You can’t legislate morality?!

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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby MoNatureMan » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:26 pm

Here I go agreeing and disagreeing at the same time again.

For clarification I see the correct prospective for a Christian on this subject as.

We are saved by the Blood of Jesus.
He has forgiven us of all of our sin.
However Paul spoke clearly of sin in the church and of fighting against sin in his own body.
Should we follow some of the fringe groups like UPC? (real legalism) I don't think so.
But at the same time, we are not to sin more, just to show how powerful the Blood is.
We are to live a 'holy' life. (Not rushing to find sin to commit.)
And we must never forget that all of our righteousness, will not get us into Heaven.
None of us are perfect.
That is were it all comes back to Jesus.
Without Him, we all would be heading for eternal punishment.


I know that there are many people that are filled with guilt and we must show them Christs forgiveness and to some the way of salvation.

If you don't think there is sin in the church look at just a few items.
Divorce in the 'church' is as high as it is in the world.
Look at the number of couples living together (unmarried) in the church.
Look at the number of unwed mothers in the church.
Christians commonly and knowingly vote for people that support sin that God hates.

I don't have the answer, but the sin inside the church of America, is a stench before a True Holy Almighty God.

Again, I don't know what area of the country or world you are living in, but I have not seen or heard of legalism for years. Everything today seems to have gone to a loose liberal 'Christianity'. It is the loose liberal 'Christianity at work when a 'Christian man divorces his wife to marry another, saying he is free to do that because all of his sins were forgiven.

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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby bn2bnude » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:38 am

MoNatureMan wrote:If you don't think there is sin in the church look at just a few items.
Divorce in the 'church' is as high as it is in the world.
Look at the number of couples living together (unmarried) in the church.
Look at the number of unwed mothers in the church.
Christians commonly and knowingly vote for people that support sin that God hates.

I don't have the answer, but the sin inside the church of America, is a stench before a True Holy Almighty God.

Again, I don't know what area of the country or world you are living in, but I have not seen or heard of legalism for years. Everything today seems to have gone to a loose liberal 'Christianity'. It is the loose liberal 'Christianity at work when a 'Christian man divorces his wife to marry another, saying he is free to do that because all of his sins were forgiven.

You are so right about sin being in "the church". It's not a particular denomination, a particular liberal or conservative branch, it's across the board.

Last summer the (married) pastor of a large fundamentalist church was caught taking a 16 year old girl across state lines. This is a girl he "groomed" as part of his job as a pastor.

I know of at least one church that sued a former member for posting bad reviews of the church (he lost). Another church pastor that is suing his son for claiming child abuse (proven correct).

I know of churches across the country that have dismissed staff for child abuse and others that tried to hide the fact that abuse happened.

As far as "legalism" goes, there is a church in my town that will call up members if they are not tithing appropriately, it goes on from there. The church I grew up in had, at least at one point, a by-law that clapping was not allowed. Drinking and any other vice was not just frowned upon, it was banned.

All these mentioned above are somewhere within the Protestant fabric of belief.

While each of these organizations are "the church" are they "The Church"? I really wonder. I often wonder if we've veered so far off the intent of 2000 years ago that we wouldn't recognize what Jesus started if it were right in front of us.

You are, however, correct. The churches written about in the New Testament were not, for the most part, without blame. The Galatians were being enticed back into Jewish Law. The Corinthians blended the Gospel with their culture and got the best of neither. The Colossians seem to have forgotten to look to Christ. John's churches were infiltrated by gnostics. The church that James wrote to forgot that faith has a natural outflow of "works". The Ephesians seemed to be having problems reaching some sort of maturity. Even the few of the 7 churches listed in Revelation that didn't come out as being corrected still had a "but" in their text.

How many churches were doing things right, not needing major correction? The way we see the survival of the texts mentioned above, it's possible (really who knows) that only the letters that were corrective were made available for circulation which would then end up in our Bible.
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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby natman » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:05 am

Why would we think that "the church" (small "c") would be any different?

Jesus talked about this several times....

The Parable of the Sower.
Matt 13:1-23

The Parable of the Weeds
Mat 13:24-30

The Parable of the Weeds Explained
Mat 13:36-43

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats
Matt 25:31-46

The "church" is the visible gathering of professing believers. The "Church" is the invisible gathering of those who have ACTUALLY placed their trust and faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. It is the "Remnant" spoken of in the OT and by Paul in the NT. (Romans 9 and 11).

When we get to Heaven, I think we will be surprised by the number of people who didn't make it that we thought for sure would. :(

We will also be surprised by the number of people who made it that we though for sure would not. :?
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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby Petros » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:17 pm

Fo Tru
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby bn2bnude » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:55 pm

Years ago, Viola gave a message called The Church as seen through the eyes of God.

The audio is at the link above. It's a good listen.

In particular, he defines Ecclesia.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby MoNatureMan » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:58 pm

bn2bnude
As far as "legalism" goes, there is a church in my town that will call up members if they are not tithing appropriately, it goes on from there. The church I grew up in had, at least at one point, a by-law that clapping was not allowed. Drinking and any other vice was not just frowned upon, it was banned.

It would be interesting to know if the church that was calling people out for not tithing appropriately is one of the churches where the 'pastor' controls the finances. Besides that, what if God has directed a member to give the tithes somewhere else (maybe even a personal mission project). That pastor/church is out of line.

As far as clapping, drinking, and even speaking in toughs, those are more denominational issues. I know of denominations that ban drinking and some members drink anyway.

About 20 years, ago God gave me a lesson (it was too good for me to claim it was mine) on marriage, divorce and remarriage. It was all based on Scripture. When I taught the class, I was surprised to have people in the class that were divorced and still under condemnation for getting divorced and remarried. I also met other couples that was divorced, and felt the same condemnation.
There was really bad teaching concerning divorced and remarried (maybe 25-30 years ago). It was taught that divorce and remarriage was living in continual sin. There was also teaching to leave the current spouse and go back to the original spouse prior to divorce. Some of this false teaching was a real problem for people. Even though the false teaching listed, wasn't around anymore couples carried it with them for a long time.
Just for info the lesson I taught, showing correct prospective directly from Scripture, gave a peace and feeling of forgiveness that they had never known.

I gave that example to show that legalism can hurt people for a long time just as the refusal to deal with true sin in the church. The trick is to find the right balance.

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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby Petros » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:06 am

Balance. Both the unprecedented access to thoughtless uncounselled partnership including marriage and the simplicity of dissolution including divorce are evils. They look as if they balance one another, they do not.

At a fairly early age I walked into a marriage of which I, had I been a parent or a friend or relative wsityh some insight asnd experience, would have had much to say. But I - we, it takes two - proceeded despite clear warning signs.

A sterile marriage in several senses It was not easy, but went on for some years, for much of it hanging like a tooth of the first dispensation by a thread, uncomfortably. There were positives, I will not say otherwise. But when it finally collapsed it was a relief to all concerned.

Very soon after, Herself and I were, I dare say it, divinely steered toward one another, we married, it was and is very good at all levels.

The problem before the Didymist scholar:

marriage A was clearly bad, and a likely candidate were I of the Roman persuasiomn to have been declared no marriage

BUT

marriage A was a valid contract voluntarily if stupidly entered into, and not by my standards nor, I think, God's, to be dumped.

BUT

the party of the second part initiated proceedings, seeking release for what to her seemed good cause

AND

the timing and style of the arrangement with Herself has all the earmarks of a divinely appointed and blessed happening

AND

I have little doubt that marriage A was a sin and an occasion for ongoing sin.

BUT

I was given to understand that however divinely blessed the outcome, however otherwise the preceding proceedings, however much HER idea, the divorce was itself a sin I needed to recognize requiring repentance.

All we like sheep .... "sin" in Hebrew and some other languages has as a primary meaning to miss the mark, get lost. To make a mistake - errare humanum est.

Should people think, get advice, pray before getting married? Of course. Does divorce cure a mistaken marriage? Of course not. Is even the best divorce displeasing to God? I would say, of course. Does a good seconmd marriage wipe out divorce? Of course not.

But we do not shun or excommunicate or rail from the pulpit against the man who murdered his neighbour, if he has repented and is - we assume - foregiven by God. Neither should we shun or excommun icate or rail from the pulpit against the divorced , even the divorced and remarried person who has repented.
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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby bn2bnude » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:21 am

MoNatureMan wrote:bn2bnude
As far as "legalism" goes, there is a church in my town that will call up members if they are not tithing appropriately, it goes on from there. The church I grew up in had, at least at one point, a by-law that clapping was not allowed. Drinking and any other vice was not just frowned upon, it was banned.

It would be interesting to know if the church that was calling people out for not tithing appropriately is one of the churches where the 'pastor' controls the finances. Besides that, what if God has directed a member to give the tithes somewhere else (maybe even a personal mission project). That pastor/church is out of line.

That is something I don't know.

Here is a link detailing the legacy of issues with one of the examples I listed above. And yes, it does deal with legalism as well.

MoNatureMan wrote:I gave that example to show that legalism can hurt people for a long time just as the refusal to deal with true sin in the church. The trick is to find the right balance.

And that is the issue.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby jochanaan » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:36 pm

bn2bnude wrote:...Here is a link detailing the legacy of issues with one of the examples I listed above. And yes, it does deal with legalism as well...
A terrible story, of course. I wonder just how many megachurches foster this kind of cultish legalism...

But one of the things I've observed about legalistic cultures is that they encourage people to lie and cover up. Witness how many of us have to stay silent about our preference for clothes-freedom if we want to stay in churches of our choice.

Such a culture also encourages folks to become experts in loophole-hunting. When I was in the Church of the Nazarene in the 1970s and early 1980s, its Special Rules forbade drinking alcohol, social dancing, and attending movies in a theater. But many Nazarenes at that time had cable TV and could see just about any movie that was in theaters, including R- and X-rated ones; the Special Rules didn't cover what we watched in our own homes. :?

As usual, Jesus sums it up perfectly:
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers... --Matthew 23:1-4
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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby Petros » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:58 pm

That is part of why one does PharisaicAl Scholarship, which is not of course restricted to Judaism or even religion. I could cite examples ... but will spare us all.

There is the famous ruling of Rome that chicken is meat but duck is fish and so just fine for your Friday fast. Not one I, a notorious duck lover [ah, that duck with a novel grape sauce experienced in thhe surely long defunct eatery in Edinburgh!], will object to. No idea if it extended to differentiating chicken eggs from duck eggs.
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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby bn2bnude » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:19 am

jochanaan wrote:
bn2bnude wrote:...Here is a link detailing the legacy of issues with one of the examples I listed above. And yes, it does deal with legalism as well...
A terrible story, of course. I wonder just how many megachurches foster this kind of cultish legalism...


I would hesitate to characterize the problems as denominational, or size related. I attended a church years ago who didn't come close to being classified "mega-church". Although there was no assault there were coverups, etc. as staff were let go for various reasons. In this case, it was board members who were doing the coverups.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby Petros » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:01 am

Very truly, not really a function of church size. In the case of Herself's family, the church was quite small. The family response was intersting. Certains [including my inlaws] were expelled before the revelations for inadequate conformity - they were for some time faithfully shunned by family medmbers who had stuck with the nucleus.

After the revelations or pastoral misbehaving, most of the remainder left the church and reconciled with the shunned ones, who then came back top town from exile. However, one loyalist stuck with the church [which still exists in a much changed form, and continued avoiding the excommunicate family, until he got a divine callk hat gave him the nee4ded excuse to get out himself without being perceived as sinful.
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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby Jon-Marc » Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:14 pm

Deacons in two different Baptist churches wanted me removed as the church song leader because I got divorced. I was also rejected as a summer camp counselor for the same reason. The excuse used was that, "You might talk to the kids about your divorce." Why on earth would I do that?

I have been condemned by "Christians" just as much for being divorced as I have for living in a nudist resort. I've also had people who didn't trust me simply because I'm not married. One man in a forum like this (or maybe it was this one) who told me in a PM, "I wouldn't want you near my wife and daughters." That's why I don't spend a lot of time with other people.
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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby MoNatureMan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:54 pm

I can see and maybe appreciate a denomination/church wanting to have a higher requirement for pastors. Maybe not being divorced, could be one.

But one of the denominations I know of (A of G), does not allow pastors to be divorced however pastors can have affairs and that is 'forgivable'. Rather hypocritical.

If I remember right some denominations say, if you were divorced before you got 'saved', that is OK. But if divorced after you got 'saved', you can't be a pastor. I don't think I have ever heard anything concerning that for a music pastor.

I don't see why that would exclude being a camp counselor or even an evangelist. I have a relative that was an alcoholic. He goes to schools and shares how his life was almost destroyed because of alcohol and how he overcame it. This same could apply to divorce, drugs, or many other 'sins' in the Christian environment.

In the issue of not allowing a single man to be with women (young or old) in the church. I think the same would apply there as it does with a pastor that is married. A general rule is pastors do not counsel a women in private without someone else present. I know of a church that had a single young man as youth pastor. Got a bit awkward when dealing with teenage girls that wanted to talk to him privately.

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Re: You can’t legislate morality?!

Postby Jon-Marc » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:11 pm

The pastor who refused to perform my second marriage got remarried himself after his wife left him and divorced him. Don't you just love hypocrites and double standards? My dad was fond of saying, "Don't do as I do; do as I say." I had a supervisor who would say, "That was then; this is now" when called on a contradiction to something she said that was contrary to what she had earlier said. My experience has made me realize that a lot of people change their views according to what is convenient for the moment.
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