Frequently Asked Questions
Aren't you really just advocating legalism? I don't want to get sucked back into legalism!
Legalism is an interesting term, and rather slippery to get a handle on. I'm asking you at the beginning of this discussion to define what you mean by "legalism" in your own mind.
I've noticed from observing on-line discussion boards that observing Saturday is considered to be legalism by many people, while observing Sunday is not. This leads me to think that many people define legalism as a course of action with which they disagree.
Maybe Sabbath observance is considered to be legalism because it's taught in the Old Testament. If that's true, why don't we consider obeying parents to be legalism, or not stealing?
At the time of this writing my wife is on a diet that is rather restrictive. It requires that she eat one, very prescribed, meal and several dietary supplements daily. She has held true (mostly) to this diet for a couple of months and lost significant weight.
Is she being legalistic by holding so closely to the restrictions of this diet? Some might say so. Others might say that she's being faithful. What's the difference between being faithful and being legalistic? If God has given us guidelines for living and we follow them, are we being faithful or legalistic?
Perhaps legalism has to do more with how we follow a course of action. If we do things that we consider to be unpleasant because we feel that we have to do them for some reason, that might be legalistic. If, on the other hand, we choose to do things that might seem unpleasant because we want the results they would bring, whether losing weight or pleasing God, this would reflect faithfulness. The same course of action can be seen as faithful or legalistic, depending on our attitude.