Jump to content

christian forums

Worthy Christian Forums - Christian Forums

Welcome to Worthy Christian Forums
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Stolen Treasures from legalism

* * * * * 1 votes

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
31 replies to this topic

#1
nebula

nebula

    Royal Member

  • Worthy Watchman
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 56,992 posts

Stolen Treasures

Dr. David Orrison

11 March 2014

 

A recent article ... prompted me to think about the reason it is so difficult to move forward after being victimized by legalism. As I have worked with those hurt by legalism over the years, I have often heard stories about what happened five, ten, maybe thirty years ago. These folks still struggle against the lies they were told and the anger they continue to feel toward those who misused them. I have come to the conclusion that a great deal of the difficulty of moving on has to do with the treasures that were stolen.

 

Each of the following could be an article in itself, but let me just introduce the problems legalism created by stealing these treasures. You may think of more precious things that were stolen, but these are the ones that have come up most often as I have communicated with victims.

 

The character of God. Legalism presents an angry and vengeful God who wants to see us fail and then will punish us when we do. He rejects us when we sin and puts us into situations to test our faithfulness. He even punishes us for the things our great-grandparents did. ... The Lord may be a strong tower for His people, but the victims of legalism can’t run to Him and feel safe because they think He is angry with them.

<snip>

 

The message of the Bible. So many times people have told me that they simply cannot read the Bible anymore because all they see in it is condemnation.

<snip>

 

The new heart of the believer. How many times did we hear, “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked”? Victims of legalism are told never to trust their hearts, which meant never to trust their own judgment. Sadly that meant that they were only to trust the judgment of those above them, which opened them to all kinds of abuse. . . . The truth is that the believer has a new heart, one which the Lord uses to communicate with us. When He connects to the new spirit in us, He connects to the new heart (See Ezekiel 11:19). But when legalism stole away our ability to look within and trust our hearts, it took away our opportunity to hear the voice of our Lord.

<snip>

 

The love and joy of others. Legalism is a system of condemnation and comparison. It sets us up to put others down. If I can’t ever be good enough, I can at least be better than you. We learned to judge and condemn others, rather than to understand them. We learned to compare ourselves with them, rather than to listen and care. We learned to keep them at a distance just in case, rather than to love them.

<snip>

 

Read the full article here

 

 

 



#2
GoldenEagle

GoldenEagle

    Royal Member

  • Royal Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,338 posts

This is a great article Neb! Thanks for sharing. :thumbsup:

These are good reminders:
God loves you.
The Bible consistently tells of this love.
Those who have come to Jesus have received from Him a new heart.
Others are good for you.



#3
Butero

Butero

    Royal Member

  • Royal Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,665 posts

Stolen Treasures

Dr. David Orrison

11 March 2014

 

A recent article ... prompted me to think about the reason it is so difficult to move forward after being victimized by legalism. As I have worked with those hurt by legalism over the years, I have often heard stories about what happened five, ten, maybe thirty years ago. These folks still struggle against the lies they were told and the anger they continue to feel toward those who misused them. I have come to the conclusion that a great deal of the difficulty of moving on has to do with the treasures that were stolen.

 

Each of the following could be an article in itself, but let me just introduce the problems legalism created by stealing these treasures. You may think of more precious things that were stolen, but these are the ones that have come up most often as I have communicated with victims.

 

The character of God. Legalism presents an angry and vengeful God who wants to see us fail and then will punish us when we do. He rejects us when we sin and puts us into situations to test our faithfulness. He even punishes us for the things our great-grandparents did. ... The Lord may be a strong tower for His people, but the victims of legalism can’t run to Him and feel safe because they think He is angry with them.

<snip>

 

The message of the Bible. So many times people have told me that they simply cannot read the Bible anymore because all they see in it is condemnation.

<snip>

 

The new heart of the believer. How many times did we hear, “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked”? Victims of legalism are told never to trust their hearts, which meant never to trust their own judgment. Sadly that meant that they were only to trust the judgment of those above them, which opened them to all kinds of abuse. . . . The truth is that the believer has a new heart, one which the Lord uses to communicate with us. When He connects to the new spirit in us, He connects to the new heart (See Ezekiel 11:19). But when legalism stole away our ability to look within and trust our hearts, it took away our opportunity to hear the voice of our Lord.

<snip>

 

The love and joy of others. Legalism is a system of condemnation and comparison. It sets us up to put others down. If I can’t ever be good enough, I can at least be better than you. We learned to judge and condemn others, rather than to understand them. We learned to compare ourselves with them, rather than to listen and care. We learned to keep them at a distance just in case, rather than to love them.

<snip>

 

Read the full article here

First of all, the Bible does show a God who can be angry and vengeful.  Look at Ananias and Saphira as well as Herod in the book of Acts.  It does show a God who tests us.  Look at Job.  Look at David and the census.  Look at the poor man who reached up to steady the ark of the covenant.  That side of God does exist in the New and Old Testament.  Turning a blind eye to that side of God won't change anything. 

 

I absolutely don't believe in "trusting our heart."  The Bible doesn't teach us to do so.  We have the Bible as our authority, and when our heart doesn't match up with scripture, it is our heart that is wrong.  How many times have you heard a person who left their spouse for another say something like, "The heart wants what the heart wants."  That doesn't make it right. 

 

We are actually taught in scripture not to compare ourselves to others, so I agree that is wrong, but that is not so much a teaching as something people sometimes learn to do on their own.  I don't have long hair, so I think I am better than the guy who does.  I don't drink, so I think I am better than the guy who does.  I don't work on the Sabbath, so I think I am better than the guy who does.  I don't know of any churches that teach that.  Most simply teach their doctrine, and Satan will sometimes come in and cause the people doing right to be filled with pride.  Pride is a sin.  Legalism is not the problem.  Pride is, and you can think yourself better than others because you are not legalistic when others are.  That happens too. 



#4
nebula

nebula

    Royal Member

  • Worthy Watchman
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 56,992 posts

First of all, the Bible does show a God who can be angry and vengeful.  Look at Ananias and Saphira as well as Herod in the book of Acts.  It does show a God who tests us.  Look at Job.  Look at David and the census.  Look at the poor man who reached up to steady the ark of the covenant.  That side of God does exist in the New and Old Testament.  Turning a blind eye to that side of God won't change anything.

 
You missed something here:
 
"who wants to see us fail"
 
"but the victims of legalism can’t run to Him and feel safe because they think He is angry with them."
 
Knowing God can be angry and vengeful is not the same as believing that He is always angry, that He is waiting for us to sin so that He can discipline us for it.
 
 
What do you tell a Christian who says, "I'm afraid of God because I am not perfect?" Do you tell them about God's love and grace, or do you tell them that if they just do a, b, and c, and quit doing x, y, and z, then they wouldn't have anything to be afraid of?
 
 
"So many times people have told me that they simply cannot read the Bible anymore because all they see in it is condemnation."
 
 

I absolutely don't believe in "trusting our heart."  The Bible doesn't teach us to do so.  We have the Bible as our authority, and when our heart doesn't match up with scripture, it is our heart that is wrong.  How many times have you heard a person who left their spouse for another say something like, "The heart wants what the heart wants."  That doesn't make it right.

 
Perhaps you should read what the author wrote (the full quote) and understand what he is saying, which is not what you presented above:
 
"Victims of legalism are told never to trust their hearts, which meant never to trust their own judgment."
 
Are you against people trusting their own judgement? After all, we are often faced with situations that are not spelled out black and white in Scripture. The Bible doesn't tell us which English translation of Scripture to us - that's your own judgement, is it not? The Bible does not tell Christians how to to be involved in a democratic-republican system of government - that is our own judgement, is it not? The Bible does not tell us which car we should purchase - that is our own judgement, is it not?
 
 
"...why we should delight in the Lord. The Scripture says that if we delight in the Lord He will give us the desires of our hearts. But if our hearts were as wicked as we were taught, why would God give us those desires? Of course, we were told that He would change the desires of our hearts to the right thing, but that didn’t really help much. The truth is that the believer has a new heart, one which the Lord uses to communicate with us. When He connects to the new spirit in us, He connects to the new heart (See Ezekiel 11:19)."
 
Do you believe you have this new heart? What do you do with this new heart He gave you? Regard it as deceitful and wicked?
 
Can you not see that he is not talking about "emotions" the way the example you gave does? A Christian in the above scenario is not listening to his 'heart" - where the Holy Spirit is sending him messages of conviction, which he is ignoring; he is listening to his "flesh".
 
 

We are actually taught in scripture not to compare ourselves to others, so I agree that is wrong, but that is not so much a teaching as something people sometimes learn to do on their own.  I don't have long hair, so I think I am better than the guy who does.  I don't drink, so I think I am better than the guy who does.  I don't work on the Sabbath, so I think I am better than the guy who does.  I don't know of any churches that teach that.  Most simply teach their doctrine, and Satan will sometimes come in and cause the people doing right to be filled with pride.  Pride is a sin.  Legalism is not the problem.  Pride is, and you can think yourself better than others because you are not legalistic when others are.  That happens too.


If you are saying that you are "better than" anyone for any reason, that is pride - yes.

 

But did you read this part:

 

"We learned to compare ourselves with them, rather than to listen and care."

 

Are you more interested in a person "following the rules" of externals or healing the brokenhearted and setting captives free?

 

Do you judge people based on hair length and attire, or do you judge them based on the fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance?



#5
Butero

Butero

    Royal Member

  • Royal Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,665 posts

 

First of all, the Bible does show a God who can be angry and vengeful.  Look at Ananias and Saphira as well as Herod in the book of Acts.  It does show a God who tests us.  Look at Job.  Look at David and the census.  Look at the poor man who reached up to steady the ark of the covenant.  That side of God does exist in the New and Old Testament.  Turning a blind eye to that side of God won't change anything.

 
You missed something here:
 
"who wants to see us fail"
 
"but the victims of legalism can’t run to Him and feel safe because they think He is angry with them."
 
Knowing God can be angry and vengeful is not the same as believing that He is always angry, that He is waiting for us to sin so that He can discipline us for it.
 
 
What do you tell a Christian who says, "I'm afraid of God because I am not perfect?" Do you tell them about God's love and grace, or do you tell them that if they just do a, b, and c, and quit doing x, y, and z, then they wouldn't have anything to be afraid of?
 
 
"So many times people have told me that they simply cannot read the Bible anymore because all they see in it is condemnation."
 
 

I absolutely don't believe in "trusting our heart."  The Bible doesn't teach us to do so.  We have the Bible as our authority, and when our heart doesn't match up with scripture, it is our heart that is wrong.  How many times have you heard a person who left their spouse for another say something like, "The heart wants what the heart wants."  That doesn't make it right.

 
Perhaps you should read what the author wrote (the full quote) and understand what he is saying, which is not what you presented above:
 
"Victims of legalism are told never to trust their hearts, which meant never to trust their own judgment."
 
Are you against people trusting their own judgement? After all, we are often faced with situations that are not spelled out black and white in Scripture. The Bible doesn't tell us which English translation of Scripture to us - that's your own judgement, is it not? The Bible does not tell Christians how to to be involved in a democratic-republican system of government - that is our own judgement, is it not? The Bible does not tell us which car we should purchase - that is our own judgement, is it not?
 
 
"...why we should delight in the Lord. The Scripture says that if we delight in the Lord He will give us the desires of our hearts. But if our hearts were as wicked as we were taught, why would God give us those desires? Of course, we were told that He would change the desires of our hearts to the right thing, but that didn’t really help much. The truth is that the believer has a new heart, one which the Lord uses to communicate with us. When He connects to the new spirit in us, He connects to the new heart (See Ezekiel 11:19)."
 
Do you believe you have this new heart? What do you do with this new heart He gave you? Regard it as deceitful and wicked?
 
Can you not see that he is not talking about "emotions" the way the example you gave does? A Christian in the above scenario is not listening to his 'heart" - where the Holy Spirit is sending him messages of conviction, which he is ignoring; he is listening to his "flesh".
 
 

We are actually taught in scripture not to compare ourselves to others, so I agree that is wrong, but that is not so much a teaching as something people sometimes learn to do on their own.  I don't have long hair, so I think I am better than the guy who does.  I don't drink, so I think I am better than the guy who does.  I don't work on the Sabbath, so I think I am better than the guy who does.  I don't know of any churches that teach that.  Most simply teach their doctrine, and Satan will sometimes come in and cause the people doing right to be filled with pride.  Pride is a sin.  Legalism is not the problem.  Pride is, and you can think yourself better than others because you are not legalistic when others are.  That happens too.


If you are saying that you are "better than" anyone for any reason, that is pride - yes.

 

But did you read this part:

 

"We learned to compare ourselves with them, rather than to listen and care."

 

Are you more interested in a person "following the rules" of externals or healing the brokenhearted and setting captives free?

 

Do you judge people based on hair length and attire, or do you judge them based on the fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance?

 

The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  I think it is a good thing to fear God.  I don't think he is always angry at us, but I know he does get angry.  I know what he is capable of doing.  Look at Lot's wife. 

 

I am against trusting our own judgment in any case where there is scripture that says something is right or wrong.  Of course the Bible won't tell us what translation to use, but common sense tells us to use a real Bible.  Since I believe the TR is the real Bible, as opposed to the manuscripts used by the new translations, I know to only use a Bible that starts with the TR as its foundation.  It is going to be assumed I know to use the real scriptures.  The Bible doesn't say I shouldn't accept the Apocrypha as inerrant.  The Bible doesn't say the Book of Mormon is a fraud.  The Bible doesn't say what we call the canon of scripture is the finished product.  I just know those things are true. 

 

The Bible doesn't tell us which political party to join, but I know not to join any group that openly supports the murder of children and homosexual marriage.  I know that based on scripture.  This isn't grey to me.  I don't necessarily believe Christians have to be Republicans, but I don't believe any real Christian would join themselves to the Democratic Party and support their platform. 

 

The length of our hair and the clothes we wear are a reflection of what is on the inside.  I can't separate them.  If I see someone dressing in a way that is against scripture and having a hair style that is in opposition to scripture, it shows something isn't right.  It is not one or the other.  It is not like in a sales pitch where I give a person only two choices and they have to make the one I am leading them to make.  You can see things from the outward appearance and the fruit they bear. 



#6
nebula

nebula

    Royal Member

  • Worthy Watchman
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 56,992 posts

The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  I think it is a good thing to fear God.  I don't think he is always angry at us, but I know he does get angry.  I know what he is capable of doing.  Look at Lot's wife.


But there is a huge difference between having the fear of the Lord and actually being afraid of the Lord - like the child who accidentally knocks over and breaks a vase and deals with it by hiding in the closet because they know the parent will beat them black and blue and/or yell demeaning things at them.

 

I am against trusting our own judgment in any case where there is scripture that says something is right or wrong.


No one is asking anyone to go against Scripture with this.


Of course the Bible won't tell us what translation to use, but common sense tells us to use a real Bible.  Since I believe the TR is the real Bible, as opposed to the manuscripts used by the new translations, I know to only use a Bible that starts with the TR as its foundation.  It is going to be assumed I know to use the real scriptures.  The Bible doesn't say I shouldn't accept the Apocrypha as inerrant.  The Bible doesn't say the Book of Mormon is a fraud.  The Bible doesn't say what we call the canon of scripture is the finished product.  I just know those things are true.


You just "know" based on - what?

 

The Bible doesn't tell us which political party to join, but I know not to join any group that openly supports the murder of children and homosexual marriage.  I know that based on scripture.  This isn't grey to me.  I don't necessarily believe Christians have to be Republicans, but I don't believe any real Christian would join themselves to the Democratic Party and support their platform.


Right, you are following what is on your heart to follow with this - yes, based on your understanding of Scripture, but it "witnesses" with your heart/spirit.
 
 

The length of our hair and the clothes we wear are a reflection of what is on the inside.  I can't separate them.  If I see someone dressing in a way that is against scripture and having a hair style that is in opposition to scripture, it shows something isn't right.  It is not one or the other.  It is not like in a sales pitch where I give a person only two choices and they have to make the one I am leading them to make.  You can see things from the outward appearance and the fruit they bear.


I know of a woman with short hair who has poured out more love and ministered blessing and healing to more lives than I can possibly imagining. Will God judge her on her short hair? Really?

#7
Butero

Butero

    Royal Member

  • Royal Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,665 posts

 

The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  I think it is a good thing to fear God.  I don't think he is always angry at us, but I know he does get angry.  I know what he is capable of doing.  Look at Lot's wife.


But there is a huge difference between having the fear of the Lord and actually being afraid of the Lord - like the child who accidentally knocks over and breaks a vase and deals with it by hiding in the closet because they know the parent will beat them black and blue and/or yell demeaning things at them.

 

I am against trusting our own judgment in any case where there is scripture that says something is right or wrong.


No one is asking anyone to go against Scripture with this.


Of course the Bible won't tell us what translation to use, but common sense tells us to use a real Bible.  Since I believe the TR is the real Bible, as opposed to the manuscripts used by the new translations, I know to only use a Bible that starts with the TR as its foundation.  It is going to be assumed I know to use the real scriptures.  The Bible doesn't say I shouldn't accept the Apocrypha as inerrant.  The Bible doesn't say the Book of Mormon is a fraud.  The Bible doesn't say what we call the canon of scripture is the finished product.  I just know those things are true.


You just "know" based on - what?

 

The Bible doesn't tell us which political party to join, but I know not to join any group that openly supports the murder of children and homosexual marriage.  I know that based on scripture.  This isn't grey to me.  I don't necessarily believe Christians have to be Republicans, but I don't believe any real Christian would join themselves to the Democratic Party and support their platform.


Right, you are following what is on your heart to follow with this - yes, based on your understanding of Scripture, but it "witnesses" with your heart/spirit.
 
 

The length of our hair and the clothes we wear are a reflection of what is on the inside.  I can't separate them.  If I see someone dressing in a way that is against scripture and having a hair style that is in opposition to scripture, it shows something isn't right.  It is not one or the other.  It is not like in a sales pitch where I give a person only two choices and they have to make the one I am leading them to make.  You can see things from the outward appearance and the fruit they bear.


I know of a woman with short hair who has poured out more love and ministered blessing and healing to more lives than I can possibly imagining. Will God judge her on her short hair? Really?

 

If you sin, you should go to the Lord for forgiveness.  You can't cover it up, as the eyes of the Lord are upon everything that takes place.  At the same time, look at what happened to some people because of their sins.  Look at what happened after David took that census.  Look at what happened when the man steadied the ark of the covenant.  Look at what happened to Lot's wife.  Look at what happened to Ananias and Saphira.  Look at what happened to Herod.  What happens if you commit that one sin that leads to instant death or severe punishment? 

 

I know the Bible isn't going to come out and say what translation to use.  It is just expected we use actual, reliable scriptures.  I know they aren't all equal, because they don't always agree.  There has to be a right or wrong.  Under your belief system, there is no 100 percent true translation.  I hold to the view that my Bible is 100 percent trustworthy.  I don't believe it is 95 percent accurate or even 98 percent accurate, but 100 percent accurate. 

 

I can say with 100 percent certainty, that based on scripture, and what it says about homosexuality and abortion, no Christian has any business joining themselves to a political party that supports those things in their platform.  This is beyond my heart and my feelings. 

 

If the Bible said the length of a woman's hair was a sin issue, I would say absolutely yes.  However, it doesn't say that.  It says that if a woman or man want to be contentious in this area, they are free to do so.  I do believe there could be consequences, but it is not a salvation issue.  I don't buy into your arguments that because someone is doing so much good in so many areas of their life, other areas will be overlooked.  It just happens that in the case of hair length, it is not a salvation issue.  Had you asked me about her wearing pants or getting a tattoo, I would say those things will most definitely matter, regardless.  Now, that is based on my view of how certain scriptures apply to the way people conduct themselves in today's culture.  I admit I could be wrong, as those on your side could be wrong.  Only God knows for sure, but I can only go by my best opinion based on what I see in the Bible. 



#8
nebula

nebula

    Royal Member

  • Worthy Watchman
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 56,992 posts

If you sin, you should go to the Lord for forgiveness.  You can't cover it up, as the eyes of the Lord are upon everything that takes place.  At the same time, look at what happened to some people because of their sins.  Look at what happened after David took that census.  Look at what happened when the man steadied the ark of the covenant.  Look at what happened to Lot's wife.  Look at what happened to Ananias and Saphira.  Look at what happened to Herod.  What happens if you commit that one sin that leads to instant death or severe punishment? 

 

Exactly, when this is what you preach, this is how you view God - the God to be terrified of. Unless you spend at least as much time preaching on the love, mercy, and grace of God,you will be walking on egg shells.

 

Someone is careless on the road and you blurt out words of rage at the person (cursing), you had a rough day at work and you grumble and complain about the day rather than "giving thanks in all circumstances," you enjoy that lust you feel watching a sex scene during a movie, .... These are all sin, and they are struggles and temptations of the flesh that are not so easy to just shut off. You can't shake them off, you find yourself stumbling over the same sin over and over and over, . . . . Do you feel safe running to God, or are you afrain he will strike you dead ad he did to Uzziah or Lot's wife or Annanias and Saphira?



#9
Butero

Butero

    Royal Member

  • Royal Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,665 posts

 

If you sin, you should go to the Lord for forgiveness.  You can't cover it up, as the eyes of the Lord are upon everything that takes place.  At the same time, look at what happened to some people because of their sins.  Look at what happened after David took that census.  Look at what happened when the man steadied the ark of the covenant.  Look at what happened to Lot's wife.  Look at what happened to Ananias and Saphira.  Look at what happened to Herod.  What happens if you commit that one sin that leads to instant death or severe punishment? 

 

Exactly, when this is what you preach, this is how you view God - the God to be terrified of. Unless you spend at least as much time preaching on the love, mercy, and grace of God,you will be walking on egg shells.

 

Someone is careless on the road and you blurt out words of rage at the person (cursing), you had a rough day at work and you grumble and complain about the day rather than "giving thanks in all circumstances," you enjoy that lust you feel watching a sex scene during a movie, .... These are all sin, and they are struggles and temptations of the flesh that are not so easy to just shut off. You can't shake them off, you find yourself stumbling over the same sin over and over and over, . . . . Do you feel safe running to God, or are you afrain he will strike you dead ad he did to Uzziah or Lot's wife or Annanias and Saphira?

 

If you are still alive after you sin, of course you should confess your sins to God.  Why wouldn't you do so?  He obviously had compassion on you and allowed you time to repent.  Of course you should take advantage of it.  In the case of some of the people I mentioned, they weren't given that chance.  It is not like Ananias, Saphira or Lot's wife had a chance to go to God and ask for forgiveness. 



#10
nebula

nebula

    Royal Member

  • Worthy Watchman
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 56,992 posts

 

 

If you sin, you should go to the Lord for forgiveness.  You can't cover it up, as the eyes of the Lord are upon everything that takes place.  At the same time, look at what happened to some people because of their sins.  Look at what happened after David took that census.  Look at what happened when the man steadied the ark of the covenant.  Look at what happened to Lot's wife.  Look at what happened to Ananias and Saphira.  Look at what happened to Herod.  What happens if you commit that one sin that leads to instant death or severe punishment? 

 

Exactly, when this is what you preach, this is how you view God - the God to be terrified of. Unless you spend at least as much time preaching on the love, mercy, and grace of God,you will be walking on egg shells.

 

Someone is careless on the road and you blurt out words of rage at the person (cursing), you had a rough day at work and you grumble and complain about the day rather than "giving thanks in all circumstances," you enjoy that lust you feel watching a sex scene during a movie, .... These are all sin, and they are struggles and temptations of the flesh that are not so easy to just shut off. You can't shake them off, you find yourself stumbling over the same sin over and over and over, . . . . Do you feel safe running to God, or are you afrain he will strike you dead ad he did to Uzziah or Lot's wife or Annanias and Saphira?

If you are still alive after you sin, of course you should confess your sins to God.  Why wouldn't you do so?  He obviously had compassion on you and allowed you time to repent.  Of course you should take advantage of it.  In the case of some of the people I mentioned, they weren't given that chance.  It is not like Ananias, Saphira or Lot's wife had a chance to go to God and ask for forgiveness. 

 

 

God didn't kill you, so take advantage of it . . .

 

That brings no comfort to convince someone that God is not an ogre.

 

Nor does it convince someone away from the view that God just can't wait for someone to sin so that He can punish them.

 

Rather, this response affirms the belief that God's mercy comes at a whim rather than that He sympathizes with our frailties.



#11
Butero

Butero

    Royal Member

  • Royal Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,665 posts

 

 

 

If you sin, you should go to the Lord for forgiveness.  You can't cover it up, as the eyes of the Lord are upon everything that takes place.  At the same time, look at what happened to some people because of their sins.  Look at what happened after David took that census.  Look at what happened when the man steadied the ark of the covenant.  Look at what happened to Lot's wife.  Look at what happened to Ananias and Saphira.  Look at what happened to Herod.  What happens if you commit that one sin that leads to instant death or severe punishment? 

 

Exactly, when this is what you preach, this is how you view God - the God to be terrified of. Unless you spend at least as much time preaching on the love, mercy, and grace of God,you will be walking on egg shells.

 

Someone is careless on the road and you blurt out words of rage at the person (cursing), you had a rough day at work and you grumble and complain about the day rather than "giving thanks in all circumstances," you enjoy that lust you feel watching a sex scene during a movie, .... These are all sin, and they are struggles and temptations of the flesh that are not so easy to just shut off. You can't shake them off, you find yourself stumbling over the same sin over and over and over, . . . . Do you feel safe running to God, or are you afrain he will strike you dead ad he did to Uzziah or Lot's wife or Annanias and Saphira?

If you are still alive after you sin, of course you should confess your sins to God.  Why wouldn't you do so?  He obviously had compassion on you and allowed you time to repent.  Of course you should take advantage of it.  In the case of some of the people I mentioned, they weren't given that chance.  It is not like Ananias, Saphira or Lot's wife had a chance to go to God and ask for forgiveness. 

 

 

God didn't kill you, so take advantage of it . . .

 

That brings no comfort to convince someone that God is not an ogre.

 

Nor does it convince someone away from the view that God just can't wait for someone to sin so that He can punish them.

 

Rather, this response affirms the belief that God's mercy comes at a whim rather than that He sympathizes with our frailties.

 

What is your point?  The events I mentioned are real.  Those people sinned and had no chance to seek God.  He struck them down or punished them severely.  God does choose of his own accord who he will have mercy on and who he won't.  Look at Saul.  Sure he sinned, but were his sins really that much worse than those of David?  I am not taking positions to comfort people.  I am concerned with speaking truth.  If the truth brings comfort, good.  If not, so be it.  I am not going to sugar coat things so people will feel better.  That is doing like the OT false prophets did, and healing the hurt of God's people a little by lying to them.  Ananias was dishonest.  Was that sin really so bad where he should have expected to be struck down dead?  It happened.  Where is the comfort in that story? 



#12
nebula

nebula

    Royal Member

  • Worthy Watchman
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 56,992 posts

What is your point? 

 

The Scripture states that the goodness of God leads us to repentance. This kind of legalism has you so terrified of God's wrath that you can't fathom His goodness.

 

Is that what God wants?



#13
Butero

Butero

    Royal Member

  • Royal Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,665 posts

 


What is your point? 

 

The Scripture states that the goodness of God leads us to repentance. This kind of legalism has you so terrified of God's wrath that you can't fathom His goodness.

 

Is that what God wants?

 

Can you post the actual scripture you are referring to?  I came to God as a result of a hell, fire and brimstone message about being left behind when the rapture occurs, and having to go through the great tribulation period.  I consider it good God made a way of escape. 



#14
nebula

nebula

    Royal Member

  • Worthy Watchman
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 56,992 posts

I've been trying to consider carefully how to respond, thus the long delay.

 

Turning to Jesus out of the fear of God's wrath is one thing; continuing to walk in the fear of wrath after receiving His atonement is another.


 


Romans 5

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand , and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed ; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die : yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die . 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled , we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12 Wherefore , as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned : 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come . 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead , much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned , so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered , that the offence might abound . But where sin abounded , grace did much more abound : 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

The trouble I have come to understand with legalism is that if focuses on SIN rather than focusing on JESUS. It focuses on YOU doing good and avoiding evil rather than focusing on THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD BIRTHED IN YOU.

 

Legalism does not operate on the belief that "we have peace with God," but rather on a belief that you need to keep your peace with God.

 

Legalism does not proclaim you are "now justified by His blood," but rather that you need to beat your body for your justification.

 

Legalism does not declare your atonement, your righteousness in Christ, your justification - as states of being - as this is who you are now in Christ under His blood; rather, it leaves you feeling like atonement is a day by day process (as if Jesus has to die over and over for your sin), your righteousness is based on your actions rather than the life of Christ in you, that your justification is something you must strive to retain.

 

 

And if all you keep thinking through this is but this sin and but that sin and but this person who received that punishment, you are focusing too much on the outer deeds and not enough on the new man.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away ; behold , all things are become new.

 

Ephesians 4:24 KJV

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.


Colossians 3:10 KJV

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

 

 

 

Are you bound to God for fear of His wrath, or are you bound to God out of His love for you and your returned love to Him?



#15
Qnts2

Qnts2

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,322 posts

I've been trying to consider carefully how to respond, thus the long delay.

 

Turning to Jesus out of the fear of God's wrath is one thing; continuing to walk in the fear of wrath after receiving His atonement is another.

 


Romans 5

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand , and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed ; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die : yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die . 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled , we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12 Wherefore , as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned : 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come . 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead , much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned , so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered , that the offence might abound . But where sin abounded , grace did much more abound : 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

The trouble I have come to understand with legalism is that if focuses on SIN rather than focusing on JESUS. It focuses on YOU doing good and avoiding evil rather than focusing on THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD BIRTHED IN YOU.

 

Legalism does not operate on the belief that "we have peace with God," but rather on a belief that you need to keep your peace with God.

 

Legalism does not proclaim you are "now justified by His blood," but rather that you need to beat your body for your justification.

 

Legalism does not declare your atonement, your righteousness in Christ, your justification - as states of being - as this is who you are now in Christ under His blood; rather, it leaves you feeling like atonement is a day by day process (as if Jesus has to die over and over for your sin), your righteousness is based on your actions rather than the life of Christ in you, that your justification is something you must strive to retain.

 

 

And if all you keep thinking through this is but this sin and but that sin and but this person who received that punishment, you are focusing too much on the outer deeds and not enough on the new man.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away ; behold , all things are become new.

 

Ephesians 4:24 KJV

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Colossians 3:10 KJV

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

 

 

 

Are you bound to God for fear of His wrath, or are you bound to God out of His love for you and your returned love to Him?

 

I just want to add 1 verse which I think fits what you have already said so well.

 

1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.



#16
FresnoJoe

FresnoJoe

    Royal Member

  • Worthy Watchman
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 42,400 posts

:thumbsup:

 

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Song Of Solomon 2:4



#17
Willamina

Willamina

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,953 posts
When we can't accept God's grace, His undeserved favor, for ourselves, we can't extend it to others.

Rather than yielding to God's judgement of merciful forgiveness that has washed us clean when we confessed our sins, some continue to stand in harsh judgement of themselves, causing them to judge others as they have judged themselves.

I used to have a pastor who self righteously scorned me on the day of my baptism. He asked me how I was and I replied that I was a little sleepy because I had stayed up with my family playing pinnocle the night before. We never gambled and it was not played cutthroat. It was family recreation and fond memories. I had no idea why he walked off in a huff with his face twisted in disgust. I only felt deeply confused and rejected.

This same man's wife would skulk around the church with her face black and blue instead of teaching my sunday school class. She was absent 2/3 of the time. But I encountered her in the back stairs once when I came in late. She ran from me crying. Their small son had 3rd degree burns on his face from a hot iron being held there for some time. Authorities could not proved he had done it. I never understood his uninspired but logical sermons.

I left as soon as my mother consented and found a church where the word was preached, salvation by grace through faith was taught, and I was edified. But it took years for me to overcome the loathing I saw in my first pastor's face. I always felt like I was not good enough and thought that God had only given me a second chance to be good enough to go to heaven. I had failed the second chance miserably as well. So I focused on my failings and was filled with self condemnation; as a result I only had condemnation to give to others. I became like that pastor. It is a terrible, bitter pit. But God does rescue us from the pit. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Free to extend His grace and love to others.

But first I had to perceive that God loved and accepted me as I am, no strings attached, and that the self righteousness that had filled me was worse than anything I saw in others. So the log was removed from my own eyes. But only God could do this and make me FEEL " to the praise of His glory and GRACE , BY WHICH HE MADE US ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED." Eph. 1:6 God showed me that I had to also forgive that pastor. God then filled me with compassion for him because I know something of his misery.

1 Cor. 10:6 NKJV (referring to Israel in the desert) Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things--7 and do not become idolaters--8 nor let us commit sexual immorality--9 nor let us tempt Christ---10 nor complain--11 Now all these things happened to them as examples and they were written for our admonition,--12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." There is a balance between living in loving grace and the fear of God. We are not allowed to abuse His grace. He is very patient, giving us a lot of time to come to repentance. He gave Israel centuries and many warnings. So the OT and severity of God is given to us as a warning. But it also reveals His patience and long suffering.

But as we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. The way of escape is to follow after the guidance of the Holy Spirit and do the works of Christ. We can't do that by focusing on our own sin (self) or on the sin of others. We do it by focusing on Christ and obeying His Spirit.

#18
nebula

nebula

    Royal Member

  • Worthy Watchman
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 56,992 posts

Wow, thanks for sharing that Willamina!

 

And good point about the condemnation. It seems that "legalism" and "condemnation" are often brothers.



#19
Butero

Butero

    Royal Member

  • Royal Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,665 posts

I've been trying to consider carefully how to respond, thus the long delay.

 

Turning to Jesus out of the fear of God's wrath is one thing; continuing to walk in the fear of wrath after receiving His atonement is another.

 


Romans 5

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand , and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed ; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die : yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die . 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled , we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12 Wherefore , as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned : 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come . 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead , much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned , so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered , that the offence might abound . But where sin abounded , grace did much more abound : 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

The trouble I have come to understand with legalism is that if focuses on SIN rather than focusing on JESUS. It focuses on YOU doing good and avoiding evil rather than focusing on THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD BIRTHED IN YOU.

 

Legalism does not operate on the belief that "we have peace with God," but rather on a belief that you need to keep your peace with God.

 

Legalism does not proclaim you are "now justified by His blood," but rather that you need to beat your body for your justification.

 

Legalism does not declare your atonement, your righteousness in Christ, your justification - as states of being - as this is who you are now in Christ under His blood; rather, it leaves you feeling like atonement is a day by day process (as if Jesus has to die over and over for your sin), your righteousness is based on your actions rather than the life of Christ in you, that your justification is something you must strive to retain.

 

 

And if all you keep thinking through this is but this sin and but that sin and but this person who received that punishment, you are focusing too much on the outer deeds and not enough on the new man.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away ; behold , all things are become new.

 

Ephesians 4:24 KJV

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Colossians 3:10 KJV

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

 

 

 

Are you bound to God for fear of His wrath, or are you bound to God out of His love for you and your returned love to Him?

As I said, I came to be a Christian as a result of hell, fire and brimstone preaching.  In other words, that minister put the fear of God in me, to the point where I had trouble sleeping at night for fear of missing the rapture or going to hell.  I thank God for that preacher, and others like him.  When I first got saved, I bought a Bible so I could read it and see what God expected of me as a Christian.  I wanted to know his standards.  I read the New Testament first, and then went to Genesis and read straight through to Revelation.  Over the years, I have had my ups and downs and personal struggles with sin, but I never turned my back on God. 

 

All that being said, here is how I would describe things today.  I have a personal relationship to God, and consider him a friend.  I believe he is with me all the time, and I talk to him as a friend throughout the day.  As a normal rule, I don't go around in constant fear of messing up, but, and here is the but, if I make a choice to do something I know is wrong, and simply do it, knowing God is not going to be pleased with it, you better believe I fear what could happen.  I have felt that anger before.  I have seen the consequences of willful sin before.  As long as I am doing my best, and confess my sins when I realize I did something wrong, I have perfect peace.  When I choose to be disobedient, then comes fear until I make it right.  I believe this is a healthy fear, because I do have examples from scripture of what God has done to some people when they have chosen to disobey him. 



#20
Butero

Butero

    Royal Member

  • Royal Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,665 posts

When we can't accept God's grace, His undeserved favor, for ourselves, we can't extend it to others.

Rather than yielding to God's judgement of merciful forgiveness that has washed us clean when we confessed our sins, some continue to stand in harsh judgement of themselves, causing them to judge others as they have judged themselves.

I used to have a pastor who self righteously scorned me on the day of my baptism. He asked me how I was and I replied that I was a little sleepy because I had stayed up with my family playing pinnocle the night before. We never gambled and it was not played cutthroat. It was family recreation and fond memories. I had no idea why he walked off in a huff with his face twisted in disgust. I only felt deeply confused and rejected.

This same man's wife would skulk around the church with her face black and blue instead of teaching my sunday school class. She was absent 2/3 of the time. But I encountered her in the back stairs once when I came in late. She ran from me crying. Their small son had 3rd degree burns on his face from a hot iron being held there for some time. Authorities could not proved he had done it. I never understood his uninspired but logical sermons.

I left as soon as my mother consented and found a church where the word was preached, salvation by grace through faith was taught, and I was edified. But it took years for me to overcome the loathing I saw in my first pastor's face. I always felt like I was not good enough and thought that God had only given me a second chance to be good enough to go to heaven. I had failed the second chance miserably as well. So I focused on my failings and was filled with self condemnation; as a result I only had condemnation to give to others. I became like that pastor. It is a terrible, bitter pit. But God does rescue us from the pit. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Free to extend His grace and love to others.

But first I had to perceive that God loved and accepted me as I am, no strings attached, and that the self righteousness that had filled me was worse than anything I saw in others. So the log was removed from my own eyes. But only God could do this and make me FEEL " to the praise of His glory and GRACE , BY WHICH HE MADE US ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED." Eph. 1:6 God showed me that I had to also forgive that pastor. God then filled me with compassion for him because I know something of his misery.

1 Cor. 10:6 NKJV (referring to Israel in the desert) Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things--7 and do not become idolaters--8 nor let us commit sexual immorality--9 nor let us tempt Christ---10 nor complain--11 Now all these things happened to them as examples and they were written for our admonition,--12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." There is a balance between living in loving grace and the fear of God. We are not allowed to abuse His grace. He is very patient, giving us a lot of time to come to repentance. He gave Israel centuries and many warnings. So the OT and severity of God is given to us as a warning. But it also reveals His patience and long suffering.

But as we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. The way of escape is to follow after the guidance of the Holy Spirit and do the works of Christ. We can't do that by focusing on our own sin (self) or on the sin of others. We do it by focusing on Christ and obeying His Spirit.

What you are describing is far beyond legalism.  I have been in very legalistic churches over the years, and never seen anything close to what you described.  It is sad to hear of any church leaders behaving like that, but I hardly consider this typical.  I have had preachers that would come against all kinds of things they believed to be wrong, like gambling, but they would simply preach what they believed in sermons.  They didn't go up to people and ask them questions like that and then show disgust.  Child abuse is something that sadly takes place in all kinds of churches.  I know someone personally who was sexually abused by a deacon in a liberal Baptist church where they preach nothing but grace.  In that church, he could be in good standing because God doesn't judge us by our behavior, so even sexual abuse doesn't make you any less saved.  I don't mean the church would condone it, but they can't judge the guy because to them, sin is sin. 






Worthy Christian Forums - Christian Message Boards - 1999-2014 part of the Worthy Network