Monday, October 22, 2012
The Poison Of Legalism
I was shocked that someone that used to think so much the same now thought so differently. During my college years I had a close knit group that did life and bible studies together. Two of my friends, we’ll call them Dave and Daisy, ended up getting married. They were a happy upbeat couple. They enjoyed studying the Bible, asking deep questions and wrestling with the text. We drifted apart for a while and some years later life brought us into collision again.
Dave and I sat down to catch up on life then things got weird. Dave talked about the King James Bible being the only version one can use in teaching. Daisy shared that as a woman she wore only dresses. When discussing music Dave advised me that Rich Mullins wasn’t a Christian because he had, “Catholic leanings.” Somehow these intelligent people had lost sight of the simplicity of the Gospel. To quote Paul, “…just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, (their) minds were somehow led astray from sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”
The saddest aspect of Dave and Daisy being led away from the simplicity of the Gospel was they’d lost their joy. Daisy especially was once an energetic, happy, joy-filled woman. She’d lost her freedom and was living trapped in a box. Living in that box robbed her of zeal and joy. Beyond that both Dave and Daisy seemed more nit-picky and angry then loving and Christ adoring. In pursuing legalism they’d lost their hearts.
The danger of an unbalanced view of the Bible is a turning away from a loving Christ-centered gospel to the traditions of men and principles of the world. In relationship to Christ there is freedom and simplicity. There is escape from guilt and guarantee that there will be no condemnation. Life in this world weighs us down enough. Our relationship with Christ shouldn’t be the same, “…For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”