The Temptation to Make a Rule Where God Does Not
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.
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,
Patrick Morley, Ph.D.