Legalism

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Nicholas25, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Nicholas25

    Nicholas25
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    To me legalism is adding something to salvation by grace or adding something to righteousness. Do you think expecting leaders of the chuch to be faithful or expecting parents to have their children at Sunday school and youth group is being legalistic? I think we have became so concerned with appearing to be legalistic that we do not demand or at least expect accountability.
     
  2. freeatlast

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    You are correct that the church has fell prey to the claim that expectation of righteous living is legalism even though it is not legalism, but adding anything to the plan of salvation is legalism. Expecting people who are members of the church to take part in the regular activities is not legalism. In fact it should be part of the agreement that a person signs to become a member of any particular church with consequences of discipline if they fail to do so without good reasons if that is the expectation of the leadership.
     
    #2 freeatlast, Jan 3, 2011
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  3. thegospelgeek

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    There is a big difference in what one does to be a Christian and what one does because they are a Christian.

    For example, my wife and I love each other. We do things for one another out of this love. I do not love my wife because she does things for me, nor does she love me for what I do for her. We do for each other because we love.

    I attend Church so that I might learn more about Christ because I love Him. I want to set some time aside for Him. I want to share that love with others because of christ. I want to be obediant to his word out of that love. Scripture says that if we love him we will be obidiant to Him. The legalist says that if we are obidieant to him, then we love him. It is putting the horse before the cart.

    yes, people should attend regularly. Leaders are expected to be there. This should be preached and taught, but not as a dictating ruler, but as a loving expectation
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    My idea of legalism is the establishment of a set of arbitrary criteria to measure one's spirituality. For instance, men long hair and women with short skirts are not very spiritual. Remember when the Pharisees criticized Jesus' disciples because they didn't wash their hands before eating? (Matthew 7) It wasn't a question of hygiene. For the Pharisees it was a ritual with spiritual overtones. Those who didn't wash hands were looked down on as less spiritual.

    Jesus, you remember, was critical of their hypocrisy. They outwardly appeared to honor God, but their hearts were not right.

    I am certainly more spiritual than some people because they have tattoos and I don't. Because tattoos are a sign of rebellion, see?

    You like rap music? Unspiritual. I love the great hymns. Spiritual

    Get the idea?
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Legalism is a set of man-made standards for GAIN salvation or KEEP salvation.

    Our churches are rife with such. Few, on the other hand, swing the pendulum to ask for NO standards, IF those standards are biblical. Cannot think of a case where a church would not care that its leadership/elders were faithful. That is a biblical demand.

    So from the op I would suggest that faithfully attending the worship in a local church is very much expected of any believer. This is GOD'S standard. [verses on request]

    Attending extraneous programs (you mention youth group) is totally arbitrary. It is a man-made standard that means squat.

    Biblical standards = good for all
    Man-made standards = may be good for the individual, but it is personal decision​
     
  6. Tater77

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    Thats a fine line as these things are easily abused. I am currently in the middle of such a struggle.

    My wifes grandmother was admitted to the hospital the other day, so of course my wife has been there daily. My Pastor got confirmation that a woman my wife has been inviting to church was definitely coming on Sunday (the next day) and he asked if she would be there. My wife replied no given the situation, which is not good, and he said that she needed to be there anyway. This about caused a fight.

    Then recently I came to Sunday morning service with 2 of my 3 kids and no wife. The Pastor asked where my wife and other kid were and I replied that my child was sick as my wife was home with him. He actually said to me that if the illness wasnt severe that they should have came anyhow. I snapped right back and said no, thats not gonna happen. When one of my kids are sick , the stay home till they recover no ands ifs or buts about it.

    Dont get me wrong, my Pastor is a good friend to me and his heart is truly in the right place. But he does need to back off a few things. Thankfully though he does listen to me and my opinion.
     
    #6 Tater77, Jan 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2011
  7. Nicholas25

    Nicholas25
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    Anything can be taken to the extreme and I am not talking about perfect attendance. I am talking about deacons who rarely attend Wednesday and Sunday night services. I am talking about leaders of the church whose kids miss 4 or 5 out of 8 youth groups and Sunday schools. I am not talking about the preacher who scolds you and gets in your personal business and acts in a confrontational manner.
     
  8. stilllearning

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    Jesus told us what Legalism is......
    Mark 7:7
    “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.”


    Teaching a man-made standard(what we think is right), as a "Bible doctrine".
    (This takes it beyond the issue of standards for GAINING salvation or KEEPING salvation.)

    I once asked a missionary to define legalism for me, and he said.....
    “a legalist is someone with more standards than I have.”

    But the problem is, they are “man’s standards”, not God’s standards.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Now for those who don’t see it a that big of a problem, remember what Jesus said about it......
    “Howbeit in vain do they worship me....”

    Anyone who interjects man-made standards into their Spiritual life, becomes vain in their worship of God.
    --------------------------------------------------
    One more thing; Pastors or Churches that are legalistic are trying to be the Holy Spirit for their people(with dress codes, etc).
    This seems to work at first, but the result is stunted Spiritual growth.

    Christians stop growing Spiritually, when they start following man’s standards instead of following the Holy Spirit’s instructions.
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    Go through the scripture and see what God requires for a holy and godly life.Be faithful to those teachings and commands.
    A legalist makes up a set of rules to keep, and those rules are easier than following after true holiness in the life that will cost you time and personal freedoms.
     
  10. nodak

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    We are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but we are not told we have to be at every Sun. a.m. and p.m. and midweek meeting.

    We wanted to when we were raising kids, and we tried. But sometimes we made the decision it was more important to maintain consistent family meals and consistent bedtimes than to set foot on church property.

    We wanted to when my husband was still working. But sometimes we made the decision it was better to get some needed sleep, or for the family to travel to be with him.

    Sick folks should stay home and not share the germ with everyone. That is true Christian mercy. When someone else is ill, caring for them/being with them is far more important than missing a meeting.

    We'd like to attend every meeting now. But with age and bad eyes and finding it harder to drive/walk at night, we stay home from evening events.

    Now, none of those absences from the assembled group means we pray less, study the Bible less, witness less, give less, or in any way slack off on our duties as believers.

    As important as the church gathered is, it is also important to be the church scattered.
     
  11. Robert Snow

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    Too many people, clergy and laity included, spend too much time worrying about other people's business. Perhaps we should have a big sign in front of our churches that reads: MYOB

    Now I agree that leaders and members should be as faithful as they can, but a person should not have to answer to others as to why they did or did not attend a a church service.

    If someone starts a pattern of missing, we should reach out to them and see if there is a problem we can help them with. Forcing someone to attend does not do that person or the church any good. The problem is seldom confined to attendance; there are usually other causes.
     
  12. BobinKy

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    I have been called "unfaithful" by a Sunday School teacher and "absent from the Body" by a pastor--both of whom, I might add, left the church and moved on.

    I have heard people called "unsaved" because they said or did something, or failed to say or do something.

    We all need to live by holy standards. The problem is most people (and church leaders) do not agree on what standards are holy.

    Jesus gave us the best standards.

    28And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

    29And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

    30And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

    31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:28-31; KJB)​

    ...Bob
     
    #12 BobinKy, Jan 5, 2011
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  13. MamaCW

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    Sorry to dig up an old post but I was reading through some of the old ones and this response really got my attention.
    in terms of the statement in bold above.. ..how is it that people consider themselves superior to someone else just because they have tattoos and others dont? I'm pretty sure they are sinners too, or is that biblical truth a lie? In my opinion that is a prideful and conceited statement which is considered sinful and foolish, right?
    Also, they are difficult AND extremely expensive to remove.. You cannot judge someone if you truly do not know their circumstances..bible says Do not judge lest you be judged...My husband has tattoos..LOTS of them..2 sleeves, on his legs, calves, and back. Is he proud of them? NO..Was he in a sinful state of mind when he got them? YES.. but does that mean he is still in that sinful state? NO.. Since being saved, he has made a complete change in his life..the person he is now is definitely a completely different person from who he was when I first met him. In my eyes, he is a truly genuine example of Christ. BUT..he still has the tattoos...and they probably aren't going anywhere for the most part because we dont have that kind of money. So does that make him less spiritual than you? umm.. no...
    shame on them for being so ignorantly judgmental.. its people like them that turn others away from Christ because of their small minded judgmental attitudes.

    .. I took this one to heart because I've seen how people like those so ignorantly judge my husband without even getting to know how much of a wonderful,caring, humble, Christ-honoring, man he is.

    My hope is for if there is anyone in here that has that feeble minded way of thinking, they will open up their brain capacity past the small 10% usage to learn something new..as cliche as this is...never judge a book by its cover
     
    #13 MamaCW, May 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2011

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