Monday, October 31, 2011


Legalism is something that I have heard referenced a lot lately! It has not been directed towards me or my family but instead towards others that I know. I attend a weekly bible study, and I really enjoy it. I have learned so much! However this study seems to be where the legalism debate stems from.

Those who attend the study will attest that the study does not tell you what you can or can not do. It is simply a verse by verse study of the Bible.
Many of my friends (not it the study) view this differently. They do not believe this simply because some of the people who have attend the study have changed their lifestyle. They believe the study is legalistic.

So here is the point. What if during the study or for that matter any other event in someone's life makes them realize they need to change. Is that legalism? I know when I read the bible I sometimes pull out a different message then others. Some scripture speaks to me differently than it does for someone else. God has a different plan for my life than he does other people.

There are so many hot topics (homeschool, tv, Halloween, tattoos, technology, piercings, worship music, clothing, etc.) We know families that do not allow their children to dress up for Halloween, but they have tattoos and piercings. Some people allow their children to dress up for Halloween, but don't really care for tattoos. Some people don't allow tv and others homeschool. Some people don't watch rated "R" movies and some only listen to Christian music. Still others prefer their girls to wear skirts. Whatever the case, does this mean they are legalistic or is it just their preference or what they believe Scripture is telling them?

God speaks to all of us. He is in the business of changing hearts. It will look different for every person/family. We have a heart for the fatherless. God uses other people for service, missions, hospitality, support, guidance, etc.

I don't get many blog comments, but I would love to hear your thoughts. This is a topic that I hadn't really thought about until recently. I understand that some people may very well be in a legalistic environment, but in many cases can it just be God changing hearts? I know God has changed me in the last several years!


Michele said...

Interesting post. I think there are a few issues in the bible that God intended to be black and white, but for the most part, I believe there is a lot of room for personal interpretation. I think he clearly calls each of us uniquly to his specific will for us. Some are called to be the hands of Christ, some are called to be the feet, some the mouth, etc. I try not to judge others beliefs or interpretations. I really have no way of knowing how God chooses to speak to other people. I can only interpret what God is telling me through his word. I think legalism comes into play when we get caught up in following all the rules, but forget to truly love God and love other people. I also think judgmentalism usually follows legalism pretty closly. That's my 2 cents.

Taylor said...

Hello Debbie,

I was looking for an email address for you but couldn't find it. So I am going to post here.

I wanted to share with you a new project I am undertaking with my An Ethiopian Adoption Story blog. I have started a annual survey of families regarding their adoption experiences. I believe by collecting the individuals experiences that our collective knowledge will help future families through the adoption process.

You can reach the survey here:

I would love to have you participate in the survey.

Thanks for your time.