First of all, this is NOT a book review of Rob Bell’s newest and supposedly controversial book. I have not read it yet. It’s on my Kindle ready to go, but I haven’t started. I apologize if you were looking for controversy here. Sorry.
This post actually goes back to my post from Sunday about our discussion at Bible study that night. I mentioned parts of our discussion without really going into any detail. I was chewing over them through the week. I don’t really know that I know any more than I did before, but here’s what I’m thinking on my statement from Sunday:
“How living under the law instead of under the Gospel can give us an excuse not to love.”
First of all, what do you think about that? Maybe I should probably expand on what we were talking about a little bit, but I definitely want to hear your voices on this matter.
I’m sure everyone’s definition of legalism is different just like I’m sure everyone’s definition of love varies to certain degrees. We’re different. We were created to be different, so we see things differently. But when I say “legalism,” I’m referring to Old Testament Law. The law that requires us to sacrifice a fattened calf every time we screwed up.
Do these “laws” give us an excuse not to love? Well, I this person is an alcoholic, and the Bible says not to get drunk. I don’t have to show him the same love I do as someone who’s never had a drink. This person go arrested for stealing from their office. Do not steal is a commandment. They broke it. They’re out. I’m in. Forget them.
I know these are pretty harsh statements that we probably don’t say verbatim when we choose how to treat someone, but do we say it with our lives?
The thing about living under Old Testament Law, the fact that they had to sacrifice for their screw-ups, is that they were missing something that we’ve got.
I’ve lived under the law most of my life, being selfish with whom I share my love, going on mission trips to change me and not to love on the people that are so desperate for it and failing to help out someone in need when they need it.
I don’t extend love and grace, but I expect it in return.
I make excuses for not helping people in need, but when I’ve been in need I prayed for it.
I’m so thankful that we don’t have to live under the law.
I’m so thankful that I’m not given what I deserve.