Christian Liberty

In the last chapter of Changed into His Image, Dr. Jim Berg writes about three different ways to live the Christian life. To clarify their differences, he likens them to three types of farmers: the gambling farmer, the controlling farmer, and the trusting farmer. Then, after explaining the problems with the first two types, he writes the following paragraph:

Pleasing self is at the heart of legalism [the controlling farmer] just as it is as the heart of slothfulness [the gambling farmer]. Many today do not understand the issues of the flesh, and when they see the hard joyless life of a Christian legalist who disciplines himself and others his own way, they abandon disciplined living altogether, supposing that the problem is his intense discipline. As a reaction to the fleshly rigidity of the legalist, they go to an opposite extreme of tolerant self-indulgence, often in the name of “Christian liberty” (283).

That is a pretty good description of what is happening today. For example, because someone had a bad experience with a fundamentalist pastor, they are ready to throw away anything even closely related to fundamentalism. Unfortunately, that has led to a confusing “Christianity” which must look an awful lot like the children of Israel as described in Judges 21:25b. Let’s be careful that we don’t make experience the deciding factor in our decisions. Instead, let’s strive to find and obey what God says in the Scriptures.