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Comments

Joanna

Great post Dory. I am wrestling with many issues right now and wondering what is right and what is really wrong. The verse about being convinced in our own minds is tremendously helpful. Yours is one of the most thought provoking blogs I frequent. Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts. :)

Cindy

Dory, Just thinking out loud but with the area of modesty, for instance, we fall so far away from the principle that it seems the only way back is to make detailed rules. I agree the rules are a bad way but people are always happier with the black and white than the vague principle. Still as you said we never have the permission of God to go beyond His word.

So many "cults" get started because of that very dynamic.

Dory

Thanks for the comments, folks.

Cindy, you raise a good point. Reading a list is easier than doing the thinking necessary to thoughtfully apply principles. It also gives us some confidence when our faith is weak. But once we do think those things through, I think there's no harm in making ourselves a list or even sharing that list with others as suggestions. The harm is when we start taking our list of suggestions and judging others by them or expecting others to use the same methods we do.

I think it's also important to let our kids know the difference between the house rules we parents impose on them and God's rules that He imposes on everyone. (Oh, there's a good post topic...;-)

David Mobley

Nice post. I think what you're getting at means that sometimes we need to NOT spend energy arguing too fervently in favor of something we feel strongly about (for example, the merits of home-schooling) lest we give the impression that we think it is essential.

We need to remember that there is such a thing as Christian liberty.

Puzzled

God, through Paul in Galatians 2 points out that while such "black and white" rules appear beneficial, they are actually useless. (and might even enslave one to the elementals!)

galloworth

Eve, in Genesis 3, goes beyond the Lord's command and says of the forbidden fruit, "we must not touch it." The Lord had not given that command--only not to eat it. Some have argued, and I agree, that the serpent's deception in part played on this weakness.

Notice that Eve was, at this point, in a sinless state. It is not sinful to go beyond God's laws, but it is a weakness. Further, it is a weakness than can often strengthen temptation, since once we transgress our own laws, we do not see the effect. Eve takes the apple and looks at it in her hand. "Hmmmm," she says, "I touched it. Nothing happened." The text does not tell us this, but it does say that the fruit was "pleasing to the eye."

How often does it happen that a young person, brought up by someone intent on protecting them, who says, "take one drink, and it's all over." They take one drink, and, voila, nothing happens! And thus the downward path begins.

Legalism and pietism are not just wrong theologically. They are brittle and dangerous in a practical sense.

Hudson

I agree that we can be way too legalistic. Take the overly accepted tithing law or principle(which is really a different word for the same thing). What was a law in the Old Testament does not carry over into the New Testament, therefore you can't apply the curse(Malachi) without enforcing the law.

lil' Celtic Bro

I know I'm late posting this (my sis' just linked to this on her blog). This said almost everything I'm thinkg and have said about these issues... I wonder how Dory would feel about posting something relating what the bible says about the difference between what music to worship God and music for the enjoyment of His people?

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