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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Why Church Legalism Is Ruining Church Attendance.

Legalism 
Now, when I say legalism, I don't mean the sacrifice of animals, washing of hands, ritualistic washing of feet, or the confession of sins to a priest. What I mean is, is there a theme in your church which states or emphasizes the need to take every word in the Bible as literal or allegorical? Not that every word is true because it is true. But, for example, creationism does your church teach that you must believe in the literal interpretation of  the first two chapters of Genesis or else you're not a true believer? Are you feeling a sense of disenfranchisement from your local church because you view the Bible through a spiritual faith lens instead of a literal interpretation? An all literal interpretation of the Bible is relatively new, in that, the early church had differing views of opinions on a broad range of biblical truth. Now, to set the record straight, the King James Bible is 100% accurate and within a specific context, it is without error. However, that truth is, at times, a spiritual and not a literal truth. But, none the less, it is literally true. I mean, the idea that everything but the Bible is inherently evil. Now, understand the King James Bible is the Word of God, and it is 100% correct within context. If one uses rationality to decipher what the Bible means when it says certain things, you're referred to as outside the mainstream Christian faith which, of course, is nonsense. Some claim if you don't constantly mention the King James Version of the Bible in every other sentence, you must not believe it. However, God has given us, if sought for wisdom, through His Word, we can come to faith based conclusions for God based on all that God has given us using the King James Bible as the focal point for such logic. 

Science
Let's take a look at a few things that your church may or may not be experiencing as legalism. Often, it is portrayed primarily in the media that church going believers are against science, scientific research, and believe that science is a conspiracy to deter potential disciples from believing the gospel. However, scientific research along with biblical truth within context yields much more about faith claims and science then it does against religion and science. Meaning, embracing scientific research and an illustrative view of the first two chapters of the book of Genesis one can align scientific study with those two chapters without having a conflict of interest if you will. You will discover many believers praise scientific research that finds cures for cancers or other contagious infectious diseases that plague society. Finding cures for diseases, cancers, and other life-threatening illnesses which science can further the life expectancy rate is admirable to Christians. However, some Christians believe that when it is your time to die, it is your time to die. The Bible does speak of a time to live and a time to die, but the Bible does not state that you should not try to prolong your life if probable to do so. Some Christians go so far as to state that science is of the devil. Now, some will say that the devil is using science and to prove that God does not exist. However, that does not mean that Christians or true believers void spiritual truths for physical ones. Because for Christians, faith-based truths are just as important as practical ones, if not more so.

Anti-philosophical Argument for Science and Faith
Once you throw God-given reason out the window, your brain is full of presuppositions without relation to everything God has given us to grow in faith. Evidence and reason subject us to look carefully at ourselves challenging faith for the security of personal satisfaction based on evidence. Of course, not everyone will gain spiritual wisdom through Christ, but that is a faith-based claim. Nonetheless, it is just as valuable. Of course, many disagree with this assertion which is why it is a religious claim which can be enhanced by science. No, I don't mean just looking around at the beauty of the world or even the complexity thereof, what I mean is the innate trait each person has to notice beauty based on subjectivity which in essence implies although we're humans, we have different opinions, personalities, likes and dislikes, the traits, and experiences. In a rational world combined with a spiritual truth in the existence of God builds a faith-based claim. Now, most will say eww naturalism, are you creeping skepticism into a religious claim using science and philosophy? Through spiritual truth and the world around us, we as a collective whole can relate to morals which we find, in the Christian doctrine to be absolute, or otherwise, but either way, we come to a consensus based on the conscious God has given all men. Whether we like it or not the gospel of Jesus Christ is a faith claim it is a philosophical debate that has scientific truths embedded within its miraculous reality. But, to state that we can prove God based solely on science is inaccurate a claim that no non-believer will simply agree within the apart from a scientific claim a philosophical claim is also needed to prove the existence of God.

Moral Absolutes
Many have tried to use morality, well, in theory, that is an actual assertion and a good way to begin an argument or dialogue on the existence of God; however, it is not the only argument. What many believers will claim is that there are moral absolutes. In other words, there are moral absolutes. And, there are things which are unquestionably immoral.  Thus, if there are, so-called, moral laws, there must be a moral lawgiver which is a higher power. And while this argument on its face may seem persuasive, the Bible plainly states that God has given us a conscience. That is to say that God has given us with an our being the ability to decipher what is morally right and what is morally wrong. This innate trait within us gives a clarification of the argument of moral absolutes. This argument in and of itself does not prove that there is a God, but it does demonstrate that, within man, a faith claim can answer the conscious humans possess. Within the modern church have you heard people tell women that they may not preach, they may not teach, they must remain silent and ask questions about sermons at home? Today many pastors misunderstand misquotes and even misrepresent Paul's preachings. Have you heard women must cover their heads and wear veils? This idea is similar to that of the Muslim world and Catholicism. However, that does not represent the current Christian Church. Most women, would not cover their heads for church services not out of disrespect, but there is a lack of understanding and the New Testament and the Old Testament.

Instead of Bashing People with Legalism, Use it as a Tool.
You see instead of using legalism to keep a checklist of your life, legalism can be used to make sure a church or a person's Christian life is within the realm of grace and not keeping laws, which the Lord didn't command you to keep. Legalism does nothing to further the grace of God rather it constrains faith to the mere infantile mindset of doing as you're told and forgetting to be free, as Christ has made us, free.


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