Why Legalists Can’t Love

Jerry Joule preachingAs a pastor, I’m always looking for fresh perspectives on the Scripture, so when I caught this Bible study by Jerry Joule, I was both inspired and challenged to take another look at Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan.  Jerry tells the story with an unusual twist, that just might offend you, but, if you’re listening, might teach you about Jesus’ love in a new way.

In this first clip, Jerry talks about “whom” we should love.  If you don’t have time to watch the whole clip, go to 1:50 into the video to hear Jerry’s unique modern-day twist on the story of the Good Samaritan.

In this clip, Jerry explains why legalism in incapable of loving like Jesus, illustrating his point with a jarring story from his days as a waiter at the “Cracker Barrel”.  To go straight to the illustration, start the video at 3:27.

The entire sermon is available on the First Baptist Church website here.

The ironic part of Jerry’s message, is that the people it will offend the most are leglalists themselves.  I’ve hated legalism my whole life.  If you want to read an excellent book on the topic, buy Chuck Swindoll’s Grace Awakening.  Here is an excerpt:

They don’t wear little buttons that give away their identity, nor do they carry signs warning everybody to stay away. On the contrary, a lot of them carry Bibles and appear to be clean-living, nice-looking, law-abiding citizens. Most of them spend a lot of time in churches, some in places of religious leadership. Many are so respected in the community, their neighbours would never guess they are living next door to killers.

They kill freedom, spontaneity, and creativity; they kill joy as well as productivity. They kill with their words and their pens and their looks. They kill with their attitudes far more often than with their behaviour. There is hardly a church or a Christian organization or Christian school or missionary group or media ministry where such danger does not lurk. The amazing thing is that they get away with it, day in and day out, without being confronted or exposed. Strangely, the same ministries that would not tolerate heresy for ten minutes will step aside and allow these killers all the space they need to maneuver and manipulate others in the most insidious manner imaginable. Their intolerance is tolerated. Their judgmental spirits remain unjudged. Their bullying tactics continue unchecked. And their narrow-mindedness is either explained away or quickly defended. The bondage that results would be criminal were it not so subtle and wrapped in such spiritual-sounding garb.

This day – this very moment- millions are living their lives in shame, fear, and intimidation who should be free, productive individuals. The tragedy is they think it is the way it should be. They have never known the truth that could set them free. They are victimized, existing as if living on death row instead of enjoying the beauty and fresh air of the abundant life Christ modeled and made possible for all of His followers to claim. Unfortunately, most don’t have a clue what they are missing.” (p3-4)

2 Responses to Why Legalists Can’t Love

  1. Echo_ohcE says:


    I was wondering if you might provide a nice, neat, abstract definition of what exactly legalism is.

    Here’s my definition: legalism is thinking that justification before God is through the law (God’s), or a law (man’s).


  2. RubeRad says:

    Dude, how did you photoshop that picture of me to look so fat?

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