As said, legalism is a sin that is not only committed by the unsaved but also by the saved. How? Well, although Christians do not rely on their good works to enter Heaven but rather INEVITABLY do good works because they already have a place in Heaven, there is a time when Christians can get self-righteous as to immediately judge people as saved or unsaved without further analyzing the person like whether or not the person is enjoying their sin or is miserable about their sin because the Holy Spirit convicts them.
Well here are some logical fallacies that could be involved for Christians guilty of legalism:
I. Argument from silence
Example: A fellow Christian would say, "Since this guy has not mentioned about the Illuminati then he must be a secret member of the Illuminati." even when that would be his next exposition topic.
Example: A fellow Christian would say "Since (insert name) was caught watching Harry Potter and many who watch Harry Potter are not Christians therefore he is not a Christian." ignoring the fact some Christians can fall into that kind of compromise. While Christians should not be watching Harry Potter or any witchcraft related media, HOWEVER to immediately judge them as wolves is being unfair.
III. False dilemma
Example: A fellow Christian would say, "You can't show me one verse in the Bible that says that there is such a thing as a Christian who is struggling with carnality in his life. Those guys were never saved to begin with."
IV. Genetic fallacy
Example: A fellow Christian would say, "Since (insert name) was seen practicing martial arts which originated with unbelievers then therefore he/she is secretly a New Ager."
V. Guilt by Association
Example: A fellow Christian would say, "Since (insert name) was dating an unbeliever therefore that person is automatically an unbeliever."
As said, Christians are to judge (1 Corinthians 5:12) but they are are NOT to be the final judge (Romans 14:13, Colossians 2:16-17). That is, people are to be judged by their actions but not to be given the final verdict on the person. Likewise, the Christian guilty of legalism based on the logical fallacies above is clearly trying to become the final verdict rather than simply judging the actions of fellow believers. As said, Ephesians 5:11 is clear that wrongful actions must be judged but NEVER judge on a fellow believer as to what is final because sometimes, Christians could end up not being able to help up a backslid believer all because of that legalistic attitude they can have.
Instead, if one is to judge, assess EVERY fact scientifically and above all SPIRITUALLY and here are more logical conclusions that can determine the person to be a Christian nor not:
- "He claims to be a Christian yet he adds works to getting saved. He says that works are needed to keep one's salvation rather than saying Christians do works as a result of salvation."
- "He says he is a Christian yet he thinks nothing is wrong with homosexuality. If he were truly saved, he would actually be convicted of his sin. He even teaches Jesus was gay when He was clearly not. He is clearly teaching another Jesus."
- "He says he is a Christian yet whenever I read his blog, wow it's filled with bad words like $@*!! and he's always using the name of Jesus Christ in vain. He's displaying a lot of traits of being un-Christlike plus he is always insisting in a legalistic salvation."
- "He says he is a Christian yet why does he embrace all religions as correct and promote a false sense of love one another misquoting it time and time again? Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the only Way to the Father."