When the Church forgot eternity…Literalism, not Legalism

Alex makes up words all the time so I thought I’d jump on the band wagon tonight and make up my own in honor of my husbands’ 28th birthday (even though this is posting as Dec 25 I’m actually typing this at 8:50 PM on Dec 24)…literalism…it might be a real word but it just sounds fake and looking it up doesn’t sound fun so I’ll just let it be for now…

I’ve, as I mentioned I might, taken quite a bit of time to begin this next post because I have really struggled to organize the thoughts, reflections, ramblings, and such of the last 4 years. And after much consideration I think it’s highly appropriate that I give a sort of intro #2…so down the road, however this unfolds itself, I’ll have given this disclaimer up front.

As Alex and I wrapped up a really necessary “house cleaning of our marriage” time, one thought kept presenting itself to both of us. By and large the heart, actions, and attitudes of Christians go something like this…verse from Bible read, considered, and then filtered through the lens of personal experience or circumstance. After filtering takes place the person then interprets the Scripture as he or she sees fit so that life can continue as usual and/or in such a way that doesn’t cause said person to alter their proceeding through life in the fashion they’ve chosen…the Bible exists for their benefit and therefore conformation to it is limited to what this person desires or is willing to change. Said unnamed Christian neglects the marathon of life and allows little idols to maintain their residence in the heart…very risky business…

This is a dangerous approach to Scripture and daily living for many reasons but the two that stick out to me the most are a result of John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” and “You shall have no other gods before Me“, Exodus 20:3. Not that anyone needs me to explain these in depth so I won’t…any confusion over what the verses are saying and after re-reading them a time or two you’ll likely find yourself concluding that the Bible is not just a book God thought might be fun to put together and mass distribute…it’s much, much more. And God is not okay with the worship of anything but Himself.

Therefore, improper perspective on this book can lead to an improper perspective of God. And although this is true, I think it’s very important for me to state up front that this topic, which I’ll be stepping in and out of as it becomes more organized, is not for the purpose of making a legalistic statement about what I think the Bible says but rather a very literal look at a book that IS the very breath and person of God. And I believe very strongly that in order to rightly live before God Most High it is of utmost importance to have a proper view of Him…and this can very plainly be seen through Scripture if one, even the very learned Christian or loyal church goer, is willing to approach it as is…

But the reasoning behind this post is that I see it as equally dangerous to present anything carelessly or inaccurately…legalism is always waiting there in the wings and the skeptic is ready to make use of it for the sake of arguing…

So I just wanted to clarify…this is not about legalism, but literalism (there’s that pesky made-up word again)…a look at His Word for what it is (or should become): the ultimate authority in the life of anyone who claims to have surrendered his or her life to God Most High. Anything else is merely taking the Word of God and asking that it conform to the Christians desires…which, put plainly, is idolatry…and that’s risky business when His holiness requires that every knee be bowed at one throne…not His and whichever little thrones are simultaneously erected, but one, single, solitary throne: His. And with that said, may no stone be left unturned…

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One Response to “When the Church forgot eternity…Literalism, not Legalism”

  1. Susan Hayes Says:

    Okay.. so you’re about what the Bible actually, literally says. And not about legalism.. but what exactly is legalism? And is legalism bad?? I do not expect you to be the authoritative answer on this.. more just posing a question to a friend, a question that I am really considering.
    Muah.

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