About a decade ago, I became burdened to study the dangers of legalistic and relativistic thinking. Both are deadening because they are expressions of the flesh. The letter of the law without the Spirit kills (2 Cor. 3:6). Also, the mind of the flesh is death (Rom. 8:6).
Sadly, there are too many examples of one deception leading to another. People overreacting to one extreme have been known to swing all the way to the opposite end of the spectrum. Some move from a law approach to a no-law approach (where no-law means self-law). Championing guidelines, albeit without a guide, provides no power to obey because power comes from a person—the empowering Holy Spirit. Maintaining no guidelines, however, leaves everyone doing that which is right in their own eyes, and again, the Holy Spirit is left out.
As I delved into this study, a dangerous minefield was revealed that stretched in both directions. In fact, it proved a most despairing situation. How could I say what needs to be said and point people toward life without losing people on the left or on the right? How do I navigate this terrain and keep from stepping on a landmine? Then Jesus spoke through the still, small voice of His Spirit, “I know how.” What a freeing truth! Safety in this minefield (or any minefield!) is a life—the liberating life of Jesus. He would be my personal guide.
Dive into this blessed truth through reading The Liberating Life of Jesus: Finding Freedom between the Two Extremes of Law and License.
John Van Gelderen