John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

Legalism Sucks

I'm sitting in Starbucks trying not to listen to the conversation happening behind me. It's legalism run wild, and I'm internally debating whether or not it's appropriate to speak up. I'm hearing all the old standards, "Hey, I've got a problem with it, and the Bible says if your brother's got a problem with it, don't do it."

Is that really what the Bible says?

"Scripture says, 'Avoid even the appearance of evil'." Again, is that really what the Bible says?

Someone's apparently been caught in something -- someone in leadership has crossed a line. And that's bad. I'm not minimizing that.

But where does all the venom come from? Why is it such a positively vindicating thing? Why has whatever this event is triggered this landslide of judgment, this laundry list of everything the guy has done wrong over the last couple of years? And why is this being talked about in Starbucks?

Here's the truth: Legalism sucks. It sucks the life right out of people. It sucks the joy out of life. It sucks the Christ out of Christianity.

And it keeps sucking me into the conversation behind me.