Yes. I believe legalism will be the death of the Church.
I believe when churches become more concerned with tradition rather than doctrine, it will destroy the Church’s ability to minister to the world. The Church is meant to be a body of believers that hold to the truths of Jesus Christ. Instead, the church takes these truths, many without recognizing historical and contextual relevancy, and use them for more harm than good. This is a rather frustrating concept. Moments like this, that I deal with the arrogance of tradition and the smirk of legalism, I feel like leaving the Church to be the church…without the chilling breath of legalism down my neck. I feel like moving overseas here and now. Because overseas, in the midst of poverty at the homes of those that have only known suffering, the Bible is beautiful and the work of anyone willing to serve God is worth while. Instead, here in America, Churches are stuck in a legalistic mindset that they refuse to sway from. By remaining stubborn to their ways, I guarantee these leaders and members of this kind of church will miss great opportunities for reaching the lives of the common person. Because with legalism, the common person does not fit in that mold. Legalism is destroying the mission Jesus Christ sent the Church out to do. Legalism is destroying the reputation of the church from being a hospital to a hospice, however only for the elders. The remainder get the shaft because they do fit into the mold of legalism. They are different. But instead, these churches remain unswayed by this. And they wonder why they’ve seen no growth in two decades or why they have no younger generations or why no one of another race or background. Legalism…the death of the Church and even Christianity.
As a Christian, I am terrified because of this. This is not how it should be. This is not the Church Jesus wanted to build.