowling, etc. i agree with you [​IMG]

    [ March 07, 2003, 02:13 AM: Message edited by: am ha'aretz ]
     
  16. RomOne16

    RomOne16
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Abiyah.

    I think you and I are in agreement for the most part. I know that standards are defined differently by different people/groups, and sometimes cross the line.

    Take the examples you gave from your previous church.

    Their standards against jewelry, billards, nail polish, bowling and ball games are pretty hard to justify.

    But take mixed swimming. I have a teen aged son and we have a pool in our back yard. He wants to have a swimming party and I have to say I have a problem with my 16 year old son having a bunch of female friends over who are not even half dressed. Call me old fashioned, but I know what that can lead to, and I just can't condone or contribute to that. Yes, I'm pretty strict. My kids don't go anywhere without adult supervision of some kind, and I always know where they are and who they're with. I am blessed in that they are great kids with a sweet spirit and they understand why I have these rules.

    As for movie theaters, sad to say but there isn't much that comes out of that industry that's worth watching, let alone paying good money to see. Our church is against going to movie theaters, even if it's a G movie, because of the appearance of evil. Why support an industry that is anti-God? I am ashamed to say I used to. But I digress.

    As far as rules being for the immature and/or ignorant.......are we not referred to as sheep? :D Please don't take this comment as being snide, because that's not the way it's intended. I am simply saying that without Gods word and most of mans laws we would be a mess for sure. :D
     
  17. rufus

    rufus
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Messages:
    730
    Likes Received:
    0
    Legalism is not the presence of laws. God would be a legalist in that sense.

    Legalism is not the imposition of law on someone else. What about the Biblical sanction for parents and church leaders imposing laws upon family and church groups.

    Legalism is a wrong attitude toward the code of laws under which a person lives. Legalism is a fleshly attitude which conforms to a code for the purpose of exalting self.

    A legalists keeps the law. But to obey it to exalt self is legalism.

    Under grace we have to do certain things. We are expected to keep the positive commands; we are obliged not to violate the negative ones.

    Some Christians are legalists, not because law is legalism, but because a wrong attitude is.

    rufus [​IMG]
     
  18. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,646
    Likes Received:
    223
    I think the article is bunk. Sounds like Psalm 2:1-3.
     
  19. Abiyah

    Abiyah
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/abiyah.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    5,194
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a real hard time thinking that all men are
    degenerates who have devious and evil thoughs
    when around a woman or who cannot have a godly
    thought toward a woman. 8o) I have a MAJOR
    hard time with that! 8o)

    I do not think that the problem with swimming with
    those of another gender but modesty in bathing
    apparel. When are some godly clothing designers
    going to start making bathing suits for those of us
    who want to dress modestly? And what would they
    look like?

    I do not have answers to that, but I wil admit that I
    have no bathing suit and do not swimm because
    I am embarrased to wear the bathing suits I have
    seen. Oh well.
     
  20. Abiyah

    Abiyah
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/abiyah.gif>

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    5,194
    Likes Received:
    0
    OOPS! Somethng came up! I will have to get
    back to this in an hour or two.

    For now, just see my previous admission!! 8o)
    But remember that th admission is based upon
    my personal rule for myself, not one put upon me
    by another. I am an adult. (I think!) 8oD

    Okay! I'm back.



    This is my point. If you already know that for you,
    attending movies would not be a good thing, why
    does a church or a pastor need to tell you this? 8o)
    Does not the Holy Spirit, conscience, or common
    sense (whichever you wish to give credit) already
    tell you that this is not right for you?

    I do go to movies, although I have not been to one
    in about two years, maybe more. I know which
    ones to attend and which ones to avoid. It is that
    simple.

    I do not at all see your comment as snide. I would
    counter what you say, however, by saying that our
    God's word is enough; it is whole, complete. He
    really does not need mere humans to improve upon
    what He has made and perfected. Such added rules
    are for the unruly; the idea is to be such a follower
    of our God that all that is needed is His word and
    not some human's admonition.

    I will be blunt, Mom, because I see you as one who
    can take it. The reasons people have added all their
    extra little rules to the Bible are these:
    </font>
    • They have neglected our God's laws and
      instead of going back to them, they are trying
      to make up for their lack with their own
      feeble laws.</font>
    • They have neglected community. We were
      never intended to be believers in a vacuum
      but as small parts of a larger community
      which cares for and takes caae of its own.</font>
    • They do not know the Bible as well as they
      claim.</font>
    • They do not know our God as well as they
      claim.</font>
    • While they say that their salvation is based
      upon the death and resurrection of our Lord,
      they depend upon, and force others to depend
      upon, works.</font>
    That's my opinion, and it is very true. 8o)

    [ March 07, 2003, 01:51 AM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     

Share This Page

Loading...