Posted By Aaron Marcelli on June 3, 2011
I come from a very conservative past and from among people who have some very “unique” views and beliefs. With my broad range of influences and my activity online I often run across sound bites, articles, and rants from very legalistic religious-types (I really need to quit google-ing mega-church pastors’ names and reading the hate blogs written about them).
These kinds of things use to make me really mad. For real, I would get upset all day over something I read or heard from someone I don’t know. It could be unbiblical criticism of a contemporary “heretic” preacher or a bold stance wrongly calling something sin and condemning all who partake. Reading/hearing that would ruin my day.
My reaction used to be anger.
I would get upset. I would get mad. I sometimes would even leave comments on the websites or write letters to “correct” them. My online comments were rarely allowed by the authors. This made me even more upset.
Then, I realized how pathetic my reaction was.
Now let me say that I believe condemning something God has not condemned is wrong and I personally believe legalists will be judged for their Pharisee like statements and the heavy religion they have tried to use to control others. But setting them straight is not my job.
So what’s my reaction to these things now?
I feel sorry for them. Honestly. I used to get angry, and I still deal with some of that. But for the most part I just feel sorry for them. They usually portray themselves as unhappy, bitter people who think just because they have self-imposed strict religious ways that suck the fun out of their lives that everyone around them should do the same.
Besides, how did these people become legalists?
From sitting under and learning from other legalist!
So though it is sad that they have been brain-washed with an uptight religion that blocks a true view of God, it’s not their fault they were made that way by the false teaching of legalistic influences.
They are simply misguided. Unfortunately, they are also stubborn (because they can’t handle conflict over their weak logic) so it is hard to show them the truth without becoming frustrated or mad, like I used to get.
So now, I simply feel sorry for those pastors, bloggers, and misguided followers when I hear/read such legalistic, unbiblical banter. I want to be mad, but they are still a human created and loved by God. Just as our hearts should go out to those misguided and manipulated into a cult, so our attitude should be toward those who have been lead astray down the path of legalism.
God deliver them!