What is fundamentalism and legalism?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by neal4christ, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. neal4christ

    neal4christ
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    What is your definitions of fundamentalism and legalism? Just curious, because there seem to be different definitions around here. Is it living according to God's Word and calling (not forcing) others to? Sometimes that seems to be called legalism. Just wondering so I could have a better understanding of what others are thinking.

    Thanks,
    Neal [​IMG]
     
  2. Charlie T

    Charlie T
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    Attaining one's right standing before God (or righteousness) by obeying God's command is legalism. It always fails.

    Christ calls us to His righteousness attained by grace through faith. Out of that righteousness, our response will be seeking to please our God through obedience.

    The first is from the outside inward but the latter is from the inside out.

    The hostorical term fundamentalism referred to believeing some orthodox doctrines, whihc most Baptists believe. Today's fundamentalism has an idea of Christ against Culture. That is the version of the Bible, clothes we wear (not talking about modesty) our hair styles: all this determines godliness. It is a cultural gospel. Sometimes it is biblical and other times adding to scripture.
     
  3. Scott_Bushey

    Scott_Bushey
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    Excellent question Neal!

    Charlie,
    I disagree. Legalism is taking something spoken of in Gods word and going above and beyond that which the scripture even command.

    What you describe sounds more like Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism.

    My understanding of *Fundamentalism* is the taking of Gods word as literal and standing upon it.
     
  4. Don

    Don
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    Charlie, I look forward to more of your posts. I've never heard those terms defined that way.

    Legalism is that Baptist pastor that says "the women in this church will wear dresses, or they better be up at this altar getting right with God." (Outward-in, as was stated).

    Fundamentalism is "the Bible says sex outside of marraige is wrong, so sex outside of marraige is wrong."
     
  5. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Legalism is seeking to please/gain favor with God through my works. In the NT, it was always looked upon in the aspect of "working for" salvation by doing a certain code of behavior.

    By implication, it may also be used legitimately of genuine Christians who then, mistakenly, try to please/gain favor with God through my works.

    Easy to forget that the same "grace" that saved us is the "grace" by which we live.

    BTW, "I" cannot please God with anything except faith, and even that is a gift from God.
     
  6. RaptureReady

    RaptureReady
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    Webster says;

    Fundamentalism = a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as infallible to Christian life and teaching.

    Infallible = 1 : incapable of error :
    2 : not liable to mislead, deceive, or disappoint

    Legalism = strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code.
     
  7. Charlie T

    Charlie T
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    I was a member of an Independent Baptist church in High School. Once I showed up for Visitation. I was wearing dockers with no socks. This was in the early '80s and was the style and the pastor gave me $5 to go buy some socks.

    Later, he would preach about women in pants and that the men should wear suits to church. I think that this kind of view regarding clothing to be placing a stumbling block to the world coming to Christ.

    Christ against Culture is a term I got from H. Richard Niehbuhr in his book Christ and Culture. Although I would not endorse all of his doctrine, this book is very good at investigating how the church looks at culture. At its extreme of Christ against Culture is the Amish who reject all of society's technological advances since the 17th century. Many fundamentalist congregations seek an idealistic 1950's culture in my opinion.

    This is mostly true, but also includes such things as:
    </font>
    • The doctrine of the Trinty
      The incarnation,
      virgin birth,
      subsitutionary atonement,
      bodily resurrection,
      ascension into Heaven and
      Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ
      The new birth through regeneration of the Holy Spirit
      The resurrection of the saints to life eternal
      The resurrection of the ungodly to final judgment and eternal death
      The fellowship of the saints,who are the body of Christ;</font>
    I think that most evangelicals adhere to these beliefs. But the term has come to be associated with other beliefs and practices including Dispensationalism. So, while I identify with the former, I do not adhere to the latter.
    Charlie
     
  8. Don

    Don
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    Personally, I don't know about that; I tend to think we don't need to be "in style" in order to get the Word of God out.
     
  9. Charlie T

    Charlie T
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    But, Don, clothing is a hindrance. If someone is seeking God and comes to church in blue jeans and a T-Shirt, then he should not get dirty looks. Someone should be able to go to church on Easter and not feel that he is at a fashion show. I think our emphasis on clothing is sin. I think it is showing partiality.

    Likewise, short hair is not godliness.

    Women in normal clothing is not sin. I am not talking about being indecent, but all decent clothing should be acceptable.

    Should a young man be sent to buy socks before he goes to Visitation?

    I do not think God cares about clothing or hair styles.

    Charlie
     

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