Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Legalist: Coward, Rebel, Self-Rightous Hater

Another reason sometimes a person--who may have caught a glimpse of life in the Spirit--quickly runs to legalism to secure their Walk (and thus, sadly also quickly blocks the Spirit's work) is because of hidden rebellion and cowardice.

Some people are just by personality and nature . . . timid and horrified by conflict of any kind.  These are they who may be those, for instance, who can't hardly stand even the sight of a gun--are loathe to touch one, let alone have one in the house.  If someone were in trouble, or even themselves, they run to "turn the other cheek" as a justification and excuse for NEVER responding forcefully to an attack.  I am referring to someone who is simply a coward and uses a legalistic norm to cover their lack of defense.  They are not turning the other cheek so much because they love Jesus and obey the Holy Spirit, but because they love themselves and their own comfort that they want to avoid any and all situations where a forceful response is warranted and even required.

Also, the other lure of legalism kicks in where this person can now feel "better" than others who do not absolutely follow the rule, ie., "never violence, never defend" . . . . They will delude their self into thinking it is because they are so "loving" and "peaceful" and "Christlike" that they assert the law of pacifism, but, ironically, the instant legalism enters, love leaves in actuality.

It happens in churches all the time.  There is a "rule", for instance, that people should "dress nice" . . . "sit up straight" . . . "attend every Sunday" . . . and those who love rules are eager to comply . . . but right away, they are also the ones who sit in the pews looking around the room to see who is NOT complying.  Love is gone and in its place is "holier than thou" . . . judging, condemning those who . . . don't "dress properly" . . . who slouch . . . who sometimes skip church etc.

There is also a rebellious spirit, again ironic, attendant the legalist.   How so?  Often, they don't really want to submit to God's will, which requires an ongoing, living relationship and just want a rule or law they can follow, so that they can claim obedience, saying, "look at me, I follow such and such law, ie., 'nonviolence'" but then those areas of their life not covered by law, they do whatever they will, believing that they already "gave at the office."  What if Holy Spirit prompts someone in a certain situation to grab a gun and defend another?  The secretly rebellious and cowardly can say, "sorry, I follow the rule of nonviolence, so I cannot obey the Spirit."

When an enemy is persecuting you individually . . . turning the other cheek and deferring time and again returning not evil for evil, shows the loving, longsuffering, self sacrificing heart of the believer.  Where others are involved--and where the individual may be responsible to and for a group, defense of the weak and helpless also shows the same love , self sacrifice and longsuffering . . . . I humbly submit . . . .

What do we about Rahab who lied to save two spies and was later blessed by the Lord?  Would I steal to feed my starving family?  Honestly, I don't know.  I might.  I might not.  I am a sinner, that I know.  In such a situation I would like to think not, in being obedient to the commandments.  However I do not recall a commandment "thou shalt not defend thyself or loved no matter what."  There is one about murder, which is the taking of innocent life.
 It appears God does allow self defense,  however.
  "If the thief is caught while breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account."  Exodus 22:2

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Spirit of God Agrees with the word of God, I wonder if In such convictions posted, as today, That it would be better to quote a scripture that supports that conviction. Especially when spokes person for the Holy Spirit. Paul might better say it" I can't say I have the Spirit on this but..." Not critising, just saying. Appreciate your blog bro.

Anonymous said...

I vote, YES, you would steal to feed your family. You say a lot of things that make it sound like you know the truth, but there is still a part of you that is unwilling to submit to God. Maybe you can point to scripture that says that we should use violence to defend others. Maybe it is there, I would like to know, because it would be comforting to have a 45 under my bed and know that God wanted me to use it. I truly don't see how that makes me less of a coward, but if you say so and you can show me scripture, then I'm heading to the gunshop.

Anonymous said...

Wife is injured in an accident and will have to spend several months recupperating. Christian husband has sexual needs and can commit adultery if necessary to fulfill them because he doesn't want to be a legalist. Really??

Walker said...

who decides what constitutes "innocent" life. Maybe taking a life that you didn't create would be murder. Why can we not trust the one who told us to "love your enemy" Is it not possible that he has the power to lead us out of these situations without us resorting to violence?

BJ said...

What is the "donate" button for? You do this for money or is it for a charity?

WALKING WITH GOD said...

Amen. xx

Thanking God for your continued boldness and faithfullness.

we are blessed to know you and have his Spirit flow through you, into our lives and the many others that come here to fellowship with you.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely do not believe that Jesus was a pacifist. Jes sayin...

Angie said...

The donate button and po box were added some time ago due to reader request for those who wanted to help with website expenses and upkeep of brotherthomas.net and for those who feel led to support Brother Thomas in his writing, music, art, or for any other reason one might be led.
Brother Thomas does not do THIS for money nor for charity- he does it for you, and you, and yes, you as well-

Linda L. said...

These posts on the self-defense and defending the weak and needy, even to the extent of using physical force to do it, is the best discourse I have seen on this. I had read over that scripture in Exodus long time ago about the thief, but never really thought about it until now. I believe you do speak with the the Spirit of God guiding you on this, as so many other things, spot on.

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