The church needs to be careful with emotional legalism, that is, the practice of realizing that spiritual deadness exhibits itself by apathy and then mandating emotional ‘behavior’ without realizing the impossibility of conjuring emotion by command.
Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash* their hands, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash.* And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.*) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban’ (that is, given to God)*— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.” And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”* And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?”* (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Mark 7:1-23 ESV
Thought for the day: If you’re a company that’s selling a product and another comes selling product with your label which is far inferior to your own. What’s your chief concern? To out sell them by focusing on a positive campaign? Or is it rather to viciously attack the credibility of the impostor? Legalists are impostors who need to be exposed. They’re Catholics hiding behind a protestant confession, maybe worse; they are spitting on the grace of God (albeit practically) by plowing ahead on their own. And the world will never buy a “gospel” that is characterized by human effort of will. Curse that “gospel.”