Become a legalistic Christian in three easy steps!

I know what you’re thinking! “Dave, it’s been my lifelong dream to become a legalist! How can I do it in three steps? Tell me now!” Well, today’s your day. As someone who has a lot of experience in being a legalistic Christian, I can offer you a few tips on how to become one yourself.

Most people think it’s really hard to be a legalist. They think that being a legalist means attending a King James Only church, wearing a suit and tie or a frumpy dress all day, sporting a crew cut, and complaining about how irresponsible all the “kids” are these days. But I say, “Why go to all that trouble?” You can be a legalist without having to do anything hard!

Here’s the secret. Being a legalist is about putting law above Lawgiver. It’s much easier than the alternative. Why bother pressing on to know Jesus Christ, letting his gospel transform the way you look at the world, and eagerly obeying his commandments out of love? Just become a legalist instead! In fact, you don’t even need God’s law to be one. Here’s a tried-and-true method to help you.

Step 1: Find something good that you feel passionate about.

Are there any political or social causes that you support? Are there any means of self-improvement that you’re working on? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Removing violence, sex, or language from movies
  • Protecting the environment
  • Healthy diet and exercise
  • Prayer
  • Social justice
  • Cleanliness
  • Theology

Step 2: Make up an arbitrary standard of behavior for this area.

This step works best if it’s a standard that you can meet, whereas other people around you don’t measure up. That way, you can feel better about yourself at other people’s expense. Here are some possible rules you can invent:

  • It’s wrong to watch R-rated movies.
  • You’re behaving immorally if you don’t recycle.
  • People who don’t exercise are not worth respecting.
  • A good Christian prays for at least an hour a day.
  • If you’re not donating money to stop AIDS, you are an unloving person.
  • Anyone with a messy house is an irresponsible slob.
  • If you can’t articulate exactly what is meant by the term propitiation, you’re not really a serious Christian.

Step 3: Judge everyone around you by this standard.

Here’s the rewarding part. You can sit back and gloat as you consider how inferior everyone is to you. Or you can work yourself into a frenzy of self-righteous outrage. Either way, you win!

There are plenty of other ways to become a legalist. In my opinion, though, this is one of the easiest methods. Just follow these three steps, and before long, you too will be a stuck-up, self-righteous jerk who doesn’t need a Savior!

About Dave

I'm a Christian who has been saved and is being transformed by Jesus Christ and his gospel. I’m also a Purdue University and Faith Bible Seminary graduate.

Posted on March 17, 2010, in The issues and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Wow, thanks, Dave! How ironic that this week I am studying Galatians and the freedom we have in Christ. :)

  2. Is it possible to become legalistic about legalism?

    • It is totally possible to be legalistic about being legalistic. I have know many. I have had such tendencies at times too.

  3. “Is it possible to become legalistic about legalism?”

    Like some sort of metalegalist? :) Sure. Just focus on how non-legalistic you suppose yourself to be, pat yourself on the back for fulfilling the law, and forget all about Jesus Christ.

  4. What an excellent post. Oh so true!

  5. You are hilarious! This is good stuff.

  6. i love this steps

  7. Dave, your a genious.. This is so hilarious! I loved it. As an ex legalist myself, I can certainly give an A+ to your “how to method” displayed here. I came from a pentecostal legalistic upbringing myself, that was changed only with a clash from a loveing, patient true believer. And when the honor was presented to me to become Pastor of a congregation of Pentecostals I was tempted to lauph and run off. But then I thought, “what if I could, from within, make a difference here. So I took the opportunity. It’s certainly not been easy, let me tell you, but it’s certainly been worth it. God Is Good! Amen…

  8. whoa seriously.Do God want us to feel superior.The Bible says in Philippians 2:3 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves”.

  9. haha! This is hilarious! I wish it was mandatory to read this! I’m a Gracist! :o)

  10. I’ve been married for 11 years to a HARDCORE legalist :) Wow! If he ever read this article…hmmm. I can testify that its by God’s grace that I stand to today wrinkled but unscathed. I truly believe that God gave me to this man to break him free of the shackles of legalism.

  11. Legalism is right!! The bible tells Christians how theyre supposed to dress. if you read your bible you will find it!

  12. we don’t sit back and judge, this is how we feel….. if we’re stepping on anyone’s toes, line up to it! right is right and wrong is wrong… this is right. Duetoronomy 22:5 tells how women aren’t supposed to wear anything that pertains to a man .. vice versa… the bible says that all that do so are an abomination unto the lord thy god!! People say ” oh that’s under the moses law” … well in John 1 it states that in the beginning was the word and the word was with god, and the word was god!!@ the bible means what it says… God does look at the heart, but that doesn’t mean you do any old thing to get to heaven… That’s a fact! Im a legalist, and proud of it… Nothing will change my views!

  13. it talks about modesty in 1 Timothy also.. im not trying to judge, im just trying to spread the truth of the gospel of my lord Jesus Christ… God Bless Yall!

  14. people call us legalists but truth is, is that we are Holiness Christians following gods signs .. the bible does say that without holiness no man shall see god!

  15. Amen!! legalisim is the only way!! preach it brother!^

  1. Pingback: While we’re on the subject of legalism… « Banannery Public

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