Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Worldview Wednesday: Legalism

I have recently begun a study on Luke with a couple of other woman whom I meet with on Friday morning. We are reading through Luke chapter by chapter and asking ourselves some key questions specifically focusing on Christ and his relationships. One of the observations I have made through the first six chapters is how Christ always obeyed scripture. He was sinless in that he obeyed all of the commandment of God. He did not come to get rid of the law but to fulfill it. We no longer need to practice blood sacrifice because Christ was our final atonement. His blood was and is sufficient. Even so, the example that Christ choose to set before us is an example of obeying the commands of scripture. We must ask ourselves why we are so quick to write this obedience off as legalism. The Pharisee and Sadducee's were not in trouble for obeying scripture and God's commands they were in trouble for ADDING to them and requiring more than even God himself did. A modern day example of this is a church requiring people to sign a statement agreeing that they will never purchase alcohol in order to be members. It is alright for them to have their neighbor purchase alcohol for them, they just can't do it themselves. This is a concern for appearance and encourages following a requirement that is not laid out anywhere in scripture.

The opposite of this is when we ignore the clear commands of scripture in an false attempt to be relevant to the culture. As if in and on its own, Christ is and the scriptures are not all that is needed. Sin is considered a non word in these circles where everything goes. I always wonder why they bother to read scripture if they are going to blatantly ignore what it says. Many churches are now allowing homosexual pastors and are marrying homosexual couples. The American psychiatric community has officially denounced attempting to help homosexuals by counseling them to stop practicing that lifestyle. This is an emotional response, not a scriptural response. It is hard for me not to have the same types of emotional responses when there are two people in my life that struggle with this sin. We love them dearly and we love them enough to speak truth when it is appropriate. They eat at my table and are welcome anytime but I will not tell them that their behavior is okay any more than I would tell myself that the sin of gluttony in my life is okay. True love speaks the truth no matter how hard and painful. The love Christ has for us does not condone our sin, it calls us to repent of it and to live holy lives before him.