Contend Earnestly: 10 Steps to Become a Legalist

Saturday, March 01, 2008

10 Steps to Become a Legalist

I thought it would be kind of funny and informative to do a series on "How to Become a Legalist." The reason is that I have found that in my past I had some real legalist tendencies. But, the one thing that I have always told people is, "Show me in the Bible, and I will change." Because of this, I have changed a lot in the past 5 years.

Just to give you some background. I grew up in the Bible belt in Oklahoma as a pastor's kid until I was 12. Then, we made the transition to moving to the Seattle area. Let's just say that these two are not even close to being the same in any way. The only way that they seem to be the same is that both contain sinners, but, one hides their sins (Oklahoma) and one could care less who knows of their sin, so they flaunt it (Seattle). My father was never into legalism and always thought the same thing that I did...Scripture before everything else. I think I lost some of this thought as I started doing some study in the Scriptures and listening to some who had good ideas about the practical implications of Scripture (at least in my mind at the time) but really the ideas weren't grounded in Scripture. The were convictions but should have never crossed the line into full admonition of sins unto others.

In the past 5 years, I have been all over the place. I have gone from caring less about serving and glorifying Christ, to a legalist in many ways, and now to someone who believes that they are moving in the correct understanding of who Christ is and the mission that he has for me. So, I thought I would put some of my own personal interaction with topics, where some of them used to be my own convictions and others being ones that have tried to be placed on my back as a yoke I could not carry.

So, I am going to do a series on how you too can become a legalist. As I write these I want people to understand that not all of these are bad convictions but once you cross the line and make your convictions, sin for all others, that is when you start to place your yoke on the neck of others that are unnecessary. I will make sure that this is placed in each post so you can see the balance that is necessary when thinking on these different topics.

So, here is the list I will go through in the upcoming weeks:

1. Everyone sucks besides me: a lesson on how to build up your pride
2. People need to look like I do
3. People need to read the same Bible I do
4. People need to raise their children the same way I do
5. People need to study the same amount of time and the same way that I do
6. People need to pray the same amount of time that I do and pray how I pray
7. People need to do church how I do church
8. People need to listen to the same music I listen to
9. People need to watch, or not watch, the same things I watch
10. People need to abstain from everything...well except food and money

These ten will of course be elaborated on more as we study these topics. I would love some interaction and stories on things that you have come across when going through these topics. I hope it is fun and also convicting as we look at the unnecessary yokes we put on others.

May we do all things for the glory of God and not ourselves.


Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Welcome back Seth. I'm looking forward to this.


Unknown said...

One other similarity between Oklahoma and Seattle is that they both want the Sonics. But that's a discussion for another time and another place.

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