Saturday, March 16, 2013

Why I hate Legalism

First of all I hate legalism because Jesus does, and I want to be like Him.  I know I’m not and I’m sure that one of the ways that I’m not like Jesus is my own form of legalism.  But Jesus hated the legalism of the Pharisee’s.  Any time a law or an interpretation of a law got in the way of salvation, grace or mercy, Jesus threw a fit. 

Second I hate legalism because of how it has cast a pall on my own relationship with God.  For so long my faith was centered in a culture of legalism that I couldn’t even see and because of this I have a very difficult time accepting the grace, mercy, forgiveness and love of God.  It instilled within me a sense that I was never going to be good enough for God, and even now as I try to accept Him in all His Nature, the foreboding sense of an angry God is never far away.

Third I hate legalism because of how it has destroyed lives.  When Christianity is replaced with rules based legalism there are many casualties.  I’m not going to elaborate on this much because it brings a lot of memories and pain.  Even now there are many brothers and sisters in Christ that I love and pray for, that I’m afraid would be hesitant to call me brother because of the nastiness of a judgmental spirit that is often a bi-product of legalism.

Lastly I hate legalism because it in a word is sin, and is divisive.  Jesus was very clear how He felt about legalism, He called them sons of hell, and so was Paul.  Scriptures like 1 Timothy 4:1-5 describe this type of behavior as demonic and hypocritical.  I’ve often heard the word “worldliness” thrown around in very loose ways, basically representing everything that is not weird or out of style as “worldly clothing” just for an example. 

Let’s be clear; being like Jesus is difficult, it requires a constant examination of your mind, emotions, thoughts, words, and actions.  Replacing that with a cheap version of holiness that is based on your interpretation of rules and regulations does not promote Godliness; in fact it promotes and is worldliness.  Read Colossians 2:20-23 with me as I close out this article. Colossians 2:20-23 NIV - Since you died with Christ to the - Bible Gateway

Listen to how the CEV describes verse 23 - Obeying these rules may seem to be the smart thing to do. They appear to make you love God more and to be very humble and to have control over your body. But they don’t really have any power over our desires.

Free in Christ and loving it, Lance

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