On very rare occasions, and I mean rare as in someone almost never... Yet, since I have on occasion noticed a couple of my friends mention Dan Phillips I read one of his articles...
And I just don't even relate to the question at all...
Here is the idea. You are a Christian and someone accuses you of being a legalist.
Dan then gives these examples of legalism or what others have said to him or... and that is where I get a bit confused I guess... but here are the "legalist" accusations with the questions afterward.
A legalist is...
- Anyone who thinks Christians are under the Ten Commandments
- Anyone who thinks Christians are under the Law of Moses (more broadly)
- Anyone who thinks that we must obey law (— any law, whether of Moses or of Christ) to merit salvation
- Anyone who thinks a Christian should obey the commands of Christ and the apostles
- Anyone whose example makes me feel bad about my life
- Anyone who imposes man-made rules on other Christians' conscience
- Anyone who lives by standards that I don't share
- Anyone who tells me that I should not do something I want to do, or do something I don't want to do
- Anyone who tells me that a sin I sinned was sin, that I must repent before
God and man, and that I must make it right with those I've wronged
- Anyone who seriously thinks that what the Bible says is more important than what I strongly feel
- Anyone who seriously thinks that the Bible should be our only rule of faith and practice, and that it is wholly sufficient to that end
- Anyone who quotes a Bible verse I don't want to hear
- Anyone who affirms a Biblical truth I don't want to think about
- Anyone who thinks that, just because I say I believe in Jesus, I should take seriously anything that Jesus or His apostles or prophets say, even if I don't want to
- Anyone who evaluates my outpouring of emotions and reactions in a
Biblical manner, however humanly and compassionately
- Anyone who holds to a lot of rules
- Anyone who applies the Bible accurately, but without so much as a breath of grace, patience, compassion or humility
- Anyone who thinks we should ever say "No" to anything we really deeply feel in our hearts
- Anyone who goes to church when he doesn't feel like it
- Anyone who takes literally parts of the Bible that I don't take literally
- Anyone who thinks I should go to church when I don't feel like it, just because I say I believe in Jesus
- Anyone who thinks I should respect an authority I don't agree with
- Anyone who thinks that, just because I call Jesus "Lord, Lord," I should actually do what He says
Update: Anyone who tries to hold another to a biblical standard [credit: Carrie]Update: Anyone who thinks that there is no problem that cannot be solved by more and better rules
In the meta, tell us:
Which of these have you heard most frequently?
Which do you think is (or are) accurate and legitimate uses — and on what basis?
Which do you think are inaccurate and illegitimate — and on what basis?
Now, there are some legitimate “legalism” there, but I see that the point is missed completely. If one adds one thing to the finished works of Christ Jesus, that is in itself, legalism.
So most of these, which some made me laugh out loud as things like, “22. Anyone who takes literally parts of the Bible that I don't take literally” when many people who claim to be “literalists” are not even close to being that, or say, Any of the “because I take Jesus seriously” ones which seem to totally miss what biblical obedience is.
The thing that gets me is that Dan Phillips is in the crowd that seems to get these statements aimed at them. Maybe for good reason? I never seem to get these statements aimed at me unless it is in the form or “you do it too!” when I try to rebuke someone in Dan’s crowd who hypocritically attacks a friend of mine or unjustly accuses someone I respect.
Before you think I am just on an anti Dan Phillips row here, I am not, I have also seen some legalism in my own camp which I do address, yet, I see more grace there than from many who propose their doctrines as “doctrines of grace”. I might even be as bold as to say that I have seen and experienced more grace from Arminians than from Calvinists… though I do not condemn all Calvinists in that manner nor I claim or state that most Arminians truly grasp Grace in its fullness (Nor do I for all its fullness).
Now, as far as these questions, most I see are just not even the right questions. If one is accused of these, then you need sit back and really consider what is being stated. I bet if one prays and truly considers the accusation against them they might see some truth to them all and might also be careful to consider oneself might fall into these traps of the faith.
So I see that before we try to justify or condemn someone for placing these statements at our feet, one should be wise to see if they really do apply to themselves.
I do not boast when I state I rarely hear people state these questions to me. For true Grace only comes from God and not from us. We can only love if we understand we are loved by God first. We can only give grace away if we have God’s grace to give away.