Monday, June 2, 2008

legalism

on sunday, robb discussed legalism.

legalism-noun
1. strict adherence, or the principle of strict adherence, to law or prescription, esp. to the letter rather than the spirit.
2.Theology.
a.the doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.
b.the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws.
3.(initial capital letter) (in Chinese philosophy) the principles and practices of a school of political theorists advocating strict legal control over all activities, a system of rewards and punishments uniform for all classes, and an absolute monarchy

so basically, as we worked out of acts 15, he talked about how the "church" thought it was okay for gentiles to be part of the church, as long as they were circumsized. basically, as robb put it, "i love you, you're perfect, now change". you can be a part of our club (even though you were picked by God to be in it) as long as you lose the foreskin.
it's then reflected back into the Church today. from the dress codes, to how you wear your hair, to the type of Bible you carry...what does it matter? what's the worth of judging someone, being legalistic because they don't happen to follow what you deem as exactly appropiate.

i sort of looked at john out of the corner of my eye, knowing that not 20 minutes earlier, we had both made remarks about a girl's outfit sitting a few rows ahead of us. she was wearing a sort of evening dress...sort of. that exposed her tummy and back. which is perfect for prom, but in our eyes, didn't seem fit church. and then i looked around the room. our pastor was wearing a polo and shorts. john had a hole in his jeans and dirty chucks. the pocket of my dress was torn, and my legs were hairy. and don't even make me remember the day we went to a baseball game right after church, so we were wearing dirty t's and casual jeans and sneakers.
i guess it just made me think...how many people do we shut out DAILY because we're being legalistic? because we have some set ideal of how everything should be...and in the end, it doesn't even matter.

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