Thoughts on Legalism from an African Pastor
A legal preacher sees Christ acting, speaking, or doing anything in the Gospels first and foremost as an example — instead of seeing him doing something on our behalf. When a passage of scripture speaks about salvation (e.g. the woman caught in adultery in John chapter 8), the legal preacher will not stress the “neither do I condemn you,” but will focus the whole sermon on “sin no more.” The legal preacher may mention the word grace but will not dwell on it — and certainly not leave the people there. (Is there sin in your life? Is God pleased with you?) The gospel is just assumed, and the real work involves helping people keep the law of God.
Fundamentalism: The sneaking suspicion that somewhere, someone, might be having fun.