This morning for the first time this week the weather was cooperative enough that I was able to get up and go for a walk with my boxer. We made our normal 4 mile treck and did my wife a favor by hopefully taking some of Angel’s excessive energy away so that she will be calm in the house today.
One of my traditions for my walk lately has been putting on my head phones and listening to podcasts of various sermons from different pastors. Today I listened to a sermon by Jon Weece the pastor of Southland Christian Church in Lexington. The sermon’s topic was on legalism and how we as a church can do so much damage to the testimony of the church through legalism. While I know this is a topic that many have covered and have done so much better than I could, I still get saddened by the fact that as a church and as Christians this is an issue that we are still having to deal with. We keep adding all these extra rules and judgements to God’s commands when if we were truly following the example that Jesus gave of loving Him with all our heart, soul, and mind and then loving our neighbors as ourselves this wouldn’t be an issue. People need Jesus, they need our love to show Him to them, they don’t need our excess baggage.
As I listened to the sermon I also thought about the other extreme of the legalism debate. Last night as Erin and I were on our way home from church we got into a discussion about people we know who go to the other extreme of flaunting Christian liberties to pick a fight/argument with those who disagree with them or struggle with legalism. This is just as wrong and damaging to testimonies. It shows the same thing that legalist have a problem with a lack of love and concern for the eternal destinies of others. And the people who are watching us as an example of a good Christian are left wondering is that what Jesus is like?
While in most things in life the middle is a place of indecision and non movement, I think on this issue this is right where we need to be. We don’t need to go so far to the legalism side of things that we are judgmental and put up so many boundaries that people can’t see Christ. Yet at the same time we don’t need to abuse our liberties so that people can’t see Christ because we are pushing all the world has to offer. May we be found dead center in the middle of Christ’s love radiating Him to all around us.