The Temptation to Make a Rule Where God Does Not
|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Monday, April 19 2010 00:00|
Frankly, I understand why good Christians want to make rules of conduct for clothing, hair, body piercings, movies, music, language, drinking, smoking, dancing, and other elements of popular culture.
The problem, though, is to make a rule of conduct where Jesus does not.
We regularly hear from people whose faith has been shattered by legalism and moralism. They were convinced they had to do something to be good enough to merit God's grace--they had to be a "good boy." Salvation was free, but now they have to prove God didn't make a mistake. It's "saved by grace, sanctified by works." That may clean up a person's behavior for a while, but it is not Christianity.
Here is a small idea worth remembering: Do not allow what God prohibits, and do not prohibit what God allows. To allow what God prohibits is to be licentious. To prohibit what God allows is to be legalistic. The Bible teaches liberty in Christ, which leads to Spirit-led obedience.
Be careful not to turn a personal preference into a requirement, a tradition into a theology, or a possible interpretation of Scripture into a necessary interpretation of Scripture.
I want a moral awakening in America as much as anyone, but I want it through the gospel of grace, not law. It's "saved by grace, sanctified by grace."
Yours for changed lives,