The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Grace: the Antidote to Legalism


I reference 3 texts that talk about the damaging effects of legalism and the solution to it. One article is by Jeremy Myers, another is by Greg Albrecht and there is a reference to a book by Gregory A. Boyd.


Galatians 5:19-21 sounds like legalism to me. If there are all these rules we need to follow to not be condemned by God, we’re under a system of law.


19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

So, was Paul talking to Galatians, or to you (qaz) ? And if to you, how the hell did he know you were doing all these wrong thing things? You may say it is just a standard set of rules, but I would argue there is no such thing. From 2000 years ago to today the standards and rules have changed dramatically. Society and culture have been evolving.
Also we have to ask, as society progresses, How do those words hold up? Paul was speaking directly to those he knew of. Do you really want to be judged by the standards of a culture 2000 years ago?

Think about it.:smile:


Qaz - why not just please God out of a loving heart, knowing you are already gifted with faith and have the Holy Spirit? That list in Galatians is NOT a “do this or die” thing - it’s a help for us to see in ourselves where we need the help of the Holy Spirit. It is a HELP.

And hey, 2,000 years means nothing when it comes to drunkenness, orgies, rage - those are the same today, exactly. Paul was talking to you, and to me, under inspiration. And that list, once again, is just reality, a mirror, to help us to know where we need help. Which will be freely given
Or does God now not care about orgies, rage etc? Maybe HE is too old-fashioned?


Come on qaz this is getting ridiculous and is NOT hard to deal with as the answer has been provided numerous times across many posts… you simply ascribe Paul’s words here to an error of his own doing to where Paul listens more to his own faulty voice instead of hearing God’s — simple!! :thinking:


Well, we could go into a convoluted discussion about each of these things on the list. And it would be probably unfruitful.


In the United States today, the legal alcohol limit for driving is .08% blood alcohol concentration. I might tend to speculate that the idea of drunkenness 2000 years ago might well be a bit different. You may not. Good luck.


Merriam Webster says

Definition of orgy
1 : secret ceremonial rites held in honor of an ancient Greek or Roman deity and usually characterized by ecstatic singing and dancing
//Roman orgies in honor of Bacchus


noun: extreme or violent anger, or a period of feeling such anger:

If you think that we today condone such anger towards each other, you my friend are on another planet. Or if you think any of us are immune, think again.

There are different discussions for every verse in the bible. If you judge another using the scripture, you are at risk of having to deal with the problem of what happens when you come to a different conclusion in the future.

Just a thought.


Well that cuts both ways, doesn’t it? :slight_smile:
Nope, I think the human heart has not changed one whit, I believe society is now more cruel worldwide than even back then; I agree we have many things they didn’t, but that has very little to do with what it means to be human - I would argue we are de-humanized more each day.
OTOH, I do believe that Jesus Christ is the only true Lord of the universe, that, far from being irrelevant, He is as Paul says the head of the body, the Church, the fullness of Him that fills all things.
Nothing ended back then; it was just the beginning. Christ was not sent just to the Jews; He is the savior of the world.
We have to stop meeting like this, people are going to talk…


I’m sorry you feel that way… it is obviously where we differ on many things. I’ll hope at some point you can see the progression of God’s creation as good.

Go Packers! (though they don’t have a Wisconsin snowballs chance in a furnace)



Got no problems with the creation! But there ain’t no real progress as far as I can see - not in what really counts.
Packers??? They still a team?? :rofl:


What does it mean - to be, or not to be - “under the law”:

“depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!” (Mt.7:23b)

458 /anomía (“lawlessness”)”


I’m not competent to speak about all cases BUT NT Wright has written that for St. Paul, the “Law” ALWAYS means Torah. I think the source is his commentary on Romans. I’ll take a look.



Those uses are qualified by their context. When he uses the unqualified word ‘law’ he means Torah, according to Wright.
I just looked through the commentary and did not find the phrase, but since I basically underlined every sentence IN the commentary it may take some time to find it. I will try, and perhaps the full statement will be more enlightening than my faltering attempts.
It is, though, I think clear that the ‘law’ references above are not what Paul meant by “The Law”.

BTW - here is his teaching on James 2.8 and the Royal Law:


@davo you simply ascribe Paul’s words here to an error of his own doing to where Paul listens more to his own faulty voice instead of hearing God’s — simple!! :thinking:



I was being mischievously 100% facetious… there are a number of people on this site that do THAT very thing WHEN they don’t like what they’re reading; I’m surprised you haven’t figured that out by now??


I don’t think Wright asserts that Paul can’t use “nomos” to spell out principles beside the Torah. I think his view is that when he uses “the law” without such a modifier, we should expect that he is referring to the Mosaic Law.


And as to Romans 8.2, NTW makes a solid case for even that use of nomos as being —wait for it ----Torah. I refer you to him for the painstaking explanation.


The Greek word “νομος” (nomos) sometimes refers to the Torah, and sometimes refers to various principles as Bob pointed out.

In English, the word “law” is employed in the same two ways.