My responses to richard rives ideas on legalism

This is my updated reponse from rives website and a recent mass-email he sent out on March 2012.

On rives website he stated the following:

“Many would view the subject matter which we have discussed as legalism.”

“The dictionary defines legalism as: “strict, literal adherence to the law, or to a particular code, as of religion or morality.” Quote: “Legalism relates to principals of right and wrong behavior.”

“The question arises: Is being categorized as legalistic an insult or a compliment?”

“It should be noted that the word legalism or legalistic is not found in the Bible, however, its moral synonyms are: – – honorable, chaste, pure, virtuous, just, honest and righteous. In fact, they are mentioned over 500 times. Could it be that use of the word legalistic is an attempt to avoid dealing with these important Biblical issues?”

“Can we know for sure what is right and wrong? Is there absolute truth, a dependable value system? Should believers be adherents to the moral values of the Bible, or should every man do that which is right in his own eyes?”

“The Bible records that throughout history the will of God has been revealed to His people: “Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee,”

“The results: “…they wrought great provocations.”

“The Bible says that in the last days there will be false prophets and those who have a form of godliness, yet they are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.”

“Jesus said: “If you love me keep my commandments.”

“Many who use the term “legalistic” as an attempt to discredit those who want to follow God’s instructions, label them as being self-righteous. Let me say now: “It is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”

“Being accused of obedience to God is definitely a compliment. The next time someone says that you, a believer in Christ, keeping God’s commandments, are being legalistic: The best response would be to simply say, “Thank You” Why? Because they are calling you a saint!”

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

“These segments are excerpted from his  book, “Too Long in the Sun”.

http://www.toolong.com/pages/legalism.htm

He continues his philosophy with this recent rant.

“What is Good What is Evil”

“by Richard Rives”

“Tuesday, March 13, 2012 1:01 PM”

“In an effort to ‘earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints’, I speak of The Ten Commandments. Those who walked and talked with Christ kept those commandments, and I believe that we should too. Today, rather than abide by our Creator’s commandments, many people want to decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. They consider any talk about commandments to be LEGALISTIC.”

“Dictionaries defines legalism as: “strict, literal adherence to the law, or to a particular code, as of religion or morality.” Quote: “Legalism relates to principals of right and wrong behavior.”

“The question arises: Is being categorized as legalistic an insult, or a compliment?”

“It should be noted that the word legalism or legalistic is not found in the Bible, however, its moral synonyms are: – – honorable, chaste, pure, virtuous, just, honest and righteous. In fact, they are mentioned over 500 times. Could it be that the use of the word legalistic is an attempt to avoid dealing with these important Biblical issues?”

“Can we know for sure what is right and wrong? Is there absolute truth, a dependable value system? Should believers adhere to the moral values of the Bible, or should every man do that which is right in his own eyes?”

“The Bible records that throughout history, the will of God has been revealed to His people: “Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against Him, and cast His law behind their backs, and slew His prophets which testified against them to turn them to God” The results: “…they wrought great provocations.”

“The Bible says that in the last days there will be false prophets and those who have a form of godliness, yet they are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” How do we love God? Yeshua, Jesus Christ said: “If you love me keep my commandments.” The book of 1st John goes so far as to say that those who say that they love Him, and yet they do not keep His commandments, are liars. Now that is pretty LEGALISTIC.”

“Many who use the term “LEGALISTIC” as an attempt to discredit those who want to follow God’s instructions, label them as being self-righteous. Let me say now: “It is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.””

“Being accused of obedience to God is definitely a compliment. The next time someone says that you, a believer in Christ, keeping God’s commandments, are being LEGALISTIC: The best response would be to simply say, “Thank You” Why? Because they are calling you a saint!”

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

“Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints; I’m Richard Rives with Just the Facts.”

Am I accusing rives of being a legalist? No not really. But the definition of a “Legalist” is quite fitting as are titles of rives being a Theonomist, Judaizer etc.

The more important question is did Jesus leave us Commandments to follow only the Ten Commandments or did he create a completely new set of moral rules for us to follow?

I have read all four Gospels and can’t find a specific series of Commandments to keep the Ten Commandments or the rest of the Law of Moses as a Theocratic law. But I can find plenty of moral Commandments that lead me to believe that rives philosophy is not what Christ will have us do.

Examples:

Matthew 5:18-48

Matthew 6:1-34

Matthew 7:1-29

Matthew 19:3-12

Jesus even told us what were the Most important parts of the Law of Moses.

Matthew 22:35-40

To further complicate rives philosophy is that the Bible is clear about Moses Laws. Can his philosophy and false teaching stand up to the writings of Paul in the following passages of Romans?

Romans 2:1-5

Romans 2:11-24

Romans 3:19-31

Romans 5:1-11

Romans 7:1-25

Romans 8:1-11

Romans10:4-6

Romans 13:8-10

He is right about Jesus saying “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” But is incorrect about meaning the Ten commandments.

See here:

Jesus said, “keep My commandments” NOT the Ten commandments!

http://www.bible.ca/7-keep-command.htm

 

And just how Saintly does one get following the 10 commandments without Christ anyway? After all it appears to me that people like him don’t believe in Gods Grace.

When we read about Personal Holiness online we find various links.

http://www.geocities.com/santosh_b/My_Articles/Kirkspire_1993_1994/04_Personal_holiness.html

 

http://gracegems.org/Pink2/personal_holiness.htm

 

If personal Holiness is less about following the 10 Commandments but making choices to avoid whatever personal sins that infect us and cause us as a individual Christian problems then Rives desire to follow ancient laws is quite wrong.

His ideas on legalism can be answered better by Paul in the book of Galatians.

Galatians 1:8-9

Galatians 2:16-21

Galatians 3:1-14

Galatians 3:18-21

Galatians 5:4

Galatians 5:13-18

Richard rives and those who follow him neglect even this.

Titus 3:9-11

Rives you are in the wrong for trying to create stumbling blocks for Christians who donot believe as you do. Stop your falsehoods before you come to a horrific fate.

Romans 14:10-19

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