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Fifteen Percent is Not Enough by Merwin
The Vicious Circle of Supposed License For Sin
So... have you ever tried to discuss the existence of God with certain (for there are many) types of atheists? It is an eternal round about of smoke and mirrors and what they feel is obvious mutually reinforcing points, but is nothing more than circular reasoning, especially in reference to the resurrection...
"...they argue a resurrection didn't occur because it can't occur, and anybody who says it did must be lying."
That was Exerpted from... THE RESURRECTION by Dr. w. euGENE SCOTT (Ph.D., Stanford University) Preached at the Los Angeles University Cathedral. Below is the address for that transcript... an extremely valuable read for those that search for forensic reasons to believe.
The point for even bringing all that up, is the circular reasoning that is employed by some folks on the non-faith side of the issue, as a showcase of its error. And then to point out that, that very method is put to work by legalists who state... "Yes we are saved by grace but... we must do this or that, and refrain from doing this or that, to show our spiritual fruits when the fruit inspection happens." And then... "The grace you are advocating is simply license to sin" and then back to "Yes you are saved by grace but..."
Now anybody who has spent more than a few months as a believer knows what I speak of unless they themselves have bought into that system of legalism under the guise of grace.
I guess I should explain what prompted this Hub. My wife and I were discussing attending several different churches in rotation, as a way of re-entering the habit of going to "CHURCH" in the traditional sense. We have been attending for four years now, a Bible study that details why we are saved and maintained exclusively by the grace, mercy and power of God and nothing else. We have been grace freaks for many years before that, but to find a body that showcases the power of God's grace exclusively is hard to find. (to find out more visit... http://ialm.org/ it includes video downloads for free.)
Anyway in our discussion I mentioned to her as a precaution... (for she is a recovering legalist) that we certainly can attend anywhere she likes, but to keep in mind that about 85% of what she is likely to hear will be legalism, and to filter the information accordingly. Sunday morning she opted out, I explained that I was not trying to talk her out of it, but we still did not go.
If anyone is solid in grace and the information they have been gifted with is the reason for their solidarity... they, like myself, should not have a problem attending any Christian service. We simply use our filtering systems to evaluate the message, keep the grace and caste aside the legalism, and readjust the meaning of the message in the light of God's grace.
A recovering legalist on the other hand has a tougher go at this process. Their flesh wants to once again gravitate back to the performance arena and either indulge themselves in grand self-righteousness, or... like my lovely wife, become extremely depressed and stressed by their lack of performance.
Now if you knew my wife at all, at this point you might be screaming... "LACK OF PERFORMANCE, ARE YOU MAD?" And my reply would be "I know... right?"
To a legalist or even former legalist that is the crux of the problem. They either deal with the law honestly and become depressed, or dishonestly and become self-righteous hypocrites in the extreme. I say in the extreme because all mankind is hypocritical. Example of honesty with the law can be found in Romans 7. Examples of dishonesty with the law can be found Matt 23
Legalist love to refer to the concept of license for sin that Paul mentioned (emboldened below), but they leave out the context in which it was used. I include the context to refute their declaration and then mention other verses as well for the same purpose.
(thank you Blue Letter Bible)
Rom 3:1 ¶ What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit [is there] of circumcision?
Rom 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Rom 3:5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? [Is] God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
Rom 3:6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
Rom 3:7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
Rom 3:8 And not [rather], (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
Rom 3:9 ¶ What then? are we better [than they]? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:...
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, [is] therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Rom 5:11 And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Rom 5:12 ¶ Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Rom 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
And I truly do understand the need of Pastors to introduce structure into lives that have known no structure at all, those lives that have journeyed the paths of self destruction. For this please read my other Hub... http://hubpages.com/hub/Rules-Regs-and-Relationship , but there is a huge differences between introducing the concept of structure and guidance, and delivering a mandate of observe the rules or your going to hell.
Again I wasn't trying to talk my wife out of going to church... I really do enjoy it myself... A to Z, I love it, but I do filter out about 85% of what is preached because of the legalism, always have.
We can't wait for our grace filled Bible studies to start again in the Fall, excellent stuff, very little filtering necessary.