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Legalism: A discussion

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Susan, Aug 6, 2002.

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  1. Susan

    Susan 退屈させた1 つ (bored one)

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    MODERATORS: If this thread bursts into [​IMG] then please close it soonest and do not ban me. I simply want to begin a polite discussion about legalism.

     :)

    Could posters address these questions from their viewpoint?

    What is legalism?

    Does it still exist today in this world's licentious culture?

    If yes, in what forms?

    Have you personally experienced legalism?

    If so, what impact did it have on your faith?

    Do you think legalism makes the Gospel of lesser or no effect?

    Do you think we should ignore or, conversely, criticize legalism on an institutional level? (I'm not talking about criticism of individuals, but of teachings and groups-should we ignore it or should we state that it is unnecessary?)

    How far should we go to NOT offend our brother/sister? (By that I mean, must we give something up entirely if someone else has a conviction, or must we simply not ask them to partake, or what?)

    Remember though, please do not judge your brethren or sisters: only ideas.

    [​IMG]

     

     
     
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  2. Susan

    Susan 退屈させた1 つ (bored one)

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    AHHHH! My posted images still didn't work, although IMG code is on :mad:
     
  3. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

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    Susan, it would help a lot if you defined for us what you mean by legalism, or it'll lead to a lot of confusion.

    For me it means the Law (10 Commandments + 360+ Jewish ceremonial laws) and also forbidding this and that (eg forbidding to marry, abstaining from certain foods. It also means going by self-effort rather than by the grace of God.

    someone else might think otherwise.
     
  4. Susan

    Susan 退屈させた1 つ (bored one)

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    I want to see your (the posters') definitions but here is my own:

    Making a personal conviction, weakness, or dislike a normative rule for all Christians, usually on an issue where the New Testament is silent or vague. And on the behalf of the person adhering to the person or system that does that, believing that such strict rule-keeping will 1: keep them saved. 2: get them a better place in Heaven. 3: keep them blessed. 4: make them better than other Christians. and/or 5: be a guard against sin.

    It usually begins with the words "Good Christians don't" or "You would grow so much in your walk if you stopped. . ." (among hundreds of other ways of planting guilt and worry in the mind of the hearer) and is always prooftexted rather than being a consistent principle in the Bible.
     
  5. Susan

    Susan 退屈させた1 つ (bored one)

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    -bump-
     
  6. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

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    This isn't about anime again, is it?
     
  7. Susan

    Susan 退屈させた1 つ (bored one)

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    No! 1000,0000,0000,0000 times no!

    It is to be a serious discussion about legalism. Believe me if you want, don't believe me if you want. This thread is NOT about anime! as a matter of fact, I will try my very best not to even use my anime smilies in it.
     
  8. Susan

    Susan 退屈させた1 つ (bored one)

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    I want to hear what people think on this issue. That is all. :)
     
  9. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    Oh, I've seen tons of that. Especially those annoying guys who show up at college campuses and preach nonsense. There was one guy who was big on "Everlasting HeeeeeelllllL!" (Pronounced normally, just really drawn out, with lots of tonal variation. It was a thing of wonder.) Among those who were *DEFINITELY* going to Hell, because they hadn't accepted Christ, were homosexuals, loose women, independant women, people who had had an abortion, people who believed in evolution, Catholics, men with long hair, women with short hair, men with earrings, men who wore women's clothes, women who didn't cover their heads in church, women who talked in church, members of every faith other than his, including those that called themselves Christians... It was *AMAZING*. The guy also claimed that he hadn't sinned in three months; I figure, even if it were miraculously true, he just reset the counter there, because pride is a sin too.

    Me, I don't think I've made so much as a day without sinning *somehow*, but I doubt I notice all of it. This is probably why I'm so focused on the "merciful" thing. :)
     
  10. Susan

    Susan 退屈させた1 つ (bored one)

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    that's interesting. . .
    "Among those who were *DEFINITELY* going to Hell, because they hadn't accepted Christ, were homosexuals, loose women, independant women, people who had had an abortion, people who believed in evolution, Catholics, men with long hair, women with short hair, men with earrings, men who wore women's clothes, women who didn't cover their heads in church, women who talked in church, members of every faith other than his, including those that called themselves Christians..."

    you sound like you're talking about Michael Woronecki (sp?). I read something online about him. . .it seems he was Andrea Yates's pastor for a while, and his teachings might have contributed to her psychotic break and subsequent murder of 5 innocent children. :cry: :mad:

     

    (NOTE: Before anyone flames me, I am NOT stating that I approve of the actual sins in the above listing.)
     
  11. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

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    Legalism is the idea that what we do or don't do qualifies us for heaven or earns us hell.
     
  12. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

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    But aren't there some things that good Christians do and don't do? Are all rules legalism?
     
  13. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

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    My take on this one - and I was a member for almost 9 years of a fellowship which became increasingly 'legalistic' as time wore on! - is very much along the lines given by Susan. Legalism, basically, is adding to the gospel of Christ a list of 'do's and don'ts' which will get you into heaven or into a deeper/better/more spiritual relationship with God.

    Now I am not implying that there are not standards for 'decent Christian living' , or that we are to overlook obvious sins. But I am saying that we are to avoid 'laying down the law' about what 'good works' are 'required' for God to love/bless/use a person.

    In the Church I eventually left, some of the 'rules' which evolved were - you must attend every church meeting there is going (eventually 6 nights per week plus all day Sunday!), you must be either on the streets evangelising or in church praying for those who are on the streets every Saturday afternoon, (if your husband/wife objects, you should leave them), you must not drink, watch tv or go to the cinema. To go against these 'laws' meant your faith would be publically questioned, you would be 'sacked' from any position of ministry, and, if you were not suitably repentant, you were in danger of sickness, death or loss of salvation. (And of course, it was obvious that men with ear-rings or pony tails were going to hell - tho' strangely, women in low-cut dresses were ensured a place in any minstry team!)

    Now this might be somewhat extreme, but this kind of spirit is apparent in a good many churches; hard and fast rules (spoken or impicit) are set down on matters which the Bible is silent about, and used to divide 'first' and 'second class' Christians, or call into question the sincerity of the faith of those (eg in other churches) who do not observe them. The implicit message is, the harder you work at being a good Christian, the more God loves you, and, converesely, if you are failing to come up to the mark on any of these issues, you should fear God's displeasure, or even question the security of your salvation. In reality, the Bible tells us that God loves us all equally, and Christ's blood atones for our sins, imputing to us a righteousness we could not and never can deserve; it is all of grace.

    Anthony
     
  14. ZiSunka

    ZiSunka It means 'yellow dog'

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    Ah! So this definition of legalism is "a list of actions that must be performed or avoided to please God and earn salvation"?
     
  15. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

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    An interesting quote on the subject of rules for Christian living:
    From John V. Taylor's "The Go-Between God" (1972)

    Anthony
     
  16. Crono

    Crono Regular Member

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    I'll post a more thorough explanation later, but here is my opinion in a nutshell:

    Legalism is saying that what I do or don't do will make me closer to God.

    In contrast, holiness is saying that I must develop a relationship with God first, and what I do or don't do will flow out of that relationship.
     
  17. Pastor N.B.

    Pastor N.B. Member

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  18. mjwhite

    mjwhite Member

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    Dear Pastor N.B.,

    What do you mean by, "The Covenant of God, being 'worked on' by anyone, while leaving out the Master, is legalalism! The Covenant is our agreement"

    Could you explain what you think the Covenant is?

    Thanks,
    mike
     
  19. Susan

    Susan 退屈させた1 つ (bored one)

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    It is most likely the laws of the OT focusing on Sabbath observance to which he refers. . .
     
  20. Pastor N.B.

    Pastor N.B. Member

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    Hi Mike:
    (Hope you do not mind the emphasis & verses in part-you can read then in complete form, ok?)

    First: ALL WORK! We [never do our own thing]! Try Eph. 6:12. So, we need to understand what God REQUIRES of us to be, so we will be 'safe to save' Nam. 1:9 & Matt. 28:20.
    And this is our part, in the GodHeads Covenant, a pledge, contract, or two party agreement, after we have surrendered our 'will' to His 'WILL' .This is the COVENANT, Everlasting Covenant.

    The old Covenant & the New Covenant are only different in [location]. Ex. 20 & 2 Cor. 3:3. 'Epistal' here means the LETTER OF CHRIST, [His CHARACTER]! (after conversion) From the tables of stone into the fleshy tables of the Heart :clap: The 'letter of the law killeth, [but the Spirit GIVETH LIFE' so without the Born Again life man is lost! Acts 5:32 THIS IS 'EVERLASTING GOSPEL'!

    The Law of God, His epistal' is the Royal 'Universal' Covenant. Other WORLDS twice stated in Heb. (plural!) (see *Rev. 22:8-9-total book! 2 Tim. 3:16 & James 2:10-12) This is the only part of the Word of God that He did not let man put in their own words describing. (They were inspired to write, yet it is their own description. That is why Matt., Mark, Luke and John differ, ok?)

    Now, read Isa 8:20 and you see the [two] parts of TRUTH, to TEST [LIGHT]
    by! Also 1 Jn. 2:4 says NO TRUTH & IS AN LIAR. The testimony part is all the 66 bks. as 'Holy Men Of God Spake as they were 'Moved By The Holy Ghost' This is the 'testimony part'. But it stated BEFORE that, "TO THE LAW" [[and]] to the testimony: [IF] they speak [NOT ACCORDING TO THIS WORD], IT IS BECAUSE [THERE IS *NO LIGHT IN THEM.]" Check verse 16 ibide.

    The devils confussion [has always been] over the law of Moses. The 'd'evil wants to nail the COVENANT to the cross! (This is what the war in heaven was all about) Notice this wording:
    "And Moses wrote this law, ... which [bare the ark OF THE COVENANT OF THE LORD] ... And it came to pass, when [Moses had made an end of the WRITING THE WORDS OF THIS LAW *IN A BOOK, ... That Moses [commanded] the Levites, which [bare the ARK OF THE COVENANT OF THE LORD] (notice the WORDING here!) [TAKE THIS BOOK OF THE LAW,
    [AND PUT IT *IN [THE SIDE] OF THE ARK OF THE COVENANT OF THE LORD."

    Did you catch that? Not [INSIDE OF THE ARK, *BUT IN THE SIDE OF THE ARK of the COVENANT OF THE LORD! Moses law ended at the cross, it was added because of trangression, [UNTIL THE SEED SHALL COME]. see Gal. 3:19. It mostly covered the services of the Sanctuary.

    And again, the Royal Law of the Universe is said to be ETERNAL as before stated. Rev. 14:6's first part & Heb. 13:20.

    In Psalms 77:13 God says that [His way is in His Sanctuary]. The study of the Sanctuary is of top importance for 'meat' fed Christians. Matt. 4:4!

    Now, we need to be sure of what was [INSIDE THE ARK]?! Read Deut 4:12-14 for the exact wording of this Covenant! We have seen the Word of God tell us what was put in the [SIDE OF THE ARK]. There are many verses for this, but there is NO misunderstanding of 1 Kings 8:5-9. Verse 9 says that, 'There was NOTHING IN THE ARK SAVE THE *TWO TABLES OF STONE, which Mose put there at Horeb, when the LORD MADE A COVENANT WITH ISRAEL, when they came out of the land of Egypt." (later there is the budding rod also put therein)

    Now, one writter states that this is the Sabbath commandment. That is not true, as such. It was the 'Epistle of Christ', His LETTER! HIS CHARACTER, HIS PERSON, HIS ROYAL LAW OF THE UNIVERSE, this includes (INCLUDES) THE SEVENTH DAY SABBATH, BUT IT IS NOT THE SABBATH ONLY. BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE IN THE WORDING?? *TWO TABLES OF STONE! One Law with two feature. Christ stated the First four as the 'first & Great Commandment, then he stated, adding that the second of importance as being like unto it, that of loving thy neighbor as thyself. Try Matt 22:35-40. (read verse 40!) And Rom. 13 is only about the second table of stone, But that is another subject!

    Don' want to wear you down? :scratch: Just print this for further study perhaps?

    Two more OK? :)
    What did Jesus do with the Commandments? Isa. 42:21 tells us that, ".. He will [MAGNIFY] the [LAW and MAKE IT HONORABLE]." You remember, To look upon a woman with lust in your heart is adultary', & 'hate is murder'.
    Also Matt. 5:18.

    Now pay CLOSE ATTENTION to this verse! Rev. 11:18-19.
    It was Judgement time in verse 18 & in verse 19 it says, "And the TEMPLE OF GOD WAS [OPENED IN HEAVEN, AND THERE WAS [SEEN IN HIS TEMPLE THE *ARK OF HIS *TESTAMENT]: ..." TEN COMMANDMENTS! James 2:12.

    Your true friend in the Master's quickly finished work for the 'House of God' FIRST, (1 Peter 4:17)
    Pastor N.B.
     
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