Those who insist that the Lord demands what is not in scripture have fallen foul of gnosticism

“If the fullness of God could dwell in human flesh, there can be nothing intrinsically evil about the flesh. In a wider sense, there is nothing intrinsically evil about material things because God is the one who created them for his creatures. And if God called his creation very good, and he created us to enjoy him forever in that very good creation, who are we to insist what the Lord has called good is something else altogether?”

The Gnosticism of Legalism by Stephen Kneale

When legalism rears its head, gnosticism is usually lurking around somewhere. There is a strong dualistic tendency that very often paints ‘spiritual’ things as good and ‘worldly’ things as bad….

Of course, the one who deems evil material things as off-limits has to have some special insight to discern such things. In many cases, those who are quick to say ‘do not handle, do not taste, do not touch’ believe that they have advanced to a state of maturity that truly recognizes the danger of such things.

This kind of attitude causes us to sniff at God’s good gifts as though they were something other than good. What is natural and part of God’s creation is good, but what is man-made is necessarily bad. It allows us to enjoy grapes but not the wine that comes from them despite God calling both good. It allows us to watch a sunset but not a film. The knowledge of the one who tells us to stay away, despite what God calls good and acceptable, takes precedent over anything the Lord has actually revealed in his Word.  View article →


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Book Recommendation

It seems presumptuous to speak of understanding God and his ways. And yet, he has graciously revealed himself to us! It’s not an exhaustive revelation, but it is a true and sufficient revelation. God’s self-disclosure is sufficient to humble us and make us aware of our need for his grace. It’s enough to bring us to our knees, to drive us to repentance, and compel us to worship. Order here