Christian Legalism: The Dark Side of Christianity (Part 2)

Grant Swart

Although legalism and the error it represents cannot be taken lightly, I thought it might be apt to place this well known bit of humour before Part 2 of this article. It (sort of) addresses legalism, yet it is contradictory as there is no pre-requisite for us to “earn” life eternal in lieu of the perfection of the sacrifice made by the Lamb, our Lord, Jesus Christ.  

Of course, there are those out there who love and cling passionately to their legalism, who would fault the relevance or suitability of even this humour. I am well aware of some of them who do read my articles and in particular, I refer to those of immature contentious spirit who confuse a regard for the severity of sin, repentance and true sanctification with the gross error of legalism.  

A man dies and goes to heaven.  He is met at the Pearly Gates by a Heavenly custodian.

The custodian says, “Here’s how it works. You need 100 points to make it into heaven. Continue reading

Christian Legalism: Mission Impossible (Part 1)

Grant Swart

It is with daily regularity that I encounter certain fellow Christians, although I suppose in some instances they are merely professing Christians, who practice or promote the errors of legalism. I’m sure that we all do, that is, cross paths with people who endorse and encourage some or other form of legalistic practice everyday. The heresy of legalism is rooted in an erroneous teaching or understanding which continually attempts to place the Christian under some or other system of law and thereby attempts to make salvation, or at the very least a few percentage points of our salvation, dependant on man’s own efforts.

Legalism promotes the belief that one can be saved by keeping, or to the best of one’s ability attempting to keep, God’s commandments. Very often adherence to additional rituals and rules are encouraged by the legalistic system in order to retain salvation. Certain aspects of human life are often considered taboo and are presented as being detrimental to the legalist’s success in ‘achieving’ salvation. Legalists believe that they can, through their own efforts at self-righteousness and legal obedience, impress God sufficiently so as to influence His attitude toward them, and therefore reward them with eternal salvation.

Legalism can be described as a false doctrinal position or worldview within certain Christian Continue reading