Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
My family didn’t have too many problems with modesty. Prior to coming to BGBC, we didn’t have any “formal” teaching on modesty. It was a natural and seemingly obvious idea that one would dress in a way that would reflect an image that Christ would want us to have. If God seemed concerned with the heart, so should we. If certain clothing invited roaming eyes to zero in on specific body parts, then it made sense to avoid those styles of clothing. This was a simple solution with no rigid rules, just basic common sense.
|BGBC Non-Sanctioned Shorts, drawn by 9-yr old resident artist|
LEGALISM: Teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:9)
- Adding basic rules to a faith which makes it more exclusive and isolated from "outsiders" who do not think, act, or believe as the "true" believers do is called LEGALISM.
- Legalistic groups have their own authority figures who provide the rules "their" people are to live by. These leaders have answers for everything and their rules are considered nearly equal to the authority of the Bible.
- Legalistic leaders see themselves as more than just leaders. They feel better, more spiritual and have fewer failings and temptations than "their" people. They become spiritual detectives looking for raised hem lines or hair over the collar as if these things prove what "their" people are really like inside. Abuse of power follows.
- Members are to look to their leaders for the "standard"; how they should think, what they should do, and how they should dress.
- The system teaches that the leaders know best and to challenge them is to challenge God.
- As one chooses to become part of a legalistic system his or her freedom to choose is quickly lost. Appearances and associations become most important. If a member is confused about something the fault is with the member and not with the group.
- Legalism emphasizes externals more than internals and people learn that appearance is more important than what they are on the inside and one's life becomes a performance benefit for those who may be watching. (http://www.thelyingtruth.info/vot/legalism.php)