How to Become a Legalist

by Apr 6, 2010

On Easter Sunday, we saw how God became our righteousness when he died on a cross and rose from the dead. Still, we like to manufacture our own righteousness by coming up with our own yardsticks to measure righteous living.

Nobody’s immune from it. By nature, fundamentalists love rules about what to believe and how to act, and look down on those who don’t. Liberals who supposedly hate the rules come up with their own rules for avoiding the rules, and look down on those intolerant people who still follow the rules. Even those of us in the middle have our own rules about staying “balanced,” and we look down on people who fall on one side or the other.

It’s called legalism, and Mark Driscoll offers seven easy steps to become a legalist:

  1. Make rules outside the Bible.
  2. Push yourself to try and keep your rules.
  3. Castigate yourself when you don’t keep your rules.
  4. Become proud when you do keep your rules.
  5. Appoint yourself as judge over other people.
  6. Get angry with people who break your rules or have different rules.
  7. “Beat” the losers.