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What is Legalism?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Gerhard Ebersoehn, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Gerhard Ebersoehn

    Gerhard Ebersoehn Active Member

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    I say, to pit the Law against Christ in any respect, is to commit legalism and to be a legalist, and amounts to dishonouring both Christ and the Law.
     
  2. Joe

    Joe New Member

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    Legalism is usually a deparging label targeted at a fellow Chrisitan. It is not a term found in scripture.
     
  3. BobRyan

    BobRyan Active Member

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    True - but if we are going to assign it the best possible meaning so as not to reflect poorly on the humans that invent it and use it upon others --

    I suggest that we define it as "any action that a person considers to be a satisfactory replacement for an actual submitted relationship with Christ".

    So for example -- some think "If I say x.y.z in this right order then it does not matter if I am in a living relationship with Christ or not".

    Others say "IF I DID x.y.z ever at any time in my life then I am saved no matter what my actual relationship is with Christ today".

    Plug in anything you like in the x.y.z.

    The problem is not with x.y and z -- the problem is thinking that it serves today as a substitute for actually walking in harmony with God today - in prayer, in the Word - in a living active relationship with Christ "now".

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    The original legalists, of course were the Pharisees and Saducees. The measured your spirituality by how well you followed their rules. They criticized Jesus when he didn't ceremonially wash his hands before eating. They criticized him for healing on the Sabbath, because that was work.

    The rulers of the Jews, the scribes, etc., were the ones who defined the law. Such has, it was okay to walk a mile on the Sabbath, but more than that was breaking the Sabbath. That was how your spirituality was measued.

    Later, Paul and John wrote letters against the Juda-izers. Those who went beyone repentance and faith for salvation, and added keeping the Jewish law. Even after the Jerusalem conference settled the issue for Gentiles, the Judaizers kept infiltrating churches with that doctrine.

    Modern legalism takes the form of measuring spirutality by the length of hair, shortness of skirts, going to the movies and playing some card games.

    Or it may be measured by the version of the Bible you use.

    It's not pitting the law against Christ. It's man-made rules against Christ.
     
  5. billwald

    billwald New Member

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    Sure glad I got "reformed" and can drink alky for recreational purposes. <G>
     
  6. BobRyan

    BobRyan Active Member

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    The problem is not with x.y and z -- the problem is thinking that it serves today as a substitute for actually walking in harmony with God today - in prayer, in the Word - in a living active relationship with Christ "now".

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    To me, legalism is man adding rules to God's Word and not realizing that they are not from God, but only his own preferences, and then trying to make everyone else live that way...
     
  8. BobRyan

    BobRyan Active Member

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    Jesus said to his followers that they SHOULD listen to what their teachers and leaders said TO DO without following their hypocrytical example. (This was in reference to the tithing of herbs and spices in the garden).

    The problem was NOT "God will get you if you dare tithe the spices in your garden" the point was that the leaders were using such acts as forms of "assurance" as a substitute for actually walking with God in a daily relationship.

    Anything that you use "no matter how good or Biblical" to replace your worship relationship with God -- an appeal to legalism -- an appeal to something you "say" or "do" as the substitute for real Christian relationship.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. gekko

    gekko New Member

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    neither is departmentalization.
    marijuanna.
    hennessey.
    united states.
    puns.

    yet we still use them.

    DEAL WITH IT.
     
  10. Joe

    Joe New Member

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    Excuse me?
    gekko if you have a problem with me, please send me a pm instead.
     
    #10 Joe, Feb 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2008
  11. gekko

    gekko New Member

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    nope.

    don't have a problem with you Joe.

    sorry to come across as if i did.

    i do have a problem, however, when people say that certain words aren't in the bible and thus shouldn't be used.
     
  12. trustitl

    trustitl New Member

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    I am curious to know what all of you think of when you hear the term.

    Do you relate it to salvation in the sense of needing to perform certain actions to get saved or to living out salvation according to such rules?

    It seems to me that most people think of it as a list of certain things that a person must do to get or be saved.

    I have been looking at it more in the sense of how we live as believers. I think this is what Paul was addressing in his letter to the Galations. These were people who were born again but had "fallen from grace" and had returned to things in the law such as circumcision.

    Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Gal. 5:1

    Paul was talking about the law and the effects on us when we let it be our guiding force.
     
  13. skypair

    skypair New Member

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    Read Galations, son.

    skypair
     
  14. Joe

    Joe New Member

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    My Mamma was a good girl, thank you. Impossible!
    Feel free to elaborate....
     
  15. BobRyan

    BobRyan Active Member

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    How about purgatory? Another great word not in the Bible
     
  16. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    That's because there IS no purgatory...
     
  17. BobRyan

    BobRyan Active Member

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    hmmm - "purgatory" not in the bible "because there is no purgatory" --

    "Legalism" not in the Bible because there IS legalism.

    In any case I would argue that legalism is appealing to some statement (sinner's prayer), action (baptism), act of obedience or not -- as "the replacement" for a living relationship with Christ.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  18. TCGreek

    TCGreek New Member

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    law-keeping of any kind + Christ is legalism.
     
  19. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24 Active Member

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    I agree with this statement...now let's get outta here 'cause the roof is gonna cave in! :)
     
  20. Sgt. Fury

    Sgt. Fury New Member

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    I'd put it this way: A legalist is one who thinks that by virtue of his actions he makes himself worthy of salvation.

    There are things which God has commanded which man must obey (belief, repentance, baptism, living faithfully) in order to be saved. These are conditions man must meet. However, none of these things makes one worthy of salvation. None of these things earns salvation nor makes God a debtor to man.
     
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