Friday, February 6, 2009

Legalism-Another Liberalism?

I've been thinking...

So often in modern conservative, evangelical Christian life, one of our sub goals may very well be to fight against liberalism, either politically, or spiritually. My thought here however is not so much political liberalism, as much as it is our desire to fight against licentiousness and liberal interpretations of Scripture. Have we given much thought though to the possibility that if in that quest, we take our eyes off of Jesus, we may drift into a form or legalism? This legalism looks good on the outside, and it even feels like we are "safe" in our Christian walk. However, isn't legalism at its core, really just a form of self-reliance? I mean, if we seek to keep the law, just for the sake of looking good, or eve for the purpose of self-salvation, then we may drift without consciousness into a form of liberalism. What do I mean? Specifically, at their core, both legalism and liberalism share one thing in common..."I can do this myself, not of faith, lest any God should boast". I am being a bit sarcastic here, but let us beware of moving into legalism because we think we are doing God a favor...am I advocating that we sin so grace may abound? NO! However, I am saying that we must not in the name of grace add to the requirements of Christian living because it makes us feel more saved. Examples of this are our views on alcohol, dancing, church dress code, music style, etc. Sure, we can take stances on these things personally if they are a form of giving God the glory yes! But, we must not seek to impose these on everyone else as a standard of sanctification. Also, if we are not careful, we may spend our days surprisingly trusting in our own works rather than Christ's satisfactory completion of everything needed for salvation.

Let us not be Saul-like pharisees, but rather Paul-like beggars at the feet of Jesus, whose grace is our only plea....