Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The God of Legalism

In his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning describes legalism this way:

"The God of the legalistic Christian...is often unpredictable, erratic, and capable of all manner of prejudices. When we view God this way, we feel compelled to engage in some sort of magic to appease Him. Sunday morning worship becomes a superstitous insurance policy against His whims. This God expects people to be perfect and to be in perpetual control of their feelings and thoughts.

When broken people with this concept fail - as inevitably they must - they usually expect punishment. So they persevere in religious practices as they struggle to maintain a hollow image of a perfect self. This struggle is exhausting. The legalist can never live up to the expectations they project on God."

Amen, and amen

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