Sundays here in Asia are a time when I try to read, pray, and generally emotionally unwind. Today is a little different. I started out the morning by reading an article forwarded to me by my friend Troy Coons and it has me thinking.
In World Magazine’s article “The ‘new legalism’”, author Anthony Bradley writes on “how the push to be ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ discourages ordinary people in ordinary places from doing ordinary things to the glory of God”.
In this article, the author criticizes David Platt and other Christian leaders in America for calling people to live out “radical” Christianity. David and others place a great deal of effort in calling their churches to live their lives consistent with the teachings of Christ. Embedded in this teaching is caring about issues such as poverty alleviation, orphan care, and people groups whom have never been exposed to the Gospel of Christ.
The author of this article claims that this teaching is leading to “legalism”, resulting in Christians feeling guilt over leading “normal, quiet Christian lives.” Specifically, teachers such as David Platt cause Christians “to experience an intense amount of shame for simply being ordinary Christians who desire to love God and love their neighbors.”
The heart behind this article, I think, is to free people up to simply serve and enjoy Christ where they are in life. There is no such thing as “varsity Christianity”, with the first-teamers being missionaries and pastors and the “b-team” being those lowly others whom are content to live “ordinary lives” in suburbia America. I completely agree with this point. There is no class-ism within the body of Christ.
However, while I appreciate the sentiment and agree with some of this article, I think the author completely misses the overall point of this teaching. Continue Reading…