When I was younger, we had a saying about our “Christian standards,” that I don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t chew, and don’t go out with girls that do! Though it was a joking way to say it, it did also reinforce something we discussed in Pub Theology last Monday. We talked about “legalism.” Most of the time when we talk about legalism, we are referring to ways and teachings that someone feel makes them a superior Christian or even make the other person a non-Christian. We also call these things sacred cows.
Jesus was a destroyer of sacred cows. He constantly was confronting the misapplication of the religious of his day as to the Sabbath, honoring parents, and marriage. He was exposing the hypocrisy in the way the holier than thou people judged other people.
Judgementalism is not just for the conservative or evangelicals; it is an affliction that many of us add to our practice of faith. We feel we have to be right on a particular topic or attitude and judge those that do not meet our expectations. What is the solution? It is only the Holy Spirit that can show us our legalism and judgmentalism. That only comes with an honest and prayerful laying out of our lives to the teachings and good news of Jesus.
It is necessary that we constantly look at ourselves in the mirror of Scripture and have the Holy Spirit of God show us what really is going on in us and our church.