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Codger
02-27-02, 12:30 PM
Dear ILJ,

Doctrines taken to an extreme can become error. Perhaps the clearest example of what I am talking about is the doctrine of Universal Reconciliation. This concept has carried the theme of the love of God to such an extreme where all of God’s created beings will in the end be saved - including Satan and all of his fallen angels. The love of God is a very important truth – but taken in this case to a point of error.

I’m wondering if we here on ILJ and the Charismatic world in general have done the same thing – carried truth to a point of error. Let me explain what I am sensing. Most of us came out of the legalistic Christian environment of the past, and we were bound by all the unwritten rules and regulations that we always failed to live up to. We found it difficult if not impossible to earn and merit God’s love and favor. Then the Lord started to bring us all out of all of this a process - which is still ongoing.

However in our new found liberty and zeal to bundle up and burn all of the “tares” of legalism, I think we have also bundled up and burned all the “wheat” of obedience and self discipline. We have inadvertently done so because we can’t tell the subtle difference between the two because they look so much alike.

God’s love is unconditional, but his Covenant is conditional and it also commands us to do certain things as well. Things that require some sheer obedience and self discipline. But we excuse ourselves from any unwanted command or condition because we now believe that we do not have to merit or earn anything. The sad net result of all of this is that we have created a “smorgasbord” Christianity – do as you please and pick and choose what you want.

One example will do. The foundation of the Gospel was established by the twelve apostles – we live by the recognized authority of their words.

Acts 2:38 (KJV)
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

When you tell some people that they need to be baptized in water the response of our liberated mind is, “Are you saying that my salvation is dependant on my being baptized in water? – that’s just legalism.” No, it’s self discipline or simply doing what the Word commands us to do. The scripture instructs us to be doers of the word and not just hearers. We are talking about obedience and not legalism.

Will we go all through life using legalism as an excuse to pick and choose our doctrines?

Any comments?

Larry

Ann
03-01-02, 03:27 AM
Hey Larry
Good points.
A personal peeve of mine is folks who fuss when the promises don't seem to work in their lives but they are not living by the rest of the word or meeting the appropriate conditions. This is by no means true of everyone who struggles to see life experience line up with our position in Christ but it is a problem area. Many ask "why won't God bless our relationship, make my guy do what a husband should, etc. and when one listens further one learns that one reason he does not act like a husband is because ther eis no marriage just cohabitation. God will not normally bless what goes against His word. I used to say He never would but I've seen Him show mercy in order to draw folks to Him. Haven't you?

Breni Sue
03-02-02, 03:29 PM
God’s love is unconditional, but his Covenant is conditional and it also commands us to do certain things as well. Things that require some sheer obedience and self discipline. But we excuse ourselves from any unwanted command or condition because we now believe that we do not have to merit or earn anything. The sad net result of all of this is that we have created a “smorgasbord” Christianity – do as you please and pick and choose what you want. I see this happening a lot in Christianity, or even those who are not necessarily Christians but believe in God. "God loves me and He will forgive all my sins, so therefore I can do whatever I want". But that is not how it works. The bible tells us: And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength... - Mark 12:30. When we give our lives to Christ, we are expected to live according to His teachings - not just the parts we like, but all of it. Because if we are only following the parts that look good to us and disregarding the parts we don't feel like doing, then are we really living up to Jesus' commandment in the verse above?

Lee
03-02-02, 11:57 PM
Exellent post,
Ive heard it spoken like this, they go from law to lawless and I know this is just one of the many devices of the devil that we all must be aware of. I think that many times that we forget that even the desire to obey comes from God, not to mention the strength and the power to perform his will, its all of God and we must realize that if we are of the few who have been given these gifts it was and is just by mercy and the more reason to be the more thankful and debtors for life! I guess the word self-discipline would not be appropriate because it sounds like something your doing on your own, but i definitely understood what you were saying. It is a very fine line that seperates the wheat from the tare and im very greatful that you posted this and im hoping to see more views on this topic.
Peace and Love
Lee