Monday, May 01, 2006

Turning Wisdom Into Laws

If you're a Legalist, everything looks like a law.

The Legalist can take the most encouraging passages of wisdom from Scripture and turn them into a law to clunk you over the head with. It's uncanny.

An example is Hebrews 10:25, "...not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near."

What a wonderful verse. Reminding us to not isolate ourselves from the Body of Christ, but to encourage one another, and "...consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds." (Heb. 10:24).

It's a joyful verse, filled with hope!

But the Legalist makes it a law. A law that goes something like this:

Go to church! At least the worship service! And frankly, if you don't show up every time the door is open, I wonder about you. If you miss church, you are in sin. This is a command of God, one of His many laws. And laws are meant to be kept. Look at John over there. He comes to church every time the doors are opened. Now that's a godly man! I'm watching you.

(I kinda hate to even write the above diatribe as a Legalist would think, because I can feel some of you cringe with the old legalistic thinking. But if you recognize it, in all its horror, then you can reject it, repudiate it, replace it with Grace-filled thinking.)

Without regard to the heart, the Legalist looks at the actions. And having imposed his law-based twist on every scripture, he will heap condemnation on you in a New York minute if you don't see it his way.

Even if you LOVE the scripture in question, and your heart is devoted and grateful to Christ, who is our Wisdom, the Legalist will turn it into an opportunity to accuse you...IF you listen to him.

Don't listen to him.

Listen to the lover of your soul. Listen to the bridegroom. Listen to the Shepherd.

Listen to "Grace For Life" Radio Program.


Bhedr said...

Good Post. Thanks for the reminder. Always remind us. I think having embraced much bondage most of our lives, we feel dysfunctionally empty without being goaded by it constantly, but the Shepherd speaks with one voice and stills our restless souls.

Toni Banks said...

Right on time for me. Just this morning the bible teacher in a church I've been visiting since since I moved said that church attendence was a commandment of God. This of course supports his position on tithing (last Sunday's lesson). I love the fellowship there but will have to seek other grace believers here in Las Vegas because I cannot sit under such teaching and be edified. I even asked the pastor after the morning message what return of Christ he was referring to in the message, the rapture or the 2nd coming? He replied hurriedly that he didn't see that it made much difference! Believers need to be comforted with the knowledge of our blessed hope, not frightening warnings of the wrath to come. At least some clarification should be made.

Nate said...

Thank you for the gracious post! Right On!!!



Terry Rayburn said...

Brian, Toni, and Nate,

Thanks for the encouraging words. Nate...nice blog!


Shane Becker said...

You have a knack for hitting the nail on the head! Good post. Keep them coming. I'm enjoying your blog! Blessings, Shane.

Shannalee said...

Well said. I haven't thought of it that way before, as turning encouraging verses into law, but you are so right.

Terry Rayburn said...


Thanks for stopping by.